Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: The Mindy Project 1x01, "Pilot"

I love Mindy Kaling. I find Kelly Kapoor, her character on The Office, to be hilarious. I particularly enjoyed Kelly's music career. I read both of Mindy Kaling's blogs, The Concerns of Mindy Kaling and Things I've Bought That I Love. I check her Twitter fairly often. Most of all, I loved her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

All of this is to say that it was pretty much a given that I'd be watching her new show The Mindy Project. When I saw that the pilot had been released early on Hulu, I was really excited, and of course, watched it instantly.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Go On: 1x01, "Pilot"

I wasn't planning on watching Go On. I love Chandler Bing as much as the next person, but Go On's promotion didn't appeal to me. However, I changed my mind when I saw that NBC was going to air Go On's pilot early. Go On is the first fall pilot I've seen pop up this year, and that was enough for me to give it a shot. What can I say? I'm easily swayed.

Go On isn't completely terrible; I like the show's concept, and I like Matthew Perry. One of the problems with Go On, however, is that it feels second-rate in several ways. Its setup is similar to Community, but I far prefer Community's community college environment and cast of characters (It's been a while since I've seen Community's pilot, but I feel it was much stronger at these aspects even then.). Matthew Perry's Ryan King is definitely Chandler-esque, but he's a muted version saddled with emotional baggage.

In fact, most of Go On has a muted feel to it. I didn't really connect with the show's comedic moments or its dramatic ones. The emotional aspect felt forced and most of its comedy felt stale. I didn't feel like these elements were balanced particularly well either; it was as if the show tried for both and ended up with neither.

I do have to give Go On some credit for its standout scene. The March Sadness bit was pretty funny and a nice way to introduce the therapy group. It was definitely the freshest moment of Go On. It was pretty presumptuous for Ryan to propose such a game after spending only a few minutes in therapy, and I thought the show seemed to overly glorify his methods while treating the group's leader Lauren like a joke. Perhaps future episodes will do a better job with that balance.

For the most part, however, I didn't really enjoy Go On very much. It wasn't particularly bad, but other than the March Sadness scene, it just didn't work for me. With its setup, it could very well turn into a fun show, but without some changes, I'm going to have to give it a pass. I'm probably not going to watch again, but if I hear good things about future episodes, I may give Go On another go.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

7 TV Show Substitutions to Tide You Over Until Fall

If you're like me, you're eagerly waiting for the return of your favorite fall shows. Sure, there are some great summer shows (such as Breaking Bad and shockingly Teen Wolf), but fall programing offers a much wider selection. While you're waiting, here are substitutions for some popular fall shows.

1) If you like Once Upon a Time, you should try The 10th Kingdom.

If you're still watching Once Upon a Time, you're clearly fine with cheesiness. You may find this hard to believe, but Once Upon a Time isn't the cheesiest of them all. The 10th Kingdom, a mini-series from 2000, is quite possibly the cheesiest show I've ever seen, and I devoured all 400 or so minutes of it in one weekend. Like Once Upon a Time, it mixes the fairy tale world with our world; a girl and her father from our world are sucked into a magical world with an obligatory evil queen. There's also plenty of familiar faces, including Ed O'Neill as a troll and Gilmore Girl's Scott Cohen as a werewolf.