Life in Pieces

People taking 5 minutes to work out an issue and then having sex. . .

Network: CBS
Day/Time: Monday 8:30 e/7:30 c
Where are we?: LA. . .or some LAish place

The show is set up as a series of stories. . .about 4 an episode. . .so this blog will be as well.

Story 1: Girl brings guy home. Oh btw, she still lives with her ex-fiance who probably has a shrine of her somewhere. He makes things awkward, so they go to the guy’s place, which is really nice. . .because his parents own it. Womp wommmp.

Dating couple has sex in a car.

Story 2:

(Different) Woman is giving birth (why do writers subject us to this? I have a hard time believing birth is anything like what I’ve seen in a sitcom). Doctor tells everyone except a rubber glove filled with water and then frozen to stay away from the lady’s vag for 6 weeks. Montage of building kid toys to capitalize on Colin Hanks’ physical comedy abilities, and then we hear a scream. She looked at her now destroyed lady part.

No sex, but that glove got some action.

Story 3:

Couple with two younger girls and an older son take him to his college tour. The sleaziest looking 27 year old talks about Bible study and something else chaste, when clearly this boy will be choking on his own vomit in a couple of hours. Oh, and the dad tells some story about how he accidentally had sex with a couch in high school? I hope that’s one of those personal things a writer threw in there. Back at the hotel, oldest daughter gets her period and all fantastical beings are ruined for the youngest.

Parents have sex on a vending machine.

Story 4:

Turns out the parents we saw in the first vignette are the parents to the three men in the stories. The dad (James Brolin) fakes his own funeral, so he can hear people say nice things about him. All of this to deliver the thesis of the show.

G-parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) have sex in a coffin (ew.)


It was enjoyable, but I expected to like it more than I did. At times it just seemed dirty in order to seem real and it didn’t really ring true for me. I anticipated it to be a take on Modern Family and it’s actually quite different than it, which was refreshing.

Show Thesis: “Life is about moments. . .pieces of time”

What it’s against on my TiVo:

What it’s against that night:
ABC: Dancing with the Stars
CW: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (new)
FOX: Gotham
NBC: The Voice

Verdict: Nah

Prediction: The cast is top-notch and CBS is treating it like a golden child. DWTS’s ratings are a little lower than normal and The Voice is killing it as always. . .but I think this show could be a solid second for the time slot overall.
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown
Quote from Kid Who’s Too Smart: “Down is up and up is down for me right now.”
Over-Dramatic News Promo: Stripper parties at a government-owned golf course!!!
Unnecessary Slam on Something Innocuous: Vassar

Oh my gosh! That’s. . .

Colin Hanks from Orange County!

Colin Hanks from Orange County!

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Smart people no have feelings. . .well just *enough* feelings

Network: CBS
Day/Time: Monday 9pm EST/8 pm CST
Where are we?: LA

The Feds are raiding a farmhouse in Ireland. . .clearly they’re after some international threat. . .nope, just a kid with a Space Shuttle shirt who hacked into NASA (which is weird, because I knew a kid who I think actually did that. . .).

Fast forward to adult him (Walter) and he’s awkwardly and coldly breaking up with a lady at a place where he’s supposed to be fixing the WiFi. So extreme genius = autism? The show explains it away with having so much left brain usage that the right brain doesn’t function, which they say controls emotion and I say nooooooot really. It’s complicated, but the brain’s lobes are interconnected, and at the base level, both sides of the brain are doing some emotional processing and it isn’t completely lateralized to one side or the other (thank you, psych degree). Anyway, we’re supposed to believe he’s an emotional robot, so fine. Also, Katherine McPhee is a waitress there and has bangs I object to and her son is clearly playing chess on the counter with salt shakers and stuff, but everybody acts like he’s troubled.

