Trick or Treat! Halloween is almost here, which of course means it’s time for your favorite characters to get all dressed up for this season’s Halloween episodes.
To help plan out your fall-holiday viewing, here’s a rundown of upcoming Halloween specials:
ABC Family’s annual 13 Nights of Halloween kicks off this Friday, October 19th. Special new episodes of Pretty Little Liars (Tues. 10/23 8pm) and Switched at Birth (Mon. 10/22 8pm) headline the event.
The other 20+hours worth of programming belong to a smorgasbord of family-favorite Halloween flicks like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, Coraline, Haunted Mansion, Edward Scissorhands, The Addams Family, and cable premiers of Monster House and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
You’ll also be able to catch offbeat movies like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mummy, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
More Halloween Laughs than Scares on TV this Year
Kids and teens aren’t the only ones getting dressed up, almost every network comedy is getting into the spirit too. Check out all of the FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC sitcoms airing Halloween episodes this year: The Big Bang Theory (Thurs. 10/25 8pm), The Middle (Wed. 10/24 8pm), Modern Family (Wed. 10/24 9pm), Happy Endings (Tues. 10/30 9pm), New Girl (Tues. 10/30 9pm), Suburgatory (Wed. 10/24 9:30pm), The Office (Thurs. 10/25 9pm), Up All Night (Thurs. 10/25 8:30pm), Ben and Kate (Tues. 10/30 8:30pm), The Neighbors (Wed. 10/24 8:30pm) and The Mindy Project (Tues. 10/30 9:30pm).
The 2012 TV season also provides the chance to see characters from 666 Park Avenue (Sun. 10/28 10pm), Blue Bloods (Fri. 10/26 10pm), Hawaii Five-0 (Mon. 10/29 10pm), and Hart of Dixie (Tues. 10/30 8pm) in Halloween costumes.
And Don’t Forget About the Halloween Specials
If you’re a fan of Byran Fuller’s work (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daises, & Dead Like Me) and why wouldn’t you be, than I highly recommend that you check out NBC’s special presentation of Mockingbird Lane (Fri. 10/26 8pm). This reboot of the Munsters has long been stuck in the creative stages of production, but now with NBC’s decision to air the “pilot” as a Halloween special, it may be all we see of Fuller’s quirky take on this famous family. The potential series stars Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as Lily, and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa.
I saved the best for last – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – ABC will air the timeless Halloween classic on the big night, Oct. 31st at 8pm.
Updated 9/24: Click here to see this year’s Emmy winners, or download the complete winner’s list, which includes all of the unaired and technical categories from: http://www.emmys.tv/awards/64th-primetime-emmy-awards
The 64th Primetime Emmy® Awards air tonight – Sunday, September 23rd, on ABC – so block out a few hours of your evening and enjoy one of the rare moments when we get to see the TV industry award creativity and excellence*.
Also, there are Emmy drinking games.
Now of course not everyone I am rooting for will win, so before the awards ceremony kicks-off, here are some of my favorites that I think deserve to take home an Emmy.
Emmy Winners If It Were Up To Me
Outstanding Actress In A Comedy Series
Zoey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation should have been nominated for best comedy series, but it wasn’t, so the only way the Academy can make up for pulling a Jerry is to give props to Amy Poehler’s brilliant work as Leslie Knope.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
In order to avoid a Modern Family free-for-all I am totally pulling for Max Greenfield. The first season of the New Girl may have been uneven, but Greenfield’s Schmidt was a consistent source of humor and he managed to keep the character likable despite being the biggest contributer to the douchebag jar.
Outstanding Reality Show Host
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Betty White is probably the favorite in this category because she can do no wrong, but I whole heartily want Cat Deeley to win. She is an integral part of So You Think You Can Dance and each season she makes personal connections with the contestants, keeps the show on time, bails out incompetent guest judges when they are at a loss for words, and is funny. Also, have you seen her wardrobe?
Outstanding TV Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway and Gellhorn
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
In this category I am pulling for the BBC’s Luther, mostly because I am hoping there will be more episodes and because I think more people should watch it.
So those are my top picks, who are you hoping to see win tonight?
*For the sake of not going into a rant, I’m going to largely ignore the selective and repetitive nomination process that is often frustrating.
Let me first say that the new one-episode a week format of So You Think You Can Dance is a welcomed change for season 9. But besides the elimination (pun intended) of the mostly-filler results show, this season has felt a bit off*.
So before we crown two season 9 champions, here’s a quick run-down of why I think this season has been weird but also why I still love SYTYCD.
