Category Archives: tbs

Glory Daze

TBS, now that they have Conan O’Brian, is thinking forward toward other new programming to show off and entice viewers while they are dropping by to see Conan. One of their new shows is “Glory Daze,” a comedy drama set at a frat house in the 1980s, obviously trying to cash in on nostalgic forty year-olds.

The idea has such promise and has been done before, successfully mining other nostalgic decades in shows like “Happy Days” and “The 70s Show,” and even less so in the latter’s largely forgotten and sadly underrated spin-off, “The 80s Show.”

The main problem with “Glory Daze” however is not ratings or stars leaving or even jumping sharks. It’s that it’s just like every other similar show about young folks getting into trouble on television. Adding in clichéd fashion, chronologically out of order music, John Hughes-like formulas and some ridiculous slang doesn’t make it any better.

I love the 80s, I grew up in the 80s, sometimes I even get nostalgic for the 80s, but wow, one episode of “Glory Daze” was all I could take.

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Conan Conan Conan

We’ve had about a dozen episodes of the Conan O’Brien’s new TBS talk show – titled “Conan,” so he would be harder to replace this time. I figured it was about time I chimed in with my feelings on this new and much anticipated endeavor.

I thought his final weeks on NBC was some of the best television he’s ever done, and when I reviewed those last shows, I expressed concern as to whether he could do the same on a regular basis, and on a different network when he did return to TV. It needs to be said, and Coco fans can frown and throw cabbage at me if they wish, but the average Conan talk show was nothing spectacular. I liked the guy, and I didn’t tune into his “Tonight Show” all that often.

I tuned in last week for the first show, and was even more concerned. My initial thoughts were about how long he might last even on TBS. The first episode seemed very self-indulgent. Allowing several minutes of applause when he first came out, I can forgive after his absence, but stealing the spotlight from Jack White who was the musical guest was almost unexcusable. And it didn’t help that his first big guest, Seth Rogan, sincerely apologized more than a few times that Conan couldn’t get a bigger or better first guest.

On the good side, these first few shows demonstrated a desire to throwback to talk shows of old, where it was more about getting to know the guests and having a dialogue with them rather than just promoting their latest project. That, I like.

I still have doubts, but I have hope, and I hope Conan catches on and continues to maintain an audience that can support him.

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Cartoon from Hell

I just finished watching the pilot for TBS’ new animated series “Neighbors from Hell.” It really kinda sucked, and based on the folks involved, it was really a disappointment.

It’s got the voice talent of Patton Oswalt, Will Sasso and former “South Park” producer Pam Brady, so this should be a lot better. Although, there were warning signs. TBS promoted the show as being from the same studio as “Family Guy.” Hmmm. About the only things this has in common with “Family Guy” is it’s animated and it has a talking dog. And ‘same studio’? They may as well have said that it’s from the same key grip as “The Simpsons.”

The childlike plot involves a demon family from Hell who come to Earth, Texas, to be exact, to stop a drill from digging its way to Hell. And the simple plot is overexplained at least six times in the pilot, and in the weak excuse for a theme song. The family itself seems like lame imitations of the Addams Family and have almost no charisma at all. Only the dog, cleverly named Pazuzu, voiced by Oswalt, and ripping off Brian from “Family Guy” as the voice of reason, has any staying power.

If there is any saving grace to this show, it is the human, non-demon, cast. The human neighbors and the workers at the oil company with the drill are far more interesting and cartoon-bizarre than any of the demon characters. My question is – why even bring Hell into it? Just do an animated sitcom in the style of “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy” with these characters? The demons are boring, and bring down the rest of the show.

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My Secret Shame

Paul Blart: Mall Cop ~ Often when I’m writing I will have the TV on as background noise. For fiction I usually require a soundtrack or a playlist, but non-fiction I just need background noise. In the afternoons I set the channel and just leave it run – turns out by cosmic design or just dumb luck I have involuntarily absorbed quite a lot of “The King of Queens.” It seemed like the show was always on, too, whether it was TBS or the CW, its programming was almost endless. The scary part, and this is confession time here, folks, I started to like the show. Yes, it’s true, Kevin James grew on me like a fungus.

So when I started seeing ads and previews for Paul Blart: Mall Cop, aired conveniently during the show that’s always on, “The King of Queens,” my interest was more than piqued. Yeah, as bad as it looked, I wanted to see it. This is my secret shame. I waited until it hit DVD so I wouldn’t feel so dirty.

It’s not bad, one might even say it’s good. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking Citizen Kane here, folks. We’re not even talking Mothra Vs. Godzilla, but it’s a matter of expectations. Mall Cop has that warning label on it, you know, the one that says this is a Happy Madison film, indicating that Adam Sandler was involved – always a bad sign.

As far as expectations go, I was fairly correct in my assessment as the movie started. It’s so formulaic and almost painful to watch – until – until it becomes Die Hard in a mall. And I’m not saying “Die Hard in a mall” the way those pitchmen in Hollywood would try to get a flick made – but I mean it in a literal way. Paul Blart: Mall Cop truly is Die Hard in a mall. And I just don’t mean if the bad guys were acrobats on X-bikes and Bruce Willis is a fat guy on a segueway.

Mall Cop follows its inspiration in plot and theme and at moments in duplicating shots. It’s really something to behold. It’s like watching Mel Brooks pay tribute to old movies, there’s a respect that is truly sincere. Again, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not a great film, but as far as expectations go, it’s a good film. Check it out if there’s nothing else on.

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