Walter is apparently friends with Finch from American Pie (psych genius), someone who looks a little like Harry from Mad Men (math genius), and a lady (mechanical engineering genius). Oh, and he’s the “computer genius”. It’s like the least appealing version possible of the Village People. They’re trying to make a difference by taking side jobs or something until the same guy from the Feds as in Ireland shows up and explains to them that the air traffic control software at LAX got corrupted and if they don’t fix it, 56 planes are going down. Oh, and he’ll pay them 50k each to fix it. Robots rejoice!

They need a place with really stable WiFi – oh, how about that diner with that weird kid who plays with sugar packets (it’s CHESS. ARGH!!!) and his mom who had way better hair on Smash? They get there, kick everybody out, and start trying to figure out what to do. Blah blah blah, corrupt files, tech jargon that isn’t that techy, blah blah blah. Also, the corruption has affected two other area airports (Burbank and Orange County, I think), so the 56 planes can’t land there. Aaaaand plot loophole closed, thankyouverymuch (oh, except Phoenix, Vegas, and Reno are all less than 90 minutes away and according to this plot don’t have corrupted software, but whatevs. . .although I think they lost all communication so not whatevs).

Attempt 1: Talk to air traffic control and get the original floppy (whhaaaaa?). – Computer Genius Village Person
Why it fails: Well, aside from computers not having floppy drives in 2014, the disk is 15 years old and nobody has it anymore.

Attempt 2: Break into the backup system and get the file. Oh, and do it quickly because it automatically backs up every 12 hours and in about 10 minutes it’ll back up the corrupted version – Psych Genius Village Person/Mechanical Engineer Genius Village Person
Why it fails: Psych Genius Village person puts it next to the car speaker, which has a magnet that erases the hard drive (ummm no, but fine).

Attempt 3: Find someone on the plane who has an analog phone and would leave it on during flight and get the software from them during a flyover over some rando airport
Why it fails: Plane is flying too fast to get the info

Attempt 4: Download the software to something that will get plugged into the plane and then the plane will fly SUPER low over rando airport, Computer Genius Village Person and AAHHH THOSE BANGS will drive in a Ferrari convertible at 200 mph under the plane, Bad Bangs will reach up, grab the cord, plug it into the computer, download the software and unplug it in time for the plane to pull up and not crash
Why it works: We’re at minute 50 and all the planes of people would die

In between, there’s McPhee trying to give a pep talk to Walter and him explaining that he’s too smart for that shit to work on him. Oh also, your kid is a genius and playing chess with condiments (THANK YOU). UGH THAT HAIR begs to be in the car b/c her son needs to see her help so he’ll respect her (ooohhh but I thought he was too smart for feelings. . .).

They also raised stakes by counting down the time until all the planes die, Math Genius Village Person kept rattling off the odds that they’d succeed (seriously, the only thing he did was calculate how many watts to set a power surge for in Attempt 2. He should be the first one voted out. And that includes McPhee), and then having fighter jets follow the planes, ready to shoot them down over the ocean if they ran out of fuel, so there wouldn’t be plane guts all over the 405.

We end with Kid Genius in a Space Shuttle shirt talking to Walter because he “recognizes his own.” Barf. They talk about rewinding their dreams because they’re so smart.


Reaction: Overall, this was a fun show. And maybe I’m swayed by the plane/computer/car sequence, but that was really awesome to watch. Katherine McPhee is WAY more likeable here than in Smash. It feels like it’s trying too hard to make it seem like nobody can understand the life of a supergenius, but having grown up around some, I’d disagree. It was a little heavy handed with all of the everything is against these guys, but it’s an easy watch although it looks like they’re heading toward a having McPhee as a love interest for Walter, and no thanks. This is not a story about romance. This is a story about robot people finding a way to contribute to society and maybe producing a few disco hits along the way.

What it’s against on my TiVo (yeah, somebody upgraded in the off-season):
Slot 1: Dancing with the Stars
Slot 2: Dallas

Verdict: I’ll give it a shot

Prediction: They’ve clearly spent a lot of money producing this show, and it’s fun enough that I think it’ll have teeth. Although, it’s up against a couple of reality strongholds, so we’ll see.
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown

On-Screen Food I Want: Apple
Someone Hiding from INS: Yes
Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “Hear about the newest things your teens are looking for in Social Media!”
Very Obvious Product Placement: Volkswagen and Ferrari (although you’re in a diner, no soda? Missed opportunity. . .)

