Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NEW FALL SERIES: THE BEST AND THE WORST

Autumn brings a lot of things. Colder weather, kids back in school, nice sales at the local mall, and new fall television. Of course every series wants to be the next highest rated, but few rarely make it. Having the amazing invention called the DVR I tape, tape tape and then weed out the ones I like, and hate. Here is the score thus far.

THE BEST:
The New Girl: “Jess (Zooey Deschanel), a charming and freshly jilted teacher moves in with three random guys Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and Winston (Lamorne Morris). Each is at the moment where they are rebuilding their life or choosing their path. Its about four weirdos living together.” (EW) She’s going out to find a rebound. Who’s that girl? It’s Jess. Yep, I am now going to create theme songs for myself. I absolutely love Zooey. She is adorable. I have seen her concert with She and Him and if I could create my tv/movie family, she would be in there somewhere with Stanley Tucci, Emma Stone and Nathan Fillion. Seriously I have not laughed this much in a while. Eric and I were giggling far too much, we’ve decided to institute a douchebag jar and think we would be uber awesome at a Wild West party. It’s not just that Zooey is absolutely adorable, making geeky references to Lord of the Rings, but I love the other characters as well. Best new show thus far. “I like your glasses.” “They help me see.” Worth watching.

Terra Nova: Ooh dinosaurs, odd hieroglyphics, rogue Terra Nova groups and drama oh my. Terra Nova opens in 2149 in Chicago. Its not a nice place to live. You can hardly breathe, population is heavily controlled and eating an orange is like eating a $500 spoon of caviar. Things are not…cool. So it is kind of no wonder Elisabeth (a doctor), Jim (her husband played by Life on Mars’ Jason O’Mara), and their children Josh, Maddy and Zoe decide to volunteer to go on a pilgrimage to Terra Nova. Terra Nova is Earth, just prehistoric Creataceous period Earth that is accessed through a fracture in time to another time stream (eliminates the whole butterfly effect thing). It’s a one way trip but it also means a new start which is kind of what the Shannons need since they had one kid too many and Jim, a former cop got thrown into jail for resisting arrest and then promptly escaped jail…illegally and all. They get there along with the rest of the 10 Pilgrimage and find themselves under the watchful care of Commander Nathaniel Taylor (played by Avatar’s Stephen Lang who apparently is playing a similar role for Spielberg as he did for Cameron). It was fun. A nice little jaunt to Jurassic Park where you cheer when a guy gets eaten by a dinosaur and want to feed the Veggie-asaurus. But more than that it has potential. There are the Sixers (the colony that tried to stage a coup and ultimately left for their own parts of Terra Nova), what happened to The Commander for the first five years when he was living in Jurassic Park with just his knife, Who wrote the math heav hieroglyphics and what do they mean and why is the older daughter wearing River tam’s dress and boots?I think I will keep watching. What can I say it kind of makes me excited for another Jurassic Park. And what could possibly go wrong?

The Secret Circle:Apparently LJ Smith is the new hot commodity right now, The Twilight series for television, which is funny since I was a big Smith fan back when I was a teenager 16 years ago (She was right up there with Christopher Pike and RL Stine). Exec Producer Kevin Williamson brings another Vampire Diaries like teen drama. “Newly orphaned Cassie (Britt Robertson) learns she is a teen witch who must reluctantly bind her powers with five classmates and uncover what happened to their parents 16 years ago – when so many of them, also witches, died – so they can protect themselves. Naturally there is forbidden love: Cassie and already attached Adam (Thomas Dekker) are ‘written in the stars’. (EW)” Thoughts overall: I don’t do teen dramas normally, but two things made me watch to watch it. One: It made me pick up the books again which made me relive a whole bunch of adolescent memories. Two: It involves magic and being the proud pagan heathen that I am I couldn’t help but see how they were going to portray magic. I was expecting a bit of Charmed 2.0 with a new attractive cast and all of the angst and woe of shows like The Vampire Diaries. I was pleasantly surprised. Plus any chance to see Gale Harold being devilish and delicious is pretty much a plus. I am not expecting anything great, but I added this one to the Scheduled Series options on my DVR.

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THE MAYBES:
RingerSarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy fame returns to the CW as Bridget, an ex-stripper hiding from the mafia who goes to seek refuge with her wealthy twin sister Siobhan who just happens to ‘commit suicide’ leaving Bridget to assume her identity. Apparently Siobhan didn’t have the plush perfect life and Bridget tries to navigate all the twists and turns Of Siobhan’s life: her husband played by the oh so pretty Ioan Gruffudd, her lover, her best friend, her stepdaughter, the FBI agent trying to find Bridget and more. Admittedly I am watching out of loyalty to Sarah Michelle Gellar and her Joss Whedon days ell that and I really heart Ioan (Solomon and Gaenor…great flick. I watch it whenever I need a good cry). We will see how it eventually plays out. I am willing to give it a couple more episodes.

A Gifted Man: “Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is a rich, handsome neurosurgeon running a concierge-style practice in New York City. Life is grand…until he begins to have visions of his dead ex-wife, Anna (Jennifer Ehle). Suddenly, Michael’s arrogance starts to crumble as Anna prods him to help the struggling free clinic she has left behind. The drama isn’t confined to the clinics: Michael will also sort out his strained relationship with his New Agey sister (Julie Benz), who believes Anna’s from-the-beyond visits are a ‘gift’” (EW) What can I say I am a sucker for the whole Ghost Whisperer/Medium type genre or Star crossed lovers or Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle. I think it has the potential to be a great little drama that has some nice character stories, some medical drama thrown in and maybe a romance that will make me all warm and fuzzy. We will see though. I figure I will give it another couple of episodes.

