Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Pilot Reviews 2014: Jane the Virgin and Marry Me

With two more shows premiering this week, we're coming close to the end.  This week we take a look at the new telenovela inspired Jane the Virgin and the Happy Endings inspired sitcom Marry Me.

JANE THE VIRGIN (CW, premiered 13 Oct 14, airs Mon 9/8c, available on Hulu)

Definitely a show I wouldn't have watched if I weren't doing this project, but it was a surprisingly funny and engaging show.  I'm a little hesitant on how long the original conceit can carry the show, and if the show continues to rely on ridiculous happenstance common to the telenovela, I will probably ultimately lose interest, but the mistake of accidentally inseminating the sworn virgin was pretty original and led to some genuinely funny moments in the pilot at least.  Overall, a lot of the "surprise" moments in the pilot were a little telegraphed, in that I could see them coming long before they actually occurred in the show, but the humor, writing, and acting were all strong enough to overcome the predictableness of the plot.  And really, the show was flat funny.  I enjoyed it and laughed many times.  Isn't that what television is supposed to be about?


Interesting fact:  While I'm not typically a fan of narration, I didn't mind the omniscient narrator in this show.  In fact, it reminded me of Pushing Daisies, which is never a bad comparison.  The narrator is a voice over professional who has often done voice over work for sports and also has a part in the Grand Theft Auto video game series.

MARRY ME (NBC, premiered 14 Oct 14, airs Tues 9/8c, available on Hulu)

Absolutely hilarious.  Casey Wilson (formally of Saturday Night Live and Penny on Happy Endings) and Ken Marino (Vinnie Van Low on Veronica Mars and Ron Donald on Party Down) are a great comedic combination.  They play off of each other perfectly.  It seems to have a strong supporting cast as well, although they don't have as much to do in the pilot as they hopefully will as the series progresses.  Great banter and realistic, if hilarious, situations led to a rapid pace that went by way faster than the 30 minutes (less not counting commercials of course) run time should have.  I absolutely recommend this show, which gives NBC three very strong new comedies.  Let's add one more, get rid of Biggest Loser, and turn Thursday night back into Must See TV!


Interesting fact:  As I alluded to in the opening, this series has a lot in common with the recent cult hit Happy Endings.  Not only is the main character, played by Casey Wilson, an alum of that series, but this show is also created by the same person who created Happy Endings (and who married Casey Wilson in real life!)

Until Next Time, we have reached the end of these for a couple of weeks as we wait for the next new show to make its fall premiere.  Of course, if any network people want to send me a screener of any of the pilots yet to debut, I will gladly get up my review a little early!

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