We’re closing the polls on Wednesday so if you haven’t voted yet, please do! And buy your ticket, too!
Christmas Gift Ideas For The Television Lover In Your Life
- Your HBO Go login information.
- Surprise pizza delivery on a day when you know they are marathoning something shitty on Netflix and can’t be bothered to make food or even leave the couch.
- A written and notarized promise to stop spoiling television shows via .gif sets just minutes after the episode airs.
- Another season of Happy Endings.
- Sitting there quietly and not asking a million questions about what happened last week because oh my god just go look it up on wikipedia I am trying to watch television.
As you probably know, TV Hangover has been throwing events at Videology in Brooklyn for the last few months and they’ve been so nice about letting us invade their awesome screening room to get hammered and watch teen dramas. Next Friday, December 13th, Videology is throwing a Ten Year Anniversary Party and we’re stoked to be a part of it—we’re going to watch The Simpsons and play general TV trivia—along with a few other cool people who have events there. Also: cotton candy, pretzels, raffles, AND a Twin Peaks/Arrested Development Bingo mash-up!
The party starts at 8:00pm and it’s free—and if you RSVP you get half-prince drinks all night—so come hang out! And don’t forget to grab a ticket for TV Hangover’s NBC Christmas party happening the week after!
Let’s get the first obvious annoyance out of the way: Kirstie Alley is starring in a sitcom called Kirstie but her character’s name is Madison Banks. There are other characters in the show but none of them are named Kirstie, either. (Even the subtitles on the episode I watched seems confused by the title). This has happened before—The Cosby Show was about The Huxtables—but that was widely accepted because, well, it’s Bill Cosby. Here it feels unnatural, annoying, and gross—much like the show itself.
Kirstie, a TV Land sitcom that no one truly expects to be good, is trying to coast by on a “look at these previous sitcom stars return to television” platform: aside from Kirstie Alley, there is Rhea Perlman who starred with Alley in Cheers for many years and Michael Richards from Seinfeld. They’re all fine actors in their own way but none really fit in here. Somehow, they are simultaneously not strong enough to demand attention from the audience but also too good to be stuck on whatever the hell this show is trying to be.
Kirstie tells the story of Maddie, an obnoxious and clueless Broadway diva, who is suddenly reunited with the son she gave up for adoption over two decades ago. Whatever you think will happen in the pilot, happens: she freaks out, she lies about her son, he learns he doesn’t fit in with her crowd, they say hurtful things, she makes a grand gesture, and we’re on track for a mediocre sitcom with pratfalls and forced sweetness. The following episodes aren’t much better. Arlo struggles to fit in, Maddie struggles to learn how to become a mother, and everyone makes jokes about Kirstie Alley’s eating habits. At least it’s airing on TV Land where it will disappear among equally boring shows.
After eight seasons on Showtime with Weeds, Jenji Kohan is headed for HBO.
The Weeds and Orange Is the New Black creator is developing a provocative period drama for the premium cable network,The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The untitled Salem period drama explores the circumstances surrounding one of the most compelling chapters in American history, when intolerance and repression set neighbor against neighbor and led a town to mass hysteria.
Witches are SO hot again.
There was a brief period of time, a few years ago, where I would have placed How I Met Your Mother in my top ten favorite currently airing shows. I wasn’t hooked from the pilot episode—I rolled my eyes at the twisty cliffhanger ending and was already wary of how the show would keep up the gimmick past one or two seasons—but I ended up really liking it for the first few years. I was never invested in Ted’s quest for his wife because I find him boring, pretentious, unbearable, manipulative, etc. etc. For someone who prides himself on being a hopeless romantic with a unwavering belief in love, he often seems perfectly fine with destroying other people’s happiness/relationships in favor of his own. But that was fine, there are plenty of shows with awful main characters that are redeemed by their side acts. I enjoyed almost every episode that wasn’t entirely centered on Ted and The Mother. I liked Barney, I loved Marshall and Lily, and I adored Robin and her complications. It was a fun show for a while (maybe even longer than I would have expected) full of clever flashbacks, rapid-fire wordplay, dopplegangers, Canadian jokes, and that one song by the Proclaimers. Then it started to show its age. The same gags that were funny in the beginning barely elicit laughs, Ted’s endless missteps and back-and-forth with Robin lost all weight, and so much of the dialogue is forced and trite. That’s probably my main problem with the show: Nine seasons is too much.
There are other factors. Barney’s antics grew tired and seemed to sometimes grow harsher, too. I was a staunch Robin and Barney supporter but his entire weird fucked-up “proposal” to Robin left me with a bad taste in my mouth that won’t go away because this entire season is about their wedding. I’m bored by the romance. t’s true that I’m a little cold-hearted—let’s face it, I’m not the target audience for what is essentially a 75-hour-long romantic comedy—but even if I weren’t, I can’t imagine being moved at all by any of Ted’s cloying declarations or cheesy voiceovers. But the biggest problem is that it all feels repetitive and desperate. An entire season meant to cover one weekend is too much, shoving in gimmicks like a rhyming episode (I cringed throughout the whole thing, checking my watch every hour to learn only five minutes had passed) just makes it worse. There are flashbacks, of course, that act as a temporary reprieve from the Wedding Weekend but those often try too hard to recapture the earlier seasons that it comes off as sad, not funny.
Last night’s episode wasn’t much better than the rest of this season. It was all vaguely familiar: Barney concocting a big scheme, telling lies, hurting and scamming Robin all so the episode could end with him doing a grand romantic gesture meant to make us feel or something. It’s the Barney I’ve started to hate—sure, it’s all fun and Robin forgives him because the means are shitty but the end is great but it just feels so gross the more he does it. And the fact that he’s done this before, and that the entire show has done this before, meant that it was predictable. Sometimes the fun in How I Met Your Mother is in figuring out the way to that final scene but now I just don’t care.
Still, I recognize that How I Met Your Mother isn’t a bad show. There are a lot of technical things it does well and I’m sure, for most people, there is still a great story in there that deserves to be finished. The writers clearly have a vision and a set ending; it’s the sitcom version of LOST where everything on screen is supposedly something that is necessary to happen in order to get us to that series finale (and, like LOST, I imagine there’s less meticulous planning and more happy coincidences). It’s going to get there, and there is the possibility that it’s going to be wonderful and satisfying and everything you want from a finale. I just wish getting through this season didn’t feel like such a chore.
MTV recently announced that they were revamping The Real World—this season, the seven strangers living together will be joined by their exes—and now we have the first trailer. For the most part, it seems like a desperate attempt to breathe fresh life into a series that has been steadily going downhill for years. But it also feels like the series is marching toward its natural conclusion. The original intent of the show is long gone and its recent seasons have been about nothing more than creating dramatic moments (see: punches) that will be easily turned into .gifs for the “5 Most Shocking/Crazy/WTF Moments From Last Night’s Real World" lists. Why learn more about yourself and embrace the differences of strangers when you could beat the shit out of someone with a hair dryer and achieve Reality Show Fame for days, maybe even weeks! But that’s okay, it’s what we’ve come to expect—and sometimes enjoy—from The Real World so hey, this season premiering in January has all you could want: fighting, fucking, and crying. Television!