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Tag Archive: TBS


Funny is in the eye of the beholder.  How often do you ever agree with anyone as to what comedy is truly funny?  We each only know what makes us laugh out loud and what doesn’t.  TBS nailed it with its new series Angie Tribeca last year.  TBS’s next half-hour comedy also could be laugh-out-loud funny.  It’s The Guest Book, and on paper it sounds like Newhart, only without Bob, and focused on the guests instead.  Replacing Bob is Night Court co-star and funnyman Charles Robinson, which could be just as fun.  The Guest Book sprouts from Emmy winner and series creator Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl) and his habit of writing fictitious stories in the guest books of various rental cabins while on vacation, in an effort to “freak out” the next vacationers.

Each week we meet new guests, but the townies will be the same, including Robinson as the cabin owner.  The Guest Book is notable for getting Kellie Martin out of the normal roles she’s played (always brilliantly) on the Hallmark Channel, straight arrow roles like those she’s done on Mystery Woman and Hailey Dean Mystery (why hasn’t Hollywood tapped her for film roles?).  Here she will be the local sheriff.  Regulars also include Carly Jibson as Vivian, and Frank, played by Lou Wilson.  Other cast members from the town include everyone’s favorite guest villain Garret Dillahunt (Burn Notice, White Collar, Life, The X-Files), plus Laura Bell Bundy (Angie Tribeca, How I Met Your Mother, Veronica Mars, Guiding Light), Margo Martindale (New Girl, Orphan, The Riches, Medium, The Firm), John Ortiz (Medium, Law & Order), and Jenna Fischer (The Office). 

As with Angie Tribeca, it will be an opportunity each week to focus on guest stars, so it could be a great platform to meet old friends in an anthology environment.  These include fan favorite Danny Pudi (Community, Powerless), Stockard Channing (Batman Beyond, Grease, Sesame Street), Michael Rapaport (Chuck, The 6th Day, Cop Land), Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl, The Twilight Zone, Charmed), Lauren Lapkus (Adventure Time, Jurassic World), and Michaela Watkins (Angie Tribeca, New Girl, Saturday Night Live, Medium, Without a Trace, Charmed).

Check out these previews for The Guest Book:

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It was last year’s funniest new comedy.  In the crazy modern world where a television series can have two seasons in one year, Angie Tribeca returns to TBS tonight with the first episode of its third season.  Season One and Two were full of cameos, including Bill Murray, Heather Graham, and James Franco, and this season is no exception.  In the next ten episodes of the half-hour police procedural comedy, you’ll find Star Trek star Chris Pine as a Hannibal Lecter-inspired criminal and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman (Star Wars prequels, Marvel Cinematic Universe) as a NASA scientist who doesn’t quite fit any of the squad members’ expectations.

Rashida Jones is back as the show’s lead Tribeca, the Leslie Nielsen of the latest incarnation of a Police Squad!-level spoof of gritty dramas.  She has fantastic comedic timing and would also fit right in as the lead of any serious show.  The entire cast is a well-choreographed sight-gag machine, including Tribeca’s partner J. Geils, played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the loud-mouthed lieutenant, Chet Atkins, with comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls, and Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-man 2, Justice League Dark) as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.

It’s the series comedy queen Carol Burnett referred to as “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show”.  Check out these previews for Season 3 of Angie Tribeca:

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Our borg.com Best of 2016 list continues today with the best in television.  If you missed it, check out our review of the Top Picks and Best Movies of 2016 here and the Kick-Ass Heroines of 2016 yesterday here.

Without further ado, this year’s Best in Television:

Best Borg TV Series, Best TV Borg — Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz), Bruce Campbell.  We searched high and low for the year’s best TV series featuring one or more borg characters, but didn’t really need to go that far.  The brilliantly funny pop culture ace actor Bruce Campbell’s reboot of the borg.com Hall of Famer Ash could have gotten overlooked had it been just another horror series.  Yet underneath this over-the-top, blood and gore-filled demon hunt is a whole lot of silly fun.  And the actors could have been better, with the likes of Lee Majors (pictured above), Lucy Lawless, and Ted Raimi all making appearances.  We couldn’t ask for a better actor than Campbell to take our borg.com TV title this year.

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Best TV Series, Best TV Horror Series – Grimm (NBC).  The fifth season of Grimm was simply fantastic, full of gripping writing and a change-up of character roles in a way we’ve never seen before.  This season we saw the best action, twists and turns, and flat-out excitement, above every other series on television.  Pulling bits and pieces of folklore from Western and Eastern mythologies and everything in between, the writers delivered all season long.  The writing team’s best work was what they have done all along, taking the story in a direction no one could have predicted.

