Friday, October 8, 2010

My Thoughts On 14 New Fall Shows

Here are my thoughts on the new shows that I have been watching this season (a record 14 new shows!!). Most are pretty disappointing (as can be seen by the ratings), but a few shows have some potential - unless they get cancelled first...

1. Undercovers - This was the show that had the most potential for me this season. It was the next JJ Abrams creation - and I usually fall head over heals for anything he touches. Plus it is a spy series (like Alias) which is like a dream come true. I was really surprised by the premiere because it was so bland - there was absolutely nothing bold, creative, innovative or inspiring about it. It didn't feel like a JJ show at all. I am happy to see a show on prime time that features 2 African Americans as the main characters, but that is not enough to keep me invested. The second episode was worse - I almost fell asleep. I can only promise to watch 2 more episodes before it is deleted from my DVR. JJ - you better bring it.

2. Detroit 187 - I am satisfied with this show so far. It reminds me of Southland a little bit - in that it is a grittier cop show and it features a "rookie" cop (this whole "rookie" plot device seems to be a bit overused this season). I am a fan of Michael Imperioli, I am glad that he is moving past his Sopranos character. I also really liked how the premiere ended - with the rookie getting shot and then the wife calling. It made me want to watch the next episode (which is kinda the point of the whole premiere episode thing...). So, after a few episodes I would describe the show as mediocre - but I think it will get really good once it finds it finds it's niche and continues it's steady character development.

3. Outsourced - Let me start by saying that I don't think the show is offensive - maybe it is but in the way that comedy is supposed to be offensive. The show does a good job at making fun of everyone (with Americans taking most of the punches). The only thing that I find odd is that they don't speak Hindi (they all speak English - I am aware that English is an official language of India - but I think having all of the Indian characters speak English all the time is slightly offensive, but also completely fixable). That being said - I also don't think the show is funny. Not yet anyway. I like the main American character, I appreciate that it is socially conscious and relevant to current world issues. Yes, Americans are materialist and waste money on dumb novelty items instead of spending it on useful things. Let us make fun of them! Just start making it actually funny please.

4. Chase - I'm not sure why I ever watched this show to begin with - I guess because it featured a strong female lead. I watched the first episode and was appalled. The strong female lead turned out to be a really awful actress who's voice (and accent) is painful to listen to. Plus it takes place in Texas - so it is severely conservative. I watched 1/2 of the second episode but decided not to torture myself anymore. I am guessing that it will be cancelled within a few episodes.

5. No Ordinary Family - This show definitely is riding on the heels of Heroes. I guess it is a good thing that I was a super huge fan of Heroes - at least the first season. It is simple yet witty, plus it has a fantastic cast - including The Commish (Michael Chiklis - I know he is known now from The Shield but I've never seen it) and of course, the lovely Julie Benz. The best part of it all was Autumn Reeser! Taylor Townsend from The O.C! The plot is great - and I felt an emotional connection to the family within the first few minutes. I even started to tear up when they were in the plane crash (the one that gives them their extraordinary powers). Definitely has the most potential of all the new shows.

6. Raising Hope - I am not a fan of the whole White trash humor thing - I hated My Name is Earl for this reason (this show is written by the same person). I didn't have great expectations for this show - and I think I was right. The problem is that the critics are loving it - which utterly confuses me. It was already picked up for a full season!? So I keep watching it - I figure that I must be missing something right? I hope it gets better.

7. Running Wilde - The next show on the chopping block and rightly so. It is severely unfunny. I can't really understand why - when you have such talented comedians like David Cross and Will I guess we should blame the writing? I am pretty sure the show will be cancelled soon so I haven't really invested my time in getting to know the characters. It feels like it has a little Dharma & Greg opposites attract story-line, which isn't all that interesting.

