REVENGE SEASON FINALE: The show had sagged a bit until last week’s episode when they steered headlong into the season finale. Emily Thorn’s revenge scheme was paying off in many respects and she was close to reuniting with her true love Jack, but last night’s finale changed all that. Just when there was a glimmer of happiness in Emily’s future, it was ripped away from her because of the return of a certain someone. Poor Ems. But it’s clear the return of said certain someone will be a focus of Emily and Nolan’s attention next season. Let’s take a moment and talk about Nolan: he IS the new James Spader in all of the best possible ways. The voice, the haircut, the brightly colored skinny jeans, and his impeccable sweater collection. Gabriel Mann as Nolan is why I keep watching. Yes, I love Madeleine Stowe as the evil Victoria Grayson; and no, I don’t believe for a SECOND that she’s dead, but my revenge-y heart belongs to Nolan, his computer hacking skills, and his sly, dry sense of humor.
MODERN FAMILY SEASON FINALE: The Mitch/Cameron story felt disjointed, as did the Hayley/Dylan moving in together bit, but the Jay/Lily moments and the Spanish telenovela takeoff at the hospital redeemed the episode. And yes, I loved the Gloria moment that closed the episode. I hope we get to see her break the news to Jay at the start of next season.
DON’T TRUST THE B IN APT. 23: I think the writing got weaker as the episodes went on. I still watch because Krysten Ritter is crazy talented and has killer timing and delivery but I only laugh at James Van der Beek’s lines but then, a storyline involving him and DWTS makes me laugh just thinking about it.
MAD MEN: The Don and Joan scenes were the focal points to me, especially the long scene with the two of them in the bar. I’ve never wanted the two of them to hook up but I love the way they understand each other and there’s a lovely friendship in that; Joan appreciates all of Don’s charms and Don admires Joan for her looks and her office skills, and there’s a respect in that admiration that keeps him from hitting on her. In addition, I loved seeing Joan getting angry at the incompetent receptionist and when she threw the model airplane at her, I howled. I want more of a Joan storyline this season but I think this is all we’re going to get. Harry going to see Paul Kinsey at the Hare Krishna meeting felt like another show and Harry’s inability to keep it in his pants is becoming tired; that entire story was a ham-fisted way of telling us, yet again, how shallow it is to work in advertising, the lack of a bigger meaning. I was intrigued by Don’s comment to Megan about how easily she left advertising and that he was a little bruised by that.
THE PITCH: I wound up watching this week’s episode of THE PITCH right after MAD MEN which was like a “then and now” jump, as I watched two competing ad agencies vie for the Frangelico account. The head of The Ad Store repulsed me because it seemed he didn’t employ any women in the U.S. office of the company – he had to ask the female partner in the Italy office to fly in for the pitch but by then it was too late because that team didn’t really do their homework and went in with a very ragged pitch. Meanwhile, the Kovel-Fuller team had two women working on the pitch and the boss asked their new copywriter to pitch to the client, which was her first time pitching directly to a client. She rose the occasion and delivered a solid, female-oriented pitch, as requested by the client. It made for a good episode of TV.
WHY I LOVE PBS: BURT BACHRACH & HAL DAVID awarded The Gershwin Prize at The White House and AMERICAN MASTERS: JOHNNY CARSON retrospective. Click to PBS.org as I believe both specials are still online.
COMMUNITY AND DAN HARMON: I can’t say I was shocked when I heard the news last week that Dan Harmon’s option was not being renewed and David Guarascio and Moses Port had been hired to run the show next season. Sony and NBC want the show to produce enough episodes to sell into syndication and these days, that number is 88. COMMUNITY is at approximately 66 episodes now. The fall order of 13 episodes gets them to approximately 79 and depending on the quality of the episodes, the show could run longer. I love Dan Harmon’s brain and the inventive ways he’s used it to create some seriously imaginative, genre-bending episodes. I want him to produce more material and continue to have a show business career. It’s unfortunate that the situation at COMMUNITY deteriorated to the point where Sony and NBC felt they needed to replace him. But here’s the thing: I plan on watching COMMUNITY in the fall and giving it a chance. I love the cast, they’ve all shown talents I never expected and it’s always a treat to be surprised. I refuse to write the show off or stop watching in protest. From my showbiz experience, these things happen. It’s not fun, it’s no one’s first choice when it comes to running a show, but it’s a business, and certain behaviors don’t lend themselves to the process of producing TV shows. Here’s to great success for everyone involved in COMMUNITY.
FALL PILOTS: I’m watching fall pilots and as usual, the networks sent them out with the provision that the cuts are not for review. As I read most of the pilot scripts, I’m finding the finished pilots are pretty much what I expected. Happily, some improved in the production process. I don’t think it’s fair to talk about fall pilots right now as the premiere dates are so far in the future. If there are particular pilots you’re curious about, feel free to email me privately and we’ll chat.
TODAY’S SURF WRITTEN WHILE LISTENING TO: The song of the summer: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic&ob=av3e
Tonight’s rundown: My two musts: the CNBC special about J. Crew and the AWAKE series finale
CNBC: 10pm: The Man Who Built J. Crew: profile of Mickey Drexler. Be sure to watch Jenna Lyons – she’s been at the company 20 years and is the chief stylist/designer. She’s a true fashion brand visionary and very much a part of this success story.
ABC 8:00 p.m. Duets (series premiere, two hours) 10:00 p.m. Rookie Blue (season premiere)
DUETS: Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke look for undiscovered talent across America and when they find the talent, they sing duets with them.
CBS 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R) 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement (R) 9:00 p.m. Person of Interest (R) 10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)
NBC 8:00 p.m. Community (R) 8:30 p.m. Community (R) 9:00 p.m. The Office (R) 9:30 p.m. The Office (R) 10:00 p.m. Awake (series finale)
Fox 8:00 p.m. So You Think You Can Dance (season premiere, two hours)
CW 8:00 p.m. Perez Hilton – All Access: Lady Gaga 9:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)
TBS: 10pm: MEN AT WORK – new comedy series premiere starring Danny Masterson. The concept: four guys working at an NYC magazine.
BRAVO: 930pm: Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding, 10pm: Kathy