Tuesday, February 27, 2007

About "The Black Donnellys" premiere

First off, yeah, I know, I know, I haven't written the "4 AM Miracle" review yet. Expect that to be up sometime tomorrow night. Today is the last day of my crazy busy-ness that was stretching the last week, so I'll have more time for updates (if there's anything worth updating about)

But, I'm so excited about what happened with The Black Donnellys that I had to post. It did NOT do well at all. It garnered a 5.5/9 which is basically mediocre ratings for any show, only two points higher than Studio 60 has done on its worst day and a good four points lower than where Studio 60 premiered.

Now, don't be alarmed by The Black Donnellys doing better than Studio 60 at the moment. This was the series premiere, which are almost always heavilly inflated due to the constant promotion and people who don't know what the show is wanting to check it out. You better believe there's going to be a huge decline in the numbers next week? You want proof? There was a 30% drop off from the first half-hour to the second half-hour, implying people tuned in and did not like what they saw. If they even tuned in, as Heroes ended at 10:03 last night.

This is good news for Studio 60. A few more episodes of a steady decline will put The Black Donnellys with significantly worse ratings than Studio 60 had, and 60 will likely return. Is this definite? No, and I don't want anyone to get their hopes up prematurely, but there's no other way to spin last night but bad for The Black Donnellys.

I was busy last night but I managed to catch the last half-hour of the show, just to see what we were dealing with. It was contrived and unoriginal, but not terrible. That said, I can't see me watching it again.

Monday, February 19, 2007

4 AM Miracle

Episode Rating: A

Sorry guys, I'm insanely busy this week and just won't have time to get this week's review up until Wednesday at the earliest, but I wanted to give y'all a place to discuss it. So I leave you with my episode rating so you know, at least, what I thought of the episode and this thought:

For you diehard Wingnuts, how cool was the "Gage Whitney" reference? I was so hoping at some point during the episode Danny would forget the name of the firm in reference to Josh doing the same.

Now, discuss away! And if tonight's was the last episode, mourn, my friends, mourn.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Black Donnellys premiere date moved up

The Black Donnellys, the midseason show set to take Studio 60's place at the beginning of March has had their premiere date moved up a week so that next week's episode will be the last Studio 60 for a while.

No way else to put it, this is bad news. But... oh well. At this point all I can say is... if it gets cancelled it gets cancelled. I love the show, I think it's great and the best drama on television but... if most people don't like it, they don't like it. I'm going to start getting myself in a mindframe where if it gets cancelled I can just shrug it off. I think much of the unpopularity has to do with what I said earlier, it's a mob mentality... people feel better about themselves when they can band together and rag on this show.

It'll depend very much on The Black Donnellys, I'm sure. If it's ratings suck too, I think they'll bring Studio 60 back if they don't, it'll stay.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Episode Review: The Friday Night Slaughter

Episode Rating: A+

Good, good, good episode! Probably my second favorite after "The Christmas Show." Sorkin has done a few episodes in his history that concentrate on the dark downward spiral of a character (Dan in Sports Night and Josh in The West Wing) and I always think those episodes are some of his best, and always tend to be the ones that speak to me the most, and this episode was no exception.

I'm now a Matt/Harriet fan. True blue, dyed-in-the-wool fan. The way they executed the relationship in this episode was flawless, the back and forth to see how far some of the characters have come and what that she has meant to him. Matthew Perry better be clearing some room on his mantle 'cause he majorly deserves a Lead Actor Emmy, his performance in this episode was extremely powerful. Also, did anyone else catch that Tim Batale is an anagram for Matt Albie?

This was a heavy episode but... there really just isn't too much to say. Matt was great, the story was great everything about him was great. I was happy to see my earlier concerns about Simon already having been mentioned as not being on the show in 1999 were assuaged, this was merely an audition (that he apparently didn't get.) The flashbacks were done well... I'm not sure why we didn't see Danny in the flashbacks though. Or Wes. I mean... I get why we didn't see Wes, they couldn't get Judd Hirsch but his absence was noticeably felt. I can't help but think that the character of Joe from this episode was originally envisioned as Wes before it was discovered he wouldn't be available. Also, where were Ricky and Ron? Shouldn't they have been working there then?

I'm enjoying Danny and Jordan just being a regular couple. There wasn't an ounce of drama for them (well, there was, but not for them as a couple, they had their own seperate stuff going on) and I liked that. I love relationship drama but every so often you just need to see them at rest, even the most turbulent of relationships have their down periods. I still insist that Bradley Whitford's fake blonde hair needs to go, it doesn't fit him right.

