Zooey Deschanel Debuts, Ashton Kutcher Scores Big

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Ok, People’s Choice Voters: did you vote yet?? Now’s your chance to pick new categories for the Awards, which are on January 11th. Check it out.

Now, to TV.

Speaking of Things the People Choose …one of them’s definitely Ashton Kutcher. Nearly 28 million viewers tuned in for Two and a Half Men – which blows away all sorts of prior numbers. Many viewers, I am sure, were just plain curious to see what all the fuss was about.  To be honest, I have never, ever watched Two and a Half Men – until two nights ago.  Like everyone else who was vaguely interested to see if The House of Sheen would come tumbling down without him, I watched.  And frankly, it looks like Jon Cryer’s the one to watch anyway, but Kutcher did an awesome job. What did you think? I found him entirely likeable in a totally-different-direction sorta way. Plus, they were smart – Sheen’s character had such a larger than life personality (even in hilarious, ex-girlfriend-haunted death) that they replaced him with someone a) whose looks are obscured with facial hair, and b) whose personality is mopey, suicidal and guileless. Obviously we will see Ashton Kutcher ‘s sad sack billionaire bloom and I doubt very much if the ratings will slump too terribly with him. (Know whose ratings weren’t great? The Playboy Club. Apparently all anyone cared about was 2.5 Men & How I Met Your Mother. )

As for Brand New Fall TV…who saw New Girl?

I watched, and have to say up front that I like Zooey Deschanel. I do realize that she is polarizing, and I know plenty of people who don’t care for her. But if you go for that kooky-indie-chick-sultry-dork-shtick you will be very happy with this little sitcom that premiered last night. Unfortunately, with half-hour shows and the full-throttle PR machine that promotes them, if you saw one commercial for New Girl, you saw a lot of the show. I couldn’t tell if it was all quite predictable or if I’d just literally seen it before. But again, if you liked those bits – like you like Zooey – you’ll be pleased. Basic plot structure is that our heroine gets unceremoniously cheated on by a BF and goes to move in with three “typical” dudes. (Who live in an apartment that curiously features lockers and a bizarre public restroom complete with those swingy stall doors. Whatever.) What ensues is not unusual – she’s weird/they have second thoughts/she’s endearing/they show a charming side, etc. But Deschanel’s absolutely in full-on goofball mode here, with a singsong voice that will either enchant you or it will drive you up the wall (and I don’t think there’s a lot of middle ground with this gal).What everyone can agree on is that she’s got to carry the whole show, and it’s a big task.

The guys are funny but not remarkably so, which might be a good thing because one of them has already been recast. Basically, it’s her vehicle/merry-go-round so as long as someone writes her funny things to say and she twitches and galumphs self-effacingly enough, she could emerge with a hit. It’s not a very strong program, but given the other newbies, Deschanel is ultra-unique and perhaps there’s room for her on the Cute Show Shelf. I’ll certainly keep watching. You?

Today’s poll:

Ashton Kutcher took over on Two and a Half Men and the show’s ratings soared. Which of these Kutcher movies is your favorite:

1)    Dude, Where’s My Car?

2)    Valentine’s Day

3)    No Strings Attached

4)    What Happens in Vegas 

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