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Five Season Premieres I’m Most Desperately Looking Forward To: #1 House August 31, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in 5 Premieres I'm Most Desperately Looking Forward To, House, TV.
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As part of my fall TV preview, I’m counting down the 5 Season Premieres I Am Most Desperately Looking Forward To:

1.) House

Premieres Tuesday, September 16 @8pm EST on FOX

Last season’s two-part season finale was among the most well written, well acted, well directed & incredibly compelling hours of television we’ve seen in a long time. The entire season was about turning what we know upside down. The Cottages, original recipe (Chase, Cameron & Foreman), are replaced by The Cottages, extra crispy (Taub, Kutner, 13…& Foreman again). And Wilson, expert of needy relationships, finds his great love, controlling, dominating, AWESOME Amber (otherwise known as Cut-Throat Bitch), which means he’s no longer as much of a doormat as House always prefers he be. And then, the bus crash, House’s delayed, dreadful realization of who he saw, who he was supposed to save &, it turns out, the one person he can’t.  Wilson & Amber’s last scene…I needed like 3 tissues. I thought the whole thing was done wonderfully, down to the episode titles. “House’s Head” & “Wilson’s Heart.” Aren’t those two things the heartbeat of this show? In the end, Wilson turns his back on House & it actually feels like this might not be something he can come back from. And you thought this show was formulaic…

Stay tuned for my complete fall TV line-up & drop me a comment to let me know what you’ll be watching this fall. )

Five Season Premieres I’m Most Desperately Looking Forward To: #2 Lost August 30, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in 5 Premieres I'm Most Desperately Looking Forward To, Lost, TV.
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As part of my fall TV preview, I’m counting down the 5 Season Premieres I Am Most Desperately Looking Forward To:

2.) Lost

Premieres January 2009 (LAME!) on ABC

Okay, so I’m cheating a little here as Lost, yet again, isn’t premiering until spring. Ugh, I hate that so much! Because there’s so much to find out! What was the horrible thing that happened right after the Oceanic 6 escaped the Island? How did Jeremy “Locke” Bentham end up off the Island too? Is Michael really dead (I say yes)? Is Jin (I say no freaking way)? Is Claire (I say YES & she’s so much more interesting that way!)? What happened to Faraday’s raft? Was Charlotte born on the Island? If so, um, WTF about that whole pregnant women die on the Island thing? Why do they “all” have to go back? Who is “all”? Does that include Ben? How about Walt, or Desmond or Frank? Where the hell did the Island go, anyway? Did it get moved in time or space? OMG, there’s so much I must know immediately! Whose bright idea was this spring premiere thing anyway??!

Stay tuned for the rest of my fall TV preview & drop me a comment to let me know what you’ll be watching this fall. )

Five Season Premieres I’m Most Desperately Looking Forward To: #3 Heroes August 29, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in 5 Premieres I'm Most Desperately Looking Forward To, Heroes, TV.
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As part of my fall TV preview, I’m counting down the 5 Season Premieres I Am Most Desperately Looking Forward To:


3.) Heroes

Premieres Monday, September 22 @10pm EST on NBC

This is the real casualty from the writers’ strike, I thought. The plan was to fit two “volumes” into last season, instead we were stuck with just “Generations,” a sophomore slump for the most part, although it did end on a high note. To be honest, I had moved on from the obsessive phase I was in after Volume 1, but I started listening to a completely wonderful podcast called The 10th Wonder & it completely psyched me up again.

For those of you who like spoilers, The 10th Wonder has a very detailed play-by-play of the Volume 3 premiere, from the sneak peek at Comic Con.  Huge, huge spoilers, so don’t listen if you don’t want to know. But I listened & it sounds like this episode is AMAZING.

It sounds SO GOOD & I’m so glad, b/c I really think Season 1 was maybe one of the single strongest seasons of a show I’ve ever seen, & I’d be thrilled for them to even get close to that level again. Unfortunately, it does sound like they didn’t have the guts to keep certain people dead. I mean, let’s all be honest with one another: we want Nathan back, but we’re actively rooting for the permanent demise of Whining Niki. It also sounds like just about all the new characters introduced in Generations will be back, sooner or later—both good (Elle, Adam, occasionally Monica) & bad (Kensei, up until he turned into Adam & got awesome, Maya, although she got better once she lost the other half of the Wonder Twins & started making out with Sylar all willy nilly). Luckily, I haven’t heard a thing about West, the most loathed of them all…so maybe the producers are paying attention to the market research after all.

