‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘New Girl’ and ‘Glee’ . . . this week’s TV questions

Credit: CBS

Credit: CBS

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Let’s turn our attention to the TV questions that are plaguing me this week.

Is Jayma Mays the mother on How I Met Your Mother?

At first, I was very excited about last night’s How I Met Your Mother. “Jayma Mays is the Mother!” I thought to myself. That euphoria lasted about five minutes before I realized that it is much more likely that Coat Check Girl as the possible mother is yet another bait and switch the comedy is pulling on its viewers.  Ted said he would have run to go see his future wife but really that could be anyone.  Besides, it would be a little confusing if the Mother we’ve been hearing about for eight seasons turned out to be Mr. Schu’s estranged fiancée. There are plenty of actresses out there and I hope that How I Met Your Mother picks a less than familiar face to play the title role. But mostly I hope we find out who the Mother is before the end of the season. I’ve looooong contended that the show was a strong enough comedy by itself and that it no longer needed the conceit of the title to keep viewers interested. Now, it’s more than a little annoying that the series keeps dragging out the big reveal.

Also, does anyone else think that by the time Ted is telling his children the story of how he met their mother that maybe the mother has died? There was something a little sad about the way he was saying he wanted those “extra 45 days” with her.  I totally get the sentiment behind what he was saying – we’ve all been waiting for a long time the next phase of Ted’s life to begin. But something about the scene didn’t sit right with me –it was as if the show was trying to hint at something else.  Like there was something more to Ted saying “I’m always going to love you til the end of my days and beyond.”  The whole scene had a slightly maudlin undercurrent.  Am I crazy for thinking this? Did this occur to anyone else? (Also if Barney and Robin’s wedding is 45 days away and they haven’t picked a caterer yet. They are in trouble.)

On a much lighter note, Ted, Barney, 20-years-from-now Barney, 20-years-from-now Ted, 20-minutes-from-now Barney and 20-minutes-from-now Ted singing “The Longest Time” is definitely one of my favorite How I Met Your Mother moments EVER.

Is Alicia truly in love with Peter on The Good Wife?

On Sunday’s The Good Wife (you can read my review of the episode here), Alicia had a heartfelt conversation with her daughter where she told Grace she was with Peter because she loves him. But I couldn’t tell if she was just telling Grace what Grace needed to hear. I believe Alicia loves Peter – they have a history and two children together. And clearly she’s still attracted to him. But is she still in love with him? I’m not so sure. There’s been a shift in the power dynamics and the way Alicia has treated Peter this season. She has the upper hand in their relationship (he needs her more than she needs him) and often it seemed like she was using their little afternoon delights to show who had the true power in their relationship (she even laughed at Peter when he said he wanted to take her out on a date).  Yes Alicia has used Peter’s political position to advance her career this season but I don’t think that’s why she is staying with him. She knows how much it would disrupt her children’s lives if she divorced Peter and pursued her relationship with Will.  And it’s hard to let go of her relationship with Peter and the family they have together. What do you think?

Will Jess and Nick hooking up ruin New Girl?

No, it will not. Plenty of comedies put their will-they-or-won’t-they couples together and it benefits the show – Pam and Jim on The Office, Sabrina and Jimmy on Raising Hope to name a few. It would be far more unrealistic if these two people, who live together and are clearly attracted to one another, did nothing about it for two years. The problem is that Nick does not have his life together – at all. He needs to figure his own stuff out before he can truly pursue a relationship. The trick will be to not make Jess and Nick like Ross and Rachel on Friends – that dragged on for way too long. Let Schmidt and CeCe be the Ross and Rachel. Nick and Jess can be the Chandler and Monica.

Does anything on Glee make sense anymore?

No, it does not. Santana and Quinn hook up? The show doesn’t have Quinn on all season and then brings her back just to fulfill a male fantasy cliché? Really Glee? Really? And it’s not like Brody was this great character, but a male gigolo? Really Glee? Really? Nothing about the characters is consistent. This has always been Glee’s Achilles’ heel. But this season the characters have been out of control. As we’ve previously discussed, witness Tina’s crush on Blaine, Blaine’s crush on Sam, and the aforementioned Quinn/Santana hook up. And the story lines are so erratic. Rachael could be pregnant! No she’s not!

