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Sep 30, 2012

TOP 5 PRETTIEST WOMEN ON TV

I liked judging dresses at EMMY's red carpet so much, I can't stop. So I decided let myself go and compile my top 5 of most beautiful women on television right now. 

5. 

Hannah Ware (Boss)

4.
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)

3.
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)

2. 
Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story), but only as ginger.


1.





 Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Aptartment 23)


Sep 28, 2012

IT'S VEGAS, BABY!

It is with great prejudice that I watched the first episode of Vegas (CBS), as I thought, it would be a trashy western, resembling Walker, Texas Ranger, with tough cowboy guys and pretentious speeches, with ruthless criminals and corrupted officials, with the main character being the only one who can solve all the crimes, win a fight alone against three guys and just carry his riffle with him wherever he goes. Well, it was all of the above, and yet I quite liked it.

Dennis Quaid as Ralph Lamb
The two main characters are rancher Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid), an old guy with permanently angry face, most of the time armed, you know, the kind that the Republican party is constantly trying to appeal to; and Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), a great businessman, casino owner and, surprise-surprise, a cruel gangster. Honestly speaking, so far I liked the latter more. As I said, he seems to have great entrepreneurial and, for that matter, managerial skills, and if he wasn't a gangster (can't blame him for being one, though, a man needed starting capital) he would still be able to make money on this casino. Plus, he seems to have some sort of principals, as we see him beat up his subordinate's servant, who took the liberty, without Savino's order, to 'lay his hands' on one of the casino workers that was supposed to know where the current Sheriff is hiding. So no initiative goes unpunished after all.

Michael Chiklis as Vincent Savino
Carrie-Anne Moss is playing an Assistant District Attorney, Katherine O’Connell, who was raised on the ranch next to Lamb's, so she knows him well. She'll probably become Lamb's crush, if I may use that word; so far Moss's character wasn't convincing in terms of her set of professional skills, but she looks great in these 60's style clothes.

Carrie-Anne Moss as Katherine O'Connel
The recreation of the time when the story is happening is solid, it is interesting that things characteristic to that period of American history in this region matter to the story line, like how the dead body was discovered by pilots performing a sweep before the next blast on a nuclear test site. I'm looking forward to seeing more of such references.

It was a simpier time when everyone could punch anyone in the face; when mayor had the power to release an arrested man and put him in charge of investigation of a resonant murder; when Sheriff could lock up the lawyer in a cell with a bunch of his criminal clients; when evidence found during the search without a warrant still counted as evidence.

The episode followed the rules of a typical police procedural. First, a body of a governor's niece, Samantha Meade, is found, we later learn that she worked in Savino's casino verifying credit limits for highrollers. Lamb is put in charge of this investigation, because the current Sheriff is hiding somewhere from the gangsters' wrath. He asks his brother Jack and his son Dixon for assistance.In return mayor promises to deal with airplanes flying above Ralph's ranch and scaring his cattle.

Samantha Meade
We meet a number of suspects, like Samantha's boyfriend and a bunch of bikers, but it's Ralph's sneaking around in casino what helps establish that, before her unfortunate death, the victim had a meeting with a guy called Stuart Mills, an employee of the bank, who is thought to be stealing from his place of employment, to gamble and who's now nowhere to be found. Lamb finds him in cheap motel, but Mills says he's not the murderer, he believes that Perrin, Samantha's boss, who had a secret deal with him killed the girl. Eventually, Perrin is brought to justice, but not before some chasing and shooting tires was performed. In a meanwhile, Savino kills the current Sheriff, who was drawn out to the desert by Katherine's boss, District Attorney. After the dead body of the former Sheriff is found, Lamb takes his place. He is officially the law now.

As I said, it turned out much better than I expected, so I'll keep watching it.

Score 8/10

Sep 27, 2012

2 BROKE GIRLS VS PARTNERS

Part 2/2 Broke Girls

Two broke girls are back and rocking! The show has everything a good comedy should have: references to the recent events, like Katie Holmes' divorce, awesome writing (I loved the part on Hollywood brunettes) and great acting by the whole cast.
'this is really insensitive and stuff!"
In season's 2 first episode we finally get to meet Caroline's father, Martin Channing (Steven Weber) in prison. I was actually a little shocked how easily it happened, considering that the whole last season there was always something in the way of us actually seeing him. I guess, they were just searching for an actor that would resemble Douglas's Gordon Gekko from the Walstreet as much as possible.

