Monday, 12 June 2017

Hail Wonder Woman!



Wonder Woman is the superhero film I’ve been waiting for! Ever since I became a fan of the animated Justice League series as a child, Wonder Woman became the hero who interested me the most.

This year has a been a great time for increasing diversity in superhero films from Power Rangers, which featured two ethnically diverse female superheroes and one LGBTQ ranger to Wonder Woman headlining her own summer blockbuster. Wonder Woman is part of the DC Extended Cinematic universe which got off to a shaky start with Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad which were all trashed by critics and received a lukewarm reception from audiences. Whilst Wonder Woman has been rightfully hailed as the great movie it is, I will ignore critical opinions for this review. 

Wonder Woman is a fantastic, visually stimulating, thrilling and heart-warming adventure about Diana's journey to becoming a warrior. The movie has a somewhat fairytale quality to its style and storytelling during the early scenes which show Diana in Themyscria, which resembles Disney’s Moana, another great coming-of-age, female led adventure tale. 

Wonder Woman is always exciting; whether its seeing Diana fighting in the streets of London to even the scenes in which the characters are discussing their plans of action (something Marvel could implement in their films) which makes the movie feel as though it is moving at quite a fast pace despite its long running time. 

The chemistry between Diana (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) bolsters all of their scenes together from awkward interactions (the bath scene) to the hilarity which ensues on the boat to when they share the battle field. Personally, one of my favourite aspects of Wonder Woman (as well as the first Captain America film) is period recreation. Wonder Woman transports contemporary audiences to the dark and grim world of 1918 London which is always a treat to see on screen.  


Wonder Woman is a thrilling adventure which places a physically and morally strong female at the centre of the story. This is the type of superhero blockbuster the world needs right now. In many ways Wonder Woman feels like a new beginning; not only for the superhero genre but also female led blockbusters (both in front and behind the camera).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Summer '17 Watch List: The Summer of the Third Season?


Friday, 19 May 2017

What Is ABC Doing?




ABC could be heading into one of their most difficult seasons yet. Along with the announcement of the upcoming seventh season of Scandal being the show's last (which was somewhat predictable), one would think ABC would be trying to keep as many of their stable performers on the schedule as possible. This is not the case, as the network recently cancelled their second most watched comedy Last Man Standing after an impressive six season run.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The CW 2017-18 Schedule

THE CW 2017-18 SCHEDULE


Highlights

- NOOOO! Jane The Virgin is moving to Fridays! This is NOT good!
- Military drama Valor will take Jane's Monday night slot.
- Dynasty will launch in October. Black Lightning and Life Sentence will be held for midseason. The latter could air alongside Jane The Virgin once Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ends its limited season. Black Lightning is likely to receive the post-The Flash slot currently held by Legend's of Tomorrow which also produces limited seasons.
- The 100, iZombie and The Originals are also on tap for midseason
- Riverdale will return in the fall.



MONDAY
8 pm Supergirl
9 pm VALOR

TUESDAY
8 pm The Flash
9 pm DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Riverdale (new time slot)
9 pm DYNASTY

THURSDAY
8 pm Supernatural
9 pm Arrow (new time slot)

FRIDAY
8 pm Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (new time slot)
9 pm Jane the Virgin (new time slot)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

CBS 2017-18 Schedule

CBS 2017-18 SCHEDULE

HIGHLIGHTS:

- CBS are adding 3 new comedies to their fall schedule, the most of any network.
- 6 out of their 8 new shows are airing in the fall, the most of any network. The network has one comedy By The Book and one drama Instinct on tap for midseason. 
- TBBT spin-off Young Sheldon will be previewed after the mother-ship show (Sept. 25) and begin airing regularly on Thursdays (Nov. 2).




Tuesday, 16 May 2017

ABC 2017-18 Schedule


ABC 2017-18 SCHEDULE 


Highlights

- Scandal will be back for its seventh and FINAL season. TGIT remains in tact.
- Black-ish is moving from its Wednesday, post-Modern Family timeslot (where it has aired for the duration of its tun) to Fresh Off The Boat's current timeslot (Tuesdays @ 9) It will lead into ABC's sole new fall comedy The Mayor.
- Fresh Off The Boat will move to Tuesdays @ 8:30 after The Middle
- American Housewife is probably the biggest winner. It's following in The Goldberg's footsteps by moving from Tuesdays to the coveted Wednesday comedy block.
- Sundays will now be unscripted from 7-10pm. Once Upon A Time is moving from its Sunday night timeslot to Fridays. ABC are likely paving the way for American Idol in midseason.
- Fridays have been revamped to feature genre dramas rather than multi-camera comedies. High profile Marvel show Inhumans will air on Friday nights.
- ABC are adding five new shows to their schedule. The most for any network thus far.
- ABC, Fox and NBC are adding only one new comedy to their Fall schedules: The Mayor (ABC), Ghosted (Fox) and the Will & Grace revival (NBC)
- ABC's midseason shows include: returning dramas Agents of SHIELD and Quantico, new dramas For The People, The Crossing and Deception, and new comedies Alex, Inc., and Splitting Up Together and a reboot of Roseanne.



