Some quick picks for tonight….
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List – 10/9c on Bravo
Kathy with Levi knocks on Sarah Palin’s door. Need I say more? Plus, I was in the audience for her stand-up and it was pretty spectacular and she talked about all she did in this all-Alaska episode.
Wipeout – 8/7c on ABC
Big Balls! They are back and I love all the fun and laughter I get out of this successful summer reality. John Henson and John Anderson, with Jill Wagner are by far the best hosting group of any reality show in recent memory. Plain awesome.
Downfall – 9/8c on ABC
Did you tune in for the premiere last week? While the premise is kinda stupid, answer trivia questions and get them right to win cash and prizes or fall off a building, the premiere had potential, and host Chris Jericho is funny, but it still has many kinks to work out.
Also on tonight, is ABC Family’s newest guilty pleasure (sorry, Huge) Pretty Little Liars and the mystery is really heating up at 8/7c.
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer, even though here it is pouring, and I want to remind everyone to tune into my favorite TNT series Leverage. The Robin Hood/heist drama led by Timothy Hutton is back on a new night Sunday and with two new episodes starting on 9/8c. TNT is giving us two weeks of back to back episodes then it will air at its normal time at 9.
I have seen the premiere episodes and for the first time in the series, the season will really be about one consistent story-line more so than the other continuous stories the show has presented. The lovely Elisabetta Canalis plays “The Italian” a mysterious woman who reaches to Hutton’s Tim in his dark hours after we left him last season being arrested and taken to prison. Below is a preview of the fun season and I highly suggest you return or check out for the first time Leverage, 9/8c on TNT.
Ok. So we all know Top Chef is great right? Right? Top Chef is easily one of the best produced and oddly engaging reality competition ever, and it is back tonight at a new time 9/8c in the nation’s capitol. Top Chef will still keep the same format of 17 chefs but will use its local and figures VERY prominently plus Eric Ripert, a recurring guest judge will take over for Toby Smith’s regular spot this year. Eric and Gail Simmons (who is hosting the new spin-off Top Chef: Just Desserts airing after this cycle) will be joined of course by Tom and Padma, and a guest judge most weeks.
Airing after Top Chef, is a surprise. Last week, Bravo premiered Work of Art: The Search for the Next Great Artist, from producer and on-and-off again appearance maker Sarah Jessica Parker. I had not heard much about Work of Art but when I tuned in last week I was very shocked to find a genuinely intelligent and interesting reality competition that will pair great with the foodie version. Work of Art takes artists from many backgrounds and puts them through challenges that tests their creatively and ultimately one will become the next great artist. The series host China Chow does a fine job in mixing the fun with the series and actually look interested in the art instead of just being a host.
If you tune in which you should to Top Chef: DC, do me a favor and check out Work of Art, you will not mind it one bit. The pair starts at 9/8c on Bravo!
Teen high school drama, do we need it?…..
What ABC Family Says:
“Pretty Little Liars” follows four estranged best friends who are reunited one year after their best friend and queen bee of the group, Alison, goes missing – only to discover they’re receiving messages from an anonymous “A” who knows all their secrets. The drama stars Lucy Hale (“Privileged”) as Aria, Troian Bellisario (“Navy NCIS”) as Spencer, Ashley Benson (“Eastwick”) as Hanna, Shay Mitchell as Emily and Sasha Pieterse (“Heroes”) as Alison. Also starring are Laura Leighton (“Melrose Place”), Bianca Lawson (“The Vampire Diaries”) and Ian Harding (“NCIS: Los Angeles”).
Going into watching a new teen high school drama from the network that brought us Secret Life of the American Teenager, I was not expecting much at all, but leaving it, I was pleasantly surprised. Pretty Little Liars is a well-made, well-acted, and well thought-out teen mystery. It plays nicely on-screen and uses pretty people, pretty well, and the mystery is nothing to be frowned upon. Based on the best-selling novels, Liars uses high school teens in a very adult way, playing them as mature, responsible people. Lucy Hale is wonderful as Aria and her parents are fun played by Holly Marie Combs (Charmed) and Chad Lowe (24) as well as Laura Leighton as Hanna’s mom.
Some of the woman are not the most compelling in the story and I hope that they come to embrace the dark nature of the story and the writing. Speaking of the writing it could be sharper and not to mention more fun as while I like the dark tones I needed just a little more high-school edge to keep it interesting because as it stands it just an interesting teen drama with hot people.
