Sunday, October 3, 2010

Two down, more to go: a look at the 2010 Fall TV season.

 Here's a quick recap of the season's new dramatic shows that I have seen, even if only briefly.

First canceled, after two episodes, was Lone Wolf, which I dropped about 20 minutes into the opening episode. You can make an antihero work on mainstream TV, but not an outright crook, a swindler with two women in his life, one of whom he was married to the other apparently just a lover. Toss in all the ways the writers tried to make him lovable and it was kind of dreadful.

My Generation was also canceled, also after two episodes aired. I was prepared to dislike and not watch at all but I checked out the first episode on Hulu and was intrigued. The concept: a documentary being made about a high school class ten years after, nine members of the class of 2000 as seen in 2010. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, like when they do a scroll at the end of  movie which reveals what happened to the characters afterward. Indeed, that is a pattern in my psyche. As I've said many times before, the saddest description what of death means I've ever read was in Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant: "You don't get to see how it all turns out."

Chase is the adventures of a pretty, blond female U.S. Marshall. We already got that, and better, with Mary McCormack's character in in USA's In Plain Sight. Dropped after one episode.

Hawaii Five-O. Seriously? No.

The Event. Trying to be this year's Fringe or Lost or, going way back, X-Files. I am hanging if for now but have my doubts.

Detroit 1-8-7. Haven't seen it yet. Not sure I'll get an opportunity for much longer.

The Defenders. I kinda like it. Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell work. Harmless fun for a Wednesday night.

The Whole Truth. You see both sides of a trial and in the end, no matter what the jury decides, you see the truth. Somebody did this before but I can't remember the show. Watch the first episode. Eh. Dropped. None of the characters grabbed me.

Undercovers. Not seen.

Hellcats. Ditto. Cheerleaders? Really?

Nikita. A surprisingly good revival of a great concept which has been done a couple of times before (a recent variation was the late lamented Dollhouse). Tough chick vs. evil empire, lots of kick-ass action. Biggie for the CW which will lose Smallville after this season. Maggie Q in the lead is quite distinctive looking, not in the usual mold.

Blue Bloods. Tom Selleck. Donnie Wahlberg. Bridget Moynahan. They got the resumes, they'll get the audience. A cop drama with much of the emphasis on the Reagans, a multi-generational family of Irish NYC cops. Good fun, not much effort needed.

Outlaw. Ludicrous concept. Most conservative justice on the Supreme Court resigns to become a crusading lawyer. I hung in for three episodes because of Jimmy Smits as the lead but when his gambling problem took center stage this week, I was done. Episode two was interesting, I admit, because of its conservative rather that the usual more liberal perspective of the lawyer fighting the system. Smits successfully defended a cop in Arizona who was accused of profiling and brutality after arresting a Mexican immigrant who refused to show his papers, the very opposite of what his partners and the audience expect when the story opens. A nice touch was how he convinced the judge to allow a piece of auditory evidence despite presumed "privilege" but taping their discussion. You had to be there. I assume this is going to be canceled sooner rather than later.

No Ordinary Family. The Fantastic Four as a dramedy. First episode this past week was kinda slow, I though, but we shall see.

Boardwalk Empire. The new big HBO series faces the immense and impossible challenge of living up to The Sopranos. Can't be done but if the public holds it to that standard, trouble lies ahead. I'm still kind of ambivalent but expect to be drawn in.

1 comment:

  1. I watch little TV now, but watched one ep of No Ordinary Family. No. Won't do that again. Didn't like it.

    Detroit 1-8-7 is good though. I have watched two eps and can see how this will build over time. I am hoping it will stick around a long time.

    I watched 5 minutes of Hawaii Five-O and that was enough. I liked the intro music still though.

    I have a weakness for Superman of course, but Smallville started good this year and am hoping it will have a good final season after years of varying quality.