Fall TV Part 3: Sept 27-Oct 3 – PACE YOURSELVES

Luckily, this week gives us a chance to catch our breath after last week, which was, quite frankly, a little bit bananas.  All the new stuff has to start in the SAME WEEK?  You can’t space it out a little?  Make it last?  Whatever, networks.  Band-Aid rippers, clearly.

There are only a few new shows this week, but before I get to them, let me give you the quick skinny on what I’m giving a second chance and what I’ve already booted from my schedule.

Gets a Take-Two:

Hawaii Five-0 — First episode almost killed me with its cheese. That final scene where the camera slo-mo’d Grace Park smiling and twirling in her cute li’l outfit?  Puke-aroo.  But it wasn’t terrible and I like the actors (though, Alex O’Loughlin is not terribly impressive thus far — smack them acting chops into shape, Alex, I’ve seen you do a lot better than this).  And, what’s more, I like the setting.  It’s sunny and warm there.  That’s not worth nothing when you’re heading towards winter in Seattle.

Detroit 1-8-7 — MAJOR issues with this one already, like, for example, the new homicide detective who pukes at his first dead body scene, despite the fact he’d clearly been a beat cop for years and surely had seen much worse than that.  Really?  Please to not believe your audience is so dumb thanks.  Also, what gives with the fairly solid beginning and, as a friend called it, the “Jerry Bruckheimer” ending?  Pick one, guys.  Preferably this week.

The Whole Truth — It’s not great, but it didn’t suck, either.  I watched the whole thing, unoriginal as it was.  I like Maura Tierney and her new hairdo, and while Rob Morrow seemed a little unsure of how much to play up the New York/New Jersey thing, he might settle in, mellow out.  It’s nice to see him be a bit of a goof for a change, at the very least.  But it’s going to need better storylines if it’s going to hold my attention.

Outlaw — SURPRISE!  I’ve seen the first two episodes of this one and I’m really enjoying it.  Jimmy Smits is doing a good job in his role as an ex-Supreme Court justice who has returned to the lawyer side of the bench.  And the Arizona cop vs. racially-profiled Hispanic case was timely without having the feeling of a “ripped from the headlines because we’re out of our own ideas already!” thing.  I also thought the writing was pretty sharp — good banter.   So far, best new legal show of the year, in my opinion — though admittedly, that is not saying much.

Dumped:

Blue Bloods — I watched the whole episode, and a mere three days later, I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about it.  Not a good sign.
Lone Star
— Still waiting on my DVR, which is also not a good sign.  Can’t muster requisite enthusiasm for this one’s story.
The Event
— Did not go there.
Chase
— Bored in under 8 minutes.
The Defenders
— Also bored in under 8 minutes, though I hear it got better after that so I might try again.

And now, coming up this week:

Tuesday, September 28

Returning:
The Good Wife – CBS, 9pm
Stargate Universe – SyFy, 9pm

New:
No Ordinary Family – ABC – 8pm — You know I love Michael Chiklis.  The problem is, I’m burned out on superheroes after the whole Heroes debacle.  What a disappointment.  If it ends up being the hit show of the year, though, I’ll be in for a DVD catch-up this summer.

Wednesday, September 29

New:
Law & Order: Los Angeles – NBC – 10pm — I was going to be all, “No way in hell” when it came to this one.  We need another Law & Order?  No.  No, sir, I’m pretty sure we don’t, in fact.   But then I ran into three problems:  Skeet Ulrich, Alfred Molina, and Terrence Howard.  Well, hell, NBC, if you’re gonna go all Terrence HOWARD on me . . . Damn.

Friday, October 1

Returning: Human Target – Fox – 8pm

Sunday, October 3

Returning:
American Dad
– Fox – 9:30pm
CSI:Miami – CBS, 10pm

14 Responses to “Fall TV Part 3: Sept 27-Oct 3 – PACE YOURSELVES”

  1. RogerBW Says:

    Hmm, might give Outlaw a look after that review; wasn’t expecting much from it, so I didn’t bother. Looks as though Lone Star is already dead in the water, with truly terrible ratings for the opener.

