‘The Cape’ (NBC – Monday, 9:00 p.m.)

“The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Vince Faraday becomes “The Cape” – his son’s favorite comic book superhero – and takes the law into his own hands.

Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming, The Cape’s nemesis who moonlights as the twisted killer Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Milani, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday; Martin Klebba (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) as Rollo, member and unassuming muscle of the circus gang of bank robbers; and Vinnie Jones (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) as Scales, resident thug and cohort of The Cape’s nemesis Chess. – NBC

7 out of 10

*Sigh*

Let’s us start by saying that the relatively high rating that we’ve given The Cape of a “7” is a very qualified “7” and we kind of had to convince ourselves that it was worth the rating. The problem for us in reviewing The Cape is despite its glaring flaws and no matter how much we wanted to give it a rating of about a 5 or 6, we kept coming back to the fact that we really liked it. That being said, if it starts getting stupid, we reserve to take back that VERY generous rating.

Here’s the thing about The Cape: it’s exciting, it is literally a comic book come-to-life, and it’s very well-produced. The problem is that there is nothing original about it at all.

EVERYTHING is a conglomeration of other comic book/superhero and genre story lines and to make it worse, it rips-off elements from the more modern incarnations (see: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, The Punisher, Robocop, Superman and, yes, even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… to name a few). Now, we’re not suggesting that they use these elements badly, but it’s such an obvious copy-and-paste that you can’t help but notice and cringe… a lot. Hell, they even ripped-off Heroes which would seem like a bad idea considering that NBC just canceled that show.

(Extended Trailer)

Now, that’s the biggest issue with The Cape. The other more irksome issue is the absolute ridiculousness of the action sequences and the visual effects. They are way over-the-top and go beyond the level of, “Well, we’ll just have to suspend our disbelief.” We are personally sick and tired of standard bullets from sub-machine guns and pistols causing fuel tanks explode. Has no one in Hollywood watched Mythbusters?  The only way to make a fuel tank explode into a massive fireball is with with incendiary rounds…. and a FRAKKIN’ mini-gun.

Oh, and one more thing: a human being cannot survive a fall out of a 50 story building by using a car to break their fall. Do you now see why these sequences irk us?

Beyond those problems, though, we hate saying this but this show is a crap-load of fun and has a lot of potential to be one heck of a ride week after week if audiences are patient with it. The characters are pretty are well-developed and the performances are strong and believable and there’s enough complexities with them to flesh out some compelling story lines. It has more the feel of a summer blockbuster than it does a weekly prime-time drama.

What hurts The Cape is the aforementioned lack of originality. On its surface it doesn’t bring anything new to the table and this generation of audience is a fickle lot with genre in prime time. The Cape has a lot of potential to be a great show. Let’s just hope it becomes a great show that people want to tune in to.

Watch full episodes of The Cape, here.

‘Fringe’ Moves to Friday Nights: FOX Pledges Full Support. Don’t Be Fooled. Fans Need To Read This.

If you haven’t heard already, Fox has moved the J.J. Abrams fan-favorite Sci Fi thriller, Fringe,  from the Thursday at 9:00 p.m. slot to the dreaded Friday at 9:00 p.m. slot.  Now as much as we here at The ‘Tastic love Fringe (to the point where we consider it to be one of the top five shows on television), we weren’t necessarily surprised by this because as we’ve pointed out, FOX pisses their pants every time they see a ratings drop.

We also noted that while the other major networks are starting to take Friday nights seriously once again,  FOX has decidedly NOT taken this approach, designating the night for reality shows and as a dumping ground for shows that haven’t done as well as they had hoped which is usually the fault of FOX to begin with (see: The Good Guys for the most recent example of this and our analysis here).  So, we’ve come to accept that no show is ever safe on FOX and that without fail, if a show is designated for Friday night it will not be renewed at the end of the season or if it is, it will wither pretty quickly the following season.  Now, with Fringe, there’s been a bit of a twist in this whole saga this week, which we’ll get to shortly, but first, it is necessary to address a fact of life that we’ve really been holding off on admitting for a long time but here it is:

FOX is an awful network and quite possibly the worst network ever… period.  End of discussion.  FOX is worse than The CW and it may possibly be worse than UPN or The WB ever was.  The network is poorly run, they make terrible, amateurish decisions regarding their programming, they have absolutely no idea how to market quality programming in order to pique interest and they don’t give shows a chance to build an audience or even maintain a modest one.  We will remind you that this is the same network that canceled Family Guy and the only reason it came back after a three-year hiatus is because The Cartoon Network aired the 49 episodes it had acquired the syndication rights to at 11:00 p.m. nightly and it gave THAT network the highest ratings in its history.  So, to make this clear, a show FOX cancelled after only 49 episodes put another network on the map when they aired them… at 11:00 p.m.

The only reason FOX has had any success is because they have had a handful of successful shows that they have MILKED TO DEATH.  Here’s the thing about that: a successful show should be able to give a network a lot of leeway with their programming and give a lot of other shows a chance to build an audience and become successful.  What this means is that a show, for example, such as American Idol, can make enough money to basically support the growth of shows that are critically acclaimed however struggle in the ratings.  This is not a new concept in either film or cinema.

Think of it like this: why do major studios invest money in relatively low-budget films with little-to-no anticipated payoff?  Well, that’s because the film industry although motivated by profit like any other industry, still sees the value in the art they produce for the sake of the art itself and they believe that every now and then, the quality of the art for art’s sake may just turn into gold.  A prime example of this is Paranormal Activity which Paramount/Dreamworks picked up the rights to for $300,000.  Why would a major studio throw $300,000 away on a low-budget ($15,000), genre film that had little-to-no chance of making them any money?  Well, first, because Stephen Spielberg REALLLLLLY liked it and second (and probably more importantly), because between G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Star Trek, Paramount grossed $1.5 billion domestically at the box office in 2009 on just those three films. So what it comes down to is that studios can afford to take more risks when they have money makers like that.  Of course, with Paranormal Activity, that risk paid off nicely, grossing $194 million globally.  Not a bad bet for a lousy $300,000, eh?

