Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 17

Apollo 13 arrived back to earth on April 17, 1970.

The Apollo 13 Spacecraft Returns to Earth

The Apollo 13 mission was the seven in the American Apollo Space program and the third with an intention of landing on the Moon. James Lovell, John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise launched into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, 1970. Two days later, an oxygen tank exploded which caused limited power, heat and potable water. Swigert calmly reported, “Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.” Much damage was made to the Service Module which meant that a safe lunar landing was impossible and so the mission was aborted, however, there was still the matter of getting back home. No words can effectively explain the stress the astronauts and ground crew faced while thinking on the fly a makeshift repair to the carbon dioxide removal system, but the Ron Howard 1995 film, Apollo 13, does a good job of making you feel as if you were there. The crew “splashdowned” safely on this day in 1970.

Friday, April 13, 2018

‘Dancing With the Stars: Athletes’ Reveals Who Will Be Dancing With Whom


The cast for Dancing With the Stars all-athlete edition.
(L to R) Johnny Damon, Tonya Harding, Chris Mazdzer, Jennie Finch, 
Adam Rippon, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Mirai Nagasu 
and Josh Norman (Lou Rocco/ABC)

 TV 

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is somewhat taking chances with its new upcoming season. For one, this next season will be shortened with just 10 contestants and all of the “stars” this time around are athletes, so if you’re not a sports fan you might not want to tune in. Granted, the 10 are taken from a variety of sports backgrounds.

The 10 contestants were unveiled earlier today on Good Morning America, but the network has been taking some flack for inviting disgraced former Olympic ice skater turned boxer Tonya Harding to the ballroom, something many of us saw coming after she was featured in a two hour interview on ABC earlier this year.

This season also includes Adam Rippon, another ice skating champ who competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics and was featured often for his unofficial title of “first openly gay athlete to represent the Unites States in Olympic competition” rather than for his actual skating.

And every season of Dancing With the Stars needs to have at least one older competitor and this season that honor goes to NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who towers over Lindsay Arnold, his dancing partner. (Seriously, they couldn’t find a taller and older woman to dance with the man?)
This is once again be hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and the judges in place are Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba (who really should sit between the other two to help keep them in line.)

This season’s dancing pairs are as follows:

  • Olympic Ice Skater Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson
  • 2018 NCAA Division I baketball champ Arike Ogunbowale and Gleb Savchenko
  • The first American to win a medal in the Men’s Single Luge event, Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson
  • Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev
  • Olympic Softball player Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe
  • Major League Baseball player Johnny Damon and Emma Slater
  • NFL cornerback Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess
  • Six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold
  • Olympic Ice Skater Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten
  • Former Olympic Ice Skater and Boxer Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber

Dancing With the Stars: Athletes premieres on Monday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

Monday, March 12, 2018

ABC's 'Deception' is a Fresh Magic Act

Ilfenesh Hadera and Jack Cutmore-Scott in Deception (ABC)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

When ABC began airing commercials for its new show, Deception, I thought that the studio was going for a reboot of Castle, the long-running and popular action/adventure/comedy show that featured a wise-cracking male mystery novel author and a super-serious female homicidal detective. While the new show does have a few similarities, it is definitely its own show – and a better one at that.

Instead of Rick Castle, Deception features Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott), a superstar magician whose day job comes to a screeching halt when his magic act is ruined by scandal. Instead of Kate Beckett, the show features Kay Daniels (Ilfenesh Hadera) as a FBI agent not entirely convinced that she needs Black’s help. However, before the first hour is up, it becomes clear that these two will make a good team and harbor less tension that Castle and Beckett ever did on their show.

I’m not totally sure, but it’s been a while since a magic-themed crime show has been on the air. Bill Bixby’s The Magician ran from 1973-1974. Yes, CBS’s former The Mentalist had some similar themes, this show is more full on magic show stuff. (In less than a minute, Black is sharing a card trick to those watching and it even has a cameo with Penn and Teller). Overall, the show feels more similar to the Now You See Me movies. Even the music is reminiscent to Now You See Me. Those who like magic and mystery with a touch of humor here and there will like this show. Expect to be fooled numerous times and hear cliché magic references. And unlike traditional magic shows, this one lifts up the curtains and shows what’s behind the smoke and mirrors much like how Murder She Wrote went back and showed you the clues you missed earlier in the episode. The art of deception is described here as really the art of distraction, causing the viewer to look one way while the trick is being done the other way.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Your Complete Guide to the 90th Academy Awards

 TV 

To see the complete list of winners from this year's Oscar show and highlights, click here.

