S1E5: I just don't get it. Why are people watching this show?
This morning, CBS announced it will renew all five of its new shows this fall -- including $#*! My Dad Says. The reason? The ratings are high. So I guess I don't blame them for bringing all the shows back, but $#*! My Dad Says is really bad. Really really bad.
With its newest installment, "Not Without My Jacket," the show has finally found its identity. Simply, it's a standard, run-of-the-mill sitcom. But, at least other sitcoms will muster a few laughs each episode. $#*! My Dad Says, despite a better episode last week, continues to be insufferable.
The premise of this episode is, once again, a disagreement between Henry and his father, Ed. This time around, Ed is sick of Henry taking his stuff without asking -- like jackets, coffee cups, etc. And in the most predictable sitcom plot turn ever, the tables turn. Ed ends up giving away something of Henry's -- his favorite jacket. And so we spend the entire episode following Ed as he tries to chase down Henry's jacket, just so he isn't wrong.
Turns out, the jacket was given to one of Henry's friends, Josh, an EMT, who ends up wrapping it around a dying man in an effort to save his life. So after a big long adventure, Ed discovers this and goes to the man's funeral. He ends up being mistaken for the dead man's A.A. partner, but Ed takes the family's suspicion and assumes that they think he's the dead man's lover. This results in Ed giving the eulogy at the funeral.
So throughout the episode, I would say that hilarity occurred, but obviously -- and this is expected with $#*! My Dad Says -- it didn't. Once again, we just had an onslaught of bad jokes, stupid one liners, and flat out uncomfortable situations. Can I just say that, although I understand this is just a TV sitcom and I should not take this as a real-life situation at all, that the funeral scene was just horrible? It's like, because they've branded the show with the premise that the dad is a moron, it's okay to make him a horrible human being. But not only that, $#*! My Dad Says is encouraging its audience to laugh at these terrible things. CBS, listen to me. Just because you're doing a show with an idiot at its helm, it doesn't suddenly make it okay to make jokes about gay people, or minorities, or to show a scene interrupting someone's funeral! How is this still on TV? Or the more important question, HOW DID THIS GET RENEWED?
Ugh. I have a few hundred words left to write in this recap, and honestly, I don't even know where to turn. What other bad things could I talk about? Oh, I know. Let's talk about the subplot featuring two actors that no one ever wants to see -- Nicole Sullivan and Will Sasso, a.k.a. Bonnie and Vince. Here's what happened: Bonnie once had a relationship with the EMT character, Josh, and it really bothers Vince. So much, that he can't sleep. They get in a fight, but Bonnie tries to convince Vince that it didn't matter and Josh isn't a good kisser. Vince refuses to believe, and has to see for himself. So what does he do? He kisses Josh.
Personally, I can't really decide what aspect of the show is worse -- the acting or the writing. If $#*! My Dad Says had talented writers, maybe they wouldn't rely so heavily on standard sitcom plots. But then again, the acting from William Shatner and Jonathan Sadowski is so forced, nothing works together. There's no chemistry. What makes television shows, and more specifically sitcoms, great is when everything works together successfully. The writers absolutely nail the voice of each character, the actors identify what each character is trying to accomplish, and the audience laughs. If one of those keys is off by just a little bit, everything falls apart. And in the case of $#*! My Dad Says, everything is always off. There's no cohesion to the show, and therefore, there's no success.
Yeah, the show has millions of viewers and that's why it got picked up for more episodes, but I just don't understand what's so appealing about it. And five episodes in, I think it's safe to say that I never will.
Apparently CBS is killing it. They just ordered full seasons from five of their brand new fall shows. The Defenders, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, Mike and Molly, and $#*! My Dad Says can all boast a slight increase in life expectancy. I extend my congratulations to these shows’ creators, but I can’t say I’m happy to see all these shows stay on the boob tube.
That’s really my big problem with television – the reality of it all. No, I don’t mean shows like the Jersey Shore; there’s a special place in my heart for trashy reality television. I mean the sad fact that ratings are essentially king, and while so many great shows can’t seem to pull in the numbers, a show that literally has the word "shit" in its name is allowed to stay. (Although I will gleefully note that $#*! only garnered a six-episode extension instead of the usual nine.) Beyond the obvious S#*! (I'm having way too much fun calling it that), two other equally unworthy shows are also getting a second round; also returning are Mike and Molly (the holy grail of fat-joke sitcoms) and The Defenders. (Why, oh why would they give Jim Belushi another show? Was According to Jim not painful enough?)
