TV Hangover

Waking up on the couch with an empty DVR & trying to understand what the hell we watched last night.
About The SiteThe WritersContact NYC Events

Helpful tags: Reviews, News, Interviews, Essays, Best Shows, Worst Shows, Classic Shows, Drinking Games

Contributing Authors
Recent Tweets @tvhangover
Posts tagged "abc"

We know it’s a month into summer, but we are just getting around to starting our Summer TV Club. We had fun watching The O.C. last summer until we got bored or busy or drunk or something to finish and this summer will probably be no different. For the last six weeks or so of summer join us in rewatching ABC’s Lost. Lost premiered 10 years ago on September 22, 2004. Can you believe it’s been that long? It’s all on Netflix so it should be relatively easy viewing for most. We’ll be posting all our favorite moments, commentary, articles, guest posts (if you have something you’d like to share get at us), drinking games, and more.

Remember when Jack first saw Kate and you knew they were MTB. Shannon was still sun tanning near the plane wreckage, before she and Sayid became an item. Boone was still alive. You didn’t know the Tailies or the Others or the Smoke Monster. Walt was still a little boy. Remember when you first heard Sun speak English and how you’re still not over that final scene in the submarine (I am not over that). Was Kate & Jack your favorite couple or was it Kate & Sawyer or maybe was it Juliet & Sawyer? Did you hate or love the ending? Will we even make it that far in our rewatch? I’m barely even scraping the surface here, so it was inevitable that we had to go back.

Tell us your favorite moments on Twitter or Facebook, tag your posts Summer TV Club, comment, email, or whatever you feel like doing - which could be nothing at all, that’s cool too.

Our ABC TGIF party is this Friday in Brooklyn! Come celebrate the end of a long work week with lots of beer, drinking games, trivia prizes, and Shawn Hunter’s perfect hair. 
Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Clueless, and more! 
It’s only $5 and tickets for our events sell fast, so get yours today!

Our ABC TGIF party is this Friday in Brooklyn! Come celebrate the end of a long work week with lots of beer, drinking games, trivia prizes, and Shawn Hunter’s perfect hair. 

Boy Meets WorldSabrina the Teenage WitchClueless, and more! 

It’s only $5 and tickets for our events sell fast, so get yours today!

image

There are some television shows you don’t expect to fall in love with. For me, The Goldbergs is one of them. I’d seen the commercials for the show and thought, “Here we go. Another one of these cheeseball nostalgia shows.” You know the drill: Decade-specific sight gags become drivers for episode plotlines rather than well-drawn characters. Some shows (That ’70s ShowFreaks and Geeks) take nostalgia for a certain era and transform it into something that speaks to multiple generations. Others (That ’70s Show's shabby cousin, That ’80s Show) really crap the bed and bring more groans than guffaws.

While The Goldbergs are certainly equipped with their fair share of ’80s pop culture references, it’s not the main focus of the show. The characters are both well written and well acted. I wound up watching it on a whim, having left the television on after the (disappointing) premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. After catching the first five minutes of the show, I found myself sucked in. What struck me about The Goldbergs was that it felt real.

Read More

“I owe 20 grand in student loans, I live in a studio apartment above a steaming hot dry cleaner, and I have a second job where I work as a pizza man and occasionally I get to deliver pizza to my students. Oh also, I have a parrot that I can’t get rid of. They live for 80 years. Did you know that? Nobody tells you about that. You have to put them in your will. It’s a nightmare.” 

Tim Meadows guest starred on last night’s The Goldbergs as a frustrated teacher in charge of the Holiday talent show (yes, very reminiscent of Mean Girls) and it was the best The Goldbergs has been all season.

I’m usually bored with Parents Try To Use Social Media jokes but oh man, I’m glad Trophy Wife touched upon my fear of mixing up the “search” and “status update” boxes on Facebook because this was great.

I’m looking forward to the day when it’s normal for television characters to get abortions because so far this season we’ve been dealt three boring and poorly written storylines about teen pregnancy. Welcome to the Family is so bland, so predictable, and so overdone that the best thing I can say about it is that it fades into the background of Thursday night television. Hey TV writers: Just let characters have abortions. They did it with Manny on Degrassi and that show is now on its thirteenth season with no signs of slowing down. Do you really want to be outdone by Degrassi?

There are so many shows this fall—both new and old—that it’s nearly impossible to watch them all, especially as they actually air. But we’re using weekends to play catch-up while also catching you up on some of the week’s best and worst comedies. (There are some mild spoilers for some.) First up: ABC’s Tuesday’s comedy hour of family sitcoms.