The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on ABC. The special will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Each year ABC makes this event bigger and this year is no exception including a Countdown to the Oscars, Live! special and Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet both airing before the show on ABC. Other specials will air on Facebook and Instagram. Here is you complete guide to this year’s Oscars:

Countdown to the Oscars, Live!
ABC says this is the “ultimate guide to Hollywood’s biggest night” preparing viewers for the big night. Hosted by Paula Faris and Chris Connelly, the three hour special (!) will revisit unforgettable moments from Oscars past and will feature Whoopi Goldberg’s exclusive interview with chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company and museum campaign chair Robert A. Iger discussing the new Academy Museum and the 90th Oscars. Goldberg also brings viewers a first look inside the new museum and visits the Academy Film Archive which is full of treasured Hollywood memorabilia.

Faris and Connelly will be joined by special contributors including editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly Jess Cagle, The Hollywood Reporter TV editor Marisa Guthrie, actor and writer Robert Wuhl, TV and radio personality Rolonda Watts, fashion expert Joe Zee and stylist to stars Sophie Lopez.

Countdown to the Oscars, Live! airs 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. PST

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Joy Behar Still Floating in Hot Water Weeks After Controversial Comment

Joy Behar
Joy Behar on the Set of The View (ABC)

 TV 

On February 13, 2018, the women of ABC’s The View discussed Mike Pence and his faith. As is often the case, co-host Joy Behar threw in her two cents with a touch of humor but the “joke” fell flat. She stated that Pence might have a mental illness because he claimed to have heard Jesus speak to him. Pence himself (who didn’t actually see the exchange) wasn’t amused.

“To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong,” Pence said during an appearance on C-SPAN following the controversial remarks. “It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Since then, ABC has received over 30,000 calls since the Media Research Center began a campaign to hold the TV show co-hosts accountable for “spewing anti-Christian bigotry,” reports Fox News.

According to Fox News the MRC president, Brent Bozell published an open letter to ABC News calling for the apology. As of this morning, ABC had received 30,588 angry calls and advertisers, including Clorox, Gerber and Oreo have received at least 6,000 calls.

“I am sure the advertisers of The View will be just as appalled as I am about the anti-Christian remarks made on the show,” Bozell wrote.

To date, no formal apology has been given, but the subject was brought up the following day after the controversial remarks were made and Meghan McCain apologized to Pence on behalf of the show in the clip below.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Animated Disney Hits Coming Your Way This Month

ABC airs Disney animated hits
Joy from Inside Out, Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph
and Flik from A Bug's Life. (ABC)

 TV 

It's always interesting to see what the other networks plan to put on in hopes of wooing viewers away from watching the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. This year, CBS is airing a special "celebrity" edition of Big Brother and ABC is using it ratings-getter, The Bachelor to promote a spin-off of sorts The Bachelor Winter Games. The annual presentation of Be My Valentine Charlie Brown will also be shown on ABC opposite of the Olympics' opening ceremony. We'll see how well those on do.

However, ABC is also pulling out its Disney card from up its sleeve airing three Disney and Pixar animated hits this month including the broadcast television debut of Inside Out to be shown tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. The other films making their way to the small screen are Wreck-it Ralph and A Bug’s Life. While first won't make any impact with the Games, Wreck-It Ralph and A Bug's Life could make a dent into NBC's ratings.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 30

'The Lone Ranger' radio show debuted on January 30, 1933.

'The Lone Ranger' Debuts on Radio

On this day, January 30, 1933, The Lone Ranger made its’ debut on Detroit’s WXYZ radio station. It was a creation of the station-owner George Trendle and fellow writer, Fran Striker. With no knowledge about cowboys and Indians, the writers wanted to create an American version of Zorro. As one of the original good guys, The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol and he never shot to kill. Tonto was cursed with uttering phrases that never would have been spoken by any indian. The popular series went to the movies and TV, becoming ABC’s first hit show in the early 1950’s. Disney tried out a revival of the story with a new movie that came out in 2013, but it failed to capture an audience this time around.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 23

