Belated Open Thread: Weather Disasters

I’ll keep this short and sweet, now that most of you are running, much like you would from Godzilla, from Hurricane Irene. I, however, laugh at the face of hurricanes! Mauh-ah-ah-ah!

Anyway, with Hurricane Irene and the recent earthquake, it’s got me thinking about a lot of TV episodes that surround disasters in weather. There are a lot. Whether it’s being snowed in or otherwise, it’s a fun little plot twist to add to the lives of ordinary characters. Plus, remember that flood in ER way back when, and Clooney saved the kid, and it’s the most iconic photo of ER ever?

Yeah, see? Weather can do a lot for a show. You don’t always need huge accidents or bombs in your chest to get your point across (I’m looking at you, Grey’s).

So what’s your favorite bad-weather episode?

A couple come to mind, but I’m going to have to go with How I Met Your Mother‘s “Three Days of Snow.” The episode in and of itself was funny, but the ending was the icing on the cake. Marshall and Lily spent the episode discussing how they didn’t need the practice of picking each other up from the airport anymore–and bringing back beer– and as the episode went on, you realize how much they missed that little stuff. So Marshall surprised Lily with picking her up at the airport…and a marching band.

Oh, I wish I could have found the video for this one. I love it. It’s fantastic. And here’s a picture.

What’s your pick? Think about it as you’re holding down the fort against Irene, and let us know in the comments.

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Thursday Open Thread: How would you fix NBC?

I have to say that growing up, I’ve been a big fan of NBC. Must-See TV Thursday nights were fantastic, and I even remember tuning in to some great comedy on Tuesdays as well. Plus, it aired Sisters, and any show that revealed that George Clooney was a hottie before ER gets mad points in my book.

Even if he did get blown up.

But anyway, nowadays, NBC doesn’t really have the best reputation. With the Leno/Conan controversy, the failing shows, and the crappy Olympics coverage, there’s only one thing to ask you great readers:

How would you fix NBC?

I guess the bigger question is, would you fix it, and if so how. But I’ll let you decide what you really want to answer.

Personally, I don’t want to see NBC fail. If CBS can make itself one of the top networks after being so miserable in the early ’90s, NBC can fix itself, too. I mean, if the Peacock disappeared, it’d be the end of an era. But maybe that’s something we need? Do we even need NBC anymore?

Suggestions, vents, and laments are welcome. So have at it in the comments.

On a side note, I find it ironic that this image has Patricia Arquette from Medium on it. Talk about your NBC errors. TGICBS, my friend. Thank goodness, it’s CBS.

*image from NewYorkTimes.com

Umm… About Hawthorne

HAWTHORNE: 1.01 “The Pilot”

So Hawthorne was not what I expected. To be clear, I’m going to stick it out for a while because I think it has promise, but it was not what I expected.

For example, the humorous quips I had mentioned were really non-existant. Maybe there were a couple at the end, but this show felt much more like ER than I had hoped. It seemed so…serious.

And it’s not that I expected it to be light. I mean, it’s a medical drama. Of course, it’s going to be heavy. But there was not really a break in the entire show from the heaviness of the plot. We had a baby and an angry homeless woman, a veteran almost killed by a nurse because of the doctor’s orders (that seemed a little pushed too far, by the way), and of course, Hawthorne’s friend jumping off a building.

I think part of the problem was trying to establish too much in the first episode. Hawthorne’s husband has died–partially because of her based on her daughter’s comment, meaning she probably couldn’t treat him–and his friend is so depressed on the anniversary (or maybe other things as well) that he tries to kill himself. That alone could be an entire episode.

Then you add in the homeless woman and the baby–both of who end up in the hospital by the end of the episode. Ok, that could be a decent side plot.

But then you add in the veteran? Not only is there a more-than-inappropriate nurse by his bedside, but we have someone overdosing him with insulin while just following the doctor’s orders. On top of that, the doctor is arguing back that she didn’t call that order–ok, this could be a multi-episode arc if it were really followed up with appropriately.

With all this drama (and you know TNT, they know their drama), how else can you fit in the lighter side? Even just a smile on someone’s face (even the chipper nurse is crying in the parking lot).

There’s just too much going on, and I think that’s all because it’s a pilot. It tried too hard to establish itself–including the very herioc-yet-failing attempt for Christina to get inside before  her friend jumped. (Seriously, that guard was ridiculous.) And establish the characters. I think I’ve started counting on two hands if you consider we’ve met two doctors, Christina, a male nurse, three female nurses, and that’s not even including the other people in the background. Oh and the woman with the artificial leg–why was this introduced in the pilot?

I do think this show has potential, and I think if it takes a step back, it really could do well. In fact, it probably will. There’s a lot of acting wealth in Jada Pinkett Smith, and they clearly have interesting backgrounds on the characters already in the mix. But we need more gradually and less now.

