Fact: Tina Fey is one of the funniest people ever, therefore 30 Rock is one of the funniest TV shows ever. I quote the show almost constantly and know most episodes by heart, so it was nearly impossible for me to come up with my favorite Liz Lemon moments. This list originally began as a top 10 and ballooned up to 20 when I kept cracking up at YouTube videos while I was gathering clips and images. Continue reading
Since when has the term revolutionary become a cliche? In 2009, NBC tried to sell us the fact that Jay Leno was going to revolutionize prime time television. By the beginning of 2010, everyone knew the only thing Leno revolutionized was how to stab your successor in the back, something Entertainment Weekly dubbed the “biggest disaster in television history” . Wednesday, Apple’s Steve Jobs announced what many have called “a revolutionary product”. After much hype and anticipation the iPad was finally unveiled. Count me as a skeptic. Continue reading
What exactly is the “American Dream”? According to Wikipedia, the concept was first expressed by James Truslow Adams in 1931, saying citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a “better, richer, and happier life.” It was that kind of optimistic freedom that encouraged so many of our ancestors to immigrate to the United States. Of course, now the “American Dream” doesn’t seem to just include improving your life, but also getting famous. Instead of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, America has now become the land of unemployment, ridiculously expensive healthcare and the pursuit of a reality TV deal. Continue reading
For the past two weeks you couldn’t turn on your television without seeing a promo for a television show that was suppose to change everything. The show had a familiar host, a new time slot and supposedly a new format. It was a format that was suppose to save an NBC lineup that was ready to go up in front of the government death panel (those aren’t real? Who’s going to put NBC’s lineup out of it’s misery or at least put their viewers out of their’s?) Continue reading
I admit, I was rather late to NBC’s hit superpower series Heroes. Despite being somewhat intrigued by the “save the cheerleader, save the world” promos that were everywhere a few years back, I hadn’t seen a single episode until this summer when I started watching online through Netflix. Since then, I’ve not only watched all the episodes on Netflix, but even caved and bought the first three seasons on DVD. Continue reading
Besides the change in temperature, crappy television also signals the beginning of the summer season where writers save their wit for the fall and actually “go to there” – there being vacation. While the smart people play the suits stray away and we end up with the American revival of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here! Continue reading
As I sit on the couch with my fiancé, sifting though bevy of reality shows and soap operas on our DVR, I wonder to myself how television has come to this. Now, I’m not saying that reality shows are the death of television, if I were I’d be one of the pallbearers who every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday help to bring TV to it’s final resting place. Continue reading
Parks and Recreation is basically a new version of The Office. There is absolutely no difference in the style, presentation, or punchline. The only real difference is that the majority of the comedy heavy-lifting is placed on Amy Poehler who has ultimately been dealt an undeveloped character. Continue reading
It seems the entire internet has exploded with Golden Globe posts. Everywhere you turn, there are best-dressed lists, photos, behind-the-scenes gossip posts, and highlight lists. Not wanting to be left out, we bring you our top 5 Golden Globe moments.
As a big fan of the original UK version of The Office, I was understandably apprehensive when I learned that the show was coming to America. Ricky Gervais was brilliant both as a star and a writer on the show and I doubted anyone would be able to match his talent. When the first season of the American version of The Office kicked off, I was pleasantly surprised at the way they adapted the characters to make the show fit for American audiences. Sure a few scenes played like a weird impersonation of the original, but others shined in originality. Steve Carell, in particular, was impressive because he was able to accomplish the most difficult task by expertly playing the slacker boss made famous by Gervais himself.
I was so excited for the new season, that is, until I saw a recent trailer for the upcoming premiere episode. Instead of the quirky and humorous plot lines that usually occurred in the series, the commercial flashed slow-motion shots of Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) during their stolen kiss at the end of last season’s final episode. Why were they focusing on the little office romance when the real comedy was in the larger office society? The funniest parts of the show are the awkward pauses when jokes aren’t funny or the way that plot lines don’t always carry the audience somewhere. That’s the part that makes the show real. Where the first and second seasons didn’t seem like a contrived “set-up, pay-off” sitcom, this new episode abandoned the subtleties that made the show so great in the first place.
The episode began by explaining that Jim and Pam had since parted ways after their kiss and that Jim had been promoted to another branch of the company. Throughout the rest of the episode, we were bombarded with scenes showcasing how different the world in the office was now that the lovebirds were miles apart. Jim had no one to get his jokes and Pam had no one to find the humor in boss Michael’s foot-in-the-mouth comments. The other plot, the funny one, about Michael (Carell) accidentally outing a gay employee, was almost completely overshadowed by the melodramatic romance. Was I watching The Office or Laguna Beach? I’ve never seen a comedy take such a sharp turn away from humor and towards generic romance/drama. The entire episode seemed to dwell on one tiny sub-plot as dozens of other funny ideas slipped by.
This was exactly what I feared about NBC bringing this brilliant show to the USA. American audiences want action, they want romance, intrigue, and simpler jokes. Unfortunately, this makes a brilliant and different show like The Office become just like every other mediocre sitcom on TV. In the UK version, two full seasons passed without a hook up between Tim and Dawn, the UK equivalents of Pam and Jim. We didn’t jump right to their relationship all the time because that’s not authentic. People don’t start working with someone and then quickly decide to call off their wedding because of their feelings for the co-worker. By utilizing this accelerated plot, they rushed to please the lowest common denominator of network TV viewers and failed to keep the show interesting for those of us who don’t mind waiting for a big plot point to occur.
I’m optimistic that The Office will be able to recover from this little stumble and get back on track to give us some fresh new comedy. The very first episode of the series failed to impress me because it seemed like a karaoke version of the original, yet the show quickly picked up and became one of my favorites. I hope that they can pull off a similar turn around this time. They need to remember that what makes the show so great is that everyone can relate to it, not that it’s some drama-packed Hollywood version of the office life. I laughed out loud several times at the awkward tension when Michael’s jokes bombed or when Jim egged on Dwight (Rainn Wilson) in the past. That’s a winning formula and there’s no need to mess with it. Working in an office is a funny enough premise without throwing in random sub-plots and laying the romance on thick.