Category Archives: If We Controlled Your Remote

What do we think you should be watching each night? Find out!

If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/29/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Today, Apple TV+ launched the new animated musical comedy Central Park, from Loren Bouchard, who also created Bob’s Burgers. Owen Tillerman (Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton) is the park manager for New York City’s Central Park. He loves flowers and nature in general and is devoted to his job. However, he finds that not everyone seems to care about the park as much as he does. He and his family live in Edendale Castle, a home adjacent to the park, though not actually a castle as the name implies. Owen’s wife Paige (Kathryn Hahn, I Know This Much Is True) works for a small weekly newspaper, What’s New New York?. She is eager to branch out into covering hard news and not just the puff pieces her editor usually assigns to her. The Tillermans have two children. Cole (Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) is a kind-hearted animal lover, while older sister Molly (Kristen Bell, Frozen, The Good Place) likes to draw comic books. The heroine of Molly’s comics is an idealized version of herself – Fista-Puffs can rewind time 5 seconds at a time, and her hair turns into giant fists to take down the bad guys. She often teams up with the handsome Kite Boy – who is based on a boy she often fantasizes about after exchanging just a few words in the park.

Living in the penthouse of a hotel overlooking Central Park is the evil Bitsy (Stanley Tucci, BoJack Horseman, Feud: Bette and Joan), a wealthy hotel heiress who only really loves her dog, Shampagne. Bitsy has come up with a secret scheme to buy Central Park and turn it into condos. Her loyal maid, Helen (Daveed Diggs, Hamilton, Snowpiercer), puts up with Bitsy’s poor treatment in hopes that one day she will inherit a fortune.

Leading the viewers through this story, and serving as narrator, is troubadour Birdie (Josh Gad, Frozen, Avenue 5). Birdie is a musician who hangs out in the park and often breaks the fourth wall to make puns and comment on what’s happening (or going to happen) in each episode.

It’s hard not to compare this series to Bob’s Burgers. The Tillermans have a very similar family dynamic as the Belchers – son Cole is a lot like Gene Belcher, with a love of food and making sarcastic comments, and while the Tillermans only have one daughter, Molly is an amalgam of the boy-crazy Tina Belcher and the wilder, scheming Louise. The series does a nice job of balancing a serialized storyline with fun adventures and story-of-the-week arcs. Like with Bob’s Burgers, there are both stories involving the entire family at home, as well as multiple side adventures involving various combinations of the kids and parents.

While episodes of Bob’s Burgers contain a musical number here and there (or in the credits), Central Park is much more of a proper musical, with the characters breaking into song at least 4-5 times per episode. The original songs run the gamut of musical styles but are always thoroughly entertaining and catchy, with smart, witty lyrics and amazing performances by the show’s talented cast, all of whom have musical theater backgrounds. I especially enjoyed an amazing contrasting duet in episode 4, where Paige is singing about setting rat traps while Cole is singing about deactivating them to save his potential furry friend. The musical numbers don’t feel like a quick afterthought – they feel fully produced and enhance each episode’s story lines.

Apple TV+ released the first two episodes today, and additional episodes will be released each Friday. This is such a delightful show, and I highly recommend checking it out – especially for those who are already fans of Bob’s Burgers. The first season will be 13 episodes, and a second season has already been ordered, so there’s plenty of musical goodness to come.

I’ll also be watching/recording Space Force and The Graham Norton Show.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/26/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Last week, The CW kicked off its latest superhero series, Stargirl. (Episodes also air a day earlier, on Mondays, on the DC Universe subscription service.) In the premiere, we learned that a decade earlier, a band of heroes known as the Justice Society of America was protecting the Earth from a similar band of villains, known as the Injustice Society. However, the heroes were nearly all killed in battle. Just before he died, Starman (Joel McHale) gave his Cosmic Staff to his sidekick, Pat Dugan aka Stripesy (Luke Wilson), telling him it would find a worthy successor. However, the staff would just sit in storage, gathering dust for the next decade. During that time, Pat met and married Barbara Whitmore (Amy Smart), a single mother whose first husband mysteriously disappeared one Christmas, right around the time that the Justice Society of America was killed off (is there a connection?!).

In the present day, the newly-combined family – Pat, his son Mike (Trae Romano), Barbara, and her daughter Courtney (Brec Bassinger, School of Rock) – have moved across the country to their new home in Blue Valley, and Courtney’s first day at Blue Valley High School doesn’t go well. She’s picked on by the popular kids and forced to sit at the reject table for lunch (the future members of a new Justice Society of America?). After school, she stumbles upon the Cosmic Staff in the basement, which seems to come to life and flies her to the drive-in theater, where the cool kids are hanging out. Courtney is a bit of a gymnastics star, and her skills seem to blend well with that of the staff. However, the staff gets a mind of its own and blows up jock/bully Henry King Jr.’s (Jake Austin Walker, Rectify) car. It turns out that his father, Henry Sr. (Christopher James Baker, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was a villain named Brainwave, and now, with this new turn of events, he’s decided to don his old costume and come out of retirement. Courtney eventually meets up with Brainwave and is about to lose their fight when she is saved by Pat, who is wearing a giant 15-foot robot Transformer-like armor.

