Category Archives: Television

This “Smash” Barely Needs an Insurance Adjuster

By ROGER WESLEY, Staff Writer

Musicals aren’t anything that I really care to watch on television.

Using this preface, I’m going to give this one a pass. At least NBC is trying something innovative and expensive after spending what seems like a damn decade-plus trolling the bottom of the pile doing countless reality shows and other mass-market tripe that used to be relegated to the truly awful channels of basic cable. Somewhere along the way, things got fucked up…but this show could be a step in the right direction for the once-great network

Katherine McPhee is a go-getter, and dreams about living her dreams, and other such blah-blah horseshit.  She’s serviceable enough, just like the true-blonde actress (the luscious Megan Hilty) is. They both sing, and the writers kind of used the same character archetypes as Paul Verhoven used with Elizabeth Berkeley and Gina Gershon from Showgirls. The difference here is that I bet McPhee and Hilty don’t end up doing anything that isn’t PG-13 or milder. There certainly won’t be any over-the-top pool-oriented sex scenes flopping around like a fish while straddling Kyle Chandler…this is network television, after all.

And that’s where I don’t think this show can succeed, is network television. This show has fairly-slow pacing during the scenes that aren’t lavished with musical tinge, and I found myself grabbing for my smartphone to catch up on my ridiculous friends’ Facebook status updates more than a couple of times. Good television shows don’t make you bored. The pilot did this, and it just didn’t feel like the jet took off.

I really doubt I’ll be sitting through any more episodes of NBC’s Smash, or what they probably want to refer to as their only successful hour-long drama pilot of the season. Everything else has been akin to droll, putrid garbage, up until now. Here’s hoping that the former number-one network in all of television gets big enough ratings that they can improve upon what is really a big undertaking in the realm of storytelling. While not entirely original either, there is potential there, and maybe that can be spun into at least one full season of quality network television programming.

Smash airs Mondays on NBC at 10pm Eastern / 9pm Central. But if you’re smart, you’ll probably end up watching it on Hulu like a normal modern American…if you care about it in the first place, that is.

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Roger is a stay-at-home father of four who loves reading, mentoring at-risk youth, and attempting to learn Metallica melodies on his guitar.

Also from Roger:

»Rob Schneider has a New Televised Program

More Mass-Market Media Madness:

»Homeland’s 90-Minute Finale Was Amazing Television

»Apple’s Core, The Devil And More

»Sunday Nights On Showtime Are Marvelous

Part 6 of Afterwards lands in five days…take cover: »1   »2   »3   »4   »5

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Rob Schneider has a New Televised Program

By ROGER WESLEY, Staff Writer

When it comes to entertainment, it’s likely that a production company will use a star with any semblance of name-recognition before they will a good idea.

Rob Schneider has a s#itcom on CBS, and it premieres Thursday night after The Big Bang Theory. It’s called ¡Rob!. None of this is good news for us consumers who actually enjoy using their brains while enjoying television.

It’s a terrific idea!

That’s me being facetious, as evidenced by the italics. The premise of this multi-camera situational comedy is based on Schneider’s real life, that of a culture-clash that occurs when he marries a Mexican-American woman without telling her family first. Let the lowest-common denominator comedy ensue!

Anyone that was associated with Saturday Night Live for at least a few years obviously is a big comedic talent. One would hope even enough to have the determination and skill to sit down and write a decent-enough script for something that can live on. And maybe even do that every couple years to sustain a burgeoning career. Not just idiotic movies that range from Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo to the hardly-seen-for-a-reason Big Stan, either.

It’s possible that Schneider just doesn’t have that great of a life. So now he dumbs it down even more for the sake of joke setups and canned laughter. Mind you, we’re speaking about Rob Schneider’s life, so the amount of dilution here based on his stifled career acquires the similarity of the English orphan-grade gruel mixed in with that slop the Mongolian prison was feeding Christian Bale at the start of Batman Begins.

Getting a comedy on network television is one of the hardest things in show business to do. I’m not disapproving of the person who Rob Schneider is, just in the choices that he makes. It’s possible that he’s so disliked in Hollywood that it’s the only work that he can get. While it’s a harsh deduction I think it’s one that’s more viable than not, considering that Rob Schneider has been in the zeitgeist for more than twenty calendar years now.

Like most of his unsuccessful movies, I’ll be turning my back on ¡Rob!, as it looks like the utter height of comedic banality. Yes, it’s true that CBS doesn’t have the most stellar reputation when it comes to quality comedy. But it is true that they have the most successful comedies on television at the moment, much like how NBC’s heyday reigned from the 1980s up until when Friends ended its epic run of high ratings.

What’s the point in all of this, you ask? I’ll watch and enjoy a show if it looks the least bit appetizing. ¡Rob! does none of these things, and in fact, makes me hate television just a little more than I did than when I changed the channel in the middle of the last bad show that came on.

For those who care, it’s on tomorrow night at 8:30pm Eastern / 7:30pm Central. I wonder if you’ve been persuaded not to care at this point.

And that’s my giving a damn.

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Roger is a stay-at-home father of four who loves reading, mentoring at-risk youth, and attempting to learn Metallica melodies on his guitar.

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