Thursday, October 18, 2007

Private Practice

I am starting to get annoyed with "Private Practice." For every good moments the show has, there is another five bad ones. And I know it is only a few episodes in, but the characters have not shown any developments. In fact, Addison has shown backwards movement. When she was on "Grey's Anatomy," Addison was one of my favorite characters. On her own spin-off she is becoming my least favorite. This is mainly because of the aforementioned backwards development. She spent most of Wednesday's episode upset about her co-workers not RSVPing to a party she decided to throw. I somehow can't see the old Addison getting so worked up about it. An even worse moments, was when she felt "inspired" by Sam's motivating talk on the mind-body connection. I guess this was supposed to be showing her feeling happy and learning to relax, but it had the opposite effect, the scene was almost painful to watch.

Addison was also dealing with the main "patient-of-the-week" a young woman who escaped from the hospital psych ward and wanted everyone to believe she was really sick. Of course, she was. Of course, Addion figured it out. After the past couple week's medical cases, this one felt flat.

Later, Addison revisited the story that originally brought her to L.A., her desire to get pregnant. On one hand, this did feel a little authentic and I liked how Kate Walsh played the scene. And it did make up for the oddness of Naomi (the fertility speacilist) refusing to try and help. Although, Naomi's explanation seemed out of character. Why would she think she needed to protect Addison by lying to her? She is supposed to be a doctor, right? But on the other hand, I really don't want to see them head down the road of giving Addison a baby or having her get pregnant. So it would really be better to just cut the whole story out.

Meanwhile, the character I do like, Cooper, has been getting better stories. I really liked his interaction with the ten-year-old who realized he was gay. I think children realizing their sexual identity at a young age is something worth exploring. I also like that Cooper is consistantly shown as being good with kids. What was probably supposed to be a "reveal" was that he is also in love with Violet. This wasn't really a surprise, even though, I originally thought these characters were supposed to be siblings, I have grown to like their "friendship." But before I can get behind a "ship" of these two, they need to let Violet GET OVER HER EX. Seriously, four epsides of a grown woman crying over an old boyfriend? Even if some people are like that in real life, they are not someone I want to watch on television. It is getting really old. If the writers can acomplish that, then I could get into watching Violet/Cooper enough to stick with the show. Unfortunatelty, with her ex's new wife admiting that Alan "talks about her," and coming to the clinic to scope Violet out it doesn't look like that is happening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming up Daisies

I enjoyed the second episode of “Pushing Daisies” a lot more than the first. I think it has something to do with all the positive reviews I had read coming into it that had me expecting a great show. Nothing could really live up to that hype, so I was a little disappointed. However, once I knew what I was getting, I was able to enjoy it.

At its root, “Pushing Daisies” is really just another detective procedural. Just with magic. The main character, Ned, brings people back from the dead, has sixty seconds to find out how they died, and then kills them again. If that sounds like it could get old, Wednesday’s episode showed many variations on how a character can react to this happening to them, and of having different levels of knowledge. The case in last night’s episode was half standard story (guy finds out new kind of car will hurt people and kills to cover it up and profit) and half charming style (said new car is powered by flowers). This charm is what “Daisies” thrives in. In addition to the flower-powered car, the episode included a character breaking out in song and the main character being saved by knitting needles. The way the show embraces this silly yet sweet scenarios creates something that is completely entertaining. No one will ever take the cases on the show seriously, but will likely enjoy the fairy tale style of the whodunit.

Now, at its heart, “Daisies” is a love story. After bringing back his childhood sweetheart Ned is unable to touch her without killing her. This leads to situations such as kissing through plastic body bags, high-fiving with plastic flowers, and using wooden monkeys to mimic a kiss. While this might seem silly on another show, here it fits right in with the charming style – and the two actors have the right amount of chemistry to make it work, anmd the two parts of the show fit together as a delightful hour of entertainment.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Family Time

I have become addicted to ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters.” Besides the great cast, there is something about how the writers manage to combine humorous moments with serious and heartbreaking ones. In Sunday’s episode the show had some hysterical scenes, such as Kevin and Sarah both answering their phones at the same time and clearly, hearing the same news at the same time. Phone calls on television shows are often hard to pull off, but this show does it so well. It manages to capture the family dynamic of news traveling fast and family banter/squabbling perfectly. Another fabulous scene (again, involving phone calls) was Kitty, Nora, and Kevin listening to the conservative radio host bash them, cumulating with Kitty calling in to talk to him, moments after she had told her brother and mother to not do the very same thing. I loved how upset Kitty got when she realized Kevin had gone too far and called Abraham Lincoln gay. The best part, was at the end when two seconds after hanging up, Robert’s name came up on the caller ID – obviously calling to yell at Kitty for the situation she created.

On the flip side, there were some great serious moments worked into the episode. The scene with Joe telling Sarah he really wanted a divorce was so quiet and simple, but Rachel Griffith played it so well, that the scene was elevated to a much higher level. Obviously, the scenes with Justin coming home after his injury were also on the dramatic side. As soon as I realized Justin was injured I knew there was going to be a struggle with him trying to stay off painkillers because of his previous addiction. Judging by the closing scene of last night, this is going to be a challenge for him. I don’t want to spend weeks watching someone in pain, but I also don’t want Justin to fall off the wagon, so I am interested in where the writers take this.

The one downside of last night was that it appears as though Tommy is being set up to fall for the new office manager Lena. Tommy has never been my favorite character, for no reason other than he didn’t have a storyline until halfway through last season – when everyone else had already become so much more fleshed out. So, a more dramatic plot with adultery seems shoehorned in. However, the show didn’t introduce Lena, establish her as a friend of Rebecca’s, and hire her for the vineyard for no reason.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hospital Show Addiction

Once I start watching a show, I tend to watch it until the end. Many shows end a lot sooner than I would like. But others start to lose quality in their later seasons and out of some weird sense of loyalty I keep watching. This is the case with two Thursday night dramas.

First, is "Grey's Anatomy." Like almost everyone else, I loved Grey's when it premiered. But by the beginning of its third season, I started to get a little annoyed with the characters. By last spring, I was completely hating the show, yet, I still tuned in when the fourth season started last week. Now, with the second episode of the fourth season I am feeling the same way. The McDreamy/Meredith relationship has reached the point where they have had more bad times than good, and still act like they are fated to be together. It is hard to root for a couple who met a year ago, spent most of it with other people, and never seem to be happy when they are together. Last week, the show tried to acknowledge this by portraying Derek as "addicted" to Meredith even though she is bad for him. This same episode tried to use Mrs. Burke to illustrate how Meredith/McDreamy are different than the Christina/Burke relationship, or at least how Burke is different from Derek. This is becacuse he was willing to leave Christina for not loving him "enough" - something Derek can't do the same to Meredith. Personally, I thought this a little anti-female. I understand the concept, but it comes off as though a woman with any type of issue is bad and will just hurt men. Meanwhile the men on this show are given a free pass for any behavior and still considered desirable.

The other major storyline on Grey's is of course, the George/Izzie affair. I don't know what to say about it that hasn't already been said by others. The relationship came out of nowhere and feels more like it was put in for the soap opera effect than any real character development. One minute Izzie was mourning over Denny and the next she was in love with George. One minute George was in love with Meredith, than he was in love with Callie, now he wants Izzie? This problem is especially annoying when we are reminded only a year has passed since the series started. It is a bit like when the 20th hour of "24" rolls around, and you remember everything has been in one day. If three years had actually passed since Grey's started, all the relationships would be slightly believable. When it happens in one year, it is ridiculous. At this point, the only slightly interesting thing on Grey's are Alex and Bailey. So of course, they are given nothing to do.

The second show I watch out of obligation is "ER." This is a show that ran out of original stories, good characters, and shock value years ago. Everything I see on it has been done before. A main character in the hospital fighting for their life? Dozens of times. A new chief trying to improve the mediocre ER? This has not only happened several times in recent seasons, it has been a major plotline before. A sick kid who is dying? Again, dozens of times. It is almost hard to even get depressed about it. And yet, like with Grey's Anatomy, I keep watching every Thursday.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Private Practive

I was one of the few people that liked the "Private Practice" when they did the special episode of Grey's last spring. But I wasn't too happy with the official pilot last week. It seemed like there was no new material. Wednesday seemed like the first regular episode, and the first time to really judge how good it was. The judgement? I pretty much hated it. Addison was my favorite character on "Grey's Anatomy" but somewhere all her good qualities seemed to disappear when she left Seattle Grace.

