Worried about ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Better Off Ted’?

If you’re anything like me, you were all ready to nestle into the couch and watch a new episode of Scrubs this week. Ok, maybe you don’t nestle. Maybe you were going to plop down in your leather recliner and watch Scrubs this week. Either way, you were probably very disappointed.

Why? Well, the final two episodes of Scrubs have been moved once again. This time, to March 10 and March 17. Two episodes. Two 30-minute chunks of time that ABC can’t seem to make room for.

And, if you’re anything like me, you’re already wondering if Scrubs will be picked up next season. For that matter, what about Better Off Ted?

Well, they’re both on the bubble, and are currently in “burn-off” mode, where all ABC’s trying to do is burn off the episodes. But at least Scrubs has a burnoff date, even if it does keep moving around. Better Off Ted isn’t even on the schedule yet with its final two episodes.

Now, I have to say that part of me is an optimist. A rather sarcastic optimist, but I am hoping that this move for Scrubs is to allow the show one last chance (well, two last chances) to gain viewership and to prove that it’s worth being renewed. I mean, if they showed it this week, wouldn’t it have lost viewers to the Olympics? Quite possibly.

So that’s my glass-half-full hope. But sadly, there’s worse news.

It’s no surprise that Sarah Chalke is finding other work. I mean, she’s not a regular on Scrubs anymore. But today we just discovered that Donald Faison–Turk–has signed on to a new pilot. Now, while the new cast really does focus on the newbies, Turk is still a main character. Would we have a Turk-less Scrubs? Or a Scrub-less Faison?

And it’s not just Scrubs. It looks like one of the leading ladies on Better Off Ted is looking for greener pastures. Andrea Anders, who plays Linda, has just signed on for Mr. Sunshine, another upcoming comedy for ABC. I’m not the biggest fan of hers (sorry, but Joey was just a wrong choice), but somehow seeing main characters signing up for other projects really isn’t what you want to see if you’re hoping for renewal.

But they are ABC shows, and as we’ve seen with other castmates–say, Christa Miller, who is on Cougar Town but also appeared in Scrubs as a guest star this season–there’s always an opportunity to do both. But for some reason, my optimism is wavering…

So if you like the shows and want them to stick, you better watch them when they return. And it couldn’t hurt to let ABC know you’re a fan. After all, a last ditch effort is better than no effort at all.

UPDATE: Well, it looks like Anders isn’t the only one leaving the office. Ted himself, Jay Harrington, just signed on for a pilot with NBC. Looks like Better Off Ted is probably dead. Whether we’re better off, we’ll never know.

Scrubs: 6?

SCRUBS: 9.09 “Our Stuff Gets Real”

Raked is learning to count.

1…2…3…

Is it just me, or did we just see the sixth episode that Zach Braff signed on for in this newest season of Scrubs? We all know that Braff only signed on for six episodes, and we already weirdly said good-bye to him as a professor a couple weeks ago.

But this week he was back, dealing with his soon-to-be-papa issues with Elliot. (By the way, if you haven’t heard the Sarah Chalke just became a mommy in real life on Christmas Eve, check it out.) I actually enjoyed this storyline, possibly because of the deep moment between Elliot and Dr. Cox at the end of the episode. Everything changes. Cox was right.

Actually, Cox was a great addition to this episode entirely. I was thrilled to see Jordan back (despite how much plastic surgery is in her face), because I love seeing Cox and Jordan interact. And seeing Lucy’s discovery that Cox was “the nice one” was even better.

It was a bit of a sad topic, though, once Cox really realized that writing a will isn’t just signing some sheet of paper. He was facing his own mortality, which strangely enough, I don’t think we’ve seen him do on this series at all. Others, sure. His brother-in-law, yes. But not his own.

And what about Lucy? I think from the start we knew that she wouldn’t be able to cut into Ben. That’s why most students don’t name their cadavers. And I like that Turk helped her through it, though the scene where she’s telling Ben it will hurt but help didn’t make much sense…what with the fact that he’s dead. But ultimately, the lesson was learned, and that’s what it was all about, right?

In other news, sometimes I still picture Turk and JD playing hide and seek side by side…

Speaking of, let’s go back to JD. Now that we’ve seen his sixth episode, and there are four left, what do you think? Will we see the baby Dorian born? Will we get to find out anything about him? Will we just see Elliot give birth with no JD? Or will we just see a baby later and assume it happened?

Or perhaps we won’t see it at all, since now the show is about a certain group of med students.