 Oh my gosh! That’s: Finch!

"I'm surprisingly close in age to Stifler's mom now."

“I’m surprisingly close in age to Stifler’s mom now.”




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The Goldbergs

It’s like Alf listening to his Walkman while using a Pogo Ball and reading his Picture Pages.

Network: ABC
Day/Time: Tuesday 8pm EST/7 pm CST
Where are we?: Somewhere in PA, based on the license plates

Given the montage of ’80s things, we know what time period it is! The Goldbergs are the first family to have a video camera, and the youngest, Adam wants to tape everything. so we meet his family via annoyed discovery of being filmed. Mom, Crotchety Dad, Older Sister, and Older Brother

Side note/fun fact: I used to be really good at watching old game shows on GSN and figuring out what year it was filmed. I can’t place what year it’s supposed to be on this show. Anywhere between 1984 and 1987, given the Trans Ams and crimping.

It’s Barry’s 16th birthday, and he’s so excited to get a set of keys. Too bad his mom gives him a locket with a picture of her in it because she feels like he’s not ready to drive. His dad (Jeff Garlin!) gives him an REO Speedwagon cassette tape, which is apparently an even bigger crime, since he likes rap . . .”the music of the streets”. Ok, so this would lead me to believe that this is more ’86/’87 than ’84, esp because he mentions Flavor Flav. I don’t think a suburban kid would have known much about Public Enemy in ’84/’85. Can anybody keep me honest here?

Pops (maternal grandfather) shows up with a TransAm that I SWEAR I had the Hot Wheels or Matchbox version of and hands keys to his old Cadillac to Barry. The oldest daughter freaks out because she was never given her own car. Girl, I feel ya.

Pops takes Adam to a diner and teaches him how to hit on the waitress. . .who has to be 12. Pretty sure that’s not legal no matter which nondescript ’80s year we’re in. They talk about boobs like you do with your grandfather.

On the way home, Grandpa crashes the car into a building, so mom takes away his keys. Meanwhile, Barry is getting driving lessons from Dad and they’re not going well. Seeing as I had to take my brother to learn how to do the maneuverability test because my dad and he couldn’t go without fighting, I’m thinking this must be a father/son ritual. Anyway, they’re holding up traffic with their fight and the car gets towed to the impound lot.

Because Grandpa can’t drive, Mom has to come on the waffle date and ruins everything by sitting in the booth next to them. She elicits a reaction from Adam where he screams about the waitress’ boobs, which she overhears and their young relationship is over before it began. Grandpa explains to his daughter that losing his ability to drive is saddest because the highlight of his week is spending time with his grandson. Awww. There is totally gonna be a Very Special Ep of this show where Grandpa dies and Maureen cries uncontrollably on her couch.

Back at the impound lot, Dad opens up a little and lets Barry know he’s not a complete idiot. When they get home, Dad discovers Mom smelling the kids’ baby blankets and laments not being needed anymore. Grandpa cuts up his Driver’s License (um, you still need a state-issued ID, sir!) and leaves the keys to the caddy in the granddaughter’s pocket.

We see him take Adam to a new place that just opened, since the diner spot was ruined for them. . .Hooters. (Ok, so Hooters started in 1983 and was expanded in 1984. That probably puts us around ’84/’85).

Reaction: It’s a cute show with a little more depth than I thought it would have. You could make a drinking game out of all of the ’80s references. It’s like in 30 years if they make a show about now and the sentences are like “Facebook Netflix Vine. UGH!! I forgot to charge my Chevy Volt!!” The character based on the creator (Adam) speaks not like a 12 year old boy, but like the way a 35 year old would like to remember he spoke at that age. The end credits showed home videos of his actual family and I noticed that the sister doesn’t exist. It kind of explains how her whole being right now is basically Mallory Keaton 2.0. Hopefully they’ll figure out something more interesting for her to do besides whine and date bad boys.

