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Sunday, July 18, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: ROOKIE BLUE

ABC's ROOKIE BLUE is bad. I mean, the cast is attractive enough (think GREYS ANATOMY for the cop set), but the writing is weak, weak, weak. I cant believe ABC has already ordered up a second season. D+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Children's Hospital

Originally created for the internet, CH is now part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and the result is.... pretty damn funny. Airing as two 5-minute episodes, I've decided to grade this type of programming a little more leniently since it wasnt originally developed for TV and thus, as a series of vignettes, CH is funny in a twisted SCRUBS-like way. A slew of familiar faces pop in and out as twisted docs and RNs who have NO business whatsoever tending to sick kids. Why? Because the characters are sick themselves, and by that I mean in a LOL good way. B

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Pretty Little Liars

A nice little mystery is set forth in the opener of this new ABC Family series, but it also plays a lot like GOSSIP GIRLS meets I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. What you need to know going in is that 3 girls are covering up for the disappearance to a friend of theirs who went missing during a slumber party. A year later, the girls start receiving cryptic text messages from.....? B

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Rizzoli & Isles

Despite an excellent performance from Angie Harmon, RIZZOLI still falls flat overall, and is just another crime procedural that we've all seen before: only this time with the added graphic violence afforded by TNT. If you like that kind of thing, then advance a grade level, but if you're like me, give this one a C+

Monday, July 12, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Haven

SyFy has done it once again: HAVEN serves up likable leads Emily Rose and Eric Balfour in a bizarro town called Haven, based on the Stephen King book THE COLORADO KID. There is also a central mystery that will unfold as the show itself pits its leads into crazy encounters ala WAREHOUSE 13 and EUREKA, though notably with less emphasis on comic relief that the two just-mentioned shows excel in. What a nice change! A-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: HUGE

HUGE casts an unlikable Nikki Bronski (Of HAIRSPRAY) in a show that comes across as MEATBALLS on steroids. It's actually kind of winsome and nice to see a cast of weight-challenged kids who don't fit the current skinny bitch stereotypes that populate 90210 and GOSSIP GIRL. By making the characters more accessible to a generation of overweight kids, the show seems to be saying that its okay to be yourself: but that even at a fat camp there can still be mean girls. Not a brilliant show, but the pilot was pretty well-produced. B

Sunday, July 11, 2010

TV ROUND-UP 2010-2011

I will be reviewing EVERY scripted show during the 2010-2011 TV season on the following networks: NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and the CW. I will also be reviewing most of the unscripted 'reality' shows, too. Also, I will be reviewing as many scripted shows on cable as I can. Exceptions will be to shows that I just don't know about, or are on stations that I don't get (such as SPARTACUS on STARZ channel). Shows eligible premiered from end of May 2010 through early May 2011.

HAVEN (SYFY) A-
PERSONS UNKNOWN (NBC) A-
WARREN THE APE (MTV) A-
WORK OF ART: NEXT GREAT ARTIST (BRAVO) A-
SCOUNDRELS (ABC) B+
THE NEISTAT BROTHERS (HBO) B+
HOT IN CLEVELAND (TVLAND) B
HUGE (ABCFamily) B
100 QUESTIONS (NBC) B
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS (ABCFamily) B
THE GOOD GUYS (FOX) B
MORGAN FREEMAN'S THROUGH THE WORMHOLE (SCIENCE) B
CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL (CN Adult Swim) B
LOUIE (FX) B-
ON THE ROAD WITH AUSTIN & SANTINO (LIFETIME) B-
COVERT AFFAIRS (USA) B-
THE JAQUIE BROWN DIARIES (LOGO) B-
18 TO LIFE (CW) B-
THE CHOIR (BBC AMERICA) B-
THE BIG C (Showtime) C+
ARE WE THERE YET? (TBS) C+
SCOOBY DOO! MYSTERIES (CARTOON) C+
RIZZOLI & ISLES (TNT) C+
THE HARD TIMES OF RJ BERGER (MTV) C+
DOWNFALL (ABC) C+
THE GATES (ABC) C
MELISSA & JOEY (ABC FAMILY) C
RUPAUL'S DRAG U (LOGO) C-
THE GLADES (A&E) C-
ROOKIE BLUE (ABC) D+
MEMPHIS BEAT (TNT) D+
PLAIN JANE (CW) D+
UNNATURAL HISTORY (Cartoon Network) D+
BIG LAKE (COMEDY CENTRAL) D
DOUBLE EXPOSURE (BRAVO) D
NEIGHBORS FROM HELL (TBS) D-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: The Choir

