Wednesday, September 22, 2010

California Pizza Kitchen and New Fall Shows, Part 1

I met a friend from high school for lunch yesterday. I hadn't seen her since high school but she went to USC and then stayed out here so we finally met up and we had a great time! We met at California Pizza Kitchen, I let her choose and said I would be fine with any restaurant with a half-decent salad or coffee with soy milk because I'm very flexible. And that's true, I don't really like eating out very much so I don't mind just getting a drink. But luckily, she chose a restaurant with good vegan options.

The CPK website is great because they have a very clear list of vegan items (and they know that honey isn't vegan) and nutrition information for all their menu items. Yay! So I could pick out what I wanted beforehand as well as know the nutrition content of what I was eating. I hate surprise calorie bombs because of the inordinate amount of oil most restaurants use. So I ended up ordering a cup of the asparagus soup with no croutons.



This may not look like much (or maybe it looks like baby food) but it was delicious. Seriously, I was surprised. But this was seriously good. It cost less than $5 and they also have the bowl version which is twice as big.

I've also been watching a lot of new TV. It's fall premiere week, baby! The general actor advice is that you should watch an episode of every show on television and I totally agree. Not only do you need to know what a show is like in case you get an audition for it, but you should also know what the other people in town are working on. If you meet someone who worked on Criminal Minds, you want to be able to talk about it. So I figured I would do a short review of each show I've watched so far. If you aren't interested, then don't read it. But I have more interests than just food (this goes in the "happiness" section of my title).

From two weeks ago:
Hellcats (CW): College cheerleading show with Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale. This was cute. I can't say I'll be dying to watch it every week but I'll definitely give it a chance. This is a cute change for Tisdale who goes from playing the bitch on High School Musical to being the sweet and slightly ditzy cheer captain.

Nikita (CW): I liked it - more than I thought I would, actually. But I do worry that it skews a little older than the general CW audience. It's more Covert Affairs than Vampire Diaries. But I can see some potential for a fun series and wow, Maggie Q is gorgeous.

This week:
The Event (NBC): I'm intrigued. This is definitely a show like Lost or FlashForward that raises more questions than it answers and you'll need to watch it every week to know what's going on. But so far, I'm into it. I'll definitely watch it.

Hawaii Five-O (CBS): I didn't really like this. I like silly action shows but this was too much like CSI: Miami for my taste. Plus, I don't get the appeal of star Alex O'Loughlin. He keeps getting roles (this is his third series in as many years) but as Nikki Finke said on Deadline Hollywood, I don't see what distinguishes him from all the other Caucasian males in their thirties in Hollywood who can't break out. Plus, this show has a much more interesting actor in Daniel Dae Kim who's being woefully underused. He should be the focus of the show.

Lonestar (FOX): This show is the current talk of the town, but not for a good reason - it's dangerously close to the chopping block. First episode ratings were terrible even though most industry types like the show. It's about a Texas conman bigamist. Yeah. I think my roommate said it best - she just can't enjoy a show with a main character who is doing something so horrible as to be married to two different women. It's despicable.

Chase (NBC): I actually liked this more than I thought I would. It's a total formula - tough blonde chick exactly like Mary McCormack of In Plain Sight chasing bad guys. But everything works a little better than I thought it would and I could see it being a perfectly enjoyable show to tune in to on occasion. But it does look expensive, so unless the ratings get a little better it could be in trouble. Jerry Bruckheimer is costly.

Outlaw (NBC): Jimmy Smits (who I like) stars as a conservative Supreme Court justice who has a change of heart and steps down to become a defense attorney and champion the little guy. Yeah. That's a silly premise, and I never bought it. I wouldn't say it was so bad I wanted to scream at the TV or anything, but I feel no desire to keep watching.

Raising Hope (FOX): A total loser has to take care of his baby with the help of his kooky redneck family because the mom's out of the picture. Half-hour comedy. It's OK. I know a lot of people really liked it, but I found lots of the child endangerment humor to not be quite up my alley.

Boardwalk Empire (HBO): Beautiful but low on heart. The set is too clean but the background of Prohibition-Era Atlantic City is gorgeous and it's fun to see all the period costumes and furnishings. I think they can fix this, though. The problem is that we don't care about any of the characters and nobody is really likeable. I see salvageability though and HBO has already picked it up for a second season anyways so it'll have time to develop and find its land legs.

Premieres of returning shows:

Glee (FOX): I love Glee but I wasn't thrilled with this episode. The songs were overproduced and sounded way too much like they were sung in a studio and cleaned up with Auto Tune. Rachel was also more horribly mean than usual and it didn't fit well. She's usually just clueless and selfish, not evil. One of the biggest changes happening to Glee is that in the beginning of the show, the kids sang when it made sense - during practice or a performance - but now they're breaking into song at any old time, like a musical. But next week is the Britney Spears episode and I'll admit it, I am anticipating some greatness.

Vampire Diaries (CW): The return of the teenage vampire drama that's just better than it should be. One thing this show gets totally right is its great-looking cast. At least the CW understands that viewers like to watch hot people making out and that's just how it is.

90210 (CW): I love 90210. It's fun and a nice mix of lighthearted fare with some deeper issues that I think they handle pretty well. And like I said, CW hires hotties.

Gossip Girl (CW): If you like GG, you'll still like it. But I'm still rooting for Dan and Serena, I can't help myself.

Parenthood (NBC): My mom doesn't like this show because the parenting is too bad but I love Crosby and Jabbar and would watch the show just for them. Dax Shepard is a great actor (if you don't believe me, watch the episode from season one when he watches the video of his son's birth. It's great) and Jabbar is adorable!

Chuck (NBC): I watched the premiere because it's a cult favorite that's always in danger of getting canceled. It's really silly. Linda Hamilton was a guest star and she looks like my mom. In other words, lookin' good, Linda Hamilton.

One Tree Hill (CW): I watched this just because it's been on forever and I've never seen it. It's a soap opera. That's all there really is to say.

Life Unexpected (CW): I only ever saw the last episode of the first season but it was pretty easy to catch up. Girl grows up in foster homes, finds her parents who had her when they were 16, they become her legal guardians. In this episode she accidentally made out with a guy who ends up being a teacher at her school. I am saying GO FOR IT. I love illicit romance. DO it, YO.

I feel a little apprehensive putting any sort of criticism online because I respect all the work that goes into every show but damn it, I am entitled to my opinions, too.

And don't judge me for watching so much TV. It's my industry!!

LINK:
To stay up on TV shows and find out what's playing tonight:
http://www.thefutoncritic.com/home/

1 comment:

  1. I read your list yesterday -- thanks for the reviews of the new shows. Glad you're keeping up with the industry so well. And congrats on fixing your own printer. Let's talk soon!

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