‘Off The Map’ is On The Right–Yet Predictable–Track

SO, I know that ABC’s ‘Off The Map’ premiered last Wednesday night, but I decided to wait until after the second episode aired before writing my own review of the network’s latest medical dram(edy?), and brain-child of former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (and ‘Private Practice’ and ‘DH’) writer Jenna Bans.

I’m not gonna lie, part of what drew me to the pilot of ‘OTM’ was the fact that ABC sold it as the newest ride at Shondaland,–after all, the executive producer is none other than ‘Grey’s’ and ‘Private Practice’ showrunner Shonda Rhimes–and also the beautiful people/places/things showcased in the on-air promos.

Most of the criticism before last week–and for that matter, most of the criticism since last week’s premiere–has been some version of  “Wah Wah, it’s ‘Grey’s’ set in the rainforest” or “Boo Hoo, it’s just another superficial medical show with pretty people.”

Having now watched the first two episodes in full, I am happy to report that ‘Off The Map’ is absolutely 100% a re-packaged version of ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ And you know what, I LIKE IT.

No one has falsely advertised ‘Off The Map’ as something that it’s not. ABC execs aren’t promoting the show as an intellectual juggernaut that forces society to question its moral standards and deepest motivations. It’s a show about hot people who act slutty, get way too personal way too quickly, and throw (occasional) witty dialogue back-and-forth as if someone didn’t write it down for them.

…Oh, and sometimes they do medical procedures.

As I watched episode 2, I couldn’t help but see the doctors at La Clinica Cruz del Sur as Seattle Grace doppelgangers. I mean, the character parallels are uncanny:

Dr. Lily Brenner (aka Dr. Meredith Grey): thick-skinned, private (with inappropriate outbursts of emotion), mouse-like, and will undoubtedly fall in love with the head doctor at the clinic, Ben Keeton.

Dr. Mena Minard (aka Dr. Christina Yang): intense, cutthroat, multi-layered, competitive, abrupt, and has a poor bedside manner–good doctor, bad physician.

Dr. Tommy Fuller (aka Dr. Alex Karev): frat boy, ladies man, eye candy, plastic surgeon–obsessed with vanity, exteriors, eager to prove he’s more than meets the eye.

Dr. Ben Keeton (aka Dr. McDreamy): cocky, brave, chiseled, mcguyver-like, all-around hot piece of doctor ass, will fall for newest Padawan, Dr. Brenner.

Dr. Otis Cole (aka Dr. Bailey): hard-worker, tough on newbs, blunt, secretly nurturing, respects patients without judging them.

Dr. Ryan Clark (aka Dr. Addison Montgomery): beautiful, traveled, Ginger, former hookup of McDreamy, holier than thou attitude, can make incredibly perceptive statements–like telling Minard she’s a good doctor, but bad physician–as easily as she can spurn a former lover.

Dr. Zee is the only character that can’t be translated directly over, but as the single Latina regular, she reminds viewers that the show is set somewhere in South America.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about the character parallels, but one can’t deny that they exist.

Obviously, ABC got something right with it’s Thursday night lineup and from their POV, as cliche as it sounds, why should they fix something that ain’t broke?

Fans of  ‘Grey’s’ and ‘Private Practice’ are going to like ‘Off The Map,’ and that’s what matters. There are already enough viewers tuning in week-to-week for the well-established medical dramas; ABC ain’t looking for new blood, but rather old blood to flow into Wednesday nights, too.

So, for all the critics bashing ‘Off The Map,’ I say move on. Redirect your anger at programming that is truly worth your time and frustration (ahem, ‘The Cape’). Or, if you can’t leave ‘OTM’ alone, waste your ink detailing the hotness of Zach Gilford.

Ep. 2 Promo:

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January 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . TV. 1 comment.

Review: Shamelessly Optimistic

SO, last night was the premiere of SHOWTIME’s “own” ‘Shameless,’ an Americanized re-telling of the popular British comedy.

The show’s got some big names–Bill Macy, Emmy Rossum, Justin Chatwin & Joan Cusack–as well as Reba’s own Steve Howey.

As far as a pilot goes, the ep. did a good job introducing the show’s central Gallagher family–highlighting all of their quirky vices–and unearthing a few nuggets of the clan’s past to keep viewers wanting more.

My only major problem with the pilot was that it gave us two-episodes worth of plot in one single hour. I enjoyed the fast pace of the show, as it fits nicely with the chaotic world of the main characters, but each storyline felt a bit rushed.

The nudity, debauchery and misfit adventures are sure to keep a steady audience watching week-to-week, but it’s the unapologetic introduction of a VERY unlikable paternal figure and the incredibly honest portrayal of the bond between brothers and sisters–especially Lip and Ian–that will keep my ass glued to the couch on Sunday nights.

Check out the trailer:

January 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , . TV. Leave a comment.

Show Some SKINS

MTV just released two teaser trailers for its new scripted show set to premiere in January 2011.