What it’s against on my DVR:
Slot 1: New Girl
Slot 2: Nothing

Verdict: No thanks

Prediction: It’s a cute show and has potential to make you care about these characters than the setting.
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown:

On-Screen Food I Want: Waffles

Best Acting by a Non-Human: Alf

Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “New arrests in the Chicago mass shooting!”

Quantico Reference: Nope

 Oh my gosh! That’s: Alf!

"I'll take any gig these days. . ."

“That kid likes boobs, but I prefer pussy. . .”

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We Are Men

Don’t hate the player, hate the game

Network: CBS
Day/Time: Monday 8:30 EST/7:30 CST
Where are we?: LA

A guy is running into a church where two people are getting married and he declares his love for the bride. Aww sweet! Except the show is from the perspective of the groom. Oh. Awkward. The bride runs off with the man in love with her, and the guy is left to live with his parents. But his dad is Dave Foley, which is pretty awesome.

He decides to move to short-term furnished housing and meets three other down-on-their luck (with regards to women) guys. We meet:

-Frank (Tony Shalhoub). After his 16-year marriage went south, now he just keeps marrying women. And divorcing them. Maybe he should go back to driving a cab in Nantucket (you thought I was gonna do a Monk reference, didn’t you? Pssshhh.)
-Gil (Kal Penn) was having an affair with a woman who doesn’t want to sleep with him because she feels bloated (and I swear it’s Judy Greer). This tender moment was caught by his wife who promptly left him.
-Stuart (Jerry O’Connell). Married a divorce attorney who represented his second wife in her divorce. He likes to wear Speedos and dive into shallow pools.

The theme song is I Will Survive, which um.  . .is for ladies, so back off gents!

These guys agree to take Carter under their wing. . . including helping him ditch his paint salesman job for a basketball coaching position at a high school. They go to a bar to ogle women much younger than them and basically tell him to hit on ten and one will be desperate enough to say yes. The other nine will slap him. I feel like there’s some middle ground. Like a snarky comment or an eye roll. More like one will slap, three will say something biting, two will walk away, three will be direct and say no, and one will go for it. Also, Frank’s daughter is hot and hits it off with Carter, but Frank will not allow it. I smell a future plotline!

They end up getting drunk, getting fast food, and breaking into a Catholic school to play basketball. Sounds like a pretty sweet night to me, actually. Of course a nun catches them. . .because they don’t sleep.

Carter goes to play some hoops at the complex and runs into Gil. Gil basically tells him that he got beat by a grand gesture, so he needs to do a grander gesture. So, Carter goes to his ex’s apt to fight her new bf and learns that she broke up with the wedding crasher two weeks ago. They reconcile and hurry back to the altar. . .because clearly it’s true love.

We’re back at the church, and now his friends decide to crash. Basically, the bride is really controlling and isn’t allowing him to make his own choices. His friends are basically like “Hey, we know you think you love her, but momentum isn’t love. Come with us, we’ll help you find your balls.”

Reaction: I thought this would be one of those men vs. women shows and in some ways it is and in some ways it isn’t. Yes, these dudes objectify women, but you also see them own their mistakes and respect the women they care about (mostly daughters. . .some exes). But, this is a comedy. So, is it funny? Well. Kinda. But not really. This show was mostly pretty forgettable.

What it’s against on my DVR:

Verdict: No thanks

Prediction: It’s up against DWTS and The Voice. It’s just not compelling enough to beat those two.
No to Season 2.

The Breakdown:

On-Screen Food I Want: So many cocktails

Best Acting by a Non-Human: Jerry O’Connell’s Speedos

Over-dramatic Local News Promo: None! They must not think this show has news watchers. . .

