Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The CW Picks Up Back Nine on All Freshman Series; Episodic Reviews: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Old School" and The Mindy Project - "You've Got Sext" Both Airing Tonight on Fox
The CW has ordered full season pickups for all three of its freshmen series, The Originals, The Tomorrow People and Reign. All three series are of course dramas. Two more new dramas and a new reality series are on tap for mid-season. We'll let you know once they schedule them. Season to date on-air, The CW is up 9% year to year in total viewers, up 10% among adults 18-49, and is flat year to year in both adults and women 18-34. With DVR usage and digital viewing continuing to rise, 31% of The CW's total broadcast audience now comes from time-shifted viewing after the original airdate. 40% of The CW's total overall audience for its season premieres this fall came from digital viewing. The CW's digital streaming of full episodes is up 50% season to date versus last season, and the three new series picked up today see 84% more digital viewing than The CW's new series last fall.
On the next...Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30pm):
Fox's new Tuesday police comedy starring an ensemble cast airs Tuesdays at 8:30pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Nov. 12). In the episode airing tonight, "Old School," Jake’s (Andy Samberg) dream comes true when he gets to spend the day with his hero, Jimmy Brogan (guest star Stacy Keach), an old crime reporter. But the dream becomes a nightmare when Jake's comments about Holt (Andre Braugher) and the precinct are considered "on the record." Meanwhile, Terry (Terry Crews) and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) try to teach Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) how to be less terrifying to jurors while on the witness stand.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, in my opinion, the best new comedy of the fall season. It's not even a competition – the show is the most confident freshman comedy series in quite a while (arguably since Community's first season in 2009). In just eight episodes, it's crafted one of the most likable ensembles on TV, and has already given us great, three-dimensional characters like Captain Holt, Terry Jeffords and Amy Santiago. The only real character the show has had a problem with was its lead – Andy Samberg's Jake Peralta. Jake is always given plenty of great lines and Samberg always nails them, but the show has struggled a bit in figuring out how to make a great cop who's also kind of a jerk into a lead character we're determined to root for. Last weeks' episode was especially problematic in this regard, having Peralta make an extremely stupid move and then never quite holding him responsible for his actions.
"Old School" succeeds because it adds another layer to Peralta and ups his likability quite a bit. Without spoiling anything, the episode contains with Peralta contributing to what very well might be the shows' sweetest moment yet, allowing the show to find the actual human being behind the "too-cool cop" persona that's been crafted for him thus far. But even before this moment, "Old School" adds a dimension we've never seen on Jake before – one that's a little awkward, nervous and desperately trying to impress someone he admires. Add a very funny sub-plot with Rosa, Terry and Boyle and a handful of great jokes, and you have a very entertaining Brooklyn Nine-Nine, complete with the series' already trademark humor and with some impressively effective character work, as well. A-
On the next...The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30pm):
In "You've Got Sext," we start off with Mindy having a minor problem. She has lost her purse somewhere in the hospital, which leaves her without two of her important possessions: her keys and her cell phone. She has to find somewhere to stay for the evening, for which Danny suggests that she stay at a hotel for the night.... but since she has no credit cards, that leaves her with the second best option, to stay with Danny. Events throughout the evening lead Mindy to explaining to Danny how she has a crush on somebody at work, and as the episode progresses, Danny begins to misinterpret exactly who that person is.
Meanwhile, Mindy's purse is found. Unfortunately, Morgan and Peter are the ones who find the purse, and Mindy receives a text message from Cliff (guest star Glenn Howerton), whom Mindy has a crush on. Morgan and Peter decide to reply to the message, pretending to be Mindy. It is seemingly innocent at first, but it quickly leads to texts that are incredibly inappropriate. In the end, things don't exactly go as planned, at all.
I'm constantly wondering when I'll be able to do a review of an episode of this series that isn't about... you guessed it, another "boyfriend of the week" episode. It seems that each and every week, Mindy is in (or on the verge of getting into) a relationship with another person, at a seemingly unnatural pace, and then, of course, something goes wrong (if not by the end of the episode, it will certainly happen within a few episodes). What is worse is that, typically, these characters who play her "boyfriend of the week" aren't really that exciting. I perfectly understand that a big part of the formula of the series is about relationships, but perhaps they could do something a bit more dynamic with that, like giving her a long-term relationship that lasts an entire season (assuming the show will last another season, and the chances aren't looking too good right now). I have a feeling that the predictability of the episodes is what is leading this series off the cliff when it comes to ratings, and it is a shame because it is otherwise a rather solid series. With that being said, I can't say that I am a huge fan of the character Cliff, but the episode itself wasn't bad. I liked the whole plot about Mindy spending the night with Danny, and the misunderstandings that he had about certain things. And the sexting plot between Morgan and Peter with Cliff was rather humorous. But it could have been a much better episode if the ending couldn't have been completely predicted before I even started watching the episode. C
New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, October 21
Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.
Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.
Friday, October 21
- Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
- Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
- Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.