So, the fall premieres have continued, and thus so will my takes and grades on them. So far I've done K-Ville, Back to You, Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Journeyman, and Bionic Woman, today I give you my thoughts on Reaper and Cane.
This premiere was pretty good, and definitely funny. The cast is exceptional and the dialogue was spot on. I hope that the series will continue to have the type of dialogue that it had in the premiere, as the influence of the director was quite evident, and I'm not sure that the show will be able to still have that feel without him at the helm. Kevin Smith (aka Silent Bob) directed the pilot, and his influence in many of the one on one scenes in particular was clearly strong. There were many moments that felt like Kevin Smith moments, and that's a good thing, I just hope that it continues even when he isn't directing. On the negative side, I felt like for a comedy (which this mainly is) the dark moments were just a little too dark, particularly a moment with a dog and a car door and a man and his Zamboni. Both those scenes really felt out of place with the feel of the rest of the episode. I'm certainly not against dark humor, and there is a place for some dark humor in this show, but it needs to be proportionate to the humor throughout the rest of the show, and at times I don't think that it was. My other big problem with the show was the portrayal of the female characters. Now this is something that I think there is plenty of time and room to correct, but in the pilot I was very disappointed with the female characters, they were not strong characters at all. Maybe it's because in the majority of the other pilots that I've seen thus far, strong females play a part in them (and a major role in Bionic Woman, Chuck, and Journeyman, good job NBC.), but it was very disturbing how weak the female characters were in this show, which is kind of surprising since the show is created by two females. Hopefully this will be something that the show addresses as it continues.
Interesting fact: The main character, Bret Harrison, was last seen (well maybe not actually "seen" since I seem to be one of the few to actually have watched the show) as the main character in The Loop, on Fox, which was actually a pretty funny comedy which was a previous contender for Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season, and his best friend on Reaper, Sock, played by Tyler Labine, was Dave on former Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season award winner Invasion.
Pilot Grade: 87%
The new show on CBS starring Jimmy Smits (West Wing, NYPD Blue, Star Wars Episode III) wasn't one that I really expected to like despite being a fan of Smits, but I have to admit the pilot really intrigued me. Jimmy Smits, along with producing the show, stars as an adopted son as well as son in law of the head of a Sugar Cane CEO played by Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope). Elizondo finds out that his cancer has returned and he doesn't have long to live, prompting him to give control of the company over to his son in law Alex (Smits) instead of his natural son Frank (played superbly by Nestor Carbonell). This seemed rather straight forward from the previews, and I figured that the show would be pretty predictable. Well, there is a whole lot more going on, and the pilot is chock full of intrigue, drama, and suspense. I suppose that it has a bit of a soap opera-ish quality to it on the basest level, but the acting and dialogue are so superb that you buy into it completely. It has been compared to Dallas in some reviews, and while that isn't a show that I ever watched, I know enough to say that on some levels I can see the comparison (and in the show they even make a blatant sugar to oil comparison) I think that this show will be a lot less campy than Dallas on occasion was. I'm looking forward to seeing more and finding out what the repercussions of the actions in the pilot will be.
Interesting Fact: Kevin McKidd on Journeyman is not the only former star of Rome finding their way to network television, Polly Walker who was Atia of the Julii appears as Ellis Samuals, the daughter of Elizondo's chief rival, and it appears that despite the far different accent (Southern instead of the English accent that Romans always have in film and television) she is up to her old tricks of using her sexuality to achieve what she wants. Also, Nestor Carbonell who plays Frank is the mysterious non-aging Richard from LOST, so I hope that his job on Cane doesn't keep him from continuing to make the occasional appearance on our favorite Island.
Pilot Grade: 96%
Until Next Time, the new season is shaping up to be a good one!