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Archive for the ‘First Look’ Category

CBS is #1 (in ratings) for a reason

With a couple of weeks under our belt there is a reason CBS has all the top 5 new shows, that reason is the continued use of the older demos and not focusing on the finicky 18-49.

While I am not a fan of S#!& My Dad Says, Mike & Molly, or The Defenders, Hawaii 5-0 is still part of my schedule Monday nights partly because, well, Hawaii, and Blue Bloods is Saturday morning must-watch.

Tonight’s Blue Bloods focuses on a cop killer with guest star Jennifer Esposito, who will be on for at least 4 non-consecutive episodes as Donnie Wahlberg’s partner. The series is getting close to the perfect procedural-personal ratio that The Good Wife does to perfection, but with a touch more family and less cop drama, this could be the best new drama on TV.

Check out a preview below for the episode airing tonight at 10/9c!

Fall TV 2010: My Review of CW’s Nikita

With the new fall season starting, new TV is bring us the good, the bad, and the mediocre, but how do you sort out the good and the bad? Here is what to watch this fall, so you can see the best new friendships, new loves, new action, and new heart. Now, CW 2nd and last new show of the fall pulls to our screens tonight in the way of a familiar name, Nikita….

What the CW Says:

When she was a deeply troubled teenager, Nikita was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division, who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn’t tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Ultimately, Nikita was betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation. For the time being, however, Division continues to recruit and train other young people, erasing all evidence of their former lives and turning them into cold and efficient killers. One of these new recruits, Alex, is just beginning to understand what lies ahead for her and why the legendary Nikita made the desperate decision to run. The series stars Maggie Q as Nikita, Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex, Shane West as Michael, Aaron Stanford as Birkhoff, Ashton Holmes as Thom, Tiffany Hines as Jaden, with Melinda Clarke as Amanda and Xander Berkeley as Percy.

Tune In: I have never seen another Nikita series, so all I am basing this review on is the new CW pilot airing tonight at 9/8c staring Maggie Q.

Nikita works so, so well, and that is mostly all due the action packed nature of its star Maggie Q, who while kicking and punching delivers emotion and depth to her betrayed character. The pilot however features a very unexpected ending and is very much more than a Nikita-fronted series. The series also co-stars Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother) as Alex, a newbie to the program that is hiding a lot more than she lets on to her teachers played by Xander Berkley, Shane West, and the tough Melinda Clarke. Nikita is fun, but dark which goes perfectly with its lead in The Vampire Diaries.

Watch, Record, Skip? Watch, watch, watch. The Nikita pilot is a uniquely structured thrill ride that is not aimed for 40-something males rather a younger generation of action seekers and intrigue seekers a like. Nikita airs out of The Vampire Diaries tonight at 9/8c on the CW.

Fall TV 2010: My Review of CW’s Hellcats

With the new fall season starting, new TV is bring us the good, the bad, and the mediocre, but how do you sort out the good and the bad? Here is what to watch this fall, so you can see the best new friendships, new loves, new action, and new heart. First up, CW leads the network for premieres, starting with Hellcats….What the CW Says:

HELLCATS is a coming-of-age story about Marti Perkins, a young, pre-law student at LancerUniversity in Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is cool, hip and alt, but her world flips upside down, literally and figuratively, when she loses her scholarship, and realizes the only way she can stay in school is by reigniting her dormant teen gymnastic skills to win a place on Lancer’s legendary cheerleading team, The Hellcats. Against her every instinct, Marti goes for it and makes the squad, and is thrust into a world of camaraderie, backstabbing and the intersection of sports, backroom academia and big money. Marti’s new roommate, Savannah Monroe, a petite, peppy Texan, is among the diverse cast of athletes, undergrads, family and friends, all set on the sprawling campus of a powerhousecollege football program in the deep South. The series stars Aly Michalka as Marti Perkins, Ashley Tisdale as Savannah Monroe, Heather Hemmens as Alice Verdura, Robbie Jones as Lewis Flynn, Matt Barr as Dan Patch, with Sharon Leal as Vanessa Lodge and Gail O’Grady as Wanda Perkins.

