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Sunday, October 7, 2007

FALL TV REVIEW: Journeyman, Moonlight, etc

FALL TV REVIEW: Aliens In America
ALIENS IN AMERICA is the latest single-camera comedy that is smartly written, well-acted, and fully entertaining (think along the lines of classics like ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT). The only difference? It's on The CW (ouch). This fish out of water story of an American nerd and a Pakistani nerd opened with laughs and (near) tears. I think it's a keeper, totally.
MY PREDICTION: Would have played better on a different network. It doesnt fit in with the GAME and GIRLFRIENDS comedies that follow it. Needs transplanted to a different night, especially in the wake of competition from DANCING WITH THE STARS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, PRISON BREAK and CHUCK. Oddly, even though i love the show, i dont think it will survive the season.

FALL TV REVIEW: Journeyman
Kevin McKidd, late of HBO's ROME, has star-presence in this well-produced, intriguing, often confusing tale of one man's multiple experiences of suddenly traveling to various past moments of his life. Unlike NBCs QUANTUM LEAP, which explained itself in episode 1, JOURNEYMAN is one of those serialized shows that has a greater mythology at its roots. I believe each episode will revolve around Kevin's character using his time travel to help guest stars in crisis, while over the course of the season figuring out just what this time tripping is all about. The show certainly has its flaws, but it's gorgeous in high def, and San Francisco has never looked this beautiful on a tv show in a LONG TIME, if ever. Next week's episode travels back to the San Francisco earthquake...that should be fun. But even better will be when the lead does some trippin and investigatin in the Castro area. JOURNEYMAN is an intelligently written series aimed more toward adults (unlike the more kiddie time taveling show QUANTUM LEAP).
MY PREDICTION: Paired with HEROES, the time travel element bodes well when seen next to a Hiro-heavy episode. HEROES brings in huge numbers for NBC, and so far nothing else has played well in JOURNEYMAN's time slot (g'by STUDIO 60 and THE BLACK DONNELLY'S). It's going to have show some strong numbers to stick, and if people don't jump aboard early, they may never (given the show's hard to understand nature if someone should miss an episode). I have a feeling JOURNEYMAN won't give NBC the ratings they want and it will get relocated to another night, with BIONIC WOMAN eventually taking this time slot for some test runs at some point. By the end of this tv season, NBC will have either found a different show that has succeeded here, or they will be looking for a replacement for next year. Either way, I don't think JOURNEYMAN will be in this time slot come 2008-2009.
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Slow. Predictable. Bad Acting. Bad Writing. Other than a hottie as the lead, there really isn't anything positive I can say about MOONLIGHT other than the lead actor likes O-positive blood? A contrived back story is lackluster, as is this show. And even though I never got to see the pilot of BABYLON FIELDS (a genre show about zombies among the living that was passed over by CBS last spring), it's a head-scratcher as to why CBS went with this vampire mess to be paired up with the other spooky-themed GHOST WHISPERER on Friday nights. Needless to say, I won't be back for , um, seconds.
MY PREDICTION: In a perfect world, MOONLIGHT would have never aired. But there isn't much in the way of competition on Friday nights, and the chicks might stick around for the romance factor, but people are smarter than to give this show much traction beyond 13 episodes.
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FALL TV REVIEW: The Bionic Woman
Nothing against Michelle Ryan, but she is no Lindsay Wagner. Even though BW has been updated for the new milineum, I still think the original was better (cheese and all). For all it's new sleek badness, BIONIC WOMAN took itself way too seriously in the opener, and if that's going to be the tone for the rest of the series, I don't think I will be sticking around for too long. Television these days, in terms of quality, far exceeds the era known as Jiggle TV back in the 70s when the original BW aired. However, sometimes a guy just wants silly entertainment (think CHARLIE'S ANGELS, THE LOVE BOAT, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, MISFITS OF SCIENCE, - okay, maybe not that last one). In a current era chock-ful of heavy procedurals (CSI, LAW AND ORDER, COLD CASE, WITHOUT A TRACE, that SHARK show, and CRIMINAL MINDS), it's a welcome to see genre fare like CHUCK, REAPER and PUSHING DAISIES to come along and infuse some humor into the mix. BIONIC WOMAN, however, is a bit too dramatic (for now). Now that the basic premise has been established I will be curious to find out just what the show is really going to try to pull off for 22 weeks. I remain optimistic, but for now, I'm on the bubble.
MY PREDICTION: NBC needs hits, and they need BIONIC WOMAN. It's too hyped to just toss away. Initial ratings will be high, but it will take good storytelling to bring audiences back for extra doses of Jamie Somers. I think the show will have a so-so season overall, which, for NBC, is as good as gold.
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September 28, 2007 - Friday
One of my favorite new shows last year was the utterly awesome UGLY BETTY. And even though it lost the Best Comedy Emmy this year, I am glad America still won Best Actress. ABC is very good at hour-long comedy/dramas (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and DIRTY SEXY MONEY also come to mind), and BETTY is back (better, brighter and betty-ier than ever before). The second season premiere episode alone had a number of nifty plot twists (including a doozie of a Santos shocker). I heart UGLY BETTY!!!!


MY PREDICTION: A strong season premiere bodes well for another stellar year at MODE. This show is an ABC hit, and one that will be around for at least 4 years.

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