Instead of creating character and drama, he lectured. Everyone on the show seemed to speak with the same voice. Jeff Daniels was very good in the role of Will McAvoy, a smarter-than-everyone-else cable news anchor.
But Sorkin's handling of the female characters was wrong from the start -- how can such ambitious, supposedly talented professionals behave like overgrown adolescents? And the setting, in the recent past, only added to the overall feeling of told-you-so smugness.
Train-wreck TV: What have TV viewers done to deserve more of Charlie Sheen? After years of perfunctory performances on "Two and a Half Men," a public meltdown and personal misbehavior, Sheen persists. His FX sitcom, "Anger Management," is opportunistic and drearily ordinary. And those are its best qualities.
Sheen's female equivalent, Lindsay Lohan, is, if anything, an even more distressing spectacle. Whatever it is that's wrong with her, there was precious little reward in gawking at her utterly inadequate attempts to host "Saturday Night Live" and portray Elizabeth Taylor in the hacky Lifetime movie, "Liz & Dick." At this point, watching Lohan flailing in public feels like rubber-necking at the scene of a terrible accident.
And the monkey was the highlight: The less said about the already-canceled NBC sitcom "Animal Practice" the better. When a trained monkey in a miniature doctor's lab coat is the comic zenith of your show, you know you're in trouble.
The case of the disappointed viewers: Local fans of "Perry Mason" reruns on KPTV (12) at noon were dismayed at this summer's news that the venerable courtroom drama was moving from its noontime berth on KPTV to a new, 8 a.m. slot on KPTV's sister station, KPDX (Channel 49/cable 13). It was the end of a four decade-long tradition. Taking the noontime KPTV spot was "The Rachael Ray Show." As a commenter on Oregonlive.com wrote, "Now that's really adding insult to injury."
I've heard of anti-heroines, but this is ridiculous: The promising NBC drama "Revolution" made the mistake of shortchanging its intriguing premise -- what happens when all the power goes out? -- and over-emphasizing its young, whiny female lead, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos). After the umpteenth scene of Charlie demanding her posse of survivors search for her missing brother -- "We have to find Danny!" -- I started hoping the power on my TV would go out, just to shut her up.
The "meh" factor: You know how Simon Cowell promised that "The X Factor" would be a big hit? And then it wasn't? And then Cowell booted his first-season cohorts, Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, and replaced them with Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, and he said the show was going to be better? And it turned out to be ... meh? Maybe Fox and Cowell can get the hint that this is one singing competition too many.
The "Community" disappearing act: The comedy "Community" has always faced an uphill battle. The offbeat tale of a misfit group of adult community college students has a quirky, self-aware humor that's off-putting to some but is adored by the show's fans.
2012 was an extraordinarily bumpy one for the NBC underdog. Creator Dan Harmon, whose vision shaped what makes "Community" special, was asked to take his leave. The Harmon-free "Community" was supposed to return to the NBC schedule this fall, but it got bumped at the last minute. Since then, co-star Chevy Chase, who had sparred with Harmon, announced that he's exiting the cast.
"Community" is supposedly returning in February. In the meantime, I'm giving NBC an "F" for how it's handled one of the most creative shows on TV.
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