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! 

 

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.

 

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

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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