Fall TV Preview: Robin Williams vs Michael J. Fox For Thursday Night Supremecy

michael j fox robin williams

It’s finally here. The night none of us have been waiting for. The night where Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox make their glorious returns to TV (separately, not together).  And they’ll actually be direct competition to each other as both shows air at 9:00pm. Of course with Fox we’re curious and uneasy about his Parkinson’s disease and how he’ll do as a lead actor expected to carry a TV show. And with Williams, it’s more of a horrific freeway accident that you can’t take your eyes off. How over the top will he be? How quickly can we change the channel?

Lucky for you, if you’re not interested in checking out their new shows, there are still a couple solid returning shows tonight. So you’ve got options.

Let’s see what those options are for Thursday, September 26th:

Returning Shows

Parks & Recreation

When & Where: 8:00pm on NBC

What: A workplace comedy that revolves around the government employees of a small-town parks department. Their leader is a hopelessly optimistic public servant who idolizes Hilary Clinton just a tad too much.

Who: Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope but the cast around her is just as famous: Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt. It’s a gold mine of awesome comedic actors.

Ross’s Take: Yesterday I threw around the gold standard tag when talking about Modern Family, but now I feel like I’ve cheated on Parks & Rec. I can’t decide between the two of them, honestly. Maybe I’ll just call both of them the gold standard and hope they don’t find out about each other? When it’s all said & done years from now, this show might be more memorable than The Office (a show it’s often compared to).

Julie’s Take: 4 out of 5 because I can’t be giving out so many 5’s, and it’s not better than Modern Family…but then I did give Dads 4 out of 5…hmm….4.75 for Parks & Recreation.

 

The Big Bang Theory

When & Where: 8:00pm on CBS

What: A sitcom about a group of socially awkward, nerdy scientist friends who work and hang out together.

Who: Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki play the main characters. Kaley Cuoco plays their normal, social, not nerdy neighbor.

Ross’s Take: After resisting this show for years without ever watching it, I finally gave it a chance last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. For me the humor typically comes from the main character, Sheldon. He plays the socially inept, OCD-ish, asperger-y personality perfectly and just to listen to him deal with certain situations and people is amazing. I’m giving it a 3.5 out of 5.

Julie’s Take: This is a 5 out of 5 for Sheldon, the main character. But 4.5 for the rest of the show in general.

 

New Shows

The Michael J. Fox Show

When & Where: 9:00pm on NBC

What: Based on the title and the fact that it’s loosely based on Michal J. Fox’s actual life, you can probably guess what it’s about. But basically “Mike Henry,” who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago, decides to get back to work, where he used to be a news anchor.

Who: Michael J. Fox, Betsy Brandt (Marie from Breaking Bad)

Ross’s Take: The natural reaction to finding out this show exists is to wonder if Michael J. Fox is in good enough condition to be the lead on a weekly TV show. Time will tell, I guess. More important to me is his track record. When has he ever done a bad show or movie? He’s been great in everything he’s ever been in, I’m pretty sure. So I’m giving this show the benefit of the doubt for now, but I’m treading lightly. It’s a 3 out of 5 for me.

Julie’s Take: I give it a 2.5 out of 5. I didn’t realize it was based on his real life so that makes me more interested.

 

The Crazy Ones

When & Where: 9:00pm on CBS

What: A comedy about a father-daughter ad agency team where the father is the charming, off-the-walls, old-school business type, and the daughter is the tightly wound, overly worried and serious type.

Who: Robin Williams is the father, Sarah Michelle Gellar is the daughter.

Ross’s Take: Part of me thinks this show won’t work because of Robin Williams, but part of me thinks it wouldn’t work without him. He actually made me laugh a few times while watching the trailer, like the part where they make up the jingle on the spot at the restaurant. But his personality is just so obnoxiously big I worry it’ll be a typical “roll your eyes at Robin Williams’ stupid voices and impressions” situation. I can’t ignore the legitimately funny moments in the preview, much funnier than some of the other shows we’ve talked about in this space. I give it a 2 out of 5.

Julie’s Take: I give it a 2 out of 5 because I like Robin Williams but never really liked “Michelle Gellar”, but I’ll watch it.

 

Sunday Bonus

Homeland returns! But here’s the thing. I’ve only watched season one because season two just got released on Netflix within the last two weeks and I haven’t gotten the discs yet (god forbid they put it on Netflix Instant). I expect to DVR the new episodes because I finally have Showtime, but first I’ll binge watch season two as soon as possible. This show will probably take over Breaking Bad’s place in terms of drama TV show that I get way too into. If season two and beyond is as good as season one, I’m all in on it.