Last night did have some great moments with the baby switching storyline. The last scene where the two mother's switched babies, almost brought me to tears. However, that was the only good part about the episode, which does not give me confidence for the future of the show. Everything with the main cast, was a cross between annoyance and boredom. There is potential to the characters, they could easily be fixed with some better writing. But it doesn't seem like that is happened. Violet and Cooper have great chemistry, but she spends too much time whining about her ex boyfriend to do anything else interesting. She just ends up seeming weak. Pete spends all his time in what is supposed to be "fun bickering," but really both he and Addison just come across as immature.

I'm willing to watch for another week to see where the characters go, but if it isn't up, I may have to stop watching. Or at least pray for cancellation so Addison can go back to "Grey's Anatomy."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


“Heroes” tends to tell its stories in segments. Last year it took several episodes before most of the main characters even met. By the end of the year, everything was intersecting. Now, we are starting over, which is good and bad.

As usual, everything with the Bennet family was fabulous. I especially loved Claire cutting off her toe and watching it grow back – it was gross, but an extremely cool effect. I enjoy how Claire manages to find “special” things to argue with her parents about, instead of typical teenager stuff. For instance, her talking to HRG about if she should test her powers and try to do good with them. It is things like that, transferring a universal concept (like disagreeing with your father) to this extra level that is both weird and awesome. The one thing with Claire, I am undecided on, is her classmate/love interest. He seems a little like Zach from last season, but with a power and extra aggressiveness added in. Personally, I would prefer they bring back Zach rather than shoehorn in a new “hero.”

Hiro stuck in seventeenth century Japan is still working. It doesn’t tie in with the rest of the show, but the combination of Kensei’s sarcasm and Hiro’s excitement is hysterical. It wasn’t a surprise that Hiro would fulfill some of the heroic deeds Kensei is known for, but seeing him figure it out is just plain fun television.

Other high points from last night include HRG being reunited with the Haitian and Angela Petrelli figuring out Parkman was reading her mind. I would still like to learn more about the Haitian’s true motives and loyalty. The few scenes with Mohindar pretending to get his memory erased (or actually getting it erased) were not really enough to fill anything in. However, I am pleased just to see the character again. As for Mrs. Petelli, she is a fabulous villain and the fact that she knows more about the heroes than anyone else makes her an intriguing character.

Low points from the episode include the twins from Hondorus and Peter. The twins are annoying simply because we don’t know enough about them. Yes, she has a freaky power, but at this point they fall in the category of knowing less than the viewers, which is never fun. As for Peter, he is my favorite character and his fight scene in the bar was great. However, I don’t like amnesia stories. They fall into that same category of a character of knowing less than the viewers.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Big Shots = Big Bore

In an attempt to say something positive about "Big Shots," I can say that it has two gorgeous actors in it: Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott. Unfortunately, that is literally the only positive thing that can be said. This show has a similar idea as "Dirty Sexy Money," in that it is about a group of rich people leading extravagant lifestyles. Sadly, everything DSM gets right, "Big Shots" gets wrong. The four main characters are completely unlikeable from the moment they are introduced. There is Duncan (McDermott) who spends most of the episode trying to bribe the prostitute he hired (because he was "lonely" to keep the incident secret from a reporter. There is Brody, who spends the episode cheating on his perfectly nice wife. There is Karl, who didn't do much other than wait on his wife and complain about it. Then, there is James (Vartan) who gets fired, only to be saved by his boss dying and ultimately being promoted. Mixed in there, he finds out his wife was sleeping with said boss. Now, I have seen Michael Vartan on "Alias" so I know he can act somewhat. But apparently he needs good writing to do that, because on "Big Shots" he spent most of the episode acting and looking like such a sap, that I cringed every time he was on screen. It wouldn't be so bad, if the show played like "Desperate Housewives" as so over the top that you felt like you were supposed to laugh at unlikeable people and unrealistic situations. But "Big Shots" takes itself way to seriously for that to succeed, and even the good cast won't save it.

