Friday, 10 February 2017

Shondaland Renewed for Next Season: UPDATE

ABC has announced Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder will return for another season! Grey's will return for a whopping fourteenth season, Scandal for a seventh season and HTGAWM for a fourth season!!!


Scandal's seventh season will be its last. The (sad) news was confirmed today (16 May 2017) at ABC's Upfronts presentation in New York City. 

Series star Kerry Washington said: "We are extraordinarily proud of what we created with ‘Scandal’ on ABC. We are exploring the darker side of politics, relationship, race and power."

Scandal will leave behind a legacy when it leaves the airwaves. Washington became the first African American woman to star as the lead in an American broadcast drama in 37 years.  The success of the show opened the door for How To Get Away With Murder and Empire.

Though I am sad to hear Scandal will soon be over, I respect series creator Shonda Rhimes and ABC Entertainment Chief Channing Dungey for ending the show whilst it is still entertaining. The worst possible scenario for an avid viewer of a TV show (other than the show getting cancelled before it has a chance to wrap its story lines) is for said show to be dragged out beyond its natural conclusion. Rhimes said she plans on going "all out" for the seventh and final season and I, like millions of other viewers across the globe, are surely in for a thrilling final ride!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel | Live and Learn

The third episode of Power Rangers Ninja Steel is a run of the mill team work episode. The theme of team work is key to a show like Power Rangers and the theme often comes up fairly early in a season's run when the team are getting used to being Power Rangers. In "Live and Learn", Brody must learn to depend less on his datacom and more on his newfound friends. The episode also tried to deal with the theme of cheating but actually seemed to attempt to be a social commentary on how obsessed our generation are with technology. 

The episode was mostly solid despite far too many examples of the writers inability to write convincingly for teenage characters.
The cast are often reduced to speaking down to their audience, rather than to them, which seemed to be even more evident in "Live and Learn" which spent much of the episode with the rangers in school. I don't think its a case of the actors being bad, but more to do with the lines they are given and the way they are told to say them.

Furthermore, Brody's character is quite bland for a focal character. Whilst the show has only aired three episodes (which means there is a lot of room for improvement) Brody is seriously lacking. Also, the game show aspect (which was a major part of the press releases for the show) is useless (so far) and does not add much to the story at all. 

Final Thought: If there was any doubt about who the ranger's mentor is, Mick is certainly the right answer!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Superior Donuts Has The Potential To Become A Great Sitcom

CBS is well known for sticking to what has worked well for them in the past. One only has to look at their current slate of shows to see the vast majority of their comedies are old school multi-camera sitcoms. Some critics suggest CBS should move on from the past and embrace the cooler and more modern single-camera format but CBS has always stuck to their guns and remained loyal to what works. The same can be said about their newest sitcom titled Superior Donuts, which deals with wanting to stick with what has worked in the past while world tries to usher in a new world order. Superior Donuts is set in a doughnut shop run by a Polish immigrant named Arthur (Judd Hirsch)  who opened the shop in 1969 when he first came to America. The shop has remained mostly unchained until the arrive of Franco (Jermaine Fowler) a young and hip African-American aspiring artist who manages to coerce Arthur into hiring him after offering a wave of ideas to bring Superior Donuts into the present. The ensemble cast also includes Katey Segal (Married... With Children) and David Koechner (Anchorman).

Superior Donuts mentions issues ranging from the gentrification of a community to the clash of cultures. Both are neither new nor revolutionary themes for television but are more than more than welcome to be explored further and hopefully with more substance in this show. While the humour and the dynamics of the central characters can be bland at times, and of course, the writing and jokes are predictable and fail to land, one should watch the show with the hope that the ensemble cast are given more complex and deeper material to work with.

This would transform an acceptable show with promise into a great show with a lot to say about issues affected both the older and younger generation. Furthermore, many of the jokes are told at the expense of young people aka “millennials” and their so-called addiction to social media and Frappuccinos. In order to succeed in the long run, Superior Donuts must ensure its material moves beyond the stale jokes and references about the pitfalls our generation and hopefully shows how both millennials and old folk can work together for the good of the community.  

Superior Donuts is a comedy which has a lot of potential. The pilot episode manages to set the groundwork for a show which could have a long run if it manages to develop and build-upon the issues it raises rather than complicating them which seems to be a hole many shows fall into. Superior Donuts has a long way to go before it manages to become the topical sitcom it wishes to become but the most important thing is it certainly has the potential. The main question is, will audiences stick around for this plain doughnut to be glazed with some distinctiveness 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Powerless is Humourless

Powerless is a new action comedy which has the honour of being the first sitcom based in the DC Universe which is in dire need of an undeniable hit.