Knock knock. Who's there? Chelsea. Chelsea who?
No, make that Chelsea why? The answer to the question posed in NBC's squalid new sitcom Are You There, Chelsea? (8:30/7:30c) is "not really." Based on late-night spitfire Chelsea Handler's potty-mouthed party-girl memoirs — but dropping the Vodka from the title because that might be, you know, offensive — this smutty but toothless misfire puzzlingly reduces Handler to a supporting role: that of a mousy, whiny born-again sister to the fictional Chelsea, played by That '70s Show's Laura Prepon with a one-note husky-voiced crassness that grows stale long before the first scene (in a women's jail cell) ends with Glee's Dot Marie Jones leering at Chelsea. Which is maybe the only sexual advance Chelsea spurns. As long as she can be on top. Which she mentions a lot.
So You Think You Can Dance
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Question: I heard somewhere that Fox will be canceling So You Think You Can Dance after this season and that this season will be shaved down a bit. How can this be true? This is one of the very best "reality" shows on TV. It's classy, inspiring, emotional, and I keep being amazed ...
Some thoughts on a few of the shows that got 2012 off to a (mostly) promising start. Which means I've already forgotten that ABC's grotesquely unfunny Work It exists — and if you thought that was bad, wait until you see (or better yet, don't) next week's comedy disasters: CBS' offensively stereotypical Rob and NBC's rancid hangover of a dud Are You There, Chelsea? But for now, let's accentuate the (mostly) positive.
Who says you can't go home again? Not that any of us ever lived in a place as grand and as teeming with character — highborn and low, selfless and treacherous — as Downton Abbey.
Hot In Cleveland
Unless you're watching the Orange Bowl on ESPN, tonight's best bets are strictly comedy. (And yes, that includes Revenge. More on that in a few.)
It somehow seems fitting that when TV Land's Hot in Cleveland (10/9c) looks back at how it all began for Melanie, Joy and Victoria, we're thrust into an '80s time warp, because if there was ever a show that felt like an artifact from a simpler, sillier time, it's this one. Betty White gets the set-up: "How did you guys meet, anyway?" Elka asks to kill time outside a stadium restroom. "If there were a TV in view, I wouldn't [care]," she barks, self-reflexively acknowledging what a clichéd storyline this is.
Happy 2012! This week, we take care of some unfinished business from the first half of the TV season while looking ahead to some midseason hopefuls. Keep sending your questions and opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter!
Some like it hot, but more like it funny. By either or any standard, ABC's atrocious Work It fails miserably.
What a sick little show American Horror Story turned out to be. Ludicrous from top to bottom, from haunted attic to cellar, from start to finish, as the population of ghosts in the Murder House grew nearly as large as the Downton Abbey estate. In the finale, it was finally ...
Amidst speculation that The X Factor judge/mentor Nicole Scherzinger may not return to the reality show next year, she admitted on Wednesday that the first season ...
They really went there. Showtime's signature thrillers Homeland and Dexter each flipped the metaphorical switch — in Homeland's case, literally; with Dexter, breaking down a wall we'd been waiting to happen for some time — in pivotal finales that leave a big void on Sundays.
Saving the best for last, let's start with Dexter. The finale was 95 percent routine, a charge that could be aimed at the season as a whole, capped by the uninspired end of the ...