Sad Betty: The Ugly Betty Premiere

I am apparently a sucker. I spent almost the entire hour of the Ugly Betty season premiere being so glad that Santos was seemingly alive, that I didn't even care about how cheap it was to have him be okay after getting shot in the cliffhanger last season. So, I had a hard time handling the reveal that he was in fact dead and the whole thing had been a fantasy of Hilda. The scene where Betty just held Hilda as she broke down in tears was heartbreaking and really well done. Ana Ortiz (Hilda) did a fabulous job with all those scenes.

The rest of the cliffhanger follow ups were also all done well. Amanda and Marc were as hysterical as usual with Amanda trying to figure out why her birth certificate lists Fey as her mother. I loved that meta reference to VC Andrews, when Amanda wondered if Daniel could be her brother. Those meta and pop culture references are one of the things this show does best. In shipper land, Betty spent most of the episode trying to get over Henry. Despite her goodbye to him in the "relationship funeral," I don't think she is really close. Which is why the romantic in me was thrilled that Henry showed up back in New York. Hopefully, he will arrive knowing the that Charlie was cheating on him. I know shows often drag out romances, but Betty and Henry really need some time happy together. More near-misses will cause them to become as annoying as a unnamed couple on another Thursday night ABC show.

Meanwhile, Daniel was still popping pills, now out of guilt for causing Alexis to slip into a coma in their car accident. But by the end of the episode, he had decided to clean up for her sake. I hope he doesn't reconsider when he finds out Alexis was the one who had the breaks on the car in the first place. At the end, the show did seem a little cliche, by having Alexis wake up as soon as Daniel got the nerve to visit her. But, the follow up, was so good that it almost doesn't matter. Because as soon as she talked, we find out that "Alexis" doesn't remember anything about her operation, so to speak, and still thinks that she, is the very male Alex. That is certainly not a story you see every day. I suppose that storyline could become a little insensitive, depending on how long it lasts and Alex/Alexis's reaction. But it is the perfect thing to play out on "Ugly Betty."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dirty Sexy Fun

“Dirty Sexy Money” may be my favorite new show of the season, at least so far. This debuted on ABC last night, and was a completely enjoyable hour of television. Peter Krause, plays Nick George, who is absolutely the most likable character. He inherits his recently deceased father job as family lawyer to the rich Darling family. All the family members are completely over-the-top: rich girl finds out her father paid for her to get an acting job and tries to kill herself, older daughter thinks men use her for her money and is in love with Nick, drug addict son gets arrested, other son is reverend with a secret illegitimate child, and the last son is a politician having an affair with a transvestite. Yet, Nick’s reaction to having to deal with them plays out so well that the situations are humorous instead unbelievable. It may be the result of too many soap operas, but most of the dramatic moments were a little predictable: Nick’s father had been having an affair with the family matriarch, and his father may have actually been murdered. But that didn’t prevent the reveals from being enjoyable, and I am looking forward to where this show goes.

Kid Nation: To Watch or not to Watch

For a show that is supposed to be about kids on their own, they seem to have a lot of guidance from producers. The main dilemma of last night, was whether the kids should kill a chicken to eat, which only came up because they were told to think about it. The argued about it slightly, but decided to kill the chickens rather easily. Even the kids who were upset about it didn’t raise as much trouble as the editing tried to make it seem. One girl talked the whole episode about wanting to leave because the animals were getting hurt and it made her sad, only to reveal at the end she was staying without much debate.

I do feel bad for the green team; to not only lose twice in a row, but to lose the reward for the town. Interestingly enough, the other kids seemed to handle the loss better than most adults do on these shows by expressing disappointment at not getting the reward, but still comforting the green team – and not interviewing later about being upset. Most people watch reality shows for the conflict – seeing everyone get along makes me impressed with the kids, but also slightly bored. The only real conflict in the town seems to be Taylor and her yellow team not performing in the kitchen. But after two episodes, I realized watching a group of kids bicker about who has to do dishes, is really not entertainment. It is the type of thing parents try to avoid. I don’t really know if this is a problem the show can overcome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reaper v. Chuck: The Showdown

I know it is not fair to compare two shows, but considering their similarities, and the fact that I watched them back to back, I am going to make an exception for “Chuck” and “Reaper.” If I wrote two separate posts, I think I would just end up comparing them anyway.

