Friday FabOoolousness – Reuniting with our Pals from American Pie

Thirteen years ago we all met and fell in love with the quirky teenagers of American Pie.  In my early twenties at the time, I joined millions of other moviegoers and watched the group of young adults as they frantically fluttered about, preparing for their senior prom.  Would they all find a date?  Would any of them lose their virginity?  Would this night be a night to remember, forever?

American Pie was a huge box-office hit, and the success continued once the movie was available on DVD despite critics claims that the film was lewd and shallow.  Regardless, the American Pie film franchise has now grown to include four films starring our favorite characters and another four films following other groups of teenagers.

But for the sake of today’s post, we’re only focusing on the “real” American Pie favorites:

The original, American Pie;

The sequel, American Pie 2;

The official consummation, known as American Wedding;

And the most recent theatrical release, American Reunion.

One thing that I truly appreciate about the American Pie films is that the story follows a group of teenage boys; it’s not the usual girl drama of most YA films.  While there are female characters crucial to the storyline (Michelle, played by Alyson Hannigan; Heather, played by Mena Suvari; Vicky, played by Tara Reid; and Nadia, played by Shannon Elizabeth), the movie tells the tales of five male friends as they move throughout life: Jim Levenstein, played by Jason Biggs; Kevin Myers, played by Thomas Ian Nicholas; Chris “Oz” Ostreicher, played by Chris Klein; Paul Finch, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas; and Steve Stifler, played by Seann William Scott.

The boys/men of American Pie... in order from left to right: Kevin, Jim, Stifler, Oz, and Finch.

Another thing that I applaud is the fact that the franchise kept the original actors throughout; even when a particular star couldn’t return or wasn’t written into the sequel scripts, the casting remained the same.  We recently splurged and treated ourselves to a Sunday afternoon date at the AMC Cinema Suites where we sat back and enjoyed juicy hamburgers and parmesan fries while we witnessed the crew (the ENTIRE crew) come back together for their twelve year high school reunion.

The American Pie franchise keeps true to the comedic moments, with each movie featuring at least one outlandish and hilarious scene (usually featuring Jason Biggs).  In the original, Jim “makes love” to a warm apple pie after he’s told that’s what “third base” feels like.  In American Pie 2, Jim superglues a pornographic VHS tape to one hand, and his other hand to his you know what after he mistakes a bottle of lube with the super sticky adhesive.  Jim’s up to his old tricks in American Wedding when he decides to “manscape” before his nuptials to Michelle, and he disposes of the remnants a bit too close to a vent which of course blows the hair all over the wedding cake.  American Reunion doesn’t disappoint, but for those who haven’t made it to the movie theater these past two weeks to see it, we don’t want to give anything away.

How it all began...

Another great aspect of the American Pie films has to be the pranks.  For what seems to be true of most young boys, the American Pie movies are filled with boys playing pranks on one another.  For example, we have the famous scene of Finch blasting a massive bowel movement in the high school bathroom in the original, courtesy of Stifler (or the “Stifmeister” as he likes to be called); and we have the forever famous and ultimate payback when Finch has sex with Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge).

Stifler's Mom & Finch

Heck, our generation owes the American Pie franchise for introducing us to the word MILF — meaning Mom I’d Like to…Fondle (so that’s not the actual word, but you have to fill in the rest; sorry, we like to keep The Ooo Factor as clean as possible).

And speaking of parents, let’s not forget to mention Jim’s awkwardly awesome dad, Noah Levenstein, played by the great Eugene Levy.  Mr. Levenstein is actually the only character in all eight films credited to the American Pie franchise.

Jim and his beloved and quirky father, Mr. Levenstein

But back to what prompted us to write this post in the first place — American Reunion.  It’s too early to give a summation of the movie, but know this:  it does not disappoint.  My guy and I never go to the theater, but I was dying to see this film.  Instead of ignoring my constant pleading, my guy agreed to go with me (usually he asks that I attend “my movies” with my girlfriends).  And let me just say — he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  While the credits were rolling, he actually said how fun it was.

Did American Reunion exceed our expectations?  No — but seriously, it did NOT disappoint either.  The story was very well done, and the fact that every single one of the major characters (and a few of the minor) shared the screen at one point or another deserves a standing ovation.

