Ology Media

There’s a lot of elements that go into making a sitcom, so it’s a wonder why every single thing has come together perfectly for TV Land’s breakout smash series that gives three divorced men an apartment and a sexy divorce attorney right across the hall. The most successful of them all, Stuart Gardner, is also secretly the craziest character on the show, and Christopher Exantus makes David Alan Basche explain all the strange charms ofThe Exes.

OLOGY: One of the best things about The Exes is that you guys have a cast dynamic that just absolutely works, and that’s not true for every show.

DAVID ALAN BASCHE: Yeah, we’re really lucky. Obviously the writing has to be there and it has to be funny, but the other half of it is the chemistry and that’s what makes it completely fun—if it looks like it’s fun, that’s because it is!

So for the second season, how did it feel coming back to the show?

I’ve done a lot of TV pilots that go nowhere and they’re sitting on the shelf somewhere; so many shows don’t make it to the second season. And we’re so grateful to the fans because they’re really happy and they’re tweeting every day how much they love the show, and every week they want to ask questions about it and tell us their favorite parts. So to have that kind response for the show is pretty great.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really stingy when it comes to television—especially sitcoms. So any show that has me laughing out loud at the office is a guaranteed plus for me.

Well, that’s great. As an actor, when you read the script late at night after the writers have finally finished working, I’m lying in bed next to my wife reading my script and I’m laughing out loud, and she’s kicking me to be quiet. That’s pretty much the only time you want to be laughing out loud.

I actually just watched the episode “Cool Hand Lutz” where your character Stuart tries to hang out with Phil [Donald Faison] and his friends. I was laughing so hard, but it was so cringeworthy—that was incredible.

My part in that episode was totally making fun of myself- they’re really putting [Stuart] in funny situations and I really couldn’t be happier. Actors like Wayne Knight and Donald Faison, these guys have done a lot of TV, they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re a joy to work with. It’s a lot of fun, and fun things are happening.

One of the things about Stuart that’s shocking is that he seems like the typical straight-man of any TV-sitcom, and yet he might be the weirdest character on the show.

When people ask me what the show is like or what is it about, I say it’s like The Odd Couple. Its three guys: you had Felix and Oscar, and Oscar was the messy one. But I get to be Felix, the neat one who’s a little neurotic. And you’re right, at first glance Stuart seems perfectly straight-laced, but then you start to learn these things about him every episode that make him pretty weird and wacky, and I hope entertaining to watch. But then the really fun part is when something unexpected happens that you never ever expect from that character. So it’s been a delight to do.

So what can we expect from the rest of the second season?

I can give you one major hint. Spoiler alert! People have been tweeting me and asking me, “When will Haskell get a girlfriend?” And all I can say is there’s an episode coming up where Haskell gets very, very lucky.

You’ve been in all manners of television and film. How is it different to prepare for a sitcom than it is for a drama? What’s your favorite?

It’s totally different—and I’m really lucky that I’ve been able to do theater and I’m going to go back in a little bit, which is wonderful. I like them all, [but] I think theater is really my favorite: it’s live and there’s live energy from the audience… there’s nothing like it. But the closest thing you get to the theater when there’s a camera involved is a four-camera, traditional, live-studio audience sitcom, because it’s really like shooting a live play once a week.

The Exes airs Wednesday nights at 10:30pm on TV Land.


On July 10th, 2012, millions of Americans awoke shocked to find that all 26 of Viacom’s television properties—including youth epic center MTV, kid-friendly Nickelodeon, and bro network Comedy Central—were suddenly dropped from their DirecTV subscriptions. Children screamed in horror, trendy sweet sixteeners angrily shook their fists in the air, and the country as a whole was swallowed up into an apocalyptic frenzy as the great lords of evil soon rose from the ground and began their reign of hell on earth—or that’s what I imagine would happen if anyone were to really mess with America’s television.

So no, this is not the sign of the apocalypse just because little Jimmy can’t watch Spongebob Squarepantsanymore, but it is a crucial issue for all of you couch whores (and no worries, we count ourselves in that statement). The pressing questions and answers from the Viacom/DirecTV showdown:

What the hell happened?

Well, if you had been following the news (philistine), then you’d know that Viacom and Directv have been having a bit of a tiff lately in regards to the cost of paying for network television. Basically, DirecTV wasn’t exactly thrilled with its customers paying what they saw as inflated rates for network television packages, which included all of Viacom’s channels. This is very similar to what happened to AMC and Dish earlier this year: Dish wasn’t particularly a fan of AMC’s package and dropped the popular network just last week. On Tuesday July 10th, after DirecTV and Viacom failed to meet in the middle on a negotiation, all channels under the Viacom brand were dropped on midnight, leaving nearly 20 million viewers without the blinding, oppressive love of Spongebob, Dora, and Snooki.

So who’s to blame?

Well, that’s the problem. Both sides have been claiming that the other is responsible: DirecTV claims that Viacom wanted to force DirecTV’s viewer base to pay 30% more to continue watching their favorite programs which hasn’t been fair since ratings for many Viacom channels have dropped. Meanwhile, Viacom writes on their blog that they’re only asking for an increase of a couple of pennies, and that DirecTV has been less than open to negotiation. So this has become one big clusterfuck where all parties are pointing fingers at each other.

