Cristal Light (Television Thoughts: Dynasty, Wednesdays on CW)

vidAs a full-pledged Dynasty fan from the 80s, you knew I would be watching the CW reboot, and I would be watching with a real judgmental eye. I mean this is a show I know, loved, and obsessed. Can they make it better, and at the same time give tribute to these iconic characters? (I do love that they put it in the same time slot as before, Wednesdays at 9 pm)

After watching the initial episode, I say they mostly missed the spot – this is way too subdued for a night time soap, and when they try to do ‘camp,’ it looks like they are trying – camp happens when you least expect it.

But there are good points here, too. I do like the casting of Grant Show as Blake Carrington – he still looks fine as ever, DILFy delicious. Elizabeth Gillies, as Fallon, the bad daughter, is a little too obvious, a little devilish sly wink would have worked better for me. And Steven Carrington (James Mackay) should have been cuter, all for the young gaylings to lust after. But these are initial impressions – the actors will hopefully be more comfortable in the characters’ skins as the series moves along. I do like the spicy Krystle here, well, I am sorry, Cristal (since she is Hispanic, played by Nathalie Kelly) If Cristal will be a little more street saavy, then it would all be for the better.

Or perhaps I am just too protective of the show I grew up with? I have to be honest, if this was any other show, and not a reboot, I probably would be ignoring this instantly. In this Golden Age of Television, there is just too much to watch that’s better and more interesting. But since this is Dynasty, I will give it a shot, and stick with it for a couple of episodes more.

But You’ve Got To Have Friends (Television Thoughts, Will & Grace Season Nine)

C27FD6uWgAAsW1lSo you have seen all the press for the return of ‘Will and Grace,’  and after watching the ninth season opener, I say yasss ! And to be honest, I am not even the biggest fan of the show. Of course, I watched it when it was first on, and I particularly loved the second season but I drifted after that, occasionally checking in but never devoted. But of course I love these characters. I mean, who doesn’t ? Gay critics are saying it’s a minstrel show, and I say why take it so seriously? It’s a sitcom, one that appeals to a whole lot of people. It brought gay sensibility to America’s living rooms weekly, and I think it really did help with mainstream’s acceptance of gay culture.

And it starts out almost entirely where it left off. It has always been topical, and with our media-savvy culture nowadays, it looks like it hasn’t skipped a bit. There is something a bit comforting about seeing these characters again – all over-the-top versions of people we know (Well, I know, anyway)  And the zingers sometimes land, sometimes fail, but hasn’t it always been like that anyway?  I love the fact that totally nothing has changed with Will, with Jack with Grace and with Karen. I mean, I would be so mad if they had changed Karen.  Welcome back, Friends.

Young And Wise (Television Thoughts: Young Sheldon)

MV5BZDg3MGNhYjItZGU2Yi00MzU4LWE4NGUtYjA2OTVjNGUyMjE4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjg4NzAyOTA@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Challenge Of The Day: Will I enjoy ‘Young Sheldon’ having never seen an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory?’  At the very least, I know that this is a prequel of sorts to Jim Parson’s character there, and I kind of guess Sheldon is one of those geeks, perhaps portrayed as a stereotypical one.

Honestly, this show just came to my radar because of Iain Armitrage, who plays the young Sheldon. Any Broadway fan knows him, of course, because Armitrage is a big theater fan, and on Facebook has a page called Iain Loves Theater, where he reviews enthusiastically all the shows he sees. It’s cute, if a bit too winsome, and perhaps a curmudgeon like me can be a bit bitter because he absolutely adores everything he sees. But anyway, I follow his page and watches everything he reviews, so….

Oh, about the show. I kind of didn’t like it. One of those fish-out-of-water ones where a nine year old kid has to go to High School because he is gifted. Perhaps I am missing a lot of the Sheldon jokes, because all of them fell flat for me. Iain is cute, but somehow I don’t think it would be enough to lure me back weekly, though perhaps if I were bored on Hulu and saw this….