And I’m wondering – is there another Glee that regularly features Sugar, Joe, Kate Hudson, and Sarah Jessica Parker? Not that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character ever made sense, but way too many characters have disappeared this season sans explanation. I still love the musical numbers. Seriously there’s not a better way to my heart than an ‘NSYNC/ Backstreet Boys mash up. At this point, the series should be a musical revue show with no dialogue and no plot.

What are your thoughts on How I Met Your Mother, The Good Wife, New Girl, and Glee? Talk about it below.

Jess and Nick Kiss on ‘New Girl!’ Jim and Pam fight on ‘The Office!’ Should you watch ‘Do No Harm?’

Nick and Jess kiss

Credit: FOX

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Can we talk about the kiss Jess and Nick shared on this week’s New Girl? That was one excellent TV kiss. I’m blushing just thinking about it. Nick is so my new secret TV boyfriend.

I had a chance to talk to Jake Johnson when I was in LA recently. You can read my interview with him here. Johnson had really interesting things to say about whether or not Nick and Jess should get together.  Nick has really blossomed as a character this year. I like to think of him as the sleeper breakout character of the season. He’s kind of snuck up on us.

I am fascinated by how the show is handling the whole Jess/Nick “will they or won’t they” conundrum. Much like how The Office handled Jim and Pam, Jess and Nick aren’t monopolizing the story telling but they are kind of percolating underneath the roommate shenanigans at all times. I don’t want them to get together yet. And I definitely don’t want a possible romance between the two of them to dominate the show. But, like Ross and Rachel on Friends, I’m pretty sure they belong together. How about you?

And speaking of The Office, I’ve been hearing from quite a few of you who don’t like the big fight that Pam and Jim had last week. As you know, I usually like TV shows to end with  all the characters still continuing on in perpetuity. Sam is still bartending on Cheers. The Friends gang still meets up at the Central Perk except now they talk about which private school is best and how to handle the rebellious teenage years.

But with The Office, I don’t want to think of Jim still working at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin forever. Since the show’s inception, Jim has been an underachiever who has never realized his full potential. I’ve liked this arc of Jim pursuing a new and inherently risky business venture.

Pam has always been the one who was happier with the status quo – the most telling insight into Pam’s character was when she was thrilled that Jim had secretly bought his parent’s house. She’s interested in pursuing her artistic ambitions locally. She painted a mural in the warehouse and applied to paint a mural for the city of Scranton.

That tension in Pam and Jim’s marriage to me is utterly believable as was their fight. Who hasn’t been in argument where you take out your anger at the wrong person when the person you are most mad at is yourself? Jim was frustrated that he had lost a key investor and upset that he missed Cece’s first dance recital. So he got irrationally angry at Pam for not taping it. I’m not saying he was right, of course, but the fight rang true. (As a side note, the only thing I didn’t find believable was that CeCe would be in a dance recital. Pam had CeCe around the same time I had my daughter so I think CeCe is about a year away from any kind of group performance, but I quibble).

I also liked that this was the way we finally got to see someone from the documentary crew. Of course if the show heads down the path of Pam and Brian (Chris Diamantopoulos) flirting or Pam considering an affair, I may never speak to the show again and I take back everything I’ve said. Because the Pam I know would never, ever do that.  But I like the idea that Jim and Pam have known Brian as long as we have known Jim and Pam. Just as we need to meet the mother before How I Met Your Mother ends, we need to meet the documentary crew before The Office signs off.

Jim and Pam have always been the heart of the series and last week’s fight hit on the crux of the tension that has always existed in their relationship. I liked it. How about you?

And finally, let’s talk about Do No Harm, premiering tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC. The drama couldn’t ask for a better lead in. It will debut after the series finale of 30 Rock and a one hour episode of The Office. NBC hasn’t had a good show in the Thursday night 10 p.m. time slot since ER went off the air. And, alas, Do No Harm continues that trend.

Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me) stars as Dr. Jason Cole, a talented neurosurgeon who suffers from multiple personality disorder. Every night at 8:25 p.m. exactly his evil alter-ego Ian Price takes over and wreaks havoc on his life. I can play it pretty loose with TV in terms of facts but seriously every night at 8:25 p.m.? Yes that’s exactly how mental illness works. It’s nothing if not precise.

