Fox has announced some early renewals, most of which should come across as no surprise. New Girl gets a sophomore pick-up, while Glee is renewed for season 4 and Raising Hope for season 3.
This round of Monday Madness, it’s time to look at those crazy characters in the shows we love. Often, they’re on the sidelines – not the main character, their romantic interest, or the person in charge. They provide comic relief in otherwise serious shows, or are a main source of laughter in comedies. They can be indispensable, evil, or hopelessly inept. But they refuse to fade into the background, and the shows wouldn’t be the same without them.
This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 10 of your favorite quirky characters. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will make it into the top 10!
Even though there are 40 options on this list, I know there are many great characters I left out! As always, you can cast write-in ballots by leaving a comment. Want more of a say in what makes it onto the poll each week? Be sure to follow me on Twitter, since I usually ask for nominations for the next Monday Madness the weekend before the new poll.
Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 1AM April 16th.
Who's your favorite quirky character? (Choose up to 10)
- Mozzie from White Collar (7%, 1,712 Votes)
- Martha Rodgers from Castle (5%, 1,330 Votes)
- Bobby Singer from Supernatural (5%, 1,203 Votes)
- Jayne Cobb from Firefly (5%, 1,201 Votes)
- Abby Sciuto from NCIS (5%, 1,198 Votes)
- Hoban Washburne from Firefly (5%, 1,182 Votes)
- Dean Pelton from Community (5%, 1,139 Votes)
- Squinterns from Bones (4%, 1,092 Votes)
- Senor Chang from Community (4%, 983 Votes)
- Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory (4%, 953 Votes)
- Claudia Donovan from Warehouse 13 (3%, 761 Votes)
- Schmidt from New Girl (3%, 744 Votes)
- Sam Axe from Burn Notice (3%, 744 Votes)
- Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (3%, 717 Votes)
- Parker from Leverage (3%, 683 Votes)
- Dwight Schute from The Office (3%, 617 Votes)
- Bernadette Rostenkowski from The Big Bang Theory (2%, 614 Votes)
- Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2%, 600 Votes)
- Eddie Monroe from Grimm (2%, 595 Votes)
- Morgan Grimes from Chuck (2%, 562 Votes)
- Donna from Suits (2%, 542 Votes)
- Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold from Once Upon a Time (2%, 541 Votes)
- Astrid Farnsworth from Fringe (2%, 541 Votes)
- James Wilson from House (2%, 532 Votes)
- Alec Hardison from Leverage (2%, 517 Votes)
- Douglas Fargo from Eureka (2%, 514 Votes)
- Topher Brink from Dollhouse (2%, 426 Votes)
- Seymour Birkhoff from Nikita (1%, 364 Votes)
- Nell Jones from NCIS: Los Angeles (1%, 293 Votes)
- Willa Monday from The Finder (1%, 291 Votes)
- Gary Bell from Alphas (1%, 255 Votes)
- Evan R. Lawson from Royal Pains (1%, 250 Votes)
- Wallace Fennel from Veronica Mars (1%, 190 Votes)
- Marshall Flinkman from Alias (1%, 158 Votes)
- Leonardo Prince from Fairly Legal (1%, 153 Votes)
- Noah Werner from Suburgatory (0%, 117 Votes)
- Gupta from Outsourced (0%, 106 Votes)
- Davis from Tru Calling (0%, 82 Votes)
- Much from Robin Hood (0%, 81 Votes)
- Max Malini from The Cape (0%, 47 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,353
New Girl features Zooey Deschanel as Jess. After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behavior very unusual, the men support her – most of the time.
Rizzoli & Isles follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.
Vote for your favorite by leaving a comment below!
TV Breakroom is doing its own version of March Madness! And there’s a prize!
You will vote between two shows by leaving a comment with your choice on a bracket post (not on this post – though feel free to predict the winner here!). Every 6 days this month, I will close the comments, add up the totals, and set things up for the next stage of the bracket. I’ll link to all of the bracket posts here.