    I’m a thoroughgoing Not A Superhero Fan, and Heroes left me very cold in the first few minutes. I shall try the new thing; if they have superpowers without the whole “superhero ethos” then it may work.

    Still not made up my mind about going back to Human Target, which for my money fell apart in the later episodes of s1. I guess I’ll give it a try…

  2. Verna Says:

    Really…Stargate Universe. That’s all. Nothing else even remotely looks interesting.

  3. megwood Says:

    I think No Ordinary Family is going to be too family-friendly cheesearoo for me. But if you like it, RogerBW, let me know!

    I was sorry to see the Lone Star creator begging for viewers on his web site this week. But not sorry enough to want to watch a soap opera. Though I feel like I ought to reward him for at least not doing a medical, legal, or cop drama. At the same time, I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm about the series.

    It should be noted that I have a massive crush on Jimmy Smits — your mileage on Outlaw may vary!

  4. Alisaj29 Says:

    Have to say I’ll only be watching 2 shows out of the whole list. The Good Wife, I love Julianna Margulies and in MHO the show was surprisingly good. I will also continue to Watch CSI Miami, even though the acting is horrible.

    They need to take Hawaii Five-0 off the air and make new eps of Moonlight.

    Not looking forward to L&O LA. I may wait until it comes out on Netflix and take it from there.

    Tried watching the first eps of The Event, but could not stand the way it jumped around so that is off of my list.

    And does it really need to be said…..Stargate is NOT Stargate without the original cast. Although it is cool to see Dr. Daniel Jackson in Smallville. 🙂

  5. Cheryl Says:

    HBO – Boardwalk Empire. Rocks. nuf said.

  6. megwood Says:

    DAMMIT! I have Showtime, not HBO! I’ve been dying to see Boardwalk Empire, but I’m too nice to pirate. HBO, why don’t you offer me an On Demand service, you jerks?

  7. Trip Says:

    What’s the word on Rubicon? I’ve heard rumors of its overall awesomeness but I’m hesitant to commit without more independent verification.

    The new Hawaii Five-O, to me, was just another cookie-cutter cop show set in an exotic locale. The only real difference is that it seemed a lot more violent, what with all the automatic weapons and a fairly high body count for a network show. The theme still has no equal, though.

  8. RogerBW Says:

    Trip, I’m enjoying Rubicon, but it’s very slow-moving and I think many people find it boring. Cast is solid, atmosphere is great, but if you are looking for action or a fast unravelling of the conspiracy this isn’t the show for you: it’s all about the clues and subtle hints.

    If that hasn’t put you off, I’d say give it a shot and see if you like it; watch the first two episodes, which should be enough to establish the feel of the thing, but if you don’t like it at that point don’t bother.

  9. Liz Says:

    ATTENTION, TRIP, MEG … AND ANYONE ELSE INTERESTED! Just heard a funny QUOTE on the season finale of “Warehouse 13” (SyFy). Artie, played by Saul Rubinek, was all decked out in archeologist/adventurer duds, complete with fedora, and Pete said, “What are you supposed to be – Jerusalem Jones?” I laughed so hard I had to stop the tape, to give myself time.

    I thought “The Defenders” was pretty good – although I’m not convinced that either one of them is really that “straight – laced”. I also liked “Hawaii Five-0” and “Detroit 187,” but found both Teirney and Morrow to be a bit annoying on “The Whole Truth.” I’m going to try it again, though.

  10. Kim Says:

    I have to agree that ALex O’laughlin can do better but Moonlight was NOT it. I hadn’t seen a more insipid vampire show until Vampire Diaries showed up. Ugh. I do like Scott Caan, he’s funny, has pretty good timing, much like his Dad in attitude and looks. I’m hoping the chemistry and the writing improves after the first couple shows.

  11. RogerBW Says:

    Real points off for guest appearance by Justin Bieber, though fortunately I’ve missed most of the primary hype and so didn’t recognise him.

    Second week of the new shows:

    Chase: I’m basically watching for Cole Hauser and Kelli Giddish at this point. In that order. May well not last.

