Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Scandalous Client Lists

This week Amber West and I review two new 2012 midseason replacement dramas filled with scandalous client lists and female leads on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Lifetime’s The Client List and ABC’s Scandal.

Back in 2010, the Lifetime Network aired The Client List starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Love, as she’s been referred to many times in the media since her role on Party of Five, plays a mother who takes a position at a massage parlor to make ends meet after her husband suffers an injury that prevents him from working.  She later learns that her fellow masseuses are actually turning tricks and earning a fine living as prostitutes, serving some of the most prominent members of her community.

The fictionalized story is inspired by actual events that took place back in 2004 in Odessa, Texas — my hometown’s neighbor, fifteen miles to the west.  It took me a while to put two and two together, but this story captured everyone’s attention in West Texas, especially mine.  Why?  Because one of my former high school teachers was included in the list of “Johns” at the time.  Wow.  Right?  But I digress…

Now two years later, Lifetime is banking again on the popularity of the story and Jennifer Love HewittThe Client List is now a series on the television network for women.  The names have changed (Samantha Horton is now Riley Parks); the basic plot has been tweaked (the injured husband is now a husband that has abandoned his family); but the general idea remains the same (a mother goes to work as a prostitute to make a living for her children).

Riley Parks (Hewitt) lives in Beaumont, Texas with her unemployed husband and two small children.  Convinced she needs to save her family, Riley hits the pavement in search of work.  Unfortunately, she can’t find a day spa hiring any new masseuses.  On her way out of another failed interview, Riley runs into an old friend and former co-worker who is doing seemingly well for herself working at a parlor an hour away.  Riley accepts her friend’s business card and drives to Sugarland, Texas where she checks out this parlor — The Rub.

Georgia, owner & operator of The Rub

The Rub is a legitimate massage parlor operated by Georgia (Loretta Devine) — ninety percent of the time anyway.  The other ten percent consists of “The Client List” — guys looking for a little extra, or “happy endings” as we’re more familiar with today.  Riley insists that she will not provide any “extras” — even though “the girls that don’t do extras, don’t really do that well” at The Rub.  That is until she comes home to discover that her husband has abandoned her and she’s in danger of losing her home.

Riley needs to make more money; She needs a name off “The Client List.”

Mortgage Money!!

As expected, she’s uncomfortable at first, but later proves to be a natural.  She makes enough in cash tips to pay her mortgage and even saves the marriage of one of her clients.  Saves a marriage?  Yes; she listens to him and give him advice on how to reconnect with his wife.  She even has a heart-to-heart with the wife (Mimi Rogers) after the wife vandalizes Riley’s car, stalks Riley, and follows Riley home.

I know what everyone is thinking — Mimi Rogers — now that’s a big name for a guest appearance.  Well, how about Cybill Shepherd?  Cybill plays Riley’s mother, Lynette.  There’s another big name…

The always beautiful Cybill Shepherd...

With only two episodes so far, what do I like about The Client List?

First, I was impressed with a few of the one-liners:

As Riley walks around the lobby area of The Rub, she notices that it is “not at all what it looks like on the outside.”  Nice pun.

When asking for a flexible schedule to care for her children, Georgia tells Riley that “this job is all about flexibility.”  Another nice pun.

I also like Riley’s best friend (Lacey, played by Rebecca Field).  She plays a minor role but seems to be a character full of spunk and pizzazz, like when she rushes over to console Riley after her husband’s departure:  “I brought some Xanax because I know how you can get,” and then Lacey pops a pill in her mouth.

As much as I appreciate the one-liners and the character of Lacey, there are also a few aspects of the series that bother me.

Like other television programs, The Client List uses an over-the-top Texas accent.  As Texans, we’re not supposed to hear our own accents, which is probably why I have such a hard time with TV’s Texas Twang.  Not all of us sound like that folks, honest.

And as if Riley’s job isn’t awkward enough as is (rumor has it that The Client List has angered “real life” massage therapists for giving masseuses a bad name), the obvious sexual tension between Riley and her brother-in-law (played by Colin Egglesfield) is really awkward, even for TV.

Okay, so who can blame Riley if she does indeed crush on her brother-in-law?

Will The Client List be like Ghost Whisperer where Love cries in every episode?  Maybe, but honestly I hope not.  I loved Ghost Whisperer, but watching Love cry on cue was almost worthy of becoming a fun drinking game all in itself — take a shot every time Melinda cries…

But back to the program at hand… Have we seen enough to award The Client List with a rating higher than the SSTV rating?  No; Not yet.  The Client List is like a pot of water sitting on the back burner where the coils aren’t even red yet.  We definitely need more to determine whether or not this series will be worth a watch.

And before we wrap, I’d be remiss to not add the irony of The Client List airing on Lifetime (television for women), considering Love’s The Rub attire is more like television for men…  I’m just sayin’.  And yes, I’m am a bit jealous.  What woman doesn’t want to look like that in lingerie?

Ooo-La-La...

What do you think? Have you watched The Client List?  Did you watch the 2010 Lifetime movie?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s Scandal.  From the episode we’ve seen, it looks like Olivia Pope has her hands full with the President of the United States…

Come back next week when Amber and I review two SyFy dramas – Amber revisits the soon to end series, Eureka, and I take a look at the Canadian hit picked up by US television, Lost Girl

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night, The Comedy Polls

A few weeks ago, the Tele-Tuesday readers had the chance to vote on which television dramas they can’t live without in a Pick Per Night 2012.  Today, we want to know which comedies reign supreme.

If we’ve learned anything year after year, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.   We’ve also learned to adapt to other changes as well, like the revolving door of television programs.

The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  We have fall premieres, winter premieres, summer premieres, and this new thing called midseason replacements.  Comedy seems to be at the top of this year’s midseason replacements with sitcoms such as Bent and the upcoming Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Best Friends Forever.

And while the constant change to our network favorites continues to waffle, we must remember one thing — to laugh.

We’re watching more comedies than ever here at The Ooo Factor.  While some of our favorite veteran sitcoms still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on a particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with our 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one comedy per night, what would it be?

We’re omitting Friday and Saturday from the polls because there doesn’t appear to be any sitcoms on during the prime time hours.  Whatever happened to TGIF?  Remember those days?

Did your favorite comedy make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch funny program in a Pick Per Night 2012: the Comedies.

 

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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