Martin Channing
Recap (spoilers) : Caroline and Max come to visit Martin right before the start of the auction where all possessions of the Channing family are to be sold. Caroline does not want to go there for obvious reasons, but her father insists that she buys back one of the things there, her trophy. The way he explained Caroline and Max the importance of getting this trophy from the auction no matter what, made Max (and myself; again, great writing!) believe there were money hidden in this cup. So the girls paid 200$ for it on the auction, but there was nothing inside, because apparently, the trophy had only some sentimental value.


So far it's the best comedy episode I've seen this season, and it was very wise for CBS to put 2 Broke Girls after Partners, not before, otherwise the latter would have seemed so much worse.

BOYS OR GIRLS or PARTNERS VS 2 BROKE GIRLS

Part1/Partners

There must be a special place in hell for those who create trailers for movies and TV series, which make the actual movie or series seem hundred times better than they really are. So whoever compiled a trailer for Partners (CBS) is a very evil genius. I remember that day when I watched all premieres' promos and as I came across to this one, I thought: "Hmm, this looks fun, this might be the next best sitcom!". Boy, was I wrong!

Firstly, the tagline for the show is extremely cheesy: 4 friends. 3 couples. I say, why stop here? Can we go with 4 friends. 4 couples? 4 friends. 2 Swedish families? There is definitely room for imagination.

Here they are, four friends, two couples.
Secondly, the creators of the show, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (Will & Grace) said they took their own relations as a basis for this show. And may I just say that the show looks outdated, which I suspect is because Kohan and Mutchnick looked all the way back to their past for inspiration? I mean, c'mon, Joe's girlfriend is calling him on his office land-line phone? Via secretary? Isn't now the age of the freaking iPhone5? Besides, I don't recall any reference to anything from the modern world, Britney Spears is the most recent celebrity I heard mentioned and let's face it, she's a dinosaur.

So the story is about two architects who try to run a business together, Louis (gay) and Joe (straight, but acts at least as a bi) played by Maxwell Dobak and David Krumholtz respectively. Louis dates a nurse Wyatt (Brandon Routh) and Joe has a girlfriend, Ali (Sophia Bush).

In the first episode Joe looks like a complete jerk, as we learn that because Ali (when drunk) said she wanted to get married, he decided to break up with her. This is what he discusses briefly with Louis, and goes to the jewelry store Ali owns to dump her. But she is happy that her business situation suddenly improved (she says she was afraid to lose her store before, and again, this is so nice of Joe to break up with her at the difficult time like this), so she backs up on the marriage thing. And then Joe proposes to her, but he does not say a word about that to Louis, which is strange, because later we find out he called Louis from Ali's bathroom right after he had sex with her for the first time.

Anyway, due to the lack of information, Louis accidentally reveals to Ali at their yoga class what was the real Joe's plan and finally, Ali realizes what an immature idiot her fiancee is and finding the leftovers of self respect deep inside she calls the wedding off.

What'd she saaay?..
Clearly, the person responsible for this is Joe; he was a jerk. And the adequate reaction to what Louis did would be: "Well, you didn't know. Please help me fix it".  But somehow, Joe decides to blame his friend for the issues with his girlfriend and acts like a hysterical teenage girl saying that the friendship as well as partnership with Louis is over. In the end Louis fixes Joe's relationship with Ali (I am sorry for Ali) and all is fine again.

As I said, the show is completely disconnected from what is happening in the world now and all jokes are about gay people being gay and Jews being Jewish. Sophia Bush is a weird choice, her voice is hard to adjust to. The secretary from the subway platform seems fun, but that's it.

I cannot believe that as all cast and crew got to see the result of their work, no one actually said: "Guys, sorry but it's crap. We can't air it, I can't risk my reputation like that." Apparently, they were all happy with this.

Summary: I'm not watching this again.