I really enjoyed the premiere and can’t wait to see more of this series – it has the humor and lighter tone of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, so it should pair well with that on Tuesday nights. I am looking forward to seeing Courtney don the Stargirl uniform (I mean, despite Pat’s denial, Starman has to have been her father, right?), and form a new Justice Society of America to take on these bullies and actual villains.

On tonight’s episode, “S.T.R.I.P.E.,” after Courtney has an unexpected run-in with a member of the Injustice Society of America, Pat reveals the truth to her about their history; Barbara is elated when she sees Courtney making an attempt to get along with Pat.

To learn the truth about Pat and Courtney, tune in to The CW at 8/7c.

I’ll also be watching/recording DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/25/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Jenny’s Choice

I can’t say enough how much I enjoy Songland. This show gives aspiring song writers the chance to showcase their original songs to a select singer or group, and then three of the four get to collaborate with a professional, well-known music producer/song writer. Together, they’ll work that song to fit the artists, sometimes changing almost nothing, sometimes changing almost everything. In the end, the singer/group will choose the song that fits them best and put it out into the world.

I find I enjoy the show most when it’s a singer/group I like/listen to. Last week was Florida Georgia Line, and it was great. Others this season I really liked were Martina McBride and Lady Antebellum. Yes, I’m a country music fan. LOL But this week takes me back to high school with Boyz II Men. And when I watched the screener, the episode didn’t disappoint.

To see which song Boyz II Men chooses, tune in to NBC at 10/9c.

I’ll also be watching The Titan Games & Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/21/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Tonight, NBC hosts its annual Red Nose Day fundraiser, and kicking off the events is Celebrity Escape Room. In this fun special, Jack Black plays an over-the-top, eccentric, pony-tailed billionaire version of himself. Jack has invited celebrity friends Ben Stiller, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Adam Scott to his mansion to partake in an escape room. They will have 60 minutes to solve puzzles and make their way through the various rooms and ultimately escape. For each puzzle they solve, they earn $15K for the Red Nose Day charity, and if they make it through to the end, they earn $150K. Should they get stuck and need help, all four of them must unanimously agree to put on their red noses and ask for a clue, but they must use these requests sparingly, as they are limited to three clues over the course of the game.

As the four celebrities step back in time and make their way through the totally tubular 1980s high school themed escape room, the viewer is regularly notified about the puzzles the participants are trying to figure out and what clues they should be looking for. The puzzles are also personalized for this group of celebrities, including elements from their own high school experiences (as well as their acting careers). Sometimes things seem so obvious, but it’s fun to see these actors struggle and get completely lost or make really stupid mistakes.

Throughout the game, Jack Black chimes in over the loudspeaker with funny quips and insults, and there are also cutaway interviews with the participants, who comment on their own performance during the escape room. There are some really fun cameos from many other celebrities, who also pop up before/after commercial breaks. I’ve been to a few escape rooms and always have fun trying to solve the difficult puzzles. However, this is less of a puzzle-solving task for the viewer and more of just a fun viewing experience. I really enjoyed this special and hope that we get to see more of these in the future.

To see how the celebs solve the puzzles, tune in to NBC at 8/7c.

I’ll also be watching/recording Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Holey Moley, To Tell the Truth, Broke, Celebrity Watch Party, and Vagrant Queen.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/20/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Jenny’s Choice

Tonight is the series premiere of a fun new show on FOX called Ultimate Tag. It is exactly what you’d think: a great big exciting game of tag – crossed with the show from 2007/2008, American Gladiators. Six contestants (three men, three women), all athletes, military, martial artists, etc, compete against a group of “taggers” with names like The Flow, La Flair, Spitfire, Iron Giantress, Flame, Caveman, Big Deal, and more. Most of the taggers are free runners or experts in parkour. The course is three-dimensional, so the contestants and taggers must run, jump, slide, climb…basically do whatever they need to do to beat the clock and each other.

Kyle didn’t really enjoy the screener, but I thought it was a lot of fun. The names are silly (I loved American Gladiators, and I feel like most of the names were better on there…), but the action is fun, and the hosts (the pro-football-playing Watt brothers, JJ, TJ, & Derek) were good as well. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Don’t miss the premiere tonight on FOX at 9:02/8:02c.

I’ll also be watching Guy’s Grocery Games & S.W.A.T.
 
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