We’re closing in on the end of the second month in 2017 so as we do every year, let’s take a look at some of this year’s biggest early winners and losers in television and OH BOY, we’ve got some pretty big contenders in the first two months alone so let’s look, shall we:
WINNER — The Mick
Literally the first new comedy series to debut in 2017 debuting right on New Year’s Day, The Mick is really solid and funny, Kaitlin Olson keeps the show afloat with a ton of solid laughs throughout but at the same time, it’s very flawed and mixed in terms of the story department but with it getting a second season just this week, they can hopefully fix the kinks out and it can become a really good comedy to join Fox’s lineup of solid live-action comedies with Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, and Last Man On Earth.
LOSER — The Bachelor
NO!!!! I don’t care if she thinks this is cute, this…is…not…NORMAL!!!! ABC proved by allowing this shit on TV this year that they don’t care about the intelligence of its’ audience and I’m sorry, this is the single dumbest thing I have seen on a TV show ever. I don’t care if we just elected a reality TV star our president, that does not mean we can make this normal because it’s not…just…NO!!!!!
WINNER — Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events
There’s a lot to admire here, this is a more fun, more enjoyable and more hilarious version of A Series Of Unfortunate Events than the film was. It does actually make me want to see what else this series has to offer in the future and is well worth the watch.
LOSER — Divided
This is a new game show on Game Show Network that came on a day before the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. There are three rounds to the game with a total of eight questions, and each episode is self-contained. A team of four players starts the game; one player is eliminated after two rounds of play.
For each question, the team has 60 seconds to unanimously agree on an answer; the available money decreases the longer it takes. Each player must enter the same response on their respective panel and then everyone must touch the center blue triangle simultaneously to lock in an answer and stop the clock. If the team answers the question correctly, they bank whatever money is left on the clock; if they are wrong, their bank is reduced by half. (Unlike the original British series, the team is not eliminated for accumulating multiple incorrect answers.)
The top prize of Divided, if all questions are answered correctly, is worth up to $85,000.
The show has an interesting concept but there’s one gigantic problem with this show, the people on this show have no contrast of the phrase “stop wasting time”, I swear to god, these contestants lose a ton of money because they can’t agree to do something fast to save money. There’s one point where they have to eliminate one person from the team and sometimes, they want to get rid of the person that actually got them the money because “you used our two takeovers too early in the game,” who gives a fuck if that person did? You got the money, shut up. One episode, they lost $4,000 from their $12,000 bank because they couldn’t decide who to eliminate in time.
And that gigantic problem comes into the final decision they have to make,
The money is divided into three unequal shares. The “A” share is 60% of the team’s bank; the “B” share is 30%; the “C” share is 10%. The team has 100 seconds to agree on who should receive which share. Once the clock starts, the money begins to drain away. Each player must claim a different share, and the team must lock it in to stop the clock and claim the remaining money.
If after 50 seconds, no agreement is made, the clock stops briefly, and each player, in turn, is given 10 seconds to explain which share they feel they deserve and why. Once each player has pleaded their case, the clock restarts and the money continues to drain. If no agreement is reached, all three players leave the show with no money.
Yeah, you see the problem here, peoples’ greed comes out to play and it takes the fun away from the show because you sometimes get people who want all the money even though they did jack shit to deserve it and they just keep wasting time, one of the episodes this week, the three got about $28,000 banked up, by the end of the show, the top person only ended up getting like $200 while the other two got $100 and $50.
There’s no fun factor to this show because yeah, you can actually hear how other people feel on some the topics they cover but at the same time, it doesn’t help towards the end when after all of this, all they care about is “I want all the money, give it to me now.”
You know what this show reminded me of, How Much Is Enough, same basic concept, The general objective of the game is to avoid being the greediest contestant. For each money clock played, a dollar figure is shown that rapidly increases or decreases. Contestants hold lock-out buzzers behind their backs and secretly lock-in at a point when they believe the money clock is high enough to be valuable to them, but low enough not to be the “greediest” contestant, or the contestant who locks-in at the highest value. For each of the five money clocks ($1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $4,000, and $5,000), the greediest contestant banks no money for the just-played money clock. For the $5,000 clock, the most cautious (lowest value) contestant also banks nothing. The other contestants for each clock bank the value when they lock-in. The $1,000, $3,000, and $5,000 clocks count upward from $0 to that amount, while the $2,000 and $4,000 clocks counted down to $0.
At least How Much Is Enough had contestants who tried to be smart enough to win the game, Divided does not have that element, all the show ends up becoming is “yeah, we’ll agree on everything…until money is involved.” Yeah, I get that’s the point of a game show but there’s no fun factor in this show, I dare people to watch this show and experience how frustrating it is when these people waste so much time on something that should be so critical to them at that one point.
So, yes, I really do not like Divided.
WINNER — One Day At A Time
To be perfectly fair, I never saw the original One Day At A Time and I’m coming into this new, I’m in the middle of this right now as I’m going to do a full review on the show in a couple of months and I’ve gotta say, I’m really loving this show. The show does a great job of returning to the classic sitcom format of the show’s original inception and it works solely on the performances, the comedy, the topical material, and the fact that it feels like an authentic classic sitcom of the 80s and 90s that isn’t just using the laugh track like a bad CBS comedy would. This is definitely one you’ll want to check out on Netflix.
