Posted 11 hours ago

The Third Season - The Indication of Sitcom Greatness or Failure

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Great sitcoms have their work cut out for them, especially new ones. Network comedies are essentially given mere minutes to make a good impression among audiences (ratings) or else the network execs decide to pull the plug on the show. Getting on the air in the first major milestone. The second is getting an entire season. The third milestone is being renewed.

However, the fourth milestone is the most pivotal for the greatest of sitcoms: the third season.

The third season truly defines what’s a great sitcom. If a show can keep their same batch of characters as compelling as they were in the first episode with good storytelling and an abundance of laughs, that’s what I call a great sitcom. 

The Mindy Project is a case in point. This week marks the beginning of the show’s third season. If you follow my blog, you already know that I continue to claim that it’s the best sitcom on network television. You can read more about that at the link below. 

http://joeygoeshollywood.tumblr.com/post/84997424391/the-mindy-project-season-two-network-televisions

The third season of The Mindy Project will truly define whether it’s a sitcom that merely had a great start that will end with a cancellation or if it is in fact great television. 

Let’s take a look at other shows where the third season determined the show’s fate. 

New Girl

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I have never seen a television show take such a drastic turn as New Girl. The first season was okay with hit-or-miss episodes. The second season really stepped it up. It sparked the will they/won’t they relationship between Nick and Jess and it was overall much funnier. Unfortunately, the third season plummeted from glory. The show mishandled Nick and Jess, the addition of Damon Waynes Jr. ruined the cast’s chemistry, and the laughs were seldom at best. At this point, I find it hard that the fourth season will return New Girl in good graces (I was waiting throughout the entire third season for them. It didn’t happen). If New Girl's fan base dwindles down, it's a goner. 

You can read more about the third season of New Girl at the link below.

http://joeygoeshollywood.tumblr.com/post/85173355041/new-girl-season-three-what-the-hell-happened

 Raising Hope

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Raising Hope was never a sophisticated sitcom and it never tried to be. If you’re not familiar, picture a white-trashier version of Malcolm in the Middle. The first season laid out the groundwork of the show. Due to unconventional circumstances, the Chance Family were given Hope, a baby girl. Similar to The Mindy Project and New Girl, the second season established a romantic relationship (Jimmy and Sabrina) and it got way funnier. But my interest quickly faded in season three. Like New Girl but less severely, Raising Hope's humor was not landing like it did in the first two seasons (with the exception of the hysterical Cloris Leachman). Season Four got even worse, resulting with a big, fat cancellation. 

You can read more about Raising Hope at the link below.

http://joeygoeshollywood.tumblr.com/post/81961405595/raising-hope-the-last-of-the-chances

In Conclusion

There’s a lot riding on this season of The Mindy Project and I have high hopes that Mindy Kaling will pull it off. With Mindy and Danny finally being in an official relationship and a slew of guest stars lined up that includes Rhea Perlman, Getting On's Niecy Nash, Fargo's Allison Tolman, the third season will certainly be memorable.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that The Mindy Project's third season won't be its last. 

Posted 1 day ago

The parents of Amy Winehouse at the debut of her statue in London. 

Posted 1 day ago

The Skeleton Twins - Bringing Laughs to the Family Drama

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In a film that involves suicide, a struggling marriage, and a broken family, anyone in their right mind would assume it’s a drama. But when Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are the leads, it somehow becomes a comedy. A very, very, very dark comedy.

Hader and Wiig star as estranged twin brother and sister Milo and Maggie who haven’t seen each other in ten years and are reunited after Milo’s attempted suicide. Maggie insists on having her brother stay with her and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson) back in their hometown in upstate New York until he lands on his feet.

While back in town, he works for Lance’s landscaping business. But when he’s not working, he’s attempting to rekindle his relationship with his former high school English teacher Rich Levin (Modern Family's Ty Burrell). Yep, it goes there…

But the issues don’t stop there. Maggie has been keeping secrets from Lance. The first being that she’s been taking birth control pills even though he thinks they’re trying to have a baby. The second being she’s been sleeping with her scuba instructor. 

Milo and Maggie clearly are troubled people, but once reunited does the healing process begin as they sew up each others wounds. 

Both of the Saturday Night Live alum give moving performances. Wiig, who’ve we’ve seen a lot beyond SNL, does some of her best work as the emotionally conflicted Maggie who struggles to find happiness in what many would consider to be a good life. Hader really displays his talents as the eccentric, lonely, and damaged Milo. He’s heartbreaking and hysterical in this film. 

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Luke Wilson’s overly-positive Lance perfectly balances the rather-depressing set of twins and gets some decent laughs. Joanna Gleason, who plays Milo and Maggie’s free-spirited, self-absorbed mother, has some funny moments as well as Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes), who has a hilarious scene towards the end of the movie as one of Maggie’s former high school classmates. 

