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Sunday, October 7, 2007

FALL TV REVIEWS: GOSSIP GIRL, KVILLE, BACK TO YOU

FALL TV REVIEW: GOSSIP GIRL
I realize I am outside of THE GOSSIP GIRL demo, but I can appreciate good junk TV when I see it. What I like about GG is that it is unabashed in it's offering of hotties having sex, hotties drinking and smoking, hotties trashing and bitching and manipulating, etc etc etc. I have made no secret in my blog entries that I am craving my next junk soap trash weekly fix, a la MELROSE PLACE or DYNASTY. BROTHERS AND SISTERS didnt fit the bill last year, which ultimately bored me with the series. This year, early expectations are on CANE or DIRTY SEXY MONEY to fill the bill, but if those two fail to deliver, I know I have GOSSIP GIRL to rely on (for now). Series could get old, fast. Just look at THE O.C. It was the hottest thing on tv (for two years). Then it sunk fast, and by the end of its fourth year it was gone.
MY PREDICTION: GOSSIP GIRL is challenged by its fickle demo. Its younger target audience is one of the hardest to predict as to what programs will click. My prediction is that GOSSIP GIRL is going to do much better than previous CW shows in this timeslot (VERONICA MARS and ONE TREE HILL). But as far as competition for the other networks? Well, they won't have to be too stressed out by GOSSIP GIRL. Positive word of mouth, though, could change all that. But my prediction is that GG will do good enough ratings to make it to a sophomore year.
B
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FALL TV REVIEW: BACK TO YOU
After watching the pilot to BACK TO YOU, I had to ask myself: "this is new?" I mean, with the combined talent of Kelsey "Frasier" Grammer and Patricia "Everybody Loves Raymond" Heaton, the show already feels and flows like a show in it's second or third season on the air. That's the good news. The bad news is, well, there really isn't any bad news (unless you consider the well-oiled machine just a little too well-oiled and familiar). For me, it's comfort-food comedy, which is all too rare these days, especially for a multi-camera skein. I am definitely on board with this show, and if the rest of the season is consistent as much as the pilot was, I see BACK TO YOU jockeying for major award noms come next Emmy time.
MY PREDICTION: Fox has had a rough go with comedies, with fall television in general, and with the show's lead-out, 'TIL DEATH. I am not a fan of the latter, Brad Garrett comedy, so my ideal hope is that TIL DEATH will bite the dust soon, and THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES will come along to replace it, thus fortifying a solid block of new comic highs. Competition for BACK TO YOU includes the much-hyped PUSHING DAISIES and the UGH-LY KID NATION. Fox is 100% behind BACK TO YOU, and if ratings aren't hot out of the gate, look for FOX to nurture BACK TO YOU anywhere and everywhere in hopes of finding a place for it to stick. The show already has a 13 episode commitment, and should certainly stick around all season. Hell, if TIL DEATH can get to season 2, I see no reason why the far superior BACK TO YOU wouldnt as well.
A-
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FALL TV REVIEW: K-VILLE
This was a tuffie to rate (and to like). I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to enjoy K-VILLE, mainly because I support all and any efforts to get film crews to NOLA to infuse money into the economy there. Unfortunately, the K-VILLE series is too contrived for me. Sure, it's also too glum (but how could it not be?) It's a tricky line to cross: on one you want to show the place as vibrant and alive, but outside of the French Quarter and downtown, things just aren't bright and cheery yet. So - for me, and to other viewers - I am not sure I want to return to the glumness week in and week out. Further, by showing the crime and decay (as realistic as they may be), paints a picture for would-be tourists that maybe New Orleans isnt a safe place to visit (which, if that effect occurs, can only worsen tourism at a time when it is most needed). I fear that the series K-VILLE borders on exploitation, though I give kudos to the show for trying to entertain, nonetheless.
So, taking all the politics out of the equation, I just want to rate the show on how well it entertained me. And, to be honest, it didnt do all that great a job. Most of what I saw in the pilot had been done before on other cop shows - and done better, at that. So when you cut right to the chase, K-VILLE disappointed.
MY PREDICTION: It has a VERY tough time-slot (opposite HEROES, DANCING WITH THE STARS, TWO AND A HALF MEN) to overcome, with a weakened 3rd season of PRISON BREAK as lead-in. I think curiosity will bring some initial traffic to the show, but by November, K-VILLE will be petering out. And once 24 and AMERICAN IDOL return come winter, K-VILLE will probably find itself on network hiatus (if not already cancelled).
D+
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September 17, 2007 - Monday
FALL TV REVIEWS: THE BIG BANG THEORY
I caught a preview showing of CBS' THE BIG BANG THEORY the other night. I thought it held up well for being the pilot, but I wonder if my interest can be sustained in the week-to-week premise of two geeks trying to impress a beauty across the hall. The show certainly is smartly written, and the leads handled their lines well, but I was less impressed with CHARMED girl Kelly Cuoco. She has the bod, but not the HUBBA HUBBA needed to explain why the two geeks are so ga-ga (or rather why Johnny Galecki's geek is so ga-ga: the taller roomie is more fey gay than anything else).
So overall I can only say the show is average, but if it can start thinking outside the box, it does have potential and promise.
MY PREDICTION: THE BIG BANG will be gone by Christmas. The show airs on Number One CBS, which has THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, THE CAPTAIN and a couple other comedies on reserve just waiting to take the place of any show not making an immediate dent in the ratings. And based on the pilot of BBT, I don't think it has the goods that audiences are looking for - especially with CHUCK, DANCING WITH THE STARS, ALIENS IN AMERICA and PRISON BREAK as competion. It's lead-in, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, has never been a ratings monster to date, which further hinders THEORY's chances. Plus, nary a single critics list has included BIG BANG in it's MUST SEE PICKS. So look for THE BIG BANG THEORY to play through September and October, but it will get the big ON HIATUS yank by the holidays.
C+

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