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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall TV Review: Housewives of Beverly Hills

Bravo's latest HOUSEWIVES show is my first...and its a total guilty pleasure. It was fun seeing Kyle and Kim Richards (of Halloween and Escape to Witch Mountain, respectively), and also to see Camille Grammer (though sad to see Kelsey pre-split). Taylor and Lisa look fun, too. I'm hooked. A-

Fall TV Review: SCHOOL PRIDE

Now that ABC has jettisoned SECRET MILLIONAIRE and BODY OF PROOF to mid-season, SCHOOL PRIDE on NBC becomes the last of the new fall shows to air. And the result isn't very good. Even before ratings came in that the show bombed, I sampled the pilot and was immediately assualted with the stench of a fake show. Now, I DO applaud the producers' efforts to give extreme makeovers to dilapitated public schools...but when the presentation is so obviously phoney and staged (such as when one guy goes to contractors and the cameras capture the stunned looks at having to work for free..then after the commercial break the contractors agree to do the job - cue music - the end result is so obvously manufactured that it took me right out of the moment. Sorry, PRIDE. D+

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall TV Review: Todd Margaret

THE INCREASINGLY POOR DECISIONS OF TODD MARGARET isnt very good... I am finding this year not to be a very good one for Will Arnett, who annoys me yet again (following RUNNING WILDE a few weeks back). Its on IFC, and its about a guy who goes oversees and makes an idiot of himself selling a power drink that falls, er, flat. D

Fall TV Review: Gigantic

This TeenNick dramedy officially becomes the first F of the fall season. It's soooooo bad that, well, I couldnt get past the first 10 minutes without pulling out my hair and screaming at the TV. No WAY was I going to waste an entire hour of my life giving this show any more of my attention. A GIGANTIC F!

And Then There Were Nine...

Of all the new shows that premiered this fall on the Big Five, only 9 remain on my DVR.

Outsourced (NBC)
Raising Hope (FOX)
Better With You (ABC)
Blue Bloods (CBS)
No Ordinary Family (ABC)
The Event (NBC)
BLEEP My Dad Says (CBS)
Mike & Molly (CBS)
Nikita (CW)

And of those 9 I am started to grow increasingly uninterested in The Event, Mike & Molly, BLEEP My Dad Says and Nikita.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FALL TOP FIVE 2010

Here are my five favorite new fall shows:

1. THE EVENT (NBC): In a post-LOST world I couldn't have asked for a better replacement as I'm already jonesing for the planned Terry O Quinn/Michael Emerson dramedy next season on NBC. For now, my fave actor Jason Ritter is doing a bang-up job headlining this trippy mystery thriller. Two weeks in and I am hooked. NBC scores with the number one new fall show (though NBC also has my least favorite new show in OUTLAW with a D-). THE EVENT plays much better than the ill-fated FLASH FORWARD, which never did capture my attention the way THE EVENT has. A+

2. OUTSOURCED (NBC): Comedies far and away were my favorite shows of the fall, and two weeks in I give OUTSOURCED the edge over entries from ABC, CBS and FOX. Ben Rappaport and Pippa Locke are gorgeous, and the comedy of this fish out of water who lands in India improved upon the original. Its a great fit behind the other workplace comedy THE OFFICE. A

3. RAISING HOPE (FOX) Greg Garcia of MY NAME IS EARL scores again, only this show is much more likeable to me. You wouldn't think a comedy about a guy who fathers the baby to a one-night-stand who gets the electric chair in the first five minutes of the pilot would be funny. But with Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman on tap to provide the funny, this one is a riot. A

4. NO ORDINARY FAMILY (ABC): The uneven pilot is all I've seen so far, but it has a great set-up and central mystery to keep viewers hooked. I also love the tone: family drama, crime procedural and comedy. Hoping this one continues it's promising journey (and ratings). A-

5. BETTER WITH YOU (ABC): This comedy improved on its pilot. It stars a couple faves of mine, Joanna Garcia of REBA and Debra Jo Rupp or THAT 70S SHOW, and is about three couples at different stages of their relationship. Real potential, but isnt quite there yet. A-

RUNNER UP: $#*! MY DAD SAYS (CBS), BLUE BLOODS (CBS) and LAW & ORDER: LA (NBC)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

FALL TV ROUND-UP 2010

Here is a listing of all the new shows premiering from Sept 1, 2010 thru Dec 31, 2010, affectionately known as the fall tv season. ALL shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CW will be graded, as well as all scripted shows on the other cable networks - including, but encompassing reality shows.