The same principle applies to television and even FOX has actually had success with this principle when they’ve applied it but they’ve only attempted it once and that was with 24 and that was nearly a decade ago.  They stuck with that show early on despite the fact that the ratings had slipped in the first season and they even used American Idol as the lead-in and it worked.

FOX simply has no foresight or vision when it comes to the potential value of good TV, despite slipping ratings and quite frankly they are missing a much bigger point and that is that due to their 20 year history of reckless programming decisions, generally speaking, audiences don’t want to give FOX a chance any more when it comes to scripted programming.  Why would they bother to ever consider getting invested in a scripted show on FOX when it’s more than likely not going to last for any significant amount of time?  It’s a vicious cycle.  FOX cancels shows (or dumps them into Friday) because the ratings slide, the ratings slide because the audiences don’t have any faith that FOX won’t cancel their show.

Now, back to the big twist in the news this week regarding the moving of Fringe to Friday…

Last week a whole bunch of blogs and entertainment news sites a lot more reputable than The ‘Tastic all had basically the same thing to say about the move.  To put it simply: they all contend that the move marked the beginning of the end for the series which certainly isn’t a stretch, particularly with FOX.

Well, the FOX execs didn’t like that too much so they came up with this little trailer that addresses (and quotes) the cynical (albeit realistic) commentary from the writers at Collider, Ain’t It Cool News, IGN, TV Overmind, and Fringe Bloggers who for some bizarre reason just don’t seem to have any faith in FOX’s support of this show.

How cute is that, right?  We’re convinced.  Aren’t you?

Entertainment Weekly, who apparently has no problem being a corporate shill for FOX and perpetuating B.S., did a nice little puff-piece where they quote FOX’s senior VP of marketing and special projects, Dean Norris, explaining what prompted the trailer:

We started getting feedback from the viewers that basically said, ‘How could Fox do something so cool for a show they’re going to kill?’ We started reading these things and said, ‘Wait! We have to address this!’” The mission was to produce a piece of communication that dealt with the situation in a self-deprecating fashion, yet also assuaged fan fears. The message, spelled out in the promo: “You May Think Friday Is Dead… But We’re Gonna Reanimate It.”

Well, that sounds great because after all if there is one thing FOX is good at it’s animation… and RE-animation for that matter (see: Family Guy).

Now, standby in 3… 2… 1… for the big lie:

The promo is the beginning of a larger effort by Fox to shore up Fringe’s existing fanbase and hopefully grow the audience by targeting teen viewers who might be at home Friday night… “We are trying to rebrand Friday, and what we’re trying to do with this show specifically is make it kind of like forbidden fruit,” says Norris. “We want that teen demographic that might not be our audience right now to say, ‘That this is a show my parents might not want me to watch — but I’m going to watch it, anyway.’”

…And this is exactly why we don’t trust FOX and neither should you.  First, and foremost let’s just examine this entire quote, shall we?

Mr. Norris, please explain to us how FOX plans to “shore up” its existing fanbase by alienating it, yet again.  The problem that we pointed out earlier is that it’s not even necessarily the fact that it’s on a Friday night… the problem is that it’s on FOX on a Friday night and their history with television shows – ESPECIALLY Sci Fi shows! – on that night.

Our first hint of skepticism regarding this sudden change of heart was in that dopey little promo itself.  It’s the quote from Roco at Fringe Blogger that they cite:

This is indeed the night… others were cast out to die.

Anytime we see a quote cited and there is ellipsis in the middle of the quote, we always research the actual source to find out exactly what the quoter wanted to leave out in order to advance their agenda.  Here’s the actual quote by Roco:

This is indeed the night the likes of Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly and others were cast out to die.

And there it is, folks; what FOX wants you to forget about.  The fact is that not only has FOX been brutal to Sci Fi shows that they’ve abandoned to Friday night, they’ve also spun similar stories about support and similar clever promo campaigns that REALLY made people think they gave a crap.  I refer you to the Dollhouse/Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles promos from spring of 2009.

Here’s our favorite… when Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku actually hosted the “Double Feature Friday” of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the series premiere of Dollhouse.

Three months later Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled and six months after that Dollhouse was canceled.  Obviously, this is an example of FOX fully supporting their friday night Sci Fi shows.

To add more salt into that particular wound and prove the point about the total lack of vision at FOX, in May of 2009 those two shows had identical audience numbers, but FOX, in their infinite wisdom and foresight, decided to cancel Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which had 11.4 million viewers during its first season before being dumped into Friday, was incredibly well-received by critics, had an established franchise brand-name and a built-in audience in favor of renewing the Joss Whedon mess called Dollhouse that had none of these attributes going for it.  Once again, nice job, FOX.

We won’t even discuss what they did to one of the greatest and regrettably short-lived series of all time, Firefly (also a Joss Whedon show).

As for the last big lie in that quote… who are they kidding?  Are we really supposed to believe that teenagers are going to stay in on a Friday night to watch a Sci Fi serial?  Furthermore, the reality is that it’s nearly impossible to expand the base for a show like this.

We know exactly what they’re thinking or at least the premise that they are going for in trying to promote this big lie and that is that Fringe is like The X-Files (as it’s been compared to that hit series since it debuted) and that it can appeal to everyone on that level.  Wrong.  They aren’t the same show at all and the reason why it doesn’t work is that roughly 2/3 of the 202 episodes of The X-Files were standalone, “monster-of-the-week” type episodes that were literally disconnected from the main storyline arc of Mulder’s quest for the proof of alien abduction so he could find his sister.

