One Less Show

No, No, & No: @CodeBlackCBS

Code Black (2015) Poster

Code Black (Weds, 10p/9c, CBS) refers to “an influx of patients so great, there aren’t enough resources to treat them. The average ER is in code black five times per year. Angels Memorial Hospital in LA is in code black 300 times per year.” Well of course it fucking is, who wants to watch a hospital that goes code black like once a season?! Come on. But regardless, this premise is already rolling my eye.

In one promo that I saw, Marcia Gay Harden (who I have loved since The First Wives Club and she KILLED on The Newsroom) says something to the effect of “your instincts have to be sharper than your scalpels.” Strike one. That is some lazy fucking writing. In the first presumably tense scene of life-saving, Marcia and co. are working on a gun-shot victim (black guy, surprise!) who sustained a single gun shot wound to the neck. Guess what kind of car they pulled him out of?! An Escalade! After some medical whatever, Marcia tells her underlings that she wants some cold saline and asks her charges if they know what she is doing. Blondie (Bonnie Somerville) chimes in with some gibberish about replacing his blood with the saline, “cold infusion” and more or less putting the guy in stasis while they repair the artery. Then, Marcia says this: “We are going to kill him to save him.” Who’s eyes just rolled down the fucking street? Mine. Mind you, I am one commercial break into this mess. Strike two.

From what I can tell, Dr. Leanne Rorish (Harden) is a hard ass and the hospital brass like her because she makes good doctors out of her residents. She uses unorthodox procedures and plays by her own rules. A female character that plays by her own rules?! No, surely not! Her biggest opponent is Dr. Neal Hudson (Raza Jaffrey, that hot as fuck Pakistani intelligence officer that was working with Carrie). He’s hot in a military outfit, and he’s even hotter in scrubs.

But unfortunately, some trite story lines ensue: one resident second guessed his abilities, another was bitter that she couldn’t demonstrate her abilities, Blondie was forced to deliver a baby in an ambulance while getting instructions over the phone from Leanne & Neal performing all manner of procedures back in the ER, and lastly, a little girl (young Amanda from Revenge) loses her father, who was an organ donor, ends her guess stint listening to her father’s heart beating in another little’s girl’s chest. I half expected Frank Gallagher to stumble in saying that he had some of her father’s organs and he needed money. Regardless of that side fantasy, strike three. As far as I am concerned, Code Black is a code blue with a signed DNR.

Grade: D.

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#RedBandSociety

Red_Band_Society_(American_TV_Series)_Logo

THE CAST

Octavia Spencer plays Nurse Jackson, a sassy mother hen who is presumably not shitting in pies she’s feeding to the kids.

Dave Annable is Dr. Jack McAndrew. Justin Walker is looking good… a little older, but still looking good.

Astro plays Dash. He has cystic fibrosis. We can thank The X-Factor for bringing us someone named “Astro.” When I saw his name on-screen the first time, I immediately thought of the Family Guy episode where a grown and very drunk Elroy Jetson is sitting at a bar demanding, “TAKE ME TO ASTRO’S GRAVE!”

Ciara Bravo is Emma. She is anorexic (so she doesn’t want any “Goodies”), and serving white Zendaya realness.

Griffin Gluck is the comatose narrator of the show, Charlie.

Zoe Levin is out-of-this-world bitchy cheerleader Kara. She has something wrong with her heart.

Rebecca Rittenhouse is ray of sunshine Nurse Dobler.

Charlie Rowe is Leo, who had a promising soccer career on the horizon until cancer took one of his legs.

Nolan Sotillo is the spicy Jordi, who also has cancer and might possibly lose a leg.

Wilson Cruz is sassy gay man-nurse Kenji. I assume he is the counterpoint to Nurse Jackson’s sassiness.

Catalina Sandino Moreno is still full of grace as Jordi’s deadbeat mom, Eva.

Thomas Ian Nicholas brings his current crunchy granola mug as Charlie’s father, Nick.

Griffin Dunne is here, loud and clear, as wealthy patient Ruben Garcia.

THE PREMISE

The story of a group of kids that live in a hospital… a hospital that is supposed to be in Los Angeles, but in one episode, the kids are on the roof and that is clearly Atlanta in the background.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Octavia Spencer.