Wandering my way through TV and Film while waiting for Pinterest to accept me

My hiatus from blogging is over, but I’ve basically been in a three-day coma since coming back from Vegas.  This post might be rambling, incoherent and a waste of your time.  I’ll be back with something on Vegas before the week’s over though.

-As usual, I’m late to the party, but I’ve been hearing about this Pinterest contraption for the last couple weeks.  Curiosity and wikipedia tell me that it’s most popular with women.  I knew it was a perfect fit for me so I tried to sign up.  Pinterest was kind enough to send me an email saying, “Thanks for joining the Pinterest waiting list. We’ll be sure to send you an invite soon.  In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also explore a few pins.  We’re excited to get you pinning soon!  – Ben and the Pinterest Team”

We’re excited to get you pinning soon?  Thanks for joining the waiting list?  Does Pinterest realize I’m not putting my name in for Patriots season tickets here?  I’m trying to log on to a G.D. website.  I work in the web-based applications industry.  The whole point is for the customer to be able to use the software immediately, and have as many people as they want on it.  This whole “exclusive” thing just isn’t gonna fly for me.  Oh, and I can follow you on Twitter so you can continue to taunt me about not being a member?  Pinterest, you just lost your worst customer.

I shouldn’t complain though because March is the perfect time for this thing to catch on.  I know a certain girlfriend who went to a bar with her boyfriend two Saturdays ago and proceeded to sit through six hours of basketball.  Pinterest literally babysat her the whole time.  Same goes for that half hour every night where you just wanna watch ESPNNEWS to catch up on the day’s events.  It’s like that very repetitive joke from a million TV shows where the parents plop their kid in front of the TV, turn it on and leave the house for hours.  Just pull up Pinterest on your iPad or computer, hand it to the girl and let her pin away.

The best part is that after you watch her spend an entire day on Pinterest, you can actually get mad at her for ignoring you the whole time.  And she won’t even realize you just watched eight straight basketball games.

From what I can tell, Pinterest is a place where women tell each other all the things they’re not going to accomplish in their lives (“I’m definitely gonna start knitting and make everyone a scarf.”  or “I’m gonna collect a bunch of jars and then fill them with old bottle caps, wine corks and fortunes from fortune cookies.”)

-Even though I hated to put the blog on hiatus for a week, I thought it would be a good litmus test to see if people were excited enough about it to think something was broken since they weren’t receiving the emails or twitter updates.  I expected people would be checking the website to see if they missed something.  Not only do the page view stats not support this idea, but WordPress is threatening to evict me if I don’t start pulling in more than two viewers a day.  Let’s move on to my very random thought on TV:

-I’m loyal to a fault when it comes to my favorite TV shows, especially with ranking who’s at the top of my Favorite Comedies list.  Up until a few years ago, it was The Office, even if that show had already peaked years earlier.  More recently it’s been It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has had an amazing five or six year run.  The true measuring stick of which show I love the best is whether I watch each episode multiple times.  There’s always a show that I need to re-watch, sometimes three or four times in a week.  Based on this information, I’m happy to announce a new top dog in my thirty-minute comedy power rankings.  And that dog is Parks & Recreation.  If you’re not watching it, you’re making a huge mistake.

And if you do watch Parks & Rec religiously, and Andy Dwyer isn’t your favorite character, then you’re a goddamned moron.  How can you not love this guy:

Moving on to movies…

-If you’re considering seeing Wanderlust in theaters, consider this first: A movie for two will cost you about $22 (not counting that extra large popcorn, soda and jujubes, you fat ass), but for free I can send you Role Models and you can imagine Jennifer Aniston playing Paul Rudd’s girlfriend/wife instead of Elizabeth Banks.  If you just picture that movie plus a little more nudity and drugs, you’ve got Wanderlust.  And that’s actually giving it too much credit.  Role Models was solid; this abortion of a movie managed to ruin my entire night and ruin my faith in comedy.  Friedchips better temper his expectations for the not-yet-made Wet Hot American Summer 2 based on what I just witnessed from David Wain.

-The only movies in my lifetime that I’ve needed to see on their opening day were the three newest Star Wars, and I’m not ashamed at all to admit that.  I am, however, slightly ashamed to admit that I’m taking work off this Friday to see the Hunger Games on its opening day.  I bought tickets ahead of time, planning to show up nice & early, and sacrificing a vacation day that could be used for something like vacation eventually to see this movie.  You can laugh…it’s a movie for teenagers/young adults.  I like to think 29 is still considered “young adult” but I don’t think so.  If this movie is as “good” as Wanderlust, I’m going to slit my wrists.