308 – Marry Me, “Pilot”

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I love starting reviews with “I love (blank).” It’s an interesting trend because if you ask anyone who knows me, I really don’t love much. That’s not totally true, it’s just that I feel the need to vocalize negatives over positives. Anyway, that’s something I’ll have to work through with my analyst. It’s all a lead-up to the following, anyway: I loved Happy Endings. No qualifiers on that one; Happy Endings is (was, RIP) one of the best shows of the current decade. It was quick and smart and a pretty good encapsulation of my sense of humor as a slightly aimless, city-dwelling twenty-something. Other shows like How I Met Your Mother and New Girl are effective sitcoms, but Happy Endings hit like nothing else. So needless to say I was very bummed when the series was cancelled last year – a feeling that was slightly mitigated by the fact that three seasons was much more than the show’s ratings might have earned it. Good news for Endings-heads, however, as creator/executive producer David Caspe is back with a new series. And he has brought along Happy Endings-lead/his-real-life-wife Casey Wilson to star alongside Ken Marino in Marry Me.

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265 – Gotham, “Pilot”

gotham pilot

Despite not reviewing one in a few months, I love comics. That’s no secret. So ultimately I hope for the success of any comics-related media. I easily lose myself in that enthusiasm at times, especially where Marvel movies are concerned. It is difficult for me to take an objective view when it comes to properties I have loved for so long. DC Comics and Warner Bros. have made that a little easier, what with the release of terrible movies like Man of Steel and announcement upon announcement that slowly drains all excitement from my soul for their upcoming slate of comic book movies. But DC has always been more tenacious when it comes to the TV realm. Batman: The Animated Series is a legitimately great show, and I’ll admit I probably watched Smallville a few years longer than I ought to have. The 2014-2015 television season sees the debuts of several new series based on DC properties, the first of which is Gotham – a show following Jim Gordon (the man who would be commissioner) and Bruce Wayne (the boy who would be Batman) in the early days following Wayne’s parents’ double murder. Time to expect the worst and hope for the best.

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021 – Enlisted, “Pilot”

we're gonna keep trying to make geoff stults a star until one of us is dead

we’re gonna keep trying to make geoff stults a star until one of us is dead

I’m a bit of an industry insider, you guys. I don’t want to brag, but I know people who know people. So believe me when I tell you that the 30-minute comedy pilot is a truly difficult task to take on. Look at some of the best comedies going right now; the pilot for New Girl is pretty uninteresting, and not at all indicative of the show it would become about six months later. Likewise for Parks and Recreation, which floundered as an Office clone for its mini season one before coming into its own. The problem is a result of the subjectivity and malleability of comedy itself; great jokes must be written to an actor’s sensibilities, and on the other hand an actor has to mold the character into something that fits him or her. It takes several episodes for these pieces to come together, which explains why shows like New Girl, Parks and Rec, and Community take time to really hit with viewers (though in the case of Community it never really took off outside of the dedicated fanbase). All of this makes the pilot episode of Enlisted such a surprise. Because it’s pretty good!

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