Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Those New Fall Series....

Alright, it's that time of year. We are almost to the end of September and a good portion of the new Fall Pilots have premiered. So, in effort to let you know what I think is worth watching, here are my general reactions.

Pan Am:
Really enjoyed this. First of all, if you turned the sound off it would still be worth tuning in for because the show is gorgeous. Talk about making use of the HD. And I have a pretty good sense of the characters so far, thanks to a fairly effortless use of flashbacks. The stories seem interesting - spies! romance! girdles! - but I'm interested in how they keep it up without going to far off the grid of Pan Am flights. And will all episodes take place within the plane? My take away: watch it. Or at least DVR (does anyone watch anything live anymore?!). Also, I want a Pan Am bag. And I want to only travel in the 60s as it was obviously so much nicer than travelling now. I didn't hear anyone being charged for anything!!

Terra Nova:
First of all, a confession, I'm only 3/4 of the way through the episode. However, that's enough I think. I like it. Is it my favorite new show? No. Do I fear that it won't be able to keep up with it's self? HELL YES. I also have a million questions, one major one was how isn't this a Butterfly Effect thing, but they explained that this is a different "time stream" that they are entering, so okay. I guess they are just Butterfly Effecting the heck out of another timeline of people, so who cares! Also: why in this main family do all the girls look like the mom (Indian, maybe) and the son only looks like the dad (that dark Irish coloring). Are genetics gender specific in the future? Anyway.... despite my many many questions, and the fact that it looks like "Jurassic Park in the Jurassic Period" I am enjoying it. (Except the son. Do we need another obnoxious, sullen teenage boy on TV.) The action is good. The family dynamics are interesting. And Stephen Lang is the ultimate BAMF. Oh - and there was a shirtless Jason O'Mara doing grunt work in the sun all sweaty. SOLD!

Hart of Dixie:
You can check out my full review of it here. To sum up: I loved it. I needed a good show that wasn't about supernatural things or cops or lawyers or involve an inappropriate amount of violence and sex. It was classic WB-esque (Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Felicity, etc). It's not the best show or the smartest show, but it is just a nice hour of television with actors I love. That's enough for me.

Playboy Club:
First of all, this show is cheesy as hell. There is no denying that. However, I enjoyed it so much more than I expected. My favorite storyline involves Sean Maher (who finally came out yesterday) as a gay man in a sham marriage to a Bunny that is a lesbian. Drama! I love it. Eddie Cibrian is doing his best Jon Hamm voice which is great. He and Amber Heard have crazy chemistry, which makes their scenes enjoyable. (I'm sure Leann Rimes is livid) Overall, it's better than I thought, but if you are already overloaded, not sure if this is the one to pick up.

2 Broke Girls:
The first episode was charming. I have a huge girl crush on Kat Dennings and I enjoyed her on this. Unfortunately, it has a laugh track which may be the worst thing ever. Yes, it's filmed in front of an audience and all that, so there will be the laughter, but it's annoying. I also think it can take nearly a season for actors filming in front of an audience to stop acting like they are in an improv sketch and start acting like they are, well, acting. The second episode took a significant downward turn for me as well since they are already resorting to horse poop jokes. No. This should not be happening. We will see, 2 Broke Girls. We will see.

Sigh, Ringer. I don't know what to do with you. I think the show has so much potential. I love the cast, obviously. And I think SMG is great. But the style, the pacing, the self-aware noir-ness of it all is overwhelming what could be a great dark and twisty drama. I'm hoping it rights itself and gets on track because I want to LOVE it and instead I just find it okay. Of course, I'll be sticking with it though!

New Girl:
I find this show adorable. If you like Zooey Deschanel, than you will probably like this show. If you don't, well, it could go either way. I know people who just don't get her and don't get the show. And I know people who can't stand her and yet find themselves loving the show in spite of that. I think the guys are great and I'm so very very sad that Damon Wayans Jr can't do two shows and stay on as Coach. Also, I came into the series ready to be in love with Max Greenfield's character (Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars!!) but I actually fell in love with Nick, played by Jake Johnson. While I don't think Jess should hook up with any of the roommates, if there is an end game, it should be Jess and Nick. Just saying...

LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is what Ringer should have been. I adore it. Yes, it is a cheesy nighttime soap opera set in the Hamptons, but I don't care. Emily Van Camp is fantastic. Madeline Stowe (who does not age, apparently) is the perfect ice queen. And, sweet lord, Jack is friggin hot. I just think this show has the potential to be so much fun and I enjoyed all 3 viewings of the pilot. If you enjoy a good soap, this is it. My one and only complaint: there is no way on God's green earth that the dog is still alive. It is an adorable idea on the part of the writers, but I've done the math a million ways - that dog should be dead. And if it IS somehow still alive there is no way it is playing fetch in the park and and jumping on people playfully. But, dog issues aside, this may be my favorite pilot so far.

Up All Night/Free Agents
I'm doing these together because they are connected for me. I've only basically talked about them as a pair. Night one: Thought Up All Night was adorable and Free Agents was okay, and would have played better as a dramedy. Night Two: total turn around. I thought the A storyline on Up All Night was horrendous and could barely watch it, thought the B storyline with Maya Rudolph was cute. Free Agents was much more amusing the second night and seemed to have more potential. I'm very curious as to what happens this week. I want to love Up All Night but if it keeps going in the direction of episode two, I don't think I can keep watching.

The Secret Circle
This is the perfect pairing with The Vampire Diaries. It makes the night on The CW complete. Gale Harold is perfect as the evil (but possibly with good intentions...) dad. Britt Robertson is adorable as always, and I enjoy Cassie so much more than the character of Lux. There are some kinks - some of the characters seem more like caricatures, especially Faye who seems like she is just trying to be every cast member of The Craft. Also, question for those who watch: does Diana seem like more of a real villain than Faye to you too? I didn't read the books, so I don't know. If you like CW-fare like TVD, you'll like this. It's a simple jump from one to the other. I just hope TSC finds a way to be as solid as TVD has become.

Charlie's Angels
Oh, how I want to like this show. I looove Minka Kelly. And now Victor Garber is playing Charlie. But I just don't. The acting is horrific. When the first Angel dies.... wow. The fighting is okay. The action sequences are okay. But I just can't get past the script and acting. Yes, it's supposed to be cheesy. But it shouldn't be bad. There is a difference, and it seems they fell on the wrong side of the line. Too bad.

Prime Suspect
Maria Bello is fantastic in this, as if there was ever any doubt. And I adore Kenny Johnson, who plays her boyfriend. He is one of my favorites in everything (The Shield, Saving Grace, Sons of Anarchy). My biggest issue with this show: that for some reason none of the men in her precinct have ever worked with a woman before. Seriously??? In 2011 they have never had to deal with a female detective? I get that in the NYPD women still have to deal with sexism. I'm not that naive. But the level of it was like I was watching a show from 1971 not 2011. Hell, a woman was RUNNING the precinct on Law & Order for nearly twenty years. And this show has a woman being treated like an idiot whore. I want to like the characters (especially Charlie from Fringe) so I'm hoping it evens out in tone a bit. Overall though, it was a really well done show. I'll keep watching.

A Gifted Man
I don't know how I feel about this, to be honest. I love love love the cast. Patrick Wilson. Julie Benz. Margo Martindale. Jennifer Ehle. You can't go wrong with these people. But the pilot seemed a bit uneven and unsure of where they wanted to go. I think mostly because it was a lot of setup. From the first hour I have NO IDEA what kind of show this is going to be. I think I need at least one more episode to make a decision.

Okay, so that's it so far. I still have some I need to catch up on: Unforgettable and Person of Interest come to mind. I will try to write more as other shows premiere.

Still to come: Grimm, Suburgatory (watch that one), Once Upon a Time.

Also, there are some I'm just not watching: Whitney and Last Man Standing for example.

I'll try to do this again for those and, of course, with mid-season replacements.

What did you guys think of everything?