Score: 1/10 

Sep 26, 2012

THE MOB DOCTOR, EPISODE 2 REVIEW: MAFIA PART IMPROVED, MEDICAL TURNED TO COMPLETE S**T

So, time to evaluate.

First of all, the-bride-crying-blood thing. Why did we need her in the episode? What did she add to the story? I mean, in House, even the patients on his clinic hours usually helped him get his epiphany or somehow revealed his/other major characters' nature. That is definitely not the case here.

Now that's a lot of blood!
Because the creators overcrowded the episode with different events, just like they did in the pilot, the crying blood patient did not get much attention, they did not even bothered to properly write her and her fiancee's lines. It was like:

Robinson: We think she got panic attacks (What? It's plausible!)
Fiancee to the blood bride: You panicked so much from the thought that you'd marry me that you started crying blood?!
Bride: Um... I... guess... but I love you...  
Fiancee: You run away from me! I've gotta go!!!

What the hell was that? The last time I checked panic attacks are not easy to control, so how can you get upset over that? Moreover, when the doctors figured out that it was actually the tumor in her kidneys, why would this bride take this kind of inconsiderate a-hole (the fiancee) back and agree to marry him after he abandoned her at the hospital?

Also, as this patient arrives and Grace is told to stay close in case she needs to operate, she says to Franco, who's come to take her to do a check-up on Dante in the cornfield, that she can take an hour off the clinic? Isn't an hour too much in this situation?

Moving on. Grace continues to drag her friends at the hospital into her highly dangerous schemes. Last episode she forced her boyfriend to lie on the patient's diagnosis, this time she asks her friend Ro to cover her up (by not reporting patient's death), so she could run tests on the mobster under the dead man's name. At first, Ro says she does not like it, and this is "messed up", but as soon as she hears from Dr. Devlin "Look, I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to", she understandingly nods and just does as told. How much should you care for your friend to risk your career like that? And on the other end, how little should you care for your friend's future to ask her be involved in fraud?
Ro agrees to commit fraud
In the mob part of the story they improved, at least they had some plausible scheme in there with every registered video poker machine having an unregistered double with the same serial number. But I still don't get this urge of mob bosses to control all the crimes personally. Why would Constantine go and assist razing the machines? The risk is unjustified.

Also, in last episode, when we saw the car in Constantine's yard, which was the same car that we saw going away from the place of Grace's father murder, I thought we were clear on who killed him. Apparently, this wasn't clear to Grace and she's asking questions about it now. Constantine swears he was not the one who did it, but considering that the whole episode was about how family members lie each other for the better good ("you've always been like a family to me, Grace" - Forsythe's character says to her), he might have lied. The thing I don't understand is, why she even cares? We get the feeling that she hated her dad, she wished he'd never come back as she blew six candles on her birthday cake. So, why does it matter, exactly?

Be careful what you wish for...or what your 6 year old daughter wishes for.

The way how Grace comes up with the correct diagnosis is odd, she just says random stuff and then pretty much guesses it. By the way, how do you treat cyanide poisoning? House usually named the treatment, I don't recall Dr. Devlin saying: "Here, take that for two weeks and you'll be fine".

So far I can't sympathize with any of the characters, all of them seem stupid and/or careless, and though there's a lot going on, nothing really is important. I mean, there were series worse than this one (*coughing* 24!), which even had a couple of seasons aired, but The Mob Doctor is still a solid candidate for cancellation.

THE MOB DOCTOR, EPISODE 2 (FAMILY SECRETS) RECAP


Grace's boyfriend gets an invitation for a family dinner with Grace, her mom and her brother. Grace gives her brother, Nate, a community college brochure.

An old patient is brought to the hospital, unconscious.

Constantine tries to take over the video poker machine distribution deal Moretti used to have, so he comes to a house in the middle of the cornfield, where he tries to negotiate with the potential "business partners", brothers Dante and Titus Amato. Dante is a wanted man, so he has to stay in this house all day long with his wife, who's very unhappy that she can't leave. Dante feels sick, so Constantine asks Grace to come and do a check up.