“Chuck” is about a computer nerd who accidentally downloads all the secrets of the CIA and NSA into his brain. The pilot sets up the how this happens (his old roommate turned into a rouge spy and sent it to him) and the result: that he will end up using his new knowledge to go on Alias-style save the world missions, while being protected/helped by two government agents (including the token “hot” girl). It is not a serious spy show, there were definite camp/humor moments in the pilot, even during the action scenes. For example, the scene with the ninja stealing Chuck’s computer played like a spoof, and Chuck ends up defusing a bomb by going to a porn website that causes a computer virus. There were serious moments as well, with Chuck worrying about his family, thinking about his life changing, or Sarah (the female agent), possibly starting to care what happens to Chuck. Despite this, it did not reach the emotional depth needed to play as too serious. Overall, I enjoyed this, and despite my crowded Monday television schedule, will probably keep watching unless future episodes start to get weaker.

“Reaper,” on the other hand, is about a slacker (Sam) who finds out on his 21st birthday that his parents sold his soul to the devil. The devil shows up to collect, and now Sam has to act as a bounty hunter for souls that have escaped from hell. I enjoyed this a lot more than Reaper for several reasons. Sam is more likable than Chuck, as are the supporting cast. “Reaper” manages to make you like two parents who sold a child’s soul to the devil. The show also does a good job showing how characters are reacting to what is happening to them, and by letting them have some choice. Sam’s mother offers to give up herself to get Sam out of the deal, but Sam refuses and tells his parents he got himself out of the deal. The characters also seem to have more depth than “Chuck,” although this could change as the season goes on and the show/characters evolve. “Reaper’s” style of humor is less campy than “Chuck’s”, but still manages to offer more laughs. Part of this could be the influence of Kevin Smith, who directed the pilot. With his presence gone, it is hard to say what future episodes will look like. In the end, I would keep watching this, even if there was nothing else left in my Tuesday night lineup.

Jouney to a better show: Journeyman Premiere

I am a day late with this one, but Monday nights have a lot of shows to fit into a couple hours. I am a sucker for time travel stories, so I was really looking forward to "Journeyman" – the show about Dan, a journalist who starts taking trips to the past (simply by waking up in a different time, but still the same place), and ends up helping people he meets. In the pilot he makes several trips (over a span of ten years) helping one man and his family. The multiple trips are because Dan’s actions create an additional problem later on. In the pilot, he saves a man’s life, then helps his marriage, then stops the same man from killing his wife and child years later, just so the child can go on to save lives as a doctor.

This could be an interesting premise, but the way the action plays out just makes it boring. Similar shows, such as "Quantum Leap" and "Early Edition," both set up early on what was going to “go wrong,” so to speak, followed by the heroes getting to know the characters and helping them – usually by the end you wanted the bad situation to be fixed. Both shows also set up time limits, so there was an urgency in what needed to be done. With "Journeyman, " Dan just sort of flounders around in the past until he completes whatever he is supposed to do. I didn’t spend enough time with the characters to be invested them, and because we (and the main characters) don’t know what is ultimately fixed until the end, it is hard to care about it getting done.

Thrown into the mix is the fact that while on these trips, he runs into his old fiancĂ© Livvia (who died eight years ago). Livvia, who was/is the love of his life, is revealed to also be a time-traveler, and may not really be dead. This appears to be setting up lots of cryptic encounters between the two that will either be annoying, informative, or slightly romantic. From episode one, I am leaning towards annoying. Back in the present, Dan is already having problems with his current wife, who (along with his friends and coworkers) thinks he is using drugs/going crazy, not time-traveling. While this might be the normal reaction for a person who’s husband starts disappearing for days at a time, it makes her very unlikable.

I am willing to give this show another chance to see if more experience with time travel makes the characters more likeable and the action more interesting. But, going with first impressions, "Journeyman" is dull and not worth the time to watch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heroes: I Broke History

Last season, Heroes peaked (in both quality and excitement) before the season finale.  Based on that, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the new season – it would either be as disappointing as the finale or as good as the awesome mid-season episodes.  