Anyway, if you aren’t psyched about Heroes, go back & watch the last 3 episodes of Generations, right around the time it got awesome again. Then watch the preview above. How bout now? Are you psyched now?

Stay tuned for the rest of my fall TV preview & drop me a comment to let me know what you’ll be watching this fall. )

Ad Post: Oreos – Mannings vs. Williams August 28, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in advertising, sports.
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Oreos :30 spot

Agency: Draftfcb New York

The latest in a new “Double Stuf Racing League” series of ads that also launched with Peyton & Eli features the Williams’ sisters, who are quickly overshadowed by the Mannings, who are proven promotion geniuses. Seriously, are their ads never not completely awesome? Remember the SportsCenter spot? Or NFL Shop? (“Switching to pancakes! Pancakes!”) Even the best of Peyton’s Mastercard series was the one with the Eli inside joke. (“Can you sign the bread for my little brother? He loves you.”)

So yeah, the Williams’ didn’t really stand a chance, especially since the writers gave the Mannings all the best lines (“My brother & I would like to announce that, ooooh, we’re scared!”). Regardless, very funny spot.

Live-Blogging Project Runway 5.7 August 28, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in Project Runway, TV.
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8:59 – What? What is this? Convention update? This isn’t the time, Bravo. Not during Project Runway. Come on.

9:00 – Okay, back to regularly scheduled programming. Previously on Project Runway, Chris March makes his triumphant drag-queen return! Joe wins & I am mildly annoyed, but then, I’m still kind of having a hard time caring. Also, poor Daniel Faraday is eliminated.

9:01 – Apartment open. Everyone’s sad about Daniel’s elimination. I didn’t even like him & I’m kind of sad. He had a really good exit speech, what can I say?

(more…)

Five Season Premieres I’m Most Desperately Looking Forward To: #4 Criminal Minds August 27, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in 5 Premieres I'm Most Desperately Looking Forward To, TV.
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As part of my fall TV preview, I’m counting down the 5 Season Premieres I Am Most Desperately Looking Forward To:

#4 Criminal Minds

Premieres Wednesday, September 24 @9pm on CBS

A classic season finale cliffhanger if there ever was on, who was in that black SUV?? So the last time we saw our profiler heroes, each of them was getting into identical government-issued black SUV’s…one of which was blown to smithereens…but we don’t know whose! Sadly, I sense I major cop-out coming here, like they’ll try to tell us it wasn’t one of the main characters’ SUV at all, or that even though we clearly saw the car like seriously explode & catch fire, miraculously everyone got away with only minor cuts & bruises! Or they’ll just blow up Will so they don’t have to deal with the whole JJ baby daddy storyline. I have some faith in the writers, who did a nice job recovering from Gideon’s departure last year, but it takes guts to blow up one of your main characters…& I’m just not seeing it. Also? Still no preview video? Really, CBS?

Stay tuned for the rest of my fall TV preview & drop me a comment to let me know what you’ll be watching this fall. 🙂

Five Season Premieres I’m Most Desperately Looking Forward to: #5 Life August 25, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in 5 Premieres I'm Most Desperately Looking Forward To, TV.
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Hooray, it’s almost fall TV premiere season! It’s like Christmas! In anticipation of the major premieres starting up in the next couple of weeks, I’m going to do a series counting down the five season premieres I am most desperately looking forward to. Next week, I’ll put up my personal fall TV lineup, which is a post that is freaking me out to no end, b/c, as it turns out, I watch way, way too much TV. Eeeee, it’s getting me stressed out thinking about this.

To start out with, the 5 Season Premieres I Am Most Desperately Looking Forward To:


#5 Life

Premieres Monday, September 29 @10pm on NBC (regularly on Fridays)

Last year’s brilliantly acted, strongly written & disastrously promoted series about a cop who gets out of jail after serving eight years for a crime he didn’t commit ended with a resolution. Crews seemed to solve the mystery case that sent him away for years, destroyed his will, let him find zen & made him a little bit crazy. It’s exactly the kind of season finale you write when you’re not sure you’re getting renewed. But then, by the grace of network execs who are smarter than we all give them credit for, you’re given another life after all. What do you do now? Surely that can’t be it. And knowing these writers, it won’t be.

