Tater Takes on the Fall 2017 TV Schedule

I’m am one of the weird people who looks forward to the network upfronts every year to see what is renewed, what’s canceled and what’s new. The upfronts were this week. I will go night by night and post my thoughts. If you want a good grid, TVline has a good one.

Sunday: ABC has To Tell the Truth, Shark Tank and Ten Days in the Valley. CBS has Wisdom of the Crowd, NCIS: LL Cool J and Madam Secretary. Fox stays with comedy with Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Ghosted  and Last Man on Earth and NBC has football.

Most of my Sunday night viewing is on AMC and HBO(Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, etc) but we do enjoy Madam Secretary.  Otherwise, I will try Wisdom of the Crowd only because it stars Jeremy Piven(a charismatic tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge crowd-sourcing hub to solve his own daughter’s murder, as well as revolutionizing crime-solving in San Francisco.) and Ghosted with Adam Scott and Craig Robinson(a comedic X-Files) and football.

Monday:  ABC continues Dancing with the Has Beens followed by the new show The Good Doctor, CBS has Big Bang, 9JKL, Kevin Can Wait, Me Myself and I and Scorpion. FOX moves Lucifer to 8(weird) followed by The Gifted. NBC has The Voice and the Brave and CW has Supergirl and Valor.

Lucifer is one of my favorite shows. The move to 8 is weird. We also really like Supergirl. My wife and daughter like Scorpion. As for new shows – I think the only one I will watch is Gifted(set in the X-Men universe). I might give in and watch the new comedies, but I don’t think they will stick.

Tuesday: ABC has The Middle, Fresh Off the Boat, Blackish, The Mayor and The Gospel of Kevin. CBS sticks with NCIS, Bull and NCIS:Gumbo. FOX moves Lethal Weapon to Tuesday followed by The Mick and Brooklyn 99. NBC has The Voice, Superstore, The Good Place and Chicago Fire. CW has Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

Tuesday night is always hard for us and the reason we need to upgrade to a DVR that allows for recording more shows. This will be complicated. At 8 we watch Flash and Lethal Weapon(best new show last season). My wife watches NCIS and I like the ABC comedies. Looks like NCIS and the ABC shows will watched on On Demand. At 9 we watch Legends, the NBC comedies and Brooklyn 99(the one comedy my wife likes) and I think The Mayor sounds good. More On Demand somewhere. 10 is easier. My wife watches NCIS: Gumbo and we all watch Chicago Fire.

Wednesday: ABC has The Goldbergs, Speechless, Modern Family, American Housewife and Designated Survivor.  CBS has Survivor, Seal Team and Criminal Minds. FOX is Empire and Star. NBC has The Blacklist, Law & Order SVU and Chicago PD. CW is Riverdale and Dynasty.

This night is even more complicated by the fact that I work until 9(I need to figure out how to be paid to stay home and watch TV). We really like the entire ABC slate. Speechless and American Housewife are two of the best sitcoms on TV. Survivor was the one show I watched live until I started working on Wednesday nights and is now the one I watch as soon as I get home. We also watch Riverdale and The Blacklist. So, at 8 we will record Survivor and one other show and watch the rest on On Demand. at 9 I will record the ABC comedies and will likely try Seal Team(because I am a fan of David Boreanz) and Dynasty(because I’m a sucker for a reboot), 10 is easy because we only watch Designated Survivor.

Thursday: ABC continues Shondaland night with Grey’s, Scandal and How to Get Way with Murder. CBS has football and then Big Bang, Young Sheldon, Mom, Life in Pieces and S.W.A.T. FOX has Gotham and The Orville. NBC has Will and Grace, Great News, This is Us and Law & Order True Crime(football from Nov 9-Dec 14), The CW has Supernatural and Arrow.

I still watch Grey’s and I don’t think I will be able to resit the Will & Grace reunion. We watch all of the DC universe shows so Arrow will be on the schedule. I will probably try The Orville(comedic Star Trek type show with Seth McFarlane) and S.W.A.T.(because my wife is a sucker for cop shows).

