Imagine a romantic comedy mini-series. That's what "Bent" puts me in mind of, in a good way.
Recovering gambleholic and stud-pants contractor (young(ish) veteran actor David Walton ) bids on kitchen remodel for newly-divorced hottie, single-mom (Amanda Peet) and spends a lot more time there than the job requires including midnight emergencies to fix a fountaining faucet. Okay, so it's romantic comedy reality but it's still cute, clever and charming. The three "C's" of romcoms.
Toss in a great supporting cast like veteran Jeffrey Tambour and some really witty and funny dialogue, directed with precision, and you have a pretty terrific new entry to NBC's lineup.
And it's sucking in the ratings, unfortunately, so don't expect it to last.
The thing is, I'd watch Jennifer Morrison ("House, M.D.") recite the phone book. So although I wasn't that interested in "Once Upon A Time" I wanted to see what Ms Morrison was up to after her amazing turn as Dr. Allison Cameron.
The premise: The characters from film and fairy tale are real. They've been cursed by the evil queen (Lana Parrilla) and all their happy endings have been cancelled. If this is familiar then you've probably seen the film "Enchanted," another Disney offering which was a *lot* more fun and charming and at least tried to remain consistent.
Given this premise, I'd probably be okay with this show but the creators made things even more confusing. Follow (if you can) -
AMC is on a roll with hour-long dramas like "The Walking Dead," "MadMen," "Breaking Bad" and a few others.
"Hell On Wheels" is probably going to turn out to be another success story for them.
ABC is determined to pwn Wednesday nights. Check this lineup: The Middle, Modern Family, Happy Endings and now this snappy new comedy from Warner Brothers Television.
Suburgatory features single parent George Altman (Jeremy Sisto) an erstwild architect who finds a box of unopened condoms in his teen daughter's possesion, freaks, and packs her up to move from NYC to the 'Burbs where he thinks she won't be subjected to bad influences. You're kidding, right? Can anyone really be this legtimately stupid? Besides having no clue about how sexually active teens in the suburbs are, he is lost as to how to raise said daughter Tessa (Jane Levy) during these difficult years of young adulthood. Tell me why all adults in these shows are fundamentally clueless. No wonder this country is in the crapper - the once smart and hip kids somehow grow up to be stupid adults. How will we ever get ahead?
So they move, weird neighbors, country club where the men are orange and the women are all MILFs, school, etc. The end of the 1st act. More to follow after commercials including the cast of broadly-drawn friends. Including regulars Allie Grant, Alan Tudyk and Cheryl Hines who wants to be bed Sisto.
It's the 22nd Century and you've just scored an orange for your illegal family. The environmentalists have lost the war and the world is choking on its own foul emissions so everyone has to wear re-breathers and live in sealed steel caves and the population police are a'knocking on the crib because you've got 2.5 kids, not the legal two and they want to know why.
What's a parental unit to do?
"PanAm" is one of a few new offerings that take viewers back to a simpler time and place where kids were allowed to tour the cockpit of a jet and women wore girdles. My main question to this would be "why?"
The nostalgia boom engendered by the hit show "MadMen" has found its way into this oddball drama which stars Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosley, Karine Vanasse, Annabelle Wallis, Dean Lowrey, and Mike Vogel. If you notice a preponderance of female leads it's because the show basically follows four young women as they pursue what is considered the epitome of 60's femnitude (made up word) - being a PanAm Stewardess. Glamour, elegance, travel! And yes, that is the correct term for a woman in the air at that time before if became "flight attendant."
The eye-candy factor is decently high - all these women and dashing men are gorgeous. I almost expected a bright shaft of light to blink off the young pilot's teeth when he smiled the first time.
Characters Welcome - that's USA Network's catch-phrase and a good one it is too since they work hard to create memorable characters if not totally believable storylines. "Suits" is the latest in that pantheon of memorable characters and unbelievable stories.
When I grow up - or die and am recycled I'd want to come back as Harvey Specter a character so cool (as played by Gabriel Macht) that he can turn down beautiful women and they actually lie to their husbands and confess to sleeping with him even if they didn't.
