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Archive for the ‘The Middle’ Category

New DVD’s for Fall: Families and Vamps

I know in the past week or two I have really made some progress getting stuff done and that has included doing some catch-ups for the fall season.

Tuesday, The Middle and The Vampire Diaries release their complete first seasons, and they both have one thing in common for me, they were both shows I had no interest going in to last year and by May, loved them.

The Middle is a more traditional family comedy than its hyped network companion Modern Family, but that tradition presents the love and quality you loved in the 1990s. Patricia Heaton and her whole family gel and move with problems beautifully and you would be very wise to add this DVD with features that focus on the lovely Sue and the troubled journey it took to get this to series.

The Vampire Diaries took a more tricky journal in my fall season last year. I watched the pilot the previous summer and despised every minute of it and even though I should I have listen to my better judgement gave it three more episodes to get better, than three more, then by December, I found myself remembering and liking what was happening. The series grew of a big cliché into something, compelling, fascinating, with strong personalities and good-looking ones at that. All 22 episodes are in the set along with lengthy features on many aspects of production, gag reels, webisodes, commentary, plus as a bonus an audiobook of one of the novels it is based by L.J Smith.

Another Tuesday, another reason to catch-up on fall TV!


Recapping the season: Top 5 New Shows

For the rest of the week, I am looking back at the past television season and doing some top 5’s for what worked in a ratings-challenged year. Up first are the new entries that graced the screen this year and in my book there were quite a few success to talk about:

1. Modern Family – For me, the new show that made me love TV more than anything this year was ABC’s truly original family sitcom. No new show was so widely love in my family as it really rang true in so many ways and most of all made me laugh every single week. Nothing can beat that pilot, that I have now most likely watched 50 times, and I just have a truly special place in my heart for it.

2. The Good Wife – My biggest surprise new show was easily The Good Wife because going in to the new year I knew it had a great script but I did not know such a big emotional edge would be present by the combination of great writing and its star Julianna Margulies. A show I looked forward to each week and will continue to for years to come.

3. Parenthood Parenthood had a rocky life from deaths to recast to cancer, things were getting in the way for a wonderful cast and creator’s little show on NBC, but after the Olympics, Parenthood didn’t care about any of that and they put on one hell of a show. For the past 13 weeks, Parenthood got better and better and without my knowledge it seemed turned into a show I thought about a lot and cared for the characters a great deal.

4. Life Unexpected – Liz Tigelaar and her cast and crew deserve great things and when LUX was renewed at Upfronts I was so, so happy for them. The CW could have easily not believed in the Portland family drama but they did and could not be more grateful for having this heartwarming show on the air next year.

5. Glee – I think most people doing this would have Glee much higher on this list but I think if recent weeks are any indication I am putting it in the right place. When Glee, premiered for real in the fall, I was smitten, my friends and family were smitten, and each week it would be a trip to iTunes to buy the songs, and re watch episodes but now as the season is closing I could almost not care less. Plot holes, continuity, and bad writing have steered me away from a show I still want to be good as I like the actors and the music but I just need more respect to the viewers and I hope Ryan Murphy gives us that.

Just Missed the mark: Cougar Town, The Middle, and The Vampire Diaries – 3/4 of ABC comedy block was a highlight of the season for me and both Cougar Town and The Middle turned into shows I did not think I would like. Cougar Town is a entirely new show that when it started and The Middle reminds me of good old Home Improvement days. On the other hand, something so 2010 like vampires was made new again with Vampire Diaries and it was this year’s biggest guilty pleasure for me.

Catching Up on TV Part 2

Wednesday and Thursdays are packed full of fun television including some buzzworthy dramas and comedies, here are my thoughts as some wind down, and some are gearing up, plus my take on a Sunday fave.

The Middle/Modern Family/Cougar Town – I’m laughing. All the time, and that is all that matters with these three renewed for year two, superb comedies. With The Middle, their key to success has been in the Heck kids who especially in the biggest episodes to date. Brick (Atticus Shaffer) in particular with his delivery just makes it so so funny, and then Axl and Sue who are so unique in his approach on girls and her trying to fit in.

Modern Family just rocks and after “My Funky Valentine” officially became my favorite comedy on TV. In a combination of hilarity, sweetness, and uniqueness it just works. The one thing that in every episode which each story is synchronised to the others in that episode from latin housekeepers and dog butlers that are somehow intertwined by mannerisms and dialogue. That is a testament to the cast and that writing that is so so Emmy worthy. (Sorry Glee.)

Cougar Town is one brilliant town and it is not for Jules (Courtney Cox) only but for the supporting players that make each half-hour from Ellie’s views on life to Bobby, Andy, and Grayson’s night out, and Travis maturity with his mother (Did you know he is really 25?). The show has twindld in the ratings but I hope an upcoming recurring role from Sheryl Crow can change that, plus where is Barb, and Rachael Harris? I miss them. All three comedies return on March 3rd to ABC.