I hope we do. I know the baby bump wasn’t added for the show itself, but it’d be nice to play it out. Speaking of playing it out, do we know whether this will continue on, or if the final four episodes will be our last?

And if you haven’t heard, in true Scrubs fashion, they’re rearranging the schedule again. The last two episodes will now be on Wednesday night. See details (and schedule) here. They do reference this as the end of the season. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything else.

Christmas comes with a brand-new special

I’m in the Christmas spirit, which is good. I’m being bombarded with Christmas all over the place. The strangest thing, though, is that I feel like Christmas specials are in short supply. Sure, they’re rerunning those of the past (like The Muppets’ Letters to Santa) and there might be some singing specials that I don’t care much about. Beyond that, you’ve got to go for the oldie but goody movies, like The Santa Clause and Elf. In fact, maybe you can help me out and suggest some of the new movies out there, so I can catch them.

Like what I’m about to suggest to you now. Have you heard of Disney’s new animated special, Prep & Landing? Basically, a team of elf operatives (called, of course, Prep & Landing) ensure that homes across the world are ready for Santa’s arrival. It’s actually got a great cast behind it, including the voices of Dave Foley and Sarah Chalke.

I’m surprisingly excited about this special, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit. Maybe it’s because it’s Disney. Maybe it’s because it’s an interesting premise.

Maybe it’s because there’s really very little on tonight, and this comes right before a new episode of Scrubs on ABC.

Anyway, I’m willing to check it out. It’s on at 8:30 EST tonight, and only half an hour. I haven’t seen anything except the same promos and commercials the rest of you have, but it’s got a fun little website, and it just looks cute! Check out the promo, and let me know what you think!

New Renewals and Poll Results

What a busy Friday night we had! First, of course, we heard that Dollhouse has been renewed, though the formal announcement won’t be until Monday. Joss Whedon has commented on the renewal, and it’s true! This was a really big long-shot here, and I’m very surprised that they said yes, but I’m happy!

Not only that, but Castle was renewed. Plus, Amy Acker’s new pilot Happy Town has been picked up. It’s been a very nice weekend for the Whedonverse.

The only downside to me is that Scrubs was also renewed. I really wanted this show to rest in peace after its fantastic finale. Others aren’t quite as disappointed as I am–at least it’s a funny show–but I just think such a great finale as only a season finale (especially since Sarah Chalke and Zach Braff will be around for six episodes) is just a waste, and I’m afraid that the following season will just bring it down from such a high note.

Anyway…at least people aren’t out of jobs.

So what about my poll? I figure I should post my results now, seeing as some of our “bubble shows” have just been renewed. Keep in mind, these aren’t very representative or true to life. Forcing people to choose only one show when so many people are worried about bubble shows makes one tend to vote for their favorite shows on the bubble. Plus, with grabbing only my readers, my readers on Twitter, and my personal friends on Facebook, you don’t get exactly a perfect sampling of the populate. But it was still fun.

So let’s look first at the complete list of shows suggested for coming back in the fall (click on each graph to see a larger version):

All Shows AnsweredAs you can see, Dollhouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles were the top two, followed by Chuck. I think that’s not a huge surprise–especially since so many people I’m connected to are in the Whedonverse.

What surprised me is that next up are some shows that have been long gone. I mean, multiple votes for All in the Family? Seriously? But it’s good to know that Castle and How I Met Your Mother are up there, too (again, shows from the ‘verse).

But let’s look at this more realistically. I’m going to take out the shows that have been long gone and cancelled. Here we go:

A Better LookSo, now you see that our Whedonverse shows really are on top. And then come some good favorites. Honestly, I’m surprised that Lost didn’t get more votes, but like I said, I think people were more worried about the bubble shows. I did get a lot of people saying that they chose one show to save but would choose How I Met Your Mother overall. That’s nice.

It’s good to see The Unusuals on there, too, but I’m disappointed that more people didn’t say Kings. Kings on Twitter are really trying as hard as they can to spread the word about renewal. I wish it was a little stronger!

Show TypesFinally, just to prove I’m not crazy, here’s how it breaks down with shows that were on the bubble at the time of the poll, shows that were safe or already renewed, and the long gone.

All that purple means that people really care about their bubble shows. But then again, there were a lot this year. I mean, even Bones was on the bubble (has that been renewed yet?Update: Just got renewed!).

Anyway, the poll was fun. Let me know if there are any other poll suggestions you have. Next year, this should be even more fun. Who knows what shows will be on the air then? And maybe more people will be on Twitter or reading this blog so I can get a better sampling!

