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December 19, 2014

Early Looks

Scrubs season nine -- An early look

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 30th 2009 3:05PM
Eliza Coupe, Donald Faison and Zach Braff in Scrubs: Our Drunk Friend
If you're a regular reader of TV Squad, you probably already know what's going on with the unexpected ninth season of Scrubs. From Bill Lawrence's statement that the eighth season might not be the final one to his detailed descriptions of how the show was going to transition to its new med school setting, you've been given a good idea of how this shift was going to happen.

But one thing we didn't know was the biggest question of all: is it going to be funny?

The answer? A qualified yes. The two episodes ABC sent for review, which air back-to-back tomorrow at 9 PM ET, were definitely funny. But most of the humor came not from the new med students we're supposed to get to know, but from the characters we've known and laughed with for eight years. And for this ninth season to succeed, that ratio will have to even out, and quickly.

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Steven Seagal: Lawman -- An early look

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 28th 2009 10:33AM
Steven Seagal: Lawman
When I heard that Steven Seagal had a new A&E series coming out called Steven Seagal: Lawman, I thought, oh great, another cop show starring an aging movie star. But that's not what it is at all! Ok, I'll qualify that. Yes, it IS a cop show starring an aging movie star, but probably not what you think.

Turns out that Steven Seagal, best known for his action movies like Above the Law, Hard to Kill, and Under Siege, has been quietly working under the radar for the past 20 years as a real-life deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana. Part of his duties there include instructing the other officers on weapons skills and martial arts.

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Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura -- An early look

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 22nd 2009 2:02PM
Conspiracy Theory with Jesse VenturaJesse Ventura has been a professional wrestler, an actor and a politician. None of these things have been as fake as the reality television show he will be hosting on truTV titled Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura (premiering December 2 at 10 PM ET).

For the record, I have never met or spoken to Jesse Ventura. He would corroborate this if anybody asked. As a result, I have no idea if he actually believes the crap he says or the conspiracies he investigates on this show. From what I've read, it wouldn't surprise me.

In the series premiere, Jesse and his crew of unknowns, consisting of two young white guys and the token black British female, are investigating a U.S. government installation built in Alaska that's possibly intended to control the weather. Who makes this stuff up? Now we know where the monies saved from stopping the "bridge to nowhere" went.

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Friday Night Lights, season four -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 28th 2009 12:02PM
Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor in 'Friday Night Lights.'
Entering into its fourth season (and second since the NBC/DirecTV deal), Friday Night Lights is a show in transition on numerous levels. The high school football drama returns tonight to DirecTV's 101 Network at 9 p.m. ET (NBC won't air this season until next summer) and for fans of the show, it's an episode they've long been waiting for.

Ever since the season three finale, as Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami (Connie Britton) stepped on to the East Dillon Lions decrepit football field, Eric's new home, the tension has been at an all time high in Dillon, Texas. How can Coach Taylor, a man whom many consider to be a high school football wunderkind, start from scratch with a team that doesn't even exist yet?

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The League -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 28th 2009 9:01AM
The cast of FX's 'The League.'
Fantasy football is a tricky thing. You either love it or you hate it and that largely depends on whether you're good or bad at it. For the most part, the same can be said about FX's newest comedy The League. When it's good, it is good, but when it's bad... well, you get the picture.

The show, which premieres tomorrow night, Thursday 10/29, at 10:30 p.m. after It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is FX's first solid attempt to produce a lasting companion piece to Sunny and, given some of its predecessors (like Starved or Testees), it'd be easy to write The League off. But, like a two-minute drill that gradually picks up steam, The League might actually go... all... the... way.

OK -- no more football metaphors.

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Nip/Tuck season six -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 13th 2009 10:02AM

Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh star in Nip/Tuck
Over the span of its first five seasons, Nip/Tuck has had some spectacular highs and some even greater lows. Regardless of how you feel about them (personally, I liked season three and The Carver), as viewers we've all watched Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) slowly lose the battle to the one thing they're paid to combat - aging.

Entering its penultimate season, Nip/Tuck could use a little nipping and tucking of its own after the mediocre fifth season that saw a lengthy hiatus at the hands of the writers strike. Fortunately, it seems that things might be getting back to "normal" for McNamara/Troy. And by normal, I mean no more serial killers, organ thieves, or weirdo lip-synching musical montages. Beyond that, it's freak show as usual.

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Rita Rocks season two -- An early look

by Kona Gallagher, posted Oct 5th 2009 10:25AM
rita rocks
Rita Rocks
is premiering its second season on Lifetime tonight, along with Sherri Shepherd's new sitcom, Sherri. For those of you who haven't seen the show before, Rita stars Mad TV's Nicole Sullivan, who plays Rita, a suburban mom of two daughters who plays in a rock band on the side. Rounding out her garage band are her friends Owen (Ian Gomez), Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and Kip (Ricky Ullman), Rita's daughter Hallie's (Natalie Dreyfuss) boyfriend.

The second-season premiere doesn't really focus on Rita's music so much. While we do still see her at practice, she's mainly dealing with mom stuff, specifically in relation to Hallie, her oldest daughter. In fact, what we have is a perennial family-sitcom classic-- the parent having to give the child "The Talk."

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Sherri -- An early look

by Kona Gallagher, posted Oct 5th 2009 9:00AM
sherri
Sherri
, premiering tonight on Lifetime, is a very confusing show. It has flashes of genius, with several lines that made me laugh out loud ("Screw me once, shame on you. Screw a white woman -- we done"). At other times, however, it's bogged down with over-the-top dialogue and atrocious acting.