Friday: ABC has Once Upon a Time, Marvel’s Inhumans and 20/20. CBS has MacGyver, Hawaii 50 and Blue Bloods. FOX is Hell’s Kitchen and The Exorcist. NBC has Bindspot, Taken and Dateline. CW is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin.

My wife likes Macgyver and Hawaii 50 and I like Blue Bloods, so we will record the entire CBS slate. She also really likes Taken. Otherwise, nothing here for me. I still can’t figure out if all of these shows are here to die or if the networks are trying to revive Friday night viewing.

I won’t bother with Saturday because it is all encores and football. Use this day to watch DVR’ed stuff if you are boring like me and never have plans on Saturday night.

Mideason shows I’m looking forward to seeing: The 100, Black Lightning and iZombie on The CW. Shield and Alex, inc on ABC. AP Bio, Rise and Timeless on NBC. Amazing Race and Code Black on CBS.

To read more about the new shows go here for a synopsis on each one.

 

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Some Thoughts on Last Night’s Episode of Survivor

Some random thoughts about last night’s episode:

In the reward challenge why did Tai’s team never put him in the chair? Shouldn’t you put a smaller, weaker player in the chair at the end instead of leaving him as one of the ones lifting the entire time?

I don”t disagree that Zeke is a strong, strategic player but shouldn’t he have been a little more subtle with his bonding with Culpepper? Especially when you know your current alliance already has little trust in you?

Math: Your current alliance is up 6-4. I know that mathematically you can get rid of one of your own and still be up 5-4, but that means you only need one person to flip to be in the minority. I don’t get why people always want to make the move on an alliance member with such a small advantage. It makes more sense to get it at least to 6-3 so you would need two flippers to change the game.

Andrea wins the battle with Zeke and was correct that he was going to turn on her. If not for idols and advantages(legacy and secret) I would like her chances to go to the end. Instead she has a 5-4 advantage but has alienated Michaela and Sarah by pushing them to go after Zeke. If Sarah flips you have a 5(or 6 with Michaela) with 3 idols and 2 advantages. She is also doomed because my daughter says she is the only one left that she really wants to win. I see a final 5 of Sarah, Sierra, Tai, Troyzan and Culpepper(perhaps saved by one of Tai’s idols).

A Very Emotional Survivor Game Changers

Caution: Spoilers ahead:

 

I should have known something big was gong down in tribal council last night. After the normal “previously on” and the scenes of the tribe after tribal, we moved quickly to the reward challenge, saw brief scenes from the two tribes and then moved on to the immunity challenge and then to what I will be writing about: tribal council.

At tribal council, Jeff Varner started out trying to explain to the tribe why they should vote out Ozyy instead of him.  In doing so, he talks about a secret alliance between Ozzy and Zeke. Of he had stopped there, everything would have been fine. Unfortunately, he did not stop there. He turned to Zeke and asks him why he has not told them that he is transgender. He then goes on to say that this shows he is capable of deceit.  Zeke looks like he is in shock The rest of the tribe, to their credit, immediately turn on Varner telling him, rightly, that no one has the right to out someone. Varner tries to backtrack and says he is sorry, but I’m sure at that moment he is only sorry it didn’t work. I guess he thought the tribe would either agree that this means Zeke is deceitful or perhaps be bigoted enough to vote him off for being trans. In the end, they don’t even need to officially vote. Probst asks if he is correct that Varner is going home, they all agree and off he goes.

There have been a lot of villains on this show. Many people have done despicable things to try to win the money. Outing someone on TV has to be the worst. You have to be a pretty terrible person to 1. reveal such personal information without his permission and 2. think that Zeke being trans is a reason to vote him or his alliance out. I’m glad he is out of the game.

 

 

Survivor Game Changers: The GOAT vs the goats

Caution spoilers ahead:

 

 

We started the episode with a tribe swap and a switch from two tribes to three. I enjoy tribe swaps because it shakes up the game. People in trouble get new hope and people in power positions have to start over. I do feel sorry for the third tribe that has to go to a brand new camp and start from scratch. The bad thing about this switch was that it created clear majorities and easy votes unless someone decides to make a big move. Last night was nit the night for big moves in tribal council. Caleb being voted out was obvious and lacked any suspense at all. Luckily, the other tribes gave us some entertaining TV.

