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The Super Bowl, creeping out celebrities, and Star Trek gets a showrunner.

Tuesday February 9th 2015

The Watercooler

As a resident of the Bay Area I am glad that Super Bowl 50 is in the rear view mirror. I don’t think I could stand any more complaining about how crowded the city is.

Anyway! Commercials! In honor of the only day where people don’t use them as an opportunity to get up and go to the bathroom, here are the best and the worst of this year's crop. Buzzfeed has pretty much all of them, including the mediocre ones.However, only one commercial will haunt your dreams.

Somehow people are surprised that Lady Gaga can actually sing, but Tony Bennett wouldn’t record an album of standards with someone who couldn't.

“I prepared myself for the disappointing possibility that she might just show up to do a cameo for that truly inexplicable Coldplay duet, do a few “Single Ladies” moves, and go collect her check. But now I must ask for forgiveness for doubting the Queen even for a second, because not only did she play “Formation,” she fearlessly led a squad of women dressed as Black Panthers across the field at the goddamned Super Bowl, all while dressed like the democratically elected ruler of Rhythm Nation. New plan: If Trump gets elected, I’m not moving to Canada — I’m moving to Beyoncé’s utopia.” Despite not being on board in general with Beyonce’s music, the title of this article, “Coldplay was Beyonce’s left shark at the Super Bowl” made me laugh, because I mean, we all knew that was true even before the halftime show. Vulture linked to the show, if you missed it. Go Fug Yourself has photos of all the halftime show outfits.

Stephen Colbert and The Late Show brought back Key & Peele’s crowd pleasing McCringleberry’s Excessive Celebration sketch.

The Tonight Show’s Puppy Predictor segment predicted a win for the Broncos.

This year’s broadcast didn’t break any records, but CBS shouldn’t feel too bad. Coming in third with 111.9 million viewers isn’t so bad.

Vox has a piece on the history of the NFL’s magic yellow line. Pretty cool.


“The older generations born to the manor can’t imagine what visitors would be paying to see. Listing off their handful of “decent” paintings, Robert concludes that townsfolk would be better off going into London to the Tate; Violet asks, “Why would anyone pay to see a perfectly ordinary house?” as the camera pulls back to show the luxury of even her relatively modest Dower House, with its silk-tufted pillows and draperies, the silver tea set, the polished wood gleaming, and the six-point folded napkin that holds her scones.” This week the family let regular people into Downton Abbey to look at the furniture, and The A.V. Club gave this episode an A-

But the idea that Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, would storm into the Great Hall of her family home and loudly upbraid her daughter-in-law in front of guests – and low-born ones at that – is simply absurd. You might as well have written a scene where she lifts her skirts and pees in the drawing room. This is our problem. Go ahead and explore the less likeable sides of these characters, but if you’re not going to do so in a way that makes sense for them and the world they live in, why bother?” Tom and Lorenzo once again throw their hands up in frustration at Julian Fellowes and his refusal to ever follow through on an interesting idea. Violet yeling at Cora in front of a bunch of town folk would definitely be a scandal talked about for years.


The Business

Bryan Fuller, who wrote episodes of Voyager and Deep Space Nine,  has been hired as the showrunner for CBS’s new Star Trek series, which at the very least, means it is going to look amazing.

ABC has ordered Big Fan, a game show of sorts where devoted fans prove how well they know trivia about a celebrity, with the final round competing against the celebrity in question, which isn’t creepy at all. It’s based from a sketch from Jimmy Kimmel Live, and will be hosted by Andy Richter, which is a great choice.

NBC has given The Lonely Island a Saturday night sketch show. Called Party Over Here it will premiere on March 12th, and will star Nicole Byer, Jessica McKenna and Alison Rich. The Lonely Island guys will be executive producers.

Netflix has renewed Orange Is the New Black for three more seasons. As part of the deal, Jenji Kohan will stay on as show runner for those seasons as well.

Netflix has ordered a comedy based on #Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso’s memoir of working in fashion.

Good news or bad news? Matt Czuchry will be returning as Logan on Netflix’s new Gilmore Girls episodes. in the good news category, Paris Gellar will also be returning.

