The Middle Man

By ekanoff | 8:10 am on April 24, 2012

How can you tell it’s Spring? Well the robins are singing, the flip flops are flipping and Al Roker is forecasting rain showers in your neck of the woods. But you know how you really know? Why, it’s the mid-mid season replacement, of course! You see, every September the TV networks roll out new shows that they hope will become huge, humongous, Joe Millionaire-sized hits. Some do (i.e. New Girl) and some do not (i.e. Charlie’s Angels). But let me tell you, those network people are smart. If a show is terribly reviewed with low viewership (i.e. Whitney), it’s replaced halfway through the season with another show that’s been groomed to take its place (i.e. Are You There Chelsea?). And when that show tanks (i.e. Work it) or another, more popular program runs out of episodes, you better believe they have even more shows waiting in the wings, itching to make it to air, secretly whispering, “Put me in coach!”

This season is no different and we’ve got some great new shows at our disposal — so without further ado, take a look at my favorite additions to the mid-mid spring programming schedule:

BFF: The newest addition to NBC’s brilliantly written, criminally under-watched comedy collection is BFF, a single-camera sitcom that runs like another one of my favorite former midseason replacements, Happy Endings. Starring Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham as two — you guessed it — BFFs, the show begins just as the former gets dumped by her two-timing husband and the girls find themselves living together again after years of maintaining a skype-fueled, cross-country best-friendship. Adding to the mix is the latter’s supportive yet realistic live-in boyfriend, who tries to take it all in stride as his space and girlfriend are suddenly overrun by the devastated dumpee. Rounding out the cast is an old flame of Jessica’s (I smell a Ross-and-Rachel situation a brewin’) and Queenetta, the sassy 8-year old neighbor who hilariously whips Jessica back in fighting shape. Quick dialogue, outrageous pop culture references and enviable Brooklyn apartment aside, it’s the dissection of a beautiful, idiosyncratic friendship that makes this show one to watch. Oh, and Queenetta, of course. Airs Wednesdays @ 8:30 on NBC.

Veep: Okay, I may be jumping the gun on this one since only one episode has aired, but man was I impressed. The show stars Julia Louis Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, the capable yet slightly unhinged VPOTUS and her insanely inept staff. While the show certainly capitalizes on the popularity of female politicos (cough Sarah Palin cough cough), gender is about the only similarity on display. Dreyfus is surrounded by an incredible supporting cast including Arrested Development‘s Tony Hale as her personal aide, improv master Matt Walsh as her press secretary and (OMG ARE YOU KIDDING ME??) Anna Chlumsky as her chief of staff. Yes, THAT Anna Chlumsky. While it’s funny, it’s not LOL funny — it’s got tiny nuances that make you want to rewind, mixed with holy cow moments that are so un-PC it’ll blow your mind. And while it’s political in nature, it’s more about inner-office relationships and therefore, anyone can watch and enjoy regardless of their interest in current events. Not to mention, JLD looks FIERCE. Elaine who? Airs Sundays @ 10 on HBO.

Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23: With a Smash-sized press push surrounding the show, I was a little weary heading into the pilot a few weeks ago. But hype-be-darned, this show has actually got the chops! It’s funny, it’s nutty and it’s got James Freaking Van Der Beek! Krysten Ritter plays Chloe, a super confident, super leggy, super off-her-rocker New Yorker with a penchant for mischief and a famous best friend (insert JFVDB here). When her bright-eyed, small-town new roommate June moves in, their worlds are turned upside down; June learns she’s got a life worth living and Chloe realizes she may have a heart after all.  And by heart, I mean she sleeps with June’s fiance to prove that he’s a cheater. See? I said it was nutty! Airs Wednesdays @ 9:30 at ABC.

Now if these new shows are not your bag (baby), you can always stick with your old favorites, like 30 Rock and Mad Men, both of which are still at the top of their games several seasons in.  And if you’re over TV all together and still need your pop culture fix? May I suggest that you stop what you’re doing immediately, head to your nearest multiplex and purchase a ticket to The Lucky One. The latest film from the king of rain kisses (Nicholas Sparks) is lead by the formally gap-toothed, presently Herculean, Zac Efron and has the hottest shower scene this side of late-night Cinemax. You’re welcome, ladies and gents. Aaaaaaaaaaaand scene.

You know what happens next — Voice your choice and tell us which new show is your favorite?

BFF

Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23

Girls

Veep


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