Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thoughts on 11 New TV Shows

1. Dads - I don't really find this show as offensive as most people criticized it for. It's no more offensive than Family Guy. However, it's really not that funny. Seth Green fits the role perfectly, but Giovanni Ribisi is a misfire. Ribisi is superb at the awkward, geeky, loner roles (like Frank Buffay Jr. on Friends) which is what I was expecting, but instead he plays the more serious, married, business guy who is really boring.  It just doesn't fit him at all.  Also, when did Vanessa Lachey begin an acting career? She is terrible. I watched a few episodes, thinking it may find its groove and become decent, but no such luck. My DVR stopped recording the show, so I took that as a sign to stop watching it. I expected the show to get cancelled rather quickly, as did most people, but it was renewed for a second season! That's just crazy! It shows how desperate the networks are for comedy.

2. The Blacklist - I really wish they would start this show over with a different female lead. The rest of the show could use some improvement, but I think it will get there eventually. Unfortunately, Megan Boone, as Elizabeth Keen, is a big part of the series and she just gets worse with every episode. She has a sort of "dead behind the eyes" look to her; no personality, no wit, nothing. I appreciate that they were going for a "strong female" character (modeled after some of my favorites - Olivia Dunham, Sydney Bristow) but there is just no comparison. Olivia and Sydney were never boring; and they certainly never relied so much on being rescued. Elizabeth has been in way too many dangerous scenarios and never seems to know what to do. James Spader is excellent as Red Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted, who has surrendered and is now giving intel about other criminals. However, most of his dialogue feels forced, like everything he says is just a quote to use for the commercials. There is a mystery about how these two people are related, but instead of being intriguing, it's just annoying. JUST TELL US ALREADY! It's like watching a really boring, dragged out episode of Alias. To be fair, I gave up on Alias, when it first aired. I think I only watched 3 or 4 episodes, but this was back in the day (you know, before DVR's and online streaming - HOW DID I SURVIVE??!), so something had to be amazing for me to stick with it. My cousin convinced me to give me another chance, so I did and I loved it. It's in my top 10 favorite shows of all time. I would love for something to be that good, but I don't think The Blacklist is going to ever come close.

3. Hostages - I think this is my favorite of all the new shows this season, which is sad because I don't love it. It's ridiculous, but like other ridiculous shows (ahem...The Following), it's incredibly entertaining.  The cast is a big part of my enjoyment. I adore Toni Collette - she is fantastic in everything she's ever done, Dylan McDermott is really strong as a bad (?) guy, and I'll always love Jimmy Cooper (The O.C. fan for life!!).  I didn't know how they would extend the plot for an entire series, but they are doing a great job at keeping me intrigued.  I figure the season finale will reveal that killing the president is actually a good thing (not sure how, but it seems like it relates to healthcare reform), which will be predictable, but an incredible twist.  I'm not sure I would have made the same choices as Ellen - if it's a choice between saving your kids and saving your husband, there shouldn't be any hesitation. Also, Brian hates chocolate? Um...PLOT HOLE! Nobody hates chocolate. I do really hate his whole "affair" plot-line. Hilary Burton is better in the role than I expected her to be, but the character is just pathetic.  If you date a married man, don't expect to be a priority; if you're not ok with that, then don't date married men. Easy peasy.

4. Mom - I hated the first episode, but have grown to enjoy it.  It reminds me of 2 Broke Girls, but not as vulgar. I also hated 2 Broke Girls for the first few episodes, and now I like it (although there are still some things that are overdone and stupid).  Mom reminds me of that show with Reba McEntire (Reba?), even though I've never seen an episode, for some reason I feel like it is about a dysfunctional family and a teenage mother? Anyway, I like the dysfunctionality of it - it's a more modern look at families.  I thought it would be easy for me to relate to it (since my mom was a teen mom), but I still find it vastly different from reality (her house is ginormous - for a single mom, working as a waitress and raising two kids. At one point, my mom worked three jobs - one as a waitress, and we still lived in a very tiny, rundown apartment).  I like that I can't relate to it though, because instead of it bringing up bad memories, I can laugh and enjoy it as the cute comedy that it is.  Anna Faris is perfection. Allison Janney is a bit over the top in her role, but I can already feel them dialing back her character.

5. Lucky 7  - Canceled already for good reason.  Nothing about it was worth watching.

6. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -  High expectations were not met. It's an average show, for now, with major potential to get better.  The first two episodes were downright terrible, but the third was a slight improvement and I actively enjoyed the next two - so that is a really good sign for a new show.  It seems that I am not alone in my opinion either, because most people that were excited about this show have been disappointed, while the best support for it seems to be that it "has potential".  The biggest problem (for now) is the characters - I really don't care about any of them. There was a lot of excitement about Agent Coulson being on the show, and I never really understood it. He's a fairly boring character (in The Avengers and on this show).  They are trying to create the mystery of "who" he is (robot, human, alien...), but I don't care. A lot of critics comment on the show filled with "pretty people", but I don't find any of them particularly attractive (probably because I'm attracted to personality and none of these characters have any).  I'm still glad it's improving with each episode and that I haven't given up on it yet.