Casting: Matt LeBlanc will star in CBS’s I’m Not Your Friend, which has been given a 13 episode commitment. Annabeth Gish will have a recurring role on this season of ScandalJackie Earle Haley has been cast as Odin Quincannon in AMC’s PreacherJeremy Sisto has joined ABC’s anthology series The JuryDesignated Survivor has added a ton of cast this week, including Maggie Q, Kal Penn and Natascha McElhoneCBS used their Super bowl spot to tell fans that this season of The Good Wife will be the last, confirming all the rumors.

Renewals: Syfy has renewed The Magicians, a show that I was iffy about at first but that I am completely on board for now. Shades of Blue, the cop show starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, has been renewed by NBC for a second season. Amazon has renewed Mozart In the Jungle for a third season.

CBS has cancelled Angel From Hell, a move that probably everyone who read the synopsis of the show saw coming.

After the huge success of the Chinese version of Mad About You, there will also be an adaptation in Argentina.

If you were on the fence about going to this year’s ATX Television Festival, will the news that the cast of Friday Night Lights will be returning for the show’s 10 year anniversary convince you to go?


People Talking About TV

“With that single choice, Rhimes, the most powerful woman in network television, turned her prize character from nebulously confident feminist icon to a pro-choice, able-bodied woman of means who had an abortion by herself without handholding or tears, simply because she does not want a child with the man she has loved for four seasons. This was political in a way Scandal—a show ostensibly about politics—only occasionally allows itself to be.” How Scandal’s abortion episode made the show actually political, from The A.V. Club.


What To Watch

“Even the same-old bits were good, though. Bee referred to Donald Trump as a "sentient caps-lock button" and said clips of the Democratic presidential candidates all strenuously agreeing with each other gave her "a flashback to the week before my parents were getting a divorce."” So Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal started last night, and if the reviews from Vulture, Salon, and The A.V. Club are any indication, we should add it to our list of late night shows we need to keep tabs on. Don’t miss the Werner Herzog Jeb Bush documentary, and the hopefully recurring segment that calls out elected officials for doing stupid things, in this case a state capital dress code that's only for women.

Larry David hosted SNL this weekend, with a little help from the real Bernie Sanders. The two best bits were the opening monologue, and the Bernie Sanders sketch (with Larry as Bernie) version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The A.V. Club gave the episode an A-, the highest grade so far this season.

Vulture suggests that now that it’s on Amazon Prime, you don’t really have a good excuse for not watching Poldark. Decider and I also agree with this. As fans of a good costume filled soap opera featuring hot dudes and pretty scenery, how could we not?

Decider also suggests you watch A Ballerina’s Tale, about ABT’s prima ballerina Misty Copeland that is on Netflix and PBS. I am kind of lazy and definitely uncoordinated, so ballet is fascinating to me.

“Where Venture Bros spiraled outward its origin as a lampoon of Jonny Quest, One Punch Man consistently bases its parody on one of the most popular anime of all time, and certainly one of the most popular in America: Dragonball Z.” Wired makes the case for One Punch Man, which you can watch right now on Hulu. I am in favor of an anime that kind of makes fun of anime. That concept worked out great for Archer and spy movies.

Honestly the primaries need something like the Triumph Election Special 2016, now airing on Hulu, because it’s not like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is saying anything worse than Trump.

What I’ve been catching up on: Better Call Saul, which is excellent. The Magicians, still surprisingly good. Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, I forgot I still had three episodes left to watch, it was like Christmas morning. Limitless, a procedural and a remake of a movie that really shouldn’t be this entertaining.


Odds and Ends

If you watched Making a Murderer, then you will definitely appreciate Vulture’s version where Homer Simpson stands in for Stephen AveryWell done.

James Corden and Elton John did some Carpool Karaoke for The Late Late Show.

Seth Meyers made a joke last night in his Late Night opening monologue that totally bombed, just like he thought it would. His reaction is pretty great.

It looks like Archer and the team formerly known as Isis are moving to Los Angeles this season to try their hand at being private detectives.

If you collected Star Wars toys as a kid in the 1980s, or even if you didn’t but you watched Saturday morning cartoons, then these Kenner commercials are probably lodged somewhere in some corner of your brain.


That’s it for today, but I will be back on Thursday with a lot more. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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