Guilty Pleasures – Hellcats and Off the Map also Modern Family, Mr Sunshine

While Glee and The Good Wife top my ‘best of the week’ list, two shows that I love but in a far more ‘ok, not classics but I love them’ ones were on my viewing list today. Hellcats is one part Bring It On (the very best – maybe only good – cheerleader movie), with a dash of Glee and a smidgeon of High School Musical (which I finally got round to watching and kind of loved today…the shame!!)

Hellcats works for me because I really like the characters. OK so lead character Marti looks and dresses like a pole dancer, but HSM veteran Ashley Tisdale is just so darn cute!

I even kind of like the mean girl (but don’t know her name) who finally caves and visits her no good ex, who did the noble thing last week and confessed to a crime that Marti’s law professor was getting his students to help investigate. (edited to add, her name is Alice and I do like her character – bitchy but interesting)

Far less impressive for me is Dan, who Marti and Savannah both appear to be in love with. Big question WHY!!? OK, he is cute-ish, but not that fantastic or anything. However, Marti sort of reluctantly bowed out and claimed she just wanted him back as a friend while poor desperate could-do-so-much-better Savannah went all out to reclaim him, with some success. I was kind of hoping both ladies would move on from Dan, whose new bird rescue obsessed girlfriend was kind of fun. I was also glad to see Vanessa finally cut that boring doctor fiancé of hers loose. DB Woodside has been a drag on Buffy and 24 and is similarly dull here.

Hellcats is pure froth, but it often features great music – heavy Rolling Stones input this week, and pretty great versions of Wild Horses and Honky Tonk Woman. Glee, ditch the modern pop, get back to the classic rock too please!

I’m reading Off The Map is tanking in the ratings. A shame as I am a sucker for this show. Again, I have grown to really like the characters, especially mini-Meryl, Mamie Gummer who really shone again in this episode. This week – following on from last episode – she was trying to save a patient (Jayne Brook who has been in a load of things, none of which I can remember right now!) who was in a helicopter crash. Rather improbably, she turned out to be the only fatality but not before lots of emotional stuff as the pilot is skewered, the kids with the odd insect bite that might turn into a heart defect in 20 years (yes, pretty daft sounding!) and some stuff with Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) and her shady new boyfriend.

Medical dramas often play on your emotions, life and death situations rather obviously can be a source of drama pretty easily, but the actors on this show are great even if it is not that original. Dhavernas, Gummer and Martin Henderson are always watchable and the previously annoying Rachel Lefevre as doc-with-a-secret Dr Clarke really keep you interested. I’m not a huge medical drama fan (apart from House) so I will be sorry if this one is axed.

Less guilty a pleasure is Modern Family, probably the most reliably funny show on TV. The cast on MF is just perfect, the characters so well drawn and hilarious. I constantly switch between who is my favourite. Every week the daft situations just make me giggle. This week, Claire and Phil have some marital problems while Gloria’s karaoke threatens even the neighborhood dogs! Just a perfect comedy.

Trying hard is a newish show I haven’t mentioned yet, Mr Sunshine, Matthew Perry’s latest attempt to have a post-Friends hit. Personally, I absolutely adored Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and a few of the cast from that show turn up here. (Nate Torrence, James Lesure and Allison Janney)

Perry plays Ben, the manger of a sports stadium owned by batty Allison Janney who has a ball as the totally outrageous Crystal. Perry displays his lack of range (spot the difference between Chandler, Matt on Studio 60 and Ben…hmm, not much) but very good comic timing in the very funny 3rd episode where he goes on a date with his psycho secretary’s equally insane sister, Stephanie who agrees with everything he says. This scene was very well written and very funny – kudos to Perry and guest star Lindsay Sloane who was great.  The series itself is less consistently funny, but it has potential and a strong cast.

Incidentally, watched Glee’s ‘Blame it in the Alcohol’ episode again today and am growing in my opinion it is one of my favourite episodes of the season! My Headband…..