Leverage – Leverage to me is one of the funniest shows on TV in a long while. The past few weeks with Nate’s ex-wife (played by the absolutely wonderful Kari Machett) coming back into the picture when she did not want him was fun, and the finale has started and I can say it finishes on a huge win. The last hour airing this Wednesday marks the return of some old favorites in a surprising turn, Jeri Ryan exits for now, and a cliff hanger till the summer that you will really want to know about. The best thing about the second half of the season was to see a pregnant Gina Bellman as Sophie in ever-changing outfits and locations from Africa to the super cliché in Eiffel Tower in the background Paris. Just fun.

Human Target – 12 million to 8 million is not the best thing to hear, however, it is very early for the action drama on FOX. I have not been enthralled by the series but last week’s episode “Run” which was originally the second episode showcased big action and story and that is what I like and want to see. The story they have introduced about Chance’s first case with a mysterious woman named Katherine is intriguing as well as Guerrero’s “side-projects” but if they are not in the mix each week I feel it will be lost in the action.

Lots to come as this drama is just finding its footing and the survival will all depend on FOX’s development slate and other performers like the dying Past Life and new entry Code 58 in the spring.

Burn Notice – Is it just me, or has this second half of the season been way uneven? This past Thursday’s episode has been the only one that I truly enjoyed. I feel like the action mixed with the character reactions have not been gelling together. The season is ending on March 4th and it will mark the return of some old pals that will change the game, and I can only hope it changes for the better.

Survivor – AMAZING TELEVISION. The two-hour première of Heroes vs. Villains was some of the best TV I have seen all year. Conflict, romance, injuries, tribals, survival, that were all so captivating to watch. Jerri and Coach’s romance was repulsing but so fascinating. I love the idea of reliving some of our favorite challenges from earlier years and I have some ones in my mind that I hope that do like the giant ball challenge from Guatemala and more. Just superb reality competition. More after the jump…. (more…)

Big News Day and What Did You Think?

117687_208_preWow. When I came home today, I flicked on the news reel and nothing major in TV had happened, 20 minutes later. Things had erupted. First of all, the fantastic news that ABC has picked up Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Middle for full seasons with an addition of 9 +13 all ready ordered episodes. All three laughers have made me well laugh especially Modern Family, and are performing strong for the net.

Then things went downhill from there. 10 minutes later reported that NBC has cancelled there powerful, gritty, and real crime drama Southland 2 weeks before it was due to premiere. An odd change in events for the dying network that was said not to be happy with what was happy and that is was not going to perform.

Southland was great last spring and I am sad to see it go. Back to the good news, all signs are pointing to ABC’s addictive new drama FlashForward will be picked up for a full 24 episodes need to tell its season 1 tale. ABC wants to see how it did tonight. Also, if you were wondering when a certain Lost individual was going to show up for his permanent stay, I would recommend staying for next week.

For tonight’s TV, what did you think? Is FlashForward grabbing you? Did you find Jim and Pam’s wedding on The Office as touching and iconic as I did? What other shows are you watching on this crowded Thursday?

Fall TV 2009: ABC’s The Middle

This fall brings new dramas and comedies, new loves, and new hopes, so here is the rundown on what too watch, and what too avoid this fall. Now, ABC is trying something bold, 4 new comedies all by themselves the second of which is a throwback to the good ol’ days of Rosanne with a family comedy surrounded by Patricia Heaton. Does it score….

117068_D_0248_preABC Says:

The Hecks are a middle class family living in the middle of Indiana, just trying to keep their heads above water. Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton stars as a wife and mother of three in a comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.

Atticus Shaffer as Brick

Atticus Shaffer as Brick

The Good: ABC is taking a gamble on Wednesdays nights this fall and it overall wins (see that later with Modern Family and Cougar Town) but misses the mark on one. The Middle honors its title by falling right in the middle of the pack. The comedy is funny and smart, it is nothing new and remarkable. It is just a family comedy centering around the mother played by the funny Patricia Heaton. Heaton however is not the star in this sitcom. That honor goes to Atticus Shaffer who plays the youngest Brick. He is funny, adorable, and awkward, the perfect combo. The rest of the cast is strong with Chris Kattan and Neil Flynn, but….

The Not So Good: like I said it is nothing new. I just felt after watching that this is just some thing you could watch or not. It would not make a difference but come this fall I will be turning it to start my Wednesday comedy block because you always need a good family laugh.

The Middle airs at 8:30/7:30 after Hank and before Modern Family on ABC Wednesdays starting September 30th.