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Archive for the ‘Winter Preview’ Category

Winter Preview: The Amazing Race – All Stars

Posted by Travis R Grant on January 20, 2007

The contestants for the All Star Edition of the Amazing Race have officially been posted. And for the most part, I am happy with the selections.

My number one pick for the All Stars was Kevin and Drew, and they made the cut. Trust me if you missed Season 1, then you are in for a real treat. These are a couple of frat brothers/friends that are funny, charming, and just all around good guys. I can’t wait to see them in action again.

On a less positive note, my number one pick to not be on the show is in the All Stars. Rob and Amber can’t seem to get enough of the spot light. Next thing you know, they will have a reality TV spot on the pregnancy and birth a new child (Before the rumor mill starts, no they aren’t pregnant, I am just speculating about the future). If it wasn’t for Kevin and Drew, I don’t think that I would even bother with the All Stars with Rob and Amber in it. Oh well, at least this is a couple that I love to hate. I hope that are out in the first round. (I just cursed myself, and now they will be in the final three, again.)

Obviously, I am excited to see David and Mary compete again. I suspect that they will team up with Charla and Mirna. Maybe this grouping will prove to be better. Charla and Mirna weren’t afraid to take any risks like Erwin and Godwin. However, I think their loyalty will be a lot more like Lyn and Karlyn. I was surprised that neither Charla nor Mirna tried and convince Phil Keoghan to leave his wife for her. I hope that both of these teams do well. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see them out early either.

Danny and Oswald got back on, and they were entertaining. I probably won’t be cheering for them much, but I won’t mind seeing them go far. Joyce and Uchenna will be okay to see again, but they have already won, so I won’t be cheering for them much, either.

I am not excited to see John Vito and Jill, Dustin and Kandice, or Eric and Danielle back in the race. I didn’t like them in their first races, and I doubt I will like them now. I guess Eric and Danielle are interesting because they are the Amazing Race’s first match up. But that too is still a yawner.

Regardless of what you think of each of the contestants, this looks to be a good season. Let’s hope it proves to be as successful as some of the other All Star Reality shows.

Posted in All-star, Previews, Reality TV, TAR, Television, The Amazing Race, TV, Unscripted Dramas, Winter Preview | 1 Comment »

Winter Preview: Rules of Engagement

Posted by Travis R Grant on January 18, 2007

This may sound like a repeat of my critic of ‘Til Death. However, I find it important to keep alive the discussion about media’s negative portrayal of marriage.

Rules of Engagement is a comical look at relationships primarily from the man’s perspective. To do this, they focus on a married man (Patrick Warburton), an engaged man (Oliver Hudson), and the single guy (David Spade).

The unfortunate thing is, that while this is advertised to be about relationships, the real story is that it is a put-down-marriage forum. When compared to ‘Til Death, this show is worse. At least in ‘Til Death it appears that Eddie and Joy are genuinely in love. However, in Rules of Engagement Jeff and Audrey (Megyn Price) seem to just barely get a long. And in the engaged couple, Adam appears to already be looking to get out of the commitment with Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich).

The only person who appears to be happy is the still single Russell, who it appears that Jeff and Adam aspire to be. However, their commitments are holding them down. The underlying message is that marriage is drudgery.

Looking at the cast, this will be a well done show. The only thing that would prevent it from staying on the air is if people don’t like it. I already don’t.

Media has too many negative messages about marriage. I don’t wish for television to portray marriage as all diamonds and roses, because it isn’t. However, I am tired of the many messages that say that marriage is nothing but animal waste and pits either, because it isn’t.

Media messages about marriage should be balanced. They should work to provide a varied taste of both the good and bad in marriage.

Another problem I have with this show is the overemphasis on sex. While sex is an important part of marriage, it should be respected more than it is on television. One of the problematic messages in this show is that married sex is terrible, and single sex is great. This is the wrong message for a society where sex leads to too much out of wedlock children and the issues of caring for children in two homes, and with the medical issues that are involved.

Before ending, I wish to clarify that I am not saying the ‘Til Death is a good show. I only use it as a comparison, and my preference for it over Rules of Engagement is only because there is slightly more positive messages about marriage.

Posted in 'Til Death, Comedy, Previews, Rules of Engagement, Television, TV, Winter Preview | Leave a Comment »

Winter Preview: Armed and Famous

Posted by Travis R Grant on January 10, 2007

When I first saw it I couldn’t believe it. Are they seriously going to take five celebrities and train them to be cops? Okay, I could believe that. I couldn’t believe that the celebrities actually passed the training course. I also couldn’t believe that they would actually broadcast such drivel.

Armed and Famous trains five celebrities to be cops. Actually, I am not sure that half of these participant even qualify as celebrities, unless you want to go back 20 years. After their training they are taken out on the streets and enforce the laws of Muncie Indiana.

This show is being billed as a comedy. So here I am picturing Police Academy meets Dancing with the Stars. And trust me it is much worse than that. Now I have to admit, I don’t understand either of those shows. I really never watch Policy Academy, and I just can’t seem to stomach Dancing with the Stars.

However, If you like Dancing with the Stars, I think you will not like Armed and Famous. However if you like Police Academy you might find this show humorous.

Having watched the previews available at CBS, I have to say, that I am lost for the humor. Of the six short clips available online, there were only two partially funny moments. La Toya Jackson handling a fire arm was perhaps the funniest, but that in itself is more dangerous than funny. The second most funny was Erik Estrada passing wind while wrestling with a trainer. And I have never found flatulence jokes humorous.

