TV

Early Predictions for ‘This Is Us’

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I was fully expecting not to like this episode. The premiere was a really good bit of television, which is sometimes hard to beat- I gave up Quantico after the second episode, and I think everyone agrees that the Pilot of Glee was an entirely different monster than the 100+ episodes that followed. So I sat down to watch completely expecting that this episode would be just alright and I could go back to having a Tuesday without three hours of sitting on my couch. And while I was mostly right about the episode (What kind of mom visits her son unannounced on a school day at 8 AM? Seriously Rebecca?), the surprise ending managed to pull me in all over again. Where’s present-day Jess Milo Jack? Dang, This Is Us, are you going to throw us a curveball in the last minute of every episode? Are you the new How To Get Away With Murder? With all these questions and more, there’s a lot of directions this show could go in. I’m just going to lay it all out and see where this takes us.

Prediction #1: The Flasbacks Will Always Relate To Present Day

I was expecting and kind of hoping for the stories to follow each other in a linear fashion, with Jack and Rebecca figuring things out as new parents while their kids figured things out as 36 year-olds. But with all these twists still coming, it definitely makes more sense for the flashbacks to jump around in time. Still, there has to be some sort of overlying theme for each episode (it’s a basic cable drama after all), so I’m thinking they’ll stick with a pattern- Kate and Toby will have relationship problems while Jack and Rebecca do, etc.

Prediction #2: Kevin Did Something Awful To Randall

Halfway through this episode I was really wondering when they would reveal that something awful happened between Randall and the twins, because I couldn’t recall them ever referring to him other than The Manny poster in Randall’s daughter’s bedroom. The flashback was about, among other things, how 8 year-old Kevin never stood up for his brother, so I figured they were going to punch up their relationship somehow. In the end we just Kevin admitting “I was never a good brother to you,” which could be innocent enough, but I feel like this could still go totally South with a reveal that something bad happened. Kevin hazed Randall for laughs at a college party! Kevin publicly disowned Randall because he was adopted! Kevin took advantage of Randall because he’s too nice! The opportunities are endless.

Prediction #3: Kevin Is Going To Move In With Randall

Kevin said he wanted to go into theater, so who knows? Maybe he’ll move to the East Coast and hang out with Randall, which will not only interconnect the stories more, but will also help him stop being Kate and Toby’s third wheel.

Prediction #4: Jack Is Dead

This one is kind of obvious. I’m leaning towards ‘dead’ and not ‘divorced,’ because this is a tear-jerker of a show and they want you to weep. Also, Rebecca still had the moon necklace, which either means she’s still in love with Jack and present-day husband Miguel is completely clueless, or she’s allowed to still be in love with Jack because he’s dead. I think we can all agree that’s something Miguel would be okay with.

Prediction #5: Jack Is Dead Because Miguel Killed Him!

Probably not but wouldn’t that be crazy!

Prediction #6: Kate Will Break Up With Toby But DON’T WORRY They’ll Get Back Together

Every show needs a will they/won’t they. I guess it’s not Rebecca and Jack, because of Miguel, and I’m praying it’s not Randall and Beth, because they’re pretty perfect. Somewhere around midseason Kate will cut ties because of the weight thing, but it won’t last. Hopefully.

Prediction #7: William Is Going To Die Tragically

We all agree on this. Moving on.

Prediction #8: William Will Save Randall’s Daughter and Then Die Tragically

Little kid with asthma. Biological grandfather with stomach cancer. TWO scenes of little kid using her inhaler, one with the help of biological grandfather. There’s something there.

Prediction #9: They’re Going To Keep Doing That ‘Big Three’ Chant

And honestly, I’m going to hate it a little bit.

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TV

Fall TV Week: TGI-Thursday

We have SuperGood Thursdays and TGIT? Okay, technically last night wasn’t Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT,” because Scandal won’t be back until 2017, but it was TGIT to me because NBC aired two fantastic comedies back to back, reviving just a little bit of the We Peacock Comedy block from the golden days. Regardless of what we’re calling it, it was a better night for TV than Wednesday.

