Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Parenthood Finale: Oops Zeek/Zeke!!

Oh hi. Can you believe it's been two months? After computer issues and my incarceration, the time seemed to fly. The subject for today: That awful finale to Parenthood.

I've watched Parenthood since it's debut six seasons ago. For some reason, I liked the show despite a few actors on it who I thought would be potentially annoying (Dax Shepherd, Erika Christensen, and sometimes Peter Krause.) And you know what? They were annoying at times--but also very real. And it's best Parenthood had a sense of being grounded, not too sappy and for the most part it earned its tears and warm and fuzzies. About that part? In the past couple of years (and via Twitter, etc.) the show is really associated with making people cry in a corny sense. I think the show is better than that and scenes like Max in the backseat with his mother talking about how unpopular he was would make anyone wail. Or was it just me?

While that scene was a year or so ago, that era pretty much was the peak of Parenthood for me. When the show came part for its last season, the program was reeling from budget issues (which is why a lot of the actors were scarce) silly plot devices and a stoopidness that the show really wasn't known for. No instance of that was a clear as it was with Zeek Braveman's journey. As a viewer, a lot of fans knew what was up when Zeek fell out at a casino. Really? And sadly the show introduced a "Gramps is sick" storyline that really was below the standard set in the earlier seasons. There was internet buzzing about a character who would die in the season. While I was hoping it was Haddie, Joel or Scatman Crothers's character Mr. Skippy, it turned out to be Zeek Braverman. Yuck.

To make matters worse? This happened in the last 10 or so minutes of the finale--and it was awful. Of course, the writers skipped past the grimness of the situation, flashed up about a month to see everyone happy and playing baseball. Yay, Zeek's gone, batter up!! To make matters worse, the show again flashed up some three years to see everyone living their best lives. Max's autism? Cured. Hank's awkwardness and near-sightedness? Under control. He can see for miles and it's all because Zeek Braveman is dead. And of course Saint Camille (the show's worst character) made it to Paris France. I hope it's not as a painter than you know it's pure fiction. As a show, Parenthood was an often interesting and realistic one--and like a lot of shows like that, the finale didn't ring quite as true.

** 1/2

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Continuing Saga of the Today Show

 What's going on with your Today show? It's like a war zone. As you know, I'm on the inside track of information and I'll break down the latest for my fellow dyslexics.

In the year of Mitt Romney 2012 my beloved Ann Curry was sent "on assignment." They said Today's ratings were falling off. The Today Show then gave Curry's job to Savannah Guthrie. Within the last two years, the ratings really haven't improved. In 2013, the Today Show started a "special" 9 o' clock broadcast where Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie both get out of dodge and are replaced by Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Tamron Hall and Al Roker. This is  a more informal setting with Roker often leading the conversation with unfunny jokes and an increasingly perfunctory weather broadcast. It's fun! But the ratings aren't improving.

A matter of fact it seems that nothing can shake GMA from the top spot, not absences, exits or the fact that George Stephananopoulous is still there boring the world. In short, Today is stuck. Not surprisingly, someone wanted to make changes. According to reports, senior vp and GM, Jamie Horowitz took the bold step to attempt to cure some rating ills--he wanted to boot Geist, Guthrie and demote Miss Natalie Morales. Talk about spring cleaning! Of course this wouldn't do for some especially since Guthrie (back from her 2 year pregancy) had just returned. While people accepted the news as hard but fair--some didn't want to hear it (like Matt Lauer.) You know what happened next? Horowitz got canned so that means his plans were erased as if they were written on an old-timey blackboard on wheels.

Uh Oh Not Finished Yet- All told, that would have been three absences and three less eggs to fry, but the news isn't going to tell itself. Oh no. In fact Horowitz wanted Josh Elliot to take Geist's slot and wanted Hoda Kotb (Kathie's caregiver) to move up to the 9' o clock. Al Roker? Well Horowitz wanted him gone, G-O-N-E gone. Also around the time of the proposed axings, Roker lit his thermometer on his kitchen stove, did a lot of coughing and called out sick. Al Roker acting like a big kid!

Grade *** It's so bad, it's good!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Queen Latifah Show- Canceled!!

The Queen Latifah Show- Canceled! ! Oh hi. Did you hear the news? The Queen Latifah Show was canceled. Now I know this is a shock but this news will make sense in time. Matter of fact, I think this tragedy will bring us together as we remember--the great times like, like....

There were none. In fact I'm shocked that people are surprised about this news. I'm not. You want to know why it was canceled? It sucked.  The Queen Latifah Show is an awful show. It's leaden, pointless and practically without joy. Of all of the things she's skilled at, rapping is still the best, acting's next. Her singing is acceptable, her talk show hosting skills are nil.

At its best, the Queen Latifah Show was like repressed version of Ellen. Talk show hosts have to give a little of themselves with their life, their interior workings like Kelly Ripa's kid stories, Regis's minutiae or Michael Strahan's amiability. As a host, Latifah was basically a dead-end street. As a person who's been in the business for nearly 30 years rarely has there been a performer so remote and so intent to get away from her true skills: Rapping and acting.

Hilariously, Queen Latifah had a chance to get big ratings a month before the plug was pulled. In October, Bill Cosby was reporting to make an appearance to bore the world yet again. Bill Cosby's been in the news lately--and that brings viewers. It didn't happen. Days later the spin changed and the word was that Cosby canceled his appearance. Yeah right. Anyway, The Queen Latifah Show continue to air until March 2015.

Grade **