'Roots' Miniseries Airs for the First Time

On this day in 1977, ABC aired the first night of the 10-hour presentation of Roots, a miniseries based on Alex Haley's novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The popular miniseries ran for eight consecutive nights which received huge Nielsen ratings for the finale, which continues to hold the record for the third-highest-rated US television program (36.38 million) Roots received 37 Emmy Award nominations and won nine. It won also a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. Currently, The History channel is planning a remake of the miniseries. A remake of the classic miniseries began airing on May 30, 2016 on the History Channel. It too was a ratings and critical success.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

After Theater Viewer Frustration, 'Olaf' Comes to TV

Olaf's Frozen Adventure air on December 14 and 19, 2017 on ABC.
Olaf likes to give warm hugs. (Disney)

 TV 

For a limited time, Disney paired the short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure along with Coco, currently playing in theaters. But many parents were unaware and unprepared that was the case and were upset to have to sit through the Frozen film before getting to the “good” picture. Disney’s plan all along was to have Olaf play in theaters a short time and then “surprise” TV viewers with news that the short would become a Christmas special afterward. The plan may have backfired as some folks may be getting burned out on the Frozen franchise, but true fans (and there are a lot of them) are thrilled knowing that Olaf and the gang will be back on the small screen Thursday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure includes four new original songs and welcomes back the beloved characters (and cast) of the 2013 Oscar-winning Frozen. During the special, Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates reopened and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save Anna and Elsa’s “first Christmas in forever.”

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is directed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (who also worked on the Prep & Landing holiday special which will air afterward) and is produced by Roy Conli. The featurette includes a screenplay by Jac Schaeffer and four original songs by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure repeats on Tuesday, December 19.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel Star in Disney ‘Magical Holiday Celebration’

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration.
Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey perform during The Wonderful World of Disney:
Magical Holiday Celebration. (ABC)

 TV 

Tony Award®-winning actress Idina Menzel joins fellow Frozen star Kristen Bell to perform together for the very first time on primetime television, during The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration airing this Thursday. Menzel and Bell will perform “When We’re Together” from the featurette, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Joined by an extraordinary 30-piece choir from the steps of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in California, the spectacular finale performance is not to be missed.

“This performance will combine two of my very favorite things: the holidays and singing alongside my Frozen sister,” said Bell. “I’m excited to sing a song with Idina that I feel has the potential to become a new holiday classic.”

Said Menzel: “Anytime I get to reunite with Kristen, whether it’s in the studio or on the stage, is very special for me. I think I can speak for her when I say we are both so proud of this story we get to tell and these sisters we get to portray.”

Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey host the two-hour event from the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. They join co-host, Jesse Palmer, to kick off the holiday season showcasing incredible music performances, special appearances and some unforgettable Disney magic moments including an extraordinary castle lighting spectacular from Disney Parks around the world – traveling the globe from Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and Anaheim, California, to Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for November 3

"Good Morning" debuted on November 3, 1975.

‘Good Morning America’ Debuts

In the mid 1970’s NBC’s Today was a hit show hosted by Jim Hartz and Barbara Walters. In an attempt to steal away some of the show’s viewers, ABC created AM America which was hosted by Bill Beutel and Stephanie Edwards along with Peter Jennings and Robert Kennedy reading the morning news. After months of trying, the show didn’t make a dent in Today’s ratings, but ABC learned that one of its affiliates had actually pre-empted AM America for a local show called The Morning Exchange. That show had a more relaxed approach to the news, offered weather updates at the top and bottom of each hour and shared stories of general interest and entertainment topics in addition to the morning’s headlines. The show was revamped and debuted as Good Morning America on this day in 1975. The new show was hosted by David Hartman and Nancy Dussault (who later starred on the sitcom Too Close for Comfort with Ted Knight). Dussault was replaced in 1977 by Sandy Hill who was replaced in 1980 by Joan Lunden.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

American Idol has Found Its Judges

The judges for the new season of American Idol on ABC.
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest and Luke Bryan. (ABC)

 TV 

While there has been talk of an American Idol revival for awhile now, we finally know who all three of the judges will be. It was announced early on that Katy Perry signed on to judge, but we now know that sitting next to her will be county music star Luke Bryan and the iconic Lionel “All-Night-Long” Richie. The three were on hand when ABC kicked off the judge auditions in New York City this week. Of course, the show wouldn’t American Idol without Ryan Seacrest. So the question now is, will you watch it?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

'The Mayor" Might be a Better Role Model Than Comedy

Review of "The Mayor"
The Mayor stars Lea Michele, Brandon Micheal Hall, Marcel Spears, 
Bernard David Jones and Yvette Nicole Brown. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

