Nick and Disney and the Mostly Bummer Summer Thus Far

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Well, it was bound to happen.

 

Just it wasn’t expected to be this soon however.

 

“Sam & Cat” is officially dead.

 

I wasn’t really surprised that this happened, but given the facts it is pretty easy to understand why.

 

Many of the problems as far as I can tell revolved around actress Jennette McCurdy.  Between the racy lingerie pics to her not showing up for the Kids Choice Awards earlier this year, it was apparent, she was not happy.

 

In the last week or so, she has even written that she is “not a role model” and that she thought the real reason for the show’s cancellation was that she was not happy how adults were portrayed on the show, mostly as stupid people.

 

As if this was really the case that caused the show to be cancelled.

 

I believe that between her costar Arianna Grande’s music career taking off and Jennette’s career otherwise being stagnant, Jennette felt she was going nowhere fast.  While I can understand her pain, it certainly was not a great idea to sabotage the show like she did.

 

My thought is that Jennette wants to get out of working for Nickelodeon once and for all and possibly even out of kids shows as well.

 

So what does she think her future lie?  Here are my ideas (in order from best to worst):

 

  • Bring back her country music career. She has already released one EP last year.  Maybe it is time to get to the studio to start recording again.
  • Get a new show on a non-kid’s network possibly like ABC Family. She really is not standard network material yet.
  • Follow in the career path of people like Lindsay Lohan by doing a Playboy and adult films like “The Canyons”. She has already proven she has a body and likes to show it off so maybe this is what she really wants to inspire to do.  Of course, this only works if she goes on drugs and starts drinking and partying.  Certainly, not the ideal career choice if she wants to have any fans left.

 

Beyond Jennette’s problems, this show was full of problems of having lousy storylines and a couple of stunt castings.  It also had many jokes that would go over the heads of most of their audience only to be appreciated by older viewers.

 

The blame for that lies strictly on creator Dan Schneider, who seems to be in burnout mode as his latest creation of “Henry Danger” was not so great.  It was a lousy superhero movie (it was less than an hour, which I don’t call a movie, by the way) that lacked anything close to being either funny or dangerous.  This show reminded me of the 1960’s Batman series, just not nearly as entertaining and certainly not memorable.  My grade after the premiere episode is a 2.  I will report back later if I feel if it gets better or worse.

 

Speaking of movies, both Disney and Nickelodeon aired lousy movies in the last few weeks.  “Zapped” (Disney)  and “Terry the Tomboy” (Nickelodeon)  were both forgettable movies and both were pretty bad.  Both were 90 minutes of torture and neither was enjoyable.  My score on both is a 3 and I would rather watch anything for 90 minutes than either of these clunkers.

 

All has not been totally bad this summer on the kids show front.

 

There is one shining knight in a sea of junk.

 

And that shining light is “Boy Meets World—The Next Generation”.

 

Oops, that is not the title.  Its real title is “Girl Meets World” and it has joined the Disney Channel lineup.

 

For those people who loved the show in the 1990’s with Cory and Topanga will be happy that they are happily married with 2 kids.  This new series focuses upon their daughter and her best friend and their everyday struggles just like the original series did 20 years ago.  I loved the original and I love this new series as well.  The only downside to this series is that it is running on Disney Channel and may get an early end given that Disney has a policy of cancelling shows when they reach a certain number of episodes regardless of how well the show is doing.

 

My suggestion would be to move this show to its sister station of ABC and put it on Friday nights just like the original show was.  The memories that this placement would create and possibly even last longer than the original.  I highly recommend this show and give it a grade of 9.

 

Overall, we have one more official month of summer and only one winner in a crowded field of wannabes.  This week Nickelodeon is running a new live-action “Odd Family” movie.  My hope is that it is equal to the previous one and not be more summer garbage.

 

My fingers are crossed for a better August. Of course, we always have the fall to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colbert and Kid’s Choice Awards

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If you have been living under a rock, then the news that Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman next year may be a shock.

 

Not that I meant that to be a purposeful rhyme, but I don’t believe that Colbert was the best choice for the next in line for the 11:30pm time slot on CBS.  I feel that the choice was put forth by pressure of what the general public had wanted and not a true audition.

 

It was easy for CBS to pick Colbert because his show runs on Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom.  This is the same company that used to own CBS therefore it was probably an even easier decision as the two companies are probably still cozy with each other.

 

As I have never watched Colbert’s show, I can’t say how good he will be, but from the clips I have seen I have low expectations.  I will probably watch once and never go back.

 

Speaking of Viacom, a couple of weeks ago, one of its other channels, Nickelodeon aired its annual slop-fest of ‘Kid’s Choice Awards”.  Every year, it seems that this show gets worse and worse.

 

This year was no different.  Host Mark Wahlberg ran around the stage saying “I can’t be slimed” and in the end does get it.  Gee, what a surprise.  When will they think up something new?  The host always gets the green goo on them at the end of the show.  How about a year where it doesn’t happen?

