Thursday, January 27, 2011

Retired At 35 on TVLand Pilot Episode

TVLand has a new sit-com, Retired At 35. The premise: 35 year old David Robbins had moved from Florida to New York. David, a manufacturing executive, takes some time off to visit his parents Elaine and Alan at their gated community in Florida to celebrate his mother's birthday. Stressed-out, he decides to quit his job [hence the show's title]. The demands of his job are putting David on the fast-track more rapidly than he can handle. Even though he's on vacation, no sooner is David on his parent's doorstep than his boss is non-stop phoning and texting. Or as David's dad says "texturizing". Oy!

i want to like this show. i really do. It has two of my favorite actors, Jessica Walter as David's mom Elaine and George Segal as his dad Alan. But it's lines that have expressions like "texturizing" for texting and "facialbook" for Facebook that tend to make me groan instead of giggle.

Inspired by her son's decision, Elaine announces she's leaving her husband. There are good comedic moments between Segal and Walter when they banter in a way that only long time marrieds would. Their timing and takes are flawless. There's also nice incorporation of Segal's trademark cigar smoking and banjo playing. Two other characters i enjoyed are Alan's best friend Richard played by George Wyner and David's buddy Brandon played by Josh McDermitt. They're both funny, charming and disarming. Texbook wingmen the fracks to Alan and David's fricks. Problem is they are only in 2 of a slated 10 episodes.

Retired At 35 reminds me of a theatrical production that's had a backer's audition, progressed to previews, with the goal having a successful Broadway run. You can see there are entertaining elements within the show, but right now it's still in the preview mode in terms of pleasing an audience---as a whole it hasn't quite completely gelled. But i'm rooting for you Retired At 35---your lead-in Hot In Cleveland while not my cup of tea [and i am a fan of all it's stars] is doing extremely well ratings-wise and i watched and enjoyed it's second season opener with Mary Tyler Moore's terrific cameo.

Retired At 35 airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on TVLand. Please check your local listings. TVLand also has the episodes available for viewing on-line for 3 wks following it's televised airings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

FX' Archer Season 2 Episode 1 Swiss Miss


Secret agent Archer assigned to protect a Swiss billionaire's hormones raging under-aged daughter. O.K. let's all say it together---"DAANGA-ZONE!"

Espionage agency ISIS is strapped for cash. Archer's boss [and mother] Malory finagles a job with a Swiss billionaire to protect his daughter from potential kidnappers. On the surface a simple enough task for the self proclaimed "world's greatest secret agent", but Archer's charge is a nymphette on a mission she is bound and determined to make possible: to bed the "world's greatest secret agent".

Back for a seven episode second season, Archer returns on FX Thursday January 27th at 10:00pm Please check your local listings.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

HBO's Big Love Season 5 Episode 1 Winter

After what seemed an interminably long wait, HBO's 5th season of Big Love is finally airing Sunday January 16th at 9:00pm. And i almost missed it. Shame on me, but more so i say, shame on HBO. Even an established show should have strong promo output, particularly when that established show is entering it's final season. HBO could take some pointers from Chloe Sevigny's publicists. In the weeks preceding Big Love's 5th season premiere i've seen more of Nicki Henrickson's portrayer than any notification about the day~date~time of when Big Love's 5th season would air. Fans have observed Ms Sevigny court-side at Madison Square Garden cheering on the Knicks, enjoyed her 20 questions responses in the January 2011 Playboy, and candid paps pics of her rockin' bikini bod as she vacationed on Florida's coast. To be fair, HBO has had advertisements on the sides of buses, but the emphasis was more on photos of the show's stars and not so much on information. And frankly when you're maneuvering snowy/icy/slushy side walks and roads and the temp is 13 degrees, you're more inclined to be focused on getting from point A to point B than searching for details on a literally moving ad.

O.K. criticism over, now i must give thanks and praise. The teasers and behind the scenes video at HBO's website are really good and best of all embeds. Big Love's producers have declared the 5th season is their love letter to the fans. A pre-show on January 16th at 8:50pm is a nice launch for the final season. Now that the Henrickson's have been outed as polygamists and Bill has won the state senate seat there will be different personal and professional complications in his life and the lives of the Henrickson sister-wives and their children. Not to mention the drama that is ever-present with Nicki's brother Alby and Bill's mom and dad, Lois and Frank.

HBO's Big Love airs Sundays at 9:00pm. Remember to tune in at 8:50pm on Sunday January 16th for the special pre-show. For those who may be torn about whether to watch Big Love or the Golden Globes, there's an encore airing of Big Love Mondays at 10:00pm on HBO2. Please check your local listings.