A Weekly Display of Incredible Talent
It should go without saying that the dancers (all-stars and current contestants alike) are brilliant at what they do, which is why it generally sucks to cut people each week. With such a high-caliber of talent this season and no clear front runner, I felt like a lot of dancers were sent home before their time (mostly causalties of the double elimination nights).
I would have loved to have seen more from Alexa (who was heavily touted in Vegas week), Amber (who performed an incredible routine the week of her elimination), and Will (who I felt like we never really got to see dance without any gimmicks).
With that said, I’m still happy with the final four contestants (Go Eliana!) and this season has certainly provided its fair share of memorable routines too. Allison and Cole’s Sonya Tayeh piece might be my new favorite:
Kudos to SYTYCD for bringing back favorites like Christina Applegate and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, but what’s with the guest judges who have never seen the show before (Michael Nunn & Billy Trevitt) or ones who can’t speak without a script (Zooey Deschanel)?
On a related site note: Thank God for Cat Deeley. Not only does she save floundering guest judges but she keeps the show on schedule, builds a personal repertoire with all of the dancers, and keeps Mary and Nigel in check. I’m really hoping Cat Deeley wins an Emmy this year, she really deserves it.
The Return of Mia Michaels
With some of the most memorable routines to her name, I was super excited for her to come back, but the tribute show was a major mistep on SYTYCD’s part.
First of all, part of the fun of watching the show is seeing new partnerships develop and new works of art unfold in front of our eyes. If I want to watch an older number, I’ll just YouTube it. Second, some of Mia’s pieces like “Time” (about seeing her father again in the afterlife) is something that really was never critiqued the first time around because the the loss was so recent, but this time around it was like open season on the dancers since it’s been like five years. And third, some routines are just epic and any re-creation is not going to live up to what we all remember. The bench routine with Heidi and Travis and Hometown Glory with Katee and Joshua are two such examples.
“Yay” for just one episode a week, “Boo” for the multiple breaks the show took to accommodate the Olympics and 4th of July. Between all of the time off and double eliminations I felt like I hardly got to know the dancers this season.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance and despite my quibbles I still think it’s one of the best reality shows on TV – so with that said, I’m just hoping they continue to make changes for the better. Until then, make sure to tune into the Season 9 finale on Tuesday September 18th at 8pm on FOX.
*Not nearly as off as the ill-conceived fall season in 2009 (season 6).
The fall TV season is quickly approaching but if you are like me, it can’t come soon enough. Summer series are winding down leaving giant gaps in my prime time schedule, but thankfully NBC and FOX are offering some pilot episodes early!
Nothing on tonight? Head on over to Hulu.com to sample some of this year’s new comedies and dramas.
FOX is showing off their new Tuesday night comedy block additions: The Mindy Project (9:30pm) and Ben and Kate (8:30pm).
Ben and Kate is about a brother-sister combo, hence the name, in which Ben moves in with his sister Kate who is a single parent. I assume since this is a comedy Ben will be left with her daughter a lot and he won’t have any idea of how to take care of kids. I could be off, guess you’ll just have to check it out to see for yourself. The pilot episode is currently streaming on Fox.com and Hulu and will premier later this month on September 25th.
The Mindy Project premiers the same night, and unlike Ben and Kate I did have a chance to check it out. It was funny but as I pilot I wouldn’t say it was anything special. The premise is rather run-of-the-mill (girl has smarts and is witty plus has her dream job, but no love life); however, I am assuming you are tuning into The Mindy Project because you find Mindy Kaling funny and there is plenty of laughs so it certainly shows potential.
NBC is also kind enough to offer a few sneak peeks. Currently you can check out one of their new comedies – The New Normal (Tues. 9:30pm) and Revolution (Mon. 10pm), the latest show to have J.J. Abrams name attached to it.
While The New Normal looks interesting and was created by Ryan Murphy (you remember Glee, Nip/Tuck, and American Horror Story, right?) I already know its not a show I am going to watch so all I can tell you is its about a single mother who agrees to be a surrogate for a gay couple. The new comedy will occupy Glee’s old timeslot and will compete against The Mindy Project on Tuesday nights at 9:30pm. The New Normal premiers next week on September 11th.
If drama is more your thing then why wait until September 17th when you can see the new J.J. Abrams series Revolution now. The new post-apocalyptic genre series will either find success on the low rated NBC network or crash and burn quickly, so check it out while its on or watch it now so you can say you saw it first. The pilot is full of flaws (exposition heavy, lack of subtlety, an annoying heroine) and potential (J.J. Abrams) so it’s hard to see which way it will go, but based on the ending alone I recommend Revolution.
