Screen Junkies » fairly legal Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 11 Aug 2014 22:50:09 +0000 en hourly 1 6 American TV Shows That China Could Never Consider ‘Overly Entertaining’ Thu, 27 Oct 2011 14:20:28 +0000 Penn Collins There's one show on this list that will probably piss people off.

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China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television announced plans yesterday to curb “overly entertaining” TV programs on the country’s 34 satellite stations so that the timeslots can be filled with more cultural and educational programming. The order (I guess they do things by “order” over there) also says that popularity and ratings can’t be the only criteria for determining whether to air a show.

Banning “overly entertaining” shows is certainly a drastic move by the Chinese, but fortunately, that move creates a vacuum which many awful American shows can fill. Consequently, I would like to offer up these synopses to the Chinese government, so that they may see how not-“overly entertaining” these shows really are and perhaps take them off of our hands.

Minute to Win It

This is a show hosted by an American personality named Guy Fieri. Guy Fieri is to humanity what southwestern eggrolls are to your regular eggrolls – a horrible bastardization. In case China is unfamiliar with Guy Fieri, he has bleached blonde hair, wears bowling shirts and sweatbands all the time, and pretty much acts like a big plate of nachos everywhere he goes. He’s everything you hate about us. No one will like him.

On the show, contestants have 60 seconds to do something really stupid in order to win money. You can see a list of the things they have to do right here. It is sort of like a Japanese game show, and I’m not sure how you get along with those guys, but I remember there was some unpleasantness a while back.

Hart of Dixie

This show features two things that you would probably like a lot individually: Rachel Bilson, who’s really cute and awesome, and medical dramas, which are pretty fun as well. But the combination of Bilson and medical dramas just doesn’t make much sense. And it’s set in the American south. You would NOT like the American south, I’m guessing.

Other non-entertaining aspect of this show: Bilson’s character’s nemesis is named Brick, and Brick’s daughter is named Lemon. You will find that some of these names are actual words, which is actually a pretty uncommon practice in our culture. In your culture, your names mean awesome things like “Dragon Warrior” or “Delicate Flower.” We decided to name our people “Brick” and “Lemon.” Go ahead. Look those two up. Pretty ridiculous, no?

Chinese audiences will have no idea what to make of this phenomenon, and spend most of the show wondering why a man is named after a structural block of dried mud. That doesn’t make for great television.

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We Got Sarah Shahi To Talk To Us Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:10:07 +0000 Fred Topel Shahi stars on the new USA show “Fairly Legal,” but more importantly, she's insanely gorgeous and cool.

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I actually know Sarah Shahi more as an actor than as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, but I do happen to work out to the DCC yoga video. It was made after she left the squad, but it’s an intense workout.

Shahi stars on the new USA show “Fairly Legal.” She plays a mediator, Kate Reed. Get it? Because mediating is fair, and it’s also legal. The first episode has Kate trying to find a solution between the amateur actors who botched a proposal and the would-be groom whose wedding ring they lost.

Looking great as ever, Shahi wore a sleek white dress that was way more glamorous than breakfast called for. I did my best to focus on her eyes, to be respectful, but I hope she didn’t mind my lingering appreciation. She was friendly enough to spend some time with me and me alone and had a good sense of humor about the questions we really wanted to know about.

Q: I have the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader yoga video. Did you do that workout when you were with them?

SS: Did I do that workout? No, I did not. I don’t know if the cheerleaders liked me very much I have to say.

Q: I’m bent over panting, they’re smiling.

SS: Yeah, I’m sure you enjoy it.

Q: Were you not the “cheerleader” type, whatever that is?