In the pilot, she is walking into work having just come from her local Starbucks. The name written on her cup is “Scary Bitch.” She screams at a taxi driver that nearly hits here as she crosses the street. She walks into the lobby and gets on the elevator. She is the only person on it, and there is a guy racing to get to the elevator. He calls out to her, “Hold the elevator! I’m late!” To which she responds, “Doesn’t mean I should be too.” and the elevator doors close. Yes, honey! We were living for Ms. Jackson!! But then we watched a few more episodes and…

YOU SHOULDN’T BE WATCHING BECAUSE

Octavia’s sassy Nurse Jackson is being watered down.

Also, the premise is wearing thin. Sick kids are not very interesting to watch on TV. Leo likes Emma. Kara mocks Emma because she doesn’t eat. Emma likes Jordi. Jordi hates his mom. Jordi thought Jack was going to take his leg. Kara wants to go to prom. Kara has power lesbian moms. Leo is jealous of Jordi stealing his thunder. Charlie talks to all the kids when they are under anesthesia (that’s right, there’s a fucking H in anesTHesia). Dash smokes pot all the time. Nurse Jackson is all tough love. Charlie’s father comes in and plays the guitar to him, much to Kara’s dismay. Everything by the way is much to Kara’s dismay. She is a fucking bitch. Does any of that sound exciting or even palatable? It shouldn’t because it isn’t.

I can’t find any solid information on its ratings, so I have no idea how the show is doing. I did see that when taking into account live + same day viewers, the pilot was seen by 9.9 million viewers. That’s not too shabby, I suppose. The World Series has kept it off the air for a minute. I may watch one more, but doubtful. Most likely this will be #onelessshow.

THE GRADE: the pilot: B+; every episode since: C-.

 

#Scorpion

Scorpion_(TV_Series)

THE CAST

There are only 3 people in the cast that I have seen in something else. Robert Patrick (Alcide’s dad, T-1000), Eddie Kaye Thomas (the guy who fucked Stifler’s mom), and Katherine McPhee (American Idol, Smash). As for the rest of the cast, apparently “nothing” cancelled.

THE PREMISE

A group of geniuses is assembled to thwart the threat of the week.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Don’t. Even. Fucking. Bother.

AND HERE’S WHY

Scorpion should be a brand of toilet paper, because all I want to do is wipe my ass with this show.

Before I rip this shit to pieces, I’ll give you some background. So, back in the day (I mean, the ’90’s), a little kid wanted space shuttle blueprints to decorate his bedroom wall, so he hacked into NASA to get them. The FBI frowns on that kind of shit, so they over-converged on his house with multiple vehicles and 3 Blackhawk helicopters and snatched his little ass up. He was forced to help the government with something, and they used his genius for not what they said they were going to do, so he presumably threw a tantrum (based on his ideology of course) and deuced out. Fast-forward to now. Walter (Elyes Gabel) is an eccentric genius with issues.

Eventually he reunites with his previous government handler, Homeland Security Agent Cabe Gallo (Patrick, who needs to put down the issue of People he is reading, and slowly back out of his plastic surgeon’s office) and a bunch of “I don’t wanna, you betrayed me” type conversations ensue. Oh, and let me just say this. First of all, the dialogue is terrible. But something was said a couple times in the first seven minutes of the pilot that was giving me Gladiator-in-a-suit-style night terrors. The phrase reeking havoc on my psyche is “a million miles from normal.” They’re all geniuses and weird, and a million miles from normal. My eyes just rolled right out of my fucking head.

I keep referring to geniuses but have only mentioned the one. So, you already know circumstances require the assembly of a team, and Walker is the HGIC. Toby Curtis (Thomas) is an expert behaviorist who can read anyone. He is also a gambling addict. Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong) is a mechanical expert. She is also Asian, which is fine, but when she speaks, a very unexpected accent comes out. I can’t place it, and I hate it. Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham) is a human calculator… and a big fat pussy. More on that in a minute. In the pilot, they all have to deal with a system outage at LAX but they are dealing with it from a diner in like Long Beach or Burbank. There is a waitress at the diner, Paige (McPhee), who has a genius son who doesn’t speak but sets up elaborate chess moves using salt & pepper shakers. Because she isn’t an awkward, socially inept genius (BURN!), she “translates” everyday shit for the nerds and they help her understand her brilliant son (who, of course, is a million miles from normal). Are your eyes still in your head?

