I haven't forgotten you. Here are more pilot reviews for your perusal...
MYSTERIES OF LAURA (NBC, premiered 17 Sept 14, airs Wed 8/7c, available on Hulu)
While there was a pretty good twist in the "case of the week" and I enjoyed some of the interactions between the family, there were a few things that I can't really overlook, primarily the "twist" involving her husband, with whom she is separated. First, I saw it coming from a mile away but hoped I was wrong, because without spoiling anything, it was something that would never be allowed to occur due to conflicts of interest. While I like Debra Messing, I'm not sure I'm totally buying the character she's playing. It is almost a caricature of Peter Falk's Colombo, which was bothering me. At the end of the episode, her partner refers to her as Colombo, which almost made it worse. I think it's intentional, but it comes off as a cheap imitation and certainly not as an homage if that's what they were intending. All in all, there's not enough here for me to invest any further time in it. I am a little sorry I waited three weeks to actually view and review it, but at least now I know I don't have to catch up with the next two episodes!
Interesting Fact: It was really hard to accept Janina Gavankar as the annoying character she is portrayed to be in the show. In everything else she's in, she's all kinds of awesome. She has recently appeared as Detective Hall in Arrow, but is more awesome as Shiva, the inspiration for the trophy in The League, and shapeshifter Luna Garza in True Blood.
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC, premiered 25 Sept 14, airs Thurs 10/9c, available on Hulu)
The mysteries presented are intriguing and original. Honestly, these are probably the best mysteries I've seen on TV since Veronica Mars. The show presented the two main mysteries (a murder that hasn't occurred yet and a missing girl that I have a feeling will be somehow connected to the murder that takes place three months in the future) in a very coherent way, switching between present day and three months from now. I have to admit, the story intrigued me. I did have a few problems with the pilot, however. I'm not entirely sure that a lawyer would want a bunch of first year law students working on her cases. It seems they would be far more likely to get in the way than actually help solve a case, but I'm somewhat willing to over look that. However, what really bothered me about the pilot is that none of the characters seem to be worth rooting for. The one "good" law student we find out, before we even get a chance to like his character, is involved in the murder. All that being said, I'm intrigued enough for the mystery to stick around. I just hope that at some point there is a character that I can really root for in the show.
Interesting Fact: Super annoying first year law student Asher Millstone (even his name is annoying) is played by Matt McGorry, playing way against type considering his other huge role is that of super sweet (if technically guilty of taking advantage of Diaz) guard John Bennett. He was immediately recognizable, but it almost seemed impossible it was the same actor because the character was so different. Pretty impressive acting, and even though I hate his character, I'm interested to see how he plays into the story since he isn't one of the murderers.
MANHATTAN LOVE STORY (ABC, premiered 30 Sept 14, airs Tues 8:30/7:30c, available on Hulu)
Right off the bat this show fell into some borderline sexist but absolutely cliched traps. (He's deciding if he would sleep with each girl he sees! She's deciding whether or not she would use every purse she sees! Ha ha ha. Men like boobs. Girls like purses. So original. /sarcasm). Nothing in the episode was remotely surprising, and the characters were so cardboard cut-out obvious, there was no real draw to make you care. The in the head narration of the two main characters wasn't very clever, and seemed like just a way to get in some easy jokes. The only redeeming moment was the super awkward date, but even that was weakened due to the first person narration in each of the characters' heads. It actually took you out of what could have been an incredibly funny, if uncomfortable, scene. Watching this really made me appreciate how unique How I Met Your Mother really was. The characters in that show, Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, and Barney, were so original and at the same time so real. It probably isn't easy to do a romantic comedy type sitcom with such an original frame to the story and such original and real characters, which is why we haven't really seen something as good as HIMYM either before or since (although I am holding out some hope for A to Z). This show is sadly much more the norm. Cliched characters in a tired will they or won't they storyline, where it should have been clear to everyone, including the characters themselves, that this was a bad idea right from the start. Unfortunately, the characters aren't even remotely interesting enough for me to care enough to watch the inevitable crash of this relationship. And I definitely am not interested in the possibility that it actually works out!
Interesting Fact: The one interesting and seemingly (although we didn't really get enough info about her to be sure) character in the show is the sister of the male half of this Manhattan love story, played by Chloe Wepper. She doesn't even currently have a profile picture on her IMDb page, but she steals each short scene she is in the pilot. Her resume is currently a little light (highlighted currently by her role as "Barista" in Criminal Minds), but of everyone in this show, she's the one that I might expect to have a future once this show is quickly cancelled.
Until Next Time, we are fast approaching the premiere of a couple of the shows that most excite me, Gracepoint, the ten episode miniseries staring David Tennant (aka The Doctor) reprising his role from the British version of the show only now with an American accent (which should be fun, hopefully it is better than Christopher Eccleston's in The Leftovers, they can compare them at Doctor Who conventions) and The Flash!
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Fall Pilot Reviews 2014: Mysteries of Laura, How to Get Away with Murder, and Manhattan Love Story
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