After years of creating new comedies based on families, ABC breaks tradition this fall with the addition of The Mayor, which after watching the pilot, it turns out that it is actually another family comedy albeit an nontraditional one. Courtney Rose (Brandon Michael Hall) is a young rapper who lives with his mother Dina (Yvette Nicole Brown) and is tired of waiting to become famous. As a publicity stunt, he runs for mayor for Fort Grey, California against Ed Gunt (David Spade) and to everyone’s surprise, he wins. Why? Mostly because Courtney doesn’t speak like a politician. The trouble is, he also doesn’t have any political experience let alone any real work experience. His biggest fan is also his biggest critic: his mother. Just as Courtney is ready to admit that the stunt was just a charade, she convinces him that he has what it takes to make a difference for their city.

Helping Courtney with his new gig is his best friends Jermaine (Bernard David Jones) and T.K. Clifton (Marcel Spears) who are well-meaning, but even less qualified for the job. Fortunately, he has Valentina Barella (Lea Michele) on his side who was the campaign manager for Gunt, but decides she can be more of service working as Courtney’s chief of staff – whether he wants her help or not. As ABC puts it, “He’ll have to learn what it means to be responsible for others while learning what it means to be responsible for himself,” which is not a bad message at all.

Initially, there is a lot to like in the pilot episode of The Mayor despite the fact that the creators had to rush tons of story into a just over 20 minutes of air time. (Every scene feels like it was cut extra short in order to get everything to fit in.) The show features characters that are neither rich nor perfect (except for maybe Valentina) and stars young black men in a positive light. The show just might inspire young people to go out a make a difference rather than just sitting back.

'Kevin' is Not the New 'Touched by an Angel'

Review of "Kevin Probably Saves the World."
Jason Ritter and Kimberly Herbert Gregory in Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (ABC)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

This fall, ABC is trying something new with Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and at first glance it might look like a Touched By an Angel rip-off, but while the two shows have some similarities, in the end, they are quite different.

Jason Ritter (son of John Ritter) stars as Kevin Finn, a selfish, clueless and deeply depressed man who most of us would never pick to be the man to save the world. But if you read the Bible, God chose people most of us would have over-looked to lead, and that is something I really like about this new series. Originally called The Gospel According to Kevin, Kevin returns to his childhood home in Texas to live with this longsuffering twin sister Amy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) and her teenage daughter Reese (Chloe East) to get back on his feet. Wouldn’t you know it, on his very first night there, a meteorite crash lands near their home and everything in Kevin’s life is about to change. It is this event that Kevin first meets Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) who plays the Della Reese-type angel sent by God to protect him while he goes about his new mission in life – to save the world.

Unlike Touched by an Angel, the other fictional, fantasy drama which used themes and actual biblical text straight from the scriptures, Kevin isn’t based on religion or biblical truth. In an interview with Variety, the show’s creators, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (who are known for their work with Marvel's Agent Carter, and the CW’s Reaper) said as much stating “It is the conceit of the show that there is a god, and god has emissaries who work on god’s behalf. But even if you don’t believe in god, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, it’s not about religion; it’s not about god; it’s about being a good person.” (The publication choose not to capitalize the word “God,” not me.)

Kevin tells Yvette that he doesn’t believe in God, but she says that God believes in him. She then tells him that in every generation, there are 36 righteous souls on Earth whose main purpose is to protect the world. As it turns out, Kevin is the last of the 36. Apparently, Kevin’s job is to find other righteous-ish people and give them a hug. I’m unclear how any of that is going to change things, but this is just in the first episode.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World is actually a pretty good show. It features a great cast. Like his father, Ritter has a way with facial expressions, voice inflections and a great sense of comedic timing. Kevin’s relationship with his niece is combative but you know that he will be the father figure that she so desperately needs despite his flaws. Swisher played the role of Ariel (aka the little mermaid) in several episodes of Once Upon a Time, and brings that same charm to her role here. Yvette is a no-nonsense “warrior for God” who also has a lot of compassion for Kevin. She should since taking on this assignment, she cannot return back to heaven (for some reason).