Fringe’s main story arc is omnipresent in every single episode whether it’s integral to the story of that particular episode or not and as much as we love The X-Files, Fringe’s main arc is a helluva lot more complicated than The X-Files alien arc ever was.  As a viewer, you cannot just jump into a show like Fringe halfway through its third season.  It would be the equivalent of jumping into Lost halfway through the third season.  You’d be lost and Norris must know this and if he doesn’t he’s completely incompetent.

So that’s what we’re left with.  TPTB at FOX are either completely incompetent or completely dishonest and what’s ridiculous is how many other bloggers and various media outlets are falling for this sudden change of heart by FOX regarding their dedication to a Sci Fi show that they have parked on Friday night.  Seriously, how dumb are they?  This is “battered viewer syndrome” (…and I’m not going to explain that particular metaphor) if we’ve ever seen it.  Do not trust FOX and their claims of unmitigated support for Fringe or any other show they move to Friday until they can be proven to be trustworthy.  The first step in doing that would be for them to order the remaining episodes for this season and order an entire fourth season and promise to air all of the episodes.  At this point, that would be the only way we would ever trust them and that’s not going to happen, so all we can do is hope for the best but plan for the worst which means expect Fringe to be canceled in May.  Let’s just hope that they bring some closure to this great series.

And, by the way… we really hope we’re wrong but we doubt that we are.

Retro Review: ‘Prison Break’

This drama focuses on a prison designer who gets himself thrown into one of his own prisons to help his falsely accused brother escape death row. Described as in the vein of The Great Escape (and also compared to “24” due to its compressed time frame and season-length plotline), the series will unfold over 22 episodes, charting the course of a single break – FOX

7 out of 10

If you like shows like 24 and Lost, you’ll like Prison Break. It’s not that it’s like these two shows at all, but it’s edge-of-your-seat excitement with a weekly cliffhanger and a whole bunch of mystery thrown in every week.

Although, the later seasons were not nearly as well-received as the first season, the entire four-season run is pretty good overall. What hurt it overall was that critically acclaimed first season which was so good that it simply didn’t leave the writers with anywhere to go, so for the following three it became a little contrived and very convoluted revolving around government conspiracies and frankly, some really unbelieveable premises. Without a doubt, season one was a 9 to 9.5, though.

Now, is this to say that the show was awful for seasons two through four? No, not at all. Despite all of its flaws, confusion and at times general eye-rolling silliness, the show was very effective for four seasons for two reasons.

First, it did exactly what it was intended to do and that was keep you guessing every week with new mysteries, frenetic action and compelling mysteries and suspense. Second, and this is the most important aspect ot this or any show, the characters were richly developed and wonderfully casted… all of them.

That being said, I think the problem that most folks (audiences and critics alike) had with the show is that it never approached the level of quality that season one was acclaimed for. Often we confuse that for being bad. It was never bad, it just never was as good as that first season.

As a final note, if you decide to go back and give PB a chance, I would highly recommend the direct-to-video 90 minute movie/episode, Prison Break: The Final Break (2009) that was released after the series finale. As a new PB adventure, it’s OK in and of itself, but what’s important about it is that it ties up a lot of loose-ends and gives the series as a whole a sense of closure that was absent in the series finale.

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you can watch all four seasons of PB for free through the Netflix streaming service and PB:TFB is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD for rental.

‘Raising Hope’ (FOX – Tuesday, 9:00p.m.)

Raising Hope is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household.  At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton) and his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt).  Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter. – FOX 

The Preview (originally posted on 9/15/2010):

Shawn:     I didn’t think it was possible but Rasing Hope has given me whole new reason to hate sitcoms.  You see, what’s pissed me off thoroughly is the lie perpetuated on show’s Official Page that I posted above.  It’s leaving out a crucial detail and the omission is by design.  The little baby’s mother, isn’t just a wanted felon, she’s a serial killer and her big joke in the trailer is that they would never execute a mother of a seven month-old baby.  Then, they cut to a scene with Jimmy sitting on the other side of the glass with the baby on his lap watching her get electrocuted and about halfway through the process he covers the baby’s eyes.  I’m sorry, and you can call me old-fashioned, but a baby being separated from its mother and then forced to watch her get executed in an electric chair is not exactly what I would call charming or endearing.  FOX has been doing a very good job of hiding that little piece of information on their website and their regular TV spots for this show.  Gee, I wonder why?  What I saw is not nearly as bad as the fact that they are trying to hide it.

Beyond, that, of course this show is as stupid, clichéd and as recycled as any other sitcom.  Seriously, though, the rule of thumb for FOX should be to assume all of their sitcoms are going to suck.  It’s just a question of to what degree of suckitude (© 2010, TV-Tastic).  Raising Hope is certainly no different from any other FOX sitcom and they brag about why it sucks.  The claim to fame of this show is that Greg Garcia created it and of course he was the award-winning writer who came up with My Name is Earl.  What no one wants to admit about My Name is Earl is that it wasn’t funny after the first season and to be honest, the novelty wore off after the first 10 episodes.  And of course, this show isn’t even much different from Earl with the portrayal of the stupid, white-trash and downright depressing family.  Again, recycled crap.  It’s seems like a shame too because the main cast includes Cloris Leachman, Martha Plympton and they FINALLY got a lead role for one of my favorite character actors of all time, Darren Gillahunt (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Deadwood), an actor that is so talented that he played TWO different characters on Deadwood and no one noticed it was the same guy.  So, yeah. we’ll be passing on this.  Oh and if you watch this video, you’ll the scene in question.

The Review:

7 out of 10

Well, like Detroit 1-8-7, we have another case of I was exactly right yet I was dead wrong at the same time.

First, the mea culpa: the scene that I was most concerned about in the trailer with the mother being executed in the electric chair wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed in the trailer. When taken in context with the ridiculous tone of this show and although I would have preferred that it not be in the episode, it flows pretty well in a cartoonish sort of way. In fact when I think about it, cartoonish is the perfect way to describe that scene. It was like something on Family Guy and South Park where, yes, under normal circumstances it would be processed by your brain as being horrific, but in context it’s pretty tame, because it’s really just slapstick. I’m guessing that the reason that FOX decided not to air that spot on TV was because it screened as poorly with their test audiences as it did it with your friendly neighborhood test-critic.

