Tag: The Real O’Neals

Tuesday’s Best Reviewed: Person of Interest

Person of Interest continues its frenetic assault of two-a-week action-filled, well-received episodes. The techno-thriller wins another night with a double-shot of episodes (so, actually three-this-week), although this week we really do have to drag out that old Simpsons clip as outside of the Ben Linus & Jesus As Government Assassins Show, it’s not particularly a night of free-flowing raves. Vulture loves the “Chinese polite fight” of last night’s Fresh Off the Boat finale, while The Real O’Neals scored solid results for its prom finale, although AV Club‘s Ashley Ray-Harris is still shocked it was renewed as she “was prepared to write a One-Season Wonder piece on the quirky little show.” Generally a critical darling, The Flash and its dramatic showdown piece of a fourth season finale, speedily elicited a resounding “meh” from the TV recapping crowd. Finally, Awkward. pops into our round-up for the first time with its finale which made most of us say “what” and “why?”

Tuesday, May 24th’s Best: Person of Interest (8.6/10)

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Person of Interest, which apparently — at least based on the picture above — contains 100% more Scott Adsit than your average show, takes the night with a conspiracy theory-heavy episode. That last part is also indicated by picture but confirmed by IGN‘s Matt Fowler who enjoyed the complex goings on as the show “ramped up the Samaritan conspiracy arc.” Meanwhile, Sean McKenna at TV Fanatic felt it “fun to get to watch back-to-back adventures with the POI team.”

The Rest of the Night:

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Fresh Off the Boat – 7.7

The Real O’Neals – 7.7

The Night Manager – 6.8

The Flash – 6.6

Awkward. – 3.5

Our Tuesday Reviews

The Real O’Neals – B+

0525onealsboxIt’s prom season in the O’Neal household and all three kids have their own private promposal hell. First off, is that a thing in some part of the country — every grade going to the same prom? I’m no expert on the subject growing up in the city and having avoided my own prom like the plague, so that part seemed a bit off and something of a cheat to drive the plot, but perhaps that’s my own ignorance. Of course, Kenny’s is the most provocative and he opens “The Real Prom” with a willful stride to fight for his rights, wins so easily — it is people-pleaser Vice Principal Murray after all — that he’s suddenly faced with the realization he has no date; in fact, with no fellow clearly out fellow student, it looks pretty bleak. In steps trope-us ex machina, and the count is doubled by a Swedish exchange student presented to Kenny eagerly by our favorite VP. However, in steps the usual complications as Stuart suddenly discovers his sexuality and steals Kenny’s thunder.

Meanwhile, Jimmy has his own parallel troubles as he tries not to stumble over his own tongue while asking the clearly adoring Lacey to the big dance. Devon swoops in just as Jimmy and Kenny are about to unleash their elaborate pinata-blimp to spill Swedish fish. However, the key takeaway here, and what makes this episode, and the show in general, so charming, is that Jimmy and Kenny are working together. As dysfunctional as the O’Neals are, they’re already, one short season in, well-developed as a truly loving unit. Jimmy covers for their disaster by escorting his brother to the prom. This is all before they both have to warmly embrace their mother’s strange love — Jimmy spies VP Murray and Eileen locking lips just as he leans in for his own already insanely awkward kiss with Lacey. Meanwhile, across town, Pat is comforting his dateless daughter Shannon, finds out she had a shot, then encourages her to don a dress and not miss out. Although, she’s in, what, 9th grade? They kind of oversell the potential “missed opportunity” here. And there’s a bit of a problem with the timeline when it’s revealed Pat is Class of 1994 and was nowhere near dating at the time — he’d have to have hustled to get a child who is now roughly 18 into the world, but that one could just be my own aging hang-ups. There’s still a few kinks, but they’re easily overlooked amid the sweetness and wit, and that’s a perfect season-ending sendoff to this year’s smartest sitcom debut.
– Jason Thurston