Every comment you leave throughout the month, whether to vote in the bracket or normal comments on other posts, will count as one entry toward a $15 Amazon gift card. Only one comment per post will count as an entry, and comments flagged as spam will be ignored. Contest begins on March 1, 2012 at 12:01 EST and ends March 31, 2012 at 11:59 EDT. Winner must provide email address and respond to winning notification within 3 days.
For a show to qualify, it had to air at least 5 new episodes between June 1, 2011 and February 29, 2012. It also has to be a US show (airing originally on a US broadcast or cable network, no matter where it was filmed), and I have to have seen at least 5 episodes of the show.
Here is the final match-up! The order in which shows would face each other was created by Random.org. Click the match-up to go to its bracket post and vote! Voting for this round ends around 1AM on March 31st, so get your votes in now!
Update – go here to see the winner!
Here are the 32 shows:
Leverage Supernatural New Girl Rizzoli & Isles White Collar Chuck Grimm
Nikita Community The Big Bang Theory Ringer NCIS Being Human (SyFy) Eureka Once Upon a Time Suburgatory House The Office Burn Notice Bones NCIS: Los Angeles Warehouse 13 Alphas Blue Bloods The Finder 2 Broke Girls How I Met Your Mother Suits Person of Interest Castle Covert Affairs
I find it funny that I could go to this for only one week of the event, and see every show I care about: Community, Once Upon a Time, New Girl, The Office, Bones, and Castle! Community has all of the main cast except Pierce and Troy confirmed, Once Upon a Time has most of the adults on the show, New Girl has the four roommates and Cece, The Office looks to have just about everyone but the new CEO, Bones is also missing the boss but has the rest of the main 6, and Castle has the whole gang!
Just finished watching Awake’s premiere and loved it! Very interesting psychologically – and both realities have a washed-out look that adds a surreal touch to the show. I loved how the crimes intersected in strange ways. I’ve been anticipating this show for the better part of a year, and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint!
The 2011-2012 TV season has certainly been one for online premieres. From Fox’s New Girl to NBC’s own Grimm and Smash, shows offering a sneak peek at the first episode seem to be doing pretty well ratings-wise. While people (like me) who watch a premiere online before it airs might not tune into the TV premiere, the word of mouth the show garners in return seems worth it.
However, an online premiere alone doesn’t make a show a guaranteed success. Bad buzz spreads just as fast (or faster) than good buzz.
El Jefe’s description: “a well-off guy in his early 30s who finally gets booted out of his dad and step-mom’s house and moves in with his cleaning woman’s family since he had nowhere else to go” seems like the perfect show for an actor I know best as Dick Casablancas from Veronica Mars.
But Veronica Mars alums seem to be popping up everywhere lately! Kristin Bell is on House of Lies. Max Greenfield is on New Girl. Enrico Colantoli was on Person of Interest. Jason Dohring is on Ringer. And Erica Gimpel (who played Wallace’s mom, Alicia Fennel) just showed up on Nikita.
Well, I was going to write a post speculating where the cast of Chuck would end up this fall, but the pilot descriptions are (usually) so vague it’s hard to see where actors would best fit.
Comedy seems like a great choice for Zachary Levi. I hope Let It Go ends up being more along the lines of the genuinely funny How I Met Your Mother than the annoying awkwardness Fox’s hit comedy, New Girl, has drifted into.
Of course, Chuck fans are already clamoring for Yvonne Strahovski to play his character’s yet uncast wife. Others are eager for a Tangled reunion, though Mandy Moore has already been cast in an ABC comedy. I think No Ordinary Family’s Autumn Reeser (Katie Andrews) would have been a great choice, but she is in an ABC drama pilot already.
So much fun! It’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” in music video format! While the full version of New Girl’s theme song plays, various options pop up and you choose which you prefer. The choice doesn’t interrupt the video play, but you’d better decide fast, or a random option will be selected for you. The press release claims that there are more that 900 different combinations!
Wow, TV Line has outdone themselves with this comprehensive list of ordered pilots for next season. Even though these pilots mean that other shows will be canceled, it’s fun to imagine and predict what next season will look like on the various networks.
