Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thoughts on 6 New TV Shows

1. Scream Queens - The show that I was most excited for this Fall, and in turn, is the show that is the biggest disappointment. The first episode was so awful, I almost didn't make it through the whole thing. There is a fine line with showcasing problems like racism, homophobia, sexism, etc., by utilizing dry humor and sarcasm, and Scream Queens just crosses it with an overwhelming sense of meanness. Chanel, by all intensive purposes, is the star of the show, and she is just a disgusting human being. Her general personality relies on the fact that she's "rich and pretty" so it doesn't matter how mean she is or that she, you know, "accidentally" murders someone. Emma Roberts is part of the problem; she just doesn't really scream "perfection" to me, instead she seems really awkward. I feel like she tries to overcome her own awkardness to a cringe-worthy degree. The first episode felt more like Scary Movie than Scream, and that wasn't what I was expecting. One character even live-tweeted her own murder. I mean, seriously. Lea Michele is under-utilized (and OF COURSE she would get a makeover, and become a bigger role, because she is a queen and should always be in the spotlight. ON BROADWAY, NOT ON THIS DUMB-ASS SHOW.). Jamie Lee Curtis deserves better than this - her role is an embarrassment to the horror genre. Once I made it past the first episode, the next few have had moments of genuine brilliance, but overall, I kind of hate it. The third episode featured the best scene so far, the Backstreet Boys scene, which came just at the point where I wondered if I could really take any more torture. I thought, "well, damn, I HAVE to continue watching now! Fuck.". So, I'm still watching it, just waiting for every single character to die a horrible, bloody death.

2. Quantico - It's Grey's Anatomy meets The Recruit. I wasn't even going to watch it, but then I saw a few familiar faces among the cast, all of whom I like ("small eyes" from Cougar Town, the super hot guy from the Crash TV show, the other hot guy from Rookie Blue). The first episode was a direct copy of Grey's, just replacing medical interns with FBI recruits. However, the mystery behind who is framing Alex is driving the show, but for how long will that last? The reason Grey's works is because it's about the characters and the relationships; it doesn't need a mystery (and it's lasted for 12 years for this exact reason). Once the mystery of Quantico is solved, which should happen soon, because I'm already aggravated, what's next? I just don't see it sustaining for very long. I do really like the cast. Aside from those mentioned above, I also like the lead, Priyanka Chopra, she has great screen presence, and Johanna Braddy, who looks identical to Naomi Watts. They all have great chemistry together. The only one I don't like is Yasmine Elmasri. She always looks like a deer in headlights, and I thought maybe it was part of her character(s), but after several episodes, I think she's just a bad actress. Overall, I think the show has potential, but in the 5 episodes so far, I haven't really been too impressed.

3. Limitless - I don't know why, but I just can't seem to get into this show. The cast is excellent, with some of my all-time favorites like, Ron Rifkin (Arvin Sloane from Alias) and Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan from Dexter). I love Jake McDorman, he was on that show Greek, and last year's Manhattan Love Story. The show has utilized really thoughtful guest stars too, by having McDorman's Manhattan co-star, the super adorable Analeigh Tipton, as his ex-girlfriend, and Desmond Harrington, another Dexter alum as Carpenter's love interest. Plus, having Bradley Cooper show up a few times doesn't hurt. I think the plot is just a little boring, and the way each episode feels exactly the same just doesn't hold my interest. It feels like a CBS show. Lately, I have forgone my "no CBS shows" rule because some have been great (Elementary, The Good Wife), but this is a very typical show for them. You don't really have to pay much attention, the character relationships are really predictable, the crime that needs to be solved is really easy to solve, etc. So, I guess I do know why I can't get into it, but I'm still watching it because it could get good. It's from the producers of Alias (which is why the cast is so great), and even as a die-hard Alias fan, I can admit that the first few episodes aren't that great. Some shows just need time to find its groove.

4. Blindspot - Another show that hasn't really grabbed me. I liked the first episode, aside from the fact that it was an overload lot of exposition. Pilot episodes are tricky, especially for high-concept shows, but it felt a little like desperation. However, the concept is solid, and a lot can be done with it. I'm still unsure of the direction it is going in, because I think a lot of the twists have been misdirection to distract the audience from guessing the "real" twist. Jaimie Alexander is a fantastic lead actress, this is her role to shine in. The rest of the cast, though, is really awful. The lead guy, I don't even want to know his name, is bland as fuck. And Ashley Johnson still acts and looks like she's 12 (I could never see her as anything but Chrissy Seaver). The first few episodes were just "Jane" arguing to be a part of the mission, he would tell her to wait in the car, she would disobey, then she would save the day, on repeat. I'm glad that she has become part of the team, because that was getting really annoying. I think the only way the plot is going to work is if they add a sci-fi element (like someone who can predict the future and utilized her to help the FBI stop terrorist attacks). Otherwise, none of it is going to make any sense. You know what also doesn't make sense? That every single terrorist attack seems to happen in NYC. I know, it seems petty, but a show like this should be more international (Sidney Bristow traveled the world to stop terrorists.)

5. The Grinder - I wasn't planning on watching this show, but I realized that I have very few sitcoms to watch anymore. This one looked like the best of the new ones, so I gave it a shot. I'm glad I did, because I like it a lot. It's not like hilarious, or anything, but I think it's really cute and sweet, and I do laugh a few times with each episode. Rob Lowe gave life to an already funny Parks and Recreation, and he really excels in the spotlight. I really like Fred Savage, as well. Of course, growing up with The Wonder Years, I think everyone my age feels the same way, but I like that he took the director route. He's directed some of my favorite sitcoms (It's Always Sunny, Party Down, Modern Family, Happy Endings). Lowe and Savage play really well off of each other, as brothers who are the complete opposite of each other. Mary Elizabeth Ellis (from It's Always Sunny) plays Savage's wife, and William Devane is their father, so needless to say, the cast is great. The kids are great too. There have been some really memorable moments like "hashtag teen life" and the Ray Donovan DVR episode, "We tried to watch Ray Donovan!" *dead silence*. OH AND they made a Summer School reference. I LOVE THAT MOVIE!! I feel like it's a show that can only get better with time, and since it's already good, the potential is sky high.

6. Supergirl - I am so happy to say, I actually really liked the pilot episode. I was skeptical, especially with Melissa Benoist, but it's really fun. I was surprised at the supporting cast - was it announced that Dean Cain was in it?? Because I squealed out-loud "SUPERMAN!". And Ally McBeal?! There's also the guy from Smash, which made me think there might be some showtunes in the future (with him and Benoist coming from musical shows). I'd be ok with that. I wish they didn't have it set in the publishing world because that plot's already taken, but I guess it's part of the formula. The biggest surprise is that I actually really like Benoist in the role. She's sweet, smart, and seems genuine. Maybe Glee just wasn't the right role for her? I like the twist with her sister, and I like that they reference Superman. There's only been the one episode so far, but it was definitely my favorite pilot of the season. I hope the rest of the series continues this way.


  1. Hooray, Supergirl! I'm glad it's awesome, especially since Supergirl is a BADASS in the comics! One of the toughest around! Hopefully this airs over here soon enough.

    1. I was surprised. I thought it was going to be dumb, but the first episode is a lot of fun and it moves really quickly. Just hope it stays that way!