Fresh Off the Boat – B-

0525fobbox.jpgWhat an odd mix of low- an high-stakes it is that marks the Fresh Off the Boat second season finale. As Louis is faced with his estrangement from — and possible betrayal of — his brother Gene (played in an unusually understated take from Ken Jeong), Eddie is faced with trying to watch that summer’s Chris Rock HBO special so he can talk about it with his boo Alison goes away to band camp for two months. Counterintuitively, it’s the latter that bears fruit, probably because we can all relate with being young, in love, and connecting life-or-death consequences to the inessential. Cool, it, I’m not calling Rock’s groundbreaking comedy unimportant, but the time-frame is, and Hudson Yang’s Eddie plays his interactions with his friends, and the gamesmanship with his brothers who have been deputized by his mom to prevent his viewing, with the perfect level of building helpless desperation. Unfortunately, it has the unintended effect of making the A-story with Louis and Gene seem a bit trite and rushed as they pack it into half of the half-hour, so that when we reach the “Huangs are Going to China” moment, it lacks the proper punch. We end the season on the strangest, but oddly affecting, coda as Trent silently drops his ever-present Browns coat into the trash can and lights it on fire. “Soooo, Trent…what’s up?” It’s 1996, and that’s the summer Art Modell became Cleveland’s Public Enemy #1 by moving the Browns to Baltimore. At first glance, it seems a loose fit, but paired with Cleveland’s own Bone Thugs -N- Harmony’s biggest hit “Tha Crossroads,” it’s right in line with growing up’s inherent loss of innocence and the intrusion of the real world, and strikes the perfect note for the show to leave the viewers with for the summer, even if the episode as a whole was not one of its best.
– Jason Thurston

 

 

 

What to Watch: 05/24/2016

There’s a whole bunch of big ticket finales — including two winners to be crowned on two of the highest-rated shows in creation — but that’s not the way we’re going. Check it out!

JASON’S PICK:
@Midnight [Comedy, 12a]
Host and Kermit-in-human-form, Chris Hardwick, has collected two of the most muppet-y comics, Kristen Schaal and John Hodgman, and paired them with actual muppet Fozzie the Bear. Wocka! Wocka! I’m there!

NAVANI’S PICK:
Inside the Label [BET, 9p]
The real-life version of Empire, this reality series goes behind-the-scenes of major record labels. This week we get a look at life at Grand Hustle Records.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
The Stepfather [LMN, 8p]
The pretty good 2009 remake of the 1987 horror classic is loosely inspired by John List, who methodically murdered his family in the early 1970s and was found in the suburbs of Richmond 18 years later; a very Lifetime-y story–because when women aren’t following their guts, they’re hopelessly oblivious. Sidebar: List’s murders were also told in the made-for-TV, surely broadcast on Lifetime, Judgment Day: The John List Story, starring (ugh) Robert Blake.

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

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  • And then there will be one — the lone celebrity dancer still standing — after tonight’s 22nd season finale of Dancing with the Stars.
  • We’ll also find out the winning singer on some NBC program called The Voice.
  • Ken Jeong guests on the second season finale of Fresh Off the Boat as Louis’ brother. He’s got big news, and considering his usual roles I’m gonna guess it’s something ordinary and not-at-all-crazy.
  • The Real O’Neals closes its mostly successful debut season with a prom.
  • That’s also a season wrap on The Flash with Barry battling Zoom for the fate of, well, everything. Spoiler alert: it’s been renewed for another season.
  • And we’ll end on a beginning, the third season debut of the reality horror stories of Hotel Hell.

Tuesday’s Best Reviewed: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Almost a new first as Person of Interest‘s strange episode burn-off has it airing both Mondays and Tuesdays, and it is on a roll with its second solid outing — although not quite as ridiculously received as Monday’s return of Sarah Shahi’s Agent Shaw. Marvel superfans still licking their wounds over the loss of Agent Carter, can take some solace in the fact that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on a roll (also Jessica Jones returns soon, and Luke Cage begins). Elsewhere, The Flash goes out with a bang, The Night Manager phones it inand superior sitcoms The Real O’Neals and Fresh Off the Boat have funny, but not particularly memorable episodes.

