Friday, October 17, 2008

FALL 2007 Part II

Well it's fall again and normally I will write several articles dedicated to the basic idea that I never judge a show by it's pilot, but this fall is different. I don't feel like this is Fall 2008 but more like Fall 2007 part II. It is hard to believe that it was almost a year ago (Nov. 5th 2007) when the Writers Guild of America went on strike. From that point I decided to suspend reviewing any new shows out of a sense of fairness and solidarity. I felt that saying something critical about someone’s show during the strike was kicking someone when they were down. As my readers know, I love television the same way others love movies or music, and even though I was saddened to see the TV season cut short I stood by the writers. I felt that it was important to remind my readers that nothing happens in Hollywood until a writer types the words FADE IN.

The shows I didn't review last fall or Fall 2007 Part I were Life, Pushing Daisies and Samantha Who?. These three shows are all back this season and my favorite show from last fall or Fall 2007 Part I, Journeyman, was canceled but thanks to the strike at least every episode was aired.

Here is my

The Big Bang Theory. Still on the air.
I said, "Sweet characters and cleaver dialogue do not a sitcom make".

K-Ville. Off the air.
I said, "I think that it is great that eighty percent of the show’s crew is from the local talent pool. I am curious what the people of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department thinks of the show".

Cane. Off the air.
I said, "The show should have a broad appeal. It has many of the classic elements of good story telling, man vs. man, brother vs. brother, father vs. son, all set in front of a Latin background. I am optimistic that the show won't resort to some of the stereotypical soap opera conventions like evil twins, people returning from the dead and whole seasons being dismissed as a dream".

Journeyman. Off the air.
I said, "The show has an appeal beyond the science fiction crowd. The only thing about the show that is predictable is that is unpredictable. Other new shows should take a lesson from Journeyman. Start with a good story and build on that".

Bionic Woman. Off the air.
There is one element to the show that I will freely admit to having mixed feelings about and that is the blurry line between who the good guys and the bad guys are. I like that the heroes have baggage. I'm sure that there are viewers that want to see the good guys wearing white hats and the bad guys wearing black hats (Toy companies like straight out good guys and bad guys when it comes to marketing action figures).

Reaper. Still on the air.
I said, "The best way to describe the show is Maynard G. Crebs from Dobie Gillis meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a hint of Ghost Busters".

Back to You. Off the air.
I said, "I was hoping for something more comparable to Murphy Brown or The Mary Tyler Moore Show but instead this reminded me more of Good Morning, Miami, especially the Latina character Montana Diaz Herrera (Ayda Field)".

Cavemen. Off the air.
I said, "I saw the pilot and I can hear my college television production teacher say, "What’s the point?" First you have to buy into the premise that cavemen have lived among us since the beginning of time. The opening credits features a montage of cavemen throughout history. Anything would be better than the chosen premise, time warp, thawed from an iceberg or cloned caveman DNA".

Chuck. Still on the air.
I said, "I watched the pilot. The episode opens on the night of Chuck’s birthday party. Chuck’s sister has invited lots of women for Chuck to meet but I don’t see this guy needing his sister’s help getting laid". And "Zachary Levi is a very talented actor. I liked him on Less Than Perfect, but I don’t see him as a good fit for this show".

As for Samantha Who?, Pushing Daisies and Life:

Samantha Who?
: I was quite surprised and impressed with the show. My first impression from the promotional material was this would be a female version of My Name Is Earl. In fact my first reaction was, "Why didn't they call it My name is Girl". Christina Applegate has incredible star power and is likable, cute and willing to fall on her face for a laugh.
Pushing Daisies: This is a fun macabre escape from reality. I use it as a mental sorbet after watching the news.

Life: Damien Lewis is one of the finest actors on TV today. He has created a character that viewers sympathize with but you don’t necessarily want to have a beer with him and at times you just want to smack him. I see an Emmy in Damien Lewis' future.

For Fall 2007 Part II there are only two shows that I really have an interest in checking out and reviewing. Strangely enough both are American versions of foreign shows. From England Life On Mars and from Australia Kath & Kim but most of my TV viewing is fall dedicated to watching 2008 Election coverage. As always I watch the pilot and the first episode following the pilot. My gut tells me that Life On Mars will have a following but I don't see Kath & Kim lasting past Christmas.

To quote Dennis Miller, "Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
Post a Comment