Monthly Archives: May 2014

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl

enhanced-30974-1399601497-18The entertainment world has been abuzz lately with the constant influx of information from the networks about their decisions for the upcoming season. The renewals and cancellations of already on-the-air shows have already been announced, but with those decisions also come the decisions for the networks’ future programs, all 50 of them.

The biggest shocker is the absence of a certain title on CBS’ list: How I Met Your Dad. It was announced Wednesday the spinoff of How I Met Your Mother “didn’t work out” for the network. It was probably one of the most anticipated shows for the fall, and it’s not even being picked up.

“We have an extraordinary track record of retooling shows,” said CBS chief Nina Tassler, referring to The Big Bang Theory, which originally featured two female leads. “We tried to reach out and engage them about redoing the pilot, but that it’s just not happening. You run into these kinds of issues. You hope they can resolve themselves. They haven’t. … I’m heartsick. It wasn’t what they wanted to do.”

I had more doubts about the reboot than hopes, but I was at least looking forward to seeing a finished product and critiquing it. This news doesn’t mean the show is canned for good. There is always the possibility it will be tweaked and presented to the network, or a different one, again. FX Networks does have syndication rights for the original. But who knows? At least HIMYM’s memory can live on for at least a year in peace — or however you feel after that terrible finale.

CBS has only ordered two new comedies this season: The Odd Couple featuring Matthew Perry and The McCarthys featuring Laurie Metcalf. Here’s hoping The Odd Couple reboot will work better for Perry than Go On. The rest of the new CBS shows don’t seem too appealing. There’s another CSI and NCIS spinoff and two more dramas about law enforcement. The only thing I have to look forward on the CBS side is Madam Secretary because Broadway favorite Patina Miller and also Bebe Neuwirth are in it.

On the other hand, ABC has at least one show in particular that I’m highly anticipating: Shonda Rhimes’ How To Get Away With Murder, starring Viola Davis and Dean Thomas Alfie Enoch. Personal favorite Davis stars as a professor whose Criminology 101 lessons may prove useful in hers and her students’ real lives. Watch the amazing trailer here. Thursday will be “ShondaNight,” according to Buzzfeed, as all three of Rhimes’ shows will air back-to-back. It’s sure to be an anxiety provoking evening.

There are also other dramas to keep an eye out for: Secrets and Lies starring Ryan Phillippe (held for midseason), Forever starring Ioan Gruffudd, and American Crime (held for midseason). Marvel’s Agent Carter is sure to garner up some attention, though I could do without another Marvel element in my life. And I have to mention the return of Doctor Who alum Karen Gillan to the small screen in ABC’s comedy Selfie, a revamp of My Fair Lady. I will give this show credit for creatively reimagining a classic, but I’m not sure how successful this will be. I love Gillan; I really do, but I have my doubts about that trailer.

A to ZOver at NBC, there’s another personal favorite making me excited for the fall season: Crisitin Milioti. The Mother is starring in the Rashida Jones produced comedy A to Z, which is all about love and relationships. I doubt nothing the phenomenal Milioti does, so I’m super excited to see her shine on my screen yet again. It feels like HIMYM but this time Ted is played by Ben Feldman. Other favorite Casey Wilson is also returning with Marry Me, whose trailer is like that of many comedies’ trailers: probably not the best insight as to whether or not you should watch it. I know I’m going to give it a shot. However, I’m actually hesitant about Tina Fey’s new show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper. Kemper stars as Kimmy who has to start her life over in NYC after escaping from a cult. It seems a little too ridiculous but with the comic genius of Fey behind it, I’m sure I’ll give it a try.

Fox has also managed to pick up a show or two that peaked my interests, whether they be good or bad. The anticipated Gotham will premiere in the fall and star Benjamin McKenzie as a young Detective Gordon who has to handle a pre-Batman Gotham. Finally, we might have a superhero TV show that will actually deliver. Another DC hero will be on the small screen this fall as well: The CW is airing The Flash in the fall. I’m not a fan of CW shows, and I think even a Batman-less Gotham will be more interesting than following a guy who can run fast.