    Detroit 187: still on the bubble for me. Much as with Chase, really: it’s not great, it’s not dire, sure it’s formulaic, but some of the acting is decent. (More screen time for that pragmatic and gorgeous pathologist, please, but lose the braids…) Towards the end of episode 2 they even backed off on the “for the idiots in the audience, here’s which part of the two-steand story we’re now talking about” captions. Or I wasn’t noticing them. Either way is good.

    Hawaii Five-O: perversely, the biggest disappointment so far is O’Loughlin, who’s the only male principal I knew from other things. He’s just a bit too damn far out on the edge for non-American me (who still likes the idea of a rule of law even when that’s inconvenient for Hero Cops) to get invested in the character. OK, it would take a very good actor to sell this sort of role, but I know it’s possible…

    No Ordinary Family: superheroes are always a tough sell for me, but nah, too much relationship drama. (And I was noticing small details – like the really blatantly obvious gas-jet FX for “the wing is on fire” when the cast had to be in the same shot. I usually watch on 1.4x speed; if I’m noticing stuff like that on the first pass through then the production team is being really sloppy and/or has no budget, neither of which bodes well.) Will not be watching further.

  12. RogerBW Says:

    Caught up with Outlaw, and… yeah, I’ve never been a courtroom drama fan but I’m finding Smits in particular very appealing. Quite enjoying Pope too (hey, het male here, and always much more interested in women who do things than in purely decorative ones). The others feel fairly expendable, but this could change. Definitely on my list.

  13. briantoohey Says:

    Hawaii 5-0: Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, and Grace Park all deserve a better show. Namely, one without Alex O’Loughlin, who is about as lousy as lousy gets. He was pretty much a stuffed but servicable shirt for his guest star stint on The Shield, but I remember the pilot episode of Moonlight was just unbearably awful, all due to him. He’s gotten so many shots at leading shows over the past few years, and everything keeps getting cancelled (add Three Rivers to that list). At a certain point (and maybe it will be with this show) execs are going to realize the lowest common denominator is him. Almost every moment he tries to act in the first 2 episodes of 5-0 is cringeworthy, and it’s now off my watch list. Which is too bad, because I enjoy seeing Scott Caan working on the show, and Dae Kim seems to still be on a post-Lost Hawaiian high where his work is transcendant, and Grace Park is right there with him. Sure the show itself may not be anything new under the soon, but it would be worth tuning in for the cast if only O’Loughlin wasn’t fouling the waters.

    Detriot 1-8-7: I lost initial interest in this after I heard they’d reformatted away from the documentary style. But I’m going to try to catch up on Hulu this weekend and give it a shot.

    The Whole Truth: I find Rob Morrow boring and Maura Tierney annoying, and the new hairstyle makes her look more annoying than ever. No thanks. Looks like totally disposable television.

    Outlaw: Smits is great, but this show just reeked of having enough of a specific social agenda that you knew it wasn’t going to make it. Already gone.

    Blue Bloods: watched 2 episodes. Off the watch list. I like the cast, except for Bridget Moynahan who was once promising but now seems to have no soul and no ability to emotionally connect to anything in the universe. Still, she’s not a bad actress, and she’s very pretty to look at. But you get the feeling you could wave your hand in front of her face during the shooting of a scene and it would go unnoticed; she’s just totally disconnected and on some weird half-believable robotic autopilot. But despite an otherwise engaging cast, the show itself is so forgettable, and the attempt at a long-running storyline they only address in the last 3 minutes of each episode is so poorly handled and laughable to be the big coffin nail through the rest of the mediocrity.

    Lone Star: the pilot episode, directed by Marc Webb of (500) Days of Summer who now has the Spider-Man reboot gig with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, was one of the best single hours of network television in years. Every moment, every performance was a revelation. Of course it’s cancelled after the second episode aired. It was unlikely the show was going to be able to maintain the level of quality of the pilot, but it would still have been worth following. I think, however, the nature of the show kept audiences away. It’s one thing to sensationalize bigamy on Big Love; it’s another thing to try to rationalize it on network television. If only the advertising campaign hadn’t led with that. Because the genuine dual romantic interest was actually compelling, as was the series’ plot about a con man wanting to go straight. And James Wolk as the lead was a major discovery.