The bright spots in CBS’ new lineup are the fun remake, Hawaii Five-0, and The Sopranos wannabe, Blue Bloods. These shows aren’t exactly my cup o’ tea, but I can appreciate why they’re pulling in 14.2 million viewers and 12.7 million viewers, respectively. As for the other three, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around why they garner over 10 million viewers each.
With all this success comes a little bit of a headache for CBS. I guess they didn’t think that all of these shows will perform so well, because they don’t seem to have enough room for the newbies and their mid season replacements like the Criminal Minds spin off and a Paula Abdul reality show. The network’s still figuring out how to fit all the pieces together, but if you ask me, Paula’s show is dead weight. Been there, done that. I’d rather watch a marathon of $#*!. Seriously.
Ah! No movie is safe!
Vulture reports that Johnny Depp wants to remake The Thin Man -- you know, that classic four-time Oscar nominee (including Best Picture) from 1934 -- with director Rob Marshall (Pirates 4, Chicago) at the helm. Currently, there's no script for the remake, but Depp really wants to play the role. He's working through his Warner Brothers-based Infinitum Nihil production outfit and former WB executive Kevin McCormick to get everything lined up.
I have one thing to say to this -- ugh.
Now don't get me wrong. I do like remakes. King Kong was an example of a film that not only should be remade, but when it was finished, it was executed properly. And think about that film. It relies more on special effects and visuals than writing or storytelling, so it could take advantage of modern technology to make it a better film overall.
The problem I have with The Thin Man is that I don't understand what can be gained with a remake. Yeah, Johnny Depp will give a fabulous performance, but William Powell already handled the role superbly (gaining an Oscar nod for best actor in the process). Plus, when you toy with classics like this film, you risk tainting the original's reputation. One of the great things about movies is that they aren't the theater. You don't need to get new actors to see the same storyline because you can just watch what's already on film.
I love you Johnny Depp, but come on. This just doesn't seem right.
S1:E3: With this week's episode of CBS's new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, there's good news and there's bad news.
The good news? It was the best episode yet.
The bad news? The show is still one big pile of $#*!. (Man, that joke never gets old)
What made this episode better than previous ones was the simple fact that the writers didn't completely rely on one-liners from William Shatner. There was actually a plot! It was incredible. You know, it had all the basic ingredients: a story arc, a little character development, and even a couple touching moments! Whoa!
But honestly, that's about it. The fact that I'm celebrating the show's ability to simply be coherent is a very telling fact about $#*! My Dad Says. Honestly, by normal TV show standards, the episode still managed to be horrible. Here's a quick rundown of what happened:
Ed and Henry go to dinner. The waiter is the same guy -- his name is Tim -- from the DMV who passed Ed on his driver's license test a couple episodes ago (even though Ed actually failed). Turns out, Tim got fired for passing Ed, but Ed refuses to apologize. They continue to fight, which results in Tim getting fired because of Ed again.
They eventually make up, and we actually learn that Ed is not as bad as he seems. Even though Henry has spent his life thinking that his father cheated on his mother, the reality is the other way around. Ed lied to Henry to protect Henry's relationship with his mother. And honestly, when we learn that in the episode, it's slightly moving. Suddenly, Ed is more than just a character spitting one-liners throughout every episode. And, there's actually some development in the relationship between Henry and Ed.
However, despite the improvement from the writers, there's still a major obstacle in the way of making $#*! My Dad Says successful: the acting.
Now, I don't really have a problem with William Shatner. Honestly, he's playing the character Ed probably the best that anyone could. My issue is with Jonathan Sadowski, a.k.a. Henry. I swear to god, this guy only has one level in the volume of his voice -- and it's loud. He's constantly yelling! Every scene he's in is done at the same emotional level. I can't tell the difference between sarcasm, jokes, fear, love, or anything else. Whenever he has a line, he just squirms awkwardly around the other characters. And what's up with that smirk? DUDE! Do you realize you're on a TV show and in almost every scene? Viewers are going to notice if you have the same freaking facial expression on all the time. It's absurd! There is more to the human emotional spectrum than a surprised smirk.