SS: Not really. I don’t think I was. The reason I became a cheerleader was because I wanted to get on “Saturday Night Live.” I was in a musical over at SMU and everyone knew I wanted to be an actor, didn’t know how to do it. A background dancer said, “Why don’t you try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders?” Because back in 1995 they were on “Saturday Night Live.” So I figured that’s it, that’s my way in. It was purely a stepping stone for me. I made the cheerleaders, ended up getting the calendar cover that year, 2000 and Robert Altman came to Texas to film Dr. T and the Women. He used the cheerleaders as his extras and he shot at our rehearsal facility for two weeks. I had no idea who he was. We buddied up, became friends for the two weeks he was there. At the end of his time he said, “What is it that you want to do?” I said I want to be an actress but I don’t know how to go about it in Texas. He said, “Well, you should move to L.A. I think you have what it takes.”

Q: “SNL” would have been big but Altman’s pretty big too.

SS: Altman’s pretty big. I’ll take Altman over “SNL.”

Q: Has acting been all you imagined and dreamed it would be?

SS: No, because I think there’s more and I like surprising myself. This was definitely not what I expected but I mean it in a good way. It’s a lot more work than I anticipated for it to be when I first set out to become an actress but it’s work that I like and work that I want to do more of. Sometimes you have to go to some pretty dark places to feel something. That’s not fun but once again, I’m in love with telling a story and I love playing make believe.

Q: The Maxim Hot 100 lists come out every year. Is that all political?

SS: I think so. Yeah, it is. But all those girls are beautiful. Absolutely it’s whoever is the hottest flavor of the moment definitely gets the first place position.

Q: Hasn’t it been you?

SS: No, I think the highest I ever got on their list 60.

Q: Then there’s clearly a flaw in the system.

SS: [Laughs] Well, I didn’t say that.

Q: What’s in the show for guys?

SS: Well I am in my underwear. That should be enough.

Q: Integral to the plot though, right?

SS: Oh, absolutely. I would never do anything gratuitous, Fred. Come on. Yeah, that sums it up. You’ve got a hot blonde, you’ve got a hot brunette, you’ve got hot extras in the background and guest stars. You guys don’t need anything more. I know how you guys are.

Q: Was it your idea to do karate on the show?

SS: You know, I’m definitely a show pony and I don’t think I have very many talents, but I do think I can throw a punch. So I was more than vocal about that at one point, yes.

Q: Have you ever given a really good beat down in real life?

SS: Yes. To my husband. That’s why he married me. A few times.

Q: Is Kate also of mixed background like you?

SS: You know, Kate’s ethnicity has never really been addressed. I don’t think it’s important. She’s a person. She’s a woman. She’s got the same struggles and triumphs as anybody else, no matter what the skin color or the ethnic background. So yeah, I don’t think it’s ever come up or been important to the series.

Q: Not necessarily “important,” but interesting.

SS: No, I think she’s got other interesting things going on.

Q: Is this a show that could encourage people to have resolutions instead on fighting it out?

SS: Absolutely. I definitely think so. I was very unaware of what a mediator was before I auditioned for the show. Now that I play one on TV, it does make more sense to try to go that route as opposed to the law. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you had to get a lawyer, go to court and you were thrilled about the idea? So they come to a resolution where they allow both sides to win. They’re cheaper than lawyers and they get to the resolution quicker than the legal system. Hopefully it’ll encourage people to go that way.

Q: What are some of the outrageous cases Kate gets to mediate?

SS: Another one is a much deeper one, how much is a man’s life worth? A man was in prison for 25 years. He was wrongly accused. He’s out and per the state of California, you’re only awarded $100 a day. This man did not want money. He wanted his life. So I go about very different ways of trying to get him to really open up and tell me what that is. The show has a good mix of the dark cases and then you’ve got your lighter, sillier [ones] like the grocery store in the pilot episode.

Q: The slogan for the show is “Less lawyer. More appeal.” What does that pun mean to you?

SS: Here’s what I always say about the show. It’s “Sex and the City” meets “Law & Order” with a lot more sex than law.

“Fairly Legal” premieres Jan. 20 on USA.

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10 New Mid-Season Shows To Watch In 2011 Wed, 12 Jan 2011 23:56:40 +0000 Jame Gumb Take a look at our 2011 mid-season replacement guide....NOW!

