Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall TV: New Shows I Have Watched and May Watch: Thursday & Friday

I was planning on doing Thursday and Friday earlier in the week but things built up at work and well you know how that goes. But I did get a chance to watch a few of the new shows that aire on Thursday and Friday and may be able to give you an idea of what works and what doesn't. Let's begin:

THURSDAY: So this is probably the only day where my old shows dominate. I only had one new show that I actually got a chance to see. My favorite returning shows on Thursday are 30 Rock, Fringe and The Office. I really want to watch Community, but I've just never been able to find a way to consistently watch it. Last year the wife had to have Gray's Anatomy and so I wasn't able to see it or the Office in primetime. I ended up watching the Office on Hulu thankfully but just couldn't squeeze in time for Community. Cody Dee swears by it and he usually has a good sense for these shows. So fast forward to 2010 and I've convinced my mother in law to DVR Gray's Anatomy at her place now freeing me up for Community. I'm a little behind but from what I understand it's worth it. Community aires on NBC with the block of 30 Rock and the Office starting at 8:00 PM.

SHIT MY DAD SAYS: It's always a bad sign when you make a show for the networks where you can't even use the proper title. Apparently the show has already caused problems with people's DVR cause they don't know how to look up the show cause it starts with $#"!. But what do you expect from a show based on a twitter feed of the same name. The only reason I was giving this show a chance was because I love William Shatner, dude is funny even when he doesn't intend to be. This should be a no brainer, but as I was watching the show I noticed something horrifying. It looks like the showrunners have decided to put a collar on Shatner and his antics. He seems caged in the pilot--they should let the freak Shatner fly, but instead he's just limited to groan inducing one liners. Shatner still emerges at times to give me a chuckle but he seems to be buried under a schmaltzy and mostly unfunny script. The guy playing his kid is almost unwatchable. He's trying way too hard, the show could have promise if the writers were truly interested in channeling Archie Bunker. But it just seems like they are trying to continue to cash in on the shit Dad says on twitter which is pretty hit or miss most of the time. I'm on the fence whether or not I'll check out the second episode but if you are tired of painfully formulaic sitcoms then this show is not for you. ($#"! My Dad Says aires on CBS at 8:30 PM)

There are two other shows that I had some thought about taping but decided against it at the last minute. The one that I'm sort of regretting is Nikita, which aires on the CW at 9:00 PM. The trailer didn't do much for me but then I will admit to you I saw star Maggie Q wearing that red bikini and then I started to think--damn maybe I should give it a shot. In all honesty the reviews have been mixed but most have said it was fun and I do love me some spy shows. I'm a complete sucker for them so why shouldn't I watch this one---maybe I'll watch on Hulu. The other show I considered was Outsourced but now I'm kind of glad I dumped it. The trailer was pretty bad and most of the reviews I read were pretty negative. This show was based on the John Jeffcoat movie of the same name. It's about an American who is sent to Mumbai to manage an American novelties company (fake vomit) Call Center and through his new job he gets to learn about Indian culture. The premise sounds like it could be funny but it seems like they dumbed it down to the lowest common denominator. Did I mention the almost all Indian cast is going to be fielding calls about fake vomit. Yeah, remember what I said about NBC and subtlety. This would probably apply here. But if you want to take a shot let me know what you think cause I don't think I'm going to be adding this to my Must See TV list. (Outsourced aires on NBC at 9:30 PM)

FRIDAY: So Friday, usually is dead air, but that's usually. Last year I enjoyed two truly great shows that aired on what is considered the death knell for tv shows. Friday Night Lights and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. This year I'm still awaiting Friday Night Lights cause I don't have Direct-TV, it'll aire sometime in January I believe. They also moved a couple shows I watched on Wed that are now on Friday Human Target and the Good Guys. (I did a review for the Good Guys a few months ago, click here.) You can check out both of these shows on Fox starting at 8:00 PM with Human Target and the Good Guys at 9:00 PM.

BLUE BLOODS: I just saw this one last night and I really enjoyed it. They've got a great cast with Tom Selleck, Frank Reagan, as the patriarch of a family of NY city Cops: Donnie Wahlberg as the tough as nails Detective Danny Reagan and eldest son of the brood. Danny's tough Assistant DA sister Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and their little brother, former Harvard student, turned rookie cop Jamie (Will Estes). You even have Frank's retired cop father Henry (Len Cariou) to make this a total family affair of three generations of Cops. I really thought it was well written and brought some new flavor to the typical Cop Show. This is a bit of both cop drama and family drama which is important for this show to really work. In the pilot they go right at opposing viewpoints on tough subjects like water boarding. I think you've got some great potential for compelling stories as well as a fun thriller that will keep the viewer on their toes. It's great to see Selleck back on something as smart as this and it's always great to see him sporting the signature stash. I know Friday is the night to party but if you find yourself at home you should really check this one out I highly recommend it.  (Blue Bloods aires on CBS at 10:30 PM

OUTLAW: I actually got to watch the pilot a week or so ago and I wasn't that impressed. I was intrigued with the premise of the show about a Supreme Court Judge, Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits), who decides to leave the bench and go back into private practice. The intriguing part was that he is a very conservative style judge who has a very liberal personal life with the gambling and womanizing. Could be interesting right. We learn right off the bat that his very liberal minded father was killed recently in a car accident with Cyrus at the wheel. So in the pilot Cyrus pisses off the right wing because he doesn't tow the line and they try to blackmail him. He seems to be having a crisis of conscience. He gets the jump on their threats and leaves the bench of his own free will. I find it amusing that a guy as Conservative as this would all of a sudden become so liberal minded so quickly, but oh well. Where the show works is it's lead star Jimmy Smits. The guy is a pro and he makes Cyrus very compelling. The problem is the pacing and the overblown ridiculous plot. We are to believe that this guy leaves the bench and helps a convict avoid lethal injection just because he stood up to a judge for five minutes. The guy had been on death row for like 15 years or something and he digs just a little bit and gets him off. The whole thing just felt so contrived. I want to give the show more time but I was so annoyed by the ease in which he solved the case that I couldn't fathom how they could make this show last a whole season without the audience laughing off every triumphant victory. It sort of reminded me of Matlock which is never a good thing. (Outlaw aires on NBC at 10:00 PM)

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