SIDE NOTE: Major kudos to NBC for premiering Life behind Heroes for its first two weeks, airing it on Mondays, September 29 & October 6, along with its normal Friday timeslot, to help relaunch the show. In case I haven’t said so before, I appreciate the fact that NBC (& at times other networks) have recently made an effort to give quality shows a legitimate chance to find their audiences. WTG, NBC.

Stay tuned for the rest of my fall TV preview & drop me a comment to let me know what you’ll be watching this fall. 🙂

EDIT: I can’t figure out how to embed a flash video, but there’s a really great Season 1 recap video HERE. It really captures why I love this show. Watch it. Make it a part of you life. No pun intended.

Live-Blogging Project Runway 5.6 August 21, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in Project Runway, TV.
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8:59 – Previously on Project Runway, the mystical apartment forces of doom forced me to miss Project Runway. But to recap: Suede refers to himself in the third person, which is why, eventually, he will be killed in a freak draping accident. Blayne needs to tan every other day, so the artificial rays of skin cancer have clearly started eating away at his brain. Also, someone named Jennifer was eliminated two weeks ago & ER star Kelli Martin, is gone as well. Dang it! I actually knew her name!

9:00 – Heidi VO’s to us the winner of Project Runway will get a Saturn. Not just the winner, honey.

9:01 – Apartment open. Trash lady Stella’s hair looks ridiculous. She’s got like a tiny pigtail sticking straight up on her head. How is she still here?

9:01 – Runway. Heidi introduces a “special guest” for the next challenge. OMG! It’s Chris March! YAY! (more…)

Curses! Foiled Again August 14, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in General.
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So apparently, the apartment gods really, really don’t want me to live-blog because yes, the power went off in the entire building for…wait for it…five hours. So obviously, I missed Project Runway. Seriously? I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to go back for these last two episodes. But, apartment gods willing, I will try to make next week’s.

Thanks for reading! I love you, please come back!

Summer TV Season Check-In August 10, 2008

Posted by Amy Yen in In Plain Sight, Project Runway, The Closer, TV.
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Well it’s almost August, the promise of the fall TV season around the corner & the summer shows in their final stretch. So what did we watch during our summer vacation? Some good, some very good & some very unfortunate:

In Plain Sight (USA)

Most of the season has passed since we last checked in with our heroes, the constantly irritable & angry Mary Shannon & her dorky, completely awesome partner Marshall Mann, & I’m just about ready to say that this show is what it is. For a second there, I thought it might have a chance to make the leap from harmless, decent summer show to consistently strong & surprising must-see TV, but that feeling quickly went away. IPS might be the most frustrating show on TV. The moments you expect—the Marshall-centric episode we’ve been waiting for since Day 1 especially—never happen, & the realizations that you expect the writers to have—that absolutely nobody cares about Jinx & very rarely does anyone care about Brandi—they never have. Instead, IPS just hums along, completely oblivious of its own wasted potential. Still, I was happy to hear that it got renewed for next year. There was worse things to do in the summer than watch Fred Weller on TV.

Psych (USA)

I think that, in the exact opposite way the surprising, wonderful moments haven’t happened on IPS, they have on Psych, completely unexpectedly to me. I mean, I’ve always liked the show for what it was, an amusing, clever buddy comedy &, unlike IPS, I never expected it to be anything more. But so far this season, it’s been the serious moments that have shot this show up to a new level. The back-story with Shawn’s mom, the spontaneous speech in front of the reunion class (in 3 minutes recognizing why all heroes need a sidekick like Gus), the”missed moments” talk with Shawn’s dad, Shawn’s subsequent redemption with his high school crush (nostalgically played by Rachael “She’s All That” Leigh Cook)…& best of all for me at least, in this second chance at a missed moment, Shawn opens his eyes & sees Juliet, & we realize that, after 2+ seasons of constant teasing & cute flirting, there’s something deeper there. Then this week’s episode, one inoculate little mention (“You smell nice.”) is all that’s needed to keep it going. Just one moment, because this show isn’t about romance…but it’s those moments that has made an entertaining show a great one.

