Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughts on Some of the New Fall Shows Part 2

Thanks to having the flu and the inability to get out of the house since everyone is afraid that I'm going to infect them, I have gotten to watch some television in the last couple of days.  That means there is a new post on some of the new shows this season.  Today I'll be giving you my thoughts on Vampire Diaries, Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Forgotten, The Good Wife, Eastwick, and Mercy.  You can check my previous post for my thoughts on Glee and Community.

Everyone is going to talk about this as a Twilight knockoff, and while there is little doubt that this show exists only because of the popularity of the teen Vampire series, the books that this show is based on actually predates Twilight by more then 10 years.  So any similarities aren't really ripping off Twilight, just taking advantage of that series's popularity.  The show is developed by Kevin Williamson, who is famous of course for Dawson's Creek.  I'm not sure that this show has the potential of that one, and it doesn't seem to have the mythology of Buffy or Angel to sustain it for long either.  As much as I love vampires and like Kevin Williamson, the show will have to lay off of the cliche pretty quickly for me to stay on board.  I do have to admit that it is great to see Boone on the television again, however.  Ian Somerholder (Boone on LOST) is outstanding in the first couple of episodes as the evil vampire.


This comedy actually made me feel even less excited about Community.  While I was willing to give Community some room to find its way, Modern Family showed that it isn't necessary for every show.  It hits the ground running.  It is hilarious and despite all of the characters it manages to have a perfect pacing and no one gets a short shift.  The episode both made me laugh and engaged my emotions.  It is a comedy, but even though there has only been one episode, I already care about the characters.  I did not expect a show that I hadn't heard that much about to win  me over so completely, and yet it did.  I highly recommend catching the replay of the pilot on Friday at 8 Central on ABC (assuming, of course, that you have some way to also watch the season premiere of Dollhouse airing at the same time) or on  From not even being on my radar, this show is now in the running for the coveted Josh's Choice For the Best New Show of the Year Award (won last season by Dollhouse!)


While I am a fan of much of the cast, the show was overly cliched and not really that funny.  I doubt that I'll watch it again.  Courtney Cox deserves better, as does Busy Philips (from Freaks and Geeks and the land lady last season on Terminator), Christa Miller (from Scrubs), Dan Byrd (from the under appreciated show Aliens in America), and Ian Gomez (who was so great in Felicity that it is hard for me to buy him as a straight guy in this show).  I wish I liked it, because I am a fan of all of those actors, but I'm just not.  I don't recommend it at all.


Christian Slater's new show, and the new show from Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI et al, and Cold Case), it is as formula as any of those.  Not terrible, but not great either.  It was odd to me, because I had seen the video from the upfronts, and the pilot was exactly the same as that showed, except the lead actor was different.  Apparently when ABC decided to go with it for the season, they replaced the main actor with Christian Slater.  Even with the former movie star in the main role, there were no characters that really grab you in this show, and the formula aspect really turns me off.  While there were little hints about each of the characters that I guess will be played out over the season, I can't help but feel that this show will be one that it won't really hurt you if you miss any.  So, I'll probably be missing quite a few.


Another show in the running now for Josh's Choice for the Best New Show of the Year.  Sure, in a way, it is just another Lawyer Show, but there is enough extra going on that really gathered my interest, and then there is the fact that it was a great episode of a Lawyer Show.  The cast is terrific, Julianna Margulies (Nurse Hathaway on ER), Josh Charles (Dan on the great, great show Sports Night), and Chris Noth (probably best known as Mr. Big).  The premise is ripe for a lot of interesting stories, Julianna Margulies plays "the good wife" standing by her politician husband (Chris Noth) after he is brought down in a prostitution scandal.  In order to provide for the family, she goes to work for a law firm run in part by an old friend from when she was in law school (Josh Charles).  Intertwining the stories of the cases she is working on and the continuing legal troubles of her husband as well as her own personal problems with the situation should make the show interesting for some time to come.  I really enjoyed the pilot.


Yeah, I honestly don't even know what was going on in this pilot.  It really didn't strike me as believable, and I recognize that a show about three witches in a New England town probably shouldn't seem believable, but I mean that it was impossible for me to suspend my disbelief at all.  I didn't really buy any of the characters at all with the possible exception of the maybe evil mysterious dude, played by Paul Gross from Due South (if you remember that show), but since they didn't really build his character enough (I guess because they wanted to keep him mysterious) I didn't really care that much.  As much as I love fantasy type shows, I feel like this show is not one that will really work for me.  Neither did Charmed, so maybe if you liked it, you'll like this one as well.


Another Hospital Show is probably needed as much as another Lawyer Show, but I like that the main character is a nurse as opposed to a doctor, in fact most of the main characters are nurses, and that in itself is enough to differentiate it from most other Hospital Shows.  I'm worried that it might become a little too soapy (like ER fell into after its first few amazing seasons, and what Gray's Anatomy has never tried to avoid), but the characters seem strong and interesting enough to keep me interested.  Plus, I love Michelle Trachtenberg, and she is awesome as a brand new nurse who is slightly out of her element.  I think that the show has good potential, and after seeing it I admit to being a little surprised at how many negative reviews it has gotten.  I enjoyed it.

Until Next Time, I will be reviewing FlashForward in a post of its own tomorrow!

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