MONDAY
8 PM — Dancing with the Stars
10 PM — THE GOOD DOCTOR

TUESDAY
8 PM — The Middle
8:30 PM — Fresh Off the Boat (new time period)
9 PM — black-ish (new day and time period)
9:30 PM — THE MAYOR
10 PM — THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN

WEDNESDAY
8 PM — The Goldbergs
8:30 PM — Speechless
9 PM — Modern Family
9:30 PM — American Housewife” (new day and time period)
10 PM — Designated Survivor”

THURSDAY
8  PM — Grey’s Anatomy
9 PM — Scandal
10 PM – How to Get Away with Murder

FRIDAY
8 PM — Once Upon a Time (new day and time period)
9 PM — MARVEL’S INHUMANS
10 PM — 20/20

SATURDAY
8 PM — Saturday Night Football

SUNDAY
7 PM — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM — To Tell the Truth (new day and time period)
9 PM — Shark Tank (new day and time period)
10 PM — TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY

Monday, 15 May 2017

Fox 2017-18 Schedule



FOX 2017-18 Schedule

Highlights:

- Fox are adding only 3 new shows to their fall schedule: The Gifted, The Orville and Ghosted.
- New Girl's final season will be held for midseason. LA > Vegas, and dramas The Resident9-1-1 and another season of The X-Files are also on hold until midseason.
- Lucifer (based on characters from DC comics) will become the 8pm anchor on Mondays and lead into The Gifted (a Marvel/X-Men offshoot)
- On Tuesdays, comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Mick will air in the 9pm hour whilst comedic drama Lethal Weapon will take over 8pm
- Fox has taken a note out of ABC's Shondaland book and have given Lee Daniels Wednesday nights. Empire will move from 9pm to 8pm and will be followed by Star.
- Seth Macfarlane starer The Orville will go head-to-head against NBC's mega-hit This Is Us (both shows are produced and owned by Fox) on Thursdays.
- The Exorcist will keep its Friday night timeslot.
- Sundays remain mostly the same with a mix of live-action and animation. Bob's Burgers continues to have the awful 7:30 slot whilst Fox will try and launch yet another live-action, high-concept comedy Ghosted after The Simpsons at 8:30.
- Scream Queens has been cancelled as previously reported. 24: Legacy is still in limbo


FOX FALL 2017 SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          LUCIFER 

9:00-10:00 PM                        THE GIFTED (new)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          LETHAL WEAPON

9:00-9:30 PM                          THE MICK

9:30-10:00 PM                        BROOKLYN NINE-NINE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          EMPIRE

9:00-10:00 PM                        STAR

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          GOTHAM

9:00-10:00 PM                        THE ORVILLE (new)

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          HELL’S KITCHEN

9:00-10:00 PM                        THE EXORCIST

SATURDAY

7:00-10:30 PM                        FOX SPORTS SATURDAY: FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM                          NFL ON FOX

7:30-8:00 PM                          THE OT / BOB’S BURGERS

8:00-8:30 PM                          THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM                          GHOSTED (new)

9:00-9:30 PM                          FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM                        THE LAST MAN ON EARTH


Sunday, 14 May 2017

New Girl Will Soon Be Gone, Girl: UPDATE


Fox finally reNEWed New Girl for a seventh season although the seventh season is set to be its last. The future was not looking too bright as networks began to announce which shows would be renewed and which ones would be cancelled, news on New Girl was quiet.

NBC 2017-18 Schedule





2017-18 FALL SCHEDULE

Highlights:

- NBC will bring back Must See TV with former staple Will & Grace as the 8pm anchor. Great News (produced by Tina Fey who also produced the former Must See TV sitcom 30 Rock) will also air on Thursdays alongside mega-hit This Is Us, which moves from Tuesdays after the voice to Thursdays.
- The Brave is only regular new addition to the fall schedule (The Menendez Brothers is a limited series)
- There are NO new sitcoms joining the fall schedule - the Will & Grace revival will serve as a lead in for Great News (premiered during midseason in April). Champions and A.P. Bio will presumably premiere during midseason.
- The high profile musical drama Rise is being held for midseason to take advantage of the Winter Olympics as a promotional launch pad.