I think what actually aired, was a mixture of both.  There were some great moments:  HRG's showdown with his new boss, seeing that Parkman and Mohinder are protecting Molly together, finding out Mohinder is going undercover with the company (and working with HRG), and pretty much every moment with Hiro and Kensei.   I was worried that Hiro being stuck back in time away from everyone else would be annoying, but I like how it played out.  It doesn't hurt that Kensei is played by David Anders of Alias. I actually still think of him as Sark, just on some bizarres mission.  But the two actors made the storyline work, and I am looking forward to seeing Hiro fix the history he "broke."

There was also nice set up for the rest of the year.  Molly is still having visions of a dangerous "bogyman" who can "see" her – who will presumably be the new big bad guy of the year.   Hiro's father and Mrs. Petrelli are getting death threats from some of the original Heroes, who is seemed to have formed The Company years ago.  One of the more interesting storylines of last year involved finding out about the older characters with powers and how they were connected, so I am excited to see where the writers go with this.  I do hope that Hiro's dad is not actually dead, and considering that the Peterelli brothers are alive gives me some hope.  The new characters (Maya and her brother Alejandro)didn't make a huge impression on me yet, but the fact that at least one of them seems to be infected with the same virus Molly has last year, will connect them with other characters soon enough. I am not sure I like the "virus" storyline, it seems like a cheap way to kill off characters or create drama (a mysterious illness that infects heroes without explanation?   Really?), but combined with everything else that is going on, it may work.   

Heroes also picked up four months after the events of last season, which made for some gaps in storytelling, and confusion.   Nathan is alive, but no longer married?   Peter is alive, with amnesia, and lost somewhere in Ireland?  Parkman is divorced and now a cop in NYC?  All great potential for storylines, but I'd like some more details on how exactly that came to be.   Some exposition about what happened is fine, but if they don't go back and give more details, it is just lazy storytelling.

But Heroes has never been about great continuity, it is better at focusing on the bigger picture. Regardless, I am already hooked again.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Week

As it turns out, it takes a little longer than I thought to blog about these shows. I am going to try to do better this week and write up at least one show a night. This may require slightly shorter posts, but I think that will work out better overall.

I want to do a quick synopsis of what I did watch last week and missed reviewing.

Kid Nation
: Yes, I watched it. And for all the scandal, it was fairly tame...yet a little boring as well. Most of the kids they showed seemed cute enough and not as obnoxious as they could be. I especially liked Sophia and Laurel, they seemed to have good heads on their shoulders. We certainly did not see all 40 kids, and probably will never learn all their is just too many to keep track of. There seems to be a heavy presence of the host, and the kids really don't get much freedom to "create a new nation." It is more like Survivor, the child version. Which means entertaining enough when focusing on good people, boring when not. I'll give it another episode to see how it continues to play out.

Gossip Girl: I don't know if I am getting older or teen soaps are getting worse. I loved The O.C., but even with the same creator, Gossip Girl seems to be trailing it in quality. Most of the characters on this show are one-dimensional, and the plot was fairly predictable. I like Kristin Bell, and she did a good job with the narration, but I don't think it really fit with the show. The voice over was shoe-horned in at the wrong times. I'm willing to give it one more shot. Pilots are often tough to judge because they are setting things up. But, if I don't see more complex stories, I think I will be done.

Survivor: I have seen every season of Survivor, so at this point everything seems to be a reminder of a past challenge or contestant. This year was no exception. The show is done with its "racial segregation" experiment, so this season is just old-school Survivor with two tribes of eight. Other than being stranded with no luggage, there was not any extra hardship going on to make the episode stand out. I was glad "Chicken" went home, just because I couldn't understand a word he said. I also ended up liking Ashley more than I thought I would after her first interview, so was glad she seemed to be less sick by the third day. However, I don't know what she was thinking with those boots. I know she wasn't expecting to be left with no luggage, but shouldn't she have known it was a possibility and dressed more practical? Other early favorites are James the grave digger and Todd the "gay Mormon flight attendent." The only ones who stood out as annoying were that waitress from New York who didn't like other people smiling/talking, the professional poker player who thought Todd was lying about his job, and Leslie, who couldn't sit through the Buddhist welcome ceremony. That is not what bothered me, but the way she kept saying she wasn't religious when she is a Christian radio talk show host and mentioned her relationship with Jesus several times did get to me. However, Leslie, did score points with me for talking to James about how to overcome his shyness. They are one of those pairs that sometimes bond on Survivor where you never expect them to become friends, but they usually end up creating a cool alliance. Think: Elisabeth/Roger from Australia or Earl/Yau Man from Fiji. Overall, it looks like there a good mix of personalities, so it could shape up to a fairly decent season.

