NEW FALL TELEVISION SHOWS 2012—Part II
In case you missed my review of the first ten new show this season, you can read it here: www.itsnotaboutme.tv/news/2012/10/01/television-new-fall-television-shows-2012—part-i
And, now let’s get right to my review of the last ten, in ascending order once again:
DREADFUL (Actually, just cancelled already, after only two episodes!)
Made in Jersey (CBS)–[Note: Actually, it’s cancelled already, after only two episodes!) So I guess I’m correct in my assessment!] This was the second show I dropped right away, (right after the literally unbearable Mindy Project.) This is trying to be so many other things that came before, most notably Legally Blonde, (with the courtroom tactics, friends at beauty parlor, etc.,) and My Cousin Vinny, with the Marisa Tomei look-alike who’s a lawyer with a New York accent. (I guess it’s supposed to be New Jersey, but that’s almost the same thing in the accent department.) And it appeared they were trying to go with a young Sandra Bullock wanna-be, too, but there’s really nothing to recommend this girl at all. Her attempt at that accent is worse than Cher’s dreadful one in Moonstruck. And she has awful posture on that weird skinny body with ill-fitting wardrobe, and yellow side teeth. She’s just pretty bad over-all. And there’s no one else there to grab our attention. How crap like this gets picked-up to begin with is beyond me.
666 Park Avenue (ABC)–I hate devil stuff. And I hate horror shows. So, this is a hard one for me. But I did get into Rosemary’s Baby, once upon a time, because of the mystery of it. This mystery, though, is too tedious for me. And to make a series out of it is yet another mystery to me. I don’t think I can continue with this one. Not enough time in life to be not entertained by supposed entertainment! (Also, while, so far, the visual effects are pretty weak, I do think it was well cast, at least.) [Note: three attempts was enough for me. Only an actual deal with the devil could keep me tuned in anymore!]
Last Resort (ABC)–I couldn’t believe that Mr. X was watching this show with me; it’s so not his taste. After a few minutes, I asked him why he chose this one to sample. Turned-out, he thought it was a comedy about a spa! Which might have actually been better. I was bored at first, then got riveted really quickly for a little while. But, by the end of episode one, I wasn’t sure what was happening. And it appeared some of the actors didn’t either! It’s harder to understand than Lost was! And when a person with 147IQ is having trouble, I don’t see much hope for the majority of the viewers. [Note: I gave up by the middle of episode three. Not enough time in life for this one.]
Chicago Fire (NBC)–I liked this one the first time I saw it…when it was called Backdraft! (That’s sarcasm, kids.) I had to force myself to watch the whole pilot, so I don’t see how it can hold my interest week after week. But I was happy to see Jesse Spencer back on the small screen, even if he was minus his cute Aussie accent. But why’d they give him such a bad-looking girlfriend??? And we needed sub-titles the whole time; the cast all either mumbled or tried to do Chicago accents, with little to no luck. And I couldn’t help but be thinking that this can’t be a fun show to shoot. It was interesting to see the real Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, playing himself, though. Nice touch. [Note: this one was one and done for me.]
Elementary (CBS)–I’ve liked Jonny Lee Miller since the strange show he last led, Eli Stone. But he’s so much more powerful an actor without the burden of trying to do an American accent! (His native one is English.) And, I know this is shallow, but it’s easier for me to watch him with a leading lady who’s shorter than he. And, with a bit more hair on his head, though I don’t know from whence it came.
And I love seeing so many shots of New York streets. There was one scene in the pilot that I was positive was Bay Ridge in Brooklyn! As I’m getting melancholy that my time there in life is coming to a sad end, I watched that one over and over, trying to soak it all up.
Even Lucy Liu didn’t annoy me in this show. Well, that is, as much as she usually does when I can’t avoid her in something I’d otherwise want to see. And I always love a crime drama. So, I’m in on this one. At least for a little while.
Beauty and the Beast (CW)—Ron Koslow, the creator of this show when it was on originally, way back in the day, (who’s also one of the executive producers on this incarnation) is one of the most romantic men I’ve ever met, (even though it was for just a few minutes, when I was practically a kid,) so it makes sense that it would come from him. I have a tiny personal story on this one. When I was first doing my show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, and it was all the rage here in L.A., a pal was Ron’s assistant. She invited me there to have lunch, not knowing he was a big fan of mine. Our eyes met for just a brief second as I entered the offices, and the way he jumped out of his chair to run out and meet me struck me like something out of a romance novel. I swear, I loved it! If I hadn’t had a boyfriend, it would have been totally romantic, and that one small image has stayed with me since then. I totally understood, in that brief moment, how he could have created such a romantic show. It was perfect.