Now, on to where I was right and what I hate about this show. Raising Hope is exactly what I thought it would be: a typical Greg Garcia show about a family of really dumb, loser P.W.T. (that’s po’ white trash for the unenlightened) who are completely ridiculous and just like the aforementioned scene, absolutely cartoonish. It’s style and tone is very much like My Name is Earl and it goes to show that Greg Garcia is really kind of a one-trick pony which is something I suspected all along.

That being said, the show is pretty funny and despite its flaws is very charming. The characters, although cut from the ‘Earl’ cloth, are endearing and all very well-cast. There’s a lot of good humor here and even though they’re resorting to the same Bundy-style adversarial family that has been used a hundred times before, they all seem believable in their caring for each other.

What has really sucked me into Raising Hope show is Hope herself. That cute little baby is irresistible especially for anyone who has kids and honestly, you forget about the flaws of this show when you see that precious little face. She reminds me of my own daughter at that age and I seriously just melt when she’s on-screen just being cute. You will too.

Watch complete episodes of Raising Hope, here.

‘The Event’ (NBC – Monday, 9:00 p.m.)

The Event is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, “The Class”), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée Leila (Sarah Roemer, “Disturbia”), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history.

Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, “In Treatment”); Sophia Maguire (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, “ER”), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind. – NBC

The Preview (Posted on 9/15/2010):

Shawn:     This is by far the most anticipated show of the new year and for good reason. It’s a spy/action/political thriller à la 24 shown from multiple perspectives with a Lost-type/FlashForward-type mystery to it. The cast is amazing and the effects look killer. This is one of those moral imperative shows. You must watch this. I’d comment more on it but the trailer confused the crap out of me and I still haven’t processed all of it.

The Review:

9 out of 10

Shawn:     First things first: my assumptions about The Event couldn’t have been more prophetic and it doesn’t mean that I’m that great of a judge of a show’s character, it just means that NBC marketed it perfectly. As noted above, I said it looked like Lost and 24 had a baby and considering an hour before it premiered, NBC was quoting Us Magazine (who had seen it) as saying the EXACT SAME THING, I’d say that’s precisely what NBC is going for and it wasn’t a plan that they just dreamt up over the summer.  This has been in the works for almost year, now.

Fans of 24 may not know this, but the last season of 24 (last year’s season 8 ) was not necessarily going to be the end of 24 as of mid-season ’09 – ’10, and in fact, 24‘s ratings weren’t even particularly bad (9.31 million viewers but they were dropping and had been for some time).  Despite the obvious repetitiveness of each season and the notion that the tank was clearly empty (the writers themselves admitted this), 24‘s main problem production-wise was that it was a very expensive show to produce every week and the ratings weren’t high enough for FOX to be able to ask for the advertising dollars they needed to produce it AND keep it profitable. Around the same time, NBC realized that they had made perhaps one of the biggest mistakes of all time in television programming history by completely eliminating their 10:00 p.m. drama slot, Monday through Friday (to save money), in favor of demoting Jay Leno (and, yes, it was a demotion) and putting him in there all week. If you don’t understand how colossal of a mistake this was, consider this: there was serious talk about NBC shutting down completely as a network.

So, in order to save itself from itself, NBC got some new people in and re-evaluated their situation and realized they needed a strong shot in the arm and actually inquired seriously about bringing 24 over to the Peacock Network. Well, then they got a look at the books and found out how much 24 was actually costing and of course 20th Century slapped a ridiculous price tag on it to boot, and NBC said, “Thanks, but no, thanks.”

So, although the idea of 24 never came to fruition on NBC, the concept of reviving the network with a bang was still alive and well and it’s pretty clear NBC REALLY wanted their own 24. They wanted their own 24 so bad that they hired the Executive Producer of 24, Evan Katz to a seven-figure, two-year deal to run The Event.  Truly, though, it’s not just about having their own 24, it’s about having their own Genre show with the built-in audience from the day the pilot airs.  Genre fans are the most dedicated of all television fans and NBC knew this most recently because they had a genre hit with Heroes until it started to suck (and don’t ask me when it started to suck because it’s all a blur to me.  I stuck with it until the December break last year before I was bored to tears with it.  Apparently it started to suck a long time before that.).  So, this is why you see the comparisons to 24, Lost, FlashForward and Heroes and even though Katz  claims that The Event is none of these shows, it really is certainly in the same vein because if it wasn’t, NBC would never have picked it up, nor would they have signed Katz immediately at the end of 24 for a ridiculous amount of money for 2 years.

Which brings up yet another good point about this series:  the confidence NBC has in it.  NBC had the opportunity to get 24 and with it one of the most popular characters in prime-time television history and an automatic large built-in audience carried over from eight previous seasons.  Now yes, there were the cost issues involved with acquiring and producing the series and of course it’s far cheaper to not pay Kiefer Sutherland the $13.2 million per season that he was making on 24, but having the kind of gravitas that 24 brings to your network right out of the gate might even be worth risking the scratch on… that is of course, unless you’ve got a show in the chute that you really believe will take Genre audiences to a whole new level and that is precisely what The Event does.

The Event redefines Genre television for a new generation of fans.  You undoubtedly see elements of 24, Lost, Fringe and FlashForward but the story is very unique, the mysteries are compelling and the style of the series with the repeated time-shifting (i.e., the show goes back and forth in time repeatedly and it’s not consistent), albeit a little difficult to keep up with at times, makes the drama that unfolds that much more intense.