The writing of Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman is very down-to-earth with characters that feel real and conversations that sound authentic. Nothing seems forced. Melodramatic maybe, but never forced. Johnson also directs. 

The main reason why The Skeleton Twins works as the movie is because of Hader and Wiig’s chemistry. We have never seen them tackle such dramatic work and their performances show that they are more than capable of handling dark material. However, they manage to fit in the comedy in the heavy story. One of the film’s best moments involves the two of them lip-syncing to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. 

The Skeleton Twins is a well-made film that balances comedy and drama. I would just adjust your expectations from the typical Hader/Wiig film if I were you. 

Posted 2 days ago

Oscar Talk 2015: Best Animated Feature

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Welcome to the first edition of Oscar Talk 2015 in which I’ll be discussing what’s on the radar to win gold at the Academy Awards in February 2015. 

This Category: Best Animated Feature

For roughly the past decade, Best Animated Feature category was monopolized by Pixar, but it appears that they won’t have a film to compete with this year, which means it’s anyone’s game.

(in order of release)

The Lego Movie

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Currently the frontrunner and locked in for a nomination is The Lego Movie. As 2014’s first big blockbuster, The Lego Movie took everyone by surprise. With a stellar cast (Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman just to name a few), stunning animation, and lots of fun and laughs, this has Oscar written all over it. 

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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There’s been little chatter about Mr. Peabody & Sherman since the film’s release back in March despite doing well in the box office. However, I wouldn’t underestimate it in the Oscar race as it got favorable reviews by critics and has the nostalgia from the classic morning cartoon of the older Academy members. 

Rio 2

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Despite getting mixed reviews, I still believe Rio 2 has a shot at the Oscars. The large voice cast includes Oscar winner/nominees Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, and Andy Garcia and other big names like Bruno Mars, Leslie Mann, Tracy Morgan, and Kristin Chenoweth, which can pull some weight when it comes to voting. With stiff competition, it might not be enough, but we’ll find out in January.  

How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Many were pulling for the first Dragon movie to win at the Oscars, but lost to Toy Story 3 back in 2011. It’s almost a sure bet that the sequel, which was praised by critics and fans alike, will return at the Oscars, but the underwhelming-but-still-strong US box office numbers may be a little red flag similar to last year’s shocking snub of Monsters University. However, the odds of nomination are still in its favor. 

The Boxtrolls

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Stop-motion animation always gets the attention of the Academy. The filmmakers behind Oscar-nominees Coraline and ParaNorman are back with The Boxtrolls. Not having been released yet, I can’t imagine this film getting poor reviews. The credentials alone demand a nomination.

The Book of Life

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From producer Guillermo Del Toro, an Oscar nominee, comes his first animated feature The Book of Life. A unique premise and mesmerizing visuals help make this film stand out, but not until the critical reception can we fully tell if it has Oscar potential. 

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

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The Academy has a soft-spot for obscure, indie animation that make surprise appearances on the ballot. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a hand-drawn animated drama that so far has been getting favorable reviews. The chances are slim, but don’t be surprised if it nabs a nomination come January. 

Big Hero 6

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Disney’s sole contender (let’s be honest, Disney ain’t winning with Planes: Fire and Rescue) comes in the form of Marvel origins. Big Hero 6 follows in the footsteps of Frozen, Disney Animation’s first Oscar winner in the category. so it has a lot to live up to. From the looks of the previews, I’d say it has a pretty good shot at earning at least a nomination. 

Song of the Sea

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The other obscure animated indie is from the filmmakers behind the Oscar-nominee The Secret of Kells. Song of the Sea has a decent chance with a repeat nomination for the unique style of hand-drawn animation and the fantasy-like story. 

OSCAR BREAKDOWN

Locked In:

The Lego Movie

Great Odds:

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Boxtrolls

Big Hero 6

Fair Chances:

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

The Book of Life

Song of the Sea

Biggest Stretches:

Rio 2 

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Posted 2 days ago

My Picks of Returning Fall Dramas

As fall season approaches, you may feel helpless in the big wide world of television. This is where I come in. Here are my picks of returning dramas you should tune into. 

(in chronological order of premiere date)

Chicago Fire (Tuesday, Sept 23 - NBC)

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Chicago Fire may not be the creme of the crop of TV dramas, but it has made vast improvements during its second season. Plus, the season finale gave us the biggest cliffhanger as nearly the entire squad was in an inferno-plagued building that blows up. Who will make it out alive?!?