And despite all of the awfulness, $#*! My Dad Says still manages to bring in tremendous ratings every week, so there's no chance it will be canceled. You know what I think? I think viewers aren't actually watching the show. Rather, because it follows one of the most watched shows on television (The Big Bang Theory), I think people just leave their TVs on by accident while they go eat dinner or something. So, because of that, here's a small public service announcement to end this recap.
America! Wake up! Turn off your TVs! Not only are you wasting electricity, but you're encouraging CBS to continue this giant hot mess of a television show. Stop it. Please. Just push that power button and stop it.
Well that didn’t take long. Speculation as to whether Brandon Routh will cape up in Zack Snyder's Superman: The Man Of Steel (is that even a verb? Did I just invent a word?) can now be settled. He won’t. But there is a consolation prize! Tell him what he won, Johnny! He gets to star in an indie-drama with his wife! Which has pretty much the same retail value as a Superman reboot. So, good for him.
Anyway, Routh and his lady Courtney Ford will star in Missing William. The film takes place in Rhode Island where a house wife (Ford) is forced to take care of her husband after he suffers an injury in a bar fight. But then the bow-chika-wow-wow music starts playing when her former flame (Routh) shows up and starts complicating things. Gosh, Rhode Island is so dramatic.
Good for Routh though. I personally didn’t think Superman Returns was that bad. Sure it wasn’t great, but I didn’t think it was the worst thing in the world, but then again I’m not the biggest Superman fan around. And he has some hilarious bit parts in Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Hopefully he can pull it off. If he doesn’t he’ll just pull someone's arms off. Have you seen this guy’s biceps? Holy hell, he could wring out a gallon out of an oak tree.
Source: The Wrap
Well, I don't even know where to start.
The bottom line? CBS's new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says is a big, steaming pile of... well, you know.
Before I get too far into describing how much it sucks, let's take a look at this awful show's history.
$#*! My Dad Says is based on a Twitter account created by Justin Halpern of the same name. The description is pretty obvious: "I'm 29. I live with my 74-year-old father. He is awesome. I just write down the sh*t that he says." And it is funny. Here's a sample of a few tweets:
"Don’t focus on the one guy who hates you. You don’t go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog sh*t."
"Look, we're basically on earth to sh*t and f*ck. So unless your job's to help people sh*t or f*ck, it's not that important, so relax."
“You seen my cell phone?...What’s it look like? Like two horses f*cking. It’s a phone, son. It looks like a phone."
Pretty clever, eh? It's enough to make you chuckle every so often when you check your Twitter feed. But some people really loved it. They loved it so much that Justin Halpern was asked to create a book and CBS developed a TV show around the idea, starring William Shatner.
But it looks like CBS took this internet meme one step too far. Says is awful. The entire pilot revolved around bad one-liners delivered by Shatner. But that wasn't the worst part. For some reason, the writers thought that they needed to include some emotional drama to balance the crude remarks. The show clumsily bounced back and forth between Shatner being a jerk (saying he wanted to shoot girlscouts in the face) to trying to re-establish a relationship with his son. Am I supposed to feel for these characters? Am I supposed to laugh? What is going on? Somebody please help me because I don't understand!
In short, it sucked.
Now I understand that networks need to take risks. For example, Lost must have originally sounded ridiculous (We're going to base a TV show around a plane crash on a mystical island? Seriously?), and look how that turned out. So I'm hoping -- for the sake of quality entertainment -- that CBS knew they took a major risk with Says. Hopefully they recognize their mistake soon and pull it from the air.
UPDATE: Per Deadline, Fox has picked up the pilot for production so it looks like we'll all be getting visiting hours. No more details about the plot or casting, but as production gets under way we'll keep you posted.
EARLIER: You would think we would be used to this by now. J.J. Abrams announces something secret and it sounds awesome. Same old, same old. Abram’s next big mystery show is Alcatraz which just had a pilot ordered by Fox.
Now that Lost and Star Trek are over (or at least the sequel hasn’t started filming yet), Abrams is giving those involved with Lost the Abrams bump with their next project. Alcatraz’s head writer is former Lostie Elizabeth Sarnoff, who will executive produce with Abrams.
