Thursday, September 2, 2010

Watch, DVR, Skip

Having soldiered on and on and on through the valley of new pilots for this fall, I think it's time to sum things up and give a brass tacks assessment of what worth your time and what isn't. I toyed long and hard with how best to do this. Just evaluate the pilots? Stack pilots up against returning shows? Give an hour-by-hour guide to what to watch? Network by network? Well, all those options seemed pretty daunting, but just looking at the pilots seemed the most useful and least taxing..

For a handy-dandy grid of shows day-by-day, go here.

For clarity's sake, here is how I'm breaking things down. I toyed with the idea of assessing what you should do with a show based on what its timeslot competition had to offer, but everyone watches different shows, so that seemed pretty useless. As such, my determinations of Watch, DVR, or Skip are based solely on my level of excitement about each show and the perceived merits of said show.

  • The Event
    While I've heard that the pilot does very little to tell you what "the event" actually is, it looks to be pretty intriguing and could definitely be spoiled by watercooler chatter the next day. It's a good option to watch live.

  • Lone Star
    I can't even quite decide why I'm excited for this one, but all the promotions I've seem have my interests piqued. I'm not sure how sustainable it is over the long-run, but I'm eager to see how it goes.

  • Hawaii Five-0
    This looks like a slick production and a solid addition to a regular line-up. From what I'm hearing, it's one of the few reboots that doesn't have you pining for the original, so it's at least worth giving it a shot.

  • No Ordinary Family
    I'm a little on the fence about this one, what with the disappointing casting decisions, but I've heard good things and see some definite potential for the series.

  • Undercovers
    I was intrigued by the trailer, but not blown away. Honestly though, a spy thriller from JJ Abrams? Yeah, I'll be tuning in, don't you worry.

  • Happy Endings
    I'm not saying this looks spectacular or anything, but as far as new comedies are concerned, this one looks a lot more promising than most. I at least smiled during the trailer and that's more than I can say for most.

  • Nikita
    Because you can't have too many spy thrillers on your plate, right?

  • Friends with Benefits
    It's hard to know what this show will actually look like now that half the regulars are being recast, but Ryan Hansen is always a treat, so I'm hopeful the show works.

  • The Cape
    This is definitely one of the riskier concepts out there, but if they pull it off, I think they could win big. I'm going to give this one a lot of leash because I'm really hoping it succeeds.

  • Terra Nova
    Well, if this show ever actually sees the light of day, it looks to be pretty spectacular...

  • Ride-Along
    Based more on what I hear about the show and its creative team than on the actual trailer, I'm giving this show a tentative "watch" designation. The lead actor may not pull off an American accent very well, but he sure is pretty to look at.

DVR (at least at first, then cut 'em loose or keep 'em)

  • Raising Hope
    As with most comedies, I doubt this will ever fall into "appointment TV" territory, but this looks like it could. At the very least, it would make for a nice "there's nothing on" option.

  • Running Wilde
    Given the creative team alone, I wanted to put this on the MUST WATCH AT ALL COSTS list, but until I see the revamped pilot, I'm relegating this one to DVR status. I'm hopeful they can make this one work, but based on the original trailer, I'm still cringing a little bit...

  • Detroit 1-8-7
    This strikes me as the kind of show that could turn into something I can really sink my teeth into, but it looks equally likely that it could be just another cop show. Till the chips have fallen where they may, I'll be DVRing this sucker.

  • The Defenders
    I'm guessing this one will eventually dip into "skip" territory, but it's a tough call based solely on the trailer. I'll give it a shot, but doubt it will stick.

  • The Whole Truth
    It's a slightly different take on the same old routine, so I guess that's enough reason to give it a shot. I'm less enthused now that Maura Tierney has been confirmed as the lead, though... I enjoyed her well enough on ER, but after Sally Field showed up, I thinjk we all lost a little faith...

  • Off the Map
    I lost most of my faith in Shondaland a long time ago, so the best this show can hope for on my schedule is a tentative spot on my DVR.