Quantico Reference: Nope

 Oh my gosh! That’s: Alan Ruck!

"This is Sergeant Peterson of the Chicago PD. Please figure out why I'm in this show."

“This is Sergeant Peterson of the Chicago PD. Please figure out why I’m in this show.”

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I really hope this house also has ghosts. . .just for Dylan McDermott’s sake

Network: CBS
Day/Time: Monday 10:00 EST/9:00 CST
Where are we?: Washington, D.C.

Ooh! A baseball game is on, but this family looks bored. Oh. They have guns to their head. That explains it.

12 hours earlier, we see a hostage situation at a bank. A sniper shoots one of the robbers, which was not the plan. Dylan McDermott works for the FBI, talks the robber into releasing 12 of the hostages. They give him the safe transport he requested and as he leaves the bank, Dylan shoots the hostage, and then it’s revealed that the robber switched places with the hostage! He knew it because the boots didn’t match the suit. I should probably be a little more careful next time I wear rain boots with gym shorts.

Next,  Ellen (Toni Collette), the mom from the hostage scene, is at a news conference about how she’s gonna operate on the President. She gets back to her office, notices a pic of her family is missing, and calls her husband to talk about dinner. She’s married to Tate Donovan, who has moved from Newport Beach to DC and started a new life because Marissa died and Kaitlin was awful.

Tate Donovan coaches his son’s lacrosse team, and sound a lot of money in a bag in a locker. His son and his friend shadily say it was their beer and fake ID money, but we quickly learn that’s not true. But what is it for?! TELL ME, SHOW!

Sketchy people dressed in black are staking out their home. They all have numbers, and Dylan McDermott is #1! The dog won’t stop barking, so they shoot it (NOOOO!!! I wrote in my notebook “They’d better not shoot that dog”), then break into the house and each of them takes a family member to draw guns on (after #4 follows the daughter to visit her bf and back).

We learned that the money was for weed, and the boy and his friend owe $1,200 to the dealer who will beat them with a baseball bat if they don’t deliver. The girl goes to the bathroom, pees on a stick and cries.

Dylan pulls Ellen aside and tells her that she needs to kill the President during surgery the next day using a vile of liquid that’s untraceable, because he was watching the pilot of The Mob Doctor and got inspired. If she does this, nobody gets hurt. If she doesn’t. . .dead family.

They let the family eat their lovely pasta primavera dinner and while doing dishes, Ellen trips the silent alarm. Dylan and company realize it by looking at some tracking thing they have, and Ellen tells Brinks or whomever that everything is cool, yet they’re still sending out a patrol car. The patrol car arrives and it’s a guy Ellen saw in the hospital. He hands her an envelope with the missing family picture from her desk. So basically, this family is screwed.

Tate Donovan does his best Jimmy Cooper and punches one of the guys. What is this? Marissa’s debutante ball all over again? Dylan is like “Hey, check out these photos I have of you having an affair. Maybe chill out, ok? Oh, and also talk your wife into going through with killing the President, k thanx byeeee!”

It’s time for bed, and #s 1-4 are assigned someone to tuck in. The boy’s drug dealer phone goes off and #3 is PISSED. He explains the situation and #3 texts back “Family emergency. Can’t meet up tonight.” Nico is so gonna show up with a baseball bat. The boy looks forlornly out the window, and #3 asks what’s wrong. Turns out he’s not sad about his impending ass kicking, nor the possibility that his whole family may die if his mom doesn’t kill the President, but is instead sad they shot his dog. So, #3 takes him to the garage or basement or something and shows him Barkley was just tranquilized. Best part of the whole show. So relieved!!! Dylan is like “WTF? They’re supposed to fear us!”

Mom is getting ready for bed and sanitizes scissors to cut off the tip of her finger. I presume. I had my blanket up to my face. She ends up just cutting herself, so no need to freak me out unnecessarily.