But now comes this new version. And…I liked it enough. Despite Ron Perlman, the original Beast, being totally unattractive, and Linda Hamilton not being my idea of a “beauty,” that one was more romantic, so far. (Shockingly, I know, this new guy, Jay Ryan, isn’t even good-looking to me.)
But, I admire the CW for sticking with their actors from past series, as much as they can. At least two are in this one. I haven’t seen Kristin Kreuk since Season 4 of Smallville, in which she was never really very good as Lana Lang. But she’s grown up nicely, and appears to be a better actress in this one. (Austin Basis is the other returnee, from one of their more inferior shows. And he’s my pal’s nephew whom I’ve been hearing about forever! So, you go, Brooklyn boy!)
It’s hard to listen to the female sidekick’s abominable speech, though. I can’t understand a word Nina Lisandrello says! And her face is so long and strange, I thought she was going to turn-out to be the beast! I hope they’re planning to kill her off soon because she ruins the whole show.
WILLING TO GIVE IT ANOTHER TRY
Emily Owens, M.D. (CW)–I want to support this show because, as a big-nosed actress myself, who’s constantly told by the powers-that-be in the biz that if I “fixed” it, I could write my own ticket, I appreciate that the two lead women kept theirs, too. That’s so rare. But, with just a few minutes to go in the pilot, I was about to write this one off. And then there were a couple of surprise twists at the end that gave it some potential. So, despite the really stupid beginning, and tons of plot holes, I’ll give it one more try. It was basically boring, which is odd for a supposedly rapid-fire medical resident show. And everything about it was so unrealistic! The lead character, Emily, has secretly been crushing on the main guy for three to five years, but now, on her first day of residency, a twelve-year-old girl tells her to tell him, so she does?! Yeah, right. And the little girl almost died yet looked the same as before!
For Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter who’s the star of this show, it can’t be easy being the actress daughter of the best actress ever. An interesting note on the subject is that when I was younger, I read somewhere that Meryl said something to the effect that we each have an age that’s the one we’re supposed to be. She said that her whole life, when she was a teenager even, she felt forty-one, and that when she hit that age, she finally felt like her age matched her soul. (I’m paraphrasing because, even though, through hours of research, I ascertained where I read it, but I can’t get a copy on-line, so I don’t know her exact words.) It made me feel better about always feeling seventeen! (No lie…I still do!) At the end of this show, Mamie’s character says, “The thing about being an adult that no one tells you growing-up is that you don’t feel like an adult.” I hear ya, girlfriend! So, for me, that original concept of Meryl’s came full circle on this show, I’m sure by accident.
AND THE WINNERS ARE
Vegas (CBS)—I, shockingly, liked this one! I’m not a fan of any of the actors involved (especially Michael Chiklis, of whom I’m actually not a fan,) and I hate Las Vegas dramas, but I liked the unusual crime-solving aspect. I’m sure I’ll bail as soon as it gets more about gangsters, where I think it’s heading, but for now, I’m in. (And I love seeing what Vegas looked like before it was the crowded way it is now, even if it is filmed in Santa Clarita, where I filmed my Western movie, Brothers In Arms. That area seems to be where all Western-type entertainments are made.)
Nashville (ABC)–I actually wound-up liking this one! A lot. Maybe it’s what country music does to a person, or perhaps because I’m an Empath, but I was feeling every character’s pain, even though I’m still not sure who they’re all supposed to be. The first fifteen minutes definitely grabbed my attention, which is exactly what a pilot’s supposed to do. But I’m trying to figure out how they will make a multiple-year series out of it.
I did have one problem at the beginning, though; I had to check several times to make sure who Connie Britton’s character was to her family; I really thought she was supposed to be the kids’ grandmother. I thought she was a nice-looking sixty-year-old, in the Reba McEntire mold, especially because she looks twice the age of the guy who plays her husband. I thought she was his mother. I forgot about that after awhile, but then, when I saw her with Powers Booth in a later scene, I assumed they were a couple, not father-daughter. So she must look older than she is. (I had never seen her act before, and she’s perfect for the part; I was just thrown off by all the characters’ age appearances.)