And thanks to everyone who participated!

UPDATE: Just heard via Twitter that The Unusuals was not renewed. I’m heartbroken. :-( Why, ABC, why?

Barney drives, Stella leaves

KT would like to get to the season finale as fast as she can!

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:  4.23 “As Fast As She Can”

Exit Stella and Tony, stage left.  So what exactly was the point of last week’s build-up?

Ted’s amazing encounter with Stella – and, as we find out, Tony – didn’t lead to landing a big archetecture-type contract.  It certainly didn’t lead to a second chance for Stella and Ted.  All we seem to be left with is this weird hint about a screenplay Tony will write that will become a movie called The Wedding Bride.  (The what now?  Um, okay.  I suppose I can see how goofy Tony writing a fluffy romance might lead to a title like that.)

I don’t resent the reappearance of Stella and Tony, because Sarah Chalke and Jason Jones are always good fun, but I do hope to eventually see how the big Stella arc plays into the show’s main goal of finding the mother.

There are plenty of possibilities.  Stella and Tony may still show up at the birthday party next week before they leave town – with someone in tow to introduce to Ted.  That seems less likely now, though, given how all of Ted’s friends reacted to Stella this week – especially if this is a surprise party and they’re the ones planning it.  But it’s still easy to imagine that this movie of Tony’s could be involved in Ted meeting the mother.  Maybe it’s what they see on their first date or something.

Overall, this episode was not one of the show’s best, but it did have its highlights.  Tony’s efforts on Ted’s behalf got old for me as quickly as they did for Ted, but the wealthy client who wanted to build a murder house was hilariously over the top.  Total camp, but I loved it.

Also way over the top in the best possible way:  the two extremes of how Ted could reacted to meeting Stella.  Good fun!

And I loved that Ted’s ringtone is “Let’s Go to the Mall.”

Ted’s speech to Stella was sweet, too.  Kind of a reiteration of the show’s mission statement – Ted sounded more like he did in season 1 than he had in a while.  Hello, Romantic Ted.  Nice to see you again.  I liked Stella’s “as fast as she can” story, too – though it did seem a little harsh to hear it from someone who dumped him at the alter.

But part of what I liked about it was that she admitted her “how I got out of a speeding ticket” story wasn’t true.  Made me wonder if none of those stories were true – if Marshall and Robin made theirs up too, just with more finesse than Barney.

Barney’s repeated attempts to get out of a ticket got old quickly, though – especially because I really wish they would drop a line in somewhere to reconcile “Arrividerci Fiero,” in which Barney couldn’t drive, with the several instances since then that put him in the driver’s seat.  Presumably he buckled down, buckled in, and learned to drive at some point between the “Arrividerci Fiero” flashback where Ted tries to teach Barney to drive, and the episode in which Barney steals Ted’s moving van so that Ted won’t move in with Robin.  And the flashback in “The Bracket” that shows Barney abandoning a girl at a campsite by driving off in her pickup.

But on the up side, Lily’s back!  Raked, you were right when you guessed that her exit would cover several episodes.  I also loved that she needed to ease back into dealing with Barney.

One more left for this season!  Be there, or be… unlegendary!

Wait, what now?

Well, that’s a face KT didn’t expect to see again on this show.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:  4.22 “Right Place, Right Time”

Stellaaaaaa!!!

Yeah, it’s hard to resist.  Sorry.

Okay, the big question first.  No, I don’t think Stella is the mother.  It took Ted too long to get over her – and doesn’t it seem like getting left at the alter would create a huge trust issue?  But I can easily believe that running into Stella again may lead directly to meeting the mother.  Perhaps she introduces them, something like that.  Maybe at Ted’s birthday party with the goat, which I assume will be the season finale in a couple of weeks.

After all, the yellow umbrella Ted’s carrying is the one that was left at the St. Patrick’s Day party last year.  We learned that Stella was at that party, too, though that connection didn’t really go anywhere at the time.  Maybe she’ll recognize the umbrella as belonging to a friend who was at the party with her and she’ll want to give it back?

Let’s back up now.  Oh yes, this all started with the cowboy hat restaurant.  Confession time:  after Ted added that there would be outdoor seating on the “brim” of the hat, the whole idea actually really started to appeal to me.  Cheesy, but cute, right?  Yeah, okay, I have no taste.