The premise behind Sherri is basically Sherri Shepherd's actual life. Both the real and fictional Sherri has held down jobs at a law office while working as a comedian and an actress, with bit parts on television shows. They both got married and had a son, only to find out that their husband was cheating on them.

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Stargate Universe -- An early look

by Mike Moody, posted Sep 29th 2009 2:02PM
syfy stargate universe
When word broke that the Stargate franchise was moving into darker territory with Stargate Universe, fan reaction ranged from cautiously optimistic to downright angry. The anger mostly came from fans who felt jilted by Syfy's sudden cancellation of the veteran show Stargate Atlantis (it didn't help that Syfy announced the new series in a press release shortly after announcing the cancellation of Atlantis). To some, it seemed like the fan favorite (Atlantis) had to die so the edgy new experiment (Universe) could live.

Universe
–- a fine, scrappy show packed with great actors – might now be facing an uphill battle with some of its target audience members. Stargate fans unwilling to give the show a chance should know one thing: The franchise's spirit of adventure remains intact in the first three episodes of Universe. It is different and darker than Stargate: SG-1 and Atlantis – even blatantly dreary at times – but it's still Stargate.

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Talking truth with Tim Roth of Lie to Me

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 28th 2009 10:02AM
Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) returns to expose the truth behind the lies in the Season Two premiere of LIE TO ME airing Monday, Sept. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Lie to Me is not a show that grew on me last season. When it first premiered earlier this year, I didn't even bother watching it. I tend to shy away from mid-season replacements to begin with and something about seeing Tim Roth speaking in his normal British accent in promos for the show seemed weird to me.

Then summer arrived, TV viewing options started to dwindle, and suddenly Lie to Me became a viable option. I watched the pilot, was mildly amused, and then dropped it for over a month before I looked at another episode. At first, it wasn't that great, and now that I've had the opportunity to speak to Roth about it, it's good to know that I wasn't alone in thinking that.

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Californication, season three -- An early look

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 27th 2009 9:02AM
David Duchovny in CalifornicationIf you think of all the places that would turn Californication's Hank Moody into a kid in a candy store, "college campus" should be at the top of your Family Feud survey.

What would be at the bottom? Probably the Vatican. Then again, an unrepentant sexaholic like Moody always loves a challenge.

The third season follows Moody as he navigates his way through the student body of a local college as an English professor, his relationship with his growing teenage daughter Becca and the rest of his other relationships -- or at least the ones that alcohol hasn't erased from his memory.

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Dexter season four -- An early look

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 25th 2009 10:00AM
Dexter Season 4 posterThe introduction of a baby into the plot is usually a sure fire sign that a television show has jumped the shark with a pair of Acme rocket powered water skis.

But things are different for a twisted little space of pay cable called Dexter. The mere thought of putting a cute, adorable and affable little tyke into the mix sounds like something that would inspire the furious typing of a thousand angry Parents Television Council members' Selectric typewriters.

The latest addition to the Morgan clan is just a small addition to the newest season of Showtime's seriously macabre drama. It doesn't overtake the show and turn its serious moral tone into something ridculously psychotic like Three Madmen and a Baby. It's just one of many obstacles the world's most huggable serial killer has to deal with to feed the John Pinette sized appetite of his mysterious "dark passenger," and it's not all dark and drenched in blood.

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The Cleveland Show -- An early look

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 24th 2009 3:02PM
The Cleveland ShowHaving watched the first three episodes of The Cleveland Show, I find it's a bit like a 70's black sitcom such as Good Times or What's Happening, but more demented. The standard Family Guy humor and asides are still there, but generally the plots feel a little more linear and directed towards a goal. Of course, going forward that could be an exception and not the general rule. The show could end up being a complete Family Guy copy, but with a black family.

The first episode (airing Sunday at 8:30 ET on FOX) begins in Quahog with the cast of Family Guy. The entire circumstance behind Cleveland's departure from that show is explained before the opening theme song. And what a theme song! It's better than Family Guy's. Very catchy. It's the sort that sticks in your mind like Fun Tac.

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House season six -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 21st 2009 10:02AM
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
Dr. Gregory House has problems. This is not news. We know this. His colleagues know this. He knows this. The issue at the core of tonight's two-hour season premiere of House ("Broken" airs at 8PM ET on Fox), is waiting patiently for our favorite curmudgeon to admit what he knows.

Ever since last season's finale, we've all wanted to know one thing - is House really crazy or has the Vicodin finally done enough damage that he's hallucinating dead people and having imaginary sex with Cuddy? The answer is finally revealed, and despite Fox's viral marketing campaign that presented the possibility of someone having done something to House to cause his problems, it turns out that Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital is precisely where he belongs. Or is it?

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Curb Your Enthusiasm, season seven -- An early look

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 16th 2009 9:02AM
(L-R): Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander
The beauty of Curb Your Enthusiasm has always been its roots. Born from the mind of a man who launched a show about nothing, Curb is little more than an edgier version that's still... about nothing. It only makes sense that one day we would witness the colliding vortex created by those two masses of nothingness and that day has finally arrived. Well, almost. Season seven of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on HBO this Sunday night, September 20, at 9 p.m. ET and having seen the first three episodes, I'll say this about the long-awaited Seinfeld reunion - it's real and it's spectacular.

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