If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The fact that a show this strange, quirky, dorky, and downright infectious is on a network who’s MO is usually crass humor, cartoons, and outlandish dramas is absolutely astounding. Glee begins its sophomore season with an episode entitled “Audition.” The kids finish their performance of Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” which we have seen snippets of all summer long. This year’s Regionals are in New York and the motley crew from McKinley High School is all about recruiting to insure that they get there. While Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is not focusing her venom on Will Schuester, the two seem fairly united in taking down the new football coach, Shannon Beiste, who is a veritable man of a woman. Where the Glee club was fairly united by the first season’s end, the premiere of the second season sees some of New Directions at odds with one another for one reason or another–Finn and his girlfriend Rachel, Rachel and would–be newest member of the club, Sunshine; Quinn and Santana over the head
cheerleader position, and of course, by episode’s end, Sue and Will are ready to gut each other once again.
Perhaps we love Glee because we all secretly want to be nailed with slushies?
Raising Hope (9-9:30PM, FOX)
Surely they wouldn't execute the mother of a six–month–old baby to leave the baby to be raised by her idiot father and his hick family, would they? Well in Greg Garcia's ("Yes, Dear," "My Name is Earl") world, anything is plausible and easy to play up for comedy. Newcomer, Lucas Neff plays hapless pool cleaner and new father, Jimmy Chance. The thing about Greg Garcia's sitcoms, especially with "Earl" and now "Raising Hope" is that the humor derives from how ignorant and insensitive people can be to each other, although somehow the jokes aren't mean-spirited, you believe that's just who these characters are. Depending on what you find funny, that's either pathetic or endearing. So if you like lowbrow comedy with a heart, or Martha Plympton, or Cloris Leachman's occasional random for the sake of being random banter, "Raising Hope" is right up your alley.
I don't care if I'm the only one, I'm glad Martha Plympton is on TV!
Running Wilde (9:30-10PM, FOX) So there's boy–meets–girl and then there's the story of “Running Wilde”–smarmy, egomaniac rich kid, Steven Wilde (Will Arnett) once fell for conservationist, naturalist Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell), but Emmy went off to save the world and Steven inherited his father's empire. Now the guy's giving himself a Humanitarian Award while Emmy and her fiancé, Andy (David Cross) are trying to stop a rainforest from being torn down. Emmy's daughter, Puddle (Stefania Owen) just wants to live a normal life and when she and Emmy head to the Awards Ceremony, Puddle conspires keep her mom from heading back into the jungle. Wilde however, also wants Emmy to stay. As the old saying goes, behind every great man is a woman and on "Running Wilde," that statement couldn't be truer.
Making us all miss "Arrested Development" and "Felicity"
higher ground. Michael Imperioli plays Detective Louis Fitch in the new drama, which sees Fitch constantly annoyed by his rookie partner's actions as the Motor City PD investigates a murder. Matter of fact, Fitch is so annoyed by his new partner, Damon Washington (Jon Michael Hill) that he only speaks to him on a cell phone when not riding with him. Too many cop procedurals take place in New York or California, so kudos to the creator of the show, Jason Richman ("Swing Vote") for setting his show in Motown. The city has a rich history of music, sports, and of course cars; and its current troubles make the city the perfect setting for a gritty cop show. As
Fitch quips by episode’s end, the Detroit P.D. may be the last assembly line in town. So far, the series isn't doing anything revolutionary in the cop genre, but the strong performances should be able to carry this show. We did however get the most shocking ending of the night from this series and that's not a bad thing.
I once had a T-Shirt that read "Detroit: Where the Weak Get Killed and Eaten." Considering my second favorite city is bobsledding its way into hell, that statement might start ringing true on "1-8-7"
Parenthood (10-11PM) The Braverman family returns in what is really an underrated show. How underrated is "Parenthood?" No Emmy love, that's how underrated. But in a world of bleak dramas and nutty comedies, "Parenthood" is a breath of fresh air–the interactions between family members feels realistic. You can thank Lauren Graham and Peter Krause for that. The series is two episodes into its second season, and after a great premiere episode, "I Hear You, I See You," episode two "No Good Deed" continued to play up Sarah (Graham) embracing her creative side as Adam (Krause) offers her an internship at T & S Footwear. The series is also exploring Crosby (Dax Shephard) and Jasmine's (Joy Bryant) long distance relationship as the couple argue over where their son, Jabbar should live as Jasmine's acting career is seemingly taking off.
Proving great dramas and families will always (hopefully) persevere
Sons of Anarchy(10-11PM, FX) If you're a reader of this blog, then you know I have mad love for the Sons. So far, three weeks in the show is still not disappointing as it's two main storylines, finding baby Abel and Gemma on the lam are both equally engaging in their own ways, as performances from Katey Sagal and Hal Holbrook highlight the season's third episode, "Caregiven." Combined with a very dark cameo from Stephen King
that makes the Wolf from "Pulp Fiction" look like a pup, "Caregiven" finally began to bring the two stories together as the Sons get are getting ready to head north in search of Abel and pick up Gemma, Tig, and Tara along the way.
'Keep your eyes on the road, and your hands upon the wheel
–Any other Gleeks totally amped for next week’s Britney
CONFESSIONS FROM THE COUCH
–Hopefully, the creative team behind "Detroit 1–8–7" makes use of "Devil's Night" when it comes time for their Halloween episode. If done correctly, trust me it would be an instant classic hour of television.
–Anyone else convinced that Billy Baldwin's guest spot on "Parenthood" is just William channeling his brother Alec’s performance from "30 Rock?"
–Unfortunately, “Running Wilde” is a two–time loser. Created by “Arrested Development’s” Mitch Hurwitz and of course starring AD alums Arnett and Cross the bar for “Wilde” has been set pretty high. Combine that fact with the other one that “Raising Hope” was far better and you have “Running Wilde” on fumes after only one episode. Hopefully, the show can turn itself around quickly as Fox always needs great non–cartoon comedies and usually tank them fairly quickly when under performing.