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Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall TV: What I'm Watching, Might Watch, and Plan to Watch

Fall is my favorite season, hands down. Always has been. I love the weather, I love the changing leaves, I love that it comes after summer, which is far and away my least favorite season, and I love the new TV season (and the return of my favorites).

There's some good stuff on deck, I think. So far:
I've tried:
Ringer. I've never been a Buffy fan and don't have strong feelings about Sarah Michelle Gellar either way - she seems like a nice enough person who has made some movies I liked and some I didn't. So the hype surrounding her return to TV after Buffy was pretty lost on me. I'd read reviews that were disappointed in it, and I agree - it's a pretty typical CW drama, and in general I don't watch those. And they either need to up the special effects budget or not have special effects, because that boating scene green screen was one of the most obvious I've seen. Still, the noir aspect is interesting, as is the "whose setting up whom" component. I'll watch a few more episodes before I make a season pass decision.
Up All Night. I liked it. I love Maya Rudolph, and Arnett and Applegate's characters are a lot like people I know. I'm single and childless but could still relate to a lot of the jokes. And I love that they're not the "clueless schubby husband with his hot long-suffering wife" trope that's so prevalent in sitcoms.

I plan to try:
2 Broke Girls. I love Kat Dennings, and she looks terrifically sardonic in this.
Pan Am. Like Mad Men, but with planes!
Person of Interest. I liked Lost and this combines JJ Abrams and Michael Emerson. Plus EVERYONE in the world is going to watch this and I don't want to be left out.
The X Factor. I broke up with American Idol after Simon left because he's really the only one whose opinion means anything and who looked at music as a business, which it is. So I kind of have to watch this.

I might try: 
Charlie's Angels. I'm iffy. If it's purely campy, I think it could be funny. But while I love - LOVE - me some Friday Night Lights, Minka Kelly does nothing for me acting-wise. She seems like a lovely person, and God knows she's beautiful, but she was always the weakest link of FNL for me, her storyline on Parenthood (which I've dropped from my rotation) was meh, and I'm not sure I buy her as an ass-kicking Angel. It might be hilarious to watch her try, though.
The Playboy Club. Again, this has to be pure camp or it's not going to work.
Terra Nova. If I do watch this, it'll probably be more to see what all the fuss is about than out of genuine interest. It looks like quite a production.

Hell to the naw:
Free Agents. I like Hank Azaria but nothing about this looks funny.

A Gifted Man. Sorry, Patrick Wilson, but I didn't watch The Ghost Whisperer on purpose and don't plan to start now.
Hart of Dixie. Again, my Friday Night Lights love is deep and unwavering, but even Scott Porter isn't enough to make me tune in.

H8R. Mario Lopez hosts AND the title is written in text-speak? Absolutely not.
Last Man Standing. This is basically Home Improvement with daughters instead of sons. I enjoyed Home Improvement as a kid, but it's had its day.
New Girl. You either like Zooey Deschanel or you don't. I don't.
Prime Suspect. I am just not that into taking on another procedural.
Revenge. I don't even know what this is. Feh. 
The Secret Circle. I'm just not the demographic for this. At least it's witches and not vamps.
Suburgatory. It looks pretty pat.
Unforgettable. I liked Without a Trace, Poppy Montgomery's previous procedural, but I'm not sure you can hang a whole show on her and the subject matter doesn't interest me enough to want to check it out.
Whitney. The title character looks completely unappealing and not at all funny.

That's my agenda so far! My TiVo is bursting and there's even more stuff coming down the pike in October. Man, I love fall.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Ad is Tantalizing, But Not in the Way You Think

The new ad for K-Y Intense lubricant, which began running yesterday (but had thousands of hits on YouTube beforehand), features a lesbian couple. I love this ad. I really, really love this ad. And I love it because it's nothing special - it's an ad that features a regular old couple, in unglamorous PJs, who need some help in the bedroom just like millions of other people. They just happen to be two women. And I love that it's unambiguous - they're not thinly veiled "roommates" or "friends," it's clear that they're a couple.

The lack of ambiguity is key. Homosexuality is so touchy for some that ambiguity would put people off in the same way overt displays of homosexuality would. Remember this Budweiser ad? There was an "are they or aren't they" question about the two men featured (my opinion: who cares?), and even the suggestion that they might be gay was enough to turn people off. Budweiser has a very "bro" reputation, and people though a gay couple was at odds with the brand's identity. (That's a polite way of saying that there was a distinct "Gays? Drinking the beer I drink? Eww!" outcry.) So this "in for a penny, in for a pound" approach is completely refreshing to me - if people are going to be grossed out by homosexuality, it doesn't matter how brazenly it's depicted, so K-Y may as well go all in.

And I love that K-Y's approach to the stir the ad has created is basically "Yeah, and?" They've long been supporters of LGBT causes and issues, and they're just continuing that tradition. This has created major buzz for the product and for the brand, but it doesn't feel like K-Y set out to shock anyone. I don't doubt that they knew the ad would be controversial; they live in the world, after all. But it doesn't feel like a publicity stunt at all. K-Y and its parent company, McNeil, come across as very secure as their position that this is an ad they created, that they meant to create, that it's NOT meant to stir up drama, and it's not going anywhere. Well done, K-Y. Well done.