Another Doctor Who alum is also making his way over to the American TV business: David Tennant is rebooting his role on the BBC’s Broadchurch in the American version called Gracepoint. I binged and LOVED the BBC crime drama about the tragic death of a young boy in a small town. However, I’m pretty sure the American version will get nowhere near the emotional depths the BBC version triumphed. Many times, translating British shows to the American audience does not work, and I’m certain this will be another example. Tennant’s American accent makes him less brooding. For me, all I did the entire time as I watched the trailer was compare the American actors to the British cast, and it’s in the Brits’ favor.

Also notable is Mulaney, focusing on SNL alum John Mulaney as he attempts to take his comedy career to a new level. Why is this worth mentioning? Because it’s an NBC show on Fox. This show stars a Saturday Night Live alum, and Lorne Michaels has a hand it along with several 30 Rock people. Typically, SNL alum take their shows to NBC, see 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. I’m interested that it’s on a different network and curious if any talks had happened between Mulaney and NBC. It also seems very Seinfeld-esque, so that only furthers my argument.

Fox’s Empire also seems worth checking out. Buzzfeed described it as “Nashville for the rap world,” and it stars the amazing Taraji P. Henson so I could definitely see thing garnering up its own Nashville-like cult fandom.

Here is a full list of all the new pickups for each network. Click the network name for a list with a description of each show, and also check out TV Line‘s listing here:

American Crime
The Astronaut Wives Club
Black-Ish — Laurence Fishburne, please just stick with Hannibal
The Club
Cristela — a comedy about Mexican Americans. George Lopez tired me out on that idea. No thanks.
Fresh Off the Boat — Danny Chung from Veep? No thanks
Galavant — looks terrible
How to Get Away with Murder
Manhattan Love Story
Marvel’s Agent Carter
Members Only
Secrets and Lies
The Whispers

Battle Creek
CSI: Cyber
Madam Secretary
The McCarthys
NCIS: New Orleans — do we really need another NCIS?
The Odd Couple

Bordertown — it’s an animated comedy that isn’t The Simpsons or from Seth MacFarlane, so it’s a jump for the network
Last Man on Earth
Red Band Society
Wayward Pines
Weird Loners

A to Z
Aquarius — This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius! Just kidding, it’s not Hair
Bad Judge
Emerald City — another twist on The Wizard of Oz. My obsession for that film is making me want to watch
Heroes Reborn
Marry Me
Mission Control — I’ll be keeping my eye out for this
Mr. Robinson
The Mysteries of Laura — two thumbs down to Debra Messing’s other return to NBC
One Big Happy
State of Affairs
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The CW
The Flash
Jane the Virgin
The Messengers


By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl    
Rating: 2.5/ 5    

TURBP_Stills_(8)The worst season so far in Glee’s career finally came to an end tonight. Up until the end, it felt more like a regular episode than a season finale, but how much can you expect from a season that gave you an episode about twerking and a Lady Gaga versus Katy Perry battle?

First, it’s important to note a key piece that was missing from the episode: Naya Rivera. Rumors have been circulating about a feud between Rivera and Lea Michele and about Rivera being fired. While none of that might be true — but it probably is, let’s be honest — it is true that Rivera was cut out and written out of the finale. Her reps and Glee say she isn’t fired yet, but I’m guessing that announcement will be coming soon. So for tonight’s purposes, Santana (Rivera) is in Iowa filming a new Yeast-I-Stat commercial.

Yet, Brittany (Heather Morris) still came back. Do you mean to tell me that before coming to visit her girlfriend in New York, Brittany didn’t check to see if Santana was even in town? What else are they supposed to do to cover up whatever drama is happening behind the scenes, but seriously it was such a noticeable hole. But props for them acknowledging Santana’s absence unlike what they did for Cory Monteith’s absence in the last two episodes of season four when they simply never mentioned Finn.