I might have been able to overlook that if the whole show hadn’t played like a Saturday Night Live skit. There were so many points where I was laughing when I know that’s not the reaction the series was hoping for. I really like Pasquale and I loved him as Sean on Rescue Me (and fun fact he’s married to Go On’s Laura Benanti in real life) but these characters are not for him. He plays Ian as totally maniacal and borderline cartoony. No need to watch Do No Harm. Trust me. You can listen to me talk about the show with my friend and fellow TV critic Mekeisha Madden Toby here.

Be sure to check out my review of tonight’’s 30 Rock series finale in Paste Magazine.

That’s all for today. What do you think about New Girl and The Office? Are you going to watch Do No Harm? Talk about it below.

My Favorite Shows of 2012


By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

When I first started writing about TV, I could list my ten best shows of the year with confidence. Sure one viewer’s trash is another’s treasure (some think American Horror Story is brilliant, I find it rather laughable). Lists are always subjective and my opinion is just my opinion. But, back then, I had at least watched one episode of every show and felt I had given every series its fair consideration.

That, my friends, is no longer the case. Even if I did nothing else but watch TV, I don’t think I would be able to say I’ve seen everything the medium has to offer. There are way too many shows on the air. For example, I will admit to you that I’ve never seen a single episode of Justified. It’s been on my “I need to watch this show” list for years. There are other shows I liked –The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad among them – that for whatever reason I haven’t kept up with. The second season of Downton Abbey is just sitting on my desk waiting to be watched. Do spa/TV viewing vacations exist? Because that’s what I need.

My other issue is the rise of what I like to calls shows that are rated NFA – Not For Amy. For example, I can appreciate that Lena Dunham is creating something unique with a distinct point of view with Girls. However, from the opening moments, I couldn’t stand the show. I found the characters to be whiny, obnoxious and self-centered. And series such as Game of Thrones are also NFA.  With its gratuitous sex and violence, I didn’t even make it through the series premiere of Game of Thrones.

What I can offer you are my favorite shows of the year. The shows that have been consistently high in quality. Show that each week offered thoughtful, moving performances and strong writing. Shows that make me laugh, cry or both. Shows that are among the best TV has to offer. I have ranked them in terms of what I would choose to watch first on my TiVo.

1.Homeland (Showtime): So we’re all kind of in a fight with Homeland and I totally get that.  The show is cutting corners and sacrificing realism to advance the story and get the characters where they need them to be. I mean we’re going to have to ask Carrie more follow-up questions about how she escaped from Abu Nazir, right? An acceptable answer isn’t “I got lucky” when it comes to freeing yourself from the world’s number one terrorist. But all my quibbles aside, no other show surprises me and keeps me engaged like Homeland does.  Especially in season two, I never knew what the show was going to do next. Every time I lulled myself into believing I knew what was going to happen, the series zigged in a totally different direction.  But what really sets Homeland apart is the incredible acting. Clare Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin are breathtaking every week. They rise above the most inane writing and ridiculous plot twists.  Danes and Lewis have made me believe in TV’s most unlikely and unhealthy romance. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to a show as much as I look forward to Homeland. And that means, despite the ridiculousness of late, the drama is doing a lot of things right.

2.Parenthood (NBC): This is the season Parenthood transitioned from a good drama into a great one.  I wrote about Parenthood being one of the best shows for Paste Magazine. You can read what I had to say here.

3. Southland (TNT): The best cop drama on TV. With gritty realism, Southland pulls the viewer into its world each week.  This past season the drama added Lucy Liu and, as much as I enjoy Liu on Elementary, I am really going to miss her on Southland. Her performance was transformative. I could write paragraphs about the brilliant acting that occurs each week on the show but I want to especially praise Regina King, whose Detective Lydia Adams is one of the strongest female characters on TV. Bonus points to the show for having C. Thomas Howell in its cast. When I was a girl, pictures of Howell adorned my bedroom walls. How wonderful it is to have him on TV. Some things that are gold can stay.

4. The Middle (ABC): This week Frankie (Patricia Heaton) woke up in the middle of the night to fight with Mike (Neil Flynn) and you know what I loved best about that scene? Frankie was in mismatched pajamas. That, my friends, is real life. (My biggest complaint with Homeland this season remains that Jess packed a negligee to go to a safe house). While Modern Family may be the show all the cool kids watch, The Middle is the show that truly captures the humor of family life. The comedy has the best teenage characters of any show. Each week Eden Sher and Charlie McDermott are perfect as the ever enthusiastic Sue and her older, slacker brother Axl. (For real fun, follow these two on Twitter to see how they interact in real life).  When people ask me what’s the one show they are not watching that that they should be watching, I always say The Middle.