Trophy Wife. Here’s a premature opinion: Trophy Wife will probably get prematurely canceled. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad show—I liked the pilot a lot more than I liked, well, 98% of this season’s sitcom pilots and I would like this show to stick around a bit longer. It’s just to say that it reminds me of a sitcom that will steadily get better but only after its canceled, when we’re watching the remaining episodes on Hulu and exclaiming “Wait, why didn’t I watch this when it was on?” The answer to that, by the way, is because it seems so blah upon first glance and yep, that it’s a terrible title. Horrid! Did we learn nothing from Cougar Town? Regardless, I dig the premise about the idea of a different family (different in an interesting, refreshing way instead of an ugh, I get it Modern Family way). The characters are a bit pigeon-holed into their stereotyped positions (uptight ex-wife, silly hippie, etc.) but the performances behind them are so strong that it’s barely noticeable and nothing that can’t be fixed with a little more fleshing out. Anyway, this episode was fun! I liked it! The pilot was Malin Akerman’s time to shine—her chugging that vodka was great—but this week was the Michaela Watkins show. Her sly asides, her gesticulations, basically her reactions to anything around her were all pretty golden. I like the weird relationships they’ve put in place here and I adore Bradley Whitford so I do hope Trophy Wife finds its footing before it’s too late.

The Goldbergs. The thing I constantly have to remind myself when watching sitcoms is that not everything is for me. I am but one person in this huge intimidating world of television viewers, I am one person with strange tastes, and one person without a Nielsen box. Most things aren’t for me! The Goldbergs is definitely not for me. I do understand the main appeal of the show: the warm family aspect, the Wonder Years­-ness of it all, the nostalgia, and the “Remember those funny outfits?” I don’t remember anything from the very few years I was alive in the ‘80s, The Wonder Years was never my thing, and I think the Goldbergs are just so bland. There isn’t anything that special about the episode; there’s stuff about back-to-school shopping and children drifting away from their parents and secrets and family bonding. It’s Family Sitcom 101—but with ‘80s fashion! I get it, though. It’s warm and fuzzy and comforting. It’s harmless, it’s okay background noise, you might like it. But there is one big problem! You can’t just end an episode with “Come Sail Away” unless you’re Freaks and Geeks. That show nailed that song and that scene and just don’t even try, okay? It’s embarrassing for everyone.

The assumption I made before watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was that it was going to be like the first season of Heroes. There’d be superheroes and regular people and then there’d be bad guys and good guys and all kinds of craziness would ensue. I got the same vibes from watching the pilot episode as I did watching Heroes. None of this is a bad thing by the way, it’s just what I thought going into it.

I’ve seen Avengers and most of the other Marvel movies and were into them, but I wouldn’t call myself a fanboy. I loved the return of Cobie Smulders even if it’s just for a quick cameo here and there. The real star of this show, though, is Clark Gregg, who plays agent Phil Coulson. He’s the perfect amount of unlikely leading man with a touch of humorous sidekick mixed in together as the leader of this weird group of agents.

The show fits nicely into the world of Joss Whedon, but I think the most notable thing about this show is also very Whedonesque and that’s the strong female character. We have a long line of Whedon female heroes: Buffy, Cordelia (Angel), Zoe Washburne, Echo. We can now add to that list Melinda May played by Ming-Na Wen. I am excited to see Ming-Na kick some major ass and hope that Samuel L. Jackson makes a quick visit to the show.

The best part of the Trophy Wife pilot is that with a title like Trophy Wife it could have been REALLY sexist, but it kind of wasn’t! The opening episode introduces us to the titular “trophy wife,” Kate, who has just married a man who has three children and two ex-wives. It’s supposed to be the wacky tale of blended family shenanigans, but nearly all the jokes seem to fall flat.

Everyone is pretty standard. Wife #1 (Marcia Gay Harden!) is a type A doctor who apparently speaks to her ex-husband in Latin sometimes. Wife #2 is high strung and really likes zucchini or something. The teenage daughter is apathetic, the teenage son is a horny nerd, and the youngest son is adopted and weird. All of this could work if everyone (especially my boyfriend Bradley Whitford) turns on the charm. If we’ve learned anything from Modern Family it’s that the jokes don’t have to be particularly inventive if the family is sufficiently nontraditional, and somebody falls in a pool at least once a season. 

Is it just me or are TV families all about the bells and whistles these days? If you’re not a neurotic blended family (Modern Family) or just really weird (The Middle) you’re probably not going to make it. The Goldbergs doesn’t necessarily play into this. Everyone is fairly standard: cool grandpa, overbearing mom, cranky dad, sassy sister, nerdy brother, and the dumb brother. However, these are the standard characters of older classic family sitcoms. Which is maybe what I liked about—that and Wendi McLendon-Covey’s sweaters. Sure, they yell a lot and the eighties references are a little over the top in the pilot, but with any luck those things will smooth themselves out.

The biggest danger I see is that lies in the ultimate gimmick of the show. Period shows on network television have never been super successful regardless of quality, and shows about the eighties in particular have the life expectancy of a fruit fly (examples: That Eighties Show, Do Over, Freaks and Geeks). The exception to this rule possibly being American Dreams that managed to last 3 seasons coasting almost entirely on teen angst and guest appearances.

The show is also based on creator Adam Goldberg’s actual family and his 12-year-old self narrates the show voiced by Patton Oswalt. This could make the show heartfelt and relatable like Roseanne, or it could just be plain awful. Here’s hoping his family members aren’t actually super boring.