To quote a friend of mine, “everyone who saw the original American Pie in the theater, owes it to themselves to take a trip back to the movies to see American Reunion.”  I’m going to take it a step further and add that this rule applies to anyone who has seen any of the American Pie movies in the theater.  Actually, let’s go even further — this rule applies to everyone who has ever seen any of the American Pie movies — anyhow, anyway.

See? Even Mr. Levenstein gives it a "thumbs up!"

Have you seen American Reunion?  What are your thoughts on the entire American Pie franchise?  Which movie and/or character is your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

For another review of American Reunion, click over to my friend Jillian Dodd’s blog.  It seems she and I agree that it’s a must see!

Friday FabOoolousness – Escaping with Movies

Very rarely do we actually go to the movie theater to catch a new release, but my guy and I do frequent the fabOoolous movie vending machines known as Redbox.  We also like to “rent” movies via OnDemand, whether it is the pay services or the free premium channels that accompany our cable plan.

Lately, our weekends have been filled with late night cinematic greatness after a day of running all around the metroplex shopping for cars and home workout equipment.  After being out in the Texas heat (it came early this year, folks), we only seem to have enough energy to curl up on the couch and pop in a movie.  Mostly we lean toward the comedies, wanting to laugh the day away, but we don’t shy away from the drama and tension filled mysteries either.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a list of movies that come highly recommended here at The Ooo Factor, so it’s time…

*****

If you’re in the mood to laugh…

Jack and Jill

While it’s not Adam Sandler’s best, it was very enjoyable.  As always we see the same cast of characters that Happy Madison Productions likes to offer cameo appearances to (it’s almost like playing a game… “which of Sandler’s friends grabbed a part in this film”), and we see the same type of comedy we’ve grown accustomed to over the years when Sandler’s involved.

Jack and Jill actually shares a very valuable message through the twin brother (Jack, played by Adam Sandler) and twin sister’s (Jill, played by a cross-dressed Adam Sandler) tumultuous relationship, and shows the importance of family and true friends.  Oh, and movie goers get to experience Al Pacino in a role unlike any other he has played.

*****

If you’re looking for a good, yet dark, mystery…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Many have read the book, many have seen the Swedish film, but that didn’t stop American productions from making its very own version of the Steig Larson hit.  First of all, Rooney Mara deserves any and all acclaim for this film.  She transformed herself into the title character’s role, Lisbeth Salander.  From the hair, to the tattoos, to the piercings, and to the horrendously dark storyline of her character, she nailed the performance.  I think it’s safe to assume we won’t see Rooney resume her role in any future Nightmare on Elm Street renditions as Nancy, although that would be lovely.

And Daniel Craig, no he’s not James Bond in this film; but it is a nice change of pace from his 007 role.  I’ve always likened the actors who have played Bond in the past strictly to the Bond character, but not Craig.  His depth and acting skills are quite amazing, and I almost forget he’s our most recent sexy spy when I watch his other movies.

In the rare case that someone isn’t at all familiar with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, let me warn you – this is a dark film; I cannot express it enough.  I don’t want to give anything away, but there really is no “Hollywood ending” to this story, but that’s not to say it isn’t fantastic.  And if you like mysteries and attempting to figure out the who, what, why, where, and when, give this one a go.

*****

One that I actually can’t recommend…

The Rum Diary

Usually we love Johnny Depp movies, and he seems to only select the best roles that add to his Hollywood greatness, but The Rum Diary was nothing at all like we expected.  The trailer looks hilarious, even the poster board at Redbox listed the movie as a comedy.  It’s not.  While there are funny moments, the movie’s more of a drama told in dedication to the deceased columnist and author, Hunter S. Thompson.

It’s hard to explain exactly what went wrong or where the film lost us, but we refused to give up and watched until the very end.  Even then, we just shook our heads in dismay; it was a major let down.

Here’s to hoping Depp is back to his fabOoolous roles as Barnabas Collins in the upcoming release, Dark Shadows.  Now this one will get me to the theater, and I really need to wash this Rum taste out of my mouth.