Superstore, Thursdays at 8 on NBC
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I don’t personally know anyone who watches Superstore, which is a huge disappointment, because it is really great. It has a fantastic and real ensemble, hilarious one-liners, America Ferrara, and is a workplace comedy which is easily my favorite kind. I like that we can watch a group of people on strike an expression of discontentedness that will actually impact their lives, while they also drag down anti-rights bigots. Cast member Colton Dunn isn’t actually in a wheelchair, but this show feels important and representative, and it’s funny as hell.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays at 8 on ABC
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I watched 11 seasons of Grey’s in two months. But I didn’t spend those two months watching Alex Karev’s character development to have him go to JAIL. But to jail he went, and admittedly he deserved it because he fully busted DeLuca’s pretty face. And with a courtroom scene set for next episode, I’m still waiting for Shonda to crossover her shows (Karev’s lawyer could have been Annalise! Derek could have met with President Fitz instead of Obama!). Despite the light of my life Karev being put behind bars, this episode was also a strong opener, and I’m hoping the rest of the season focuses as much on Meredith and Alex’s friendship, which stands to be one of the best parts of this show since day one, and how it will turn into a romantic relationship, which stands to be the Grey’s dream I will not give up on. I’ll also be content with this season if it gives me more cute Kepner-Avery family moments. #JaprilTheMovie lives on.

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Can they air three episodes of this show every week? Even if it’s just for Janet’s fun facts, including how Christopher Columbus is in The Bad Place and “Fun Fact: Janet is me”? Kristen Bell is having the best time being a bad person in a good place, and I love how serialized this is becoming. Cliffhangers on a sitcom? Count me in. Now to help fellow bad person Jianyu, who I’m thrilled has finally spoken, because as we all know being a mute monk can only be funny for so long.

Pitch, Thursdays at 9 on FOX
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Pitch opens with messages from the two most powerful women in America- Hillary Rodham Clinton and… Ellen DeGeneres? Anyway, the question the show seems to want to answer is whether or not Ginny Baker will get added to that list. It might be too early to tell (how many times can Mark-Paul Gosselaar say “ass slapper” before everyone simultaneously unplugs their TV?) but with a MLB partnership this show feels realer than most. The flashbacks were a little much and I cringed at some dialogue- he said I’m an ass slapper!!- but because I’m a sucker, I also did things like get chills when Ginny sees her jersey for the first time. Plus, all those baseball-playing extras are attractive, and I can’t look at Ali Larter without thinking of Andy Bernard and Michael Scott, neither of which are bad things.

How To Get Away With Murder, Thursdays at 10 on ABC
Summer sucks when you’re terrified of being arrested as the accomplice to several murders, doesn’t it? It’s been a while since we last saw our murderous gang, and I had forgotten a good amount of details, but I have a feeling that this season will amp up the drama after the slightly confusing lull that was season 2. We were already hit with a good few mysteries: Who is Meggy, and why wasn’t I cast as Alfie Enoch’s girlfriend? Who is hanging up those “KILLER” posters of Annalise? When will Wes and Laurel hook up again? Who was that hit-man that my sister described as “an old Lin Manuel Miranda”? And oh yeah, #WhoWillDie? My odds are on Connor (he’s just too good for this world) though I kind of hope it’s Asher (sorry bro), but the stakes are high this year and I love it. Plus, our kids are real practicing lawyers now! Go get ’em, killers!

Still waiting for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Saturday Night Live to return (without Taran, tragically), but that’s my week. It’s been real!

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TV

Fall TV Week: Peak Tuesdays

Tuesday is arguably the worst day of the week. My deep-seated hate probably goes back to Tuesdays being band practice day in grade school, but you can’t deny that it’s basically Monday without the general excuse of it being a Monday. But once it hits primetime, Tuesdays are the best. All the classics have aired on Tuesdays. American Idol! House! Glee! Law & Order SVU! The Real O’Neals! Everyone agrees these are the most iconic shows!

Tuesdays are just better than Mondays.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Tuesdays at 8 on FOX
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Damn, this show has really committed. I was fully expecting to see just a little bit of the tail-end of Greg and Larry’s Jake and Holt’s new witness protection life in Florida before packing up and shipping back to Brooklyn to meet up with the rest of the gang. I was at least expecting to drop in and check on Boyle’s new adopted baby or how Amy has been doing without Jake for 6 months. But surprisingly, we got a full episode dedicated to Jake and Holt dealing with their new lives alone, without a single check in to the precinct. And it was good! Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher have one of the funniest dynamics on the show, so a whole episode starring them was not a thing to complain about. I’m excited to catch up with the rest of the squad next episode, but this week Jake had frosted tips, Jorma from The Lonely Island had a guest spot, and Jake got to call Holt “Mr. Fart” so all in all, it was a win.

New Girl, Tuesdays at 8:30 on FOX
Aw man, guys, New Girl is the best. Jess is still acting like a freakin’ nut around Nick even though she’s a grown ass woman and Winston is still doing things like buying a boat instead of hurting someone’s feelings, but I’m willing to overlook it all because it’s just so good. And truthfully, Nick has returned, without Regan thank God, looking like a human being who hasn’t eaten garbage off the ground recently, so I’d be reacting the same to him as our heartbroken Jess. It’s only the first episode, so am I getting ahead of myself if I say I’m optimistic that this season will be the one that brings Nick and Jess together and does it right this time? He dedicated his book to her! Even though we don’t know if the book is Z Is For Zombie, that was the sweetest. I’m a little sad that Cece and Schmidt are moving out of the Loft, but thankfully Winston will still be around, swallowing the gator teeth Nick brought back from New Orleans. Now I just need Apple to create an emoji that’s smiling and clutching its heart, because that’s the only emotion I have watching this show and I need to tweet about it.