In a meanwhile a bride, crying blood, appears at the hospital. From House I've learned that all bloody liquids are caused by issues with kidneys and that will be the diagnosis (kidney tumor), but by the rules of the medical procedural, of course, they did not identify this instantly, at first they suggested just panic attacks, but then, after the patient freaks out when her stomach's pressed, Dr. Brett Robinson figures it out.

It was not an easy task to identify what was wrong with Dante, so covered by her stupidly loyal hospital friend Ro, Grace secretly brings him to the hospital and runs medical tests under the name of the old man we've seen in the beginning, who has conveniently died by that time (and Ro did not report it). As Grace's taking Dante from the parking lot, Nate, who came to the hospital to yell at his sister, because he did not like it at the college admission, sees that.

After other doctors start suspecting something, Dante gets back home, where he gets worse. Grace revives him with the help of poppers and diagnose him with cyanide poisoning. As Dante's wife flees, everyone realizes she was the poisoner. It did not end good for her.

Nate spies on Grace and she eventually tells him everything, as he confronts her in the cornfield.

Naturally, both Grace and Nate miss the dinner, so Brett and Grace's mother get to talk alone, and we learn that Brett is not close to his family (I bet, he has connections with mafia too).

Constantine tries to negotiate a deal of 15% on the slots, but Titus declines (he offers only 10%). Then Constantine and his guys trap the track that was carrying the slot machines (so his gang would burn it) and find out that only half of them is documented, each slot has a double which would work without taxation etc. He confronts Titus with what he knows and demands a 25% deal, which he gets.

The episode ends with Nate coming to Constantine to get a job in his gang.

Sep 25, 2012

EMMY FAVS

So which looks I liked the most, my top 10:

10.
Kiernan Shipka

Cute!

9.
Sarah Hyland
Nice, but the pose not that great, she looks annoyed or tired.
8.
Jena Malone
Awesome!
7.
Kristen Wiig

She said she wanted to look like a ghost. She maybe does resemble a creature from the afterlife, but still a great dress choice.

6.
Emily VanCamp
The dress itself is nothing special, but looks good on Emily.

5. 
Kat Dennings and Nick Zano
Kat Denning is our new Angelina Jolie, see, she even got her own Brad Pitt =)

4.
Tina Fey
Tina's great as usual.
3.
Zooey Deschanel
Cute little fairy.
2.

Padma Lakshmi
Just good old classics in brave color. Safe choice, so not enough for #1!
1.
Hayden Panettiere
My favorite, Hayden Panettiere. Love it! Not the hairstyle, though.

EMMY 2012 RED CARPET DRESSES

Okay, let's do what everyone else is doing: discuss, judge, evaluate dresses at Emmy's red carpet, shall we? The rest of the pictures can be found for example, here or here, or... They are everywhere now!

Starting from a bunch of mermaids: 
Sofia Vergara
I love Sofia Vergara, she's gorgeous and it must be really hard to make her look less attractive. But I see her stylist is trying. This dress is not flattering, I think it makes her chest look heavy and the color is not doing any good to her either.

Julianne Hough
Hough took mermaid image one step further and chose a dress with scales. Again, her body looks a little heavy, but at least this color seems great on her.

Heidi Klum
Well, look who's here. A desperate Heidi Klum. The sad thing is that this could have actually been a great dress without all of this extra flesh.

The old guard disappointed:


Glenn Close
OK, what is this? I understand that Glenn Close cannot wear just anything anymore, but it doesn't mean that she has to pick only poor grandma dresses.

However, this doesn't look so bad as we come to another extreme where Christine Baranski is patiently waiting for us, wearing THIS:


Christine Baranski
She does have great legs, I give her that, but it does not justify being dressed up like that at the age of 60. Yes, I am a prude.

A bunch of our beloved celebrities did not evaluate their capabilities properly, so a number of dresses that are lovely on their own ended up spoiling the look.

Starting with the obvious miss:


Mayim Bialik
There is so much wrong with this dress, that I don't know where to start. I mean, the photographer bear certain responsibility for how bad Mayim looks on this picture, but I've seen other images and they are not that much better. She looks like somebody cut her legs off! I'd suggest something shorter. The makeup is great, though.