MONDAY
8 pm The Voice
10 pm THE BRAVE

TUESDAY
8 pm The Voice
9 pm Superstore (new time slot)
9: 30 pm The Good Place (new time slot)
10 pm Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY
8 pm The Blacklist (new time slot)
9 pm Law & Order: SVU
10 pm Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY
8 pm  WILL & GRACE
8:30 Great News (new time slot)
9 pm This Is Us (new time slot)
10 pm LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS

FRIDAY
8 pm Blindspot (new time slot)
9 pm Taken (new time slot)
10 pm Dateline

SATURDAY
8 pm Dateline Mysteries
10 pm Saturday Night Live (encores)

SUNDAY
7 pm Football Night in America
8:20 pm NBC Sunday Night Football

Saturday, 13 May 2017

In Memoriam: 2 Broke Girls



Wow. Another surprise cancellation I totally did not see coming. Though I stopped watching 2 Broke Girls regularly around a year and a half ago, it was still on my radar... I wanted to see Max and Caroline become 2 Rich Bitches but due to CBS's bad decision, we will never see this happen. 2 Broke Girls has a special place in my non-existent TV watch list archives because it effectively reignited my interest and love for the sitcom genre and television as a whole. The stellar performances by the fantastic leads: Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs and the supporting cast led to some of the most raunchy, shocking and hilarious moments I've seen in a sitcom since I started watching old episodes of Married... With Children. It's a shame the show's life was cut short, but I'm sure the legacy for Max and Caroline will live on in the world of syndication and non-stop repeats! And of course, in a decade's time, when the 2 Broke Boys reboot (starring the sons of Max and Caroline) is announced, we'll take a moment to remember the show that started it all.



Thursday, 11 May 2017

In Memoriam: American Crime



The tragic announcement was made today. After the third season concluded two weeks ago to extremely low ratings, ABC pulled the plug on the critically acclaimed anthology series. The series finale drew just a 0.4 in the adults 18-49 demo.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Downward Dog | Review (ABC)

ABC's new talking dog comedy is a creative triumph 




Almost a year has passed since ABC ordered their talking dog sitcom Downward Dog, based on the webseries of the same name. However, this month audiences will now have the chance to revel in this show's adorable weirdness whilst they still have the chance...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The CW 2017-18 Season: News & Updates

Gregory's Thoughts:

Well... The CW has had an interesting season.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

NBC 2017-18 Season: News & Updates


Gregory's Thoughts

Congratulations NBC! After many years of trying you finally found a hit show with This Is Us!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Fox 2017-18 Season: News & Updates


Fox continues to decline and now that Empire has cooled off significantly and American Idol is no longer on the schedule, it is easier to see how much Fox needs more hits to bolster the network's ratings average and their place in the television pop culture landscape. Apart from Empire, occasional reboots of old series and their ageing animated comedies, has all but diminished completely. 




UPDATE 1 (4/05/2017): Fox has cancelled Scream Queens and Pitch.

UPDATE 2 (9/05/2017): Fox has cancelled Rosewood and Sleepy Hollow. X-Men drama The Gifted will bring mutants to Fox next season! This makes Fox the only network to have DC and Marvel properties.

UPDATE 3 (10/05/2017): Fox has picked up two new comedies: Ghosted and LA to Vegas. Medical drama The Resident has also been picked up.





















UPDATE 4 (11/05/2017): After only one season each, Son of Zorn, Making History and APB will not be returning next season.

UPDATE 5 (12/05/2017): Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been renewed! According to reports New Girl, which was a likely renewal is now on the bubble and could go either way...

UPDATE 6 (14/05/2017) As I predicted, New Girl has been renewed for a seventh and final season!

Gregory's Thoughts:

Empire's ratings have continued to decline (-31% season to season) but it remains a key part of Fox's schedule (it is their only hit show) Star will return next season but it's low ratings must remain stable. Despite it's tone being similar to Empire, Star failed to come within an inch of the highs of the the former.

Since its debut as a mid-season show last season, Lucifer has been surprisingly stable and has performed well alongside fellow DC-comics series Gotham. Fox should have never taken both shows off the air for the low rated flops 24: Legacy and APB, the latter which is highly unlikely to return and the former, the buzzed about 24 spin-off which received the  post-Super Bowl slot has failed to live up to expectations. According to insiders, The Exorcist still has a chance at being renewed despite its poor ratings. Pitch, Sleepy Hollow, Scream Queens and Rosewood have pitiful ratings and are unlikely to return.

On the comedy side, The Mick is the closest thing to a hit comedy Fox has had in years and managed to remain mostly stable leading out of New Girl which continues to plummet and has yet to be renewed. Fox should bring the show back for a short final season to tie up the character's story lines. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will probably be renewed as Fox's utility player but the show has never been the ratings, critical or pop culture stand-out it should and could have been. Last Man On Earth has failed to become the pop culture phenomenon it was probably pitched to be, like the low rated Son of Zorn and Making History. At least one will return due to all three coming from Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers (which has already been renewed for next season) will likely be on the network's schedules for many years to come to to their stable ratings. 

Next Season...

Over the years Fox has slowly lost its identity both in the drama and comedy field. One reason for this is due to years of poor decisions including the network's inability to schedule and air good shows (Surviving Jack and Enlisted say hi). Their comedies are either too broad to attract audiences each week, especially when there are dozens of other options on other networks and streaming services, or too niche (like Last Man on Earth, Son of Zorn etc.) which are good at accumulating a small dedicated fan base that do not reflect in the show's ratings. 

The best thing for Fox to do would be to clean house and re-develop their comedy brand. Fox used to be seen as the "cool" "youthful" network, an image it can get back if it develops, orders and schedules the right shows. It's not a matter of Fox not being able to find and develop good comedies; their sister studio 20th Century Fox produces some of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedies and dramas... for other networks including the likes of ABC's Modern Family, Fresh Off The Boat and Speechless, NBC's This Is Us, CBS's Life In Pieces. Just listing these shows reveal a common theme: family, which Fox has all nut reject from their shows apart from the animated ones (which perform well!) Fox should stop trying to reboot Friends and The Office with their tepid 20-something ensembles and unfunny work place comedies and rejuvenate their comedy brand.

Remember my point about poor scheduling? Fox needs more consistent scheduling in order to ensure the continued success of its series. Meaning no more mid-season hiatuses.

Find an identity - Fox is now the only network without an identity or a clear brand. ABC has its family sitcoms and soaps, The CW has comic book fare, NBC has Dick Wolf's Chicago franchise and This Is Us, and CBS is known for its old-skewing old school multi-camera sitcoms and procedural dramas. What does Fox have?  It's long running animated sitcoms The Simpsons and Family Guy, despite having good ratings for the network, are not provoking enough conversation in the political sphere as they once did and Bob's Burgers has always been an underrated critically acclaimed underdog. 

Pilot Previews:

Thin Ice: This pilot hails from Liz Meriwether the brains behind the network's former hit comedy New Girl. Good Luck Charlie star Bridget Mendler plays a woman who starts a new job in Antarctica. The script has its funny moments and the emotional beats play out like an indie movie (think  Two Lovers and a Bear) and the setting will mean set designers will have to push their creativity to the limit in order to make this show work (especially if production remains in LA if its picked up to series). One of my main concerns is how will this show survive in the long run? It seems as though you can only have a limited number of stories with such a complex setting. Hopefully Fox gives us the chance to find out...

Ghosted: A fairly standard high-concept / not very funny comedy pilot combo right here. Though Son of Zorn, Making History and Last Man on Earth failed to grasp viewers, Fox continues to invest in the same type of science fiction/fantasy comedies which fail to truly grasp their concept or to be funny beyond the show's central gimmick. In this pilot, the gimmick is the supernatural. The description sounds like a testosterone fuelled parody of The X-Files


"A cynical sceptic and a genius "true believer" in the paranormal are recruited by the Bureau Underground to look into the rampant "unexplained" activity in Los Angeles - all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race..."

Linda From HR: This pilot is apparently a lock for a pick-up and I can see why. The workplace setting allows for dozens of story lines and it has a cast of familiar faces. Without giving too much away, the pilot reminded me of ABC's Selfie pilot from three years ago. A "disastrous" event in a public setting changes the life of the central character forever...

LAX ---> Vegas: Don't let the cool stylised title fool you, this show is not new or original. Yet again we have Fox going after the same demographic for their comedies (young males) even though they clearly are not responding to their current slate of shows. This pilot is no different. It is somewhat similar to Ghosted in the sense that it has a central gimmick: the episodes are set on the weekend flight from LAX to Vegas (hence the title) and deals with all the exploits of the central characters, their successes and failures, their relationships and breakdowns etc. etc. Think ABC's Mixology.