    The Event: well, it’s trying to cater to the audiences who ate up Alias and Lost, but to do so while parceling out its answers left and right. I’m pretty sure the showrunner and series’ creator is someone Truman and I went to college with, so there’s also that (I need to see a picture to be sure that it’s the same guy and not just someone with the same name). But it seems to be making the mistake of giving away too much and not holding enough cards to its chest for the sake of, y’know, ongoing drama. I suppose after shows like Lost incited a lot of viewer ire, it’s understandable to err too far on the other side. Still, it’s relatively intelligent and clips along at a rapid pace and the acting is pretty good, so it’s better than most of what’s on television. It’s too bad John Ritter is dead, because he’d be proud to see that, after a lot of television work on all kinds of shows, his son has matured from a working actor getting jobs into a truly talented actor who elevates the material.

    Chase: predictable scripting with terrible performances. The lead actress is bad, but Jessie Metcalfe is worse. And then there’s the Latino cop who makes even Metcalfe look serviceable. This thing just stinks. One episode and I’m done. I made myself finish it, but 5-10 minutes was enough to see the full extent of its crappiness.

    The Defenders: it stars Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell. ‘Nuff said. No reason to tune in for a show keeping two of the worst television actors in Hollywood working. In fact, doing so would be giving yourself bad karma for helping support bad taste.

    The Good Wife: something I’ve been meaning to catch up on from the beginning on DVD, so I won’t be watching the new season as it airs.

    Stargate Universe: we won’t talk about bad sci-fi shows on a network that has renamed itself SyFy.

    No Ordinary Family: Heroes was terrible (I stopped watching an episode or two into Season 2 after they proved in the Season 1 finale they didn’t know what they were doing or how to do it, and undercut anything that had been good about the show, which was only about 50% of it anyway due to a handful of clunkers in the cast), and this looked equally bad after the first episode. It’s basically a dull copy of The Incredibles, which was itself a smart copy of the Fantastic Four (the long-running comic, not the reportedly horrible movie adaptations I never saw), done with the kind of ignorance about comic books and what works in them that typified Heroes.

    Law & Order: L.A.: I find the Law & Orders, in general, too dry and boring to make a long-term commitment to. I watched the D’Onofrio one for a season or two, but even that got the cut due to me having a life. Alfred Molina and Terrence Howard are problematic, though. I may have to catch it on DVD later if it gets good word-of-mouth.

    Human Target: I’ll probably catch it when it premieres, which is now in November. I watched the first season mainly because of Jackie Earle Haley. It was a throwback to 80’s stuff like The A-Team, Magnum P.I., and Riptide. Manly man takes on manly missions each week. Largely self-contained episodes. Decently written and fun, but the kind of thing that can also be tossed to the wayside when life gets busy. Mildly entertaining, but not exactly must-see tv.

    American Dad; don’t watch.

    CSI: Miami: at a certain point, all of the CSI’s were swept from my watch list years ago. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they’re repetitive and I don’t have time for the entire cottage industry. Rather than making a choice about what CSI to watch, the decision to strike them all was just a simpler one. At some point, after I finish watching all of the better shows via Netflix that air on Showtime, HBO, AMC, et. al., I may eventually come back to reconnect with the CSI’s, perhaps when I’m at the retirement home.

  14. megwood Says:

    Don’t bother with Detroit! It got progressively worse instead of better — I quit after episode three and if it hasn’t been booted already, I suspect it won’t last the month. I’m sorry to hear Outlaw already got kicked, though — I was actually enjoying that one, despite the heavy-handedness. Smits is great — I’d watch him do just about anything.

    I agree with you on all the CSI series, by the way. I was still hanging in there with the original until last year when I finally gave up. Just not the same without Gil Grissom. He was a great character.

    The Whole Truth got deleted from my DVR this week. I wanted to like it, and I tried very hard. But ultimately, I just found both Morrow and Tierney totally insufferable. I miss good legal shows. Why can’t anybody think one up?

    Totally blew it on Lone Star — I get the sense from your description it was a huge victim of bad advertising. That’s not at ALL what I thought it was about. It just sounded like a bad soap opera to me. I’m sorry I missed it and that it’s too late now too! Drat.

    Thanks for all these comments, dude! I can tell we’re going to get along juuuuuust fine.

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