5. Scandal (ABC): From her first power-suit strut into the office, I was all about Olivia Pope and her not-so-merry band of Gladiators. The show provides a juicy soap opera and intense mystery while, without making a big deal about it, has built a show around a successful woman of color. Plus nobody enunciates quite like Kerry Washington enunciates. I want to be a client of Pope & Associates just so I can hear Olivia say my name. Most of the time, I have no idea what the Huck the show is going to do next and I love that.

6. Parks and Recreation (NBC):  What other series could make local politics so utterly compelling? I literally love this show. Parks has the best ensemble cast on TV. There are no weak links. I adore every single character on it.

7. The Glee Project (Oxygen): The Glee Project is the only reality competition that is truly rooted in reality.  The audition process is grueling and, in the end, no matter how much the casting director, vocal coach and choreographer may love you, it all comes down to the executive producer’s capricious decision.  I love that this is a tough competition but one where none of the coaches are mean-spirited or nasty. If you’re not performing well, they will tell you but in a way that allows the performers to flourish. Bonus points to the show for 1):  Totally making up words.  We all need a little glee-ality and romanticality in our lives.  2): Giving me my new secret boyfriend Zach Woodlee. His proud papa face when he watches the kids perform makes me tear up every time.  3): Giving Glee Blake Jenner and Alex Newell. They’ve both been great additions to the series.

8. Mad Men (AMC): Not everything worked this season but when the show worked, it worked brilliantly. Joan finally telling her husband to get out. Peggy leaving the agency and coming into her own. Joan becoming a partner in the worst possible way. These are TV moments indelibly inked in my mind. Mad Men continues to create a world that is mesmerizing.

9. Awkward (MTV):  Yes I know I’m way too old to be watching this show. But what I love about Awkward is that although the technology has changed (no one had a blog when I was in high school), the experience of being a teenager hasn’t. Awkward takes me right back to the not-so-glory days of high school. But it’s not just nostalgia that makes me love the show – it is witty, hilarious, poignant and heart-breaking.  While I always rooted for Jake, the Jake/Matty/Jenna love triangle is one of the best ones out there.

10. New Girl (FOX): For a show ostensibly about a girl, it’s the men who have made this comedy flourish. The rapport between Schmidt, Nick and Winston is the stuff of TV magic. If Schmidt is the series breakout character, Nick is the sleeper breakout character. I still laugh every time I think about Jake Johnson’s “I give you cookie” diatribe.

Honorable Mentions:

The Good Wife (CBS): I adore this show. The only reason it isn’t part of my top ten is due to the mandatory “Nick is a bad husband” deduction. May we never have to see a fight involving raw eggs again.

30 Rock (NBC): As always, I want to go to there. In its final season, this smart comedy has enjoyed a greater and more hilarious freedom as it mocks its corporate parent and takes Liz Lemon through some major life changes.

Switched at Birth (ABC): Bunheads may be Gilmore Girls Redux but it’s Switched at Birth that has filled the hole Gilmore Girls left in my viewing schedule.

Go On (NBC): This comedy is doing exactly what a freshman comedy should be doing: It gets better every week as Ryan (Matthew Perry) continues to grieve his wife’s death with an unlikely support group. It can’t be easy to make a comedy about people continuing on with their lives after a great loss, but Go On is doing an excellent job.

Those are my favorite shows of 2012. What are yours? Talk about it below.

Checking in on the Believability Rating of ‘Modern Family,’ ‘New Girl,’ ’30 Rock,’ ‘Homeland’ and ‘Parenthood’


By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

As we have discussed, I don’t require a lot of realism in my TV shows. I’m okay with most of the outrageous TV conventions. Couples can have babies that they often seem to forget they have.  Female detectives can walk around all day in high-heeled shoes.  Characters can go to work at offices that don’t require they do any actual work. Jess can pack a sexy negligee to go to a safe house. Heck Abu Nazir can even Skype with Brody on a smart phone and, in general,  I’m pretty much okay with it.  Let’s take a look at some of the things that happened on TV last week and see where they landed of the believability scale.

