Well Tubers, we hate to admit it, but we are at the un-official mid-point of summer as well as the middle point of 2012. So, that means it’s time to give out some grades! And here you thought that school was out for summer… Not to worry, no studying is involved. Just put on your TV watching caps and consider what 2012 has brought us so far…
Best new Mid-Point Show: STARZ’s Magic City
This show came almost out of nowhere to become the most pleasant new surprise of the viewing season. Now I say “almost” nowhere because of Mitch Glazer’s rep as a big-time screenwriter and director. However, what could simply have been another failed Mad Men clone succeeded by its uncanny ability to channel The Godfather and Dynasty all at the same time. The mix is a delicate one but the result was this show’s own brand of Magic. Don’t be shocked if MC does well at Emmy time. Maybe even with an outside shot to unseat Mad Men’s reign as Best Drama? Stay tuned…
Best Re-Debut: Charlie Sheen in Anger Management
C’mon, deep down you were rooting for the crazy to come back! Two and Half Men has had no spark since eveyone’s favorite Carlos was kicked off the ratings juggernaut. And Sheen hasn’t disappointed so far with his ex-ballplaying, bad-knee-having, barely-in-control, sleeps-with-his -therapist, television-imitating-life character, who is somehow named Charlie (imagine that!). Speaking of the show’s love-interest headshrinker, let’s hope Anger Management’s producers also expand Selma Blair’s role as Charlie’s off-again, on again girlfriend, as she represents the show’s most intriguing female lead. Finally, a gal who has a little the Tiger Blood pumping her veins… Winning!
Most Unexpectedly Pleasant Performance: Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Client List
Okay, I know… This one is a big time shocker to even me. A Lifetime show! About a middle-class, down on her luck single Texas mom who secretly works a brothel to make end meet! How can this one make the cut? Because…it’s surprisingly good. Building off the Golden Globe winning TV movie, Hewitt is amazingly believable as a modern mom trying to make ends meet with “happy endings.” Somehow the network of split personalities and cheatin’ husbands has an intelligent hit on it hands. And having Cybil Shepard playing Hewitt’s colorful, good-ol’-gal mother was inspired casting to the hilt.
Most Personally Disappointing Performance: Kerri Washington in Scandal
I admit I desperately wanted to like this show. I mean, Kerri Washington? On my TV every week? A match made in my own personal heterosexual male heaven. She even was supposed to be a high-powered, take-no-prisoners media consultant involved in juicy, high-powered political imaging fixing which would give her plenty of screen time to do her patented, oh-so-fine smolder. What could go wrong?
Well, the script writing for one. Scandal has jumped from one breathlessly nutty crisis to the next, all on top of a “secret” affair with the current POTUS so blatant that everyone in the West Wing must have caught them bumping dental work in the Bill Clinton Memorial broom closet. Show creator Shonda Rhimes has taken the jump-cut, music video style of narration she made popular with Grey’s Anatomy so far that I can’t even tell you any of Scandal’s character names. I’m not sure that anybody even finished a sentence given the frenetic pacing in the show’s first season.
Washington’s performances mostly consisted of her storming into rooms, listening to three lines of dialogue and then dramatically proclaiming that she has to leave to handle another crisis. I so want to like this show! Shondra, Kerri, help me!!
On the Comeback Tour 2012: Lindsay Lohan
Hah! Thought you’d get through one of these columns without a mention of America’s Sweetheart… Not! Lindsay has actually made an interesting choice to play Elizabeth Taylor the upcoming Liz and Dick TV movie ( For you born after 1995, don’t laugh. People actually wanted to be called those names). Car crashes and unexpected power naps aside, the buzz is positive about Lindsay’s performance. The stills of her as Taylor are dead on and somehow, the talk has turned to her-gasp!-acting ability!
Is what we see here the shape of things to come? Well, at least until she stars with ex-porn star James Deen in The Canyons as has been rumored. Never a dull moment in Lindsay Land.. No alarm clocks either, apparently…
Super-Electric Nutty Time Performance: Robert Blake
Amazingly, someone has actually rivaled Charlie Sheen’s all-time 2011 TV meltdown in the span of a single interview. Long-time Hollywood figure Robert Blake did everything but set the building on fire with his July 11th interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.
Given his lasting infamy over his wife’s murder trial (he was acquitted as he profanely reminded Morgan about 20 times) it was a little naive to think that Rupert Murdoch’s favorite journalist wasn’t going to take advantage.
But man, who thought a 79-year-old in a cowboy hat knew that many bad words? Maybe Miss Marla should have washed his mouth out with soap in the “Our Gang” days. (Once again, Gen Y’ers and Millennials: If you have no idea who Robert Blake, Piers Morgan, Rupert Murdoch, Miss Marla or CNN is, remember, Google is your friend.)
What are your hits and misses so far in 2012? Let us know.