Doogie Awkward (Television Thoughts: The Good Actor, ABC)

the-good-doctorI don’t know why ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ appealed to me, but I am enjoying it after the three episodes I have seen. It stars little cutie Freddie Highmore as an autistic doctor (Dr Shaun Murphy) who is doing residence as a surgeon in a San Jose, California hospital. I don’t know what the spectrum of his autism is, but he is ‘highly functional,’ and is a savant regarding all medical information – you get a sense that he has memorized medical books, and is using that information to treat patients – all for good. On the first three weeks anyway, different medical conditions get thrown to him every week, and he is a hero at all of them.

But, as he is autistic, they make good use of his social awkwardness. He  really does not know how to interact with others, and needs help in boundaries, and operating with and recognizing shades of grey, as everything in life is not black or white, as explained through his medical textbooks.

And there are a lot of shades of grey here – as we see some of the people he works with at the hospital acting like they are from that other Grey television show (Anatomy) and frankly, I think it’s a stupid distraction. The show definitely does not need that kind of crap here. Still, I think Highmore is charming and effectove and by now they probably have got me for the rest of the season.

Their Cheating Hearts (Television Thoughts: Project Runway Season Sixteen)

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Have I been watching ‘Project Runway’ for sixteen seasons now? Because this is its sixteenth season, and I know perhaps for a season or two, I have been very faithful. Do I enjoy the show still, after all these years? I do, for the most part, but I have to admit that it has been more and more predictable as years go on. And this season may be its most trite ever, casting -wise. They have a Muslim woman, a trans woman, a set of twins, just to cite some obvious examples. Are they casting personalities? For sure, but I would like to think that the personalities have at least a modest amount of talent. And I had thought this was one of those shows where drama took second place to the competition – the clothes, the originality, the creativity. Honestly, this year, it seems like drama comes first. I have not been truly impressed by any of the designers, as they seem to be more designing clothes, not fashion. And as for the drama – they seemed to have cast the twins as the ‘villains’ right from the start, setting both up for their inevitable fail. It’s exhausting. And as for the much-teased ‘cheating’ scandal, it more ado than the something, and they made sure you were rooting for the right people, based on their editing. Still, I have to admit, it got my interest, and it got me binge-watching, and yes, it entertained me. Sure I get that i was manipulated, but what am I supposed to do?

Nosey Neighbours (Television Thoughts: 9JKL, CBS)

9JKL-season-1-poster-CBS-key-artHow old am I that a watched a CBS sitcom? Old, for sure. I just saw the first two episodes of ‘9JKL,’ CBS’ crown jewel sitcom for this season, and you know why I think that? Well, because they had so much faith in this show that they are pairing it with ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ And this show is being ravaged by critics left and right.

What do I think? I mean, it’s not the worst, and it’s not that bad. I kind of like it’s classic traditional feel. Mark Feuerstein plays Josh, who moves back to New York in the same building as his parents and his brother, with an apartment between them. Sure it’s cliche in the highest level, but it kind of reminds me of a 70s or 80s sitcom, so I can’t really hate it enough. Plus, anything with Linda Lavin and Elliot Gould couldn’t really be that bad, right?  I don’t know if I will ever go back to watching this show after I have written about it here, and I don’t think I will furiously seek this, but perhaps on a cold night, with blankets on, I might binge watch it on Hulu.

(oops, just realized CBS shows are not on Hulu – oh well)

Lies Lies Lies (Television Thoughts: Younger Season Four)

sy4So I am finally writing about Younger, Season Four. I waited until the season finished. I had been watching it really sporadically this season and binged the last couple of episodes. I am still very much into it, and if for anything, I think the cast is better than ever, as they have all really gotten all of their characters under their skins.

Let’s see what this season has brought – the sexual tension between Liza and Charles finally consummated. But then Charles’s ex-wife comes into the picture as her manuscript is discovered (and edited) by Liza, and by the end of the season her book is about to be published. Josh met an Irish woman, and by the end of the season marries her in Ireland, so she can get a visa to stay in the US. So these are just elaborate set-ups for next season. The common thread on all these: lies, lies, lies. Liza’s specialty, of course.

I enjoyed much of the season, if a little less than before. I know they are just trying to prolong the ‘love triangle’ angle and that’s fine, and I am not really against any of the hurdles they have thrown our lovebirds, here. All the minor characters have been strong, especially Duff’s. I am curious and excited as to where these characters are headed, but I truly wish I was more excited. A stellar season, but no cause for fireworks here.