Let’s start with pregnant Gloria on Modern Family.  I loathe pregnant Gloria. Loathe her. It’s as if the writers googled “pregnant women stereotypes” and then decided to gift Gloria with all those traits this season. She doesn’t want to wear maternity clothes. She’s forgetful, irrational, emotional, and even unbalanced. I’ve been pregnant and I’ve known a lot of pregnant women and no one I know acts like this. For some reason I am unable to willingly suspend my disbelief on this one. Perhaps it’s because pregnant Gloria is not funny. She’s just gratingly annoying.  Can you imagine how ridiculous she’s going to be a mother of a newborn? Believability Rating: 1 out of a possible 10

Over on New Girl, the comedy tried to send women over 30 into a panic about their ovarian egg reserve. Let’s ignore the fact that the show blatantly disregarded actual medical facts on what constitutes ovarian reserve testing, when it can happen, and how the results are interpreted. I’ll  go ahead and suspend my disbelief on that one because hopefully no one is seeking out medical advice from a television comedy.  What bummed me out about the episode is that there is a larger, more thoughtful conversation to be had here about being a single woman over 30 who knows she wants to have a family but isn’t ready to yet. Instead we got lines like Jess shouting “give my nipples a purpose” and her referring to her uterus as a 1930’s dustbowl.  I’m curious to see if the show brings this topic up again or if it was merely a one-shot plot development. Although I know this is something that mostly affects women, it would be great to see some male characters (other than Ted Mosby, of course), discuss their desire to have a family. Believabilty rating: 0 out of 10 on medical facts, 3 out of 10 on emotional reactions

But thank goodness Liz Lemon had the most perfect wedding on 30 Rock. As I wrote about in my review of last week’s episode for Paste Magazine, Liz was able to confess that getting married was a big deal without losing her sense of self or suddenly becoming a different character entirely. I would have been so angry if suddenly she wanted to wear a princess ball gown and surround herself with women in pastel-colored matching dresses. That’s not the Liz Lemon we know and love. I really hope she and Crises get to have a baby before 30 Rock says its final goodbye in January. Believablity rating: 10 out of 10.

I  also wrote about my beloved Parenthood in Paste Magazine’s Best TV Shows of 2012.  But what I want to talk about today is how much the show is stressing me out. What is Sarah doing? After my initial panic, the series has set up the Hank/Mark/Sarah triangle believably.  Hank and Mark are such completely different people and you can see how they each offer attractive qualities the other doesn’t have. I even believe that Hank kissing Sarah would send her into a full-fledged panic where she would immediately move in with Mark to try to squelch any feelings she might have for Hank. But would she cancel her plans to attend a wedding with Mark to help Hank out? I’m not so sure. I don’t quite know what the show is trying to do here. And I like not knowing. But if Sarah and Mark do break up, we have to figure out a way to keep Mr. Cyr on the show. Believablity rating: 6 out of 10

Okay, now let’s talk about Homeland. At some point this season I decided to give into all the ridiculous Homeland plot twists and just go with the show. It’s absolutely one of those situations where if you think about a show too much you’re not going to be able to enjoy it. And I want to enjoy Homeland.  So I went with the fact that the world’s most renowned terrorist would be able to get into the country, rent a car, buy a big gulp (really he doesn’t have a minion he can send in to the convenience store?) and kidnap Carrie. I’m not saying I preferred this plot twist, I’m saying I  went with it. But the biggest question Homeland faces now is: Can the show continue with Brody or does he need to be killed off? Brody crossed a line he had not crossed before when he killed the Vice President.  His switching from abject horror at what Abu Nazir was asking him to do to smirking as he told the Vice President he was killing him was way too abrupt. And what’s with Carrie going back in to find Abu Nazir? She’s like the teens in some B horror movie that go into the woods alone. My biggest concern with the most recent episode is that Brody has long been a bad guy for whom I’ve had some degree of sympathy for but that’s gone now.  And I’m not sure I’m interested in watching a completely evil Brody. I was hoping for way to keep Damian Lewis on the show next season because I love him so but I don’t see how that’s possible now. I’ve learned, of course, to never doubt Homeland so I can’t wait to see what happens in the final two episodes of the season. Carrie believability rating: 5 out of 10, she  is crazy enough to go after Nazir. Brody believability rating: 4 out of 10, why didn’t he give Nazir a number that was a little bit off?  Abu Nazir believability rating: -1 out of 10, but I didn’t care.