The show is ‘Skins,’ and it’s based on a Brit drama of the same name.

MTV’s description:

“Skins is a wild ride through the lives of a group of high school friends stumbling through the mine field of adolescence… and stepping on most of the mines as they go.

We’ll meet TONY; good looking, witty, manipulative – he wants everything, and usually gets it. Then there’s his girlfriend MICHELLE; gorgeous and clever, just not clever enough to realize Tony may not be the right one for her. And maybe the right one is actually Tony’s best friend, STANLEY. He’s everything Tony isn’t, and that might end up being a good thing. Of course, Stanley is stuck in a pretend relationship with CADIE, possibly the most dysfunctional girl ever to attend a high school… or maybe that’s all just another thing she’s faking. You’ll love CHRIS because, well, everyone does. No drug is too obscure for him to try, and no sexual mountain too high for him to climb. Complicating everyone’s life is the infamous TEA. She likes girls. And girls like her. What more is there to figure out… right? And let’s not forget ABBUD, the not so devout Moslem and DAISY, the responsible one of the group who is just itching to break some rules of her own.

Be it sex, drugs, the breadth of friendships or the depth of heartbreaks, Skins is an emotional mosh-pit that slams through the insanity of teenage years. They’ll crush hearts and burn brain cells, while fearlessly confronting every obstacle head on…or slightly off.”

Visit the site, and check out the trailers here!

Think you’ll watch?

October 22, 2010. Tags: , , , . TV. Leave a comment.

So You Think You Can Dance, Eh?

SO, we might have to wait until next summer for the deliciousness that is SYTYCD, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still get our fill of insane choreography, brilliant dancers and awe-inspiring performances from its international brothers and sisters.

Over the past couple of seasons, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ here in the states has “borrowed” choreographer Stacey Tookey many times from our sibling up north, SYTYCD: Canada.

Apparently, this exchange program is dual-sided, and it was time for 2-time Emmy Award-winning choreo–and the Simon Cowell of So You Think You Can–Mia Michaels to grab her winter coat and moose and head to Canadia.

Check out her absolutely ba-nanas interpretation of the RENT classic “Will I.”

This vid is almost perfection, save Canada’s version of a poor-man’s Cat Deeley telling Mia that she is proud of her. Um, step back, blondie, Mia don’t need yo praise.

EnjoY.

October 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Live Performances, TV. Leave a comment.

Emmy Moment #4: Heigl caught by suprisle.

Remember those days when we actually liked Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy?

I mean, after all, she was sexy, empathetic and had an incredible bedside manner!

Well, it was at the ’07 Primetime Emmy Awards when America learned that Katherine Heigl (pronounced “Hi-guhl”) is a DAMN good actress.

Sure, she was still sexy, but this Emmy winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series came across as more spice than sugar, and certainly wasn’t afraid to use a few choice expletives in front of millions of people.

Check out the STUNNED actress as she accepts her Emmy with one of the weirdest/most memorable acceptance speeches ever.

EnjoY. 2 hours till game time!

August 29, 2010. Tags: , , . Live Performances. Leave a comment.

Fail.

I know this vid leaked online yesterday, but it has taken me a full 24 hours to decide whether or not to post it on COL.

In no way do I support the craziness that is Danielle Staub (resident psycho on the RHONJ), but her live performance of “Up Close” (her first single) on WPIX’s morning show MUST be shared with the world.

Normally I’d say EnjoY, but it just doesn’t feel right.

August 26, 2010. Tags: , , . Live Performances. Leave a comment.

Brit-glee Spears.

To my fellow Gleeks:

You’re welcome.

This photo is a tall stack of ba-nanas pancakes!

I didn’t know I could be any more excited for the Britney episode…that is, until I saw this stellar pic of Heather Morris–who plays Britney on the show–and the delicious Miz Spears herself.

Brit-Glee Spears

August 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , . TV. Leave a comment.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Happy Emmy Nominations Day to all!

Even though there are some unsurprising (and, in my opinion, undeserving) names on the list of 2010 primetime Emmy nominations, I gotta say there are a few nods that make me squeal with delight…

Congratulations to Modern Family, Glee and the Good Wife for racking up them nominations.

Check out the full list here!

July 8, 2010. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I bet I can make you laugh…

Just came across this SNL gem!

Hopefully, this vid will answer the age old question…whaaaat?

EnjoY. Happy almost 4th of July…

July 1, 2010. Tags: , , , . Stupid/Funny, TV. Leave a comment.

Ty Ty Baby, Baby Goodbye

I tip my hat to Joel McHale and the E! Network for this work of pure genius.

Check the host of The Soup introduce this br-illiant farewell vid honoring the Tyra Banks Show.

In case you live under a rock on Mars and have never heard of Ms. Banks, she has won the last 7 cycles of America’s Next Top Model.

ENJOY!

June 15, 2010. Tags: , , , . Stupid/Funny. Leave a comment.

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