*****

Now, if you’re looking for a surprise treat…

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil

If you’re in the mood for a slasher that you can make fun of and laugh along with, I highly recommend Tucker and Dale Vs Evil starring Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory, Doll House) as Tucker, and Tyler Labine (Reaper) as Dale.  Most of us laugh at slashers anyway, right?  But those laughs are usually not along with the film, they are at the film…

In a nice change of events, we can actually laugh along with this movie.  Tucker and his buddy Dale, two hillbillies enjoying their purchase of their very first vacation home (a rundown shack that screams “Murderer lives here!”), are mistaken as murderers by a group of college students out in the woods on vacation.  One by one the college kids kill themselves, but no one is there to witness these deaths so the others believe Tucker and Dale are responsible.  Meanwhile Tucker and Dale think these kids have lost their minds killing one another, and they too are running around just as scared.

Seriously, this is an underrated film.  Most have probably not even heard of it.  Have you?

*****

Have you seen any of these movies?  If so, what did you think?  What movies have you seen lately that come highly recommended?  Have you been disappointed by any recent films?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Tele-Tuesday: A Pick Per Night 2012, The Funny Results

The results of our first Reader’s Choice Tele-Tuesday comedy polls are in.  Last week, we asked our readers one simple question: if you could watch only one comedy per night, what would it be?

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

Did the Tele-Tuesday readers agree with our picks?  Find out today in A Pick Per Night 2012: The Comedies.

Sunday: Other

For us at The Ooo Factor, comedy on Sunday night means Showtime.  And lately, our top choice is Californication.

Hank Moody (David Duchovny) has never met a drug or a woman that he doesn’t love.  Pair that with his recurring writer’s block, and Hank’s life is a disaster just waiting to happen.

The show starts after Hank, and his baby’s momma, Karen (Natascha McElhone) move with their daughter, Becca (Madeleine Martin) from New York to Los Angeles.  Joining the Moody clan, is Hanks’ agent/BFF, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), a waxing professional to the stars.

Hank’s successful novel was adapted into a screenplay much to his dismay, and feeling down-n-out, he picks up a hot Mia (Madeline Zima) in a local LA bookstore and beds her.  That is, after all, what Hank Moody does — he beds beautiful women with his alluring charm.  During sex, Mia punches Hank in the face; not long after “the punch,” Hank discovers that Mia is the 16 year old daughter of Karen’s new fiancé.  And, there we have the setting for all five seasons thus far.

Californication is pure brilliance, but raunchy.  One of the most unforgettable scenes took place early in Season 1… let’s just say it involved Hank and Charlie in bed, with a “shooter.”  Watch with caution…. but be prepared to laugh and cry!  In Season 2, Hank is hired to write the biography of a rock star (Callum Keith Rennie) — just what Hank needs, an invitation to party like a rock star! In Season 3, Hank is hired as a college professor — that’s definitely a disaster waiting to happen! One of our favorite laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-our-face scenes aired in Season 4 with the entire cast of characters sitting around Stu’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) dinner table.  Season 5 just ended Sunday night with Hank and Karen hot on the mend of what could be “happily ever after” until one of Hank’s crazy exes shows up and drugs him – classic Californication cliffhanger!!

Reader’s Choice:  Family Guy came in first with 30% of the reader’s vote, with The Simpsons following close behind with 26%.  Is anyone else with us who can’t believe The Simpsons is still on air, airing new episodes?  How many seasons is this?  CRAZY!

Monday: 2 Broke Girls

First we have Max (Kat Dennings) — Manhattan nanny by day and Brooklyn diner waitress by night.  Max has control of her life, a life that’s not extravagant by any means; she has her own apartment, boyfriend, and overall seems happy.  That is until the diner hires a blonde, dressed like she owns the place, to share shifts with her.

Next we meet Caroline (Beth Behrs) — a former Manhattan socialite who has lost everything courtesy of her father’s Ponzi scheme.  Caroline runs away from her life, not that she has a choice, and chooses Brooklyn as her new residence (because according to a Google search, Brooklyn is the least likely place anyone from her former circle visits).

Caroline doesn’t need or use her Ivy-league education and her business and marketing background to wait tables, until she discovers the diner is not selling the tasty cupcakes for enough money — Max’s cupcakes.  Caroline knows that in the city, people will pay $7-$10 a cupcake, and she begins pocketing some extra cash and creates a business plan.  Now, all she needs is Max to hop on board.

Although it’s very difficult for her to do, Max invites Caroline to stay with her.  After a boyfriend mishap, the two bond and despite Max’s constant put-downs, the girls plan to start a new life together and open a cupcakery — Max is the talent and Caroline is the brains.  We’ve seen both characters grow during the first half of season one, even if their cupcake funds haven’t (at the end of each episode, the cupcake savings tallies on the screen for the audience – the girls have a long way to go to reach $250,000).