Giuliana Rancik
The dress is cute, but Giuliana looks like a lollipop. She is extremely skinny (I am too, believe it or not, finding the right clothes is a real pain). 

Ariel Winter
I love this dress, but unfortunately it makes Ariel look too short and together with the fancy hair - too old. But gosh, she's pretty! I guess it's just a matter of time before she replaces Emma Watson as one of the Lancome faces.

Alexandra Breckendidge
Alexandra Breckenridge is extremely beautiful, very strong face (loved her in AHS), but deep blue would have been much better on her, the dress is fine but the hair color in combination with black make her look a bit cheesy. Blue! Or dark purple/ox blood.

Kelly Osbourne
I don't think that matching funky hair color with the color of the dress is such a good idea. I'd also suggest change a haircut, she looks too much like her mother now that she's slim (great job, Kelly). Still pretty.

Phoebe Price
Well, there's no excuse for this one, is there?

Sep 24, 2012

UP ALL NIGHT EP. 1 SEASON 2

The last season of Up All Night in my opinion was the only successful attempt to introduce the concept of real modern family without exploiting the gay parenthood topic (there was one episode where we saw a gay couple raising a kid, but from what I understood they weren't doing such a great job). 

Reagan and Chris Brinkley (played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) are shown as truly "cool" parents, well educated, initiative, loving and not afraid of letting go and having fun (usually, with the help of alcohol). The elements of the modern type of family are numerous like the fact that Chris is the stay-at-home dad and Reagan is a working mom, that they have weak connections with their other relatives (e.g. Reagan does not really enjoy the company of her mother and clearly has issues with Chris's nanny, whereas Chris can't communicate with his brother in any other way than bragging), even the fact that when baby is born, the lives of parents, though changed, are not over. All of this was new and unusual, and I loved the series for this and for very warm emotions coming from each episode. The acting was also exceptional.

I don't know why would they want to change all of this so dramatically, but the sad truth is that the first episode of the second season of the show was, least to say, disappointing.

Maybe I missed it, but I did not hear explanations why 'Ava Show' got cancelled. What happened with other secondary characters from the last season? And may I say I hate Reagan's brother, Scott, I hated how obvious was the outcome of the episode i.e. that Chris and Scott decided to found a business. Even Reagan and Ava's fight was lame and lacking passion (though Maya Rudolph was phenomenal as usual).



I understand that it's essential to look for new turns, so the show doesn't get boring as the writers get lazy, but even with these new circumstances, the episode was very weak, I'm literally worried.

So creators, pull yourself together, will you?

Score: 4/10

64th PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS (2012)

My two favorite jokes of the ceremony were by the host, Jimmy Kimmel, about how Obama watching Homeland is as dangerous as Charlie Sheen watching Breaking Bad, and the one by Eric Stonestreet, upon his acceptance of the award for supporting actor in a comedy, about how now that he's playing a gay character people send him pictures of hairy chests and "they are amazing".

In regards to the winners I can't say there were any big surprises there, I think everybody got used to Modern Family dominating in comedy and unless, let's say, Partners turn out to be a great hit, I don't expect changes next year either.

Jon Stewart won again with The Daily Show in variety series, and even though I generally love his show more than The Cobert Report, I think Colbert deserved the award this year; his 'mockvestigation' of the superpacs was huge, whereas Stewart just continued being a Don Quixote of the modern time, the very theme he exploited (to our benefit) heavily over the past years.

Game Change was named the best miniseries and Juliana Moore as the best lead actress in the same category. It's an election year in the States, so again, that's not surprising at all. 

Sherlock's fans must be disappointed that the academy chose Kevin Costner as the best lead actor in miniseries and not Benedict Cumberbatch. I can't really comment on this, I did not see Hatfields & McCoys, so I don't know whether Costner or Tom Berenger, who was named the best supporting actor in miniseries, were actually the best.

For Jessica Lange there was no competition for best supporting actress in miniseries, can't wait to see her in the second season of American Horror Story.

I fail to understand why Homeland got so many awards, it's just another overrated action-ish  drama, like 24  (I hated 24). I can only explain it by the fact that it was pretty much the only new drama series nominated. And now we've learned that Obama likes it.

