Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What DanielleTBD is *Still* Watching on NBC for Fall 2012...

The Voice (Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 p.m.) - Let's be honest, there are no stakes until the live shows, and the live shows haven't even started yet, but honestly? I just don't care anymore. I watched most of the blind auditions, but I hated how dragged out their were with people's back stories. I wanted to go into the audition as blind as the judges; I don't need to hear your sob stories; let me judge you on your talent! And why are there such serious sob stories? Whatever happened to 'I just want to be a singer?' I only got half-way through the battle rounds because I was just not impressed with them ("Vision of Love" aside, of course), and if there was a Steal, then not half of the current teams were going home, so it was just another extension for ratings. Add all that to the fact that it's the same songs over and over, and no, just no thanks.

Revolution (Mondays, 10 p.m.) - This show still isn't what I wanted it to be, but for a minute there it was delivering something equally interesting and dark. I love how ruthless people are in this new world, but I just wish the show wouldn't get precious about its characters. I'd like to see more killed off. The group has come into contact with some really terrible people, and I find it hard to believe they've all still made it out alive. The bottom line is, though, that I feel this way because I still don't care about the characters, even though we've been given time to get to know them through backstory. And if I don't care about them, they're all expendable to me, so what's keeping me watching? Certainly not the premise because I still don't want to see them turn the power on and have to adjust to a new lifestyle. If that happens, I'd feel cheated since we didn't thoroughly get to see them adjusting to this lifestyle, just joined them later. Also, it's just too rah-rah America. I get it, if things were as bad as the militias seem to be making them, what we have now (in the distant past for these characters) looks good by comparison, but for all us viewers, what we have now kind of sucks, and it's annoying to have it shoved down our throats as a saving grace when really we all need to do better. I've flip-flopped on my feelings on this show, but I think my initial instincts were right: it's just not for me.

Go On (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) - My long-time love for Matthew Perry and my new love for Julie White (I know I watched her years earlier on Grace Under Fire, but I don't really remember that show) keeps me watching this one. The show has a lot of heart, and the scavenger hunt episode was gold, but I find I am more annoyed by many of the characters' quirks than amused by them. Maybe it's because the show is Ryan's POV, and he felt that way in the beginning, but he is growing out of it, and I am...not. I enjoy every episode I watch; I'm just not eagerly anticipating the next week's episode. To me that makes this "only okay" as a series. I think if they got rid of that crazy, bearded cartoon of a character things might look up, though.

The New Normal (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - I am so pleasantly surprised by this show! Though sometimes the faster paced references don't feel delivered completely authentically, I am charmed by the attempts nonetheless. I find myself laughing out-loud from surprise for at least a couple of lines every week and I tear up about something equally unexpected, too. I'd be okay never to see Clay (Jayson Blair) or hear his slacker/stoner tone again, but I know that won't be the case, and I love everybody else so much, I'm willing to put up with his nuisance ass. You know, like a real family.

Parenthood (Tuesdays, 10 p.m.) - Kristina's (Monica Potter) cancer storyline is just a little too much for me this year. I find a good cry therapeutic like anyone else, but this time it's full-on ugly cry sobbing, and that's not therapeutic week after week, it's just masochistic. Yet, I keep coming back because I love the Bravermans and will be there with them through thick and thin. I choose to believe Matt Lauria is really FNL's Luke, returned from war and moved to a new city, and I love his odd friendship with Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and gentle romance with Amber (Mae Whitman). Julia's (Erika Christensen) attempt to be a stay-at-home mom seems like it will be both hilarious and heart-breaking, and I'm equally intrigued to watch her family continue to change now that they have two kids, and one is someone they're still just getting to know. There's honestly not a weak storyline in the bunch, if you ask me, and that's hard to do with such a large cast of characters, juggling so many important topics, parceling them out over the course of a season that was not immediately defined in length. These are some master class writers.

Chicago Fire (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.) - Look, no one is more surprised than I am that I genuinely enjoy this show, but this is where I find myself, despite it basically being a more palatable version of Rescue Me, a show I admittedly came to much later in its run than most. Dick Wolf has not just created another franchise procedural but actually fully-formed characters whose lives we get to see and care about, amongst all the fires, right from the jump, which raises the stakes every time that engine bell rings. Sure, some of the twists and turns have been predictable, but I genuinely like these characters and want to sit around the firehouse with them talking about whatever in their lives to fill the time between jobs.

30 Rock (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) - Maybe it's because it's the last season so Tina Fey wants to go all-out, but I feel like this year has been funnier and more on-point than it has been in years. There is no senioritis here! 

Up All Night (Thursdays, 8:30 p.m.) - If it wasn't for the cast, I would have given up on this show after the second season premiere, when they shook things up so much, and needlessly, in my opinion. Now, it sadly seems like Ava (Maya Rudolph) has no purpose. Without her and Reagan (Christina Applegate) going to work together every day, and with Reagan so busy with her baby, their friendship seems doomed to drift further and further apart, like any two people whose lives are just in completely different places. That's depressing; that's not fodder for a sitcom! I also don't like the idea of turning the show into a multi-camera, traditional sitcom, but I will say I'm intrigued enough by the "experiment" to give it a shot when it comes back that way early next year. I have a feeling it will be a "one and done" tune in for me, though.

Parks and Recreation (Thursdays, 9:30 p.m.) - I'm not sure there is a comedic character on television who has come farther than Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), and I know there isn't one who I care about more. To be fair, though, all of the characters, who admittedly seemed pretty one-note in the earliest beginnings, have evolved in very natural ways. April (Aubrey Plaza) even cares about stuff now! Tom (Aziz Ansari) might have finally hit on a business venture that he'll be passionate about and will work for him! Ron (Nick Offerman)-- well, Ron was always awesome. Everything about this show just makes me happy, and I can't wait for Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie's wedding! Calzones and waffles for all!

Community (Fridays, 8:30 p.m.) - Well, it hasn't actually returned yet, but I will watch the sh*t out of it when it does. And for now, I have my DVDs that I marathon constantly. I miss you, Greendale! I never wanted to go back to school more than I do right now!

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