7. Betrayal - This is another show that is having problems creating interesting characters.  The show is about an affair that is supposed to be raw and passionate, but so far it's just another boring affair. It's predictable, dull and melodramatic. What really aggravated me, though, was that they advertised one of the latest episodes as "the episode you've been waiting for" claiming it will shock and awe - and they flat-out lied to me!!  The beginning is a trick! That's a terrible thing to do to your audience.  I actually thought something interesting was going to happen, but it was probably the dullest episode to date. I really like most of the actors on the show but there doesn't seem to be any chemistry between them - especially the couple who are having the affair.  Their very first conversation was super-duper boring; I find it hard to believe they had an instant connection from that lifeless dialogue. Stuart Townsend reminds me of Colin Farrell for some reason. He's not nearly as hot, but he has that "mysterious" thing working for him.  Hannah Ware is really gorgeous, but I want to brush her hair. I'm a fan of the "just got out of bed hair", but it only works with certain hair types (not hers). That's just me being petty and harsh, but it can't be helped.

8. The Originals - The bad news: this show sucks. The good news: The Vampire Diaries is a thousand times better without the whole "originals" plot fucking it up! I can't really figure out why I'm not totally on board with this show. I really like the characters; I enjoy juicy vampire drama and I like the New Orleans setting.  I guess the biggest problem is the pace of the show because I find myself bored.  I'm not giving up on it because I think it could get epic - just hoping for it to happen soon!

9. The Millers - Really cheesy sitcom. I probably would have stopped watching it, if I didn't love all of the actors involved so much.  It's a cross between Everybody Loves Raymond and....I don't know what else, because I don't really watch those types of shows (my mother LOVES Everybody Loves Raymond, which I find super weird). I just wish they took this cast and created a different show. A funny one. I was unsure if I would continue watching but the "Time of My Life" dance scene really hooked me and then Eliza Coupe showed up as the ex-wife! I LOVE her.  I'm also glad Jayma Mays found something else to do aside from Glee (she deserves much more that what Glee is giving her).  I will keep watching this show, but I will hate myself while I do it.

10. Ravenswood - For some reason, my DVR recorded the pilot episode for this, then the Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars, so that's the order in which I watched them. This explains why I was super confused as to what was happening (The PLL episode introduces Miranda and the reason for Caleb staying in Ravenswood).  I obviously had a hard time getting into the first episode, but then it ended in the best possible way.  I just had to watch the next episode to see who lived and who died. I like that it took the supernatural element from Pretty Little Liars (especially since we are getting non-supernatural answers on PLL ).  I was never a huge fan of Caleb, so I don't know how long his character will hold my interest.  I do like Miranda, but I'm not sure why she dresses like Madonna from the 80's.

11. Dracula - I only watched the first episode so far, but it's solid.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers is excellent, as predicted. He's so dramatic and flamboyant - perfect for Dracula. I'm not really sure about the actual "plot" of the show, yet, but they are setting up the characters nicely. Also, I wasn't expecting the fight at the end, but it was really poorly executed  - it looked like cheap video game effects. Hopefully, that doesn't happen again.

*Almost Human hasn't aired yet, but I'm super excited about it!* 


  1. As a fan of Shield's first two eps, I'm curious, why'd you hate them?

    I don't find Coulson boring, thanks to my liking him from the Marvel films, but I have been getting more and more annoyed by his never showing any emotion other than Coulson emotion, as I call it. Thankfully he has actually shown emotions other than casual smiling in the last couple of eps. My favourite thing about SHIELD is definitely Elizabeth Henstridge (whose name I keep typo-ing as Natasha). Normally I find her cute, and in the most recent ep, she was great!

    As for Blacklist, I like Megan Boone, and of course I'm loving James Spader, although you're right, plenty of his lines do feel like trailer lines. As for how far it's taking the plot, I don't mind it, and it's at least not doing a Chris Carter and dragging it out over several seasons. I do wonder how much is going to be revealed by the finale.

    1. Hmmm... hate is a strong word, I just felt like the first 2 episodes were really dull. There was no character development, no surprises, just an overall disappointment. I am glad that it is getting better though. I agree that Simmons is the best character and she is super adorable.

      I can't get behind Megan Boone, especially after the most recent episode! She made so many obvious mistakes...I was screaming at the television!!!

      Thanks for reading my blog! I really appreciate your comments. : )

    2. Yeah, either we get nothing, or just snippets of backstory/character, like with Ming Na's character.

      Having just watched the latest episode of The Blacklist, I think this post must have opened up a door in my head, releasing a spectre of me yelling "Get on with your damn plot, show!" haha!

      No problem! It's a fine blog! :)