Scream Queens, Tuesdays at 9 on FOX
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This premiere had almost all the elements of last season, and yet it is already somehow lightyears better. And that’s without an appearance by the best character of the 2015-2016 season, Chad Radwell. I mean yeah, it starts out with another ridiculous flashback (a doctor needs to party that badly that he would just dump a patient in a swamp on Halloween?), the ‘Green Maniac’ is yet again following the Color + Generic Villain naming scheme, and there’s another pregnant woman from the past that probably has ties to the present. But if you ever need a refresher on how to watch a Ryan Murphy production, just remember that Blaine Anderson once had a fever dream where he sang Queen with a group of puppets and was kind of okay with it. His shows are wild, and I’m obsessed with them. This episode was gross (RIP Cecily Strong!) and hilarious, which in the end is all I really want. Plus I can’t hate on anything that revives Taylor Lautner, who was apparently just recently released from the holding cell he’s been in since Twilight, because seriously where the hell has he been other than that weird appearance at the AMA’s that I’m convinced was a hologram. I’m going to need more of Lea Michele’s Hester and the aforementioned Chad, but for now I’m just going to sit back and thank God and Ryan Murphy for getting rid of Grace and her Dad. Amen.

This Is Us, Tuesdays at 10 on NBC
I really didn’t want to like this show. It was weird how the trailer got so many views, right? And it has the same title as the One Direction documentary, and all I thought it was about was having the same birthday as other people, which is obvious. But by the end I was,as the kids say, shook! I didn’t weep like everybody else on my timeline but this show really tugged at the heart strings and managed to pull off a pretty significant twist while creating a genuine connection to the characters, which is a lot to expect from one Pilot episode. Sterling K Brown doesn’t need me to remind everyone he’s a good actor, but he is good, and I can finally watch a show for Milo Ventimiglia instead of being a Gilmore Girls fan and only watching that episode where Luke pushes him into the lake. Mandy Moore deserves good things, and Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz were the cutest family goals. This Is Me making the worst joke ever but admitting I made a mistake, fully enjoyed the show, and will watch again.

I’ll be making good use of my Hulu account when The Flash and The Mindy Project come back on October 4th. Tuesdays are lit y’all.

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TV

Fall TV Week: Monday Night Lights

It’s happening. I’m finally truly happy. My crops have grown, I just got a raise, and Fall TV is back. Just when I thought I’d be stuck spending my nights watching The Man From UNCLE and every other movie on the Starz App forever, fall TV swoops in to save me. I’m #blessed!

I’ll spend my week trying to watch as much as possible while still maintaining some semblance of a life. Here’s what I watched and what I thought, because there just aren’t enough people sharing absolutely unnecessary feelings this week (looking @ u, Donald Trump Jr).

Dancing With The Stars, Mondays at 8 on ABC
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Technically this show started last week, and technically I’m only watching for my boo Ryan Lochte, but it counts. In the past I’ve really only ever watched DWTS when my Grandma was over or to see this absolutely amazing video of Corbin Bleu dancing to One Direction that basically sums up all of my interests. But I, along with the rest of America, am intrigued to see what kind of tantics (his words, not mine) Ryan Lochte gets into this year. And from almost getting attacked to bouncing around dressed as Kermit, he’s already delivered! Let’s be honest though- there’s only one way this show will end, and it’s with Laurie Hernandez gettin’ that gold mirror ball (?).

The Good Place, Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC
Ooh boy, are we lucky to have three episodes of this show airing this week (two special airings last night, one at it’s regular time Thursday). This is the kind of show that has a concept that makes you wonder for a second how long it can last. But only a second, because then you remember it’s created by Michael Schur and starring the wonderful Kristen Bell and you’re like ohh, we’re fine! I already love this show, which probably had some of the best little gags and genuine moments since Michael Schur’s other masterpiece Parks & Recreation. I’m really invested in where this show goes next, especially whether or not it’s revealed that Bell’s terrible Eleanor is not really from Arizona, but is actually from Eagleton.

That’s about it since Jane The VirginSupergirl and Conviction don’t start until October, and I’m not watching Kevin Can Wait. So I guess I’ll just rewatch that Corbin Bleu clip a few more times and count the hours until the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad is back on my television again.