1. THE EVENT (NBC) A+
2. RAISING HOPE (FOX) A
3. BLEEP MY DAD SAYS (CBS) A-
4. NO ORDINARY FAMILY (ABC) A-
5. BLUE BLOODS (CBS) A-
6. REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS (Bravo) A-
7. LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES (NBC) A-
8. BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO) A-
9. BETTER WITH YOU (ABC) B+
10. HAWAII FIVE-O (CBS) B+
HELLCATS (CW) B+
OUTSOURCED (NBC) B
WALKING DEAD (AMC) B
MAD (CARTOON NETWORK): B
LONE STAR (FOX) B
CIRCUS (PBS) B
NIKITA (CW) B-
RUNNING WILDE (FOX) B-
THE DEFENDERS (CBS) B-
DETROIT 187 (ABC) B-
TERRIERS (FX) B-
NICK SWARDSON'S PRETEND TIME (COMEDY) C+
GLORY DAZE (TBS) C+
RUNNING WILDE (FOX) C+
MY GERNERATION (ABC) C
MIKE & MOLLY (CBS) C-
UNDERCOVERS (NBC) C-
SCHOOL PRIDE (NBC) D+
CHASE (NBC) D+
THE INCREASING POOR DECISIONS OF TODD MARGARET (IFC) D
THE WHOLE TRUTH (ABC) D
OUTLAW (NBC) D-
GIGANTIC (TeenNICK) F

Fall TV Review: Blue Bloods

Probably the biggest surprise of the season for me was my enjoying of this Tom Selleck-starring family crime drama of cops and attorneys as they make their way through the trials and tribulations of New York City. Where other crime shows are all about the crime, this particular drama is more about the family and how the justice system affects them. Well done! A-

Fall TV Review: $#*! My Dad Says

I read the Justin Halpren book that this comedy is based on (but I havent read the original blog), but I must say that William Shatner does a good job of capturing the mouthy father of the title. Nicole Sullivan is also a nice add as the daughter-in-law. A-

Fall TV Review: Outsourced

This India-set NBC comedy fits pefectly with THE OFFICE as a rag-tag group of mail-order office drones charm the audience with their quirks. MAYBE a bit offensive in terms of negative stereotypes, its still an enjoyable and well-written comedy with lots of appeal. B

Fall TV Review: Better With You

A near-all-star cast make this ABC comedy better than it should be, it least from the first two episodes. With the highly enjoyable Joanna Garcia of REBA and Debra Jo Rupp of THAT 70S SHOW, BETTER has lots of potential, and I am amused, but it will take better scripts to make this one stick on the red-hot Wednesday night schedule (especially with MR SUNSHINE and PERFECT COUPLES on deck). BETTER WITH YOU is a relationship comedy told through the perspectives a new romance, an 8 year romance and a 35-year marriage. B+

Fall TV Review: Running Wilde

A misfire starring Will Arnett as an obnoxious (isnt he always?) playboy millionaire with the hots for a miscast Kerri Russell. Two eps in and I am bored to tears...this is one of the few comedy mistakes of the season, and will surely be canned before it's troubles bring down the much-better RAISING HOPE that precedes it. C+

Fall TV Review: Law & Order: Los Angeles

I have never been a fan of L&O, but the glitz and glamour of Hollywood life make this new spin-off a hugely entertaining romp through the rich and famous of the West Coast elite. I'm sure future episodes will also probe the uglier sections of LA, as they should, but I see lots of entertainment possibilities with this new Dick Wolf creation. A Must-See. A-

Fall Tv Review: The Defenders

CBS does it again, taking the environs of Las Vegas seen in CSI and tossing in some witty banter between leads Jim Belushi and Jerry O Connell. Still, THE DEFENDERS isnt my cup of tea as a whole, but the pilot was at least well-polished and interesting. Nice job, CBS. B-

Fall TV Review: No Ordinary Family

A great opening and a great closing save this show from being a near-trainwreck at times. The effects are a little bland, and the acting a big stiff, but the tone of this hybrid show that mixes superhero action with some family drama and a big dose of comedy is just the kind of show that HEROES should have been more like instead of an ugly bloody mess that it in fact became. I have high hopes that FAMILY will improve, though it still has some pacing issues to overcome. A-

Fall TV Review: The Whole Truth

This legal ABC show just smells bad from the opening scenes... Rob Morrow terribly overacts, though Maura Tierney does a nice job. But not nice enough to save this bland, by the numbers legal procedural from the graveyard. And judging by its opening week numbers, its going to get there sooner rather than later. D

Fall TV Review: Undercovers

Usually JJ Abrams can do no wrong, but this yawner of a spy series is misfire. It doesnt have the fun tone of CHUCK, the tension of COVERT AFFAIRS, the tease of NIKITA, nor the retro kitsch of HART TO HART. Instead, its a snoozer of a romantic crime thriller. But the two leads sure look yummy (especially the male lead, but then again I am biased for a hot stud). C-

Fall TV Review: My Generation

This is one of those shows that sounded good on paper, but was executed terribly. The now-canned ABC series followed a group of year 2000 high school graduates documentary-style into the present. Unfortunately, the performances sucked! EVERY scene had at least one character turning to glance at the camera, as if being followed around for 10 years wasnt old-hat by now. I didnt need the reminder, I am too intelligent for those constant looksies toward me. So, buh-bye. C

Fall TV Review: Detroit 1-8-7

Kudos to ABC for delivering a gritty cop show ala NYPD BLUE that is filmed entirely in Detroit, thus making the images of the city-on-a-comeback a character all its own. Not so sure I am a fan of Michael Imperiori in this one, but the rest of the cast really delivered quite well. I also agree that ditching the documentary tone of the pilot was a wise move (hear that MY GENERATION?) B-