Tag Archives: new shows

“It’s on with Alexa Chung”

Other stay-at-home parents might dig “Regis & Kelly”, “Oprah”, “The View” or even the train wreck that is the fourth hour of the “Today Show”, but in this household, we are all about Alexa-freaking-Chung!

Haven’t heard of her? Well, neither had we until her new talk show “It’s on with Alexa Chung” debuted a couple of weeks back on MTV. Apparently Chung is a fairly well-known former model/chat show host in the UK. All I know is that she’s funny, entertaining, and best of all, totally sexy in a goofy, self-deprecating way — which makes her even sexier in my book! — and that Greta and I have become HUGE fans of this show in the past couple of weeks.

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Of course I think Greta mostly likes the cool colors on the set and stuff at this point, but, I do know that she downs her bottle much more calmly with Alexa Chung cheekily interviewing celebrities in the background. Maybe it’s the cool UK accent, who knows?

All I know for sure is that if you find yourself home at 11:30AM on a weekday, you gotta check this show out. Chung’s interviews are fresh, lively and often genuinely hilarious, and she goes out of her way to involve the audience in any number of bizarre games and contests throughout the show.

One recent episode had Chung and her cohorts trying to break a few world’s records on the air. She had one dude trying to break the record for making the most peanut butter and jelly — she called it jam, of course, which made me love her even more — sandwiches in a minute while another event had Chung seeing how many purses she could hang on former “Destiny’s Child” star Kelly Rowland. Crazy, huh?

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But crazy has never been this fun, so, check out this awesomeness before MTV cancels it. I’m sure my old ass is not even remotely the demographic they are aiming for with this show, which was supposedly designed to be a replacement for the late, great “TRL”, but I think most of you out there will love it.

What worries me the most are the bored, vacant looks of the tweens in the audience. Their lifeless stares when Chung cracks a first-rate joke tell me that unless she seriously rocks the ratings, her show might be in trouble. So, get out there and spread the good word, amigos…Alexa Chung rules!

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“Harper’s Island”

Sure the writing is kinda obvious and the only real “name” in the cast — wait, is Harry Hamlin still considered a “name”? —  was literally sliced in half on the pilot, but for some reason, Christine and I are already seriously hooked on the new TV show “Harper’s Island”.

If you’ve somehow managed to escape the ubiquitous commercials and billboards, “Harper’s Island” is a limited-run murder mystery series (meaning it will resolve itself completely, telenovela-style after 13 episodes) airing Thursdays at 10PM on CBS. Yes, that CBS…

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Set on a spooky, fog-shrouded island just north of Seattle, “Harper’s” isn’t exactly award-worthy fare, but, so far there has been plenty of gratuitous sex and some shockingly-gory murders — one dude was beheaded by the engine blades on a boat! Awesome! — so, like I said above, we’re kinda hooked.

The other big selling point for us is that the show will end in 13 weeks. I mean, hell, we’ve watched way lesser shows for a lot longer — yeah, you heard me final two seasons of “Angel” — so, 13 weeks of Lifetime TV-movie actors getting the axe (literally!) sounds cool to us.

So far, the premise is pretty much a “Scream” rehash with the troubled daughter of a murdered mother returning home to the Island for a friend’s wedding. Haunted by her mother’s death, the girl is kind of a cutesy basket case and the fact that every other character acts all “murderous” all the time doesn’t help put her frail mind to ease.

So far, people have violently chopped the heads off fishes, burned snails with a magnifying glass and revealed Satanic-looking tattoos just before getting in a crazy bar fight. Can you say, suspects? Wow!

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Seriously, this show is like a crash course in cheesy soap opera acting: say or do something creepy, smile darkly to yourself…and hold that pose while the music builds. It’s kind of hilarious. And with almost every character already having had one of those moments, guessing who the killer is, and why they are killing everyone could be kinda fun.

Or not…but hey, it’s only for 13 episodes, right? So, if you’re looking for some cheesy so-bad-it’s-good fun, check out “Harper’s Island”. And, seriously, take a drink every time someone does something creepy and, trust me, you’ll be wasted by the fifteen minute mark. A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

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“Rita Rocks” on Lifetime

OK, I know it isn’t the coolest thing I’ve ever admitted to, but, try as I might, I cannot keep quiet about my latest TV obsession. And that’s because Lifetime’s new original sitcom “Rita Rocks”, well…rocks! Yes, I said Lifetime, as in, “Television for Women”, but if loving this sweet, classically-funny sitcom makes me a lady, then, braid my hair and call me Sally, because I love it!

“Rita Rocks” isn’t exactly revolutionary by TV standards, but it is a great, laugh-out-loud, working-class sitcom, and seeing as there hasn’t been a decent one of those on the airwaves since “Rosanne”, this show is like a breath of fresh air.

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The concept here is simple. Rita, (played by former “Mad TV” regular, Nicole Sullivan) fronted a Bangles cover band in her youth and gave it all up to be a wife and mom. And then one day, while folding towels at the Bed, Bath and Beyond-ish superstore she works at, Rita realizes something is missing from her life and decides to get back into her music.

So, with the grudging support of her two daughters (a pitch-perfect Natalie Dreyfuss and Kelly Gould) and goofy, sitcom-perfect husband (Richard Ruccolo), Rita forms a garage band. And with Rita on guitar, her postal carrier best friend, Patty (played by former “Martin” hottie, Tisha Campbell-Martin), on keys, unemployed next door neighbor, Owen (Ian Gomez), on cello, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Kip (Ricky Ullman) on drums, the band takes flight.

I know, it sounds like a cutsey premise, and, well, maybe it is. But the characters are real, warm and very funny and the show is kinda awesome because of it. And on top of all that, the band actually sounds really good together when they play. I mean, I always thought Sullivan and Campbell were hilarious, but who knew they could sing too? Whoa…

Like I said, this isn’t exactly “Twin Peaks” or anything, but “Rita Rocks” is the kind of good, old-fashioned sitcom the major networks used to excel at. The fact that “Rita” airs on cable just shows you how far the mighty networks have fallen in my book. But, hey, if I have to watch Lifetime to get my sitcom fix, so be it.

So, if you find yourself hankering for a fun, well-written show with a rocking-good cast, check out “Rita Rocks” Monday nights at 8:30PM on Lifetime. And if you wanna really channel your inner girlie man, stick around for the Lifetime movies afterwards…they’re fabulous!

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