We only set the pilot of 2 Broke Girls to record so we could say, “We checked it out.”  After all, the sitcom is created by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedian Whitney Cummings, and it fills a very popular time slot between CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.   But after only one episode, we returned to the series option on the DVR and updated the recording to grab all of the new episodes.   Even the man of the house has watched a few episodes and laughs out loud, even if he won’t admit it.

Reader’s Choice: How I Met Your Mother came in first with 35% of the vote.  We’re also big HIMYM fans here at Tele-Tuesday, but our previous Monday night favorite was bumped this year for multiple reasons.

#1 – Many of the 2011-2012 episodes have ended on a very sad note; we thought this was supposed to be a comedy?
#2 – Maybe, just maybe, the writers are dragging out the story of how Ted meets his kids’ mother a bit too long?
#3 – We laugh out-loud at 2 Broke Girls more than we do at HIMYM, including Barney’s classic ‘isms.

Tuesday: New Girl

New Girl stars Zooey Deschanel  as Jess Day, a likeable young teacher piecing together her life after a breakup.  Many words can be used to describe Jess: adorable, goofy, vulnerable, faithful, awkward, and offbeat — or as Fox advertises, adorakable.

She finds a “roommate wanted” situation via Craig’s List and moves in with three single men — the bartender Nick (Jake Johnson), the Casanova-like Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and the former European basketball star, Winston (Lamorne Morris).   The men, and Jess’ best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) help teach Jess and themselves all about life, love, and the ever-important self.

The opening number of New Girl is the only introduction that literally has us bobbing our heads back and forth and singing along with it.  That may not be a reason to watch a television show, but it surely doesn’t hurt.  “Hey, girl!  What’cha doin’?”  …  “Who’s that girl?  Who’s that girl?  It’s JESS!”  Okay, so everyone probably needs to hear the music to enjoy along with us.

That said, every single one of the actors and actresses in New Girl has beautiful comedic timing.  Zooey Deschanel tops the funny chart, with Jake Johnson (Nick) following close behind.  But who steals the show?  Max Greenfield (Schmidt).

Schmidt is a mess!  Is he gay?  No; he’s straight and he beds many beautiful women (including Jess’ best friend, Cece — but that’s a secret, for now).  Just when viewers are convinced Schmidt is straight, he makes some other comment or action that leads us to believe he’s gay.  Does it matter?  Absolutely not!  Is he believable in both roles?  Yes!  Do we love his “Schmidtisms”?  Without a doubt!!

But most of all, New Girl portrays life as it is — not simple, not full of hand-outs, and always in motion.  The friendships between the characters serves as the glue that holds everything together, but the character growth may be the “it” factor that keeps New Girl around for a long time…

Reader’s Choice: None came in first with 43% of the vote.

Yikes!!  So if no one is watching a sitcom on Tuesday nights, may we recommend New Girl?  Seriously.  Where are our New Girl fans?  Talk it up in the comments and maybe, just maybe, we can convert some viewers!

Wednesday: Whitney

Developed, written, and starring comedian Whitney Cummings, Whitney follows the fictionalized story of her life experiences, challenges in relationships we can all relate to — like cohabitation, friendships, secrets, and boundaries.  Whitney lives with her long-term boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia), and the non-traditional couple sees no reason to get married, but remains happily ever after nonetheless.

The duo is surrounded by their friends: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones), who believes in happily ever after, Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn), a relationship cynic, Neal (Maulik Pancholy) who appears to be in a perfect relationship with Lily but later decides he may actually like men instead, and Mark (Dan O’Brien), the self-proclaimed ultimate bachelor.

Each week, we laugh throughout the thirty minute series.  Whitney is perfect viewing for couples to watch together.  One of our favorite episodes is when Whitney walks in on Alex’s “alone” time (trying to keep the blog clean here…).

Needless to say, Alex was and is completely mortified, and Whitney begins knocking on her own apartment door to announce when she arrives home each time after the incident.  The episode continues as Whitney confesses the day’s events to her friends, further embarrassing Alex.

Which brings us to the relatable part: what’s safe to share with outsiders, even those we love the most, when working through moments that take place between lovers and partners?