8. Blue Bloods - I might have discovered the one and only CBS show that I enjoy. I had no interest in it - knowing only that it is a new cop show that stars Tom Selleck. Then I happened to catch a commercial for it and spotted a very interesting cast. Bridget Moynahan - who is one of the most beautiful women in the world and a very talented actress, Will Estes - JJ from American Dreams and Donnie Wahlberg - Hello! I've only watched the first episode so far - it was decent but it will without a doubt get better. The ending to the episode definitely caught my attention - with the whole mystery surrounding his brothers death. I loved how The Soup made fun of the first minute of the series - it was extremely funny how they set up the show so that you would know who everyone was, what they do for a living and how they are related to each other in the first minute of the show. Hopefully, the writing will become a little less obvious and a little more intelligent. I have high hopes for the series as a whole.

9. Better With You - I absolutely hated the beginning - it was painfully unfunny. It was set up to show the different stages of relationship and of course followed the cliche that the longer that you are married the less you communicate (and the less you have sex). Then something strange happened in the middle of the episode where Ben is giving Casey pointers on meeting the parents - it became quite funny. Plus, who doesn't love Debra Jo Rupp? The second episode was also consistently funny - I would totally live in that firehouse. I wouldn't say it's this year's Modern Family or anything - but at least it is a new comedy that I actually laughed out loud to.

10. My Generation - I guess it is pointless in even writing about this show, considering it is already cancelled - before I even had a chance to blink. It was worthy of cancellation - I just wish I didn't like the cast so much (The kid from Cloverfield, the weird kid from Wedding Crashers, and Jaime King). I feel like it could have gotten better....maybe? I don't know how far they really could have gone with such a ridiculous premise and the worst cliche's and stereotypes in the history of television. It kind of reminded me of October Road - only I liked October Road (it was mediocre writing, but the talent was there). Oh well.

11. The Whole Truth - Very predictable law show - nothing new or exciting. I like the concept that they show the actual truth behind the case, but I don't think that is a new concept - I have definitely seen it before (not sure where). I think that Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow have a great chemistry together and their dialogue is sarcastically witty, but they lack the support from other characters - all of whom are bland. The actual cases need to be a little more intriguing as well - so far I haven't cared about the outcome at all (and I haven't been surprised when the "truth" is revealed).

12. The Event - I have no idea why this show is being compared to Lost. I guess because it has a little mystery to it? That is about the only similarity. So far there has been zero character development from anyone except Sean Walker (played fantastically by Jason Ritter - who I wish just stayed on Parenthood - I loved his relationship/chemistry with Lauren Graham). There are so many other great actors on the show that are not being utilized. The show is a government conspiracy about a non-human race that exists on Earth. There have been some nice twists (like having the girlfriend's father flying the plane) but for the most part - things have been a little predictable (like when all of the corpses come back to life). I plan to keep watching, so that I guess is a good thing.

13. Nikita - This is the biggest Alias rip-off yet. I guess in theory - the Nikita character came before my dear Sidney Bristow, but I have never seen it before so to me it feels like an Alias rip-off. But the similarities are not just with the character either - the way the show is set up with her trying to "take down" an evil government agency called "division" after they murdered her fiance - they even have an eerily similar voice over explaining her story in the beginning of each episode. Anyway, that being said - ever since Alias ended there has been a giant hole in my tv loving heart. I am trying to convince myself that this show may fill the void (slightly). I am glad to see Shane West, of course you know how much I love Melinda Clark and I am even happy to see Xander Berkely (from 24). I am predicting Lindsy Forsenca will be a star. She is stunning, interesting, emotional and inquisitive - much less vapid than the usual CW starlet. I loved the twist of her character working with Nikita - that was a nice surprise.

14. Hellcats - A show about cheerleaders - I have no idea what exactly peaked my interest. I guess I liked Bring it on, so I figured this might be a fun show. It is obviously cheesy and unnecessarily dramatic but I kind of like that when it is done well (like the new 90210). I am indifferent on Ashley Tisdale - I think she is a bit of an over-actor. I think I am too old to know who the other girl (Aly Michalka) is because apparently she is some big pop star among the tweens. I did read that her sister is Hunter Parrish's girlfriend (soo jealous). Anyway, I don't mind her as an actress but her character is a little troublesome - she is no Eliza Dushku and wearing black doesn't give you an edge. So the show was a little contrived and predictable - I was ready to give up on it but then I spotted Gale Howard! Now I have to keep watching - plus I sort of like watching the cheer leading routines - they are pretty awesome.

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