Tag Archives: How to Be A Gentleman

Fall 2011 New TV Show Predictions Reviewed, Part 2

26 Dec

A couple of months ago, I made predictions about how long new shows on CBS, NBC and The CW would last.  As all the shows have aired for a few weeks, it’s time for an evaluation of my predictions, although for some shows, the final word is not in yet.  Such an evaluation follows:

CBS

2 Broke Girls

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up with high likelihood of renewal.  I knew it was likely to get renewed, but I still tried to vote with my heart by hoping it at least wouldn’t last multiple seasons.  Now, we could be looking at the next Two and a Half Men (shivers).

How To Be A Gentleman

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  Fourth on my top five easiest cancellation decisions.  Sad, because there’s a few people I like in the show, but not really sad.

Person of Interest

Predicted:  Renewal

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, likely to be renewed.  I was worried when the show didn’t start as strong as expected, but it would be a surprise, albeit not a huge one, at this point if the show wasn’t brought back.

A Gifted Man

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for three more episodes, totally 16, leaning towards cancelled, but undecided.  Probably my best 13+ pick of the year, it meets all the middle of the road commercially and critically criteria to need an extended look but ultimately be cancelled.

Unforgettable

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season.  Along with Terra Nova, the most borderline of the borderline.  No idea which way it will go, may come down to the last minute.

NBC

Up All Night

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, still up in the air for next year.  Neither a huge success nor a bust, on ratings-strapped NBC, executives are looking to grab on to anything with a chance of success (though not Community, unfortunately).  It’s moving to Thursday, and how it fairs there will determine its fate.  I’d lean towards renewal though.

Free Agents

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  Number five in my most obvious cancellations of the year.  There wasn’t much press, and though this was likely the best of the comedies cancelled quickly this year, that’s not saying a whole lot.

The Playboy Club

Predicted:  12-

What happened:  Cancelled.  I’m out of my five obvious cancellation choices, but this would be number six if I had one.  It never really had a chance and it shouldn’t have.

Whitney

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season, awaiting ratings on a new night.  It will switch time periods with Up All Night, making much more sense for both shows.  It never belonged on Thursday night, and hopefully will be put to bed by the end of the year, but it could go either way.

Prime Suspect

Predicted:  Renewal

What happened:  Probably cancelled, but not officially yet.  I was just straight out wrong about this one.  It got generally well reviewed and with NBC as ailing as it is, I thought even with middling ratings, they’d keep it around.

Grimm

Predicted:  13+

What happened:  Picked up for a full season and leaning toward a renewal.  I went back and forth on this show as more news and previews emerged and I’m still not sure how I feel.  I think it will probably get renewed, but it’s not over yet.

CW

 

Ringer

Predicted:  Renewal

What Happened:  Picked up for full season, likely to be renewed, but not assured yet by any means.  It doesn’t take too much for the WB to renew, so I think Ringer will be in.

The Secret Circle

Predicted:  Renewal

What Happened:  Picked up for a full season and seems most likely of all the WB shows to merit a renewal.  I felt good about this choice partnered up with successful The Vampire Diaries and this just confirms it.

Hart of Dixie

Predicted:  13+

What Happened:  Picked up for a full season.  It’s likely to be renwed, though less likely right now than Ringer and definitely less likely than The Secret Circle.  Still, I feel good about my prediction even if it comes out wrong.

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Fall 2011 Review: How to Be A Gentleman

11 Oct

I expected How to Be A Gentleman to be truly despicably awful on the level of Whitney, but it really wasn’t on that level, it was just merely not good at all.  It wasn’t cringeworthy.  I didn’t have trouble getting through the show.  It was just quite bad.

The premise is that David Hornby (Rickety Cricket from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) portrays an old school “gentleman” who opens doors for women and helps old ladies cross the street, and writes a column titled “How to Be A Gentleman” about well, you can figure it out.  His magazine, boss Dave Foley, lets him know, has been bought and is changing its target, and if he wants to remain employed he’ll make his column young and edgy and far less Gentleman-like.  Of course, he doesn’t know anything of that world.  He uses a birthday gift from his sister (Mary Lynn Rajskub, or Chloe from 24) for a training session at a gym which it turns out is run by a old high school bully, Bert Lansing (Kevin Dillon, or Entourage’s Johnny Drama virtually reprising his role).  Bert, feeling guilty about all the bullying years ago, is a bro, who wants to help Hornby’s character out, and Hornby, needing to learn this lifestyle for his column agrees.

It’s a CBS comedy and it feels like a CBS comedy.  The laughter is canned, the angle is multi-camera, and there are slow breaks between jokes as we gather ourselves to prepare for the next one.