Here is the type of shit you have to endure in the first three episodes. Remember the issue at LAX? To finally resolve that issue, they have to take a laptop to the tarmac, plug into a Cat5 cable (because Wi-Fi won’t cut it) that is dangling from an actively landing (but can’t actually land) 747 and upload something before the plane hits the ground. They achieve this with a Ferrari. The laws of physics go out the fucking window, and apparently that runway was 5,000 miles long. In the second episode, the daughter of the Governor of CA has been “bio-hacked” with a designer virus specific to her DNA and it’s poised to finish her ass. The investigation leads them to a pharmaceutical company’s research facility. Chubbs Sylvester is selected as the only one who can go in there and retrieve whatever files they need to save the daughter and other victims. Chubbs is scared of germs and things, so he has no interest in potentially being near deadly viruses right? But he goes in, gets to the file room. Now security is on the way, and their approach is blocking his egress from the file room. But, there is one other way out! You guessed it… through the BioHazard lab! Please show me any place where the FILE ROOM is directly adjacent to the fucking BIOHAZARD LAB. You know there isn’t a decontamination airlock between the two. Unprofessional girl.

Everything about this show is terrible. If you are enjoying this show, or any of the two scenarios I just described above, then I don’t know how you got this far in LIFE. This shit is GARBAGE. This is also allegedly based on a true story, and if so, I want to meet all of the people involved. They can’t be enjoying this betrayal portrayal. OH, I almost forgot to mention what sent me over the edge! The last straw came in the third episode. I don’t remember what the fuck was going on, but the team needed a piece of hardware that wasn’t immediately available. They find it overseas (where all the crucial shit is), and someone informs the group that “it is being overnighted from Berlin” to which Paige’s simple diner ass has the gall to ask, “Can we get it sooner?” THE SHIT IS BEING OVERNIGHTED FROM BERLIN. Bye, Felicia.

THE GRADE: F.

#selfieABC

selfie

THE CAST

Karen Gillan, an actress I don’t know from a hole in the ground, sometimes looks like she is trying to serve Christina Hendricks realness while sounding like a foreigner doing an American accent with a dick in her mouth.

John Cho, who has clearly blown through all his Star Trek money, probably should have signed on for Harold & Kumar 4 rather than this.

David Harewood shows us all how it’s done career-wise by transitioning from a sharply written and acted breakout hit on premium cable (Homeland) to poorly conceived and hideously executed flop sweat on the #whatever broadcast network.

Natasha Henstridge making a bold career choice that’s right up there with her previous roles in top-notch fare like She Spies, Species I-III, Homeboys in Outer Space, and Chilly Dogs.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who plays a character named Charmonique. So you know what her role is in this.

THE PREMISE

20-something nightmare Eliza Dooley is embarrassed by a viral video of herself, so she enlists the help of the top marketing person at work to help rehabilitate her image.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO US?

This is the worst piece of shit show that I have seen in recent memory. It premiered this week on ABC, but I actually watched it last week using the Watch ABC app on my iPad. I was so traumatized by what I saw, that I retreated to a safe place and screamed for an adult. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Eliza is vapid, self-centered, and everything you would expect her to be. Henry (Cho) is stern, doesn’t get her generation, yakkety schmakkety. They both work at Kinder Kare Pharmaceuticals (so cute in its irony!). Henry is the marketing whiz that was able to rebrand some drug they make that causes… Wait. You know what? I can’t with this show. It is so fucking terrible, I can’t even continue. I queued the episode up on my iPad so I could figure out what the drug caused. After sitting through 7 advertisements, I became enraged. Fuck this show, and if you like it, fuck you too.

THE GRADE: F

 

 

 

#MarriedFX

Married-FX

THE CAST

Nat Faxon plays pretty much the same character Nat always plays.