Behind Enemy Lines:  Military dramas are all the range this pilot season. According to Deadline.com this is because networks want their shows to appeal to "middle-America" - the blue-collar Trump supporters basically. Behind Enemy Lines is based on the film of the same name and is an interesting pilot. The pilot was written to feel like a show on a very large scale which should make the themes of espionage and patriotism thrilling for the target audience. Military dramas (and films) have never interested me but what did interest me about this pilot was the soapy drama. The complex relationships between the characters, the conflicts between the different groups, the serialised plot and all the action in between.

Controversy: Fox is trying once again to emulate the critical success of ABC's anthology series American Crime (which just aired what could be its last episode EVER.) This season Fox premiered Shots Fired which follows the fallout of what happens when a black cop shoots a white teenager (see what they did there ;)) and though the show is solid, it does not hit the same creative feats as American Crime. The plot for Controversy reads as follows: 

"The junior Counsel of a prestigious Illinois university must deal with an out-of-control scandal when a young co-ed accuses several star football plays of sexual assault."

For the few of you who have seen American Crime, you will know the second instalment of the show dealt with a very similar theme almost perfectly. Controversy is not as sophisticated or raw as American Crime. That does not mean it is a bad show (I do not know whether its good or bad yet) but what I do know is it does nor live up to its potential.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Imaginary Mary | Review (ABC)


Don't be fooled by Imaginary Mary's incredibly cute CGI character, the show is a generic mess.

CBS 2017-18 Season: News & Updates

Gregory's Thoughts

Overall, CBS has had quite a good season.

Monday, 10 April 2017

ABC 2017-18 Season: News & Updates



Wow. ABC seemed to be off to a strong start at the beginning of the season but things have taken a downturn.

UPDATE (09/05/2017) ABC has officially picked up American Idol for next season! What a surprise (no sarcasm intended) the show will probably return in January (mid-season) and is likely to air on Mondays alongside ABC's other reality juggernauts (The Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars) or even Sundays.


UPDATE (10/05/2017) SHOCKER!!!! ABC HAS CANCELLED LAST MAN STANDING! Modern Family has received a two-season pick up (season 9 & season 10)



UPDATE (11/05/2017) More fantastic albeit surprising news! The Goldbergs has also been renewed for two additional seasons (Season 5 & 6) one season was obvious, but two additional seasons are more than deserved for this little 80s show which has managed to blossom despite an ok ratings start in 2013. Both The Goldbergs and Modern Family are produced by outside studios (Sony & 20th Century Fox) as the TV landscape changes with SVOD rights and ownership becoming more lucrative and important, it will make it harder for outside studios to keep their shows on networks as well as score series orders on their pilots. The double renewal for both shows ensures ABC does not have to engage in difficult license fee/ownership negotiations until two years from now and also keeps two of their most stable shows on the schedule until (almost) the end of the decade.

Tragic news: AMERICAN CRIME HAS BEEN CANCELLED! Although the news was to be expected after the current season delivered abysmal ratings, the show was one of the most proactive and well made shoes on television today. 

Dr. Ken, Imaginary Mary, The Catch, The Real O'Neals, and Secrets & Lies have also been cancelled. American Housewife, Designated Survivor, Black-ish and somehow Once Upon A Time and Agents of Shield have been renewed...

UPDATE (12/05/2017) ABC has finally renewed Fresh Off The Boat and Speechless!!!

Gregory's Thoughs:

ABC's Tuesday and Wednesday comedy blocks consisting of some of the strongest sitcoms on network television (bar CBS of course) Fresh Off The Boat, The Middle, Modern Family, Black-Ish and The Goldbergs have remained fairly strong for the duration of the season with new additions American Housewife and Speechless performing well. However, The Real O'Neals has failed to catch on, Imaginary Mary has not done much better and Downward Dog has been relegated to the summer. Last Man Standing  has been going from strength to strength whilst Dr. Ken could be doing better even though it airs on Fridays. Most of the comedies will be coming back with The Real O'Neals and Imaginary Mary being the obvious cancellations.

Sundays have continued to be a troublesome day for the network to schedule. Once Upon A Time's ratings have plummeted further and the show probably won't survive past the 2017-18 season. Secrets & Lies returned after an 18 month break to dire ratings and Quantico failed to build upon the hype from the first season. The critically acclaimed anthology drama American Crime and one of the many time travel themed shows Time After Time have posted disastrous ratings and will probably have the same fate as Conviction.

