Real television started again last week on Fox with what Lindsay and I like to call TV Tuesday! (Quality television actually started on August 11th and ends sadly this Sunday).
We held a TV Tuesday party to watch three shows:
- Andy Samberg’s new TV show, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine
- Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project
- The not-that-new-anymore New Girl
For me personally, the Brooklyn-Nine-Nine ad-campaign has been wildly successful as I have high hopes for this show. It’s got a dynamite cast (if you like Andy Samberg, otherwise it has no cast at all).
The first episode was not entirely hilarious. There were a few legitimate chuckles sprinkled through mostly forced, trying-to-convince-myself-I-love-it cackles. It did not exhaust its potential by any means, but it has a long way to go before it truly delivers.
Nevertheless, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine has already done at least two things right:
1. No laugh track. The laugh track was crucial for TV up through the 90s because people were too stupid to know when to laugh. By having the laugh track, the idiot at-home audience knew which jokes were funny, even if they didn’t get it. This is 2013 though, and television-viewers have become vastly more intelligent thanks to our educational system and Breaking Bad. If a show has a laugh track, I take it as a personal offense to my intelligence and refuse to watch, no matter how many times I hear about how funny it is. I’m looking at you Big Bang Theory.
2. Andy Samberg was not that obnoxious. I’m a big Andy Samberg fan, but I totally understand why certain folks wouldn’t find Hot Rod funny. If Brooklyn-Nine-Nine is going to be successful, we’re going to need suave Lonely-Island Andy Samberg over idiot Hot-Rod Andy Samberg for two reasons:
- Samberg’s character is supposed to be a hot-shot detective. There is no realism in Rod Kimble solving anything at all, ranging from 1st grade math problems to high-profile murder cases.
- The show will need support from more than just the core Andy-Samberg fanclub of 20-something males.
We’ll see what happens with Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, but for now, I’ll stay tuned (cue laugh track).
The Mindy Project
I avoided the Mindy Project for a long time. The commercials were obnoxious, I hated the title, and the last thing I wanted to watch was a show entirely about Kelly from the Office. Then Lindsay convinced me to watch one episode, and I was stunned to find out that Mindy Kaling is actually seriously hilarious. Lindsay has since read Mindy’s book, which means I’ve pretty much read most if it too. Linds loved to read the funniest parts out loud to me, then softly sigh and say, “We would be best friends.”
Anyways, Mindy’s Season 2’s premiere did not disappoint and it seems that we are in for at least one more funny season from the Mindy Project.
The New Girl
Oh The New Girl, how we used to love you so. The New Girl started up its third season on TV Tuesday but that doesn’t mean there is anything *new* about it (cue laugh track). (What were they thinking naming it the New Girl? She’s been there 2 seasons already there is nothing new about her at this point!)
I can’t quite put my finger on what New Girl’s problem is, but it definitely has a big one. I predict it’s going to start losing serious favor with its audience unless it changes something quick. Possible contenders for what is its biggest problem are the following:
- Too formulaic: I think they actually have a sign in the writers’ room that says:
- (Winston + Schmidt) – Nick = Not BFFs
- Nick + Jess = Sexual Tension
- Schmidt = Idiot
- Nick + Jess + Winston + Schmidt = Problem Resolution and All Best Friends
- Nick and Jess are super annoying together. They’ve been building up this tension between Nick and Jess so blatantly for so long that I think they may have missed their window of opportunity. No part of me cares if Jess and Nick do or do not end up together. In fact, when they are “together” they just bother me to no end. And they are CONSTANTLY discussing “should we or shouldn’t we,” “are we or aren’t we”, and then resolving way too many times, “I’m all in.” If you’re “all in” I wouldn’t have had to watch you idiots go back and forth for the last 4 episodes of season 2 and at least the first episode of this season.
- Schmidt not picking Cece over his ex-girlfriend. ’nuff said about this.
- Getting too serious. Every episode has what I like to call a “Full House” ending, where all of the characters come together and have some moral realignment. It’s great that they all reaffirm their friendship to one another, but at some point they just need to be friends instead of having to go through selfish bouts for 20 minutes of every episode.
So, the conclusion of the first TV Tuesday is that Brooklyn-Nine-Nine has potential, Mindy Project is still hilarious, and the New Girl better come up with something *new* real quick (cue laugh track).