A Geek and his PVR

Fighting an uphill battle against my PVRs diminishing freespace

Archive for Crumbs

Network Updates

Well, the networks have their "upfronts" this week, where they lay out next season and let us know what's staying and what's going. Now, I'm only going to report on shows that I watch or have some sort of interest in. In the fall I'll report on all the new shows. 

For more complete details, click on the network to get TVSquad's full coverage.

ABC

Canceled:
Sons and Daughters
Invasion
Less Than Perfect
Commander In Chief
Alias
Crumbs
Emily's Reasons Why Not
Jake in Progress

Renewed:
What About Brian
Grey's Anatomy
Desperate Housewives
Lost
American Inventor

CBS

Canceled:
Courting Alex
Love Monkey
Out of Practice
Threshold

Renewed:
The New Adventures of Old Christine
How I Met Your Mother
Numb3rs

FOX

Canceled:
Malcolm in the Middle
That 70's Show
Arrested Development
Skating With Celebrities
Stacked
Free Ride

Renewed:
24
American Dad
Bones
Family Guy
The Loop
The O.C.
The Simpsons

NBC

Canceled:
Teachers No big surprise.
Surface Again, not a huge surprise. I thought it was only OK.
Conviction
Joey
Four Kings
(remaining episodes to be shown this summer)
Heist

Renewed:
Scrubs (But will start in the winter like this year)
Crossing Jordan
My Name Is Earl
The Office
Medium

CW

Canceled:
The Bedford Diaries
Everwood
(This one hurts…)
Modern Men
Pepper Dennis
Related
Twins
What I Like About You
Charmed

Renewed:
7th Heaven (ugh)
Gilmore Girls
Smallville (double ugh)
Supernatural
Veronica Mars
Everybody Hates Chris

Watched log for Thursday

Monk: Mr. Monk and the Captain’s Marriage

Smallville: Vengeance

The O.C.: The Cliffhanger

That 70’s Show: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy

Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Picture Day

Four Kings: The Elephant in the Room

My Name Is Earl: Something to Live For

The Office: Boys and Girls

Crumbs: Jody Crumb, Superstar

Watched log for Friday

Crumbs: Friends In High Places

Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johanson, Death Cab For Cutie

What I Like About You: Coming Home

Twins: Sneaks and Geeks

Midseason Series Premieres Reviews

ABC

Emily’s Reasons Why Not
(Monday at 9:00)
Grade: D+

So, I just read that ERWN’s production has been halted by ABC. This could mean any number of things, like they want to retool the show, but most likely it means that it will be canceled.

In short, Emily (Heather Graham) is an editor for a publishing house, and if she can think of 5 reasons why a guy is not right, she’ll dump him. She has a female friend and a gay friend. They assist her in this quest. She also has an office rival. In the premiere, she has just broken up with her boyfriend, who is also who’s book she’s publishing. She then dates the new marketing guy. He is reluctant to get physical, and has “weird? habits, thus leading to the “Reasons Why Not? and subsequent dumping. Most of the reasons are fairly shallow, except for the biggy, she thinks he’s gay and her friends gaydar concurs, while the truth is, he’s a Mormon virgin. (What?) Thus is the first episode.

In homage to the show, let me review it with Mike’s Reasons Why Not to Watch.

  1. Annoying, annoying (yes, 2 times annoying) voice over and goofy-ass graphics for the “Reasons Why Not?
  2. Only one reasonably likable character and one incredibly, horribly annoying character
  3. Writing is, in a word, dull
  4. Compared to Sex and the City in way too many reviews, usually disparagingly
  5. Just not funny or remotely original

It’s not that a show needs to be original, but if it’s a sitcom, it should at least elicit some laughter. This show just did not. It also seemed to suffer somewhat from schizophrenia, jumping from a surrealistic chick-com (ala Ally McBeal) to more standard sit-com-y conventions and many other points in between and farther out. Let me give some suggestions to the producers, such as, tone down the “reasons why not?, get rid of the rival co-worker, and give her friends something to do, other than bitch about Emily’s boyfriend du jour.

Crumbs
(Thursday at 9:30)
Grade: C+

Mitch (Fred Savage; The Wonder Years) is a “famous? screenwriter who had escaped his family after the traumatic death of his older brother. He returns home to help out after his mom (Jane Curtin) is released from the mental hospital for attempting to run down their father (William Devane) with a car. His father has left his mother and is having a baby with his new girlfriend. His brother still resents him for running away. Did I mention his family runs a restaurant? Mitch is in the closet, his brother Jody (the Chef) is a player, and his father secretly does the books for the restaurant when not at his new job as a new-agey massage therapist. And his mother is still crazy.

As far as sitcoms go, Crumbs is pretty decent. There were some good laughs, and the cast seems to work as a dysfunctional family should. The show was based on the creator’s actual family and events that happened to them, so at least the premise has a smidge of truth to it. It remains to be seen whether it will fall into typical sitcom plots and jokes, or will it rise above and be truly a show for the ages. (My money’s on the first one)

One more note about this show, the laughtrack was unbearably loud and intrusive.