This sitcom might perhaps evoke more giggles in our house than our previous favorite (How I Met Your Mother), courtesy of the relatability and laugh factors for men and women alike.

Reader’s Choice:  South Park came in first with 25% of the vote, with Modern Family at a close second with 21%.

First of all, this is shocking.  While we do like South Park, we are floored that more people didn’t vote for Modern Family.  We really, really thought it would be the show to beat.

Wednesday was the toughest of the days to choose from for us at Tele-Tuesday.  While we obviously selected Whitney from our blurb above, Suburgatory starring Jeremy Sisto deserves a mention (it came in toward the bottom with only 7% of the vote).  The relationship between George and Tess (father and daughter) is touching, but the real Ooo Factor love goes to screen-stealers Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and Noah (Alan Tudyk).  Only 7% of the vote….  Where’s our Suburgatory fan club?  Will someone join us in trying to convince our readers to check it out?

Thursday: Archer

Not offended by South Park? Love to watch Family Guy? FX has introduced Archer – pure animation brilliance.  Meet ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service):

Sterling Archer — an alcoholic, sex crazed secret agent, who also happens to be a breast cancer survivor (Team Rampage!).  Think James Bond meets Hank Moody…

Malory Archer — Archer’s alcoholic, nymphomaniac mother/boss, whose apparent affair with the leader of the KGB resulted in Archer’s birth (although we’re still awaiting confirmation).   Think Miss Moneypenny…

Lana Kane — Archer’s sexy bombshell ex-girlfriend/partner who wants to be #1, and always wears her machine gun around her shoulder like a purse .   Think Lara Croft…

Cheryl — ISIS’ billionaire secretary with an S&M fetish.

Pam — The Human Resource director and head-gossip, who is as sex crazed as the rest of the team.

Archer’s 30-minutes of raunchy humor are an absolute must see!  I mentioned raunchy, right?

Archer is also the only one of the comedies that actually made our A Pick Per Night 2011 list.  And here it is again, staying strong in 2012.  Seems it has something going for it…

Reader’s Choice: The Big Bang Theory came in first with 63% of the total vote.  This is the largest winning margin than any other show (comedy or drama).  Now this, we expected…

Did your favorite comedy win?  If not, what is it and tell us why it should have?  For those that love New Girl and Suburgatory, share with us why others should check these two new sitcoms out!  We’d love to hear from you! 

 

Why it’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – A Few Comedic Oldies, versus a Few Comedic Newbies

This week Amber West and I get back to business and begin the 2012 Television-in-Review schedule on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, as she updates us on a few of TV’s comedic veterans and I introduce two comedic freshmen.

I’ve always loved to laugh; even as a child, I’d giggle every time I would recite the classic “Knock, Knock” jokes.  Heck, what am I saying?  We’re all friends here; these innocent rhymes still bring a smile to my face today.

As an adult, I look to laughter as my choice in television and movie viewing as much as possible; after all, laughing keeps us young, right?  The type of comedy doesn’t matter to me – I can take a joke whether it is clean, dirty, politically incorrect, and even those that I never feel the need to repeat ever again.

Because of this joy of laughter, I love to watch comedians and one of my favorite late night talk shows is E!’s Chelsea Lately hosted by Chelsea Handler.  I don’t necessarily watch for the guest interviews, but more for the round table of funny that makes up the first twenty minutes of her program.  This is where I met Whitney Cummings for the first time, and later enjoyed her jokes on Comedy Central’s Roasts of many celebrities.

So when I discovered that both Chelsea and Whitney announced new sitcoms on NBC this year, our house tuned in.

Developed, written, and starring comedian Whitney Cummings, Whitney follows the fictionalized story of her life experiences, challenges in relationships we can all relate to – like cohabitation, friendships, secrets, and boundaries.  Whitney lives with her long-term boyfriend, Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), and the non-traditional couple sees no reason to get married, but remains happily ever after nonetheless.

The duo 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.

Each week, my guy and I both laugh throughout the thirty minute series.  Whitney is perfect viewing for couples to watch together.  One of our favorite episodes aired recently when Whitney walks in on Alex’s “alone” time (trying to keep the blog clean here…).

Needless to say, Alex was and is completely mortified, and Whitney begins knocking on her own apartment door to announce when she arrives home each time after the incident.  The episode continues as Whitney confesses the day’s events to her friends, further embarrassing Alex.