The Klainers had a rollercoaster of emotions tonight as things went from bad to worse to great. Blaine (Darren Criss) was unable to convince June (Shirely MacLaine) to allow Kurt (Chris Colfer) to perform in his showcase, so naturally he sings “All of Me” alone at the piano. This was the worst usage of this song! This is a beautiful love song that should be set to a cute montage or sang to someone and not just thrown in to cover up the lost time that was created from cutting Santana out. Also, Criss’ vocals just weren’t there for me. I felt no emotion.

Speaking of that, Blaine finally told Kurt the truth about the showcase. Kurt is so mad he smacks the packed lunch he brought to share with Blaine off the piano. Gasp! Maybe those who actually are still invested in the show and actually believe it’s a decent program found that to be good drama between lovers. I, on the other hand, found it as one of the same old cogs in the same old mechanism the show has been using with this couple for years. They talk about how much they are in love with each other, but I don’t see or feel the love. Anymore, Kurt seems in such a stasis around Blaine while Blaine does puppy dog eyes at him. They need a new dynamic that proves to me they are in love. I just don’t see any chemistry anymore. I think there’s equal blame on both the actors and the writers for just assuming the audience is naturally in love with this pair and that they’re the OTP. Reality check, they’re not.

birdsAfter a weirdly long metaphor about birds, Kurt says he will choose to trust Blaine. Oh, well that’s good that you trust your fiancé. Glad it only took you a year. Seriously, how are we supposed to believe these two want to get married when they are only conquering the basic steps of a relationship? They are supposed to be much further developed than what the writers are displaying.

At the showcase, Blaine and June sing “No Time At All” and blow me away. It was the best performance of the night. They have adorable chemistry and I think their voices mesh really well together. After, Blaine announces the lesson he learned that “talent is nothing without passion,” and he is most passionate about Kurt so he calls him on stage to duet with him to “American Boy.” I definitely identified with MacLaine in this scene. At first, I was very hesitant about this song choice and this duet, and then it won me over. Also, go back and re-watch the end of the number when MacLaine side steps her way into the gang’s dance. God, I love her and the divas.

Though that relationship is sustained, another pair wasn’t so lucky. Sam’s (Chord Overstreet) and Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) careers are pulling them different ways. First, let’s talk about the original song in tonight’s episode. As a part of her new mall tour — do they really still do those? — Mercedes sang “Shakin’ My Head,” Glee’s wannabe “Whip My Hair”-esque single. I was not a fan. I loved seeing Heather Morris dance once again and Kurt’s head bobbing was fantastic, but those were the only good parts of the scene.

Meanwhile, Sam sang “Girls on Film” as dozens of girls climbed all over him during his photo shoot. Sam’s entire storyline tonight revolves around his troubles with his abstinence pledge, with the shoot being an all too obvious way to highlight that. Everyone in the gang thinks the two should break up, worrying that Sam won’t be able to stay loyal while Mercedes is on the road.

It all comes to a head when the flirty photographer (Beau Garrett) from the first shoot calls him back for another. Proving she is just a model and not an actress, Garrett attempts to seduce Sam, who’s all blocked up from his pledge. The two kiss. We think they did more but, Sam confesses he cried after and ran away. However, Samcedes break up in order to for their love to survive, otherwise Sam would just resent Mercedes for making him wait. Riley’s performance was great in this scene, but I was disappointed with Overstreet’s blank-face performance. Way to really show this relationship was real.

The title of the episode, “The Untitled Rachel Berry Project,” obviously falls in Rachel’s (Michele) storyline about getting a pilot written around her for Fox. In a very meta moment, Rachel explains her plan that while she may anger Sidney now, she can come back to Broadway after TV. The network sends “genius” writer Mary Halloran (Kristen Schaal) to hang around Rachel & Co. Unfortunately, Mary is crazy. Even worse, it’s a stereotypical wacky instead of a funny cuckoo.