Monday, September 17, 2007

K-Ville Pilot

When described, K-Ville sounds like an interesting show. The premise, the story of New Orleans cops in a post-Katrina setting, suggests that current issues not usually discussed will be explored. Unfortunately for anyone watching, it doesn't pull this off.

The show could change drastically from the pilot, but last nights episode was nothing but a cliche filled crime procedural. It featured a cop investigating the murder of a friend and predictably getting too personally involved to make rational judgments. Until of course, the last ten minutes when it is all wrapped up---despite the fact that the culprit's motive doesn't quite make sense. (A woman sabotaging her own fund raisers to rebuild the run down area of New Orleans, because her brother's killers lived there? ? Seriously?).

The lead Marlin Boulet (Anthony Anderson) was abandoned by his partner is the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina, which causes him to not trust his new partner Cobb (Cole Hauser). While he turns out to be right (Cobb is an ex-con who escaped from prison during the storm), Boulet's attacks show him as as irrational. Combined with drinking on the job and a refusal to move out of New Orleans, despite his wife's pleading, Boulet comes off as very unlikable. Perhaps with more focus on Boulet's as a person and what is leading him psychologically, this would be a different story. But this is lacking from the pilot. The sacrifice does not even result in good action sequences. The action scenes mostly consist of car chases, which are too choppily shot to be enjoyable.

Next week Heroes returns opposite this show, so I probably won't bother watching further episodes to see if things improve. When a series is goo d enough, I'll find a way to watch multiple episodes in the same time slot. But K-Ville just doesn't convince me to bother.

A New Plan: Prison Break Season Premiere.

Let's face it, Prison Break has always been an unrealistic show. To continue the plot into a second season, it had to get even more unbelievable. So, to continue with season three, it was obvious the writers were going to have to push the envelope even more. If you can't accept that, it is probably not the best show for you to be watching. But if you can accept it, last night's season premiere was pretty fantastic.

The reason? We got to see the main characters back in the same setting, which is SONA, a prison filled with the "worst of the worst," and so horrible that even the guards have abandoned it. One that force prisoners to fight to the death over any grievances (real or orchestrated by enemies) and has no other sense of order.

Besides Michael, the new prisoners includes Bellick (who was never the nicest person while working as a guard, but doesn't really deserve the treatment his is getting), Mahone (who was a great villain while trying to track the fugitives, and almost deserves to be locked up in SONA), and T-Bag (who absolutely deserves to be locked up in SONA, and yet seems to thrive in the prison). In a nice twist, Lincoln is on now on the outside trying to help Michael get out of prison. And early in the episode, this seems easy. The The American Consulate says there is evidence Michael is innocent and will transfer him while waiting for a trial. The conspiracy group that wanted to put Michael away last year seems to have a new motive: wanting Michael to break another inmate out of prison. Why would Michael agree to this? Well, the conspiracy group has kidnapped Sarah and LJ.

I am interested to see how Michael's mind works without the benefit of the long term planning he had available for the original break out. Hopefully, this will include some great scenes of him teaming up with Mahone, who is the only one whose mind was ever a match for Michael. If the scene where Mahone gave Michael tips to fight dirty, and later defended him, are any indication, the rest of the season should be fantastic.


I have always described my dream job as being a television critic. It combines three of my favorite things: watching TV, writing, and telling people my opinion. So, if I could actually get paid to watch as much television as I want and then write about it, I would be in heaven. If I could actually impact people's opinions, it would be even better.

But, life isn't fair and I don't have my dream job. Fortunately, this is the twenty-first century and I don't have to wait for someone to hire me to write about something...I can do it myself with a blog (albeit without getting a paycheck). So, that is what this is. I plan to review almost all the shows I watch as they air. I'll also start the fall season watching as many of the new shows as I can, and as I lose interest, I'll drop them and focus on the best.