Tune In: I think you can Hellcats, the first Glee-repeat for TV, after the FOX smash hit big last year and networks love to try to tap in to that frenzy. Hellcats does not rely of song but big cheer numbers to your favorite pop stars seem to headline the pilot, which airs tonight at 9/8c after Top Model.

Hellcats strength is in its fun of spotting familiar faces, like the leading lady Aly Michalka who you may know from one of Disney Channel’s best shows Phil of the Future, also in the cast is Battlestar Galactica‘s Aaron Douglas as seemingly the school villain. However, that is where the fun stops.

Tune Out: Tom Welling produced this CW drama, and I think he better stick to the sci-fi because Hellcats never connects and is a lackluster teen drama, that really fails in delivering the fun. The pilot is bleak and condescending both in its characters personalities and plot. The pilot never addresses why I should care for Marti, who seemingly has to become a cheerleader, but all of sudden becomes the leader. The connections just are not there.

Watch, Record, Skip?: The show certainly has its target audience and The CW was wise to air it out of the most competitive Top Model in a while but its nothing to DVR each week. Hellcats airs tonight at 9/8c on The CW.

Fall TV 2010: My Review of FX’s Terriers

With the new fall season starting, new TV is bring us the good, the bad, and the mediocre, but how do you sort out the good and the bad? Here is what to watch this fall, so you can see the best new friendships, new loves, new action, and new heart. Up now, cable can be new too in the fall, and FX is swinging hard with Terriers…

FX has had a pretty strong year. The Timothy Olyphant led Justified was a success, they have grown the comedy brand with Louie and The League, plus the brilliant Archer, and they took Damages out with a bang (even though it returns for two more years with DirectTV.)

Now after being on the shelve for a significant amount of time, the Shawn Ryan (The Shield) produced drama Terriers premieres Wednesday at 10/9c. Terriers, revolves around two private investigators played by Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James, who are for profit with any job they do and have friends that tend to get in trouble in lot which in turns sends them down a slippery path too. Hank Dolworth (Logue) is a recently divorced ex-cop (Rockmond Dunbar), who is trying to get by while dealing with his attorney and ex-wife (Kimberly Quinn) , and getting in trouble with his ex-partner, while Britt Pollock is keeping his girlfriend (Laura Allen) happy while he goes and breaks in to high-end buildings.

Terriers is a wonderful San Diego-set drama that mixes dark comedy and intense situations, most in part to the great performance by Logue. I have seen the first five episodes of the drama and it is a nice mix of continued storylines that span the majority of the first five as well as contained plots including one involving Dollhouse‘s intriguing Olivia Williams.

Terriers may be the best cable series on this fall and you can start watching Wednesday on FX at 10/9c.

First Look: Look at the Season 2 Cast of “Glee”

Are you ready Gleeks? September 21st is just around the corner and FOX has just released this new cast photo for year two. It’s the same concept as last year but does it make you happy that Brittany and Santana are now full-fledged members of the team?

Credit: Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

Summer Premieres: ABC Family’s Huge

ABC Family, you are one fickle network. You bring us great repeats of Gilmore Girls, Whose Line, brought us the wonderfully original Kyle XY, the funny 10 Thinks I Hate About You, the newly obsessive Pretty Little Liars, but then you give us the unspeakably horrendous Secret Life of the American Teenager and now Huge.

Huge, premiering tonight at 9/8c on the network is certainly a welcomed effort and not nearly as unwatchable as its lead-in but not likes of Gina Torres can bring the fat camp-based drama back. Starring Hairspray‘s Nikki Blonsky as an overweight girl sent to a camp that tries to whip her into shape and turns out just to be another high school-esque popularity contest is nothing to write-home about. Clichéd writing and acting just adds to the weirdly shot pilot that includes as I said before the can-do-no-wrong Gina Torres. I expect better ABC Family (P.S. Still upset over Kyle XY but Pretty Little Liars makes up for it almost). Check out a preview below if you are still interested and if you want to just see the pilot it airs tonight at 9/8c…. (more…)

First Look: My Reviews of ABC’s Scoundrels and The Gates

Scoundrels on ABC

Summer TV = Mix of reality crap, reality fun, and reality. Now, original scripted shows with promotion. Wow.