Stranger Things cast

Best TV Sci-fi Series – Stranger Things, (Netflix).  It’s nearly impossible to list all the influences that came together to form our pick for this year’s Best Retro Fix.  Stand By Me, Firestarter, Silver BulletStranger Things could be another coming of age Stephen King tale, but with nicely creepy John Carpenter undertones and the wonder and sci-fi of a Steven Spielberg movie.  Think Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, and Super 8.  Whatever it is, great performances by a lead group of kid actors, teen actors, and a few adults from filmdom’s past made for a fun season one.

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Best New TV Series, Best Re-Imagining on TV  – Wynonna Earp (Syfy).  We knew Syfy had a winner in the first episode of this year’s best new TV series, Wynonna Earp.  A great mash-up of Western, paranormal, and horror, Wynonna Earp took an American legend and made it interesting for today’s viewers.  Melanie Scrofano’s Wynonna is a classic heroine in a supernatural setting.  And her interactions with Tim Rozon’s Doc Holliday include some of the best humor on TV.  Did we mention the villains are basically zombies?  Wynonna’s got a gun–a Peacemaker–and she knows how to use it, giving us a fun, over-the-top shoot ’em up each week to look forward to.

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Best Animated TV Series – Star Wars Rebels (DisneyXD).  For the second year in a row, Star Wars Rebels proves that animated shows are just as compelling as big budget theatrical blockbusters.  This season we met the great villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, finally introduced to Star Wars canon.  Every episode gave fans something to be excited about, as in the episode “The Antilles Extraction,” where Sabine goes undercover as a cadet in the Empire’s elite flight academy to bring Imperial pilots over to fight for the Rebellion.  Darth Maul and Captain Rex are also standout characters.  Original trilogy voice actors, compelling visuals, and rousing music, make this one of the best series on TV.

After the cut, come back for more of our Best in Television 2016:

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Angie Tribeca Season One DVD

When we first reviewed Season One of TBS’s new hot comedy Angie Tribeca back in January here at borg.com we could hardly wait for Season Two to arrive.  Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  The first ten episodes provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! and re-watching the episodes and the special features on the soon-to-be-released DVD release this week made us believers all over again.  The series is laugh-out-loud funny like no other show on television.

The special features on the DVD, which is being released May 17, 2016, give viewers an idea of how difficult this kind of comedy is to create.  We figured the secret to the show’s unique humor was the writing by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, but it may be more than that.  Star Rashida Jones explains that as easy as it is to watch and laugh at the comedy on the show, the technical requirements to get the comedy right takes plenty of planning and coordination.  The features also include a sneak peek at Season Two.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

You know something funny is going on when you read ad copy for the series, like “Finally!  A show about cops!”  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast, including Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins), Tribeca’s partner J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.  As Burns says in interviews on the DVD, playing the characters with earnest–like Molina performing with the seriousness you might see by a Shakespearean actor–makes the humor work.

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Angie Tribeca clip

TBS’s new comedy series Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  Season One provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! was yucking up the airwaves back in 1982.  That same “I can’t believe this is so funny,” laugh-out-loud, Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker-inspired comedy is back.

Streaming online for each episode of Season One expires today so put aside three or four hours and check it out now at the TBS website here.  Carol Burnett, who called in to the live marathon hosted by the show’s stars in between episodes, surprised the cast, and nailed it, calling the show “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show I’ve seen in a while”.  What was the secret to the show’s success?  As usual it’s the writing.  Top writing, in fact, by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, who tapped into something else we haven’t seen in a while–humor that isn’t mean and ugly, just well-paced and all-out fun.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

Fans of Peggy Lipton from The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks might not be able to help making comparisons of Lipton to her daughter, series star Rashida Jones, who plays the title character.  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast.  We already know Jere Burns from his role as the nasty villain Anson Fullerton on Burn Notice (and dozens of appearances on other popular series from Breaking Bad to Justified).  But who would have thought he’d be so endearing (and, yes, funny) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins)?  Tribeca’s partner is J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole is cop DJ Tanner (and his partner Officer David Hoffman is played by Jagger the shepherd dog, who Cole communicates with in a very Han Solo and Chewbacca way), with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by none other than Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss, always in a state of physical torment–or not.

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