Revenge:Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) has meticulously plotted her revenge on the wealthy family who destroyed her father and her life by whatever means necessary. This is her story and it is not one of forgiveness. It opens with a shooting, very much like a Who shot JR? sort of thing which will undoubtedly unfold throughout the season. This is coupled with the Hamptons setting and the lifestyles of the rich and devious like Dallas was. You like Emily/Amanda and while I am sure this is a bit Desperate Housewives like, but I wasn’t interested in the DH. I am interested in seeing Emily’s revenge as well as the vile Victoria get taken down a few pegs and really see how and why Emily’s father was accused of his wrongdoings. So far I enjoyed it. But I am curious to see how it will all come about. Too much backstabbing and I will be bored. Character development please. Somehow I think I am going to get it.

Prime Suspect: A reworking of the Helen Mirren starring PBS/British show about a strong, straight talking detective named Jane who has to deal with hostility from her male colleagues and well all of the bad guys she catches. Tact is not really in her vocabulary, but that is why you kind of like her. Its Maria Bello and I like her. She has that on screen swagger. And you pretty much hate most of her male colleagues. Production value was sleek and the actual crime of the pilot interesting as you navigate through all of the new characters and try to get immersed into all of it. I am not a big fan of procedural shows though of late unless you’re the Mentalist which I love because umm….Simon Baker. But I want to try it.

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THE WORST:
Two Broke Girls: “Exec producer Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) brings us Max (Kat Dennings), a streetwise cupcake making waitress and Caroline (Beth Behrs) a bankrupt ex-heiress who works with Max in a Brooklyn diner and becomes her roommate. Trying to raise enough cash to start their own business, they hand out fliers while dressed as King Tut, help a hoarder organize her apartment, and curse out anyone who stands in their way” (EW) Maybe I have been living under a rock but I don’t know who cowriter Whitney Cummings is other than her CBS Fall Preview show made me not want to watch her show. There were funny moments, Kat Dennings doing most of the work here talking about waiting tables: “I’ve been waiting my whole life, okay? I’ve waited on tables, I’ve waited in bars, I’ve waited on home pregnancy tests.” Or her bit on a certain part of a guys body that makes smart girls go stupid. As a lover of those things on men like Ryan Reynolds, I hear you. Sadly these moments of brilliance were far too few, and everything in between kind of painful. Which is sad because I absolutely love Kat Dennings the way I love Emma Stone in all of their awesome snarkiness. And its not that Beth Behrs was bad, but I was expecting greatness and it fell short. I will watch one more episode in some vain hope that the pilot just kind of sucked. EW seemed to think it was one of the top five new shows to watch. Mostly right now I am wondering how drunk they were when they made that decision.

The Playboy Club: “Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian) an attorney and club key holder gets entangled with a novice Bunny (Amber Heard) after she accidentally kills a mob boss” (EW). Wow who knew Bunnies could be so boring and bland which is sad as I was hoping for something more. I thought a 60’s era drama about a Chicago Playboy Club would be interesting. Mostly I couldn’t get invested into at all and watched it mostly because of David Krumholtz, a chance to Shawn Maher (both Firefly/Serenity alumni), and well the Playboy bunnies are fascinating. It’s the costume, and note to self…amazing legs equals two pair of hose. It was just an uninteresting show. Definitely not worth the effort I am afraid and I would not be surprised if it is one of the early cancellations.

Charlie’s Angels: So what do the Smallville creators do after their show ends, remake a classic of course. “Eve (Minka Kelly) the car theif, Abby (Rachael Taylor) the cat burglar, and Kate (Annie Ilonzeh) the corrupt cop – find a new mission in life working for an unseen financier named Charlie (Victor Garber) along with their man in crime Bosley (Ramon Rodrguez).” (EW) It is never a good thing when I can hardly get through a pilot because the show is so bad. Shiny gold star for confusing me and killing off one of the Angels in the first fifteen minutes, but lets face it hot chicks in designer duds cannot detract you enough from the bad acting. In fact Victor Garber’s (Daddy spy from Alias) disembodied voice does the best of the bunch. I wanted to enjoy it but I long for the days of Jacklyn Smith or even Drew Barrymore and Lucy Lui. And is it really wrong for me to wonder that no super woman can actually run after the bad guys in four inch heels? It just doesn’t work. I speculate the same way as my feet will fall off of my feet after the first set of rounds. Yes, we woman do a lot for the sake of looking fabulous, but some things just make me roll my eyes. I really do long for some kick ass heroines on primetime though. These girls just were not it.

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COMING SOON:
Because I haven’t quite watched them yet, or because they haven’t aired. The ones loaded on the To Watch List are: Person of Interest, Pan Am, American Horror Story, Homeland, Bedlam, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and The Layover with Anthony Bourdain.

2 comments:

Adam said...

So far American Horror Story and Homeland are the season's strongest. Let me know what you think once you've given them a look. Also, noticed in your profile you're a Whedon enthusiast, as am I. I think we're destined to become internet friends. There aren't enough of us left in the world.

Smirking Revenge said...

Any Whedon fan is a friend of mine. Unless your psycho. *grin* I have American Horror Story and Homeland queued up this weekend, so I will post my thoughts later.