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 (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Monday, January 16
Kevin Can Wait - "Kevin vs. the Dutch Elm" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Kevin tries to charm his neighbor into giving him permission to cut down one of her trees, he becomes intimidated by her imposing son, Rutger (retired MMA Fighter and UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten), and invites them over for a non-existent party.
Man with a Plan - "A Dinner Gone Wrong" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Andi and Marcy realize they were rivals in high school, Adam and Don are dragged into the feud and forced to take sides.
2 Broke Girls - "And the Stalking Dead" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Max and Caroline get their big break when they’re cast as zombie extras after they finally arrive at the movie set in Texas where Randy is working. Back at home, Han and Oleg try their hand at construction after they fire the contractor working on the dessert bar. Beth Littleford guest stars as Bonnie, the assistant director of the zombie movie.
The Odd Couple - "Batman vs. The Penguin" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Murph gets Oscar to agree to participate in a regular TV segment where he competes with a penguin at the zoo to predict the winners of hockey games. Also, Emily and Felix take their first steps to becoming just friends. Former professional hockey player Luc Robitaille guest stars as himself.
Monday, January 16
- Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Watch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- John Hodgman (Married) - John is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Eugene Mirman (Bob's Burgers) - Eugene appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Mark Consuelos (Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss will be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
- Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo chats on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Craig Robinson (Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael talks about The Founder on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Mario appears on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kaitlin is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.