CBS

Love Monkey
(Tuesday at 10:00)
Grade : A-

Tom Farrell(Tom Cavanaugh; Ed) is a sucessful A&R rep at a large music corporation. He lives music, literally, music is his life, and he has a “golden ear? for what is good. In the process of trying to get a talented singer/songwriter to sign with the label, he speaks his mind about what he thinks the label should be, and is fired for it. His girlfriend at the same time comes to the realization that Tom is not who she’s looking for and dumps him. He then tries to start his own label and continues to pursue the talent. Eventually he realizes he should be letting the talent do what’s best for them and not what’s best for him. Tom then gets offered a job at a small label run by a friend, who’s happened to have signed the guy he was after.

I really like this show. I never watched Ed much, but apparently Tom’s character is similar in many respects to Ed. Which if true, it’s too bad I never watched Ed. The supporting cast is excellent, it’s good to see Judy Greer and Jason Priestley. The writing seems good, and the music is excellent. It seems as though no reviewer can write about this show without making a comparison to High Fidelity, which for better or for worse, it does seem to draw some inspiration from, most especially the music snob slant of Tom’s tastes. I guess because I’m a bit of a music snob myself, I can relate to many of Tom’s observations about the “biz.? Maybe I just hope that there is someone out there like Tom, looking for the next great sound, not just the next Big Thing.

NBC

The Book of Daniel
(Friday at 10:00)
Grade: B

There’s so much stuff jammed into the season premiere, it took 2 hours to tell it, so, here’s the shortish version. Daniel Webster (Aidan Quinn; Desperately Seeking Susan [ha!]) is an Episcopal priest, with a borderline alchoholic wife, a daughter just caught for dealing pot, a gay son, and a horny adopted asian son. His sister-in-law is a burgeoning lesbian, her dead husband ran off with $3.2 million of the church’s money and is found dead with the money still missing. Oh, and Daniel talks to Jesus, in a he’s invisible but in the room kind of way. Daniel’s boss, the bishop (Ellen Burstyn) is hassling him, and his father, another bishop, doesn’t think much of him. There’s actual even more things going on, but if this has interested you enough already, maybe you should check out the show.

I like this show. Not love it, but it’s definitely interesting. What I like best is when Daniel talks to Jesus, because, it’s pretty funny usually. Jesus is a bit mysterious, and a bit cryptic. The daughter is also pretty good. What I don’t like about the show is the fact that every time they talk to or about the gay son, it has to be mentioned that he’s gay and they seem to make a huge deal of it. There’s actually a lot of different plot threads going on, and it’s a bit confusing. Though to be honest, when I watched the second episode, I was playing a videogame and not really concentrating on the TV. Anyways, I think it’s interesting enough to keep watching.

Four Kings
(Thursday at 8:30)
Grade: C+

Ben’s (Josh Cooke; Committed) grandma has died and left him a gigantic NY apartment, into which he invites his 3 best friends to live with him. Barry (Seth Green; BtVS, Austin Powers) is a music producer, Jason (Todd Grinnell) is a real estate developer working for a Trump-type mogul, and Bobby (Shane McRae) is a slacker. Ben is the serial monogamist of the group, where Barry is the perpetually put-upon loser in the love game. This is a situation that would only be found in the sitcom.

Once you get past the very Friends-like setup of the show, you find a show that’s struggling a bit to find its feet. There have been a few very funny moments and quite a few more where the jokes fell flat. You can see that there is a long friendship and familiarity between the characters though, especially in the in-jokes and strange rituals that always seems to manifest in groups that have been friends for a long time. The show is not bad, but is just so uneven, that sometimes even the good laughs are dragged down by lame setups and unnecessary selling of the joke. I really want to like this show, as Seth Green definitely has the comedic abilities, and is especially funny when playing indignant or angry, but the Jason and Bobby characters I find not really that funny. I don’t know if the writers just haven’t found good material for them, or what, but I hope that they can make a better contribution to the show soon.

Watched log for Thursday

That 70’s Show: Who Needs You

Four Kings: Chest, Mate

The O.C.: The Sister Act

My Name Is Earl: Stole P’s JD Cart

The Office: The Secret

Crumbs: Whatever Happened to Baby Bodashka?

Samurai Champloo: Unholy Union

Good Eats: Tender is the Loin 1

Watched log for Friday

Commander in Chief: Sub Enchanted Evening

Stargate SG-1: Collateral Damage

Stargate Atlantis: Epiphany

Twins: Blonde Ambition

Battlestar Galactica: Resurrection Ship Pt. 2

Another awesome episode. We knew that it was unlikely the Admiral Cain would survive, but who actualy killed her was a bit of a surprise. I just wonder if it was an actual Cylon plot, or simply revenge.

Malcolm in the Middle: Bride of Ida

NUMB3RS: Double Down

Crumbs: Pilot