Shondaland returned albeit with less clout. Grey's Anatomy continues to surprise everyone with its stability after 13 years whilst Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder slowly bleed viewers. The Catch will likely be cancelled and the quickly cancelled Notorious will be forgotten.

ABC needs to pull the plug on Agents of Shield. 

Next Season...

ABC should keep their comedy blocks mostly intact and replace the ones dragging the night's averages down (The Real O'Neals, Imaginary Mary, possibly Dr. Ken). With over a dozen comedy pilots on tap it won't be hard for Channing Dungey to find replacements.

TGIT does not seem to be as strong as it was a few seasons ago. Though most shows are bleeding live viewers, TGIT is still relatively stable and should stick around for the next season or two. However, ABC should start preparing for Scandal and HTGAWM's inevitable departure.

FIX SUNDAYS! I don't know how but something needs to be done about ABC's Sunday lineup. ABC has had dramas on Sundays for many years now but maybe next season is the time for ABC to revolutionise Sunday night programming. ABC could try reality/game-show based shows or possibly more comedies however comedies on Sundays are very rare (apart from Fox) but this could work in ABC's favour.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Power Rangers (2017) | Review



“Aaaah! After 10,000 years I’m free!!” are the iconic first words from Rita Repulsa after she is freed from a dumpster on the moon. It feels like Power Rangers fans have waited 10,000 years to see one of the world’s most successful, long running and profitable franchises of all time back on the big screen. In a world in which we are constantly introduced to new superheroes as well as reboots of old TV shows and movies, it was only a matter of time before Power Rangers received the reboot treatment.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Trial & Error | Review (NBC)



Murder in the real world is never funny however, for one reason or another, audiences are intrigued by murder. One of the ways in which audiences express their strange interest in murder and murder trials is through the success of real crime documentaries. As a regular viewer of true crime documentaries and television programmes, I was instantly intrigued in NBC's new mokumentary series titled Trial & Error which aims to satirises true crime documentaries and television shows, such as Making A Murderer which never seem to be unpopular.  

American Crime Returns With Its Most Politcally Topical Season To Date



The third instalment of John Ridley's anthology drama series American Crime returned on Sunday (12 March 2017) with its most politically topical season thus far.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

American Horror Story: Will Americans Ever Learn?



After transforming Donald Trump's Presidential campaign into a reality show from which memes, gifs and infamous quotes were generated, it seems as though America's media is not done yet. On the February 15 episode of Watch What Happens Live, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy announced (I am still on the fence about whether he was joking or not) the upcoming seventh instalment of the horror anthology series will be based on the 2016 Presidential election and may feature a character based on Donald Trump. It seems as though American media are unaware they have transformed Donald Trump into a caricature fit for pop culture in which through their constant parodies, references, memes and gifs have given Trump extreme power in the world of popular culture. Also currently making the rounds is a spec pilot script intended to be a 10 episode limited series about Donald Trump's campaign. What makes people think after enduring the election real, everyday viewers will want to relive it? 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Shondaland Renewed for Next Season: UPDATE



ABC has announced Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder will return for another season! Grey's will return for a whopping fourteenth season, Scandal for a seventh season and HTGAWM for a fourth season!!!

UPDATE: 



Scandal's seventh season will be its last. The (sad) news was confirmed today (16 May 2017) at ABC's Upfronts presentation in New York City. 

Series star Kerry Washington said: "We are extraordinarily proud of what we created with ‘Scandal’ on ABC. We are exploring the darker side of politics, relationship, race and power."

Scandal will leave behind a legacy when it leaves the airwaves. Washington became the first African American woman to star as the lead in an American broadcast drama in 37 years.  The success of the show opened the door for How To Get Away With Murder and Empire.

Though I am sad to hear Scandal will soon be over, I respect series creator Shonda Rhimes and ABC Entertainment Chief Channing Dungey for ending the show whilst it is still entertaining. The worst possible scenario for an avid viewer of a TV show (other than the show getting cancelled before it has a chance to wrap its story lines) is for said show to be dragged out beyond its natural conclusion. Rhimes said she plans on going "all out" for the seventh and final season and I, like millions of other viewers across the globe, are surely in for a thrilling final ride!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel | Live and Learn


The third episode of Power Rangers Ninja Steel is a run of the mill team work episode. The theme of team work is key to a show like Power Rangers and the theme often comes up fairly early in a season's run when the team are getting used to being Power Rangers. In "Live and Learn", Brody must learn to depend less on his datacom and more on his newfound friends. The episode also tried to deal with the theme of cheating but actually seemed to attempt to be a social commentary on how obsessed our generation are with technology. 