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TV

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

With that I mean, obviously, the Fall television schedule. The leaves are changing, the temperature, and you’re sitting in a dark room watching every possible new pilot and deciding which you’ll actually stick with through the rest of the year. It’s the one time where there’s shows on TV with ridiculous concepts (see Selfie) and everything’s riding on a single Pilot episode. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

With that in mind, and the fact that so many of my old shows are gone (RIP, HIMYMParks and Recreation till the midseason, and I’m still not over The Office), I made it my mission to watch as many Pilots as I could. Here goes nothing!


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A to Z, NBC, Thursdays at 9:30pm; airs October 2

I’ve discussed how I feel about rom-coms before, so maybe the fact that A to Z was incredibly cheesy and romantic was what won me over. But I really liked this one. The characters are interesting; it’s the cliched “guy believes in fate, girl rejects it” tale at first, but our Andrew and Zelda, played by Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti, manage to evolve even a little bit over the course of the first 20 minutes. The premise, while it could get old after a while (can they have more than 26 episodes?), is at least a different spin on the typical dating comedies that have been overloading networks for the past few years. Coming back from her death as The Mother on HIMYM, I am really pulling for a good show for Milioti, and with the ultimate question of “what happens after they date for 8 months?” I’ll stick with this one for now. A to Z is, in a word, cute.


 

blackish-101Black-ish, ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30pm

I am an incredibly privileged person. As a straight, white, middle-class, girl I have seen people like me on TV for my entire life. It was never a question for me of, “why aren’t people like our family on TV?” because since the 90s network TV has been incredibly whitewashed. So I was really excited to see Anthony Anderson’s Black-ish on the ABC line up this year. And after watching, I really enjoyed it. It’s sad that a show like this has to be praised for being “different” in the year 2014, but it deserves the praise because it is different. Some people have found offense in the many stereotypical jokes, while others felt that it was a good representation of what it is like to live in a predominantly white society (a coworker of Anderson’s Andre asks him in a whisper “How would a black person say ‘good morning’?” prompting Andre to respond “Just like that.”) I thought Black-ish balanced social commentary well with comedy, and I look forward to seeing more of the Johnson family next week.


 

gotham Gotham, FOX, Mondays at 8pm

If there’s two things I love, it’s Batman and The OC. So when news first broke about FOX’s new show Gotham earlier this year, I was thrilled to see Ben McKenzie back on my TV and a new twist on the story we’re pretty much all familiar with at this point. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous considering the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (as most were) because how could they really tell this story in a way that might be more interesting? But so far, so good. The first episode of Gotham was a lot of setups and introductions, considering they have a lot of future villains and heroes to feature, but it was also incredibly entertaining (Jada Pinkett Smith is going to be the next big evil TV mastermind). In the end, it might be just another NYC cop show with a young Bruce Wayne running around and maybe McKenzie is just playing off his role as a cop in Southland and his role punching people in The OC but this is a show that lived up to it’s hype so far.


how-to-get-away-with-murder-posterHow to Get Away with Murder, ABC, Thursdays at 10pm

I’ve never watched a Shonda Rhimes show. I know. You hate me already. Scandal has been on my watchlist for probably two years now and my friends have been begging me to start Grey’s Anatomy for at least six, so I was determined to get started with How to Get Away with Murder, especially considering Aflie Enoch (aka Dean Thomas) was starring. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This show was awesome: a little cheesy, at-times unbelievable, and so full of plot twists it felt like it had been on for weeks. Viola Davis was fantastic as the tough-as-nails law professor who’s also having an affair and also may have killed her husband. The pilot read like a feature film, and I already have a list of guesses for what might happen in future episodes. If you watch just one show this season, it should probably be this one.

 


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Red Band Society, FOX, Wednesdays at 9pm

Red Band Society has already gotten a lot of heat from people who actually work in hospitals; the kids are given way too much freedom, their bedrooms and clothing are too casual, they’re all simply too strong and healthy for the majority of their screen time. And yeah, people who don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager with cancer may look at this show and think, “Hey! Those sick kids said the hospital is ‘like boarding school.’ Must not be that bad.” However, I also think that it’s important to get a look, even an exaggerated and airbrushed look, at kids who are experiencing real issues. My 15 year old sister tunes into this show, and just maybe it’ll spark an interest in helping kids like these extremely fictional characters. At the very least, it’s a primetime network show that screams “sick teenagers are people too!” It’s campy and not infinitely accurate, but I recommend it all the same.


I’ve barely scratched the surface of which new shows are actually worth watching, and I’m still waiting till October to start Marry Me (NBC), Mulaney (FOX), and The Flash (CW). But if you’ve watched any of the above shows, or recommend any I’ve missed, comment below!

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