What ABC Says about “Scoundrels” and “The Gates”:

A family of small-town criminals is shaken when their father is sentenced to a surprisingly long prison term, leaving mom to take care of the criminally enterprising brood. In an effort to keep her kids out of trouble, she decides it’s time for the family to go straight, despite their best efforts to maintain the status quo, on the premiere of “Scoundrels,” SUNDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Virginia Madsen, Independent Spirit Award winner as well as an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee (“Sideways,” “The Astronaut Farmer”) stars as Cheryl West, the mother who must take charge and try to keep her kids on the straight and narrow. “Scoundrels” also stars David James Elliott as Wolfgang “Wolf” West, Patrick Flueger as Logan West/Calvin “Cal” West, Leven Rambin as Heather West, Vanessa Marano as Hope West and Carlos Bernard as Sergeant Mack.

The Monohan family move into their new home in The Gates, an exclusive community of perfectly manicured lawns and friendly neighbors. But things grow complicated when Nick Monohan, the new Chief of Police, has to investigate those neighbors in a missing persons case during his first day on the job. Claire and Dylan Radcliff fight to hide not only their involvement in Nick’s case, but their rather unusual family secret. Meanwhile, Charlie Monohan tries to adjust to his new school, finding a friend in the beautiful but unavailable Andie Bates. Just when his family is finally settling in, Nick’s world is rocked by a late-night caller with some terrible news, on the premiere of “The Gates,” SUNDAY, JUNE 20 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

“The Gates” stars Frank Grillo as Nick Monohan, Marisol Nichols as Sarah Monahan, Rhona Mitra as Claire Radcliff, Luke Mably as Dylan Radcliff, Travis Caldwell as Charlie Monohan, Skyler Samuels as Andie Bates, Colton Haynes as Brett Crezski, Chandra West as Devon, Victoria Platt as Peg Mueller, Justin Miles as Marcus Jordan and Janina Gavankar as Leigh Turner.

The Gates

As I said in the top, this is not what networks especially broadcast do in the summer and I really am happy that ABC is giving it a shot and actually promoting them. I can not tell you how many commercials I have seen for the “New Summer Sunday” during the NBA finals and all across their finales last month, sadly I just wish the shows were better.

To start with the Scoundrels at 9/8c, it is not the first incarnation of this original series out of New Zealand. In 2008, Catherine O’hara led an ABC pilot that was thisclose to getting a pickup but the strike put a dent in their plans. I read the script and it was so, so much better than this version that is led by a Oscar-nominated Virginia Madsen. Scoundrels does not try to not be cheap. The look and the music of the series is so little put together and off-putting and really highlighted the shallow writing. The acting is not half bad and the girls Vanessa Marano and Leven Rambin are both funny and charming, while Patrick Flueger is horrendous in both characters he plays and it does not help that the wig he wears as the stealing son is so, again, cheap.

At 10/9c, another international co-production like ABC’s Gravity from last year is this time is The Gates. Again as, us Americans want, we get [spoiler alert] vampires and more supernatural goodness. As much as I wanted to go into this with a “Why!” attitude, I came out pleasantly but cautiously optimistic. I can tell you that you have seen The Gates before, many times, but I did not mind seeing this Desperate Housewives-esque drama again. Rhona Mitra plays the lead, a suburban addicted vampire and she is deliciously fun and the kids and secrets in the pilot keep me engaged. However, the entry-point of the show a new family moving into the gated community is dull, and the patriarch, the new police chief story is a procedural trapped in a show that does not need that aspect. Hopefully the producers will see this problem.

If you are watching True Blood on Sunday and want more dramas it is not a terrible idea to check into The Gates at 10/9c, even though it might not be totally worth it but just skip over its lead in and do yourself a favor.