Even in a weak new season for comedy (New Girl is the best, and it’s not great), How To Be A Gentleman is fairly terrible.  One of my issues is that it conflates being a “Gentleman” with being a total loser.  I’m not sure why those things need to go together, but that seems to be what’s going on here.  His family, at his birthday dinner, notes what a loser he is and how he wouldn’t have to be if he wasn’t so uptight, or in his mind, so gentlemanly.  It’s kind of irritating to watch just how loser-ish he is time and again, more so than anyone would be in real life.  Every character is far over the top, unrelatable, and not funny.

This is one of a mini-trend of sitcoms about emasculated men searching for manliness with ABC sitcoms Man Up and Last Man Standing.  I’m really to think of a way for the trend to work, but it seems misguided from the get go.

Will I watch it again?  No.  I honestly wish the cast assembled had something a bit better to work with but I can’t in good conscience be wasting time with a lousy show like this when there are so many better shows on tv.

Fall 2011 Preview and Predictions: CBS

15 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

We’ll tackle CBS next, the ratings leaders behind their procedural powerhouses CSI and NCIS and unfortunate comedy stars Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.  All their new shows start next week except for How to Be A Gentleman, which starts the week after.

2 Broke Girls – 9/19

No single preview has offended me more personally than that for 2 Broke Girls, in which Kat Dennings’s character makes a reference to Coldplay as a hipster band, amongst other things.  What Big Bang Theory does for nerds, it looks like 2 Broke Girls will do for hipsters.  Basically, it’s a show written to make fun of hipsters by people who don’t know what hipsters are, or it so it appears from the preview.  On top of that, I’ve disliked Kat Dennings since I saw Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the last five years.

Verdict.  13+ – For some reason people claim to be liking this, and because it’s on CBS, every show might be renewed because people over the age of 50 just leave the TV on CBS and throw away their remotes, but boy I just can’t pick a show that looks this terrible to succeed in good conscience

How to Be a Gentlemen – 9/29

Ah!  Finally, a show that just looks really and truly terrible and has absolutely no reason to support it.  Wait – it actually has cast members who I kind of like?  David Hornsby, better known to me as Rickety Cricket from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia as the uptight Felix Unger roommate, and Kevin Dillon, or Johnny Drama from Entourage, as the crazy, slobbish, Oscar Madison roommate, along with Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24) and Rhys Darby (Murray from Flight of the Conchords).  Cricket and Johnny Drama are roommates who are perfectly mismatched, have love-hate relationship, teach a little bit to each other, blah blah blah.

Verdict:  12- Boy, I like that cast, but boy that show sounds and looks terrible.

Person of Interest – 9/22

One of the more interesting sounding series of the new season, Person of Interest is something like Batman meets Minority Report.  Michael Emerson, otherwise known as the uber-creepy Ben Linus from Lost, is a reclusive billionaire who has developed a program which can predict information about violent crimes in the future, but with limited detail.  Linus hires an ex-CIA agent thought to be dead to do the legwork on stopping these crimes that his program picks up on.  Add all this to the fact it’s created by Jonathan Nolan, Chris’s younger brother, who co-wrote the screenplays to The Prestige and The Dark Knight and it sounds pretty promising.

Verdict:  Renewal – CBS is moving ratings giant CSI to get Person of Interest some viewers – if that’s not a sign of big-time network backing, then I don’t know what is.  On top of that, it apparently got legendary approval ratings for its pilot.

A Gifted Man – 9/23

Patrick Wilson is quite literally a man constantly bringing gifts to small children.  No, if only.  This is actually far more insane. Wilsonis a materialistic, selfish, scrooge-ish but extraordinarily talented surgeon working and dabbling amongst the upper crust exclusively.  That is, until his dead wife comes back in ghost form and starts trying to make him a better person, having him run the free clinic that she apparently ran before they died (how did they get along when they were both alive with such disparate interests?).  Oh, and Julie Benz (Rita from Dexter) plays his sister.

Verdict:  13+ – Jonathan Demme directed the pilot, which is probably good news, but this seems like it could get awful predictable awful fast.

Unforgettable – 9/20

Gimmicky procedurals are right in CBS’s wheelhouse, and Unforgettable fits right in with The Mentalist.  Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery as a woman with a rare medical condition, which means that she quite literally can not forget anything.  A former detective before the show begins, her former boyfriend and ex-partner (the same person) ask her to come back to help solve cases using her rare ability.  On top of that, we’ve got a long-term plot based on the only thing Miss Unforgettable can not remember:  The mysterious circumstances behind the murder of her sister!  Bum bum bum!

Verdict:  13+ – I’m sure it won’t be bad, but I have a hard time believing it will be that good either.  It just sounds so unbelievably generic.  On CBS, it’ll get viewers, but CBS expects more too, and one of these dramas has to not deliver