At the luxury beach we start with JT sailing his new tribemates out to snorkel and fish and then leaving them there while he makes up an excuse to go back and look for an idol. It was a smart move at the start, but he stayed gone too long and they all knew what he was doing.  This puts an even bigger target on his back until the self proclaimed GOAT of Survivor met the goats of Survivor. Apparently, there are a lot of goats living around this cam ad Sandra wants to eat them. They seemed to have no trouble catching some goats, but they are a mother and baby goat. The rest of the tribe have hearts and feel bad about eating a baby or leaving a baby motherless by eating the mom. Sandra does not care. She will eat them all. There is debate and they decide to free the goats and eat the chickens now that chicken king Tai is no longer there. The chickens are the big losers of the tribe swap. It’s probably good that Tai isn’t there. Sandra might opt to eat him if he tried to protect the chickens. I think this goat drama might lead to Sandra’s demise.

Over on the other beach, it’s clear that Troyzan will be the first to go, so he goes off to look for an idol. He finds a clue and discovers that it will be hidden at the immunity challenge. I love this. It makes for good TV watching someone try to grab the idol in front of everyone. He is successful so their first tribal council could be very interesting. Not much else about this tribe is that interesting at the moment.

They tried to make the vote on the losing tribe suspenseful, but it wasn’t. It was pretty clear it would be Caleb. What I found odd was that Caleb and Hali didn’t seem to be doing much to try to stay. They didn’t show any scrambling, looking for idols or anything. Maybe there was some of that, but it was boring. It just seemed odd. I’m not that sad about Caleb going. I liked him, but not nearly as much as I do the others in the game.

Next week: The revenge of the goats,

Survivor Game Changers Thoughts

Survivor used to be the only show I insisted on watching live. My daughter would get popcorn and we would watch the show together. I would live tweet the show and read tweets to her as the show was happening. This all changed at the end of last season when I changed jobs and had to start working on Wednesday nights. Now we watch delayed when I get home from work. Since I can no longer tweet the show, I thought I would try a weekly blog post the day after. I didn’t take any notes this time because I didn’t decide this until this morning, but after this week I will try to take notes and maybe include some of the things I might have tweeted had I been watching live.

I would start this first post by saying that I realize that armchair quarterbacking the game is a lot easier than playing the game and I’m sure I would make plenty of mistakes in the heat of the moment if actually there. Now, on to the show:

I used to complain about returning contestant seasons and longed for new faces. We have had a few seasons of new faces recently so I was ready for some familiar faces, especially since many are favorites of mine. It does change the dynamic of the first episode for me as a viewer. If it is all new faces, I spend the hour trying to decide who I might like and who I might root against. This can change as the season progresses, but it is all about getting to know the players. This time I know the players so I have some favorites going in and can focus more on the game play. I have to say that the game play surprised me from the start when Jeff said there was a tool kit in the water and only one tribe went for it. I don’t get Malcolm saying that there was no point because Ozzy went for it. Are you already conceding that he is a stronger player? Shouldn’t you want to prove otherwise, especially with a major reward at stake? I think they just made a mistake and tried to cover it up with that statement.

I’m not surprised that Ciera went first last night. She’s not someone you look as being vital to winning challenges and she was the first to start openly talking strategy. I like her and would be more disappointed if there weren’t so many other favorites still in the game. I was surprised by the second boot. Your team is losing challenges and you vote off a strong challenge player and keep a weaker player who has already won twice? I know some strategy is to keep her assuming no one will award her a third win, but everyone loves her. I would not want to sit next to her in front of the jury. Now you have made your team weaker and kept a bigger threat than Tony in the game. I don’t get it. I also don’t get having Varner out in the water and Micheala on shore and then not even letting her help at the end. I know they don’t know much about her, but I see no reason to keep her on the sidelines. I don’t have much of a feel of the other tribe yet, so I have no comments on that end.

Favorite scene:

Tai and JT and the chickens. I side with JT on that one. You aren’t there to marry the chickens. You are there to win the game.

Rooting for – Malcolm, Ozzy, Michaela

Rooting against – Sandra, Cirie, Tai

The Ozzy and Cirie thing because I like Ozzy and it seems like it will be one or the other gone first.