Tuesday, May 17th’s Best: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (8.6/10)

0518yesbesshield.jpgMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s third season double episode bow-out, featuring the ever-popular character death, earns the best marks of all the finales. Alex McCown at AV Club, points out they made death-ade out of the dangerous game of over-hyping an upcoming character demise before raving “this two-hour conclusion reminded the audience of everything great about Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.—that’s a kick-ass achievement in its own right.” Vulture‘s Scott Meslow is more sanguine, observing “don’t hold any surprises, but the finale still manages to connect on an emotional level.”

The Rest of the Night:

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Person of Interest – 8.4

The Night Manager – 7.5

The Real O’Neals – 7.5

The Flash – 7.3

Fresh Off the Boat – 7.0

Our Tuesday Reviews

Fresh Off the Boat – B

0518fobboxA too heartwarming episode lacking as many LOLs as last week finds Louis advising Emery (successfully, and bringing the two closer together) and Eddie introducing his not-Chinese girlfriend to Jessica. In a twist, the Chinese girl that arrives at the Huang house is sent by Eddie’s girlfriend, who panics under the pressure of disappointing Jessica and sends a girl from band. But that girl, perfect for Emery, is as boring as Eddie is charmingly rebellious, and Jessica chooses to dislike the girl that’s a perfect Chinese daughter-in-law. Which would be sweet, on any other show, that wasn’t about middle schoolers. As usual, Grandma (who made Evel Knievels cape) and Evan steal the show, with only two scenes, dedicated to Evan’s first suit.
– Katherine M. Hill

The Real O’Neals – A-

0518onealsbox.jpgIf only Papa O’Neal had a friend like Leslie Knope had Ann Perkins, maybe he would have avoided the lifetime’s worth of bad date he encounters in “The Real Rules” — and these first date follies truly are some of the abject worst, and funniest, seen on the small screen. It’s made all the more pathetic by the strong work by Jay R. Ferguson and Jessica-Snow Wilson (as the endlessly tolerant Gloria) who imbue the non-couple with definite chemistry — but as she sagely says, he’s cute, but she “can’t deal with [his] situation.” The awkwardness of the return to dating when still not truly over your ex is the overarching theme of this week’s The Real O’Neals, as Eileen has her own hot messiness, with a beyond screwy flirtation with Vice Principal Murray. And kudos to Matt Oberg for amazing job adding depth to a tropey character who could have been as one-note as Principal Belding, but adds a dash of nuance and comes off more Interim Principal Lynch. The two circle back around over coffee to warmly realize they are not quite as ready as they thought. It’s the sort of non-sappy heartwarming emotion on which this inspired young show thrives. The episode loses points for the kids’ C-plot, a pointless and out-of-character bit about the O’Neal children stealing their dad’s badge. Those points are then partially reclaimed by painfully underused family best friend Lori’s obsession with a barely fictionalized Farmersonly.com — based on their commercial placement, quirky half-hour comedy is farmer catnip, who knew? But good for them for not having to be lonely anymore.
– Jason Thurston

What to Watch: 05/17/2016

On a day of many finales, we’ve plucked out two penultimate episodes and a premiere. So, let’s dig right into our Monday suggestions.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Coupled [FOX, 9p]
Terrance J hosts the new take on reality matchmaking where every week a new bachelor is flown in to date one of the 12 ladies. So hopefully no catfights, more awkward dating moments and a beautiful beach backdrop.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Fresh Off the Boat [NBC, 8p]
Emery asks Louis for help with his graduation speech. Hopefully Louis’s advice won’t result in a black eye like it did last week.

JASON’S PICK:
The Real O’Neals [ABC, 8:30p]
Jimmy finds his dad’s police badge and impersonates an officer — it’s a classic sitcom premise, but in good writers’ hands…

ALSO ON TAP TONIGHT:

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  • It’s the end of the season for two of the NCIS franchises, with the original team tracking a spy offing their own agents, as the NoLA crew — well, apparently, they’re also battling a rogue spy.
  • It’s Barry vs. Zoom and an attack of meta-humans on The Flash as they prepare to welcome Supergirl to the CW clan.
  • HIVE’s plan is revealed in full as the third season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to a close on ABC.