Tom and Dylan were funny, what can I say? Tom's one of my favorites, I'd say I'd wish they'd give him more to do but truth be told I'm fine with him as a supporting character, it's where he works best. Ditto Cal, who was (as always) great in this episode.

No Jack tonight, but then I'm not sure where they could have fit him in. I also notice we didn't see a lot of the supporting characters. Lucy, Darius, Jeannie, etc. etc. But I suppose there wouldn't have been a place for them either. I'll be honest, I'm really searching for things to critique but all I can say is this episode was done very very well. Kudos Sorkin and Perry.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Episode Review: The Harriet Dinner (Part II)

Episode Rating: A-

I liked this episode a lot. Definitely the best episode since the hiatus. In fact there's only one complaint I have with the episode, but that complaint is a major one. But still... an A- with an episode that I have a major complaint about shows that this was a really good episode, at least in my mind.

I like how Danny and Jordan ended up (or at least, ended up so far.) I think their relationship is evolving in a very realistic way. I've been in relationships that developed similair to that. I can just feel the complaints of people who are pissed off that Danny's actions are validated by the fact that Jordan was interested in him all along... but... so? That happens sometimes. Danny knew she was interested in him, and that made his actions less annoying. Plenty of women I know have acted exactly as Jordan did in this episode (albeit for different reasons.) So this episode had the ring of truth. I think Sorkin's greatly improved his writing of relationships, they're less flowery than they were in The West Wing and Sports Nights days, which I enjoy. Anyways, I like Danny and Jordan. I'm really sick of blonde Bradley Whitford. He looks better, younger and cooler with his natural brown hair.

Matt and Harriet? Good stuff. Again, a very realistic seeming relationship. I think less time needs to be spent on them, but I do think their relationship is interesting. That said, I have no desire to see them together anytime soon. I've said it before, I'll say it again, Matthew Perry is doing a fantastic job on this show. He's been great in most things I've seen him in, but Matt Albie is definitely his best acting.

Timothy Busfield remains hilarious. I like that Sorkin's used Cal a great deal in this two-parter, it's something he should really be keeping up. I like that Cal is almost pure comedy. I don't need to see much development with him. We know he's got kids, so presumably he's already married and happy in his personal life and thus that doesn't need exploration... just keep him around to be hilarious and cool.

Okay, Can we be done with the Tao family? Please?? I liked them in this episode, but I'm just kind of... done with them as characters. Especially Kim. They've taken what should have been a one episode character and put her in five. I think they need to move on from the Macau hooplah. Get Jack involved in some other storylines, notably the situation with his wife. They weren't seperated when last we saw her... which was... what... The Wrap-Party? What happened? I'd like it to be something other than the tired old "Oh, I'm married to my job." thing. That's been done too many times on TV and too many times by Sorkin.

Tom and Lucy? Cute. Just keep them cute, is all I ask. Don't muddle them down with heavy shit. I like heavy shit, I like it better than cute. I just don't need it from every couple.

What happened to Jeannie? I saw her today and I was all "Oh, you. What have you even been up to?"

Okay, so now we come to my beef with the episode... the Darius/Simon stuff. Excuse my language but... SIMON NEEDS TO SHUT THE FUCK UP! Darius was so on the right and Simon was so on the wrong it's not even funny. Simon pissed me off greatly during that. (Although I loved him in all non-Darius related scenes. He's great as Tom's wingman.) But the resolution to that storyline pissed me off. Darius really should have punched him in the face, Jesus Christ.

But other than that, as I said. Great episode. Sorkin writes excellent flashback episodes, so I'm anxious to check that out next week. Although... my concern is that it appears Simon's in the flashback for when Matt met Harriet. Yet we know Simon only joined the show in Matt and Danny's final year, 2002. Harriet joined the show (where Matt was already working as a writer) in 1999. So... Simon shouldn't be there. I'm a continuity freak (plot-wise, I don't care when cups are moved) so... I hope I'm not let down.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Upcoming Episodes

These are from NBC.


"The Friday Night Slaughter" Matt (Matthew Perry) remembers how he and Harriet(Sarah Paulson) first met. Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, D.L.Hughley, Nathan Corddry and Timothy Busfield also star. Here's hoping for some flashbacks! Judd Hirsch maybe?

"4 a.m. Miracle" MATT HAS MORE THAN LATE-NIGHT WRITER'S BLOCK -- Matt (Matthew Perry) is stuck on a Wednesday night with writer's block and also has to contend with a young lawyer (guest star Kari Matchett, "Invasion") who's investigating a sexual harassment claim while Harriet (Sarah Paulson) continues shooting her movie. In addition, Jordan (Amanda Peet) and Danny (Bradley Whitford) enter into a contest to see who'd make the better parent. Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley,
Nathan Corddry and Tim Busfield also star.

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