Spector is the city's best closer - defined in this case as someone who can take a client and either charm or push their hand to sign the contract or agreement his firm is trying to win. Now, this in and of itself would be enough to get most of us through the episodes because Macht's Spector is a charming and whip-smart S.O.B. and he is convincingly written and played. But the show's creator (Aaron Korsh) has built-in another unique character in the form of Mike Ross (Patrick Adams) who has an eidetic memory - in other words, once he reads something he never forgets it. Up to this point he's used his powers for evil taking LSATs for slacker law students. Now he has to put his potential to work for goodness and this cutthroat law firm. Forget why he hasn't become a real attorney to this point - it doesn't wash and may not matter to most so just shake your head, shrug your shoulders, and move on, citizen
Maybe it's just me getting older and growing more curmudgeonly. But as I watched the pilot ep for TNT's new series "Falling Skies" I kept hearing and seeing the echoes of "V" (both versions) "War of the Worlds" (all versions) "Battlefield L.A." "Battlestar Galactica" "Walking Dead" and a dozen other humans-on-the-run , post-apocalyptic invasion movies and teleplays.
Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. But it's also not a good thing.
If I tell you that "Call Me Fitz" is a Canadian television series starring Jason Priestley as Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick who is an opportunistic used-car salesman - who then seems to gain a conscience in the form of a morally upstanding new salesman named Larry (Ernie Grunwald) - and whose normally consequence-free life is constantly thwarted by said conscience - you may get a sense of what this wacky comedy is about.
But not really...
“The Killing” is a new series from AMC which does a tremendous amount of things right. It’s moody, atmospheric, raw and edgy. Well-written (mostly) and well-acted, the expert direction from Hollywood veterans sets us into a place where almost anything (bad) can happen. But more than anything else, "The Killing" takes its time getting to places that a lot of suspense dramas wouldn’t. This bucks the current trend of frenetically paced and oft-times unsatisfying TV (think the pilot of "V".)
There’s an actioney opening that’s a bit cliched that propels us into the grey world of Seattle, WA - this is Rosie Larsen trying desperately to escape from someone who is chasing her with obvious ill-intent. This chase is oddly cut in with lead detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos from “Big Love”) jogging along a similar path. Rather ham-handed symbolism but perhaps this is also to give us conspiracy fans something to lock into. I found it distracting and unnecessary although, obviously, there is some ending symbolism here that has to be absorbed.
I didn’t think I’d like “Happy Endings.” I’ve sworn off sitcoms for the most part except for “Modern Family” and the occasional ep of “The Middle.” One hour dramas have dominated the market for years after most sitcoms became lame and un-funny.
There appears to have been a resurgence. And a lot of truly funny material is now being offered. “Happy Endings” is part of that resurgence.
Yes, Matthew Perry is still very funny in case you're wondering. I was - that's why I tuned into "Mr. Sunshine." How would the schtick from "Friends" and a few uneven movies travel? Well, it seems. It does and he is still a very compelling character actor who always seems on the verge of either a nervous breakdown or a smart-assed quip with a face that is as comedically expressive as any actor working today.
Before anything else, let's all honor Dick Wolf the creator of the "Law and Order" franchise. For twenty years, the original show and its spinoffs have been wildly successful creating a media empire for Mr. Wolf that would have made Aaron Spelling envious.
The original, titled "Law and Order" will take it's final bow this year. But taking its place is the first of the franchise spinoffs to be set outside of NYC (besides the British and European versions.)
And the differences are both vast and nothing at all.
Cold opening with someone murdered, detectives quickly on the case. investigation, surprises, prosecution of criminal(s), surprises, sometimes more surprises, sometimes moribund ending. Check all that. Next case.
Disclaimer(s): I haven't seen probably even half of the new Fall offerings. I've seen about seven shows. I don't get the premium channels - just no time to watch - so I am not going to comment on some of their offerings of which I understand a terrific new show called "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO has emerged.
"Terriers" is a recent offering from F/X's original programming. I don't love it enough to recommend it but I don't hate it enough to tell you to skip it.
Created by Ted Griffin ("Oceans 11") it stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James as loser private detectives who almost always end up on top of the situation in a (sometimes) funny way. The pilot and 2nd episode that I saw was uneven and at times just plain lousy and dumb. But, and this is the rub, there are also moments of real fun, sincerity and solid drama that elevate this show.
Series today really don't get a lot of chances to find an audience and I'm wondering if the USA network Psyche/Monk/In Plain Sight/Burn Notice crowd is going to want to adopt this one.