While from an ethical perspective, this show has it’s problems. I honestly think that this show will flop because it just won’t be entertaining. From the get go Jason Acuña is told that he isn’t allowed to be a “jackass” on the show. So, automatically, you take away his ability to be funny. So much for the comedy aspect, that is if you call Acuña’s act funny.

Also, did Jack Osbourne manage to stay sober enough to do this show? Or did the trainers just let it slide? Okay, I know that he has sobered up since the Osbourne’s were on the air, and maybe I am taking unfair punches. But I am trying to point out, that this isn’t your typical police trainees. I will give Osbourne some credit and say that at least he knows how to handle I fire arm. I wish that I could shoot like that.

I won’t be watching Armed and Famous. And I doubt many in America will be either. This is Reality TV gone way wrong. Mostly because it has no entertainment value, but also because it just seems to be a slap in the face of ethics.

Posted in Armed and Famous, Comedy, Previews, Reality TV, Television, TV, Unscripted Dramas, Winter Preview | 2 Comments »

Winter Preview: George Lopez

Posted by Travis R Grant on December 28, 2006

This may be a little different type of preview, because George Lopez has been on the air for five seasons now. And I am honestly sorry that I haven’t been watching until now.

Last Wednesday, ABC aired 3 almost-back-to-back episodes of past Christmas specials of George Lopez, and I decided that I was going to watch them all. I figured it would give me a good sampling (although Christmas flavored) of this show.

For the most part, this is the family comedy that you have heard me aching about in the past. While watching these three episodes, there were no sexual references accept in regards to between Lopez and his wife (Contance Marie), and some about their teenage daughter, Carmon (Masiela Lusha) and her boyfriend. The boyfriend references were only in regards to kissing, and it was a very humorous reflection of a father’s concern for his daughter.

To a limited extent George Lopez is the Home Improvement of our day. The focus here is on the whole family. It is not limited to just the parents, as is the case in According to Jim and Two and a Half Men, which only have limited interludes with the children.

My only complaint about this show is that the father is still portrayed as a bumbling idiot. He is always the character that needs fixing. This is too common of a theme in family comedies, but if it is the only politically correct way to portray decent families on TV, then I might have to settle.

Regardless of the inaccurate portrayal of fathers. This is a great family oriented, values based program, that for the most part will be something that I can watch with my children. Discussions of right and wrong will be appropriate and helpful. It is entertaining; Lopez does a great job and his family cast is well selected.

I will be watching George Lopez starting January 24. And I feel that I will enjoy this show and keep kicking myself for having missed it the past years.

Posted in Comedy, George Lopez, Previews, Television, TV, Winter Preview | Leave a Comment »

Winter Preview: Knights of Prosperity

Posted by Travis R Grant on December 20, 2006

Are you tired of the daily grind? Does your cube farm make you feel like a prodded cattle who has no choice? Are you tired of schlepping toilets for a living? Have you just wanted to get out of the nine to five hustle and live the high life? Most of us have. Most of us would love to be liberated from our dead-end jobs.

However, have you ever wanted out so bad that you would be willing to commit grand larceny? No I didn’t think so. Well according to ABC’s newest comedy, the Knights of Prosperity, there are some who might.

Eugene Gurkin (Donal Logue) is a late night janitor who decides that it is his time our of the dead end life. He concocts a scheme to raid Mick Jaggar’s home and steal some of his possessions. However, misery loves company, so he recruits a gang to help him out.

Francis “Squatch” Squacieri (Lenny Venito) is Eugene’s coworker. He joins the crew in hopes to provide his family with a better life. Oh how touching, he loves his family enough to face 25 years in jail for grand larceny.

Esperanza Villalobos (Sofía Vergara) is a waitress in Queens who joins the gang so that she can get away from all bad relationships she has been in. However, she might find it easier to afford a better life and maybe pay for an education if she wasn’t so busy wearing designer clothes. Oh yeah, she’s supposed to be the sexy lady that gets us guys to watch.

Rockefeller Butts (Kevin Michael Richardson) is the heavy in the operation. And I don’t mean his weight. He is probably the only many who as ever handled a gun before the first episode. He really has no motivation for participating. I think they enlisted him because he can sing.

Also, there is perhaps the worst named character Louis Plunk (Josh Grisetti) who plays the role of the nerd. I thought nerds were the rich people in our era. Something must have happened over the Christmas break.

Finally, we come to the moral backbone of the people mob, Gourishankar “Gary” Subramaniam (Maz Jobrani). Gary is an ex-lawyer brought to cab driver who had to be coaxed into the group. I suspect that he will play somewhat of the level headed keep these guys in line role. Being that he is a lawyer though is morals don’t extend to the point that keeps him from grand larceny.

While I make fun of the overly clichéd nature of this show, I am being a cliche my self. It is predictable that I would be bothered by this show. However, I have to honestly say, I think this show will probably be a hit.

In the spirit of the Office and My Name of Earl, cliché is working for television. And the slap stick nature of this show could add to it. However, as with most comedies of today, I won’t be watching it. Sorry, I just can’t get past the Larceny aspect of this show.

Where have all the good comedies gone?

Posted in Comedy, Previews, Television, The Knights of Prosperity, TV, Winter Preview | Leave a Comment »