URBPThe first draft doesn’t go over so well when it places Rachel in situations where she is eating a cake in the bathtub lamenting about her two gay dads or at an impromptu coffee rave in the apartment. It might be a terrible rough draft for Rachel, but for me, it was the best scene of the episode. There are certain moments where I can definitely see more Lea Michele in a scene than Rachel Berry, and I don’t mind it. That bathtub scene with Kurt in a dinosaur costume made me laugh for the first time tonight, and this show is slotted as a comedy.

To get her more in her direction, Rachel takes Mary to the Spotlight Diner and explains her ideas through song by singing “Glitter in the Air.” This does the trick and Mary does a rewrite that is more truthful to Rachel.

They all run outside when Sam sees his picture on the side of the bus. He finally fulfilled his dream, and he’s going to go out on top. He declares he’s going to quit modeling and go back home, especially because everyone else seems to be scattering. Thus, the monologues about friendship and nonsense take place and it ends in a promise to meet up in six months. And finally, the worst transition into a closing number that I have ever heard: While in a group hug, Kurt proclaims, “I would kill to break out in song right now.” And they do. Dancing down the street, they all sing “Pompeii.”

On the surface, it’s your typical big closing number: Big choreography through a big set, montages, etc. But a closer look reveals how good of an ending it is to the show’s old archetype. A line of original cast members dance down the street before they all part ways. It’s one last glimpse of what we are used to seeing each week before next season when apparently everything changes. We see Blaine move in with Kurt and Rachel, Artie at film school — seriously, can he please be gone for season six? This is the only thing going for him — and Sam back in McKinley, looking into what used to be the choir room and is now a computer lab. We see one last view of the room we used to frequent and realize it’s not the same anymore, just like the show isn’t the same anymore. That Glee is gone. This is especially noted when Rachel gets the call that the network has picked up her show; she’s moving to Los Angeles. Thus, the song ends with Rachel amid a sea of extras. She sings the last chorus before glancing up at the camera and walking off-screen.



Let’s look at the last lines of the song: “How am I going to be an optimist about this?/ If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?” This is what Rachel sings before she look at the camera. I’d like to think the writers were brilliant enough to purposefully do this or maybe they just wanted to go with a Top 10 song again, but that’s a great parallel to the end of this season. The show has undergone an enormous amount of change in this season with the loss of Monteith and McKinley High School. Everything in this show is different, but if you close your eyes, isn’t this the same show? Technically, no. However, I like the beauty of that last shot. It’s a lyrical throwback to the beginning.

According to a Q-and-A with press, Ryan Murphy revealed the final season will NOT be New York-centric but will be “a lovely, fitting season that dwells on the original people on the show and what happens to them and how they give back. … It’s a really interesting, very sweet, satisfying ending to the story.” It also includes a time jump, something I suggested for season five. It will be a waiting game, especially since Fox’s new schedule revealed Glee won’t be back until 2015. Here’s hoping the extra time will actually allow them to write the show off well. It’s unknown for now how many episodes it will get, but let’s pray it’s closer to the 13 end of the scale than the 22 end. There’s no way the final season would work if it is stretched that long.

I’m not even sure what I’m looking for in the final season. The show will never be as good as it used to be, but I guess I’m hoping they can play these characters off with justice.

What did you think of the season finale? What do you want to see in season six? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl

NBC-Hannibal-About-Cast-1920x1080UPDATE: Announcements are coming out by the second so look for the updates throughout the post!!

I have anxiously been awaiting the news of this year’s renewals and cancellations for weeks. A few of my favorite shows were on the line and I was also curious about how some newcomers would do in garnering a sophomore season. There are some surprises and some actually rational decisions. Freshmen comedies did not fare well.

The announcement I was mostly interested in was the fate of NBC’s Hannibal. Bryan Fuller’s psychological thriller is absolutely spectacular with its rich visual images, biting dialogue (pun intended) and simply scary as hell storytelling. It’s a cult favorite, but it doesn’t do well with ratings with its Friday night slot. Thus, I worried myself silly. Luckily, as I was writing this post, it was announced the Peacock network was going to renew my beloved horror, and I am ecstatic. This was the one show I was really counting on, and it all worked out! Yay Fannibals!