The casting for The Event is very impressive.  Jason Ritter (son of the late John Ritter) is a bit of a newcomer but he seems perfectly cast as the average guy trying to find answers.  The rest of the cast is excellent as well with a lot of well-known television faces and character actors (Blair Underwood, Tony Todd, Laura Innes, Zeljko Ivanek, Clifton Collins Jr., Scott Patterson, Bill Smitrovich, to name a few. ) and no real superstars was very smart for a few reasons.  First, you have seasoned pros on this show who ALL can act (and if I’ve never mentioned this before please understand that all of my favorite actors are character actors).  Second, they come at a much cheaper price than, say, a Kiefer Sutherland would so think of it like a professional sports salary cap: you have the option of having one superstar and a team of mediocre players or a team full of really good players.  The latter is the preferred and it’s a necessity with a new series.  It’s also a necessity because unlike 24, The Event is… well… event-driven and not single-character driven like 24 was.  A show like this requires a diverse ensemble cast as to not distract the audience from the complex and engaging drama that is unfolding.

All in all, The Event is excellent and has truly lived up to its hype so far and I don’t really have any doubt that with Evan Katz at the helm it’s going do anything but get better and better.  This is the best new network show of the season and the only thing even on cable that’s better is Boardwalk Empire.

Watch full episodes of The Event, here and here.

Fall 2010 TV Preview – Wednesdays

Part Three of the Seven Six Part Series (This has been edited because  I realized that there’s nothing on Saturdays but College Football, COPS and America’s Most Wanted.  Do you really need a review of those?)

Wednesdays

8:00 p.m.

NBC:     Undercovers – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

From acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” “Alias”) and executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) comes a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership.

Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Vacation,” “Soul Food,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Dr. Who,” “Bonekickers”), are a typical married couple who own and operate a small catering company in Los Angeles – with help from Samantha’s easily frazzled handful of a sister, Lizzy (Mekia Cox, “90210,” “This Is It”). Secretly, the duo were two of the best spies the CIA had ever known, until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired.

When fellow spy and good friend Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre, “American Heiress,” “Nip/Tuck”) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss and agency liaison, Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, “Deadwood,” “Jericho”), to locate and rescue Nash.

With assistance from resourceful CIA field agent Bill Hoyt (Ben Schwartz, “Parks and Recreation,” “Bronx World Travelers”), whose professional admiration for Steven isn’t hard to miss, the pair is thrust back into the world of espionage, disguises and hand-to-hand combat.

Following leads that take them to cities spanning the globe, Steven and Samantha quickly realize that perhaps this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides exactly the kind of excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing. – NBC

Shawn:     Wow.  There is not a whole lot more to say about Undercovers than that.  J.J. Abrams has done it again and NBC has proven again that they have gone from being the worst network on TV to perhaps the best.  Do we really have to see even see one episode to be sure that this show is going to be great?  The answer is a resounding, “no.”  You’ve got a great cast with some actual chops, a relationship that I truly believe and care about from just the trailer and non-stop, J.J. Abrams-style action and spy-goodness that makes this show another moral imperative.

8:30 p.m.

ABC:     Better With You – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

 The comedy explores love through three couples: Maddie and Ben, who have been dating for nine years; Mia (Maddie’s sister) and Casey, who have known each other for only seven weeks and are about to marry; and Maddie and Mia’s parents, who have been married for more than 30 years.

Shawn:     (****sighs… shakes head and prepares for the shortest preview of the season***)

What more can be said but that this show looks awful.  This is up there with Mike & Molly as a prime example of why I hate sitcoms.  This is recycled crap.

9:00 p.m.

ABC:     Modern Family

Shawn:     This is by far the funniest show on television, and yes, even funnier than The Office.  The cast is brilliant and the writing is head and shoulders above any sitcom in the last decade and why brings it all together is just how incredibly relatable all of the less-than-perfect characters are that could really be in any of our families.

Watch full episodes of Modern Family, here.

The CW:     Hellcats – September 8, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Marti Perkins (Aly Michalka) uses her dance and gymnastics skills to win a cheerleading scholarship at Lancer University after losing her other scholarship, but it is only the beginning of the drama she will encounter. – The CW

Shawn:     (****sighs… shakes head and prepares for the second shortest preview of the season***)

The CW needs to be smacked on the nose with a newspaper for this.  Although, I will say that this certainly will appeal to 14 year-old boys and I have no doubt that stock values of Jergens and Kleenex are going to skyrocket, so it’s definitely time to call your broker. 

Here’s another group of Hellcats that seem far more interesting:

Watch full episodes of Hellcats, here (if you must).

10:00 p.m.

ABC:     The Whole Truth – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

This unique legal drama chronicles the way a case is built from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution. Showing each side equally keeps the audience guessing, shifting allegiances and opinions on guilt or innocence until the very final scene.

Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is the Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. Buoyed by their respective teams, these evenly matched lawyers—each with a strong streak of competitiveness, a fervent belief in their clients and an equally intense passion for the law go about creating two different stories from the same set of facts. As this up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the legal process mirrors the excitement of a championship match, it becomes evident that truth has nothing to do with innocence or guilt—at the end of every trial, the only thing that matters is what the jury believes. – ABC

Shawn:     “A totally new kind of legal drama!”  Really, ABC?  Sorry, but not quite.

So, yeah,  I admit it.  Occasionally I read other reviews before I post if for no other reason than to see if the pros caught the same thing about a particular show that I did.  This certainly was the “case” with The Whole Truth, because this time, I knew that I had seen this show before but I just couldn’t put my finger on where and I was hoping that someone’s review would ring the proverbial bell for me.  That’s when I came across this from Paige Wiser from the The Chicago Sun and it all fell into place:

There’s no skimping on the sordid and blunt evidence, but the cases are absorbing. And unlike “Law & Order,” which had a way of leaving us hanging, we do learn the “whole truth” by the end of each episode. You can’t put a price on closure.