The Closer (TNT)

The fourth season premiere was a surprising disappointment, considering all that it had going for it, specifically the resurfacing of Bill Croelick, the villian-that-got-away from Season 1, one of the creepiest bad guys the show has ever produced. But while Croelick’s reappearance was at first spot-on perfect (“Hello, Plain Ol’ Brenda”), by the end of the episode, you can’t help of feel let down. There was just something missing from the opportunity. I do appreciate the subtle attempts to flesh out the supporting characters, particularly Flynn, whose compassion for the victims’ families was demonstrated in extreme in the second episode, when we see that he’s still on friendly terms with the family of an 8-year-old case, & subtly in this past week’s scene where he took the victim’s wife off Brenda’s hands, & who we got to see is actually a pretty good detective too. And of course it’s always great to see him & Provenza’s simultaneous bickering & intense loyalty. But while there have been nice moments sprinkled among the first couple of episodes I think I’m not alone in saying this season has yet to live up to this show’s self-established extremely high standards. There are too many subplots I don’t care about, the dissolution of Gabriel & Daniels’ relationship in particular. However, this isn’t a show I’m particularly worried about.

Burn Notice (USA)

There are subtle changes in tone for season 2 of summer favorite Burn Notice, but in essence, everything is pretty much the same. Michael is still in Miami, still UST-ing with Fionna, still pals with Sam, still exasperated by his family, still helping the helpless. The difference is, there’s another layer on everything’s that’s happening, the mysterious Carla & the organization behind Michael’s burn notice. Carla affects everything that’s happened this season, despite only appearing in the first two episodes. As a result, I’ve found the episodes so far very complicated, with 3 or 4 subplots going on at once, but admirably, the show hasn’t been that confusing & all the storylines are pretty compelling. That’s not easy to do. I think the thing that Burn Notice really has over a show like In Plain Sight is consistently smart writing. The dialogue is smart, they don’t resort to campy lines or pun-y language, which is something a show like this could easily do, something that IPS does a lot & something that is an obvious indicator of bad writers. The stories are always interesting & no matter how ridiculous Michael’s accent is or how conveniently everything seems to work out, I don’t watch it thinking about how ridiculous it is. It’s just enjoyable & doesn’t take itself too seriously, & in that way, it’s almost the perfect summer show.

My Boys (TBS)

Because this show is ultimately about the friendships & not just about PJ, I guess I can understand why the writers can’t let PJ just have a BF for more than two episodes. It’s a real credit to Jordana Spiro that we would even want PJ & Brandon, or PJ & Bobby, or PJ & Thorn, or PJ & that baseball player whose name I forgot, or PJ & the botonist, to be together, when we only see any combination for so brief a time. But there I was, getting sucked right back into rooting for PJ & Bobby in Italy. I think it’s kind of remarkable, actually, that what amounts to a semi-crush/residual feelings from a total non-relationship would so dominate the emotion of this season so far, when nothing even came out of Italy, which is what they spent almost all of last season building toward. But you really feel for PJ & cringe at the realization that Bobby actually does love Elsa, that maybe her chance with him really has passed. I don’t think so though, just because you know it’s either him or Brandon (another non-relationship we never got to see played out that I desperately want them to explore again!) who will end up being her great love. The season finale, I thought, was actually kind of weak, following several solid episodes leading up to Bobby’s wedding. But one thing this show does well is cliffhangers. “I think I’m marrying the wrong woman.” DANG! When is this show coming back again?

Project Runway (Bravo)

Saved this for last since you should have a pretty good idea of what I think of Season 5 from my live-blogs. I gotta say…I’m worried, y’all. This season’s batch of designers is clearly inferior to last year’s, & it’s not even close. I mean, it’s early & I do have a lot more faith in this show than most so I’m obviously not ready to make any melodramatic jump-the-shark statements (I’ll save that for when it moves to Lifetime), but I’m really hoping they give us someone to root for—& someone to hate—soon. We might be set up for a let-down year, though. Christian Sirianos don’t grow on trees.

What have you thought of this summer’s TV plate? Drop me a comment to let me know what you’re watching. Check back in with me soon for my extensive fall TV preview. 🙂