Which brings us to the relatable part: what’s safe to share with outsiders, even those we love the most, when working through moments that take place between lovers and partners?

Another great episode aired just a few weeks prior when Whitney attempts to prove that Alex speaks to her in a condescending tone, a tone that he denies refutably.  When his brother shows up unannounced, and the two siblings bicker back and forth – in that same condescending tone – Whitney decides to plant one of Mark’s surveillance cameras (he’s a police officer) in the apartment.

As if Whitney’s attempt to capture “the tone” isn’t funny enough, the fact that all four of the couple’s friends gather upstairs in Mark’s apartment to spy on the couple while eating popcorn and snacks, only adds to the greatness.

This sitcom might perhaps evoke more giggles in our house than our previous favorite (How I Met Your Mother), courtesy of the relatability and laugh factor.  Therefore, Whitney earns the MacTV rating – this series is a complete guilty pleasure and leaves us wanting more, men and women alike.

Okay, so if my adoration began for Whitney on Chelsea Lately, Chelsea’s new sitcom should definitely be worth a watch – right?

Based on her best seller, Are You there, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Are You There, Chelsea? does not star Chelsea Handler as Chelsea.  Confused?  Instead, it stars Laura Prepon (That ‘70s Show) as Chelsea, while Chelsea herself plays her sister Sloane.

The series takes place in New Jersey, where Chelsea (Prepon) was recently arrested for being under the influence (more than likely a Belvedere influence).  She moves into an apartment within walking distance of her job (a bar, perfect for a girl who loves to drink vodka) with her best friend (Olivia, played by Ali Wong) and new roommate (DeeDee, played by Lauren Lapkus).

Chelsea and her sister share a typical relationship – they love each other but are nothing alike: Sloane bails Chelsea out of jail in the pilot; Chelsea stands by Sloane’s side as she delivers her first-born; Chelsea sleeps with Sloane’s ex-boyfriend, despite her sister’s plea to not go on a date with him; etc. etc. etc.

Laura as Chelsea, Chelsea as Sloane, and Baby

Which brings us to the sex factor – Chelsea Handler has always been very open about her past relationships, thus the three best sellers, and the sitcom is inspired by a lot of these stories: like when Chelsea and her boss’ sexual encounter fails because neither can succumb to being on bottom (Rick, played by Jake McDorman from Greek); or when Chelsea meets a redhead and she can’t help but wonder if the “carpet matches the drapes”; or when she is embarrassed by the fact that her sister’s ex-boyfriend actually prefers Sloane in bed over her, and she’s determined to rock his world.

Lots and lots of sex.  Oh, and there is a little person too (Todd, played by Mark Povinelli).  Anyone who is familiar with Chelsea Handler knows she loves her “nuggets” – and I personally can’t wait for Chuy Bravo (from Chelsea Lately)  to make an appearance on the show.  Everyone loves Chuy.

Laura as Chelsea, praying to "Vodka" - Belvedere no doubt...

Despite my addiction to all things Chelsea (a special shout-out to my guy for taking me to see her stand up this summer), it’s still too early to award Are You There, Chelsea? with anything other than an SSTV rating.  The water is warming up, but it’s just not there yet.

For the fans of the Chelsea Lately Round Table, the guest stars on both Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? are a plenty, including Loni Love, Jo Koy, Natasha Leggero, and Lisa Lampanelli.  I personally can’t wait for my favorites (Josh Wolf and Sarah Colonna); I just know they’ll have to see a guest spot soon!

What do you think? Do you watch Whitney or Are You There, Chelsea?  What do you like to see in your comedy – clean jokes, dirty jokes, politically incorrect jokes, etc?  Which of the sitcoms currently on TV do you think are GTV worthy?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her thoughts regarding the hit comedies Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, two popular programs requested by our fantastic WatchWed viewers!

Come back next week when Amber and I review a couple of YA (Young Adult) inspired television series: Glee and The Lying Game.

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

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Here a Laugh, There a Laugh

This week, Amber West and I are laughing up a storm over the new comedies on TV, and we’re sharing a double dose of laughter with our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of Suburgatory, New Girl, Up All Night, and 2 Broke Girls

Up All Night

Reagan and Chris Brinkley have it all – good looks, great jobs, exciting night lives, and most importantly, a healthy and loving relationship.  Reagan (Christina Applegate, Married with Children) produces her best friend’s Oprah-like talk show and Chris (Will Arnett, Saturday Night Live) is on his way to partner at his law firm.  Their successful careers are right on schedule, that is until their life changes forever with a simple announcement –they’re pregnant.