Pretty Little Liars premieres tonight at 8/7c on ABC Family and I will be tuning in for the foreseeable future to see how it all plays out.
Lie to Me
New, new, and new….Not what you would expect right now.
Lie to Me – 8/7c on FOX Oh, Lie to Me, what a crazy run you have had. Premiering in late January of last year, doing so-so and coming back after House only to be pulled in December and saved until June, but at the same time getting picked up for another year. Kind of strange, but there is now denying that Lie to Me has quality and Tim Roth and Kelli Williams sure make the most of their interesting characters. I quite enjoyed the next two installments from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan who show-ran this season, including a great guest turn by Jason Dohring (Moonlight) seen to the left. Good quality scripted summer fare for sure.
The Good Guys
The Good Guys – 9/8c on FOX I just giggle at the thought of The Good Guys. I don’t know how much creator Matt Nix wanted us to think of it as a comedy but he sure pulls it off. I really love this humorous buddy cop drama especially the interplay between Bradley Whitford’s Dan, his mustache, and Colin Hank’s Jack. I have seen tonight’s premiere installment and it may be better than the preview that aired a couple week’s back and features a great Lauren Stamile and a fun romp for the cops.
Persons Unknown – 10/9c on NBC Another summer, another summer of international imports to air on American television. Persons Unknown was an international co-produce drama picked up by NBC a long time ago and is finally seeing the light of day. Unknown is about a group of strangers pulled from their lives and dropped in a house they cannot escape from and stars Jason Wiles and Alan Ruck. I am intrigued a will be tuning in and see if it can become more than a one-note mystery.
Last Comic Standing – 8/7c on NBC How is this back? Can someone answer that question for me because I am puzzled on how a summer reality show on NBC was cancelled twice then resurrect again thinking that it would be a success. Sorry NBC but I doubt even the funny man Craig Robinson can salvage this reality competition about comics.
Next Food Network Star
It has been a beautifully summer, at least for me, but it really has been a busy one as well. Tonight really begins summer TV as premieres will be happening everyday mostly for cable but some great scripted programming on networks too. Here are some of the highlights for this evening:
NBA Finals – 8PM Eastern on ABC I am not a basketball fan but for some reason this series has been really interesting to me. Boston at LA again tonight on ABC and ABC continues to milk this for all its worth, it should be a good game and if you are a fan of TV make sure to keep your eyes out for extended looks at new fall shows for the net.
The Next Food Network Star – 9/8c on Food I completely forgot that this summer staple now was back tonight but I am really ectastic about it now. Its not of Top Chef quality but the same fun and whimsy in cooking and compettion is featured in this Bobby Flay hosted version and Giada De Laurentiis is joining as a co-host. If you are not familiar with Food’s cooking competition, 12 hopefuls compete now in LA to get their own show on the network. Must watch for me.
Drop Dead Diva – 9/8c on Lifetime Also on tonight is the season premiere of one of last summer’s biggest ratings surprises: Drop Dead Diva. The Lifetime dramaedy revolves around a shallow model put into a overweight work-holics body and learns the value of work and care. I never got into the show but I hear it is a well done summer programming.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger – 11/10c on MTV Speaking of MTV, have you been watching The City? You must, but back to tonight the network is premiering a new teen scripted drama in there push for more scripted programming. Hard Times is about a boy in a Hung-esque situation and gets all the attention after his large revelation. Could be interesting.
Finale time and it really kicks of with some powerful and funny stuff tonight:
House – “Help Me” 8/7c on FOX
The House finale in one word is……monumental. It is so monumental that the director Paul Attanasio had to use a new high-tech camera for the open frames of the episode. In it is unusual in the fact that House and Cuddy are out of the hospital for the majority of the episode, dealing with the night’s big crises a crane collapse. Dr. House is putting in to some compromising situations and of course annoys his team back at Princeton. The DVD I watched did not actually include the final scene but the last scenes for sure back a punch. It leaves into question and member of the team’s status and might change House’s life for a long time. Must watch.
Castle – “A Deadly Game” 10/9c on ABC
On the other end of the spectrum but somehow similar, the finale of Castle, does what they do best…make a seemingly terrible crime and turn it on its head and make it funny. The finale is pretty note-worthy for Rick as his daughter is moving on to bigger things for the summer and maybe he should as well. Good stuff, and the final minutes really entice next season’s premiere.