I’m hoping this was just a case of overactive pilot. I guess we’ll see next week. It’s still worth taking a shot at, I think, so I would definitely choose to watch this over Mental, but it does need some work.

See what’s coming on Tuesday

Consider this your warning. TNT’s got some new shows coming up, and you should check them out.

Now, I’ve really only seen the trailers, but they look pretty good. You know in my analysis of NBC’s fall show Mercy, I’ve basically said that it’s the poor-man’s Hawthorne. Well, I guess we get to see if I’m right.

But before we get to that, let’s think about a completely different kind of show. First up is Wedding Day. It’s basically Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for couples. Instead of getting a new home, though, they get a wedding.

It takes a couple that’s had some sort of hardship–fiance in the army, overcoming disease, or in this case, a near-fatal car accident–and gives them a wedding of their dreams. In the first episode, this even includes an appearance by Boyz II Men. No kidding.

Expect tears. Lots and lots of tears. You can watch a sneak preview here.

I wouldn’t normally think about shows like this, but this one grabbed my attention. Why? Promotion. One really neat thing that TNT is doing to promote this premiere happens Monday, June 15. If you’re in the New York City area, watch out for “Random Acts of Brideness,” where brides will escort you to decked out cabs for a free ride to your destination. These aren’t just regular cabs. They’re bright pink, marked “Just married,” and with tin cans to boot. I think you’ll be able to spot them pretty easily.

Plus, you get the chance to see the show early. TNT will screen the first episode 24 hours in advance on the CNN board in Times Square at 8:00. With something like that to look forward to, why not give the show a shot? After all, why not have some warm fuzzies right before some drama?

And that drama is Hawthorne (and no, I will not spell it HawthoRNe). See a sneak peek here. I think this will be a quality show. Looks like it’s got a little humor–at least more than ER had. By no means does it look like a comedy, but just judging by TNT’s other original series (Raising the Bar, Leverage), I’m sure there’s some extra entertainment beyond the heavy hospital drama.

Plus, it’s got some strong acting. I have great expectations for Jada Pinkett Smith, and I have no doubt she can live up to them. I get a little nervous with hospital dramas. They have a way of either being too serious or too over-the-top, but based on what I’ve seen, this one seems to have struck the right balance so far. It’s worth checking out.

Anyway, looks like a pretty fun Tuesday–and heck, even an exciting Monday for those of you in the Big Apple. Man, I hope those random “brides” end up on YouTube somewhere. That would be funny to see.

The ‘Bar’ is higher–and a hair shorter

RAISING THE BAR: 2.01 “Hair Apparent”

Oh come on. You knew that they were going to cut his hair. It’s been all over the publicity posters.

And honestly, they transitioned into it rather well, I think. When I first saw the posters, I was afraid that they’d rip the character apart, but it’s no surprise that he’d do something extreme for a case, even if it is changing his own appearance to sway one juror. And his staring into the mirror at the end, well, that just shows that the real Jerry might not have disappeared when the hair hit the floor.

By the way, if you’re a Twitterer, Raising the Bar had a fun live Twitter with @jerrrykellerman, who made comments throughout the episode. It was a fun little feature as you watched the show.

Anyway, the show itself was a good one. Tame for a season opener, but I think we need a little tameness. Kessler, the queen of lions, was the tamest of all. I know that we won’t be rid of her temper and irritation, but it was surprising to see her so quiet in this episode.

But you know what? It let someone else shine instead: Rosalind Whitman. I’m a big fan of Gloria Reuben, ever since her days in ER. And honestly, I was a little disappointed to see that she was so underutilized on the show last season. I mean, when a friend sees the promotional posters and says, “Is she even a well-known actress?,” you can tell that something is needed to distinguish her from the crowd. I’m glad she’s being brought out more, and it’s great to see such strong women in the cast.

Speaking of women, Jerry’s love triangle continues, as his possible relationship with Bobby is put on hold. Of course, this means he’ll be back with Michelle, which wasn’t my ideal couple, but sexual tension is what drives shows. And how sinister did Bobby’s husband look? I still think that a judge would side with Bobby, despite the hugging pictures (alimony? really?), but I guess they had to have something for her to do. Her husband was too dark a character just to have disappear.

Now, if he had a picture of that kiss last season, that would be something.

Anyway, I’m glad it’s back. I missed the back and forth of everyone–the prosecutors and the defense attorneys. I love the friendship despite it all–seeing everyone wearing those horrid Jerry-inspired wigs and then having his friends sneak into the courtroom just to see his new haircut. Really, they handled that transition marvelously.

I see good things for the new season. Now, I did see the preview with the judge in the courtroom pulling a gun; I fear that might jump the shark a bit. But looking at this episode alone, we’re seeing transitions for characters, development, and a harder line between the two sides, which makes for more difficult cases.

I say, bring it on!

