Posts tagged Community

’09 In Review: The most entertaining/enticing characters on TV

image source: amctv.com

…I’m throwing in one more year in review listicle before I move on to 2010 and new business…for all you TV junkies out there, here’s my pick of the best TV characters of 2009 (in random order):

  • Joan Holloway/Mad Men (Christina Hendricks)–she had fewer appearances this season than the previous two, which had us wanting her more. She is stunning, fierce and endearing, and the most compelling female character on the show.
  • Charlie Kelly/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Charlie Day)–he’s more than Paddy’s handyman, Dennis and Mac’s sidekick, and Frank’s roommate—sometimes, believe it or not, he’s the smartest one in the bar.
  • Abed/Community (Danny Pudi)–he had me at The Breakfast Club quotes…Abed provides the contrasting slapstick to Jeff’s (Joel McHale) smug and smart-ass remarks, and also, a plethora of pop culture references (awesome!).
  • Sue Sylvester/Glee (Jane Lynch)–at first she simply enchanted us with her tough-talking ruthlessness, only to be revealed as one of the most complex characters on TV, with some of the most whip-smart memorable lines ever.
  • Gemma Teller Morrow/Sons of Anarchy (Katey Sagal)–she’s more than just Clay’s (Ron Perlman) ‘old lady,’ she’s the most bad-ass mom currently on television, and she’s the heart and soul of this show.
  • Phil Dunphy/Modern Family (Ty Burrell)– the fun-loving pushover father/husband steals the scene every time, with his antics, excuses and young-at-heart energy which keeps us laughing and always rooting for him to finally get it right.
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The best thing to happen to NBC since 30 Rock…

…and no, it’s definitely not Jay Leno’s nightly 10 PM show…but since you brought it up, IMHO I think handing over the coveted primetime hour to an annoying and no longer relevant comedian is ridiculous and could possibly turn out to be one of the most disastrous decisions NBC has ever made. There are networks that take creative risks (FX, AMC) and then networks that just take desperate measures (remember when ABC ran Who Wants to Be a Millionaire almost every night of the week?)–Jay Leno every night @ 10 PM is a desperate measure. And guess what–Leno’s ratings aren’t great and now NBC is kind of panicking.

community-review

All that aside, let’s get to a good decision NBC’s programming kids made for this fall that has turned out to be a bright spot on Thursday night’s line up: Community. In case you aren’t already a fan, it stars Joel McHale (of the E! channel’s The Soup, as well as this summer’s film, The Informant! with Matt Damon) as arrogant and former lawyer, Jeff Winger and Chevy Chase as a socially awkward businessman, Pierce Hawthorne, both who have enrolled at a community college. Jeff creates a fake Spanish class study group to get to know his attractive  fellow classmate, Britta (Gillian Jacobs). Unfortunately for Jeff, word gets around about the said study group, resulting in a few more extra members than he had hoped for—other classmates, who really want/need tutoring/or just want to be social—and voila, we have a show. I think Community is NBC’s second best comedy, behind 30 Rock, and the two of them blocked together on Thursday nights should help the Peacock Network’s numbers.

The cast is great, the writing is fun, slap-stick, witty (and often not very PC), and thoughtful at times, but never forgets that it’s a sitcom (formulaic/predictable). There are a couple of familiar faces–Allison Brie (Trudy from MadMen) as the high-strung Annie; John Oliver (from The Daily Show) as a professor and former client of Jeff’s; and Ken Jeong (appeared in Knocked Up, The Pineapple Express, The Office, Entourage) as Senor Chang, their erratic and intense Spanish professor.

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I’m just thrilled that the very talented and smug Ryan Seacrest look-alike Joel McHale is branching out from being host of a clip-show to leading man on a network comedy.  It would seem that Mr. McHale may be the latest Talk Soup/The Soup success story since Hal Sparks, who went on to star in Showtime’s award-winning series, Queer as Folk and before him, Greg Kinnear, who has appeared in numerous films and was nominated for an Oscar for As Good As It Gets.

Below is a clip of the show, enjoy!

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Fall 2009 TV Preview–the shows I care about and you should too

cougar-town15

Hey fellow TV junkies! Get out your calendar and warm up the Tivo, because we have a whole bunch of TV premieres coming our way! Some brand new series (Glee!) and some returning favorites (The Office!)…here is the list of shows I’ll be watching (in premiere date order):

Tuesday, September 8:

  • Sons of Anarchy on FX @ 10 PM (Season 2 Premiere)…Riveting, with full-throttle drama, this series about a biker gang/family hierarchy in Central California is top notch. The acting is superb and the writing is truly compelling and original.

Wednesday, September 9:

  • Glee on Fox @ 9 PM (Series Premiere)…After the sneak-peek premiere earlier this year (and online), we haven’t stopped believing that this high school dramedy is going to be a big hit. And with one of the show’s creators coming from “Nip/Tuck” and “Popular” it is sure to be irreverent and whip-smart.

Thursday, September 10:

  • The Vampire Diaries on CW @ 8 PM (Series Premiere)…I pretty much know nothing about this series except that the promos are dark and sexy and make me want to check it out. And vampires seem to be all the rage these days.

Tuesday, September 14:

  • Gossip Girl on CW @ 9 PM (Season 3 Premiere)…We were assured during last season’s finale that gossip girl will follow everyone to college, so that’s a relief!  All I really care about is seeing more of that damn Mother Chucker.

Thursday, September 17:

  • Fringe on Fox @ 9 PM (Season 2 Premiere)…Ok, so I must confess when this show first came out I hated it. But then I kept watching, and now I’m hooked. It’s a great sci-fi series, and just when things get too serious, too out there, they throw in a comedic line.
  • The Office on NBC @ 9 PM (Season 6 Premiere)…I think we are supposed to see Pam and Jim finally tie the knot, right? Of course, they will drag it out until the season finale, but I’m sure hilarity will ensue in the meantime.
  • Community on NBC @ 9:30 PM (Series Premiere)…This show could really suck or be really good, an ensemble comedy taking place in a community college. Why am I tuning in? For more doses of Joel McHale!
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX @ 10 PM (Season 5 Premiere)…This show started out so strong, and had a couple of great seasons/outstanding episodes.  I think it’s time they wrap it up or introduce a brand new plot point or character arc. I will of course still watch because they always end up doing something zany and out of control.

Wednesday, September 23:

  • Cougar Town on ABC @ 9:30 PM (Series Premiere)…When this show was in development and then was picked up I  laughed at how ridiculous it sounded. But then, after catching some of the promos it looks hilarious! Courtney Cox Arquette  as a recently divorced hottie looking to have some fun–yes, please, take us to Cougar Town!

October…two premieres to point out:

  • 30 Rock on NBC, the 15th @ 9:30 PM (Season 4 Premiere)…who knows what the hell will happen this season, whatever Tina Fey’s genius brain wants. As long as Jack, Tracy, and Kenneth keep coming back then I’m in.  If not? Then that’s a dealbreaker, ladies!
  • Southland on NBC, the 23rd @ 9 PM (Season 2 Premiere)…this show goes beyond the typical cop show, it’s unflinching and the characters have so much depth. It stars Ryan from the “O.C.” and Regina King, who really deserves an Emmy nom for this role.

Other shows I care about…but won’t premiere until early 2010 (so I’ll cover later this year):

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