The article starts with definitions of the various terms surrounding pilot season. The ones that most intrigue me are planted pilots and second position. Second position was responsible for the cast change on New Girl – when actors of bubble shows film pilots, but if their current show is renewed, the new show has to recast the role.
Planted pilots introduce a new show within the world of a current show. The article sites The Finder episode on Bones last season, but many shows do this, though the new show doesn’t always get picked up (for example, when Jess left Gilmore Girls, the episode where he meets his California family was supposed to become a spinoff show). Today’s most-watched scripted drama, NCIS, had a planted pilot on JAG, and in turn hosted a planted pilot for NCIS: Los Angeles.
I plan to write another article going into more detail about the networks’ various pilots, but one thing did sadden me about this list: no Joss Whedon projects.
Not surprised that Mindy Kaling is looking outside The Office – she’s been underused there lately. This sounds like it could be fun, even though I don’t typically watch medical shows. I can see this being paired with New Girl.
2011 has been a year of big changes for this blog. At the start of this year, I only had 3 posts and hadn’t even begun sharing the link. Now, I’m working on post 124 and get thousands of views every month.
As you can see, I’m also ending the year with a big change – a new layout. As much as I loved the look of the old layout, it was confusing for some and also probably hurting my chances of being found by search engines (with no text other than categories on the home page). I do plan to keep the same “wall of TV pics” look as my Twitter background, though. I’m still working through some of the kinks (like having to set images as featured images and adding read more links in ALL my old posts), so please let me know if you come across something that’s not working! Continue reading Farewell to 2011
I just made a list of all the shows I’m behind on (it’s getting to be quite a few), but I quickly realized there is one type of show I haven’t put off watching – comedies! Of course, their usual 20-minute length makes them a bit more compatible with a busy schedule than a 45-minute show, but I believe it’s also because I’ve been in the mood to laugh. Continue reading Fall 2011 Comedy Verdicts
I like voting for things. Especially when they have to do with my favorite shows. So I thought I’d provide a quick rundown of this year’s People’s Choice Award Nominees. Just the TV section, mind you, and only the scripted shows. I usually haven’t seen most of the movies (I did vote for Thor over the very close choice of Captain America), and I’ve don’t listen to nearly all of the music artists.
FAVORITE NETWORK TV DRAMA
Pretty much a no-brainer that I was voting for House. Supernatural hasn’t captured my attention, and while The Good Wife looks like a solid show, I’ve never seen it (blame my lawyer aversion). And Grey’s Anatomy and The Vampire Diaries look FAR too soapy for me.
FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTOR
How can I choose between David Boreanaz and Nathan Fillion? Fortunately, with this award, I can vote as often as I like, so I’ve been alternating between the two. Not so when the two face each other in Round 3 of TV Line’s “Ultimate Law-Enforcement Crushes Bracket Tournament.” I don’t know how I’ll pick. Nathan has Castle and Firefly and Dr. Horrible and now Much Ado About Nothing. David has Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I’m ignoring Nathan as Caleb since I hated him in that role) and Angel and Bones.
Hugh Laurie only gets a distant third in this category, and Ian Somerhalder and Patrick Dempsey are soundly ignored by me.
FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTRESS
A very easy vote for Emily Deschanel. I haven’t even heard of some of the others on the list: Blake Lively, Ellen Pompeo, Eva Longoria, and Nina Dobrev.
FAVORITE CABLE TV DRAMA
Another super easy choice, as I only watch White Collar. Game of Thrones does sound good, though, and people have recommended Dexter to me. Don’t know about True Blood and Pretty Little Liars.
FAVORITE NETWORK TV COMEDY
The Big Bang Theory gets my vote most of the time for this one, but I’ll occasionally vote for How I Met Your Mother as well. Interesting that Dr. Horrible is competing against his sidekick, Moist. I only enjoy Glee for the music, Two and a Half Men is crude instead of funny, and I’ve never seen Modern Family.
FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTOR
Hmm, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) or Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)? Same as above, I’ll usually tilt toward the Thursday night show but occasionally choose the Monday night one. Alec Baldwin, Chris Colfer, and Cory Monteith don’t make me laugh.
FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTRESS
Kaley Cuoco wins hands down over Courteney Cox, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and Tina Fey.
FAVORITE CABLE TV COMEDY
I don’t currently watch any of these, though I used to watch Royal Pains (seriously, why is this a nominee instead of Psych?). I may come back to the show later, I’m just not a huge fan of medical shows (House is the only one I watch now) and not too fond of the main character (loved Evan and Divya, though). It does get my vote over the shows I haven’t seen: Hot in Cleveland, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Nurse Jackie, and Weeds.
FAVORITE TV CRIME DRAMA
When I first saw the nominees for this category, I thought, Are you kidding? I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that Bones, Castle, and NCIS are my top three crime dramas, and all three were nominated this year! I voted for each of them. I’ve only seen bits of CSI and Criminal Minds episodes.
FAVORITE SCI-FI/FANTASY SHOW
I’ve only seen Supernatural on this list, so I voted for it, but Fringe has been on my to-watch list for a long while. From what I’ve heard, I think I’d prefer True Blood to The Vampire Diaries (too bad my favorite currently-airing vampire show, Being Human, didn’t make the list), and since zombies bore me, The Walking Dead has only appeared on my radar since its ratings are good.
FAVORITE TV GUEST STAR
I loved Jim Carrey’s appearance on The Office, and would have much preferred his character to Robert California. Katy Perry’s appearance on How I Met Your Mother was funny, but I felt like most actresses could have played the role well. I didn’t see the appearances of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Chenoweth, or Michael J. Fox.
FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA
Twelve options is a lot to choose from, but Once Upon a Time has wowed me in all three episodes. Ringer is a close second and gets my vote every once in a while. Person of Interest has built slowly but is improving, and Grimm’s two episodes have been good enough for me to keep watching.
Out of the remaining shows, I’ve only seen Unforgettable, which I hated. Pilots sometimes don’t match the rest of a show, but I couldn’t even get halfway through episode two. I’ve heard good things about Pan Am, Terra Nova, and Revenge, but my “new shows to try out” list already had 11 shows on it (plus more than a dozen returning shows). Medically-minded Hart of Dixie and A Gifted Man didn’t sound like quite my thing, and neither did The Secret Circle or Prime Suspect.
FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY
2 Broke Girls was super-easy choice for this category, though Suburgatory has been good and New Girl has been okay. Guessed to be not my cup of tea by the previews: Whitney, Up All Night, Last Man Standing, and Man Up. I don’t watch animated TV (the only way I think I ever would was if Joss Whedon created an animated show), so no Allen Gregory.
What did you vote for? Are there any shows mentioned that you think I should be watching?
The litmus test for a comedy is simple: does it make you laugh? This fall I’ve tried out 5 new comedies: Free Agents, 2 Broke Girls, Suburgatory, How to Be a Gentleman, and New Girl. Here’s a quick rundown on what the shows are like and whether they’re worth watching.
Laugh rating: A smirk here and there
Fox’s ultra-cutesy comedy about a clueless young woman (Zooey Deschanel) who moves in with three guys after she finds her boyfriend cheating on her. I almost didn’t watch a second episode after I cringed through most of the pilot. Deschanel’s usual quirkiness is pushed way over the top, and her character’s habit of randomly singing quickly became the most annoying thing about the show. Fortunately Jess dials back the singing a bit in episode 2, which was more enjoyable but didn’t put the show on my “will watch” list. I may try a third episode if I’m in the mood for something lighthearted, but the Hallmark movie moments at the end of the episodes tip the scales toward likely not. But if you’re into silly, heartwarming comedies, you might want to give New Girl a try. The three roommates (one who previously played Leo on Veronica Mars) and their frustration with and big brother attitudes toward Jess, are easily the best part of the show.