Continuing with NBC, there isn’t as much surprising news. Freshman series The Blacklist‘s renewal was announced ages ago while we also already knew of the demise of The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World — good riddance. However, there are still a few series left up in the air. With the renewal of Hannibal, it’s hard to tell if Dracula will get another season. Crisis and Believe are both believed (pun unintended) to be facing cancellation since their drop from the final Sunday of May Sweeps. We’ll just have to wait and see, though I don’t think anyone would really be all that upset if they were axed. Meanwhile, Nashville awaits its fate. UPDATE: CrisisBelieve and Revolution have been canceled. UPDATE: One of the most highly anticipated reveals was the fate of beloved comedy Community, and now we know we won’t meet up with the Greendale gang next season. The show has been struggling with ratings essentially since the beginning but many hoped the return of creator Dan Harmon could save the show. Unfortunately, it didn’t. UPDATE: Nashville has been renewed for a third season. According to Deadline, the delay was caused by conflict over the tax breaks the show would receive in its third season because it films in Nashville. Rest assured, it will be back with a full 22 episode season. UPDATE: NBC has canceled the Jonathan Rhys Meyers thriller Dracula, making Parenthood the last show on the bubble.

UPDATE: The Peacock network has renewed both Parenthood and Parks and Recreation, but with a catch: the upcoming season will be both shows’ last. Parenthood‘s final season will also only consist of 13 episodes, but looking at the show’s track record, this isn’t that uncommon. The drama has done a roller coaster each season with gaining and losing episodes while technically only have two full season orders. According to Entertainment Weekly, NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said Parks and Recreation would be held for midseason. Executive producer Michael Schur has made it known that he thought the show was fairly likely to wrap up with a seventh season, especially after that time-jumping monumental season finale. I can’t really comment on the fate of Parenthood but I will say that I think a seventh and final season would be a great way to end Parks and Recreation. That finale was great in the sense that it will let us see into the future of the crazy characters we’ve come to love so dearly. The show has grown so much and I think it would be a pitiful end if we never got to see the characters truly grow up as well. I’m excited to see what will happen in Pawnee.

CBS renewed some 20 shows including hits The Big Bang TheoryNCISThe Good Wife and 2 Broke Girls. Along with the well-established shows, new comedies Mom and The Millers got the greenlight for another season. Though I like Mom significantly more than The Millers, both are strong comedies that definitely deserve the renewals. Sadly, other freshman comedy The Crazy Ones is still very much in limbo. Of all the new shows of this season, The Crazy Ones was my favorite; it’s a great comedy with a hilarious cast that delivers each week. Here’s hoping I will get to watch it next season!

BnSyd9uCYAAy0X_UPDATE: CBS just made it interesting. After what seemed like it was only renewing all of its shows, the network revealed Saturday its decision to cancel five shows and renew one. Surprisingly, The Mentalist will return. This was the one show I was sure would be canceled on CBS. However, others weren’t as lucky. Midseason comedy launches Friends with Better Lives and Bad Teacher have been axed. James Van Der Beek just can’t catch a break. And for the most devastating news, CBS canceled personal freshman favorite The Crazy Ones. This was the best comedy of the season. The entire cast was hilarious and the chemistry was amazing. Sure, Robin Williams was Robin Williams, but that’s why he’s successful. It’s also quite unfair to compare Sarah Michelle Gellar’s role as Sydney to her famed breakout role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were completely different and were never trying to say the same thing. Just because her character now wasn’t as strong as Buffy didn’t mean it wasn’t good in its own sense. I’m very surprised at this cancellation. I had always heard it was doing very well in the ratings, especially since it garnered the most views of all the pilots this season. Go figure. I’m just hoping Amanda Setton goes on to do more because she had me laughing more than anyone. Also, I’ll really miss seeing the hunky James Wolk each week. Most of all, I’ll just miss Lewis, Roberts + Roberts.