That’s it!  The multiple perspectives AND the big reveal at the end of the episode explaining what really happened… it’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s 2006 flop, Justice!  So, apparently, Jerry is just recycling old projects and hoping that no one will notice.  Regardless, I was one of the folks who really did like Justice, despite it lasting only 13 episodes.  Like Justice, The Whole Truth has a very strong ensemble cast and appears to be pretty compelling.  That being said, I am a little irked by the main premise of this show which is going to stick in my craw every episode:  are we really supposed to believe that the same defense attorney and A.D.A. are going to be adversaries EVERY week in EVERY case… in New York City ??? Seriously, are these the only two lawyers in town?  Jerry Bruckheimer plus the fact that it’s Justice recycled are the only two reasons that I am in the category of “reluctantly” watching the pilot.

CBS:     The Defenders – September 22, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys who go all-in when it comes to representing their clients. Nick and Pete are the local go-to guys with an eclectic client list who are still looking to hit their own jackpot. Leading the law firm of Morelli & Kaczmarek are Nick Morelli, an earnest, hard-charging attorney who represents his clients to the best of his ability, no matter how big or small the case; and his partner, Pete Kaczmarek, whose passion for the law is matched only by his love of fast cars, beautiful women and expensive clothes. Joining them in their growing law practice is new associate Lisa Tyler, an enthusiastic young attorney looking to put her exotic dancing days behind her; and their young assistant, Zoe Waters, a spunky and sweet ingénue who is eager to please her bosses. While Lady Luck shines on their legal careers, the partners have their hands full when it comes to their personal lives. With Pete busy cruising the Vegas Strip for his latest romantic conquest, Nick is focused on repairing a fractured marriage to his estranged wife and remaining present in the life of their young son. No matter the offense, Nick and Pete aim to prove that when the stakes are high, they’re willing to bet the house on the clients they defend in Sin City. – CBS 

Shawn:     I have to keep reminding myself that I am sick of legal procedurals and why but then I get dragged right back in by shows like The Defenders starring Jim Belushi (According to Jim) and Jerry O’Connell (Sliders) who star as a couple of working-stiff lawyers here in my city, Las Vegas.  Here’s the thing, I’m not going to be watching this show because I expect it be some fantastic weekly legal thriller, on the contrary, I expect that part of the show to be clichéd as every other legal show.  No, I’m watching because I like Belushi and O’Connell and after seeing the trailers and interviews associated with this show, I think I like these characters.  Again, how relatable the characters are can make or break a series.  Truthfully, this show doesn’t have to be about lawyers, it could have been about cops, plumbers, copier salesmen, the Mexicans on The Strip shoving the cards in your four-year old’s face offering hookers direct to you hotel room… whatever.  It doesn’t matter because this is a buddy-[insert profession here] show and nothing more and this could work with Belushi as the comedian and O’Connell as the straight man.  I think I’ll need to watch the first few episodes to get a handle on whether this show is worth hanging on to, but I will say this:  if they start that crap like they do on CSI of randomly mentioning streets and neighborhoods in Las Vegas without any actual resemblance to where these landmarks truly are geographically-speaking, I will shut it off. 

(EDIT: I completely forgot to include in ‘Terriers.’  Sorry about that. )

F/X:     Terriers – September 8, 2010 (NEW SERIES)

Donal Logue plays Hank, an ex-cop who partners with his best friend to launch a P.I. business. The duo solve crimes while trying to avoid danger and responsibility.

Shawn:     Terriers is a very good show and I’ve already done a full review on it, here.  You can also watch full episodes of Terriers, here.

NBC:     Law & Order: Los Angeles – September 29, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

The newest addition to the Law & Order brand, “Law & Order: Los Angeles” fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.

The drama follows Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich, “Jericho”) and Tomas “TJ” Jarusalski (Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”) as they pursue cases through the diverse City of Angels. As members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery Homicide Division, Winters is a straight-shooting ex-Marine with a clear-cut worldview as stubborn as he is, while TJ, who grew up the son of an Oscar-winning Polish cinematographer, knows too well the dark underside that is behind-the-scenes Hollywood.

Deputy District Attorney Morales (Alfred Molina, “En Education,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Spiderman 2”) is a sarcastic realist who believes moral righteousness is great in theory, but ineffective in a street fight. Though he knows how to manipulate both his public image and the behind-the-scenes politics, he’s still a killer in the courtroom who lives to see justice served. – NBC

Shawn:     Hi, my name’s Shawn and I’m a recovering Law & Order fan.  You see, one day about four years ago, I decided that the entire franchise, which I had been watching faithfully since 1990, had turned to utter crap (and that includes SVU which people still think is good for some reason).  The formula was stale and the “ripped from the headlines” garbage became a convenient crutch that was about as exciting as your local theater group practicing their ad-libbing skills by randomly choosing topics from a hat (which of course, is a common theme in television production lately. see: Running Wilde in the Tuesday Preview.).  Unfortunately, it took about a decade too long for this show to be cancelled.  What I can’t seem to figure out is why the arrogant Dick Wolf thinks that simply taking the brand of crap that is Law & Order and moving it from one side to the country to another is actually going to produce a better product. 

And before you say to yourself, “Well, this could be different,” I’m going to have to stop you right there because, no, it’s not going to be different.  Do you know how I know? There are two obvious reasons.  First, take a look at the first sentence of the show description by NBC:

“Law & Order: Los Angeles” fuses classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA – delving into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast.

The first thing that they mention as a selling point is what made the show suck to begin with (the “ripped from the headlines” crap).  It’s the reason that people stopped watching… period, you unoriginal nit-wits at Dick Wolf Productions. 

The second reason that stands out is the simple fact that NBC doesn’t have a single trailer of this new series out that shows a single scene from the show.  What are they hiding?  After all, this cast is amazing.  Skeet Ulrich, Alfred Molina and Academy Award nominated Terrence Howard star in this and NBC isn’t highlighting any of them in the promotions for this new “hit” series?  It makes absolutely no sense, unless of course, they know the moment that they show five seconds of this show in a trailer, audiences are going to sing in unison, “I thought they cancelled this stupid show.”