 

The only high point (if you can call it that) was the lifetime achievement award given to producer Dan Schneider.  If you don’t know who he is, he created shows such as “iCarly”, “Victorious”, “Drake and Josh”, “Zoey 101” among others.  The stage became the biggest reunion of his shows ever assembled.  However, it seemed that the “Zoey 101” cast was missing from this reunion.

 

Most importantly missing from this whole thing was Jennette McCurdy from “Sam & Cat”.  While this show won fan favorite, Jennette was a no-show.  Is she angry with the network that her show is on hiatus or does it have to do with the leaked lingerie photos of her that occurred a couple of months ago?  While the pics were not nudes, they still showed her in a less than kid-friendly wardrobe.   Maybe she is embarrassed or maybe fed up with Nickelodeon entirely.  Either way, we will probably never know for a long time if ever.  Overall, the show was bad and maybe Jennette knew it beforehand.

 

Frankly, I would love to see Colbert host the Kid’s Choice Awards only to get slimed.  It may change his mind of hosting another late night talk show.  Maybe, Jennette can host the late night show instead.

 

Just a thought.

 

2013 and 2014 Predictions

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For those of you who don’t read my other blog, I make annual predictions of what I expect for the New Year.  This year I am moving my predictions to this blog as I feel it is much more appropriate here.

 

Let’s see how last year fared:

  • JCPenney will be out of business by year’s end.  The revamped store format just won’t work  (this didn’t happen yet)
  • Sears will spin off Kmart to survive on its own.  It won’t work and Kmart will inevitably die off.  (didn’t happen despite closing several Kmart stores including the one I have previously shopped at in Portsmouth, NH)
  • Another mass shooting brings the U.S. government to ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons no matter what the NRA says. (shootings happened, but no ban)
  • Chicago murders will top 750 by year’s end.  (nowhere near that number which is good news)
  • Kim Kardashian aborts her baby after public break-up with Kanye West much against her family’s wishes. (didn’t happen)
  • Ali Lohan, Lindsay’s younger sister, will join her older sister for a Playboy layout. (didn’t happen, but Lindsay did appear nude in an NC-17 film)
  • A major earthquake will strike in Alaska disrupting the oil pipeline in the area.  It will be disrupted for at least 4 weeks and gas will go up to at least $4/gallon again. (earthquake never happened)
  • Simon Cowell calls Demi Lovato his “new Paula” as he decides to keep her for another season of “X Factor”.  Unfortunately, Mario Lopez will be running solo as another Kardashian sees herself out of a job.  (mostly correct, but Lovato is gone for the 4th season)
  •  “American Idol” will have a female winner for the first time in a few years.  However, the drama between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey increases as the weeks go on causing both to storm off the show for at least 2 episodes.  Replacement judges are called in to fill in until the two return.  (female winner yes, however the fireworks kept both on the show)
  • Beyoncé will have a wardrobe malfunction on the Super Bowl.  However, she won’t even realize it happened.  (no wardrobe malfunction, but we question whether she performed her songs live)
  • Nickelodeon cancels Big Time Rush, but the show is picked up by Disney Channel for a fall schedule addition.  (cancelled and broken up – no future for any show)
  • Hilary and Haylie Duff will return for a TV movie in 2013.  More than likely to air on ABC Family channel(Haylie had a Christmas movie, but Hilary nowhere to be found)
  • And finally my former want-to-be girlfriend Tanya will return to Maine wanting to get a real relationship going after her stint in California didn’t quite work out  not calling her because I misplaced her phone number.  (I will have more to say about this in my other blog at a future date—all I can say is that it didn’t end the way I ever thought it would)

Overall, I did better than last year.  I got 2 ½ correct.  Let’s see what the crystal ball has up its sleeve for this year.

  • Justin Bieber will go to jail.
  • Kim Kardashian will admit that “Baby North” really never existed and that her pregnancy was fake.
  • Kim Kardashian will marry and divorce Kanye West all within the year.
  • RadioShack will be out of business.
  • JCPenney will be out of business.
  • Kmart will be out of business.
  • Amanda Bynes returns to TV in a new comedy show, but will also do an interview with Oprah describing the last few years.
  • Time Warner Cable will be sold and broken up into pieces leaving smaller markets such as where I live without any providers at all.  This means that many small independent cable operators will start up after many years.
  • Lady Gaga will do a Playboy layout proving that he/she is dual gendered leaving many fans disgusted.
  • Nickelodeon will scrap “Sam & Cat” and Dan Schneider will leave the network and produce shows for rival Disney.
  • Hilary Duff will divorce and sister Haylie will marry.
  • ABCFamily cancels that horrible “The Vineyard” and “Twisted”.
  • Fox News fires Karl Rove after making offensive statements that the network hates.

I predict out of this year’s 13 that at least 3 of them will be true.  We will find out a year from now.

 

 

Stunt Casting Reunion on “Sam & Cat”

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At some point, it had to happen: a Laverne and Shirley reunion with Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams.

 

However, this was not the venue I was expecting.

 

It happened on the Nickelodeon show “Sam & Cat”.

 

For those who don’t know what “Laverne & Shirley” is, it was a one of many spinoffs from the show “Happy Days”.  It aired from the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s.  For the most part, it was an entertaining show.

