Tag Archives: Texas TV

TV’s Big Bang Comes to Texas – Sort of

Image result for young sheldon show

Young Sheldon the spin-off of the megahit sitcom The Big Bang Theory will, of course, be set in Texas.  In TBBT, Jim Parsons, a Houston native, plays social misfit genius Sheldon Cooper who was fictionally raised in east Texas in a  bible-thumping, sports and gun loving family.  The show has played off of that aspect of his character rather brilliantly – especially with crackerjack actress Laurie Metcalf in a recurring role as Sheldon’s  mother Mary.  Every episode with Metcalf is a real joy to watch as she totally invades the stage with her understated performance as Sheldon’s doting but often cynical mother.  Young Sheldon will start with seven-year old Sheldon already in high school and feature interaction with his family who do not know quite what to make of the young prodigy.

MySA reports that Metcalf’s daughter Zoe Perry will play the same role as her mother in the new show and one can only hope that she carries on like mom.  In any event, Red is always pleased to see another TV show set in Texas (with the notable exception of Walker – Texas Moron) even if filming takes place in Burbank. Hopefully, there will be some notable Texas exteriors if the show takes off.  Red is skeptical, but then he also thought Frazier would probably bomb.

Young Sheldon is set for a special Monday night premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, after the season opener of The Big Bang Theory.   The regular time slot will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning in November with the TBBT as a lead-in.

This Has Bomb Written All Over It

Former State Senator and miserably failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is developing a TV show based on her life story.  Really?  We didn’t get enough of that in 2014?  If Red wants to watch a bad TV show, he’ll stick to reruns of Reba or any of the upcoming GOP debates. The Dallas Morning News has more on this – oh, words just fail Red every now and then.  Why won’t politicians just go away when the voters tell them to?

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis confirmed Thursday night she is working on a pilot for NBC.  She said the series, about a female senator who goes to work for a law firm after losing the governor’s race, is loosely based on her life.

“It is loosely based on my personal experience,” Davis said Thursday night. “It is not an autobiographical tale.”

Davis cautioned the pilot was still in development and NBC was a “long way” from a decision about the series. She said she did not know yet who would play the character based on her.

Red hopes a “long way” means never.  But if it doesn’t, Jenna Elfman is the obvious choice.

West Texas Investors Club or Rattlesnake Tank?

Red happened to stumble on a new show last week while searching for a Premier League game.  Inc.com  profiles the latest reality series from CNBC – a take off on Shark Tank called West Texas Investors Club.  The premise is the same as Shark Tank as budding entrepreneurs seek funding for their start-up – but the setting and vibe could not be more different.

CNBC’s new reality series West Texas Investors Club takes the Shark Tank model of entrepreneurs pitching business ideas and adds a crucial new ingredient: beer.

The one-hour show stars self-made millionaires Michael “Rooster” McConaughey (older brother of Matthew) and Wayne “Butch” Gilliam, two veterans of the oil-and-gas pipeline industry who listen to startup pitches mostly while drinking Miller Lite.

The first season of the show premiered on Tuesday, August 4 and will run for eight episodes.

One big difference between West Texas Investors Club and Shark Tank is how McConaughey and Gilliam test out the startup models before deciding to invest.

For example, in the show’s first episode, the pair brought entrepreneur Adam Garfield’s drink-ordering app SpeedETab to a local bar to see how it would be received by customers. 

“For every entrepreneur that comes to us, we’re going to try to figure out a way to put them in a real-life scenario,” Gilliam says. “We want to put them under the gun and see what their character is all about.”

Red may want to try to get funding for a website about Texas history, current events, politics and drinking.