It’s morning! Teenage girl pees on a stick again and starts sobbing, and Dylan McDermott busts in. Her mom goes running because a grown man just burst in on her teenage daughter in the bathroom. He saw the EPT test and she’s pleading with him not to tell her mom. He grabs it from her (ew! hopefully not on the pee end!) and crisis averted. Well, except the one in her uterus. Everyone gives each other meaningful looks, and Ellen heads out.

At the hospital, we see hoards of Secret Service, and a vial of liquid in Ellen’s pocket. Ok, so she’s gonna do it. She leaves it on the President’s tray and leaves. Back at the house, they’re watching TV, the VP calls Dylan to make sure everything is going as planned (he wants power!!) and breaking news cuts in about the President’s surgery. At first, it looks like something is very wrong. In reality, someone (WINK) accidentally gave him an IV full of blood thinners, so he can’t go under the knife today. In Ellen’s press conference, she said they’ll reschedule in a couple weeks because they need to have a show. I mean because she “doesn’t give up that easily.”

Reaction: I really liked the thriller nature of this show. It kept my interest the whole time, and the cast has so much talent. The logical leaps you’re asked to make aren’t *too* crazy (although when do the captors eat/sleep/poop?). I’m actually pretty excited the next episode is on tonight. I’m also really happy they didn’t use that godawful CBS drama house music.

What it’s against on my DVR:
Slot 1:
 The Blacklist
Slot 2: Nothing

Verdict: Adding!

Prediction: I believe they’re keeping it to a short season, which is smart. I was incorrect in my review of The Blacklist. This is the stronger of the two shows.
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown:

On-Screen Food I Want: The sourdough she was serving with the pasta. At least it was sourdough in my mind. . .

Best Acting by a Non-Human: Barkley playing dead

Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “Riding along with paramedics to see what they’re up against, and calling out those who put us in jeopardy by not getting out of their way!” (same as Mom)

Quantico Reference: No. . .which is weird b/c there were FBI agents present. . .

 Oh my gosh! That’s: James Naughton
"All I care about it love. . .and not dying during surgery. . ."

“All I care about it love. . .and not dying during surgery. . .”

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Everybody’s just doing the best they can, except maybe this show’s writers?

Network: CBS
Day/Time: Monday 9:30 EST/8:30 CST
Where are we?: No idea. . .

Christy (Anna Faris) is waiting tables and can’t stop crying, much to the discomfort of the patrons. . .and me. Back in the kitchen, a non-alien French Stewart is playing your stereotypical dickhead chef whose only priority is the quality of the food. Nate Corddry is adorable as ever, and, as her manager, is very concerned about all the crying. . .and probably the restaurant full of customers who won’t come back. She goes on about how someone told her she’s a good waiter and she was offended because she wanted to be a psychologist. . .but never graduated high school. Lady, that’s hardly on that guy. He just was impressed you remembered the details about the salmon. Oh, Jon Cryer makes a cameo, which means this is a Chuck Lorre show. Sigh.

She drives home, listening to her daily affirmation tapes, and sees a long-haired boy climbing out of her daughter’s window. I imagine the breakdown for that part said “Male, 16-20, looks like every mom’s nightmare. But approachable.” Christy tries to talk to her daughter Violet about sex and it goes horribly. . .because Christy was herself a teen mom. Her younger son mentions he has a talent show the next day and she promises she’ll move things around to be there. Once everybody is in bed, Nate Corddry shows up to make out with her. oooOOOOOOooooh!! He’s still adorable. Her son wakes up after like five minutes with a nightmare, which is impossible. Dreams occur in the REM stage, which happens 90 minutes within the onset of sleep. So basically, the kid is lying. And liars go to hell kid, liars go to hell. . . Anyway, she doesn’t want her son to see her tonsil hockey partner, so she shoves him into the porch and the sprinkler comes on. Naturally.

