And how on Earth is Randy still here?
Before I get to analyzing the completely anti-climactic news that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have been announced as new judges for the post-Simon Cowell era of "American Idol," something needs to be said:
Randy Jackson is the last original "Idol" judge standing.
Who among you in the show's glory years would have expected Randy to outlast Simon, or Paula, or even Ellen? Kara, sure. Dunkleman, absolutely. But with the show blowing up the judges' panel anyway in the wake of Simon quitting to do "X Factor" and Ellen realizing she was terrible at it, it's kinda staggering that the producers elected to keep Randy around, even for the sake of continuity. The guy has never added anything to the show, and now he'll get to remind you of how much less interesting he was than all the other people who left. (Annoying as Kara could be, at least she occasionally had an interesting insight, and it was also fun to see her insecurity about being new and unpopular get in the way of the point she was trying to make.)
And since Randy won't have much to offer but memories of past pitchiness, working it out and faces being sung off, do Tyler and Lopez have what it takes to help "Idol" survive without Simon?
Not seeing it, dawg. Sorry.
Even with a 'Friends' reunion, the ensemble is the reason to watch
Jennifer Aniston turns up tonight on "Cougar Town." "Cougar Town" stars Courteney Cox, who once upon co-starred with Aniston in a little show called "Friends." ABC has been doing a good job of promoting the reunion (Where without Aniston the show might have gotten minimal or no promotion altogether.) And Aniston aquits herself just fine in the small role of Jules' eccentric new therapist. She's likable and daffy but never over-the-top. As he so often did on "Scrubs," Bill Lawrence (here writing with "Cougar Town" co-creator Kevin Biegel) has taken a stunt-casted guest star and made them feel like they fit right in.
But here's the thing: other than the possible promotional value, and the hope that Aniston might move the ratings needle in a way that last year's Lisa Kudrow guest spot didn't (and that Aniston's visit to "30 Rock" a few years back didn't), "Cougar Town" doesn't need her.
For this, NBC shelved 'Parks and Rec'?
Twitter feed doesn't translate to sitcom gold with William Shatner
CBS' "$#*! My Dad Says" (which debuts Thursday at 8) is what happens when you try to apply old-media values to new-media material. It's a mess, and if it's not the worst new show of the fall, that's only because it's airing on a night when there are two other prime contenders in ABC's "My Generation" and NBC's "Outsourced."
The show is based on @shitmydadsays, the Twitter feed of writer Justin Halpern. As the title suggests, Halpern simply reproduces the outrageous, usually profane things his Vietnam veteran father says to him. And as isolated, out-of-context 140-character soundbytes, it can often be very funny.
But CBS can't use the real title (instead we get that silly mash-up of punctuation), and very little of the rest translates.
Stephen King delivers a creepy cameo
What did everybody think of the new cop drama?
I didn't exactly review "Detroit 1-8-7," but I did offer some general thoughts on it - specifically, that I missed the documentary format from the original pilot, and that Michael Imperioli was quite good as the lead cop - in the lead-in to my Imperioli interview. There are moments, like Fitch calling his partner from the next desk, or James McDaniel and his partner finding unrelated shell casings at the overpass, that had the flavor of a 21st century "Homicide," but maybe not enough to keep me around long-term.
You're all obviously seeing it without the documentary gimmick, though some elements of it (the chyrons, the random guy with the boom mic at the hostage stand-off) survived to the final version. So as with all the new shows, I'm curious what you all thought of it.
Adam struggles with Sarah as a co-worker, and Jabar has to move
I'll be honest: I want to be able to write a review of tonight's "Parenthood" - if only so I could do some kind of Ray LaMontagne joke for the "just as soon as" - but I am just ridiculously, incredibly slammed with premiere week, and I can't imagine finding time to do it anytime before next week's episode airs at the earliest. So feel free to discuss the Lessings' marital problems, Sarah and Adam carpooling, Julia again bungling an encounter with another mom, etc., and hopefully I'll have more time/energy for next week's episode, which I've also seen (and liked quite a bit).
What did everybody think about the new comedy from the "Arrested Development" team?
I reviewed "Running Wilde" yesterday, and was very disappointed in the reunion of so many "Arrested Development" people. I had hoped that perhaps I was just burned out on hearing the same jokes repeatedly through multiple viewings of multiple versions of the pilot, but then episode two showed up in yesterday's mail and wasn't very funny, either.
What did everybody else think? Did you laugh? If you didn't, do you hold out hope that this can work down the road, given the number of talented people involved?
What did everybody think of Greg Garcia's new comedy?
In lieu of a "Raising Hope" review, I posted my interview with Garret Dillahunt. As I said in the intro, I don't know how much long-term interest I'll have in the show, but I did laugh several times at the pilot, which was unfortunately more than I could say about most of this year's new comedies.
If you watched tonight, what did you think? How high of a tolerance will you have for baby-endangerment humor? And did you like the little "My Name Is Earl" gag in the evening news?
Barbara Kopple captures the ambiguous side of life as a Yankee fan.
I really wish ESPN had scheduled tonight's "30 for 30" entry, Barbara Kopple's "The House of Steinbrenner," for virtually any other week of the baseball season. I have so much to say about this one, and absolutely no time to say it in the midst of Premiere Week hell, so let me see if I can sum up my thoughts quickly, after the jump...