The episode was mostly solid despite far too many examples of the writers inability to write convincingly for teenage characters.
The cast are often reduced to speaking down to their audience, rather than to them, which seemed to be even more evident in "Live and Learn" which spent much of the episode with the rangers in school. I don't think its a case of the actors being bad, but more to do with the lines they are given and the way they are told to say them.

Furthermore, Brody's character is quite bland for a focal character. Whilst the show has only aired three episodes (which means there is a lot of room for improvement) Brody is seriously lacking. Also, the game show aspect (which was a major part of the press releases for the show) is useless (so far) and does not add much to the story at all. 



Final Thought: If there was any doubt about who the ranger's mentor is, Mick is certainly the right answer!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Superior Donuts Has The Potential To Become A Great Sitcom



CBS is well known for sticking to what has worked well for them in the past. One only has to look at their current slate of shows to see the vast majority of their comedies are old school multi-camera sitcoms. Some critics suggest CBS should move on from the past and embrace the cooler and more modern single-camera format but CBS has always stuck to their guns and remained loyal to what works. The same can be said about their newest sitcom titled Superior Donuts, which deals with wanting to stick with what has worked in the past while world tries to usher in a new world order. Superior Donuts is set in a doughnut shop run by a Polish immigrant named Arthur (Judd Hirsch)  who opened the shop in 1969 when he first came to America. The shop has remained mostly unchained until the arrive of Franco (Jermaine Fowler) a young and hip African-American aspiring artist who manages to coerce Arthur into hiring him after offering a wave of ideas to bring Superior Donuts into the present. The ensemble cast also includes Katey Segal (Married... With Children) and David Koechner (Anchorman).

Superior Donuts mentions issues ranging from the gentrification of a community to the clash of cultures. Both are neither new nor revolutionary themes for television but are more than more than welcome to be explored further and hopefully with more substance in this show. While the humour and the dynamics of the central characters can be bland at times, and of course, the writing and jokes are predictable and fail to land, one should watch the show with the hope that the ensemble cast are given more complex and deeper material to work with.

This would transform an acceptable show with promise into a great show with a lot to say about issues affected both the older and younger generation. Furthermore, many of the jokes are told at the expense of young people aka “millennials” and their so-called addiction to social media and Frappuccinos. In order to succeed in the long run, Superior Donuts must ensure its material moves beyond the stale jokes and references about the pitfalls our generation and hopefully shows how both millennials and old folk can work together for the good of the community.  

Superior Donuts is a comedy which has a lot of potential. The pilot episode manages to set the groundwork for a show which could have a long run if it manages to develop and build-upon the issues it raises rather than complicating them which seems to be a hole many shows fall into. Superior Donuts has a long way to go before it manages to become the topical sitcom it wishes to become but the most important thing is it certainly has the potential. The main question is, will audiences stick around for this plain doughnut to be glazed with some distinctiveness 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Powerless is Humourless




Powerless is a new action comedy which has the honour of being the first sitcom based in the DC Universe which is in dire need of an undeniable hit.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel | Forged In Steel


The second episode of Ninja Steel introduced us to Calvin and Hayley as the Yellow and White rangers as well as the rangers' zords.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Scandal Comes Back With a BANG



Scandal returned yesterday (January 26) after an extended break with a killer episode. The Season 6 premiere titled "Survival of the Fittest" is possibly the best episode Scandal has aired in a very long time. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Middle is ABC's Most Underrated Success Story



The Middle has been a comedy staple on ABC's schedule ever since it premiered in 2009 alongside Modern Family. While the latter went on to win countless Emmys and become a worldwide phenomenon, the former has never received an ounce of the same recognition or the recognition it's fans say it deserves.

#OscarsSoWhite One Year On...


The academy has finally acknowledged black actors for their contributions to film for the year. However, this does not mean the fight is over. Despite the academy has finally given black actors the recognition they deserve for one ceremony after years of disregard does not mean the fight is over. The real work has only just begun. We as cinema goers must ensure the academy continues to support and recognise black actors in film for the years to come and not just for the first ceremony after the issue finally reached boiling point with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Some of this year's nominees includes: Best Picture nominations for Hidden Figures and Moonlight, Actor in a Supporting Role for Moonlight star Mahershala Ali, Best Leading Actress for Ruth Negga in Loving, Best Supporting Actress for Viola Davis in Fences, Octavia Spencer from Hidden Fences and Naomie Harris from Moonlight. Congratulations to the all the nominees. Let's keep the conversation going.