The next day, she busts ass to get to the talent show, which isn’t that day. She bursts into her son’s class to chastise him and he’s like “Yeah, whatever, I got the day wrong, nbd, Mom.” She says she needs a drink and we next see her giving a Convenient Backstory speech at AA. Key facts:

-Her mom was an alcoholic and a drug addict
-Because she wasn’t around, Christy got preggers and didn’t graduate high school
-She started drinking in high school. And now wants to be there for her kids

Turns out her mom (Allison Janney) is also at AA! They go to a diner where her mom hits on the hot waiter, and Christy screams at her mom. But mom gets the hot waiter’s number!

Christy goes into the restaurant and finds Nate Corddry to talk to him about this traumatic day, and his wife walks in! Wha wha what? Even I didn’t see that coming. His wife is a grostky biatch, who pronounces “Claudia” weirdly.

She gets home and her mom is trying to help with Violet. Christy freaks out because she was such a bad influence on her life. Nate Corddry shows up and is like “I can’t divorce my wife, her dad owns the restaurant and then I wouldn’t have a job!” Apparently where they live it’s the only restaurant? Seems like kind of a transferable skill set, especially given the failure rate of restaurants. Also. . .pussy.

Violet won’t take advice from Christy until she forgives her mom, because Christy did the same thing to Violet that Christy’s mom did to her. She pulls out what looks to be a Motorola Razr (points for giving her a non-Smartphone) and unconvincingly forgives her mom, who then comes over the next day to make dinner and help with homework like a real mom. Awww sweet. Oh, and the daughter thinks she’s pregnant.

Reaction: Chuck Lorre sitcoms are usually not my thing, but are middle America’s thing. I have to say that this one isn’t great, but is watchable. A couple of jokes that I genuinely laughed at, and exploring tumultuous family relationship can be interesting. It helps to have Allison Janney’s chops to ground the scenes. Overall though, I found myself kinda bored. Maybe I’m just relieved I wasn’t offended?

What it’s against on my DVR:

Verdict: Not adding it

Prediction: It’s up against Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. . .really tough. In the end, I didn’t find this show super interesting. But. . .Chuck Lorre’s hit rate is insane. . .
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown:

On-Screen Food I Want: Some good looking dessert mousse

Best Acting by a Non-Human: Fake Grand Theft Auto

Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “Riding along with paramedics to see what they’re up against, and calling out those who put us in jeopardy by not getting out of their way!”

Quantico Reference: No

 Oh my gosh! That’s: do I even need to say it? Nate Corddry!!

"I went to the Ethan Embry School for Adorable Acting"

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The Blacklist

And I thought I had a bad first day when I threw up on the bus on the way home from work.

Network: NBC
Day/Time: Monday 9:00 EST/8:00 CST
Where are we?: Washington, D.C.

Raymond Reddington (a bald James Spader! Nooooo!!) is outside the FBI, calmly signs in with the guard, then assumes the position and waits to get arrested right on the seal. Now he won’t graduate on time!

The FBI agents are conveniently giving us his backstory. Basically, he was super smart and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Went MIA, abandoning his wife and daughter on Christmas Eve. Sold national secrets to our enemies. Has no allegiances except money. He claims to help them find their real targets, not that fluffy Most Wanted List but. . .The Blacklist (titleofshow, titleofshow!)Got all that? He demands to only speak to Elizabeth Keen. But whyy???

Because it’s a tv show and her first day of work, Elizabeth overslept! Her adorable teacher husband helps her get ready in 7 minutes (did she not take a morning pee?!) and they talk vaguely about adoption and how she’ll never let this job come before the family. Which means she totally will. He hold up a couple of brochures to ask if he should take the kids to Air and Space or the DC Zoo (um, Air and Space, obviously!).  She steps outside and her apartment is surrounded by black SUVs and a chopper. Really? A helicopter? Landing on the street? Come ON!

So, now we need Convenient Backstory on Elizabeth. Here are key facts:

-Quantico grad
-Raised herself (which means Reddington has to be her dad, right?)