A Couple of Old(and Odd) Thoughts

I put these two in a draft last weekend and expected to add more as the week went on. This week has not been one that was conducive to jotting the odd thoughts in a draft, so nothing else was added. So, I decided to just go ahead and post these. I’m sure everyone es very excited about this.

 

Odd TV Promos – I have seen the commercials for both the Pitch and Lethal Weapon TV shows recently. While I think both shows look decent, there is something really odd at the end of the promos. When listing the cast, Pitch says “Introducing Kylie Bunbury” and Lethal Weapon says “introducing Clayne Crawford.” Bunbury was in the Freeform show Twisted and in CBS’ Under the Dome. Crawford has TV credits dating back to 1997 and recently did 22 episodes of Recitfy. He also has a ton of movie credits. These two are not newcomers to the acting scene. Who exactly are the introducing them to?

Olympic Trials – The recent Olympic trials reminded me why I love track and field so much. In track and field, the winner is the person who runs the fastest, jumps the highest, etc. There is no question about who will move on the represent the country in the Olympics. Did you run faster? Jump higher? If you are top three you are in. Gymnastics is a different story. The judging is not as clear cut and only the top scorer is guaranteed a spot on the team. This means that Gabby Douglas who placed 7th and Madison Kocian who placed 8th are on the team while the ones who placed 4-6 are alternates. I get the reasoning. Douglas and Kocian are in because of expertise on the uneven bars and will only compete in that event. It just sucks for the people who did all they could, placed in the top five, but are still left off the team.

Tater Takes On Guilty Pleasures, Reviews and Anything Else That Pops Into His Weird Mind

Guilty Pleasures: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I read, watch and listen to plenty of things people will make fun of. I recently had that happen with my love of the Hamilton soundtrack and musicals in general. Around this same time someone mentioned something being their “guilty pleasure.” I don’t understand the concept of a guilty pleasure. If you enjoy something why would it make you feel guilty. Unless, of course, that “pleasure” is illegal or immoral. If this is the case then, yes, you should feel guilty. I freely admit to things that others would call a guilty pleasure with no shame at all. I love musicals. I watch Grey’s Anatomy. I watched Gilmore Girls regularly when it was on TV. I read sparkly pink YA book meant for teenage girls. I got addicted to the Game Show Network while at my mom’s house and wish I was home in the afternoon to watch Chain Reaction. I watched the soap opera Santa Barbara from the first to the last episode. I’m currently watching Live with Kelly and think Fred Savage should become the permanent co-host. I’m addicted to Facebook and spend a lot of time on social media. Does any of this make me guilty or ashamed? Nope. Why would I be ashamed to send time watching or reading things that make me happy? I don’t feel the need to pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t care if book, movies or music(80’s and pop punk) get good reviews. I only care about how they make me feel.

Reviews: I recently read a review of a comedy movie. Inside the review, the reviewer says you will laugh hard several times. The reviewer then goes on to give the movie a bad overall review. So, a comedy film is funny but is considered a failure? If I go to a comedy, I am going because I want to laugh. If I laugh a lot and hard isn’t that a success? Does it matter if the overall story is great? Are people really going to Neighbors 2 because they wanted a deep, meaningful story? Do reviewers even understand why people go to the movies?  There are some movies in every genre that are dependent on a strong story, excellent acting, score, etc in order to achieve what they are attempting. Some movies, like Neighbors 2, are just meant to make you laugh. Did it make you laugh? Mission accomplished. Stop reading so deeply into things that aren’t meant to be deep. Same goes for TV shows. Also, once you no longer like the medium you should probably stop reviewing it.

Performing the Beatles, Prince, Queen, etc : I was already tired of hearing people opine that people should never attempt to cover the Beatles and was reaching that point with people saying the same about Queen. Now, I’ve already had someone on the Today Show(who makes sure to mention regularly that Prince was a friend) say the same thing in response to the Madonna and Stevie Wonder performance last night. There are a lot of bad cover out there. I agree on that point. My feelings, though, are if you are doing a tribute or making the song your own, then cover away. Most will never be as good as the original, but no one is un-coverable.

Rain: Hot take: I’m tired of it. Please stop.