That’s all for today. I would love to hear your thoughts on Modern Family, New Girl, 30 Rock, Parenthood and Homeland below. And if you have seen a familiar face or heard a great quote, definitely let me know about it.

Where Have I Seen Them Before and Quotes of the Week for October 25, 2012

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

Where Have I Seen Them Before?

Skyler Day was the teen who wanted to keep sailing even though she might lose her foot on Grey’s Anatomy. She was Amy, Drew’s girlfriend, on Parenthood. Meeghan Holaway was the lawyer for Derek, Cristina, Meredith and Arizona. She played Amanda Burke, the lawyer Kathryn and John had on Switched at Birth before they hired Craig (Sam Page).  Ned Vaughn was the lawyer for the airlines. We just saw him in an episode of The Newsroom, where he played a representative for Halliburton who came on Will’s show.

Patrick Fischler was Artie Hornbacher, the NSA employee who tricked Olivia on Scandal. Fischler has been on so many things but I remember him most as Jimmy Barrett, the comic who did the Utz Potato Chip commercials on Mad Men and Phil, a DHARMA Initiative employee on Lost. Wendy Davis was Kimberly Mitchell, the talk show host. She’s Joan on Army Wives. Steven W. Bailey, who played the bartender Joe on Grey’s Anatomy, was the medical examiner. Brian Letscher is Tom, the secret service agent. I wanted to point him out because he’s the brother of Matt Letscher, who played the evil Billy Chambers last season on Scandal. So Shonda Rhimes hire within her TV family and within real families as well.

Adam J. Harrington was the robot like Congressman on Parks and Recreation. He was Ethan last season on The Secret Circle and Agent Walker on Dexter.

Rosa Salazar was Molly, Kate’s wild high school friend on Ben & Kate. She played Zoe, the woman who changed her mind and kept her baby last season on Parenthood.

Yancey Arias was the father of the missing girl on Elementary. He played Senator Tom Kingsley last season on Revenge but I’ll always remember him as Miguel on Kingpin.

Matthew Del Negro was Kent, Penny’s physical therapist on Happy Endings. We just saw him in the season premiere of The Good Wife as the police officer who pulled over Zach. He’s lodged in my memory as Brian Cammarata on The Sopranos.

Rachel Shelley was Milah, Rumplestiltskin’s wife on Once Upon a Time. She was Helena Peabody on The L Word

Quotes of the Week

“I loved you . . . if only the circumstances had been wildly different. You’re a disgrace to your nation Sergeant Nicholas Brody. You’re a traitor and a terrorist. And now it’s time to pay for that.” Carrie to Brody on Homeland.

“You’ll never be done.” Amanda to Emily on Revenge.

“I’ll wait until I hear them all sing and then I’ll text in my choice.” Axl on which Presidential candidate he’ll cast his vote for on The Middle.

“You gave me cookie. I got you cookie.” Nick to Schmidt on New Girl. This is definitely one of those quotes that makes no sense out of context but I loved it so much I had to include it this week.

“There are no bad ideas Lemon. Only great ideas that go horribly wrong.” Jack to Liz on 30 Rock.

“You see her again, I’ll blow you away. And I’m an excellent shot, remember?” the First Lady to the President on Scandal.

“Christopher, this is no time to be petulant.” Tim to Christopher on Project Runway when he won’t stop sewing when his time is up.

“I’m proud of you but also a bit fearful that we’re verging on what I call feelings territory so let’s stare at the fire in silence.” Ron to Tom on Parks and Recreation.

“It’s going to be old school – guitars and great songs. Just a show for people who love actual music.” Rayna to Juliette about her new tour on Nashville. Rayna could rival Victoria Grayson for biting one liners.

“Now I don’t feel like pie. Wait. No. It’s back.” Kevin on The Office.

“He won the election. Honey, our son is the new president of Cedar Knoll Middle School. God help us all.” Adam to Kristina on Parenthood.

“I will always come find you.” Emmett to Bay on Switched at Birth. Thanks to Diane for the quote.