Judy Greer is a delight, if you are watching Arrested Development. Here she is dependable, and just ok.

Brett Gelman is everywhere these days… also playing pretty much the same type of bearded crazy.

Jenny Slate so far can do no wrong in my eyes.

Paul Reiser is now a silver fox.

THE PREMISE

Russ and Lina Bowman (Faxon, Greer) are married with 3 kids and renting in Los Angeles. He works at a copy store (sort of) and she doesn’t work. They both go to extraordinary lengths to keep their marriage afloat.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

If you are die-hard fans of either Nat Faxon or Judy Greer, then by all means.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

The show is fine, but it is just that. Fine. They aren’t really breaking any ground here. If you’re a couple with kids, you’ll be staring into the future so I hope there’s booze in your house! They are mostly miserable, they’re drinking and drugging whenever they can, and living day-to-day just trying to make it through. It really isn’t funny, it is passably enjoyable. The only comedy occurs when Jess (Slate) is onscreen. She is married to Shep (Reiser) but swears she’s not a gold-digger. She loves damaged men, not that Shep is damaged though. When AJ (Gelman) goes to rehab, she visits him everyday. Not because she gives a shit about AJ (which she does), but she is more interested in making connections with the addicts there then making the whole experience about herself. She is a dream, but she is underutilized in such a way that does not lend itself to you watching an entire season of this. Nor do I see this being able to sustain itself over multiple seasons. If I were Russ, I would turn to Lina, look her in the eye and tell her so earnestly to get her shit, get her kids, and get out.

The show that comes on after this is far superior. It’s called You’re the Worst.

THE GRADE: C.

#TheStrain

The Strain

THE CAST

Corey Stoll definitely looks better bald (House of Cards), but I still would.

Mia Maestro is a name that I feel like I should know, but I don’t. Even though I have seen four of her movies.

Sean Astin serving Samwise Gamgee realness.

David Bradley doesn’t have a cat, but he is NOT THE ONE as a pawn shop owner/dude that knows what the fuck is going on.

THE PREMISE

FX says “A thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. ”

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Guillermo del Toro is behind this, so I was on board from the get go.

This show is gruesome in the most awesome way. Other than that, I don’t really have much to say. I am watching to see where the show is going. It kind of has a vibe that makes me feel like at some point, Victor from Underworld is going to show up.

I’VE CHANGED MY MIND

The previous section was written on Aug 2, after having watched only an episode or two. It is now Sep 30 (sorry for the long hiatus, I have a day job bro), and the season is nearly over. That being said, The Strain is ludicrous in almost every way. It is gruesome, which did start out cool, but devolved into a silly plot device so that Guillermo could gorge himself on second-tier television special effects. The vampires on this show fire a giant sucker appendage out of their mouths (that kind of unfurls like the opening of a nasty flower) to suck blood from people. They are full of disgusting worms that actually carry the “virus”. They are Walking Dead slow when they walk, and can’t seem to aim their people sucker very well. Like it’s spring-loaded and the can’t control its trajectory. Fucking dumb. They put Peter Russo in one of John Travolta’s old lace fronts and it looks terrible. Mr. Filch looks older than ever, but like Russell Crowe’s son, he’s not the one. He carries a serious sword, he survived the Holocaust, and he knows one of the vampire higher-ups.

The HVIC is called The Master, not to be confused with the Scientology movie of the same name. The Master is BUSTED. I can’t wait to see his episode of Botched, because someone fucked his shit all up. The master gives me the lovechild of The Viceroy from Star Trek: Nemesis and Jocelyn Wildenstein. Sounds hot right? Nope. You kill The Master, you kill them all. At this point in the show, they think they know where The Master is. I could care less at this point, but I will finish the show. A second season seems impossible to sustain story-wise, and I don’t remember if FX hit the renewal button on this and I can’t be bothered to look it up.

When some crazy shit like that is going down, why do people always think they can save their loved ones? You can’t. In fact, once you turn into one of these creatures, the first thing you do is go after your loved ones. ‘They kill the ones they love most first.” If you didn’t roll your eyes after that, then there’s no helping you.

The Strain could have been so much better.

THE GRADE: C-