So that was it, now we just have to wait for the Golden Globe.

THE MOB DOCTOR, EPISODE 1 REVIEW

Sep 22, 2012

LA VIDA LOCA


As I watch all these new comedies, like New Girl, Ben & Kate etc. where they try to load (at least) one of the characters with explosives to the point when it hurts watching him/her, I miss Friends. Each of characters there had his/her main theme, as being geeky, or hippie, or sarcastic, or controlling, or silly or hot. Yet they all were very balanced, so normal people could actually relate to them. This approach seem to be working great in Modern Family as well; none of its characters you would try to avoid getting to an elevator with should you meet them IRL.

In an incredible book by Jon Ronson The Psychopath Test (recommend, btw) I've read that the modern audience, which mostly consists of people questioning their own normality on a daily basis, likes to watch  crazies on TV, so that they have someone they can compare themselves to and say: "Well, I'm more sane than this guy". Ronson was referring to real people, but the guys-slightly-nuts are now leaving reality shows and interviews and conquering TV series with great enthusiasm.

I don't like crazies. I love taking layer after layer off the character and see who he is, how complex he is, what he stands for and how everything he does makes sense.  Let me just say that by introducing abnormality as the latest trend (though I assume that a lot of this comes from reality shows), writers make their job so much easier. They don't have to worry too much on character's integrity now that they just can explain his actions and words with his ill mind. You do not have to provide a thorough motivation, background - nothing, just make him do something randomly stupid. Just look what they've done to Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory). It all started with him being geeky, very weird and genius, now he's just plain crazy and most of what he does is pretty random.

I understand that it's harder and harder to come up with new funny situations now that there are so many comedies out there, so to come up with something unique writers have to re-invent personalities. I only wish they would not make them so simple and so hyperbolic that it's just painful to watch.

BEN & KATE, THE STORY OF HOW A SINGLE MOTHER GETS HER SECOND CHILD WITHOUT HAVING SEX

There are loads of warm family comedies out there, but this one, Ben & Kate (Fox), is waaay too weird. It gets even creepier if you get to know that the creator of this show, Dana Fox (New Girl), borrowed Ben's personality from her own brother (which naturally means she must associate herself with Kate).

The story is about a single mother and a bar manager Kate Fox (well that's just cheesy, there are millions of other last names), her immature and to great extent idiotic older brother Ben and her 5-year-old daughter Maddie. Dakota Johnson (Social Network) and Nat Faxon (Bad Teacher) got the main part, Echo Kellum and Lucy Punch play Ben and Kate's sidekicks, Tommi and BJ, who are frankly more likeable and fun, than the Fox family. Since we're on that page, I still have hard time understanding why would you call a character in a family show BJ - is it only for the sake of  predictable, unsophisticated jokes, like that one in the pilot about what "BJ" means?
BJ being sexy
So in the pilot Ben gets an email from his ex, Darcy, which says "call me", and naturally, he doesn't call and just comes to his hometown (where his sister lives as well) only to find out (by stocking ex) that she is getting married. Some might think that now would be a good time to call her or maybe go home, but Ben wants to unexpectedly appear during the ceremony and convince Darcy to get back together. Nice plan, huh? But here's where it gets funny: when his sister Kate, who is described as 'down to earth' character in the synopsis, gets to know that somebody's wedding is in jeopardy, she does not send her brother to hell, but actually helps him, especially enthusiastically after Ben reveals the truth about Kate boyfriend's double life and ruins her first in five years chance for sexual intercourse. I can only assume that subconsciously Kate needed to ruin somebody else's steady relationship just to feel better, or otherwise Ben's idiocy is actually genetic, and she suffers from that as well.

In the end Ben decides to stay with his sister and his niece and help them (hard to tell how). And that's how Kate suddenly gets a second child to take care of.

I don't think this show is terrible, there is a couple of laughable moments; but it's definitely not the best. Not only because of the stupid-stupid-stupid main characters, but also, as I said in the beginning, because it's weird, and not in a good way. You don't have this type of relationship with your brother, I'm sorry, Dana Fox, you just don't.