I Love Felicity, Here's Why You Should Too...



Felicity is a very rare type of television character who does not come along very often. 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

How Will The Reboot Era Impact TV Series Finales?



It is a question we must all ask ourselves. In an era in which a growing number of cancelled and ended television programs are making a comeback, will the inevitable series finale in which we bid farewell to our favourite characters transform from being a permanent goodbye to a mere see you in ten years time?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel | "Return of the Prism"



On first viewing, the Ninja Steel premiere set good foundations for the rest of the season but the episode clearly had some flaws.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Fresh Off The Boat | Clean Slate



To celebrate Chinese New Year, ABC aired two episodes of their Asian family sitcom Fresh Off The Boat on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

NBC Revives Will & Grace


That's right folks, the good ol' big bosses of Hollywood have revived the uber successful comedy Will & Grace.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Pilot Season 2017: HOT Comedies

ABC



Libby & Malcolm - From Kenya Barris (Black-Ish) ad co-starring Felicity Huffman (American Crime, Desperate Housewives) it already has a pilot order. 

Untitled Jeremy Bronson Project - Single-camera comedy about a struggling hip-hop artist who runs for mayor to promote his mixtape... and wins. This almost sounds like a sure bet due to the political aspect and the chance to increase diversity. However, the project does sound a little off-brand for ABC.

Charlie Foxtrot - Produced in house and produced by Aaron Kaplan, the pilot is very on brand and would pair well with The Goldbergs.

Joe 2.0 - About a modern African-American man who uses pop culture moments to tell his story.

The Escape - A good ol' father and son comedy from Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Last Man on Earth, Son of Zorn) The pilot is on-brand, and the father-figure/son combo harks to the critically acclaimed film Manchester by the Sea.

Untitled Carol Burnett Project - It is the only multi-camera project on ABC's development slate which is produced by ABC Studios. After the huge ratings boost Last Man Standing had on its first airing this year, I'm sure ABC would love to repeat that success with a show they own. Plus, Carol Burnett is on par with Tim Allen in terms of star power.

CBS



Sheldon - Single-camera spin-off of the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory has been described as a new version of Malcolm in the Middle. A pilot order is inevitable.

Untitled Chris Distefano Project - Multi-camera/hybrid comedy about two families, one Italian and one Peurto who merge to raise a newborn. CBS needs to increase diversity on the network and this rather simple concept would help them do that. 

Me, Myself and I - High concept single-camera comedy examines one man's life over the span of 50 years in the same vein as the movie Boyhood. Hit drama This Is Us also explores an extensive timeline and has proven to resonate with both critics and audiences. I would not be surprised if this show scored a pilot order.

FOX




Thin Ice - Set in Antartica and created by New Girl auspice Liz Meriweather has already been ordered to pilot.

Turned On - Fox loves their high-concept comedies and Turned On is no exception, It follows a brilliant but awkward engineer who creates an android who spirals out of control.

Ghosted - See above + supernatural elements = winner?

Untitled Wrestling Comedy - Executive produced by former WWE wrestler Dwayne Johnson is HOT. 

NBC





Action Land - workplace comedy set at an amusement park would be a good companion to Superstore AND is produced by Matt Hubbard (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Mike Schur (The Good Place, The Office).

The Sackett Sisters - Produced by Tina Fey.  

Spaced Out - workplace comedy set in the world of space travel. NBC previously tried to launch (pun not intended) a space themed comedy (Mission Control) maybe Spaced Out will be the one to take off? Plus it's r=produced by Bill Lawrence.

The Baby - Executive produced by Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), which makes it a sure bet for a pilot order (at least). While Old Soul and Dumb Prince failed, The Baby may succeed. It is revolves around the youngest member of an organised crime family.

Untitled Kourtney Kang Comedy - Executive produced by Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), this show also explores diversity in America, It is based on Kang's life and shows what its like to be the only girl in a mixed race family in Philadelphia. 

Untitled Mindy Grandy/Kailing Comedy - NBC loves keeping their old collaborators in the mix. The Mindy Project was originally housed at NBC before moving to Fox and then Hulu. Plus, Mindy wrote several episodes of The Office back in the day.