Best Exchange of the Week

“Who’s your favorite rapper?” Nick to Schmidt in a flashback to their college days on New Girl.

“Brian Austin Green.” Schmidt’s response. I would watch a whole show about Nick and Schmidt in college. Can we make that happen?

Have you seen a familiar face or heard a great quote? Email me through my contact page and let me know about it. And remember to follow my blog (enter your email in the upper right hand corner) so you’ll always know when I have a new post.

The TV Gal Character Relocation Program

Photo by: Timothy White/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

We are a few weeks into the new television season and I believe it is time to activate the TV Gal Character Relocation Program (CRP). In the CRP, I sweep in and pluck good characters from bad shows and relocate them to a new series where their talents will be put to the best use. Really, it’s a public service.

Here are the current candidates:

Shania (Bebe Wood) on The New Normal to Glee:  The New Normal makes an Aaron Sorkin show look subtle. But aside from all the pontificating,  my main problem with the show is that it’s not funny. And, you know, I like my comedies to be funny. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I missed something and the The New Normal is actually supposed to be a half-hour drama.  But Wood is fabulous. Her impersonation of Little Edie from Grey Gardens was one of the best things I have seen on TV this year.  Let’s send Shania to Glee, another Ryan Murphy show which sure is uneven in quality but at least when it’s good, it’s very, very good. Shania could be a child prodigy who becomes the newest member of New Directions. Sure that’s a bit of an outlandish plot but is it anymore outlandish than Kurt landing a job with Vogue.com? I don’t think so.

Louis (Michael Urie) on Partners to New Girl:  Urie is trying his best with material he’s given. But honestly if you close your eyes and just listen to the show, it’s as if you’re watching a really bad version of Will & Grace. Same set-up (My analogy: Ali is to the jewelry design business as Grace was to the interior design business). Same jokes. Same elevator, even. Just a lot less charm. Louis could move into the apartment on The New Girl. He could talk fashion and, more specifically belts, with Schmidt while Nick and Winston could convince him to take his shtick down a notch or two. Now I would love to save Wyatt (Brandon Routh) too but, unfortunately, the CRP only allows me to save one character per show.

Miles (Billy Burke) on Revolution to Homeland: I’m exhausted by the fact that Revolution has been picked up for a full season.  I was really hoping the show would just go quietly to that great TV season pass manager in the sky. But no, now I’m going to have to keep up with its gaping plot inconsistencies and bad acting. Bill Burke is a great actor who has done a number of wonderful guest arcs (most recently as the nefarious Phillip Stroh on The Closer). The man deserves to be on an Emmy winning drama. On Homeland he could play a CIA agent who believes Carrie and helps bring Brody down. And then he could win an Emmy for his performance. See how well this could work out?

Dr. Brett Robinson (Zach Gilford) on The Mob Doctor to Grey’s Anatomy:  Seattle Grace needs a few new doctors and, given The Mob Doctor’s ratings, Dr. Robinson could be available very soon. Here at TV Gal, we leave no one from Friday Night Lights behind.

Marny (Tempestt Bledsoe) on Guys with Kids to The MiddleI’m delighted to have Vanessa Huxtable back on TV again. Now let’s get her on a show that’s actually funny. Marny could be one of the Heck’s new neighbors. She and Frankie could become friends. Maybe she could even help Frankie find a new job.

Which characters would you enter into the CRP and where would you relocate him or her? Talk about it below.

Grey’s Anatomy and Revenge

Last week, two shows totally tried to fake out viewers. On Revenge, the nighttime soap tried to convince viewers that Victoria Grayson was dead. While I believed there was no way that the series would kill off a character as great as Victoria, it was a very nice touch to not list Madeleine Stowe in the opening credits. It didn’t fool me, but I appreciated the effort and attention to detail.

I’m kind of disappointed that the alliance between Victoria and Emily was so short-lived. I loved the idea of the two former frenemies being in cahoots together. I do want everyone to know that Revenge is currently in my “Could So Easily Go Off the Rails” file. Revenge is great because of its over-the-top line delivery and plot twists. The show is so much fun. But I’m concerned it could start racing through plot twists and character reveals. (We’ve seen this happen before on many shows including Heroes). If Daniel is going to be evil, let him be evil. And please find some way to make Ashley useful to the plot. The show hasn’t seemed to know what to do with her since the beginning.