Ben watches Kate in her sleep - supercreepy



Score: 5/10


Sep 20, 2012

THE MINDY PROJECT: CAN MINDY HAVE IT ALL?

I'm all for talented people exploring other ways of expressing themselves, but the sad truth is that if you are a witty writer, it does not necessarily mean you can be a great comedy actress as well. This is the issue with The Mindy Project (Fox): the dialogues and jokes are rather funny, and Mindy Kaling must be great at writing, but she is not Tina Fey she's often compared to; that is because Tina can really act and her Liz Lemon does not look like a secondary character even as she's standing next to brilliant Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock. Mindy unfortunately has acting talent of John Stewart (i.e. close to none), so the sooner she realizes that and focuses on what she can actually do well, the better.

The main character of the story is Mindy Lahiri an OB/GYN doctor who was (still is) obsessed with romantic movies as she was growing up, and has not realized yet that what happens in real life is different from what scriptwriters have in their beautiful minds. This naturally leaves her being a mess with troubled love life and a drinking problem. She tries to become more organized, focused and vegetarian, but from what I've seen so far, it won't be an easy task.

Everybody, meet Mindy Lahiri!
Most of the secondary characters are boring and their only task is to fetch out Mindy's personality. Except for maybe Danny Castellano (Chris Messina), at least he seems to have more lines than the others.

To sum up, this could have been a good show, if Kaling got someone else to play the part. On the other hand, comedy premiers this Fall are somewhat dull, so if we isolate it from Modern Family, Up All Night, Don't Trust the B-- from Ap. 23 and even 2 Broke Girls, which will return on TV shortly, it's really not that bad: there are a few jokes you can giggle at.

Score: 5/10

(MY HEART WILL) GO ON

Matthew Perry always seemed a whiteface clown to me; there's so much tragedy behind all his characters that feel like reflections of the same person. He has exceptional comedy talent and it's the type of power you have to decide, if you want to use for good or evil.

I must admit, I am the crier. But up to this point I have not seen a trailer that would make me tear up. There, I said it, I cried as I watched the trailer and then as I watched the pilot of new NBC sitcom (created by Scott Silveri) called Go On. This show is SO SAD. I understand it's aimed at showing people with personal tragedies that there's a way to handle this and go on with their lives, but I'm afraid for unstable people, who skipped antidepressants for a day, watching this may end unfortunately.

So the story is about a sportscaster, Ryan King, whose wife recently died in a car accident. He wants to return to work, but his boss insists he goes to ten therapy sessions first.

Ryan King being sad

I can't really say that the script is exceptional, there are drawbacks in how some of the happenings scripted and directed, for example, Ryan's meltdown seems artificial (I understand they tried to make it funny, but it looked unnatural). Some jokes are predictable, like sympathy-birthday cake part, so it's mainly cast and characters that make this show watchable, i.e. it's how they speak, rather than what they say that makes you laugh and how they act rather than what they do. Facial expressions, tone, moves - this cast is awesome at this!

I love this creepy guy! (Brett Gelman as Mr. K)

Laura Benanti as Lauren Schneider
All in all, I admire Perry's acting talent but I need the right mood to be able to watch this. This will probably have higher than usual critical reception due to the topic, but I'm worried about the actual ratings. As I said, this is just so sad...

Score: 8/10

Sep 19, 2012

THE MOB DOCTOR: THE PATIENT IS MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE

I watched the pilot for The Mob Doctor yesterday. What can I say, it was really bad. I've read reviews of those who's been unlucky to see this earlier, and I must admit, I could not believe the show was actually that terrible. But it was.

Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro) is a young, ambitious, top surgeon from Chicago, who's moonlighting for mafia to pay her brother's gambling debt. From the first episode we get to know that her mother had cancer, her brother is a moron, half of her colleagues hate her, the mob boss is so dumb that he, while under investigation, himself (!) and on his own (!!!) comes to Grace's house to get her and/or her family members.

Grace Devlin
The actress choice for the main part is strange, to say the least. I understand they could not take a really pretty girl to play the doctor smart-ass, but there's nothing strong in her face, no matter how much make up they put on her. It's a face of a passer-by, you see hundreds of such every day and they don't stick. She was great in Dexter's season 6, when she played a religious maniac, very natural. She could play a victim of domestic violence or a woman tired of life and breaking bad. You know, something similar to Aniston's character in Good Girl. And can I say she has funny gait.


