Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah, New Daily Show Host?

After many weeks of speculation (which felt pretty long, compared to the events of last year's late night chaos), the search for Jon Stewart's replacement has finally concluded, and they went with the South African comic Trevor Noah. I'm okay with this development like how I was okay with with news of Jon Stewart finally stepping down from The Daily Show. I thought I read somewhere that he was reluctant to give up his standup comedy touring, or perhaps not? At least it's not another middle-aged white guy, amiright?

With all the natural heirs to TDS already upped and left (you know which ones), it was slim pickings from the current stable of correspondents. I didn't really think that either Jason Jones or Samantha Bee had a shot of taking over anyway, which is just as well that they're both leaving (Jason did as of last week). Jessica Williams is self aware enough to pre-emptively take herself out of the running early on. I really can't see any of the others taking over, familiar faces or not. All the other names bandied about was about as ludicrous as the next. So what's wrong with a South African guy taking over? John Oliver's doing a hilarious job on HBO. 

At least now there'll be men of colour in Comedy Central's late night lineup... now I can't wait to see the rejigged Daily Show later in the year.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

CSI: Cyber

After the backdoor pilot (which they're playing again for World CSI Day) months ago, CSI: Cyber is finally here. 

Someone uploaded what I presumed to be an advanced screener for the CSI: Cyber pilot online a couple days ahead of its big premiere (no opening credits, network tags, lower third ads, etc) this week. But the episode did closed with another CSI franchise signature: the use of The Who song for a theme song, this time it's I Can See For Miles, which seems apt for this show.

If you have logged a lot of hours of your life in front of the TV, you would recognise some of the faces (besides Patricia Arquette, who was previously on the show, Medium) like James Van Der Beek (her second-in-command/field muscle) and Peter MacNicol (who plays the uber supportive boss). Also totally didn't recognise Bow Wow (formerly L'il Bow Wow - I hope I'm not the only one who remembered that). 

Some big differences for the CSI franchise: a leading lady, that it's not some local police department, but an FBI Cyber Crimes division... The pilot case is already pretty creepy - a baby trafficking ring who sources their babies by exploiting a flaw in a company's baby monitors. The cases are already creepy, on par with SVU or Criminal Minds

I don't know if the show's momentum will continue to last to get a full season pickup or renewed after the glow of Patricia Arquette's Oscar win fades, but I'm curious to find out. (Before she won, they used her Academy Award nominee status like crazy in the promos - they should change them to reflect "Nominee" to "Winner" now)

While I can see why professional TV watchers (you know, critics) panned both the show and pilot, but if you've been watching the franchise through thick and thin, why not. Just don't let technophobic old people watch it because it might make them even more paranoid.

Thoughts on The Late Late Show Guest Hosts, Part 3

This is the final instalment of my random thoughts/opinions on the guest hosts of The Late Late Show before the new guy starts next week. Holy crap, I can't believe it's coming up already. 

I've had fun watching the guest hosting gigs, whether they killed or bombed. They're also bringing in current and former CBS personalities to fill in the last few weeks before James Corden starts. I'm guessing Drew Carey is doing a second week of shows at the end because they didn't want to find more people to fill in the guest host slot. 

Wayne Brady (Feb 9 - 13, Let's Make a Deal): I personally didn't know that he's currently hosting Let's Make a Deal with Jonathan Mangum as his sidekick, which makes them both more qualified than most to do a week of guest hosting on The Late Late Show. The cold opens are tolerable, with him interacting with him as a character, with the odd appearance from Mangum. He brought his Whose Line persona with him and kept the singing to a tolerable minimum, and not to mention his geek/nerd side when Shatner came on. I also enjoyed the Judy Smith (inspiration for Scandal's Olivia Pope) segment. He had a good mix of guests for his week of shows, from the child genius to the Freestyle Love Supreme guys, whom I had no prior awareness of. Him signing off by saying "I love you" to his kids was a cute touch. Fun week.

Tom Lennon (Feb 16 - 18, The Odd Couple): I wonder if they got him to host because he's on the rebooted The Odd Couple (also on CBS), or because he was also on the show a lot during Craig's tenure (not just as someone they call to fill in for guest drop outs, but as the voice of Geoff the robot). Anyway... of course he got his Odd Couple co-star Matthew Perry on, who was smart enough to decline the hosting gig. Got a little exhausted of him promoting the show by the end of the three nights, but thought he was all right. My favourite night was the first when he had Weird Al, Natasha Leggero and Maz Jobrani on. 

Lauren Graham (Feb 19, The Odd Couple): Guess I wasn't the only one wondering if a boob was gonna spill out of her low-cut top. She did okay for one night, but she should stick to her day job(s). 

Will Arnett (Feb 20, formerly The Millers): He should definitely stick to his day job. Using pre-show footage of himself as his sidekick is just... meh. But getting another late night talk show host from another network (Jimmy Kimmel) was the only bright side to this. 

Billy Gardell (Feb 23 - 24, Mike and Molly): For all his self-deprecation, he did a pretty good job for the two nights he hosted. 

Kunal Nayyar (Feb 25 - 27, The Big Bang Theory): I thought he did okay, and was pretty entertaining. But that screaming goat will be his Late Late Show hosting legacy. 

Drew Carey (March 2 - 6, The Price is Right): Do I need to repeat myself? He'll be fine.