The new season has begun and here’s the best, the worst and “the WTF????”
The best news this season is the return of Michael J. Fox and the TVJ couldn’t be happier! Conveniently named The Michael J. Fox Show, the star plays a guy named Mike Henry, who conveniently happens to have Parkinson’s and was a top TV reporter, conveniently on NBC. Fox is so talented (and adorable) that he could say or do anything and be great at it. Luckily for him, this show is a perfect fit. With Betsy Brandt as his wife, who more than holds her own with Fox, this one is a winner.
The most talked-about and highly anticipated new show of the season is, without a doubt, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Happily for us, it does not disappoint! I mean it’s got Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and the TVJ’s old pal Stan Lee – what else do you need? How about Clark Gregg as presumed-but-really-not-dead Phil Colson and Ming-Na Wen as his right hand, Melinda May? Ok, maybe the TVJ did too much time at the Big Apple Comic Con, but this futuristic fantasy of Marvel-ous mayhem makes this fan-girl smile.
Meantime, Allison Janney can do no wrong. She can be a bitch, a singing secretary or an AA-going alcoholic mother and she does it all brilliantly. She and Anna Faris as mother and daughter 12-steppers in the new comedy Mom: a winner. Produced by Chuck Lorre (he of Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly fame) cut his teeth with Brett Butler and honed his skills with Charlie Sheen, so he’s no stranger to excessive behavior, making this show funny, snappy and warm and fuzzy, all at the same time.
Sleepy Hollow is one of the best the new dramas. It takes place in Sleepy Hollow in upstate New York, home to Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman and the imagination of Washington Irving. Some 250 years after his death as one of General Washington’s soldiers, Crane awakens from a spell cast by his wife, a witch. Ok, so people think it’s improbable, but then again, can you say “Sherlock Holmes in Elementary“? Can you say “everyone from Jack the Ripper to Nikola Tesla in the late, lamented Sanctuary? Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman and now the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — well, it just doesn’t get any better than that, especially with the splendid Tom Mison as Crane and Nicole Beharie as his present day partner, Lt. Abbie Mills. The TVJ is already two episodes in and fascinated. Stay tuned — this one’s a keeper.
In The Crazy Ones, Robin Williams is, well, Robin Williams: frenetic, manic, wild, crazy, funny.
At the same time, the only true saving grace to what might be just another Robin Williams “me, me, me, look at me, me, me” show, is the wonderful cast with which he has surrounded himself, starting with Sarah Michelle Gellar as his daughter. Add Hamish Linklater, James Wolk and Amanda Setton to the mix and this is one wacky ad agency that’s not even close to Mad Men.
Back in the Game has the potential to be really funny and the TVJ has high hopes for it. James Caan is surprisingly funny as a washed-up minor league pitcher who helps his daughter (Maggie Lawson and one hell of a pitcher!) coach Little League misfits.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is no Barney Miller, but Andy Samberg’s so likeable and Andre Braugher is so Andre Braugher as a gay police captain and Samberg’s boss, that maybe, just maybe this one will fly.
The Might Make It
At first I thought that Dads was pedestrian and crass, but (there’s always a “but”) episode two had the TVJ dying of laughter. Ok, perhaps it hits a bit too close to home when the boys got their fathers stoned on pot brownies. (The TVJ admits to nothing, but her mother did have a weekly canasta game with “the girls.”) The saving grace of this show is the dads, played by Peter Riegert and Martin Mull (fathers to stoner Seth Green and buttoned-up Giovanni Ribisi). Mull (always hilariously off his nut) and Riegert (usually serious-minded) are perfect as the dads and Seth MacFarlane’s writing is spot-on. (Mull: “I have enough glaucoma to glaze a dozen donuts.”) But can it go beyond stoner jokes? Time will tell.
Lucky 7 is a likeable show with a likeable cast and, unfortunately, predictable plotlines. Ho-hum.
The What Were They Thinking???
Trophy Wife: Marcia Gay Harden, what were you thinking?
Note to the producers of the unbelievably horrific The Goldbergs: Fran Drescher did it better. If you want to portray Jews on TV, then get real Jews to do it. We really are the funniest people on the planet. I hear that “Whaaat?” tweeting beginning.
(See above re: The Goldbergs)
A Few Last Thoughts
This Week on the Tube: On General Hospital, Robin returns, the jig is up for Maxie, and Spinelli and Alexis get a big OMG!
Best TV Moment of the Week: Tina Fey, returning to host the show that launched her, reminded us just how brilliant she really is. As if we’d ever forget!
Most Touching TV Moment of the Week: the retirement of Mariano Rivera from the Yankees. Fans stood, players on both sides cheered and “The Sandman” wept. And they say there’s no crying in baseball!
Don’t even get me started: This week, Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges sink lower than low in The Millers.