Jordana Spiro as Beth Dorsey in Dexter
There are two main issues with the show. First of all, all characters, even Constantine, are flat, bold and boring. Except for Grace herself; she's complex, but there's no integrity in this character. She's mad at her boss because he did not follow (or rather did not let his other subordinate follow) procedures before treating the patient, yet she forces her BF to risk his career and break the rules for a girl he just met (and she was not even nice to him), so that her father wouldn't freak out. I mean, if it's worth this risk, Grace should have reported this girl's father to children protection agency or something, and a long time ago. She risks her life and life of her siblings by not killing the witness (who's been a mobster before, so must have committed all sorts of crime) herself, but later, as she gets the upset mob boss to follow her to Constantine's house, did she not realized that he's gonna die in there? Sure, she did. So either she's a hypocrite, or the writers don't know who they want her to be.

And the second issue, a very important one, is that the show is overloaded with all this different, often unnecessary, story lines. The love story line: at least three times we hear the question about Grace's BF, namely, if he's a marrying type. We don't get to hear an answer to this and frankly, do we even give a shit? I don't think so. And then we get to meet her ex-boyfriend. Why? Is it to show that her life is deeply connected with mafia? I think flashbacks to the moment when Constantine killed her father are enough for this (btw, if the writers plan to reveal that Grace's real father is Constantine, they should drop it right now). Or is it for the sake of a classic triangle? Hardly, from how they portrayed her, Grace shows no sign of actual feelings, well, except for contempt, towards either ex or current boyfriends (none towards her siblings either, since we're on that page).

One more thing, did they have to kill that poor child just to show what a dickhead Dr. Devlin's boss is? Not that I got attached to him, because, firstly, there was too much going on besides that and secondly, from other medical procedurals, I've learned not to care for the patients (the creators of these shows though are cynical enough to kill cute secondary characters just as well) but it was enough to see how he acted at the time of operation to get that he's an arrogant a-hole. The audience is not as dumb as you hope, writers, we get hints! Also, how important to the hospital could this particular doctor be that even after patient dies his actions don't get to be at least investigated (the board won't fire him anyway, we hear)?

All in all, it's not good. They tried to appeal to everyone and failed. If they want to improve, they have to focus. And learn better both doctors' and mobsters' habits.

Score: 3/10

Sep 18, 2012

CITIES OF MUSIC AND SIN

Vegas or Nashville? A cowboy or a country music star? Murders, fights and tough guys or intrigues, betrayal and tough girls?We can now have both.

Vegas, a new drama on CBS, is said to be based on the true story of a Las Vegas Sheriff in the1960's. I believe the show is following a declining now trend, set by Mad Men, a trend of portraying America's recent past (others of the same sort are Pan Am, Magic City, The Playboy Club).

The story rolls around an antagonism between a rancher Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid, The Day after Tomorrow) and a Chicago gangster Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis, The Shield). If you missed a direct, honest old guy with big fists, this series might be just what you want. Though I'll watch it for lulz.
Dennis Quaid as Ralph Lamb

Geeks might also be excited to see how Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) is playing Assistant District Attorney, Katherine O'Connell.

The show was written by Nicholas Pileggi (Casino, City Hall) and Greg Walker (The X-Files, Smallville), and directed by James Mangold (Knight and Day, NYC 22). It premiers on the 28th of September.

The story of Nashville (ABC) is happening in our time and it's about a fading star of country music, Rayna James (Connie Britton, American Horror Story) and a young and ambitious singer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere, Heroes). Naturally, Juliette will try to overthrow Rayna from her Olympus, and Rayna will do what she can to hold her reign. Must be a good soap, unless they fill it with clich├ęs up to the point when every turn is predictable.
Connie Britton as Rayna James

The show was created by Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise), who actually lived in Nashville for some time. Besides Khouri, executive producers of the show are R.J. Cutler (also directed the pilot), James D. Parriott (Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy) and Steve Buchanan (was involved in production of various country music specials and TV movies).