I also had never seen Hayden Panettierre act, and I know that certain news and gossip outlets consider her to be sort-of a joke, so I was surprised that I thought she was excellent in her Nashville role. But why were the music biz characters on the show saying that she can’t sing? I thought she sang country really well. (I ascertained that she was indeed doing her own singing, which I think all the actors are.)
The one big flaw with the show, for me, is that there’s no reason for the young one to hate the old one. But perhaps we’ll discover it as the weeks wear on.
Also, I’m sure this show has a big budget, so why can’t they get Connie some good-fitting jeans? She’s skinny enough, but both pairs she had on in the pilot pulled strangely at the crotch. So, hey, producers of the show, maybe hire one fewer extra, and get this woman some pants that flatter! Or, at least, that don’t detract from the action!
Arrow (CW)–At fist, I categorized this one as “good enough.” But, it grew on me. I still don’t think it’s a “winner,” for most viewers; just for us young CW fans. But the star, Stephen Amell, is good-looking, (his hunk-y face is perfect for stuff like this,) and I like to see good triumph over evil week after week. (But, even though it’s bad people he eliminates, I’m still not so sure about all the killing going on there.) And I love the mystery of what his mother is up to. I wish I knew the original DC story of the Green Arrow, so I could see how they modernized it.
But I hate that the character doesn’t really disguise his face! (Save for some green eye make-up.) Isn’t he worried witnesses are going to see it? It’s an even worse disguise than Superman’s Clark Kent one!
One thing I don’t get is Paul Blackthorne’s accent. (He plays a police detective, and father of Arrow’s love interest.) I know that the actor is really from England, but, in an attempt to hide that fact, he sometimes affects a Southern accent! It goes in and out, is occasionally thick, and makes no sense. I wish they would figure it out already because it’s distracting.
Here’s one curious thing about the casting, though; in what I’m sure is an attempt to diversify their ethnicities, (they’ve always been known as the whitest network,) they hired three black actors with similar looks! So, when we see them in just a quick shot, we’re not sure which character we’re looking at. Nice try, but it’s not working. (By the way, I would say the same thing about any actors who look alike on a show, not just ethnicity-wise. I just bring this up because it looks like the network is trying too hard.)
[Note: I know a lot of CW viewers were upset that Justin Hartley, who had played Green Arrow so well on Smallville over the years, was screwed out of the role on this new series. But, even though he’s good-looking himself, I can see why they wanted a guy with a stronger face. And bigger head. Ever since Mr. X pointed-out to me, years ago, that actors with physically bigger heads, (not figurative ones,) were more successful, I’ve noticed that he’s absolutely correct! And Justin’s also very tall, which is sort-of a non-no in the biz, as well. But no worries on his behalf; they hooked him up as the love interest on another of their new series, Emily Owens, MD, so all is well in his world, I’m sure. Until we find-out if they cancel one of the shows!]
UPDATES FROM PART I
Since I first published my impressions of the first ten shows of the season, I’ve watched more episodes. Most of my opinions have stayed the same, but I must share the ones that have changed, for the better or worse. (Well, actually, these are all for the worse.) Here goes:
Go On (NBC)–I had declared this one a ” winner,” but now that I’ve seen all six episodes so far, I realize that I’m forcing myself to keep watching. I thought Matthew Perry was fine in it, so I couldn’t figure-out why it was so tedious to me. Until the other night, while watching yet one more very unfunny episode. It’s the stupid supporting characters! (Or the actors portraying them. Or both!) It’s just too many annoying misfits. One or two quirky characters per sitcom are okay, but this is beyond overload. And the woman who runs the bereavement group is really a valet parker? That’s unrealistic, even for LaLa Land! I’m done wasting my time on this one.
The rest: I’ve already given up on Fox’s Ben and Kate and CBS’ Partners. And I couldn’t be more pleased that the dreadful NBC debacle, Animal Planet, is the second show to be cancelled so far.
And that’s it until mid-season! I’m sure many more of them will be cancelled by then, to make way for that new crop in January. And for my snide remarks about them in February!
(Please feel free to share you new faves and hates in the Comments section below.)