And now the shakeups with Fox and ABC.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the only freshmen comedy that is staying on Fox. RakeSurviving Jack and Enlisted have all been canceled. I’ve heard Enlisted had a lot of potential, but I’m thinking its Friday night slot wasn’t helping with its ratings issue. Why don’t we give shows a chance? Why would you immediately put a show in a slot that will most likely kill it? Sadly, Raising Hope was also canceled. I wasn’t able to keep up with it, but I loved that show. The cast was hilarious and each week made me laugh. Instead, the network keeps shows like Glee. Riddle me that. But thankfully, new Seth MacFarlane comedy Dads has been canceled. I was instantly put off by the pilot and never gave it a second look, so it certainly deserves this fate. I’m hoping The X Factor‘s cancellation will soon lead to the demise of American Idol, which should have been done after its sixth season. Seriously, has anyone actually found success after winning that show anymore? Of the 12 winner so far, I can name five who have actually done something. Favorites The Mindy ProjectNew GirlThe Following and Sleepy Hollow will all also enjoy another season. Also, thank you Fox for not making us wait on the fate of some shows. It, along with The CW, is the only network to give all the details.

ABC is certainly mixing up its lineup as it has half renewals and half cancellations/ unknowns as of now. Obvious choices Modern FamilyScandal and Shark Tank have been renewed, but there are still a ton of shows waiting. Surprisingly, Nashville is one of them. I don’t watch the show, but I know it has a rather large fan base, so I’m curious as to what is making them wait to announce their decision. On the other hand, we already knew about the cancellation of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and there’s no shocker there. The original OUAT is enough and wearing thin in its own sense; we don’t need a carbon copy. Recently, ABC announced comedies Trophy WifeMixology and The Neighbors were canceled. I never gave Mixology a shot and thought The Neighbors was atrocious, but Trophy Wife was actually funny. It was the one ABC comedy pilot I truly enjoyed. In a way, it was Modern Family but different. Hence, it definitely should have aired after the comedy champion on Wednesday instead of on Tuesday. Put your best new comedy after your reigning best; it’s more likely to survive. Again, gives these new shows a chance! UPDATE: Suburgatory and Super Fun Night have been canceled. UPDATE: Not all of the ABC comedies have been given the ax. Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing has been renewed for a fourth season.

Total cancellations by network: ABC: 8, CBS: 5, Fox: 7, NBC: 8 and The CW: 3.

Here is a full list of the renewals and cancellations on the networks (updated as news is released):

The Bachelor: Renewed
Castle: Renewed
Dancing with the Stars: Renewed
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Renewed
The Goldbergs: Renewed
Trophy Wife: Canceled
The Middle: Renewed
Suburgatory: Canceled
Super Fun Night: Canceled
Grey’s Anatomy: Renewed
Modern Family: Shocker, it’s renewed
Scandal: Renewed
Nashville: Renewed
Revenge: Renewed
Last Man Standing: Renewed
The Neighbors: Canceled
Shark Tank: Renewed
Once Upon a Time: Renewed
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Unsurprisingly, canceled
Betrayal: Canceled
Resurrection: Renewed
Mind Games: Canceled
Mixology: Canceled

How I Met Your Mother: Finished
2 Broke Girls: Renewed
Mike & Molly: Renewed
Mom: Renewed
Hostages: Canceled because no one will miss it
NCIS: Renewed
NICS: LA: Renewed
Person of Interest: Renewed
Elementary: Renewed
Survivor: Renewed
Criminal Minds: Renewed
CSI: Renewed
The Big Bang Theory: One of the most successful network comedies has of course been renewed
The Millers: Renewed
The Crazy Ones: The most unfortunate news: canceled
Two and a Half Men: Somehow, it was renewed
Hawaii Five-O: Wait this is still on? Renewed
Blue Bloods: Renewed
The Amazing Race: Renewed
The Good Wife: Renewed
The Mentalist: Renewed
Intelligence: Canceled
Friends With Better Lives: Canceled
Bad Teacher: Canceled