The fact that the show uses God and angels as plot points without any real biblical grounding was off-putting for me. I’m not offended by it, but because the whole show is built on a fantasy God, it also lacks meaning. Preaching the gospel that we all need to become better people is not bad, but it rings hollow. There is so much more to having a relationship with God than just being a good person. With that said, it is nice to see a new show focus on hope, especially with all of the depressing real world events happening lately.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World airs on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

Friday, September 29, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 29

"My Three Sons" debuted on September 29, 1960

'My Three Sons' Debuts

It was on this day in 1960 that America first heard that familiar opening song for My Three Sons which would continue to be played through 1972! The premise of the show featured widower Steven Douglas (Fred MacMurray) raising his three boys along with the help of live-in maternal grandfather played by William Frawley (known for playing Fred on I Love Lucy). The show began airing in black and white on ABC and then in 1965, the show was moved to CBS and in color. It was also that year that Frawley left due to health reasons and “Uncle Charley” (played by William Demarest) stepped in. It was also during ‘65’s premiere that Mike, the oldest son, married and then was written out of the show. In order for the 3 Sons title to continue to make sense, Steven then adopted Ernie. Later, middle son, Robbie married and had triplet sons. Then near the show’s end, Steven remarried and became a stepfather to daughter Dorothy. The last episode aired on April 13, 1972. The show produced 380 episodes and it only second to The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (which produced 434 episodes) as the TV’s longest-running live-action sitcom to date.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ is Pretty Boring, but the Kids Might Like It

"Marvel's Inhumans review
The Inhumans are in Hawaii. (ABC)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

Have we hit the over-saturation of comic book heroes yet? It’s hard to say. With the exception of Wonder Woman and maybe Suicide Squad, DC Comics has had a rough go in movie theaters while their TV shows on the CW and Gotham on FOX have done well. Marvel is just the opposite where nearly every theatrical movie in recent years has been a hit, but their various TV series have been hit or miss. I lost interest in the confusing Agents of SHIELD by the show’s second season, but it's still on the air. I loved Agent Carter as I thought it was fun, had a great sense of humor and had a lot of action, but it was cancelled after season two. So, go figure. As for Marvel's Inhumans, it’s another miss. It’s not that anything is terribly wrong with the new ABC series, and some audiences (like kids) might fall in love with it. But as for me and my house, it’s a snorefest.

Not having read any of the actual Inhumans comic books, I might get some of the origin story wrong, but this is what I gathered from watching the first and second episodes of the show that will debut on ABC, Friday, September 29. As it turns out, the Inhumans live on the moon but have been invisible to us all of this time. In their society, residents are tested with a "mutagenic Terrigen Mist" that transforms them into mutants with special powers. The society is led by the king Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and queen Medusa (Serinda Swan). I could tell you what their special powers are, but it’s more fun to watch the show and wait for the story to tell you. But as is often the case in royal families, there is one envious sibling ready to mess things up for the royal couple. Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus (Iwan Rheon) has no special ability of any kind and is the equivalent of a … human (gasp!) Being the younger brother with the better name, Maximus thinks he can do a better job as king and stages a revolt.

Soon, both king and queen, as well as a few other mutants, find themselves transported to Honolulu, Hawaii, which doesn’t sound all that bad (I mean, there are worse place to be stranded) except for the fact that they are not together and they don’t understand human life. It becomes apparent rather quickly that they need to blend in with the crowd while they try to track down each other and then head back up to the moon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 26

"Cop Rock" debuted on September 26, 1991.

ABC Gambles with 'Cop Rock'

Steven Bochco, known for creating TV series like Hill Street Blues, Doogie Howser, M.D. and NYPD Blues, hasn’t always made hit shows. His most notorious work, Cop Rock, premiered on ABC on this day in 1991. The show combined the typical and serious police procedural with a Broadway-styled rock music and dancing production. The end result was as odd as one would think it would be. TV Guide said that the show was “the single most bizarre TV musical of all time.” The show was a critical and ratings loser and so, the show was yanked after 11 episodes. Despite all of the bad press, Cop Rock was nominated for five Emmy Awards in 1991 winning two for Outstanding Editing for a Series – Single Camera Production and Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Freddie Highmore Steals the Show in 'The Good Doctor'

"The Good Doctor" review
Freddie Highmore and Nicholas Gonzalez in The Good Doctor. (ABC)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

After being promoted heavily by ABC for months now, audiences will get their first look at the new medical drama series, The Good Doctor, to see if it worth the wait. The show is from David Shore who created the FOX hit series, House and Daniel Dae Kim known for his acting work in Lost and the new version of Hawaii Five-O.

