by Ivey McDaniel | staff writer

What you should be watching now:

IFC's Portlandia gives a fresh new look to sitcoms.

Portlandia on IFC

Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen and musician Carrie Brownstein are the geniuses behind this compilation of short skits. Portlandia pokes fun at awkward situations and the extremely liberal organic mentalities of Portland, Oregon. From feminists and polygamy to shell art and mixologists, this show will have you in stitches, and I dare say, stealing the limelight from SNL.

Dance Moms on LMN

Like everything on LMN, this is a guilty pleasure. Dance Moms follows the life of dance instructors Abby Lee’s competition team of seven-to-thirteen-year-old girls. As the name suggests, the real drama is derived from the girls’ moms, who each insist that their daughter is the best on the team, after going through great lengths to prove it. The show is extremely addicting and I found myself uncertain as to call Protective Services, or watch another episode. The show has started its second season off already, but without a real plot line, it’s not difficult to follow.

“Are you there, Chelsea?” on NBC

"Are you there Chelsea?" depicts the comically ridiculous life of Chelsea Handler.

Comedian Chelsea Handler debuted her sitcom January 11. Many are comparing the comedy to NBC’s other female-dominated sitcom, Whitney. The show stars Laura Prepon as Handler, while  the actual Handler appears in cameo as her sister. Critics have said the comedy on the show is a little rough, (Handler’s stand-up routine translated to a sitcom) but I would recommend giving it a chance.

 

What to prepare for:

Alcatraz on FOX Fans of Lost, be prepared. From the same producer comes a new thriller set to air Jan. 23. Taking place in San Francisco’s notorious high-security prison, Alcatraz is said to follow the reappearance of numerous security guards and inmates believed long dead. The mystery is solved by a young detective, Rebecca Madsen.

Smash on NBC This new theatrical show stars former American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee as Carren. It follows the preparations behind a Broadway performance based on the life of Marilyn Monore. The show somewhat simulates the movie Fame, and exposes the hardships behind producing a musical. (Something Rachel Berry would love.)

The River on ABC Planning to premiere early February, this mockumentary follows scientists as they search for the reason behind the death of a children’s Discovery TV host. The thriller takes place on the Amazon River and is anticipated to be a well-made version of Anaconda and Lost Tapes.

 

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About The Author

Ivey McDaniel is a senior at Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson High school. This is her third year on in publications and is the Arts and Entertainment editor for the 2012-2013 school year. She is the president of Key Club, and an active member of Unity Club and NHS. Ivey works at the Garment Exchange and enjoys NPR, her cat Mochi, and the musical stylings of Neil Diamond.

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