Tag: 2009 TCA Summer Recap

Bullz-Eye’s TCA 2009 Summer Press Tour Wrap-Up: Cougars, Muppets, Vampires, and Gordon Ramsay, Too!

God bless the TCA Press Tour, where the television industry gives critics from throughout North America the opportunity to play with the folks who live and work in Hollywood. The tour allows us a remarkable amount of access to the stars, producers, directors, and writers of the various shows currently taking up residence on the various cable and broadcast networks. Yes, while I may spend 48 weeks out of the year feeling like a nobody, for those four weeks – two in the summer, two in the winter – which are taken up by the tour, I’m at least made to feel like I’m a somebody. (Really, though, I’m not anybody.)

This was the first time the summer tour had been held after Comic-Con rather than before, so there was a certain amount of grumbling about the fact that the fans were getting a certain amount of information that would’ve ordinarily gone to the critics first, but it must be said that the networks did a pretty good job of pacifying us. And, besides, aren’t the fans supposed to come first, anyway?

Although the content that I managed to accrue during the course of the tour will continue to come your way for quite some time to come, what you see before you is a summary of the highs and lows of the event, mixing stories you may have already read on Premium Hollywood with many that I simply haven’t had a chance to discuss yet. As ever, it was a heck of a good time, full of the kind of moments that leave me grateful that I managed to get that journalism degree from Averett College back in 1992, pleased as punch that Bullz-Eye and Premium Hollywood have given me the opportunity to cover the tour, and, most of all, that there are lot of great readers out there who seem to enjoy the tales I bring back from these strange TCA adventures that I’ve embarked upon.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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TV DVD QT, Vol. 8

King of Queens: 8th Season – Let’s start with this one, since the show just went off the air this week. As with its previous season sets, it remains disappointing that we’re not getting any special features whatsoever, especially since its cousin, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” is also on its eighth season on DVD and it’s filled with audio commentaries and deleted scenes. The comedic trifecta of Kevin James, Jerry Stiller, and Patton Oswalt certainly makes the show worth watching, but with no special features, the temptation to stick with the syndicated reruns is pretty high.

Wings: Season Four – And, hey, speaking of sets with no extras, welcome back to “Wings”! I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you probably don’t remember how the third season ended, but the gang – Joe, Brian, Helen, Roy, Fay, and Lowell – were on a plane, preparing to crash. Well, not to give anything away, but they all survived. “Wings” is one of those sitcoms that’s just…okay. There’s nothing wrong with it, and you’re always guaranteed to laugh several times during an episode, but it’s pretty much a mainstream affair, i.e. always safe, never edgy. Worth noting: Kirstie Alley appears in one episode as her “Cheers” character, Rebecca Howe. No special features. Again.

Martin: The Complete Second Season – Martin Lawrence can be a very funny man, and, as a result, his sitcom could be a very funny affair at times…but, almost without fail, the funniest moments are almost never when he’s trying to play characters other than himself. Maybe it’s just the painful memories of the “Big Momma’s House” movies, but Lawrence always seems like he’s trying too hard when he’s portraying Sheneneh Jenkins, Jerome the Pimp, or whichever alter ego he’s stepping into. “Martin” is invariably at its best when it’s just Lawrence and his ensemble cast: Tisha Campbell, Carl Anthony Payne II, Thomas Mikal Ford, and Tichina Arnold. Plus, “SNL” alum Garrett Morris was still kicking around the show at this point, playing the owner of WZUP, where Martin worked. Too bad there are…everybody now!…no special features.

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