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The new year is well underway, which means it’s time for the television networks to start rolling out their mid-season replacements. And with so much garbage to choose from, it can be hard to figure out what’s worth your time. It’s enough to make you do something rash/non-TV related, like reading a book or conversing with your family. And we all know how that ends: poorly. But what we don’t know is how the following 11 shows will end. Will they gain a following and get picked up for a second season, or will they they fail to draw an audience and get “Loan Starred?” Take a look at our 2011 mid-season replacement guide and decide for yourself.

“The Chicago Code” – Feb 7th (9/8 C) – Fox

From the people who brought you “The Shield” comes the story of a Chicago cop on a quest to find his brother’s killer. As you’d expect from the “Windy City,” he runs head-on into a sea of corruption. But as you wouldn’t expect from the “Windy City,” he also runs into a sexy female police superintendent. Compare that to a picture of Chicago’s real police superintendent. Ah, Hollywood magic.

“Bob’s Burgers” – Jan 9th (8:30/7:30C) – Fox

If you were a fan of “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist,” you’re probably a middle-age loser by now. But you’re also in luck! Loren Bouchard, who produced “Katz” (as well as “Home Movies”) is behind “Bob’s Burgers,” a cartoon about a family running a NYC burger joint. Also, H. Jon Benjamin reprises his role of every cartoon voice since 1995.

“Episodes” – Jan 9th (9:30) – Showtime

In Showtime’s new series, “Episodes,” Matt LeBlanc plays the role he was born to play: himself. It’s sort of like that episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where Larry David pitches a show about Jason Alexander’s attempts to break away from his character of George Costanza. Hopefully the show helps LeBlanc step out of Joey Tribbiani’s shadow. I’m talking about Joey Tribbiani from “Friends,” not Joey Tribbiani from “Joey.” The latter is long dead.

Shameless” – Jan 9th (10) – Showtime

If you like William H. Macy, you’ll probably like “Shameless,” a show about an alcoholic father raising his family. If you don’t like William H. Macy, I hope you like alcoholic fathers.

“Mr. Sunshine” – Jan 9th (9:30/8:30 C) – ABC

In “Mr. Sunshine,” Matthew Perry plays the director of “The Sunshine Center.” It’s a fictionalized version of the Staples Center, except with more laughs and less alleged rapists. This means that three of the cast members from friends will be back on network television this season. Only three more to go until the Apocalypse.

“Body of Proof” – Mar 29th (10/9C) – ABC

I’m not sure what I’m more excited to see: this new show or Dana Delany’s new face. Jesus Christ, she’s almost 55, and she looks the same as she did in “China Beach!” “Body of Proof” is about a world renowned surgeon. I’m assuming it’s based on her plastic surgeon. If he’s not world renowned, he should be.

Lights Out” – Jan 11 (10) – FX

“Lights Out” tells the story of a former heavyweight boxer who is contemplating a comeback. That reminds me of an old joke a co-worker of mine retold today. Why does Mike Tyson cry after sex? Because of the mace. Get it!

“Skins” – Jan 17 (10/9 C) – MTV

“Skins” is a new drama on MTV about the lives of teenagers. If you like watching teens do drugs and have sex, you’ll enjoy this show. Also, you’re a god damn creep.

The Killing” – Apr 3rd (10/9 C) – AMC

“The Killing” tells the story of a young girl who is murdered and the subsequent police investigation. It’s sort of like “Twin Peaks,” with out a backward talking midget. The show is on AMC, so it’s hard to bet against it even after”Rubicon” though got the ax.

“Fairly Legal” – Jan 20th (10/9 C) – USA

“Fairly Legal” stars Sarah Shahi as a former lawyer whose frustration with the legal system leads her to a new career as a mediator. She’s hot, but I don’t care about that. What I do care about is that the guy from “Major Dad” is in the promo. I haven’t been this excited since “Jericho.”

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