It's the Summer - a time once-upon-a-time when all you got was reruns. Now a lot of shows like "Rescue Me" and "Sons of Anarchy" premier to keep you more than amused and engaged while the big hitters are on hiatus. "Louie" is here to do just that...
That's really the only thing you can say about "Louie" that adequately covers this series. A semi-autobiographical look at comedian Louis C.K.'s New York life, it follows the at-odds-with-the-world Louie as he does comedy, raises his daughter and dates. He's recently divorced.
It’s not fair to review these shows together - they’re so different and “Rescue Me” has five seasons of inventive and startling drama to its credit. However, the shows themselves point to a divergence of attitude in what’s being produced these days versus what was once-upon-a-time the current market in television.
“Rookie Blue” is like “Twilight.” As “Twilight” is vampire-light with pretty people acting like there’s serious issues at stake, “Rookie Blue” is cop-light with pretty people acting like there’s issues at stake. No doubt, being a rookie is frightening, exhilarating, satisfying and frustrating work. This show isn’t going to make you really experience or understand that. Instead it’s “Gray’s Anatomy” for the police world - which is the trend, of course, these days in network television. Don’t dive too deep into those dark waters because there be monsters there.
Too easy. It's too easy to say: "The Good Guys...isn't," uh, good. So I won't. But it isn't - not really. Maybe if you only had a choice between "Murder She Wrote" reruns or this you'd be excused for sitting through this odd (not in a good way) and uneven one hour comedy.
The premise - is there one? Two mismatched cops who do small-time property crime investigations (that always lead to real big cases) are partners.
"Justified," is not the latest Justin Timberlake CD but rather a new drama on FX based on novels and a short story by Elmore Leonard. For those who don't know, Leonard is an American novelist and screenwriter who has been selling stories about hard-scrabble men and women since the 1950's. A lot of his early work was in Westerns but evolved to become more noirish-type material.
This series is a modern-day western that features Timothy Olyphant in the lead as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. He walks tall, talks soft, and "pulls" as fast as any gunslinger in the Old West.
The premise is simple: Catch some bad guys. The opening gambit is set in Miami where Marshall Givens has given a drug cartel "gunman " 24hrs to get out of "Dodge."
Well first off, if you have no idea what a steampunk story is I have to say shame on you. Where were you through the 1980's to the 1990's. To help those of you to remember the past or just to get an idea of what exactly is behind a steampunk story, check out the link to the wikipedia article on what is steampunk.
So enough with the refresher course. Just recently I've been watching a new webisode on the internet called Riese. Located at (http://www.riesetheseries.com). It started out last year on the Chapter 1 story and then was just getting started on Chapter 2 toward the end of the year. Each chapter has at least 5-6 episodes in them which are at least 5-10 minutes long. In and of itself, that would not sound that impressive. But the cool thing about the webisode was that it was done
I was certainly predisposed to want to like "Human Target," Fox's latest brain-candy entry. I have been a fan of the lead actor, Mark Valley, since he headed up the superb and under-appreciated, quickly canceled "Keen Eddie" which also stared a funny and terminally-cute Sienna Miller.
Valley has massive comedic chops (and a marvelous deadpan delivery) and was and is physically able to deliver on any action moment the "Keen Eddie" producers threw at him. These talents are in ample display in "Human Target" the adventures of a private bodyguard who appears to be just that much better than everyone else in the business. We know this because his first client won't take "no" for an
I'm not a huge sitcom guy so it came as quite a surprise when I watched and enjoyed "The Middle" with Patricia Heaton ("Everyone Love Raymond" - or is it Everybody - whatever) and Neil Flynn, the janitor guy from "Scrubs." They play middle-class parents sorta-kinda living in the middle of the country. One of their children is the kid from "Frozen River" - a really talented actor named Charlie McDermott - in fact, they're all very good actors including the seemingly requisite "geeky kid."
It's perhaps not as comedically challenging or creative as "Modern Family" (another fav of mine) but it is off-beat and wacky at times and has solid, PG-13 comedy moments that can delight. I actually believe this family can exist - they seem real and their issues are as mundane as needing a new dryer or finding a job in today's horrible economy - but getting that dryer is a fun and enjoyable trip. Heaton's character is sunny and funny and bounces in and out of scenes like she's a comedy pixie sprinkling laughing dust on everything. She also narrates the eps. The father, played by Neil Flynn, is droll and sarcastic, a perfect foil for Heaton's unflagging optimism.