Tele-Tuesday: Revenge is Sweet…

Fall television 2011 has brought us a large lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.  These new shows hope to find a permanent home on the networks, while some have already vanished from the TV schedule (R.I.P. The Playboy Club and Free Agents). 

Not everyone watches as much television as this crazy girl.  So, after giving almost all of the new shows a try, I’ve picked a few that have definitely peaked my interest.  For those of you with just enough time for a few programs a week, this is for you! 

Part I

The return of the night-time soap opera… Wednesday Nights on ABC – Revenge

Revenge stars Emily VanCamp (Everwood) as Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne, a young and beautiful addition to the rich and prestigious Hamptons.   However, Emily’s arrival isn’t her first trip to the neighborhood… 

When she was a little girl, Amanda and her father lived in the quaint beach house next door to her father’s boss and his mansion.  Late one night, Amanda’s father was ripped away from her for crimes that later sent him to prison for the rest of his life. 

Not necessarily believing in his innocence, Amanda rebelled and spent time incarcerated herself.  The day Amanda was released from her own prison, she was greeted by a stranger with life changing news: her father was dead, he had been framed, and she was now filthy rich. 

Amanda’s father believed in and secretly invested in a young man named Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) when no one else would.  Nolan awarded Mr. Clarke forty-nine percent of his company in return for the investment, and his investment was now worth millions.  When Amanda’s father died in prison, all of his assets were awarded to Amanda. 

But something greater came with these riches – a map and information on each and every person responsible for framing her father and sending him to prison.  Amanda assumes a new identity as Emily Thorne and sets her plan in motion vowing revenge against those responsible – primarily the Grayson family. 

After establishing herself around the world as an educated and philanthropic young lady, Emily returns to the Hamptons and rents the beach house where she spent time with her father; the house where he was so abruptly taken from her.   

In each episode, Emily destroys someone involved with her father’s demise: her father’s assistant and current mistress to Conrad Grayson, Lydia Davis (Amber Valletta); her father’s closest friend and a corrupt hedge fund manager, Bill Harmon (Matthew Glave); and the district attorney who prosecuted her father and current state senator, Tom Kingsley (Yancey Arias).

But who are Emily’s prime targets?  Conrad Grayson (Henry Czemy), the CEO of her father’s company who spearheaded the entire take-down, and the CEO’s not-so-loyal wife who stood by and watched her lover taken away in handcuffs (yea, you read that right – love triangle 101), Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe).  

How will Emily destroy the Graysons?  Will she involve their son, Daniel (Joshua Bowman); the man she’s slowly but surely seducing?  The pilot episode began at Emily and Daniel’s engagement party before rewinding to Emily’s arrival in the Hamptons….so probably. 

Will Emily confide in anyone other than Nolan?  How about her childhood friend Jack Porter (Nick Wechler) who adopted her puppy and named his boat Amanda

Do you watch Revenge?  What do you think?  The series claims to be loosely based on the Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo – do you see any parallels?  I’d love to hear from you!   

Come back next week for more top performers that have peaked my interest this television season.

Tele-Tuesday: New Laughs for Fall

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is right around the corner and, as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites. 

Similar to last week, we’re introducing more of the new television programs this fall.  Some of the series have promise, while others may flop – but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, it’s time for new laughs!

*****

Free Agents – NBC

Based on the British comedy series of the same name, Free Agents stars Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Mad About You) as Alex, a recent divorce’ trying to move on with his life.  Opposite Hank, stars Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan) as Helen, an office-mate also trying to move on with her life following her fiancé’s death.  What do two recently heartbroken co-workers do?  They get drunk, they sleep together, and then they try to keep their work life professional.   

At first, I thought Free Agents was about two Public Relations executives working in the fast-paced and highly competitive sports world (remember Arli$$ on HBO?).  However, this romantic/platonic friendship between co-workers might be fun to watch, not to mention Azaria and Hahn are fabulous.

Free Agents premieres Wednesday, September 14th

*****

 

2 Broke Girls – CBS

Filling a very popular time slot after Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls follows Max (Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and Caroline (Beth Behrs),  two waitresses in a New York City restaurant.  The two become fast friends despite their different backgrounds: Max comes from a working-class family and Caroline’s family was rich, but she is struggling now.  Max and Caroline dream of one day opening a shop of their own, but are having difficulty making their pay checks stretch enough to even pay the bills.

Created with Michael Patrick King (writer, Sex and the City), 2 Broke Girls marks the second new comedy this season touched by comedian Whitney Cummings (she also stars in Whitney on NBC). 

2 Broke Girls premieres Monday, September 19th

*****

New Girl – Fox

New Girl stars Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous, (500) Days of Summer, Yes Man) as Jess Day, a likeable young woman piecing together her life after a breakup.  Many words can be used to describe Jess: adorable, goofy, vulnerable, faithful, awkward, and offbeat.  She moves in with three single men – bartender Nick (Jake Johnson, No Strings Attached), the Casanova-like Schmidt (Max Greenfield, Veronica Mars and Ugly Betty), and athletic trainer, Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.), later replaced by Winston (Lamorne Morris) due to ABC’s renewal of Happy Endings where Damon Wayans, Jr. is a cast member. 

The men, and Jess’ best friend Cece (Hannah Simone, Beautiful People) help teach Jess and themselves all about life, love, and the ever-important self. 

New Girl premieres Tuesday, September 20th

*****

 

Up All Night – NBC

Starring an all-time funny cast, Christina Applegate (Married with Children, and many motion picture successes including The Sweetest Thing, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Hall Pass), and Saturday Night Live alumni Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph, Up All Night follows new parents Chris and Reagan Brinkley while they struggle to find the necessary balance in their life since the addition of their baby, Amy. 

Reagan (Applegate) returns to work for her needy boss, talk-show host Ava (Rudolph), while hubby Chris (Arnett), decides to fill the role as the stay-at-home-dad.  Up All Night promises laughs, as any new parent can relate to a lack of sleep, self-doubt, and the ever-growing pressure of maintaining a normal life while balancing parenthood. 

Up All Night premieres Wednesday, September 21st

*****

Whitney – NBC

Developed, written, and starring comedian Whitney Cummings (Chelsea Lately), Whitney follows the story of Whitney’s life experiences.  Whitney lives with her long-term boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), and the non-traditional couple sees no reason to get married. 

The happy couple is surrounded by their friends: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, Breaking Upwards), who believes in happily ever after, Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, Franklin & Bash), a relationship cynic, Neal (Maulik Pancholy, 30 Rock) who appears to be in a perfect relationship with Lily, and Mark (Dan O’Brien, multiple television appearances including How I Met Your Mother), the self-proclaimed ultimate bachelor. 

Whitney’s comedy reflects her own opinionated views, which is why it comes as no surprise that she is playing an opinionated woman on television.

Whitney premieres Thursday, September 22nd 

*****

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of the new comedies on television this year?  Which one most interests you?  Which of these shows will make it and which ones won’t? I’d love to hear from you!

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