Fall TV 2015

Oh, hello there. I’ve been good, and you? We are just about getting to the point where the idea of fall being the time for new television shows is dead. But we’re not there yet.

Normally, I spend a lot of time talking about what I’m not going to watch. But this year, I’m focusing on the positive – the shows I definitely will be watching…until they inevitably disappoint me.

NEW SHOWS

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND

This was developed to be a half hour comedy on Showtime. Now it is going to be an hour long dramedy on the CW. Oh, and it’s also a musical. And completely insane. And good?

I don’t think anyone will feel part way about this show, you love it or you hate it and you probably know just by watching the trailer for it. Fuck it, I’m in.

 

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

This is on Amazon, and it’s basically “what if we lost World War II?”. That’s about all I need to know.

 

DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Let’s get this straight: I don’t like Billy Eichner. I don’t like yelling all the time. I don’t like his weird eye. However, I love this show.¬†I’ve already watched all of the episodes of this (on Hulu) and it is GREAT. But it might just be specifically made for me. There are completely obscure jokes that I can’t imagine that many people appreciating, but if you do, you’ll really, really appreciate them.

 

SCROTAL RECALL

As Selfie taught us, or didn’t teach us because it got quickly canceled, don’t judge things by titles! Scrotal Recall is a horrible title. It’s actually even worse than Selfie, because it makes you not want to recommend it to people. It’s very hard to say “hey, you should watch Scrotal Recall” to people out loud in public. And if you do they will assume you are joking. No one would name a show that. But they did.

And it’s really good! It’s British, which I usually find annoying. But it’s just smart, and funny, and has an emotional punch that will hit you right in the scrotals.

 

THE GRINDER

This was the best network sitcom pilot this year. It’s funny.
QUANTICO

I doubt I’ll actually watch this but I could get talked into it. It’s one of those where if it was on HBO I’d be all in.

 

RED OAKS/CASUAL

These are comedies on Amazon and Hulu, respectively, and I honestly don’t know much about them except that they didn’t want to meet with me. But I’ve been hearing good things.

 

RETURNING SHOWS

FARGO

The best show on television, period.

To think, there was once a time when people thought True Detective was the best show and Fargo was just okay. Oh, how wrong you were. I don’t care if Kirsten Dunst is involved, WATCH IT!!!

 

LAST MAN ON EARTH

This was the only network comedy that I watched last year. I loved it. And it changed development season this year because they didn’t think it was going to work, and then it did. So now the rage is buying high concept comedies that don’t sound like sitcom premises. It’s all about “standing out” in a “crowded market place” (jargon!), aka having a show where everyone in the world is dead except for one dude (and a few others).

But it’s not that easy. And I fear we are in for a future as bleak as Phil’s, with over the top premises that are poorly executed strewn across the TV landscape, or even worse, as unaired episodes on Hulu.

 

SHARK TANK/BEYOND THE TANK

Anything with tank.

 

Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Doing Something

Doritos has a contest for the Super Bowl where normal people can make a commercial and submit it, and the winner gets a million dollars and their ad shown during the game. My buddy Scott decided to enter this year. He spent about 2 grand making a commercial and sent it in. He was selected as a top ten finalist, and lucky enough, everyone in the top ten gets to go to the Super Bowl and sit in the Doritos box.

None of the ten knows who won until they show the commercial during the game. And wouldn’t you know it, during the first quarter, I see a commercial for Doritos. And it’s Scott’s commercial! He fucking won. A million dollars. Insane.

And then today, I saw another friend of mine get some good news. He got cast as a regular in a new sitcom, which reminded me of a story about him.

I was on the set of “Selfie” for the filming of the first episode I wrote. We had cast this goofy, funny guy as Henry’s (John Cho) assistant. I was hanging out by the monitors during some down time, and on set, there’s a ton of down time. And this Henry assistant guy was talking about something, and he mentioned that he was in the upcoming Jurassic Park sequel (which also had a big commercial during the Super Bowl).

Well, as soon as I hear information like that, I start asking a ton of questions. One of which was: how’d you get that gig?

The answer: he wrote the director a letter.

He sat down in his apartment and wrote a letter to the director of Jurassic Park telling him how much he admired his movies and that he’s an actor and he’d love to be in it. And the director wrote back! And now he’s in motherfucking Jurassic Park!

But that’s not at all. Apparently (APPARENTLY!), he writes 5 letters a week. To directors and producers of things. All with the same theme: I like your work and I’d like to be involved. And this often works.

First of all, who writes letters anymore? Second, there are a billion actors in Hollywood, how could this possibly work?! Maybe because no one writes letters anymore! Anyway, this letter writing campaign also got him a part in the next Coen brothers movie. Insane, again.

So today, Deadline¬†reported that he has scored a role for a sitcom that Shaq is doing. And I can’t help but wonder if a strongly worded letter was involved…