Laugh rating: Laughing out loud
This isn’t the type of show that would normally catch my interest, but I checked it out solely because of Anthony Stewart Head (Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and King Uther on Merlin). I’m so glad I did! The pilot was more raunchy than I would have liked, but the second episode toned it down some, and the third episode was just about perfect. The acting on this show is just superb. The two leads (Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn) say more with their faces in one scene than many shows do in entire episodes (Person of Interest – I’m looking at you!). I’ve heard complaints that the writing in the pilot isn’t so great, but the following episodes stepped things up. (Besides, I think this cast could make reading a cereal box funny.) The side characters are a bit stereotypical, but the show knows that and has fun with it.
The third episode, “Dr. Hu,” made me laugh more than this season’s first 3 episodes of The Big Bang Theory (which I previously considered my favorite currently-airing network comedy) combined. First, they made a lovely Doctor Who joke out of the therapist’s name. Second, watching the irrepressible Emma take over the umbrella ad campaign was hilarious, and I loved her going crazy at the idea of having to pitch. Third, Tony Head made a joke about American sports (which made me flash back to Giles making fun of football – “strap on forty pounds of protective gear just in order to play rugby”). Fourth, Alex and Helen’s individual arguments with Dr. Hu were fun, but nothing compared to their joint meltdown in front of him at the restaurant. And I love that they went from yelling at each other to blaming him, and then settled down to a normal “date.” Fifth, the security guard demonstrating how dangerous an umbrella can be added the perfect closing note to the episode.
How to Be a Gentleman
Laugh rating: A few smiles
Unlike the previous shows, I’ve only gotten to see the pilot of this show, most of which was spoiled by the promos. So I may change my mind about it. This show works best when contrasting the two main characters, uptight etiquette columnist Andrew, and gym rat and former bully Bert. I hope Bert’s efforts to bring Andrew into modern times doesn’t ruin their Odd Couple charm. My favorite part of the show is Andrew’s voiceovers about how a gentleman should behave. I’m not too fond of Bert, or sold on Andrew’s family, and the jokes got a little raunchy for my taste, but I’m going to give it at least another episode.
Wow, while checking names for this post I just realized the actor who plays Andrew, David Hornsby, is married to Emily Deschanel (Bones). But seriously, Henry Hornsby? How could they do that to a kid?
Laugh rating: Some snickering
Like Free Agents (with which it shares a time slot), I checked out this “out of my normal type” of show because of a Whedonverse alum, this time Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Dollhouse). He plays a friend of the dad, and I’ve only seen the pilot of this as well, so I’m not sure how much of a role he’ll have in the show. The premise of the show is fun – a motherless teenager from the heart of the city moves to the suburbs with her dad, and enters a world of overly cheerful, plastic, stay-at-home moms and their mall-trotting daughters. At the end of the pilot she seems to be more okay with her new life, but I hope the show doesn’t lose its fish-out-of-water edge. I’ll definitely be watching the next episode, but most likely online. (Though if I want to help out Free Agents, whose ratings are low, it’s probably better that I watch on Hulu where they can track my viewing than on TV, where they won’t.)
2 Broke Girls
Laugh rating: Chuckling
Just as How to Be a Gentleman brings reminders of The Odd Couple, 2 Broke Girls seems to reimagine another classic show about two working girls who share an apartment – Laverne and Shirley. While Shirley was never rich, her prim and proper ways match Caroline’s very well, and Max’s no-nonsense ways seem very Laverne-esque. The show isn’t all that unique, and neither are the characters and the setting, but for some reason the over-the-top acting just works, and the show manages to feel fresh and relatable at the same time. Caroline may be ditzy, and Max may have a tough exterior, but they both have enough heart to make their unlikely friendship believable. I also love the gimmick of having their earnings toward the cupcake shop add up at the end of each episode.
My verdict: I’m definitely going to keep watching Free Agents and 2 Broke Girls. It’s highly likely that Suburgatory will make it on my list too, but I have to see more than one episode to know for sure. I”ll probably give New Girl and How to Be a Gentleman one more episode to prove themselves to me, but I’m quite likely to drop them as I run out of time to watch shows.