 

This reunion was anything short of being entertaining.  While this episode titled “#SalmonCat” did pay kudos to the old series such as having Sam & Cat recreate in part the original opening, it was only the very beginning of that opening.  It would have been better to do a full opening rather than this lame partial opening.

 

As far as what “SalmonCat” was, it was half-cat, half-salmon puppet show hosted by Marshall and Williams.  Eventually they broke up and went their separate ways.  “SalmonCat” is also a wild reference to Williams’ Shirley character owning a stuffed cat named “Boo Boo Kitty”.

 

This is where Sam & Cat came in.  Sam went to visit Marshall’s character and Cat went to visit Williams’s character.  Sam & Cat then hatched a plan to reunite the two stars, but it quickly turns into an old lady slow motion smack down fight.

 

The two end up injuring each other, but somehow become friends again.

 

Overall, the one who got hurt the most from this reunion was the viewer as this was about as pathetic as they come.  Under the right conditions, this could have been really great, not Saturday Night Fights.

 

My Score:  5

 

Summary:  This show continues with highs and lows, but this episode hits a new low with an audience that probably doesn’t know who “Laverne & Shirley” was.  This episode is for only those over 35, others need not apply.  Someday, we will have a better reunion, I hope.

 

 

 

 

2 Shows From Nick Castmates

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The drought of the Dan Schneider era is over.  We finally have “Sam & Cat”, but was it worth the wait?  This show airs Saturday nights on Nickelodeon.

 

This show is double-edged spinoff of “iCarly” and “Victorious”.  Both shows ended last year with “iCarly” getting a real series finale and “Victorious” getting kicked to the curb leaving viewers hanging.

 

This story sort of takes place a couple of months after “iCarly” had ended because we see Sam (Jennette McCurdy) traveling on her motorcycle in the Los Angeles area.  Apparently she rode from Seattle to L.A. for a new life.  Of course, she really hasn’t even graduated high school yet given where the story should be at.  While in L.A. and getting a snack at food truck, she sees Cat (Ariana Grande) rescue an animal from a garbage can.  A garbage truck comes along while Cat is in the can and dumps her and its load into the truck.  Sam chases after the truck, jumps in to rescue Cat and thereby begins their new life together.

 

Further along in this pilot episode, the girls decide that they will roommate together and start a babysitting service.  They decide to do this after their daylong adventure with e kids they had taken care of.  Along the way in this episode, we meet Cat’s grandmother who Sam promptly puts into a senior living center leaving the girls to live in the grandmother’s house alone.

 

This pretty much sums up the story without giving away the whole thing.  However, honestly, after waiting for this show I was expecting more, a lot more.

 

I can’t really blame producer Dan Schneider for this show.  After all, most of his shows he produced in the past such as “Zoey 101”, “Drake and Josh” along with the ones previously mentioned started out slowly, very slowly.  In fact, most of his pilot episodes could be considered bad if not downright terrible.  Usually after the first couple of episodes the shows do improve significantly, but we have to get over the freshman slump of the series.

 

However the show could use some real tweaking now.  Here is what I would do to make it better:

 

  • Get rid of the babysitting idea.  Sadly, Dan Schneider is outside his comfort zone with this one as babysitting is already dominant on other horrible shows like “Baby Daddy”.
  • Have the characters go to school.  Both Sam and Cat are high-school age anyway so show them in that environment.  It has been the center of virtually all other of Dan Schneider’s shows so why change now?  Certainly it would be nice to see Hollywood Arts from “Victorious” in this show.
  • Bring in old cast members to fill in a much needed cast for this show.  There are several actors from the old shows that are probably unemployed right now looking for a new gig.  What a perfect idea for them to show up here?
  • Add an intelligent adult.  Missing and needed is someone mature who can lead the two girls into something meaningful in life.

 

With the above mentioned suggestions, this show could be a hit.  However right now, this show is barely passable, but I will give it a chance.

 

One the other hand, I cannot say the same for the show “Twisted” airing on ABC Family.

 

Avan Jogia , also of the show “Victorious”, stars as the troubled teen who returns to his old neighborhood after years from being away for committing a murder when he was 11.  Apparently, he murdered his aunt with a jump rope or something to that extent.  His mother is played by the seemingly misplaced Denise Richards.

 

Unfortunately this entire cast seems much displaced as this seems like a tired old storyline idea with nothing new going for it.  What’s worse is that Avan keeps looking over to the side as if he is reading off a cue card just out of camera view.  He also did this on “Victorious” as well, but it wasn’t so noticeable then.  Sadly, he reads his lines with no emotion and seemingly like it is his first time even reading them.  This became annoying to the point that it was almost funny.

 

If this was a comedy, I would say great idea.  Unfortunately, this is another wishy-washy forgettable drama like “Huge” and “Jane by Design” was.  Since it is airing during the summer, we can only hope that this show never returns after its run.  It is that bad.

 

Summary and scores:

 

“Sam & Cat”:

 

Worth a try and may become another Dan Schneider hit.

My Score:  7

 

“Twisted”:

 

Maybe good to see how acting should not be done, but otherwise this show is a disaster.

My Score:  1