So when are my channels coming back?

No one really knows. While DirecTV assures their consumers that Viacom programming will return as soon as possible, this still ostensibly means a couple of weeks without some top programming shows. Even if the Viacom networks experience a decrease in ratings, this still can’t be good for anyone involved, including DirecTV and viewers in general.

F*ck this—I’m switching over to Netflix/Hulu/whatever website that lets me get this crap for free!

I don’t believe there ever will be a decade where the television set will be replaced—it’s so stubbornly a part of Americana that people will own one simply because it’s a part of The American Household—but one can’t deny that it’s getting harder and harder to justify being billed for television in the midst of the online streaming revolution: Hulu offers internet users hundreds of television shows (many of which are currently airing)—all for free, most networks provide an on demand-type service on their websites where full episodes can be streamed for free (though television providers have been softening the blow a bit by having some sites require that you have cable or satellite before you can even access the episodes), and of course, tech savvy individuals can illegally download high-quality versions of their favorite television shows. Unlike being forced to pay for thousands of channels that no one but the dullest of dullards would choose to watch, online streaming gives users the choice to consume what they want, when they want. While this whole mess probably won’t signal the end of television as we know it, it certainly lends credit to the notion that online-streaming might be better (and slightly cheaper) alternative.

So what have we learned today?

That when it comes to money, corporate conglomerates get extremely hissy about these things and sometimes these guys come roaring out in public. This is a particularly nasty situation, and as fun as it is to mercilessly mock those who still have satellite, it’s a pretty bad wrap for all involved: Viacom loses viewers and viewer reach, DirecTV gains—and loses—angry customers, and until the two come to an agreement, you’re not getting yourJersey Shore fist pump on anytime soon.

In the grand scheme of things, a Charlie Sheen-focused sitcom doesn’t sound like such an awful thing, and on a network like FX, it might actually be entertaining to watch an unhinged Sheen be his usual creepy self on television. Of course, that would only happen in some bizarro universe where I get the things I want and television doesn’t typically suck. Instead, we occupy the real world; and in this world, Anger Management is rather limp and not unlike what you’d find on CBS—not even a sexy, sex addicted Selma Blaire could save this show.

Sure, it isn’t as bad as you might expect from a show plastered with Charlie Sheen’s face—there were moments that did have me laughing—but when the show immediately starts with an unsubtle jab at Sheen’s recent shenanigans, it kind of lets you know the quality of writing at work here. Sheen stars as Charlie, who works as an anger management therapist teaching others to control their anger in the comfort of his own home. During the opening moments of Management, Charlie tries to treat a bunch of one-dimensional archetypes that don’t really get much to do other than play to their stereotypes before the episode ditches them to zip around the other characters in Charlie’s life.

One of the main problems with Anger Management (outside of committing the cardinal sin of having a laugh track) is that the pilot doesn’t really leave any room for most of the characters, and the ones that do get a bit of breathing room are kind of… bad.  Charlie Sheen is his usual charismatic self (regardless of what you think of the man, he certainly has presence), but he doesn’t really have anyone to play off of: neighbor and best friend Mike is a dud, albeit an unnecessarily creepy one, and Charlie’s wife Emma (Daniela Bobadila) is extraordinarily flat and most of her “typical sitcom wife” zingers are cringe-inducing.

The only person who’s even remotely interesting is Selma Blair’s character Kate, a sex-pot who’s also a psychiatrist currently in a purely sexual relationship with Charlie. Kate and Charlie’s interactions aren’t exactly that humorous, but at least they are somewhat fun to watch.

But as laugh tracks are the bane of sitcoms everywhere, zapping the funny from even a decent comedy, this begs the question: Why exactly is this show on FX? Considering that there’s a certain edge associated with shows on this network, Anger Management seems rather tame for an FX sitcom (especially when shows like Wilfred and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). It feels more at home with the weeknight television crowd—the ones that still watch Two and a Half Men.

Sumology: The tiger blood was drained a long time ago, Charlie.

Grade: C-

Like two girls involved in a drunken, dirty cat-fight, CBS has continued its assault on ABC, accusing them of ripping off their reality television show Big Brother (which exploits people largely for the amusement of an apathetic audience) with the ABC reality show The Glass House (which also exploits people largely for the amusement of an apathetic audience). CBS, having none of it, tried to sue them in order to stop ABC from airing the premiere episode of House, but ABC proved resilient (and didn’t particularly care for CBS’ erroneous attitude), and the episode aired anyway, proving that there certainly isn’t enough reality television shows that do the same damn thing.

Normally, this whole thing would be settled out of court or buried in a bunch of legal crap, but CBS had to let ABC know it meant “big business.” So with all the wit of a teenager  writing in her Tumblr, CBS released a rather snarky press release mocking The Glass House with the announcement of  fake CBS show Dancing on the Stars which, as the press release repeatedly states, owes its execution to “nobody at all.”


Los Angeles, June 21, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.

The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.

The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty” Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.

“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest,” said a CBS spokesperson, who also revealed that the Company has been working with a secret team for several months on the creation of the series, which was completely developed by the people at CBS independent of any other programming on the air. “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY.”

Ouch.  Whether or not ABC will respond with accusations of CBS being a “boyfriend-stealing whore” remains to be seen.