On Grey’s Anatomy, the show spent the entire hour trying to convince us that Arizona was dead but we’ve all watched TV long enough to know that unless there’s a funeral, he/she is probably not dead. (Unless, of course, you’re a show like Revenge when they can say you’re dead,hold a memorial services and you’re still not dead).  I knew we were going to see Arizona in the closing seconds of the episode. I holding out judgement of the Arizona as an amputee story line until I see tonight’s episode. The premiere didn’t really work for me for three main reasons:

  1. I simply can’t get too worked up about Mark Sloane dying. I never really bought Mark and Lexie as some great star-crossed couple and I’m really not that sad that McSteamy is gone.
  2. It’s annoying that now Meredith is the one terrorizing the interns. Medusa? Really? Another sign that it’s time for a show to end is when they pull an old plot line out of the bin and try to recycle it.
  3. I’m saddened by what’s become of Miranda Bailey. I’m glad she now knows that her nickname is Booty Call Bailey but the Miranda I knew would never have let it get to this point.

That’s all for today. Make sure to follow my blog so you know every time I have a new post.  And if you see a familiar face or hear a great quote of the week, definitely email me about it through my contact page.

The Emmy Awards I Care About

Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

The Emmys are my night of nights. My Super Bowl and World Series. Forget Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of year. I still love everything about the Emmys — the red carpet arrivals, the gushy speeches, the upset wins,the bad outfits and the questionable hairstyles.

But after years of trying to accurately forecast the Emmys and failing rather miserably, I’ve realized that no matter how hard I try, I am pretty bad at Emmy predictions.  Seriously, you so don’t want to take me to Vegas.  Therefore this year, I decided to talk about the six nominees that I would really like to see win.

Outstanding Drama: Homeland

I’m still recovering from the stress that was watching “The Weekend” episode. It was one of the finest hours of television I’ve ever experienced – surprising, nuanced, and brilliantly acted. In its first season, Homeland turned every convention about an one hour drama completely around.  It was impossible to play predict-a-plot with this series. Did you ever think that Brody and Carrie would sleep together? Did you ever think Brody would confront Carrie in the middle of the season? At the end of “The Weekend,” I was convinced (kind of) that Brody was innocent, but I had this lingering thought: “What if Brody is actually playing the long, long game?”   Any show that can make a viewer vacillate convincingly between two equally believable scenarios is pretty amazing and deserves to be recognized.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes, Homeland

This isn’t just the performance of Danes’ career; it’s the performance of the season. There’s a palpable intensity to Danes’ portrayal of troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison. You can feel that this woman is precariously teetering between sanity and the pull of her mental illness.  In her performance, Carrie’s mistakes (really should you sleep with your target? I don’t think so.) make perfect sense.  If the role of Carrie had been miscast, Homeland never would have worked as a series. Danes makes the series.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

For all the reasons I stated yesterday, Poehler deserves this win. Plus it’s really the only way to reward Parks and Recreation which was the year’s best comedy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

I didn’t watch the show every week until Bialik came along. She so wholly owns the character of Amy Farrah Fowler. Everything about Bialik’s performance — from the way she walks to the way she speaks — transform Amy’s funny lines into hilarious ones.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Max Greenfield, New Girl

As I talked about earlier this week, this is the right role at the right time for Max Greenfield. But a character like Schmidt is so tricky because if an actor took the role too far, Schmidt would become a joke and a joke that the audience wouldn’t care about.  Greenfield makes Schmidt outrageous while still keeping him believable and vulnerable. One of the most interesting things that happened last season was how New Girl morphed from being about the adorkable Zooey Deschanel to truly being an ensemble comedy that often focused on the friendship of the three male roommates. Deschanel may have gotten most of the attention but Greenfield made the show.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Last season might not have been Mad Men’s best but it was definitely Hendricks’ best. Hendricks has been nominated twice before and this is the year she deserves to win. “The Other Woman,” which found Joan sleeping her way into a partnership was devastating and heartbreaking. Hendricks’ performance haunted me for days.

Those are the six awards I care most about this Sunday. How about you? Which Emmy award categories are you most excited about? Talk about it below.You can get a complete list of Emmy nominations here.

Also I’ll be tweeting during the Emmys so make sure to follow me on Twitter at @amytvgal and let me know what you think about the show.