Texas Sinking

Red actually tried to watch an episode of Texas Rising the other night.  There is a fine line between just plain awful and god-awful.  Texas Rising isn’t even close to the border.  It was without a doubt the worst thing Red has tried to watch in quite some time.  Since Red knows his Texas history pretty darn well, it didn’t really matter that he jumped in on the episode retelling the story of the massacre at LaBahia.  Red could probably deal with the completely inaccurate geographical depiction of the events (still looking for those mountains near Goliad) and even some messing around with the actual historical events, but what cannot be overlooked is the completely wooden acting, the lame dialogue, the turning of interesting historic personages into absurd caricatures, and the complete lack of a coherent narrative.  Red made it through about 40 minutes before calling it quits.  The early bad reviews of this series gave it too much credit.  Seldom has there been anything less worth watching than Texas Rising.

Texas Rising Takes a Few Hits

The History Channel mini-series Texas Rising debuts this weekend.  Critical acclaim awaits.  The early reviews are not particularly promising.

The Seattle Times for one is unimpressed.

It’s only partially “history” in “Texas Rising,” however, which we’ve come to expect from the History Channel. Some of the events are accurately portrayed in the miniseries, but others are invented and, at least in the first two episodes, there is embarrassingly little effort to portray the Mexicans and Native Americans as anything other than cartoon villains and savages. In fact, if you squint just a little, you’ll think you’re watching a John Wayne film from, say, 1960, when he directed and starred in “The Alamo.”

Dominic Patten of Deadline is harsher still.

With a Memorial Day debut on History Channel, Texas Rising has ambitious aims. But sad to say, the 10-hour multi-week miniseries just doesn’t hit the target. Brought to the small screen by some of the team behind the blockbuster The Hatfields And McCoys series, the Roland Joffe-directed tale of Lone Star warfare and revolution ends up, as my video review above says, being shrill instead of strong.

Brian Lowry of Variety takes a pass.

Watching the first six hours of “Texas Rising,” a wonderfully cast and otherwise completely wooden miniseries, one has to wonder what inspired the History channel to expand the production from six hours to 10. Chronicling a chapter in the Lone Star state’s bloody ascent to U.S. statehood that begins in the ashes of the Alamo, the Roland Joffe-directed project juggles too many indifferently written, tough-talkin’ characters, as if “Lonesome Dove” had experienced a sharp blow to the head. Fans of Westerns will no doubt be eager to immerse themselves in this once-abundant, now-underutilized genre, but for those who tend to be discriminating about their TV watching, don’t mess with “Texas.”

Jeanne Jakle of the San Antonio Express News points out that there isn’t much “history” on the History Channel.

Texas Rising,” TV’s upcoming star-studded saga about the birth of the Lone Star State, may be on the History channel, but it’s no history lesson.

“It’s big, epic and sexy,” Bill Paxton, who plays Sam Houston, said in a recent interview. “It’s historical fiction like the movie ‘Titanic.’ There are characters who’ve been brought in to flesh it out, make it move better.

“You can do a lot of research,” Paxton added, “but that can be a very dry affair.”

“Texas Rising” kicks off with parts one and two at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on History. The remaining three episodes will run at 8 p.m. Mondays from June 1 through 15.

The series’ Oscar-nominated director, Roland Joffé, also described the 10-hour miniseries as much more emotional than historical, a way to transport viewers to Texas in the aftermath of the Battle of the Alamo and convey how people were feeling.

“You can do history as archaeology, which I think is rather dull,” Joffé (”The Killing Fields”) told TV critics at a History press session.

Red will wait and form his own opinion, but generally thinks that history itself is plenty fascinating if done right.  At least Santa Anna isn’t played by some old ugly Mexican dude.

Texas Rising to Premiere on Memorial Day

The History Channel will premier a new series Texas Rising over Memorial Day Weekend.  The initial episode will air on May 25 at 8:00 pm (CDT).  Texas Rising  will be 10-hour series based on the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers.

Texas Rising has a large cast with notable names such as Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olivier Martinez, Thomas Jane, Crispin Glover, Jeremy Davies, Christopher McDonald, Max Thieriot, Chad Michael Murray, Trevor Donovan, Robert Knepper, Jeff Fahey, Rob Morrow and Kris Kristofferson.  The series is directed by Roland Joffé.   It might be worth watching just to see how badly Kris Kristofferson butchers his role as Andrew Jackson.