Ok, onto this week’s case. Reddington claims seemingly disparate events are connected by a Serbian (Zumani) who’s planning to kidnap a U.S. General’s daughter within the next hour by staging a diversion and grabbing her. Elizabeth thinks this would be a great time to call her husband and tell him she can’t come to the adoption place. Really? You made a personal appointment in the middle of the workday of your new FBI job? The FBI agents are like “Hey, remember how we only have an hour? You’re the worst.” They go and get the girl, a tender moment is had between the girl and Elizabeth in the requisite black SUV, which means shit is about to go down. I’ve got your number, show.

Yeah, there’s a lot of shooting and gasoline fires and ketchupy blood stains and they get the girl. Back at the ranch, Reddington gives some Convenient Backstory, and explains that Zumani’s (which is so close to Jumanji that I have a hard time not typing that each time. . . ) family and town were killed when the General bombed a plant that released toxic crap all over his town and poisoned everyone. By killing the General’s daughter, he gets his revenge. . .but how?

Elizabeth decides FBIing is hard and she needs a shower, so she goes home to find “It’s a Girl!” balloons. Because adoption agencies are always like “Mom can’t come? Not a problem, I’m sure that won’t be a pattern in this kid’s life. Please, take one!” and she find her husband bound and gagged and Jumanji/Zumani standing over him. Zathura wants information but newbie doesn’t know anything. So wait, did they really get a kid, or was Xeljanz just setting the scene to have a really elaborate fake out? Zoolander stabs the adorable husband a few times then gives her the choice to save her boo or many other people by chasing after him. She opts for Boo.

Reddington has upgraded to a 5-star hotel and Elizabeth storms in and demands to know what he told Zumani. Then she stabs him in the carotid with a pen!! Hey, guess how you won’t get that information? He was basically just asking her to stop freaking out and describe what she saw unemotionally. She realized that she saw a stamp on Zumani’s hand for the zoo because she had just seen it on the pamphlet, so he’s gonna bomb the zoo! (see? Air and Space was a perfectly safe option! And the kiddies can get astronaut ice cream and learn about Space Lab!)

Elizabeth goes to talk to Reddington at the hospital, but he’s escaped out the window! He goes to talk to Zumani, who apparently takes his tracking chip. The FBI thinks they’re chasing Reddington up through the Newseum (stop and do a fake weather forecast! It’s fun!), but when they get to the top, it’s Zumani. The blonde FBI guy whose name I didn’t bother to learn shoots him and he falls to his death, likely traumatizing some tourists.

Oh yeah, the zoo bomb. The girl shows up with a pink backpack on and lots of wires under her jacket. Reddington calls a bomb expert to help and in true MacGyver (or at least MacGruber) style, the disarming is pretty drawn out. That guy runs with the bomb, and Reddington is re-arrested. The little girl is reunited with her father and Elizabeth is left to Lady Macbeth the carpet.

Oh, speaking of that, while trying to clean her hubby’s blood out of the eggshell-colored carpet (Girl, you let that sit too long! No way it’s coming out!), she rips it up and of course, in the grand tradition of Trading Spaces, there’s a beautiful wood floor underneath. Oh! With a secret compartment. She opens it up and finds tons of foreign currency with many fraudulent passports for her husband. Whhhaaaaa?

Reaction: This show was really fun! Very action-packed, with just enough mystery to keep you wanting to come back. And James Spader reminds me more of Ben Linus than Hannibal Lecter. But let him grow some hair please!!

What it’s against on my DVR:

Verdict: Definitely adding this show to the rotation!

Prediction: Haven’t watched Hostages yet, but I feel like this one will be the victor in that time slot.
Yes to Season 2.

The Breakdown:

On-Screen Food I Want: Champagne!

Best Acting by a Non-Human: Elizabeth’s shaggy, cuddly dog!

Over-dramatic Local News Promo: “Birds and planes! It happens more than you think!”

Oh my gosh! That’s Nick Blaemire!

"I was in the revival of Godspell on Broadway, which only Maureen cares about."

“I was in the revival of Godspell on Broadway, which only Maureen cares about.”


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