The new series centers on a young new surgeon, Dr. Shaun Murphy (played by Freddie Highmore) who has autism and has been diagnosed with savant syndrome meaning that he is pretty much a walking medical textbook. Upon the urging of Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), Murphy relocates to Glassman’s hospital to join the hospital’s surgical unit. However, knowing Murphy’s issues, the Glassman’s colleagues have their doubts about hiring the young man and challenge Glassman before bringing him on. Meanwhile, as you no doubtably seen from the millions of commercials, Murphy is late to his interview due to a medical emergency that happens at the neighby airport. Like Sherlock, Murphy can “see” things that others cannot. The graphics give viewers an idea of how Murphy’s brain works, but it still seems complicated.

Having starred in Bates Motel and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it is no surprise how excellent the actor is in portraying the autistic doctor. His mannerisms and speech patterns are spot on even if some of his lines are a little off. The line about one doctor being arrogant seems realistic. The following line asking if that arrogance makes that doctor a better surgeon does not. Still, you know that the hospital will end up learning more from Murphy than he will learn from the others.

Though the show appears to be all about Dr. Shaun Murphy (from watching the pilot episode) it appears that the show may head to become more of an ensemble piece given how many characters they introduce during the pilot. Even if some of those characters are not too original. During the first few minutes of the episode, we are introduced to two friends-with-benefits doctors canoodling in the one of the side rooms in the hospital because it just isn’t a hospital drama without one or more staff members sleeping around. The staff has its share of know-it-all doctors too. Then there are the usual “we’ve never done anything like this before” doctor speech from some of the others. Other characters are brought in for a line or two without much else to do. This makes the show feel lopsided and unfortunately, the show becomes less interesting whenever Highmore is not present.

The highlight, of course, is seeing how Glassman and Murphy interact together. The show shares a few flashbacks to show how to the two men met years earlier. No matter how much trouble Murphy is bound to get into, you know that Glassman will also be on his side – except for the eventual episode where he’ll say something to the effect of, “I just can’t clean up your mess this time, Shaun…” The first episode is uneven with a lot of talk and banter between the hospital, but not enough action. Maybe that will improve with future episodes as this show has a lot of potential. In short, The Good Doctor is good, not great. At least, not just yet.

The series also stars Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neil Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Tamlyn Tomita as Allegra Aoki.

The Good Doctor airs on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

This Day in Pop Culture for September 25

'The Partridge Family' Rolls Into Town

The Partridges boarded their multi-colored school bus for the first time on this day in 1970. Airing on ABC (also home to The Brady Bunch) the show’s premise was loosely based on The Cowsills, a traveling family band. For the show, Shirley Jones played a widowed bank teller whose kids convince her to become part of their garage band. The kids were played by David Cassidy (Jones’ real-life stepson), Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough and Jereymy Gelbwaks who was replaced after the first year with Brian Foster. Dave Madden played the band’s manager, Reuben Kincaid. During the show’s run, the Partridge kids appeared in guest spots on the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series, Goober and the Ghost Chasers. Though the original show aired its last episode on March 23, 1974, CBS began airing the Hanna-Barbera show, Partridge Family 2200 A.D. during the fall. The cartoon presented the family living in space much like The Jetsons. Some of the characters were voiced by the actors who portrayed them on the original show. In 2004, VHI produced a pilot for The New Partridge Family which starred Suzanne Sole as Shirley, Leland Grant, Emma Stone and Spencer Tuskowski. The show was not picked up.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 23

"The Jetsons" premiered on his day in 1962.

The Jetsons Fly into Town

ABC’s first TV show to be presented in color was The Jetsons which premiered on this day in 1962. The Sunday night program was created by Hanna-Barbera. The show featured George Jetson, Jane his wife, daughter Judy, and son Elroy living in Orbit City 100 years into the future. The family also owned Astro the dog and Rosie the robot who served as their maid. The original run of the show contained 24 episodes. After the last episode aired on September 22, 1963, the show moved to Saturday mornings where it aired back and forth from CBS to NBC in 1964-1967, 1969-1976, 1979-1981 and 1982-1983. In 1985, brand new episodes (complete with the show’s original voices) were created to mix with the old and were shown in syndication from 1985-1987. In 1990, the space-age family made it to the big screen for Jetsons: The Movie. In 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. had planned for a new Jetsons feature film and as of May 25, 2017, it was announced that Conrad Vernon would be directing the movie. In 2017, Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros. created the home video movie, The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania! Featuring the likenesses and voice talents of a variety of WWE members. And most recently, in August of 2017, ABC ordered a pilot for a live-action version of the show to be written.