Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Awake pilot last night (or over the past few weeks, thanks to NBC releasing it online fairly early). If you haven’t read my review, please consider doing that. But amid all the beaming reviews and superlatives for Awake, big questions remain: Is it a series? Can the story be maintained … Continue reading Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

Love to hate, hate to love: On contemporary comedy’s reliance on bickering

Yesterday during the ABC Wednesday comedy showrunners panel at the Television Critics Association gathering, Modern Family honcho Steve Levitan made a comment about how he would like to see the “far right” to not like his series’ two gay characters, Mitchell and Cameron. The implication from Levitan’s statement being that everyone has to love Mitchell … Continue reading Love to hate, hate to love: On contemporary comedy’s reliance on bickering

TV Surveillance’s Worst of 2011: TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 23 — The Worst TV of 2011

It is that time again folks! The end of the year is upon us and that means it is time to look back on the highs, lows and WTFs in television from the past 12 months. There is a lot to reflect on in regard to television 2011. Charlie Sheen went crazy. Well, crazier. Comedy … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Worst of 2011: TV Surveillance Podcast Episode 23 — The Worst TV of 2011

TV Surveillance’s Worst of 2011: Most Disappointing Veteran Series

It is that time again folks! The end of the year is upon us and that means it is time to look back on the highs, lows and WTFs in television from the past 12 months. There is a lot to reflect on in regard to television 2011. Charlie Sheen went crazy. Well, crazier. Comedy … Continue reading TV Surveillance’s Worst of 2011: Most Disappointing Veteran Series

Modern Family, “Slow Down Your Neighbors”

I generally have trouble buying in when it comes to high-profile guest stars, particularly in comedies. The constant guest stars in Friends seemed to drag that series down in the later years and we all know the problems with 30 Rock and its constant stream of famous people adding little to the comedy or the … Continue reading Modern Family, “Slow Down Your Neighbors”

Modern Family, “Halloween” and Cougar Town, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”

Halloween episodes, like any episode built around a specific holiday can be a crutch. Halloween is particularly tricky for comedies because so much humor can derive from putting the characters in idiosyncratic costumes and basically say, "Hey, look, it's funny!" While that stuff is often funny, it's always nice to have more. Interestingly, both Modern … Continue reading Modern Family, “Halloween” and Cougar Town, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”

Modern Family, “Strangers on a Treadmill” and Cougar Town, “The Damage You’ve Done”

Having a deep ensemble of comedic performers is almost always a positive thing for any sitcom (or drama, for that matter). Obviously, putting together a cast full of humor-producers is better than relying on a few lead horses because it allows the series to rotate the focus on specific characters, concoct new pairings and develop … Continue reading Modern Family, “Strangers on a Treadmill” and Cougar Town, “The Damage You’ve Done”

Modern Family, “Earthquake” and Cougar Town, “Makin’ Some Noise”

I've been tough on Modern Family this season, both on the blog and in discussions with friends and family. Though I liked last week's episode, it still bothered me in some ways and the season premiere was particularly problematic and frustrating to watch. But this week, I'm going to try to be more positive because … Continue reading Modern Family, “Earthquake” and Cougar Town, “Makin’ Some Noise”

Modern Family, “The Kiss” and Cougar Town, “Let Yourself Go”

Ed note: I've been away at the 2010 Flow Conference, so posts have been delayed. I'll be catching up with a few of last week's series in the first few days of this week. Just like my write ups on FOX's Tuesday comedy block, I seem to enjoy writing about ABC's Modern Family and Cougar … Continue reading Modern Family, “The Kiss” and Cougar Town, “Let Yourself Go”

Season Premieres — Modern Family, “The Old Wagon” and Cougar Town, “All Mixed Up”

ABC's two best comedies enter their second seasons with varying degrees of expectations. With all the critical hype and Emmy validation, Modern Family has been crowned as the new comedy king. Meanwhile, Cougar Town has grown in stature in the eyes of the critical community, but still isn't seemingly as respected as its lead-in, particularly … Continue reading Season Premieres — Modern Family, “The Old Wagon” and Cougar Town, “All Mixed Up”