I came very close to dropping out of the BBC reality show THE CHOIR halfway through the first episode, but there was just something nagging me to stick with it as the star of the show trains a group of green singers and tries to take them all the way to some sort of singing olympics in China. Seeing the teacher have his ups and downs could still get old, but for now I am still singing the high notes. B-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Louie

Remember that HBO dud LUCKY LOUIS? I only got past the pilot episode myself, but with FX's new comedy LOUIE, comic Louis C.K. (recently of PARKS & RECREATION) has redeemed himself. The show isn't awesome, but it's funny enough for a summer run. It's basically about a guy down on his luck who can't seem to catch a break. Sounds bleak, but C.K. pulls it off. B-

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Scoundrels

Based on the European show OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, SCOUNDRELS was the sleeper surprise for me this summer. It stars Virginia Madsen as the mother of a clan of convict-type kids who decides to go straight. The pilot was a successful blend of comedy and drama that set up the direction of the show for the episodes to come. I hope SCOUNDRELS can maintain it's unique flair. It will take a miracle to get picked up, so at this point I am just hoping ABC will finish the promised 13 episodes without a sudden cancellation. That would make the network the true scoundrel if in fact that happened. B+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: The Gates

How is it possible for a network to make vampires and werewolves BORRRRRING? Welp, ABC managed to do just that with the pretty awful pilot to THE GATES, a show that tries to cross DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES with TRUE BLOOD to lackluster results. In fact, of the two new scripted shows ABC aired on Sundays (that being THE GATES and SCOUNDRELS), it was THE GATES that I was most looking forward to. But SCOUNDRELS ended up being the surprise new show of the season. Maybe THE GATES will pick up in the coming weeks, but if it doesnt do it soon, I am going to delete the new cheesefest from my DVR. C

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Persons Unknown

NBC promised that by the end of summer, all answers will be revealed to this new mystery show that dumped 7 strangers into a town in the desert that seems impossible to break out from (all while a plethora of cameras are rigged up around the town to catch every character's move). Each episode has trumped the one before it, and its all building nicely to its final 13th episode to air in late August (unless NBC cancels it the way ABC did to EASTWICK by not burning it off). A-

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Double Exposure

Bravo scrapes the bottom of the reality barrel as their cameras follow two exes who are now photographers to the stars. The stars of the show bicker and lash out toward one another, to their subjects, and to their staff. Where's the love and harmony, people? D

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Downfall

Has America gotten so jaded that we now need to see furniture, cars, and people's dreams come crashing down over the side of a huge building? And is it REALLY entertaining to see the people we are rooting for dropped off the same building once their time runs out? NASTY! C+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Memphis Beat

A by-the-numbers procedural that embarassingly uses too many cliches of the south. Jason Lee of MY NAME IS EARL seems to be a one-note actor as he pretty much portrays the same type of Earl character here. The pilot was lazy and predictable, though it did have some mighty fine production values. Still, zzzzzzzzz. TNT can do better than this, and so can you. D+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: Unnatural History

The best part of this new live action show on the Cartoon Network was the thrilling first five minutes, when a museum/school professor is stalked through a history museum ala YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES via a poison dart that makes him hallucinate that the museum artifacts have come to life. But after the commercial break, things disintegrated with poorly developed teen characters that act and say things that a teen would never act or say. Maybe good entertainment for younger viewers, but certainly nothing natually historic about this new show. D+

SUMMER TV REVIEW: The Hard Times of RJ Berger

A promising pilot that was sort of SQUARE PEGS meets PORKYS for the MTV viewer, I was greatly disappointed in the predictable follow-up episode about hung high school student RJ and his band of misfits as they try to fit in with their peers. Raunchiness aside, HARD TIMES will have a hard time connecting if the scripts don't improve. C+