I loved the way Robin deadpanned the line about being pregnant and I loved the reactions she got from Ted and Barney – each so very over the top in his own way.  And of course the network tricksters stuck that in the promo, when it turns out to be just a joke.  (I had talked myself into believing it, too, thinking that hmm, maybe they are working less at hiding Cobie Smulders’ pregnancy than they did for Alyson Hannigan’s, maybe this is why…  Yeah, nevermind!)  But no, the food-poisoning led to avoiding the bagel place.  Also to a big laugh on “Now I’m going to have to find another place in New York that sells bagels!”

Marshall’s charts were great, too, and I loved the callback to the intervention episode.  And maybe I’m a huge dork, but I’ve been laughing about charts like this one and this one for months, so the “Cecelia” chart cracked me up.  Nice use of an internet phenomenon, show.

Marshall holding awkward meetings at work, or encountering embarassing problems with his presentations has definitely become a running gag.  It’s not my favorite one, but I do love the running gag about how lots of higher ups at GNB ought to be doing jail time and everybody knows it.  I also loved Ted’s deal with crazy Milt – a dollar a day for a million days, but the best part about Milt was that his headphones were plugged into a grapefruit.

(Okay, I’m looking at IMDB to double-check Milt’s name, and do you know what they named the three women Barney hurriedly propositioned in the bar when he thought he needed a #199?  Jenny, Jenni, and Gennie.  Hee.)

Barney’s plot seemed to me like fairly typical Barney stuff, and I’m not entirely sure why they introduced the childhood incident to justify it.  We all know Barney keeps lists and scrapbooks, so it’s perfectly in character for him to celebrate a milestone.  And while it’s not weird that Barney would let a middle school grudge linger, we have to assume that he let it go for a while, at least while he was dating Shannon and living the hippie life.  Maybe his post-Shannon transformation brought the 200 goal back to the surface?

On the other hand, I did enjoy seeing young Barney with all his Dungeons & Dragons materials spread out – including a truly massive twenty-sided die.  Hee.

But now Barney’s torn up his list and is looking meaningfully at Robin (who, one assumes, was on that list – wonder how much she liked that?).  Where’s he going to go next?

This week, it sucks to be Ted

KT here again, folks, for another exciting episode…

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: 4.05 “Shelter Island”

The plot moves forward, and the wheel keeps turning.

Sure enough, Stella isn’t the mother. We don’t have to explain why a college-age Lucy isn’t sitting on that couch – or why the kids haven’t already recognized Stella as their mom. And the yellow umbrella story has yet to unfold.

It seemed to me that Stella’s ex kinda came out of nowhere this week, but perhaps it’s like Stella herself said: that maybe that spark will just come back under the right circumstances. And goodness knows we’ve been getting enough hints that Ted and Stella really aren’t as perfect a match as we might hope for. I do think they did a decent job on Tony, though. He was written to be kooky, but he certainly wasn’t a villain, and Jason Jones (of The Daily Show) was a good fit for the role.

Poor Ted gets put in the awkward place. Do you get whiplash from deciding on and then calling off a wedding in less than a week? I cringed when he agreed to tell Robin that she couldn’t come – because face it, Robin’s part of the gang and a close friend, and she has to be there. I cringed when he caved and invited Tony – but don’t tell me you didn’t see it coming. I cringed when he insisted he should talk to Robin when she arrived, but none of those decisions were crazy-stupid. Wise, they certainly were not, but each small step made sense in its context.

So goodbye, Stella… I assume. I hope things work out for her. I liked the way Sarah Chalke was able to put enough wistfulness into her earlier scenes that we can believe her affection for Tony might easily bubble back to the surface.

I will miss Stella and Lucy a little, but I’ll be just fine if we never see Stella’s sister again. She was funny, but was a little off-putting because she was written as a series of jokes (the idea-stealing sister, the crusading vegan, the girl who lets her partner dictate her lifestyle, the slut who won’t accept a refusal). Not really enough substance there for a recurring character. Still, it’s always good fun to see someone more sexually aggressive than Barney. Speaking of whom…

Barney’s place in this show is often tangential to the main action. I don’t mean that as a slight – it’s a good place for him and he often shines there. But he doesn’t often get tangents that deepen his character (which is usually saved for the occasional Barney-centric episode). Not a lot deeper, mind you, and not really anything we didn’t see him tell Lily in 4.01. But we don’t often see him vulnerable the way we do here, and – just every once in a while – it’s nice to see that. It keeps him human.

Also, the Beautiful Mind-type business with sparkly purple CGI was awesome and it made me laugh. Plus – points for continuity – I loved the look on Barney’s face at the end when he realized that he had gotten another shot at riding the tricycle. I am completely comfortable with the juxtaposition of business-as-usual womanizer Barney and the new, fascinating, I-think-I’m-in-love-with-Robin Barney.

Also brilliant: Robin reading real, serious news with her marshmallow-throwing co-anchor. And oh, did she try to be brave and cheerful, but by the way she overdid it, you could tell she was hurting inside.

Lily and Marshall didn’t have much to do this week, so I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that next week we’re going to see them move into their new place. I think we will also see Robin move into their old room, and – at least temporarily – great awkwardness will ensue between Ted and Robin. I do hope Robin doesn’t wind up back at Metro News 1. Begging for her job back once was bad enough, and the second time she quit was a strong moment for her. So possibly a period of unemployment may be an added incentive for her to move in with Ted instead of trying to get her own place.

The Emmy’s: Haven’t they been…sufficient?

THE 60TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS

Wow. The Emmy’s…well, the Emmy’s sucked this year. Which is especially sad because I was looking forward to them. It was the 60th anniversary show, and I’d been reading and reading about all of the great things that ABC was putting into the Emmy’s this year.

I, of course, ignored the fact that reality television hosts were going to be the hosts of the award show this year. But, you know, once I was rethinking it, I thought that it might not be that bad of an idea! It means that if one sucked, there were four others. And that they’d each get less air time and be spread out. Brilliant.

Then the show started. I was wrong. Uber-wrong. Wow, were they…bad. I think the best part of the show was when Jimmy Kimmel asked whether they had been “sufficient.” The answer is “no.” And by the way, when someone is making fun of the hosts of the show only 15 minutes into it, you have to admit that someone made a major error. Wow.

I suppose the best part of the show for me was actually Josh Groban’s theme song list. I love Josh Groban, and when I heard of his performance, I was picturing operatic versions of Cheers and the Buffy theme. Ok, it scared me, but I was intrigued. But he did well. I’m very impressed with the many ways Josh Groban could change his voice with each song–and his “Oh God” before the Fresh Prince theme was just so great. Made you really see how hard he worked at that performance, and frankly, it just made me laugh.

But the rest was blah. Nothing was really all that fantastic, and if it wasn’t “not that fantastic,” it was terrible. There weren’t even risky dress choices. Since when did everyone start playing it so safe?

And the worst part was that so much got cut. Apparently, everything went so long that bits and pieces were cut from the awards show–sadly enough, it was probably the parts that would have been *gasp!* entertaining. One such thing was the actual results to the Greatest TV Moments poll that was on ABC.com. Now, it’s still up in the air as to whether maybe they included the winning clip and just didn’t define it as that (check out a long discussion of comments on this Whedonesque.com post). Now, Buffy‘s “The Gift” was one of the nominees of sorts, and it was obviously not aired tonight. What I really thought was close in the running was the famous ER scene with George Clooney saving the drowning child. Or for the love of God, who shot JR? I hate to call it groundbreaking, but it surely made an imprint.

Anyway, I voted and was looking forward to the results. I would have watched the show either way, but it bugs the crap out of me that this wasn’t presented. I mean, if you go to the Emmy’s main page (or at least during and before the Emmy’s if not now), you would have seen that they were advertising this like crazy! In fact, on the main page, you would have seen the following:

Voting For Television’s Most Memorable Moments Is Now Closed

The winning clips will be revealed during the ceremony.

Which will emerge as the most memorable? Tune in live to the 60th Primetime Emmy® Awards on September 21 on ABC to find out.

We didn’t find out. If this was so much of a marketing ploy–a major marketing campaign–for the awards show, why would they cut it? Or why wouldn’t they have brought it out more. I know many people in the BuffyVerse are mightily annoyed over this, and I’d imagine some X-Filers and fans of other famous shows on the list might be feeling the same way.

No matter what, I think we can easily see this year’s Emmy’s as a failure to entertain. I think the winners were fair. I figured Mad Men and John Adams would get their day in the sun, and I was happy to see the great kudos assigned to Recount and 30 Rock. So while these were positives, I would have been fine to see a list on the web and watched Army Wives instead of TiVoed it.

Let me say one last thing: I watched the Creative Emmy’s Award Show last night (re-aired from last weekend) and was much more entertained than tonight. All we can say is that maybe Sarah Chalke and Neil Patrick Harris should be getting more credit than the reality crap we saw tonight. Now we see what reality TV really does for television today.

UPDATE: Thought I’d add some other feedback and links from other viewers. If you have any to add, let me know!

Review from Salon by Heather Havrilesky

Emmy Awards Live Blog from Give Me My Remote