Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What's Good on the Tube

This is a feature I've been meaning to do for years where I sporadically weigh in on the top 5 shows that I'm enjoying on television at the moment. If you have exquisite taste in entertainment, like myself, you should watch these shows too!

Hot In Cleveland (Wednesday 10:00pm, TV Land) Simply put, Hot in Cleveland is the single best traditional sitcom to air on television in at least five years. The comedy all-star cast features Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick as three gals who decide to uproot from their hectic L.A. lifestyles in and settle in Cleveland, Ohio where they are all considered hot and glamorous. Golden Girl Betty White plays the owner of the house they all live in. As you should know, I've been a huge Betty White fan since her days on The Golden Girls. I didn't just jump on this new Betty Bandwagon after her Super Bowl commercial and SNL appearance last year. I've been seeking out her appearances for years. Watching her work is watching one of the all-time comedy greats practice their craft. Mrs. White nails every single line with pin point comedy precision - it's amazing to watch. Hot In Cleveland doesn't get by on just Betty White alone, not only is the rest of the cast great but the show doesn't shy away from using tried and true sitcom plots and conventions to have a good time. This show celebrates it's sitcom heritage, not only by shooting in front of a live studio audience but also by casting several familiar faces from TV comedies past in supporting roles. It's just another great reason why I love this program and look forward to it every week. (Season One just came out on DVD!)

Holly's World (Sunday 10:30pm, E!) You know I loved me some Girls Next Door, which appears to have been canceled but this spin-off is the next best thing. All three of the gals from Next Door have had their own shows. Kendra has Kendra, which to me feels like it's grabbing at straws trying to come up with material to justify it's existence. Bridgete had Bridgete's Sexy Beaches which was a really fun travel show but it was cancelled after one season. Holly's World follows Holly Madison as she stakes her claim as the new Miss Las Vegas. Holly stars in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood in Vegas, as well as having her hand in a ton of other charities and events around town. What made Girls Next Door so interesting was it's behind the scenes look into Playboy Magazine and life at the Playboy Mansion. In this show, we get to see the inner workings of a town like Las Vegas, plus Holly and her friends are all good fun. Really fun half hour of tube that I look forward to each week!

Parks and Recreation (Thursday 9:30pm, NBC) Right now NBC is running a three hour block of comedies on Thursday night. That's not attempted much in network television. Of those 6 shows, 3 are on my list here today. At the moment, Parks and Rec is my favorite simply because it's the newest but also because the show has really found it's voice in it's third season. The characters, the actors, the writing and the situations have all gelled nicely. Season three saw the addition of two new cast members including the always terrific Rob Lowe. Amy Polher, Aziz Ansari and Nick Offerman are three more reasons why this show is so terrific.

30 Rock (Thursday 10:00pm, NBC) In my opinion, television writing has never been better than what is on display at 30 Rock. Each episode is packed the the gills with so many clever jokes, references and more jokes that it's sometimes exhausting trying to keep up. 30 Rock has also maintained a good pace of keeping story lines flowing from week to week without turning the show into a soap opera. Each show is a comedy masterpiece. Alec Baldwin continues to be The Man!

The Office (Thursday 9:00pm, NBC) While I've never abandoned The Office, I felt it strayed off course in recent years. The storylines kept getting in the way of the show just being funny. The shows seems to have settled down into just being laugh out loud funny week after week! Steve Carell is heading off the show at the end of this year, but this is one show that seems to be able to keep on chugging without it's star. There are of other characters to keep The Office open for many more season. According to some tweets I've read, Will Ferrell is expected to do a multi-episode arc later the season. That should be comedy gold! (As long as he doesn't play a 70's sports star.)

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