Pin It
Favorite

The Great TV Turn-On — FOX 

click to enlarge art18454.jpg

FOX
By Daniel Walters

Who watches: That vast, mysterious multitude that votes for American Idol.

When we watched it: Sept 5-20

Hours wasted: 5

Sign of the Apocalypse or the new Golden Age of TV? Fox, sadly, has lost its dominance on the “harbinger of moral decline” market.

Cartoons with a surprising number of sex jokes: 5

Seasons of The Simpsons after it stopped being good: 16

Date Cleatus the Fox Football Robot became self-aware: April 19, 2011, 8:11 pm


Ben and Kate

NEW

Air time: 8:30 pm, Thursdays

Watch if: You greet immaturity with light amusement, rather than anger.

You meet a person. They’re odd.

click to enlarge ben_and_kate.jpg
Inevitably, you’ll either find them annoying or utterly hilarious. And that, ultimately, says more about you than it does them. Probably.

And that’s your litmus test for Ben and Kate, a promising new sitcom with an asterisk. Kate (Dakota Johnson, Five Year Engagement) is neurotic and a bit of a coward, while her brother Ben (Nat Faxton, The Cleveland Show) is spontaneous and reckless, childlike and childless.

Only one episode in and already it’s relying on lazy sitcom plots (Ben wants to stop his ex-girlfriend’s marriage! Kate is nervous about sleeping with a new boyfriend! A secret radio earpiece on a date!) But on most sitcoms, plot matters little — character matters a lot. Ben and Kate have a sweet, soft sibling chemistry. To me, they’re endearing. Yet, some people won’t be able stand Ben nor Kate. “Get your life together, Ben and Kate!” they will yell at the screen. “Don’t hide under the table, Ben and Kate!”


The Mindy Project

NEW

Air time: 9:30 pm, Tuesdays

Watch if: You think TV could finally use a good female-driven sitcom.

click to enlarge Mindy_project_2.jpg
Very few comedy pilots — even for great comedies — are perfect. Great dramas can knock it out of the park on the first try, but comedies need time to marinate, time to develop characters and deepen their interactions.

So when we say that The Mindy Project is the best new comedy on television, we mean it has genuine potential, unlike so many other comedies. Mindy Kaling is a very experienced writer, great at creating recognizable comedic characters.

The Mindy Project’s main character, Mindy (played by Kaling) comes off like an evolved, more rounded version of the Kelly character she played on The Office. She’s self-destructive, self-sabotaging, self-absorbed and selfish. Her self-help quest generates just as many disasters as successes. In other words, she’s a recognizable character, but of a type we haven’t seen much on television.


The Mob Doctor

NEW

Air time: 9 pm, Mondays

Watch if: The safety of your family depends on it.

click to enlarge the_mob_doctor_2.jpg
The Mob Doctor is a show about a mob doctor who is also a regular doctor but sometimes has to doctor for the mob.

That proceeding synopsis had all the craft, effort and passion of The Mob Doctor. You’d think this would be a sure thing. Mob dramas are gripping. Doctor dramas are gripping. But this — this show takes genuine endurance to get through a single episode.

The titular Mob Doctor (Jordana Spiro, My Boys), supposedly has a death threat against her family, but acts as if she lets out a giant sigh whenever the camera stops rolling. Not a single character could in any way be defined as “interesting.” Theoretically, the plot points, when written on a white board in a writer’s room somewhere, could be considered “suspenseful” or “provocative,” but the execution mostly seems like something off of C-SPAN.


GLEE

SHOULD BE CANCELED

Air time: 9 pm, Thursdays

Watch if: You like mocking it, mercilessly from afar, like the intolerant bully you are.

click to enlarge Glee_2.jpg
By now, most of the characters on Glee have graduated. And like many a high school star, the show will probably always look back on those as the best years of its life.

Fittingly, the series that constantly preached a “seize the day” message burned bright and loud, but its quality died young. Characters on one episode would bear little resemblance to those in the next episode. It couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be dark, silly, zany or preachy; defy stereotypes or propel them; whether it wanted to be an after-school special or a parody of an after-school special.

And so it became a mashup of moments, often clashing, often non-sequiturial, rarely harmonized. Now that ratings are falling, and the magazine covers have moved onto younger, sexier shows, it’s probably time for it to deliver a killer swan song.

And we never did find out what “sectionals” means.

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • In the Line of Fire
  • In the Line of Fire

    The Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project reminds us of those who died in their duty to protect
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Through His Eyes
  • Through His Eyes

    Dean Davis' show at the MAC is a survey of the region's artistic talents
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Creepy games, financial podcast pick and an important book
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol @ University of Idaho Hartung Theater

Sat., Dec. 20, 7:30-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Daniel Walters

  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Creepy games, financial podcast pick and an important book
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Captain Planet

    Recycle Man is making the world a little better for people and mascots alike, one bottle at a time
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Swipe right for love

    Technology has totally revolutionized romance. Or maybe it hasn't.
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food

Culture


Last Word


Digest


Food


for your consideration


© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation