wannabetvwriter

I be a good righter.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Second Helpings

Okay. So, people all over the blogosphere have weighed in on the pilots. I usually prefer to reserve judgment until after the second episode. Sometimes even the third. In some cases, since I'm writing this post mid-week, I can't help but comment only on the pilot. Mainly because I'm not known for my patience...

In completely random order (except REAPER):

REAPER

Back in March or so, my agent sent over the CD of pilots. I sort of scrolled through them, only one title caught my attention. REAPER. Because of its title, and because of its creators, the dynamic duo: Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas. I've been fans of their work for a long time. So, I read it. I was captivated. I absolutely adored this pilot. So much so that I sent it to my non-writing husband and non-writing best friend. They both loved it as much as I did. Well, they didn't read it again a week later (which I did) or again a week afterward... this was the only pilot I looked forward to this season.

When I read that Kevin Smith was directing, it clinched it. This was going to be the best pilot ever. And, it was. There were minor changes from script to produced episode. But, they were changes that made the pilot stronger. Everything about this pilot (save Andi) is everything I'd love to be able to do with my own pilots.

The second episode, however... not as great. Still better than most TV out there. But, it seemed to be a rehashing of the pilot. Which would be fine if it were the 7th episode: Sam doubts this path he's on, his friends bolster his confidence, the Devilishly handsome Devil threatens damnation and brimstone or whatever if Sam doesn't complete his mission. The mother's freaked out about what she's done to her son. The father bribes Sam. The brother's jealous. It's just... everything the pilot was -- which is great, but... not one week after the pilot.

I have faith in these gals, Michele and Tara, but really, they can do much better than this. Sam already was faced with seeing what happens to a guy who doesn't complete his missions in the pilot. He knows his mother's soul's on the line, if he doesn't participate. So, ep #2? Retreaded storylines but hilarity ensues.

That said, there was a slight odd continuity thing: In the pilot, Herr Satan urges Sam to look into the Firebug's backstory. This assists Sam in figuring out where the Firebug is, and ultimately results in the Firebug's capture. This week, Beezlebub urges Sam to just capture Lightning Dude. That the logistics of why and how and who he is don't matter. But, in the pilot, didn't the Fallen Angel say... okay, I'm digging too deep. But, I expect perfection in TV. Especially from the two gals who brought us this wonderful world.

All of that said? A+ for the pilot. B - for the second ep.

LIFE

Okay, Charlie Crews annoys me. Actually, it's the actor, Damian Lewis's over-acting. Or, rather, acting like a retard. I know he got beat down in prison. Something like 200+ stitches. But, he's acting like Rain Man. I seriously expect him to count toothpicks at any given moment.

That said... I love this pilot. I was wary. Heard a lot of things this past Spring. Like, it sucked. So, maybe it's a case of: my expectations were low. But, I really really really like this premise. I love the idea of a cop investigating (or anyone doing anything) from a different perspective than anyone else in the world has. It makes an idea fresh, unique, and like USA's motto, in my world, characters are completely and totally welcome. As long as Mr. Lewis tones down his schtick, which I hear he does.

JOURNEYMAN

I adore this show. Its earnestness kink has been worked out in the second episode. The wife doesn't believe and then there's definite proof that he's not lying -- the sort of locked-room mystery that I love so well. Except, it's used as proof. Kay over at Seriocity laments that it's not simple enough. As much as I adore Kay, I have to disagree. What worked for QUANTUM LEAP (Bakula needing to get home) would most likely work here. But, I love the at home struggles our lovely protag has to go through. Missing planned dinners, missing planned vacation -- basically, if they say it's planned at any time in the show, you know he's going to leap, er, journey, er...

I like not knowing why it happens. I'm happy to go along for the ride. For now. At some point I'll need to know why it happens. And why he always ends up somewhere in the 80's (I really hope that reason isn't that the writers are lazy and just want to get him back to his ex (late?) fiance). But, for now, I'm very happy with this show, and its little shout outs and call backs.

K-VILLE

I take it people hate this show. I don't. It's not that I love it. It's more... I just don't know what it is. I just kind of like the implausible idea that an escaped convict would want to be a cop to redeem himself from killing his cell mate. I love the idea of a cop show based in New Orleans, because it's got to be wayyyyyy different to be a cop there NOW, than anywhere else. That said, when CSI was mulling over cities to set their third installment, they toyed with New Orleans. And San Francisco, I think. I was pulling for NO. They just said no. Uh... but I kind of like this show. The one called K-Ville. Sue me.

DIRTY SEXY MONEY

Like it a lot. Think it would be a way better Wes Anderson movie than a long running TV series (which it won't be). A lot of fun to watch, though.

BIG SHOTS

Eh.

BIONIC WOMAN

Sits in my TiVo, yet to be watched. I. Just. Can't. Bring. Myself. To. Watch. It. Because. I. Fear. It. Would. Be. As. Laborious. As. Writing. This. String. Of. Single. Words.

CANE

Is. In. My. TiVo. See. BIONIC. WOMAN. For. Explanation.

CHUCK

I really really really really wanted to like this. Really. It's got all the elements that I could love. Josh Schwartz. Geek-chic-y protag. Action. Spies. Everything adds up to "Boom's Favorite show." But, I just... don't like it. It's like the poor man's REAPER (with a bigger budget and crappier production style). There's nothing overtly offensive about it. There's nothing amazing about it either. It's just... blah.

PUSHING DAISIES (SPOILER WARNING)

I read this pilot way back when. It was sweet. Kind of kooky. Kind of cool. I liked that the pilot episode was called "Pie-lette." I love the idea that this guy brings people back to life for a minute to find out who killed them, then they use that information to collect reward money. Now, that's a great series idea. A little TORCHWOOD-y, but great nonetheless.

Maybe it was because I'd read REAPER first. Maybe there is something missing. I don't know. What I do know is that I liked watching the "Pie-Lette" a lot more than I liked reading it. Which doesn't bode well for me. It's like, that something that's missing? The produced episode used a lot of smoke and mirrors and BIG FISH-type stylings to convince me that it was a lot lot lot better than the script. Because it definitely felt better. But, it didn't really deviate from the script all that much. If there were changes, I didn't notice them. So, I'm guessing that episode two will reveal whether or not there's a wizard or a midget behind the curtain...

THE BIG BANG THEORY

Oh. My. God. Has there ever been a worse "sitcom" on the air? Somehow, I doubt it. Basically, it felt like a white guy in his 50s (Hi Chuck!) was feeling the pressure of getting older and wanted to write something new and fresh and youth-friendly. Great idea on paper. Not so great when, you know, you see it. Or, really, when I saw it. Because... it was awful.

Concept: Two uber-nerds get boners when a hot, single, hot chick moves in across the hall. The hot chick is, of course, dumb as a dull tack, and the nerds are [supposed to be] smart. Here's the thing... everything the nerds were supposed to be smart about? THEY WERE WRONG. Hubby's an IT guy. A math guy. A science guy. He's the quintessential uber-nerd. So, we're watching this horrid piece of shit and this is what it's like:

FEY UBERNERD (ON SCREEN): Blahdeblahdeblahphysicsblahfasterethernetblahdeblah.

HUBBY (IN REAL LIFE): Uh. No. He's wrong. The blahdeblah is actually a blahgockitypickle.

UBERNERD FROM ROSEANNE: Blahi'msosmartaboutthisequationblah.

ME: This guy's an idiot.

I recognize that ours is not the normal household. That when Jack Bauer's calling in on the blahdeblah, and Chloe sends him a blahdeblah, Hubby has to leave the room, because he knows that it's either not possible, or if Joel Surnow's trying to amp up the drama and says it's not possible, hubby knows it is. I get that these shows are all about suspending disbelief -- which I can, for the most part. But, seriously, if your concept is about two uber-nerds who are extremely smart... I'd kind of hope that they'd be, you know, extremely smart. That said. If your concept is from the 80s. Best to leave it there.

MOONLIGHT

One word: JasonDohring.

THE ACADEMY

LA County Sheriff's Deputies-in-training. If you like reality. And you like military-style harsh. You'll love it. I do. My god, people are idiots. In general, yes. But also on the show. These are the people who will be protecting me? I'm curling into a fetal position as we spekak;hafai;g;.

6 Comments:

  • At October 04, 2007 9:17 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said…

    Well, it appears that you and I don't agree on much.

    I thought Reaper was weak as hell. Damian Lewis was my favorite part of Life, and I thought the pilot of Chuck was adorable. Not so much the second ep, though.

    I do agree with you about Journeyman. And Pushing Daisies is hands down my favorite new show.

     
  • At October 04, 2007 10:39 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    But but but. We agree on THE ACADEMY, right? Right? Ooooh. Shiny penny...

     
  • At October 05, 2007 8:55 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said…

    I didn't see The Academy. Oh, dear, I just don't have to time for all these shows. What network is it on?

     
  • At October 05, 2007 10:40 AM, Blogger BooM said…

    It's on my network. Well, My Network. Or, whatever it's called... AKA the old UPN.

    I hear you on the "how do we find the time to watch all of these shows?" lament. Between returning shows and pilots, my TiVo's list is becoming scarily daunting.

    And, Damian Lewis is definitely growing on me.

    I don't know that I'll ever love CHUCK, though I really really really really want to. I'm also really anxious to see PUSHING DAISIES, ep 2. I'm reserving judgement till then.

    I really hope REAPER, ep 3, doesn't rehash the same storylines, otherwise it'll go from first to worst in 3.2 seconds...

     
  • At October 05, 2007 11:41 AM, Blogger Shawn said…

    Journeyman blew chunks - it's a Quantum Leap wanna-be without the charm, comedy, inventiveness, coherence and appealing characters. And I wanted it to be good because of Kevin McKidd - it's a huge step down from Rome for him.

    Chuck was amusing, but I suspect it'll get old before the season is over, especially his mildly retarded sidekick friend, who annoyed the hell out of me by the end of the pilot (didn't see ep. 2 yet).

    I enjoyed some things about Life, but overall I wasn't that into it - his character was too out there, though I really liked his partner and her drug abuse back story; makes her complicated and interesting.

    Nothing has topped Mad Men yet, and I'm guessing nothing will. Best new show hands down.

     
  • At October 11, 2007 9:50 PM, Blogger Rhys said…

    So excited about so many of the new shows, but many of them seemed to go down each week. They started out great and then sort of declined. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Thanks for the great season review!

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home