The Brinkleys refuse to think that things are going to change, but they are in for a big surprise.  It all starts when the birthing plan is thrown out the window the second they arrive at the hospital: Reagan’s water breaks at the studio, so she doesn’t have her overnight bag and favorite headband; their doctor is busy with another delivery and isn’t available to them; and the natural delivery just isn’t working so Reagan goes in for a c-section.  Despite all of the chaos, baby Amy arrives. 

After the baby arrives, the struggles continue as Reagan and Chris battle insomnia, attempt to clean up their language, and insist on not losing their “cool” personas, their sexy bodies, and their super sporty car.  They try, but they can’t avoid the inevitable.    

Let’s not forget about Reagan’s best friend and boss, Ava (Maya Rudolph, Bridesmaids).  While she undoubtedly loves Reagan, Ava doesn’t understand when the world doesn’t revolve around her – but not in a bad way, in a funny way.  Ava’s a mess; and Reagan holds her together, which is why when Reagan takes maternity leave, Ava is lost. 

We don’t watch many thirty minute sitcoms in our house, but couldn’t resist the urge to try Christina Applegate’s return to TV.  It didn’t hurt that we’re both huge SNL fans and love Maya Rudolph.  Preconceived notions aside, I can’t help but award Up All Night with a JFTV rating – it satisfies like a Snickers. 

Up All Night keeps the laughs coming, and anyone trying to maintain any kind of balance with children will enjoy.    

2 Broke Girls

Meet Max (Kat Dennings, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) – Manhattan nanny by day and Brooklyn diner waitress by night.  Max has control of her life, a life that’s not extravagant by any means; she has her own apartment, boyfriend, and overall seems happy.  That is until the diner hires a blonde, dressed like she owns the place, to share shifts with her. 

Meet Caroline (Beth Behrs) – a former Manhattan socialite who has lost everything courtesy of her father’s Ponzi scheme.  Caroline runs away from her life, not that she has a choice, and chooses Brooklyn as her new residence (because according to a Google search, Brooklyn is the least likely place anyone from her former circle visits). 

Caroline doesn’t need or use her Ivy-league education and her business and marketing background to wait tables, until she discovers the diner is not selling the tasty cupcakes for enough money – Max’s cupcakes.  Caroline knows that in the city, people will pay $7-$10 a cupcake, and she begins pocketing some extra cash and creates a business plan.  Now, all she needs is Max to hop on board.

Although it’s very difficult for her to do, Max invites Caroline to stay with her.  After a boyfriend mishap, the two bond and despite Max’s constant put-downs, the girls plan to start a new life together and open a cupcakery – Max is the talent and Caroline is the brains.  In just a few episodes, we’ve seen both characters grow, even if their cupcake funds haven’t (at the end of each episode, the cupcake savings tallies on the screen for the audience – the girls have a long way to go to reach $250,000).   

Let’s be honest, I only set the pilot of 2 Broke Girls to record so I could say, “I checked it out.”  After all, the sitcom is created by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedian Whitney Cummings, and it fills a very popular time slot between CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.   

But, after only one episode, I returned to the series option on the DVR and updated the recording to grab all of the new episodes.   Even the man of the house has watched a few episodes with me and laughs out loud (even if he won’t admit it).   

For this, I must award 2 Broke Girls with my second JFTV rating of the day, especially since each episode centers around diner food and cupcakes.  The actresses have great chemistry and comedic timing, and the audience can’t help but root for the two to open their boutique cupcakery with Chestnut (the horse) hanging around outside.

All this talk about cupcakes has me drooling!

What do you think? Have you watched Up All Night or 2 Broke Girls?   Can you relate to any of the characters?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Jeremy Sisto’s suburban-purgatory, or Suburgatory, and the “adorakable” New Girl, Zooey Deschanel, for a few more must-see laughs. 

Need another reason to watch?  All of these shows have been picked up!

Come back next week when Amber and I curl up with TV’s new dramas based on popular fairytales: Grimm and Once Upon a Time.  

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
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
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: 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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