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
Thursday, September 29
Superstore - "Back to Work" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin), the district manager from corporate, tells the Cloud 9 employees he is going to be around for the day to see what can improve in the store. Amy (America Ferrera) tries to impress him with a perfect day, but a workplace accident threatens her plan. Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) tries to come off as a tough boss in front of Jeff, Jonah (Ben Feldman) attempts to help an unyielding Dina (Lauren Ash) win over the employees she betrayed in the strike and Mateo (Nico Santos) discovers something about Jeff in his pursuit to win him over.
The Good Place - "Jason Mendoza" (NBC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) faces her toughest test yet in her attempt to remain in hiding. Meanwhile, Michael (Ted Danson) enlists Tahani (Jameela Jamil) to help a fellow neighbor fulfill her true purpose.
The Big Bang Theory - "The Earworm Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon has a revelation when he realizes why a song was stuck in his head. Also, Amy invites Dave (Stephen Merchant) over for dinner despite their previously awkward date, and Wolowitz and Koothrappali become obsessed with a fan of their band, “Footprints on the Moon.”
Kevin Can Wait - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin James stars as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to find he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.
Better Things - "Woman Is the Something of the Something" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam gets really looked at.
Thursday, September 29
- Judith Light (Transparent/Phenom/Who's the Boss?) - Catch Judith on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Tim Meadows (Son of Zorn/Marry Me/The Michael Richards Show) - Tim appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community), Dave Foley (Dr. Ken/NewsRadio) and Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken/Go On) - Ken, Dave and Suzy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. Ken will also be on Harry, so check your local listings.
- January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
- Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be) - Holland talks about The Front Page on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Guys with Kids) - Jamie-Lynn is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.