Of course, the details of the project are being kept a big secret because that’s just how Abrams likes it. I would hate to try and guess this guy’s PIN number (it’s probably not even a number, more like something abstract like ‘courage’). Anyway, the only thing we know about the project isn’t very helpful. "A show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz." Thanks J.J.! Loads of help!
Sarnoff wrote some great episodes for Lost and also wrote for Deadwood, another fantastically written show. Grounding the show in a prison (a setting mysterious enough) will help the show not get carried away with itself, something Lost had trouble with late in its run (it’s a cork! Yeah, that’s what it is!). Alacatraz’s remoteness will keep it from being too procedural, perhaps it’ll be like adding some wizardy to Oz? Either way, I’ll probably be in for 3-5.
Maybe the show will get bumped to a good time slot for good behavior. Ugh, these prison puns are too much. Hopefully I can be granted parole to check it out. Ok, have to stop. I bet it’ll be arresting television. Ouch, that one even hurt to type.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Tim Gunn's usually the one to walk over to our workstation when we're not even feeling the least bit inspired -- approximately right after we've realized the A-line skirt and crew neck shirt we've stitched looks like a Mighty Duck made it. And somehow, Tim always manages to give us confidence, and convinces us that our designs are NOT, in fact, better off being sold between two pieces of bread at the gate of a Spanish airport. He's amazing! There's no one like him.
But we've all got to be careful not to get on his bad side, because let Taylor Momsen tell you, it's an unpleasant place to be. After making a small appearance on the CW show, Gossip Girl, Gunn was ready to tell us of his experiences with Momsen, who plays the fashion-obsessed and Hudson-dwelling Jenny Humphrey. Gunn observed Momsen's actions on set and said,
"What a diva! She was pathetic, she couldn't remember her lines, and she didn't even have that many. I thought to myself, 'Why are we all being held hostage by this brat?' I'd say, 'You know young lady, there are hundreds of thousands of girls who are just as attractive and even smarter than you. Why are you acting like this show is a huge burden on you?'"
Doesn't this make you feel all excited and giddy? It's like you're parents are fighting with each other, but one of them actually has your back this time!
Source: E Online
Black Eyed Pea's front man will.i.am caused quite a bit of ruckus before the VMAs had even started.
In a performance with rising rap star Nicki Minaj, will.i.am appeared in an all black leather outfit with a dash of pink on his sash across his arms. He also wore a plastic cap with a pink stripe. Oh yeah, and he also painted his face black.
Yep, an African American painted his face black. And some how it caused people to be upset.
Many took to Twitter to express their outrage over will.i.am's action, but he tweeted back in defense of himself. "Let go of the past. there are far more important things 2 bark about. (Jobs, health, education) not a black man wearing all black everything [sic]."
For once, I think I actually agree with will.i.am. I don't believe his actions were intended to be racist, it was just part of the outfit. This is another case of super sensitivity and it's not that big a deal. Will was right. We do have more important things to bark about. Like his horrible music. There should definitely be protests over that.
I think we can all agree that the Cusack's (John, Joan AND Ann) possess some kind of universal likability. They're sweet and funny and lovably awkward in all the right ways. Though all three have gone through happily active and sadly inactive periods in their respective careers, I always look forward to seeing them resurface. John gets most of the love from movie studios and film producers these days and Ann, though usually working, is the most obscure of the lot, but Joan is as relevant as ever after reprising her voice role this year in the billion dollar hit Toy Story 3. Now, she's set to work on a new Showtime series called Shameless, says Deadline.
The series, which is an American redo of the long-running hit UK program, stars William H. Macy as a far-from-competent working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six motley kids whose eldest daughter (played by Emmy Rossum) keeps the home afloat while he’s out drinking and carousing. Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Jeremy Allen White and Laura Slade Wiggins will co-star.
Cusack will play will play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with Macy’s character, Frank Gallagher. She replaces Allison Janney (Juno), who was forced to drop out due to her commitment to ABC's Mr. Sunshine after the producers of Shameless decided to beef up the role and include Sheila in all 12 episodes of the season, which will premiere on January 9th.
I've always liked Janney and I think that she would've played up the agoraphobic side of the character very well, but Cusack can turn in a cynical and comedic performance that could quite possibly steal the spotlight from Macy's deplorable leading man. If the producers of Shameless don't pull any punches, this could be good for more than a couple of laughs come January. Cusack also appears in Disney's Mars Needs Moms! on March 11th 2011.