Here’s my theory:  NBC owes Dick Wolf a lot for twenty seasons of L & O,  twelve seasons of SVU and amazingly, nine seasons of CI (whatever network it’s on now).  That’s 41 seasons of television.  To put that in perspective, that’s 50% more than all five series of the entire Star Trek franchise.  So, Dick Wolf says, “You’re doing another ‘Law and Order’ series whether you like it or not and you’re going to do it in L.A., because that’s where I live now.”  NBC’s response was, “How high did you say you want us to jump, Mr. Wolf?” and voila, L & O: L.A. is born.  NBC knows it’s going to be crap but in order to keep it semi-profitable, they sunk a lot of money into casting and even I have to say that was a brilliant move on their part because as much as I have no interest in anything L & O, even I’m considering watching the pilot just for the cast.  So, in principle, no, I would not recommend this but for curiosity’s sake I probably will watch the pilot and only make it halfway through because I’ll be so disgusted.

NEXT: Thursdays

 

 

Fall 2010 TV Preview – Tuesdays

Part Two of the Seven Six part series.

Tuesday

8:00 p.m.

ABC:     No Ordinary Family – September 28, 2010 (NEW SERIES!) (Full Review Here!)

ABC Studios brings to life “The Incredibles”, the story of the Powells, an every day american family, who are too busy to spend time together. So they decide to take a trip as family as a way to reconnect, but on the way, their plane crashes. Now there’re back to their normal lives, but something seems to be happening to each one of them… they have superpowers. – ABC

Shawn: First, let’s give credit to ABC for not only acknowledging right off-the-bat the most obvious criticism of this show – that being that it looks like Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles – but outright OWNING it.  That’s the way to beat them at their own game!  And why wouldn’t Disney try to capitalize on their property in a prime time, live-action drama (for those of you that are unaware, Disney owns ABC)? Screw the nay-sayers, this show looks like a lot of fun and is my choice for sleeper hit of the season.  The concept is great and it’s not just a show for the family but it’s a show focused on the family as much as it is on their super powers.  Casting always tells me a lot about a show and No Ordinary Family is no different.  You’ve got Michael Chiklis as the dad (The Shield), Julie Benz as the mom (Dexter), Romany Malco (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) as the best friend and sidekick and lo and behold, Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) who appears to be our Lex Luthor-type.  I don’t care if I sound like a 10 year-old fanboy, I can’t wait to watch No Ordinary Family and apparently based on the amount of merchandising I saw over at the official site, ABC is pretty confident that they have a hit on their hands as well.

CBS:     NCIS – September 21, 2010

Shawn: NCIS enters its eighth season and is still one of the most watched shows on television and the highest rated drama.  I’ve been there from the beginning since it was a spinoff of J.A.G. and the show has gotten increasingly better each season and I don’t see any signs of it jumping the shark any time soon.  At first glance, NCIS would appear to be your standard fare, formulaic cop show that I regularly rail against and during the first couple of seasons, that’s exactly what it was.  But, the cast and the characters were compelling enough to keep me around until season 4 when it really came into its own with multi-episode, cloak and dagger story arcs and complex character development.  You simply can’t go wrong with NCIS.

(Sorry, but no video on this one.  I was completely unable to find any trailers for season 8 on YouTube or anywhere else)

FOX:     Glee – September 21, 2010

Shawn: Glee is great.  Everyone should be watching this.  It is funnier than any other sitcom on TV with the exception of Modern Family, has wonderfully heartwarming drama and the musical numbers are creative and fantastic.  I challenge you not become moved during the musical numbers on Glee.

9:00 p.m.

CBS:     NCIS Los Angeles* – September 21, 2010

Shawn: The only reason I’m putting NCIS Los Angeles (now in its second season) in this preview is to clarify why I recommend NCIS but not its spinoff.  Simply put: I just don’t like it.  I was very excited last year about the possibility of an NCIS spinoff but I only lasted six episodes into the first season.  The show makes no sense at all.  The premise is unbelieveable, the plotlines are boring and formulaic, and the characters are clichéd and have absolutely zero chemistry.  I like Chris O’Donnell a lot.  He’s very talented and I appreciate the fact that he dropped out of the business to raise a family and be a father to his 103 children.  There’s nothing more noble than being a father and a husband.  Unfortunately, his talents are being wasted on this safe, simplistic and dry show.  On principle, I don’t recommend this show, but I may watch the season premiere just to see if they’ve fixed any of the mess that is NCIS Los Angeles.  I’m always willing to give a show a season to work out the bugs and if they do, I’ll report back with the good news.

(Again, no trailer for this show either… blame CBS)

FOX:     Raising Hope – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Raising Hope is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household. At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton) and his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt). Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter. – FOX

Shawn: I didn’t think it was possible but Rasing Hope has given me whole new reason to hate sitcoms.  You see, what’s pissed me off thoroughly is the lie perpetuated on show’s Official Page that I posted above.  It’s leaving out a crucial detail and the omission is by design.  The little baby’s mother, isn’t just a wanted felon, she’s a serial killer and her big joke in the trailer is that they would never execute a mother of a seven month-old baby.  Then, they cut to a scene with Jimmy sitting on the other side of the glass with the baby on his lap watching her get electrocuted and about halfway through the process he covers the baby’s eyes.  I’m sorry, and you can call me old-fashioned, but a baby being separated from its mother and then forced to watch her get executed in an electric chair is not exactly what I would call charming or endearing.  FOX has been doing a very good job of hiding that little piece of information on their website and their regular TV spots for this show.  Gee, I wonder why?  What I saw is not nearly as bad as the fact that they are trying to hide it.