Sleepy Hollow: Renewed
Bones: Renewed
Glee: Renewed
The Simpsons: Renewed
MasterChef Junior: Renewed
Bob’s Burgers: Renewed
Family Guy: Very likely
The Following: Renewed
Almost Human: Canceled
Dads: Canceled
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Renewed
The Mindy Project: Renewed
New Girl: Renewed
American Idol: Renewed for a 14th season
Raising Hope: Sadly, canceled
Enlisted: Canceled
American Dad: Moving to TBS — interesting
Rake: Canceled
Surviving Jack: Canceled
The X Factor: Canceled — gives me hope for a future when American Idol will soon be gone

The Blacklist: Renewed
The Voice: I don’t think there’s any questions here
Chicago Fire: Renewed
Chicago PD: Renewed
Revolution: Canceled
Law & Order SVU: The only good Law & Order is renewed
Parks and Recreation: Renewed for a final season
Community: Sadly, canceled
The Michael J. Fox Show: Canceled
Sean Saves the World: Canceled
Parenthood: Renewed for a final season
Grimm: Renewed
Hannibal: Renewed
Dracula: Canceled
Believe: Canceled
About a Boy: Renewed
Growing Up Fisher: What even is this? Probably why it was canceled
Crisis: Canceled

The CW
Supernatural: Undoubtedly, renewed
Arrow: Renewed
The Vampire Diaries: Renewed
The Originals: Renewed
Reign: Renewed
The 100: Renewed
Hart of Dixie: Renewed
The Carrie Diaries: Canceled
Beauty and the Beast: Renewed
Star-Crossed: Canceled
The Tomorrow People: The only CW pilot I enjoyed, canceled

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl    
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox    
Rating: 3/5   

ODNT_Stills_(2)I was particularly interested in tonight’s episode of Glee titled “Old Dog New Tricks” for three reasons. One, there would be dogs. Two, Chris Colfer wrote the episode. Three, Billy Dee Williams was for some reason guest starring. That’s right, Lando Calrissian appeared in an episode of Glee. I never thought I’d see the day.

I had faith Colfer would do very well in writing an episode because he is already a best-selling author. What I find interesting in his episode is how a lot more was said about certain characters than had been said in past episodes written by Glee staff writers. There has been an unusually long pause on Kurt’s (Colfer) storyline and this episode finally gave him a bit of the spotlight. Interestingly enough, Colfer managed to write Sam (Chord Overstreet) better than the writers have been doing. I think it’s great they let him guest write. I think he should do it more often, or at least once in season six.

Rumors are circulating about Rachel (Lea Michele) being quite a diva and overachiever, and she’s worried her career will end sooner than she thought. Cue Santana (Naya Rivera) and her wit to save the day: “Look at Angelina Jolie. She used to wear a vile of blood around her neck and kiss her brother and now she’s Mother Earth.” All Rachel needs is a publicist and a cause, Santana says. And Santana is her publicist and dogs will be her cause.

Thus, Broadway Bitches was born. I do adore the pun, but I like the real-life Broadway Barks event better. The gang goes to a shelter to set everything up. There’s a terrible transition about how the dogs will only stop barking with music and then they sing “I Melt With You.” Granted, I did enjoy the veterinarians dancing around and found it incredibly silly they were all dancing around rows of dogs in cages, but I am glad they didn’t do “Who Let the Dogs Out?” And it’s hard to not like a musical number when there are so many cute dogs on screen. They had an unfair advantage on this one.

At the shelter, Sam falls in love with a dog and, despite Mercedes’ (Amber Riley) wishes, adopts him and calls him McConaughey. I seriously laughed out loud at Riley’s performance when Mercedes discovers the mess McConaughey has made, including chewing up her weaves and shoes. It was spot on. Of all the original cast members, she was the best one to bring back and the only one I truly missed.

To prove to her that he can take care of the dog, Sam sets up an obstacle course to train McConaughey as he sings “Werewolves of London.” Again, it’s hard to not like a scene when you have a very cute dog doing some tricks and getting a bath.