  • My Generation
    I teetered between "DVR" and "Skip" for this one, but I'm willing to at least give it a shot. It's a different approach and I hear it's better than it looks, so... DVR it is!

  • Mr. Sunshine
    Based on the people involved, I'm hopeful for this one, but it doesn't strike me as the kind of show that you absolutely have to watch the minute its on.

  • Perfect Couples
    This is another one that I could take or leave. It doesn't look awful or anything, but I'm just not all that excited about this. I suspect it will move from DVR to Skip pretty quickly, but here's hoping for better.

  • Harry's Law
    This is another one that's undergoing some serious changes, so it's hard to make a definitive call. Not only are they recasting some roles, but they're changing the dynamics too. Apparently one of the main guys is now going to be Kathy Bates' son or something... We'll see. I'm still hopeful, but less enthused.

  • Blue Bloods
    I've heard it's quite good, but at the end of the day, it's yet another cop show. I can see where this could turn into more, but at this point, second tier DVR spot is the best I can muster.

  • Mixed Signals
    There's a reason this one is at the bottom of this section and just before "Skip"... I'm really on the fence, but I'm willing to give it a shot.


  • Mike & Molly
    I've heard Mike & Molly is likable enough, but I'm not convinced. At its very best, it won't be appointment TV or anything. From what I've seen, it's not worth my time.

  • Chase
    This looks to be a woefully derivative mess. For as much as the cast thinks that they're doing something completely new, I'm afraid I've seen this show before. Only better. One of the regulars (Jesse Metcalf?) actually said that what they're doing is original because no other show has ever focused on US Marshals... Apparently he doesn't watch much TV. If you're hankering for a show about marshals, you'd be doing yourself a favor to skip this mess and get a hold of Justified or In Plain Sight instead. On a side note, who the hell keeps casting Kelli Giddish in shows? Was Past Life not enough for you? Really? I'm guessing she must have the same agent as Robin Tunney and Navi Rawat and that said agent is in actuality some sort of sorcerer.

  • Better with You (formerly Better Together)
    "Skip" just isn't as strong a word as one needs when telling people to avoid this show. "Schedule a Root Canal Instead" seems more apt. And would have a lot more laughs.

  • Hellcats
    See previous rant, mentally copy and paste. (Although I suspect that show probably has its fair share of unintentionally funny moments, the dentist will still be more fun.)

  • Law & Order: Los Angeles
    I think this franchise ran its course about 11 spin-offs ago.

  • Outsourced
    From the trailer alone, I was pretty sure they wouldn't be able to pull off this concept, but now, having heard from people who've seen the full pilot, we can remove all doubt. From what I hear, it's offensive and unfunny and embarrassing from beginning to end. Here's hoping to hell it doesn't catch on...

  • $#*! My Dad Says
    Don't be tempted by this one because of Shatner (I know we're all a little morbidly curious). This looks awful. Skip it. Skip it good.

  • Body of Proof
    I enjoy Dana Delany as much as the next person, but this show looks completely generic and overdone. If you've seen one crime procedural, you've seen them all, basically.

  • Love Bites
    I'm honestly not even sure this show is still going to be produced... The show has been recast, showrunners have exited, scripts have changed... it's a mess. But, I'm pretty sure there's nothing that could happen that would make it any better or that could make it any worse, so whatever it ends up being, it probably isn't worth watching.

  • Outlaw
    I toyed with putting this in the DVR list, but when all is said and done, I'm just not into it. Absurd premise, Jimmie Smits, law show... Nah.


A. Bishop said...

Funny that I found your blog looking for a book review, and came by your post about Lindsay Sand's A Quick Bite. I am as much of an avid reader as a I a TV fanatic, and I felt at home reading your posts! I hope you don't mind the fact I quoted and linked your url in my personal blog!

Michelle said...

Your blog rocks girl! I will definitely be watching the shows you suggested : ) However, the only show that really looked like something I'd actually stick to was "The Event"... it better be good. I need something to replace "LOST"...