Beyond, that, of course this show is as stupid, clichéd and as recycled as any other sitcom.  Seriously, though, the rule of thumb for FOX should be to assume all of their sitcoms are going to suck.  It’s just a question of to what degree of suckitude (© 2010, TV-Tastic).  Raising Hope is certainly no different from any other FOX sitcom and they brag about why it sucks.  The claim to fame of this show is that Greg Garcia created it and of course he was the award-winning writer who came up with My Name is Earl.  What no one wants to admit about My Name is Earl is that it wasn’t funny after the first season and to be honest, the novelty wore off after the first 10 episodes.  And of course, this show isn’t even much different from Earl with the portrayal of the stupid, white-trash and downright depressing family.  Again, recycled crap.  It’s seems like a shame too because the main cast includes Cloris Leachman, Martha Plympton and they FINALLY got a lead role for one of my favorite character actors of all time, Darren Gillahunt (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Deadwood), an actor that is so talented that he played TWO different characters on Deadwood and no one noticed it was the same guy.  So, yeah. we’ll be passing on this.  Oh and if you watch this video, you’ll the scene in question.

Syfy:     Stargate: Universe

The latest series for the Stargate franchise has Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) as part of a group that is transported to Destiny, a self-guided spaceship used to place stargates around the universe.

Shawn: SGU starts its second season and I am loathed to admit it, but I like this show and I really shouldn’t.  It is a complete rip-off of Star Trek: Voyager and Battlestar Galactica with the quest to get home and the incessant, holy-crap-we’re all-going-to-die-by-the-end-of-the-episode-but-somehow-we-are-miraculously-saved-at-the-last-minute crisis of the week, but still, somehow, it manages to work.  The characters are OK and are becoming more developed every episode and the special effects and action do work well.  SGU also succeeds because you don’t get the feeling that you have to know the entire Stargate Anthology in order to get the show.  If you like space-based Sci-Fi, this show is definitely for you, if it’s not your thing, you can pass on this and your life won’t be any less fulfilled.

9:30

FOX:     Running Wilde – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

Will Arnett stars as a Beverly Hills jackass who ends up falling in love with Emmy Kadubic (played by Keri Russell), a charitable tree hugger, who hates his lifestyle and moral code.

Shawn:     “What… the… fudge… was that?”  You see, those are the words that came to mine when I watched the extended trailer for this show, except for the fact that just like Ralphie from a Christmas Story I didn’t use the word fudge.  Unlike Ralphie, however, I didn’t have a bar of Palmolive handy to cleanse my soul from what I had just seen.  Obviously, the geniuses at television development at FOX are the same people in charge of player development for the New York Mets.  I have it on good authority that the roundtable discussion for filling the 9:30 hole on FOX went something like this:

Writer 1:     OK, we want to go with something recycled along the lines of The Nanny and Dharma & Greg  and every couple-based sitcom from the last twenty years that involves two people from extremely different worlds.

Writer 2:     Well, I brought a hat full of a bunch of paper slips with different subjects on them.  Let’s shake it up and pull out the first ten and apply it to your lame-o premise.

Writer 3:     Um… I brought pot.

OK, so I completely made that up, but seriously, after watching the trailer below, does it not seem like that’s exactly how they came up with this show?  It’s typical FOX suckitude for sit-coms.  Running Wilde is a perfect bookend to Raising Hope.  Both these shows look awful individually but together they qualify for “making-me-puke-in-my-mouth” status.  But, fear not.  TV-Tastic predicts that both of these shows will be cancelled before Thanksgiving replaced with re-runs of Bones or House.

10:00 p.m.

ABC:     Detroit 1-8-7 – September 21, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)

In this ABC crime drama project, a fictional documentary filmmaking crew goes inside Detroit’s homicide division. – ABC

Shawn: “Once in a generation, a cop show comes along that re-writes the rules.”

That is seriously said in the voice-over at the beginning of this trailer.  It may be true, but that show was The Shield, not Detroit 1-8-7 (which sounds more like a the title of an N.W.A. album than it does a dramatic television series).  Sorry, but this show re-writes nothing.  It’s the epitome of why I don’t watch formulaic cop shows anymore.  It’s all the same thing but this one is trying to be clever by combining the rawness and the grittiness of The Wire and to an extent Homicide: Life on the Street and the pseudo-documentary style of… The Office.  That’s right, The Office.  The difference is that The Office actually is consistently shot like a documentary.  The style of this show is all over the place.  I’m sorry, but if you want to convince us that the show is being shot by a documentary camera crew, your shots cannot include shots only possible if filmed while a cameraman is sitting on the hood of a moving car (that’s in the trailer).

Beyond, that, though Detroit 1-8-7 doesn’t look awful, it just looks ordinary and typical.  I’ve seen this cop show before, and I can tell I’m not alone in thinking this way.

This is from 1-8-7’s Official Page:

“The detectives are well-developed and easy to follow… There are relationships worth investing in.”

– Mekeisha Madden Toby, Detroit News

“…promises to be a mighty fine ride…smartly cast urban crime drama’s gutsy, gritty allure.”

– Matt Roush, TV Guide

First, notice the ellipses that permeate both quotes like bullet-holes, indicating that ABC cut a lot out.  Second, knowing that, this is really the best ABC could come up with to promote critical acclaim for the show?  Seriously, that Matt Roush quote is just embarrassing, but honestly, I really don’t expect much from him anymore.  I think he just has too much on his plate so unless he really likes something a lot, he just whips out the TV reviewer’s thesaurus and gives us “mighty fine ride,” “smartly cast (which is kind of like sensible shoes),” “gutsy” and “gritty.”  As far as Makeisha Madden Toby is concerned, I think she got the memo that if you write for a Detroit Newspaper and live in L.A., it’s in your better interest to be pleasant when discussing a drama set in the city you don’t live in but is responsible for your paychecks.  I’m sorry, but, “The detectives are well-developed and easy to follow…” and “There are relationships worth investing in,” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

I’m sorry but there’s just too much good TV this Fall for me to waste my time with this.  I may catch the pilot or an occasional episode, but this isn’t appointment television by an 8-mile.

NEXT: Wednesdays