Have you checked out any of these new shows, what do you think? What else are you planning to watch this TV season? Here’s a look at some of the other new Fall 2012 TV series.
I love TV, but for better or worse I can’t watch it all the time. So what do I do to pass the time between waking up and prime time or DVR viewing? – I listen to podcasts about TV.
While it’s damn near impossible to watch TV at work, podcasts are a great way to get your TV (or general entertainment) fix without losing an entire day’s worth of productivity. So here are my three favorite TV-related podcasts.
Entertainment Podcasts – Just Like TV Minus The Pictures
In the last few years The A.V. Club has toyed around with a few different incarnations of podcasts – most recently they’ve settled on a shorter format that lends itself to more frequent episodes and a diverse array of topics. Currently called Reasonable Discussions, the podcast is excellent for those with a random array of interests or entertainment ADD. It’s not all about TV, but come on – I do watch movies and listen to music too! Plus, every now and then Amelie Gillette (a former A.V. Club staff member and current writer on The Office) drops back in to do a very special episode of The Hatecast – an awesomely sarcastic take on what’s currently going on in the world.
Then there’s the weekly NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which posts new episodes every Friday. The usual team of entertainment gurus include Linda Holmes, Trey Graham, Glen Weldon, and Stephen Thompson. Like Reasonable Discussions, PCHH bounces around from music and movies to TV and comics, and even books. But regardless of the weekly topics, I eagerly await each new episode because I enjoy the camaraderie of the roundtable and often find myself interested in something that I otherwise wouldn’t have sought out for myself.
And lastly there is the Nerdist Writer’s Panel, which I only recently found thanks to Pop Culture Happy Hour. Unlike the other two podcasts, the Nerdist Writer’s Panel is all about television and film and features a different group of writers each week. A revolving door of hosts keep things moving as the panel of writers discuss how they got into the business, shows or films they’ve been involved with (for better or worse), and more candid stories about the creation and execution of a script.
Guests on the panel include Bill Lawrence (Scrubs & Cougar Town), Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Once Upon A Time), Shawn Ryan (The Shield & Last Resort), Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life & Thirtysomething), David Fury (Angel & Lost), Dan Harmon (Community), Liz Meriwether (The New Girl), Peter Gould (Breaking Bad), and many more.
All of three of these podcasts are available on iTunes so plug in some headphones, start downloading, and enjoy!
Taking the idea of a ‘house band’ to a whole new level is the band Whale Tooth, which provides the diegetic or source music heard at the ‘Lux Motel on The L.A. Complex.
The Toronto-based band describes their music as dance/pop/rock, which probably characterizes just about any other band heard on The CW, but unlike most of the other bands whose music is used to fill a montage or set the mood for a scene, Whale Tooth‘s presence is different.
Whale Tooth Creates More Than The Soundtrack
The show uses the band like another character, which works to further develop the peripheral world of The L.A Complex. Their music wasn’t just added in post production for the sake of the viewers. Instead, the members of the band ‘live’ in the fictional motel complex and provide the soundtrack for the seemingly nightly parties or the daytime ambiance for their neighbors, which mostly consist of out-of-work actors and other Hollywood hopefuls of the sorts.
Considering their perpetual presence at The ‘Lux, its fair to say that the fictional incarnation of Whale Tooth probably doesn’t book too many gigs of their own. Perhaps more than anyone else in the motel, they epitomize the warped homeostasis that Los Angeles creates.
Everyone living at The ‘Lux is stuck in this limbo – unable to quit on a dream while simultaneously failing to succeed. But they remain there because they love what they do. And this seems most obvious with Whale Tooth. Their only listeners may be their neighbors, but they still get to perform for an audience and that seems to be enough of a reason to keep playing.
However, in season two you’ll notice that another Canadian band, The Rural Alberta Advantage, has since moved into The ‘Lux. Apparently there is only room for one house band. So whatever happened to the fictional Whale Tooth, do you think they signed a record deal and are making a name for themselves or simply packed it up and moved on? I’d like to believe that they’re still doing what they love (and getting paid for it), but as we all know, in the world of The L.A. Complex, dreams are generally out of reach.
As for the real Whale Tooth and The Rural Alberta Advantage, well I hope they find their audience. Each week I tune into The L.A. Complex, not just to see what’s going on with Conner, Nick, Abby, and Raquel but also to hear what what’s playing at The ‘Lux.