Oh Mercy Mercy me

I’m slowly going through the trailers for this fall. It’s not that I’m not excited about the new stuff, but if I go through them fast, I have nothing to write about all summer.

So next up: NBC’s Mercy.

Here’s my one-liner about the show: I was skeptical about this series–and still am to a degree–but I think it will succeed.

NBC’s tapping into an idea audience for them. They’re competing directly with the new TNT series Hawthorne, and actually, this show will probably start right as Hawthorne is ending its season, so people will want to see more shows about nursing. Plus, it’s tapping into the audience of ER, which has recently been cut free. Add in a little romance for the Grey’s Anatomy lovers, and you’ve got yourself an ideal audience-pleaser.

However, there is one problem. Michelle Trachtenberg. As you know, I’m a big Buffy fan. And as a big Buffy fan, I am of the consensus that she was very annoying in Buffy. And to be honest, she’s very young. If not young in reality, she’s at least young-looking. So I really can’t see her as a nurse.

I realize that this is probably her attempt to break out of her itty bitty tweeny roles, but still, it just seems like miscasting. I thought all of this before watching the promo, which you can watch below.

Ok, so it’s a little better. She’s a newbie–a newbie that covers herself in Hello Kitty and cupcake scrubs, one that no one takes seriously. That helps. And she’s cute; that helps, too. I’m still skeptical, though. I think she’s got a better case for being on it, but I’m still seeing her as the downfall to the series. Maybe I’ll be surprised.

I can’t say this is an entirely new premise. It’s just another hospital show to me. I appreciate the Ally McBeal-like relationship, where one person follows their sweetheart, only to discover that they’re happily married (enter tension), but it’s not really new–well, except that she was in Iraq. That’s interesting, though sadly, they probably won’t play it up enough.

I’d say this is a safe show. I think it can–and likely will–succeed. And maybe I’ll check out an episode or two to really see if Michelle can step up or if it’s anything different. But if you’re looking for something spectacular that’s about nurses, I’d probably suggest Hawthorne. I think it will get more to the gritty underbelly of complex plots, while this one’s just a surface crowd-pleaser.

The Scrubs finale

SCRUBS: 8.18 & 8.19 “My Finale”

If they bring back Scrubs for another season, they’re crazy. Because this ending was beautiful. And perfect. I think it’s best said like this, which I grabbed from TV Squad’s review:

Since I have no idea whether this is truly the end for Scrubs or not, I hedged my bets on the season vs. series finale label. I will say this, though: If this is indeed the end for the folks at Sacred Heart, they couldn’t have gone out any better than they did tonight.

And it’s true. This episode was saying good-bye. It wasn’t just about saying good-bye to JD as he left the hospital, but it was also about saying good-bye to everyone that we’ve known and loved over the last eight years. Sticking to the lessons we’ve learned and moving on without knowing where you’re going.

And kudos to Scrubs for giving us one last lesson. The fact that his patient’s mother wouldn’t find out if he had the disease–he wanted his future to be his own. It may be unknown, but at least it was his own, and JD later related to in his final moments at Sacred Heart.

And wow. I’d have to say that Scrubs really found a unique way to say good-bye to all those we’ve seen while looking to the future. The walk down the hall was just fantastic, as he said good-bye to the ones we’ve lost (though I did miss Brendan Fraser) and those we just haven’t seen in a while (where were Doug and Keith?). I mean, bringing back Colin Hay, Laverne (of course!), the women that he grew special bonds with as loves or patients–even Hooch! As each face passed by, I just keep wondering, well what about that guy? There he was. And him? Yep, he’s there, too. Fantastic.

And then they vanish. The past was gone. Ahead was the wonderful element of a slideshow–along with the poignant “Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel–that showed what JD envisioned his future to be. It was the perfect future, and the one that we’ve all been hoping for.

If they continue this show, they’re crazy. That was the perfect end, and anything beyond this will tarnish it. I mean, to create the bond between past and future–while also including the humorous elements like Turk and JD’s eagle–it was all just moving and it fit the show.

Overall, it was great end. We had personal good-byes (yes, we heard the Janitor’s name in that good-bye, but was he telling the truth? Glen? Tommy?) with each character, and JD even got his hug from Perry. Jordan was Jordan, and nice but not too nice. Elliot was neurotic in her secret move-in, but JD accepted it and liked it.

And of course, Turk and JD were forever best friends. Even Carla asked if Turk loved her more, and they’re equal.

Oh, and Dr. Cox’s book? Awesome. I’d love a copy.

This wasn’t an episode about a character leaving. It was about the end of a show. It was about the end of the time of these characters’ lives when they were all together. And while it might not have been as blatant as it was in ER‘s finale, it was about how life will go on with or without you, but you have to find those little meaningful things to take with you on the ride.

I hope this was the end of Scrubs. I’ll miss it, and I’m appreciating it even more, but I think that’s the way it should be when the one you’ve seen grow from boy to man finally leaves the nest.