LOSER — Emerald City
Because this is what America has been asking for, a mixing of Game Of Thrones and The Wizard Of Oz…and by America, I mean the bizarro America because wow, this shit is BAD….REALLY BAD!!!! Like artistic bullshit bad…oh wait, it’s directed by Tarsem so no wonder this shit sucks. I’m sorry, the dude has a nice visual flair to him but he sucks at writing story or creating characters.
WINNER — Black-ish
With its’ Donald Trump themed episode, Lemons, early in the year, Black-ish continues to surprise me as one of the definitive comedy series on TV tackling topical moments and creating a humorous and very powerful comedy series that hopefully will continue to be one of ABC’s sitcom bright spots in the years to come.
LOSER — Powerless
Wow, NBC fucked this one up, no, really, NBC fucked this one up big time. You would think that a comedy series set in the DC Universe would be kind of awesome and enough to put NBC’s comedy legacy back on track but nope, the comedy in this show is unbearably bad, they waste so many talented comedic actors on this shitheap of a show, Vanessa Hudgens is wasted, Danny Pudi is wasted, Ron Funches is wasted, and Alan Tudyk is…well, to be fair, it’s Alan Tudyk, he can still make me laugh even if the show isn’t that good and he’s the only thing about this show that has made me laugh.
The biggest disappointment is that this is created by Ben Queen, who made one of the most underrated comedies of 2014 A To Z, and it just felt like this show just took so much of what made that show funny and just waste his talents.
I’ve only watched the first three episodes and I barely got through the first two, the third episode is a bit of an upgrade but not enough to convince me that there’s hope for this unless somebody tells me otherwise.
WINNER — Lethal Weapon
One of the biggest question marks of Fox’s new shows was Lethal Weapon and whether or not, it could becoming something worthwhile. The first half of the season was surprisingly good and so far, the second half is even better. It’s no classic by any means but it still manages to keep packing on the fun and staying true to the original movies while being its’ own thing.
The series is created by Matt Miller, the creator of Forever, and the chemistry between Chayse Crawford and Damon Wayans as Riggs and Murtaugh is pretty good. I’m glad it got renewed for a second season so they can hopefully fix some of the faults of the series but so far, I’m really having a lot of fun with this show.
LOSER — Training Day
Unlike Lethal Weapon, Training Day is a mess, it’s another bad movie to TV series transition from CBS following the abysmally bad Rush Hour from last year, it’s not quite as bad but it’s pushing it, Bill Paxton is trying way too hard to be the series’ equivalent of Denzel Washington’s character and it just doesn’t work. You keep expecting Bill Paxton to say “King Kong ain’t got shit on me” and I know it’s coming and when it does, that’ll be the final fuck you to this show.
WINNER — Legion
The creator of FX’s Fargo, Noah Hawley, creates an interesting new approach to the X-Men universe with this series featuring Dan Stevens giving an excellent performance as David Haller and featuring a really solid ensemble cast including Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Rachel Keller, Katie Aselton, Bill Irwin, and David Selby. FX has another winner on their hands with Legion.
LOSER — 24: Legacy
Easily the biggest disappointment of the year mostly because it’s just 24 all over again except it’s Corey Hawkins from Straight Outta Compton as essentially Jack Bauer and Hawkins is a terrific actor but he deserves better than this. Watching this after the Super Bowl, I was bored, I thought to myself “wow, this is just 24 except there’s no Jack Bauer.” It’s the same show and not interesting at all. Watching this, I couldn’t help but think that Fox had no real idea about how to make this work to be different but feel fresh for the show but this is just the recent X-Files show except done with 24, nothing new or different, just the same stuff from before except a different cast.
WINNER — It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia & Man Seeking Woman
FXX’s comedy duo of Always Sunny and Seeking Woman came back stronger and funnier than they’ve ever been. Well into its’ 12th season, Always Sunny continues to be the live-action South Park still very funny and still wildly inventive after over a decade on the air. As for Man Seeking Woman, this is one of the smartest, funniest, and most clever comedies that has come on TV in recent memory, if you have not been checking out Sunny and Woman, you really need to check out this season’s newest episodes and you will laugh long and hard.
LOSER — Crashing
Just watched the premiere episode for this new HBO Pete Holmes comedy and this is basically Girls except for guys and not as funny. I really do not think Pete Holmes is that funny of a comedian and this show just didn’t do it for me because it was taking a lot from Girls and other shows of this caliber like Louie, Maron, and Atlanta. I just didn’t think it worked.
WINNER — This Is Us
The show that I once hated has now become one of the best shows on network TV right now, it’s a show that has slowly but surely begun to grow on me the more and more I watch it, if the second half of the season is just as good as the first half, this show could have enough lasting power to fill that void left by Parenthood but for now, I apologize for not giving this show the benefit of a doubt and I’m glad I came back to it because it’s worth the watch.
LOSER — The Blacklist: Redemption
Remember when I said 24: Legacy felt like the same show except with a different cast? Yeah, that’s how the new Blacklist show feels like, it’s basically Liz’s husband doing the exact same thing she’s been doing except for Famke Janssen instead of James Spader. There is literally nothing different about this show and this is so far acting like nothing but an attempt to turn The Blacklist into a franchise of shows like Law & Order and the Chicago shows but not even trying anything new to change it up. It’s only the first episode, I know, but nothing has given me the indication that this is going to change as the season continues on.
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