But not everyone is a softie like me, and Mercedes still urges they find the puppy a better home because both of their schedules are so in flux and the fact they’re still just trying to figure themselves out first. I’m glad we finally saw a bit of a different side of Sam here. Before he agrees with Mercedes, he puts up a fight and reminds everyone how he was the one who took care of his family when they were so poor. Everyone now just thinks Sam is such a dunce, but there was a time when he was responsible and not just the dumb blond.

To help with publicity for the charity event, a “chance” run-in with Rachel and some paparazzi is set up, with the a little hilarious help from Blaine (Darren Criss) and Santana. It’s all going according to plan until the hungry dogs chase a man with a hotdog and drag Rachel four blocks. I’m not sure who framed this scnee, but bravo to them. It was hilarious. Anymore, I feel it is more so Lea Michele on my screen than Rachel Berry, but I’m not complaining.

You would think Rachel would include have everyone perform in this event, as per the usual Glee formula, but when Kurt asks, she denies him. And finally we have the episode where Kurt finally vocalizes how he is only their friend when it’s convenient.

At the same time, he makes a new friend in Maggie Banks (June Squibb), who starred in the biggest Broadway flop Helen Keller: The Musical. That’s definitely a Colfer joke. The odd couple met in the diner when Maggie came in to advertise for her retirement home’s production of Peter Pan. She makes a jab about NBC making Clay Aiken the star and ruining the show, a joke that is more poignant now that Fox is competing with NBC in the live musical broadcast business.

Kurt goes to visit Maggie just at the moment when their current star dies in the Peter Pan harness. Yeah, that scene didn’t feel right to me either. Kurt steps up so that they don’t have to cancel the show. Tim Conway, another random guest star, makes him audition, so naturally he sings “Memory” from Cats. I’m not sure if it’s just to continue the animal storyline or if Colfer really just wanted to sing this song, but I found it an odd song choice. It may just be because Cats isn’t exactly my favorite musical and that I can’t think about singing “Memory” seriously after my friend and I used to jokingly sing it to each other.

I have to say I’m thoroughly confused as to why Glee sought after so many renowned older actors. Squibb was the only one actually used and used pretty well. Billy Dee Williams and Tim Conway each said one line and stood in the background. I don’t get it. If you have the opportunity to use Lando, then use him!

Broadway Bitches is going well until the three-legged dog Rachel was going to use for the spotlight is about to be adopted. Rachel and Santana argue for the dog back, prompting the woman to comment on how Rachel is a fraud and doesn’t care about anyone but herself. Partially true. Season one Rachel’s selfishness always came across rather funny, but now it is mostly snobby with a hint of hilarity. That insane enthusiasm, passion and ability to spit out ten lines of dialogue in 30 seconds was what made me love her. Let’s figure out how to write for her now.

But to show she does care about others, Rachel does go to Kurt’s Peter Pan opening. In the famed green leafed suit and harness, Kurt spins around the stage and sings “Lucky Star.” It had more of a Xanadu vibe than Peter Pan but I do love Madonna. Looking at this scene in itself, it was crazy and fun. I loved that Squibb sang a few times throughout the episode.

Because you can’t end Glee without a big number, the retirement home is invited to perform at Broadway Bitches. Combining old Broadway with new and also puppies, the cast sings “Take Me Home Tonight” as they dance around the Spotlight Diner handing puppies out to potential adopters.

Give me Darren Criss singing to a puppy and I’ll tolerate anything.



I do commend Colfer on a pretty good episode. I think Smash could have benefited from doing a Broadway Barks episode — it’s the power of puppies. I really enjoyed Squibb in the episode, but don’t see the reason the show went to the trouble of getting Williams and Conway when they didn’t do anything with them. I actually enjoyed the songs. For the majority of this season, I couldn’t even tolerate the covers, but now I find myself nodding along as I used to.

There’s only one episode left until the season finale. I have no idea what will be in store and what it will lead to in season six. I’m quite interested to see where Ryan Murphy will take us.