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Wednesday, Sept 24 - NBC)

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There’s no doubt that SVU was in a rough patch ever since Christopher Meloni left the show back in 2011. But last season proved that Mariska Hargitay can put the entire weight of the show on her shoulders with her incredible performance as Detective Olivia Benson. And don’t be surprised if you see more “ripped from the headline” episodes (Ray Rice, Oscar Pistorius, etc.)

Resurrection (Sunday, Sept 28 - ABC)

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ABC’s mid-season drama has been “promoted” to the fall lineup. Resurrection is a compelling show about loved ones coming back from the dead in the small town of Arcadia, Missouri. Although the plot trips up from time to time, the emotions are still there with moving performances from the cast. 

Homeland (Sunday, Oct 5 - Showtime)

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Homeland really fumbled in Season Three and the lost of Brody is potentially a big setback. We’ll see if this show can recover with Claire Danes going solo as Carrie Mathison. Keep your fingers crossed on this one. 

American Horror Story: Freak Show (Wednesday, Oct 8 - FX)

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You gotta give credit to AHS. Despite my mixed feelings about the series, it keeps pulling me in for more. The creepy circus setting will surely give people nightmares. And this is supposedly Jessica Lange’s last season. If that’s the case, she’ll go out with a bang. 

What dramas are you going to watch this fall?

Posted 3 days ago

"Joan was so incredible for so many reasons. … She was completely fearless and totally fine with taking an insult. …She was both someone who dished a lot but also taught, ‘Hey, don’t take it personally.’ So that was very inspiring.”

-Mindy Kaling

Posted 3 days ago

Look who’s coming back to American Horror Story!

Posted 5 days ago

The official first look at the new Batmobile in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Posted 1 week ago

My Picks of Returning Fall Comedies

As fall season approaches, you may feel helpless in the big wide world of television. This is where I come in. Here are my picks of returning comedies you should tune into. 

(in chronological order of premiere date)

The Mindy Project (Tuesday, Sept 16 - FOX)

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If you’ve been following my blog, then you already know that The Mindy Project is the funniest network sitcom. We have a lot to look forward to in Season Three now that Mindy and Danny are officially an item. Plus, they’ve announced a huge lineup of guest stars including Rhea Perlman (who’s playing Danny’s mother), Niecy Nash, Fargo's Allison Tolman and Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. 

The Middle (Wednesday, Sept 24 - ABC)

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The Middle is definitely one of the more grounded comedies, following the Heck family, a normal dysfunctional family from rural Indiana. Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer continue to shine as Sue and Brick. If you were a Malcolm in the Middle fan, you may like this show as well.  

The Goldbergs (Wednesday, Sept 24 - ABC)

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Despite an uneven season, The Goldbergs is still a fun watch. The combination of 80s nostalgia and wacky family dysfunction makes this show stand out, resembling the beloved series The Wonder Years

South Park (Wednesday, Sept 24 - Comedy Central)

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Hands down the greatest satire on television is South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone continue to work their magic using current events as their launching points. One of last season’s biggest highlight was the epic three-part Game of Thrones parody. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Sunday, Sept 28 - FOX)

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine was the most consistently funny freshman series of 2013. Andy Samberg and the rest of the hilarious cast form this strong workplace comedy of a police precinct. 

Family Guy (Sunday, Sept 28 - FOX)

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It may be past its prime, but Family Guy's edgy humor still keeps me laughing. Also, the long-awaited Family Guy/Simpsons crossover event is finally happening! That’s can’t-miss television!  

Mom (Monday, Sept 29 - CBS)

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Chuck Lorre’s new sitcom really caught me by surprise. Fresh, emotional, and hysterical, Mom gives hope to the struggling multi-cam sitcom. Both Anna Faris and Allison Janney give outstanding performances. 

Last Man Standing (Friday, Oct 3 - ABC)

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I was a latecomer to this Friday night comedy. Tim Allen fans can rely on his unique sense of humor. However, you may have to have an acquired taste in order to fully appreciate Last Man Standing with the occasional political jokes that you might not find so humorous. To me, they’re refreshing. 

About a Boy (Tuesday, Oct 14 - NBC)

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About a Boy is a cute buddy comedy that may not earn the biggest laughs, but makes up with a heartwarming relationship between two opposite pals. David Walton and Benjamin Sutton give solid performances as the show’s leads as well as the reliably talented Minnie Driver. 

The Comeback (Sunday, Nov 9 - HBO)

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The Comeback is making a comeback! After being cancelled back in 2005 after it’s first season, HBO decided to revive Lisa Kudrow’s first show after Friends. This comedy follows the life of fictional actress Valerie Cherish’s own comeback in Hollywood through her own reality series.

What comedies are you tuning into this fall?

Posted 1 week ago

Breaking Batman