Monday, October 11, 2010

Film On TV: Sifting Through Fall's New Shows, Part 2

Reading Ken Tucker’s piece about the failure of Fall TV in new show form got me thinking – this is the largest premiere season ever, and I haven’t been hooked by one new network show. There isn’t a single new show I’m excited to come home to, or read about the next day. There isn’t one serial, one single sitcom, that resembles anything more than passable entertainment. It’s been one, giant, collective strikeout.

Still there’s some potential. Some shows waiting to be seen, and others still worthy of a second shot. But with so many sophomore and veteran efforts still demanding my time, it seems unlikely that many (if any) of these shows will break through.

Since last we checked in, I’ve caught a few more pilots…

Law & Order: Los Angeles

The Pitch: NBC packs up its tent pole production in New York because it gets too expensive to film there, then moves out west for a fresh glittery start.

Creative Pedigree: L&O creator Dick Wolf, surprising fan favorite Skeet Ulrich, Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard

The Take: Really, Terrence Howard? Iron Man wasn’t offering you enough money, so you took this gig instead? L&O:LA just feels like it’s lost, like it doesn’t belong. Taking away the blue grit of NYC makes this just another cop show, and not a very interesting one. And the “ripped from the headlines” approach doesn’t work when you’re using starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears has templates for your starlet mashups. We’re already sick of these people. We don’t need more of them. Also – Skeet Ulrich.

Status: Potential White Noise To Fall Asleep To


The Pitch: Retired CIA married couple get back into the biz to revitalize their relationship, and make the world a better place.

Creative Pedigree: Film and TV Geek King J.J. Abrams, his Felicity cohort Josh Reims, pretty people Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The Take: the spy stuff is fun, but the dialogue is of the unnatural too-clever school, and can get tiresome. The leads are unproven and have yet to gel. And we’ve seen this all before. But still – it’s J.J. LOST, FRINGE, ALIAS, the Star Trek reboot and M:I3…you gotta give it a chance.

Status: Feel Good But Kinda Boring Contender

Better With You

The Pitch: Three Couples. One family. Pregnancies. Bickering. Marriage. And… go!

Creative Pedigree: Showrunner Shana Goldberg-Meehan (Friends, Joey, Mad About You), TV pilot vet Josh Cooke, forever-up-and-comer Joanna Garcia, That 70s Show mom Debra Jo Rupp

The Take: Bad. Really, really bad. Bad jokes. Bad laugh track. Bad bad bad… sad… bad.

Status: Better Without

No Ordinary Family

The Pitch: Heroes meets The Incredibles.

Creative Pedigree: writer/producers Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, Eli Stone) and Jon Harmon Feldman (Tru Calling, Reunion) stars Michael Chiklis (The Shield) and Julie Benz (Dexter), and comedy relief from Romany Malco (The Fourty Year Old Virgin).

The Take: I really want to like this show. It’s got good mythology potential, it plays the comic book geek element well, and Michael Chiklis is great. But it just hasn’t pulled me in yet.

Status: Promising Underdog


The Pitch: An American telemarketing manager transfers to India to oversee a call center. Fish out of water jokes ensue.

Creative Pedigree: Writer Robert Borden (Letterman, The Drew Carey Show), a bunch of hopefuls

The Take: It didn’t suck, but it wasn’t exactly funny either. It’s sort of The Office crossed with Community, so that could be good. But I’d also rather be watching Parks and Rec.

Status: Teetering

And Previously On Cinewise:


Status: Still awesome

Lone Star

Status: Dead, but not by choice. The season’s first wrongful casualty.

Hawaii Five-Oh

Status: Losing Interest. It may ultimately be too-disposable a source of entertainment.


Status: Near dead.

The Event

Status: Hanging in there, but in no way “event” viewing


Status: Still Dead.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails