Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'Last Resort': Initial Reaction

'Last Resort,' ABC's most recent entry into the action-adventure serial, launches with an intelligent and thrilling first hour.  It does what the best of pilot episodes are supposed to do: has the audience counting the days (or hours) until the next episode.

Until then, we will just have to watch the pilot episode, titled "Captain," a couple more times.  Now, I've never been a fan of pilot episodes. By this I mean, for the shows that I watch, I rarely (if ever) consider a pilot to be among the top episodes of any given series.   This is why I always find it odd when first year programs submit their pilot episodes to be considered at the Emmys (I don't know if this it what Homeland did).  If the pilot were considered the best episode, then the entire show would be a down hill experience after its opening act.  No, as mentioned above, a pilot's job is to serve as a hook to reel in viewers for the next installment.  And Last Resort's pilot definitely succeeded in that regard.

NOTE: This is not a review of the show.  This is an "Initial Reaction."  The following are the elements of the first hour of Last Resort that caught my attention and have stuck with me.  I do speculate on the future of this show more than I have done in past Initial Reactions.  This is because I don't want to give out too many spoilers since some will be reading this before they watch the episode.  "Captain" is available on Hulu prior to its Thursday, September 27th premiers (8pm EST) premiere.

With that said SPOILERS still appear in this post.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FREE Showtime!! 'Homeland' Recaps Are A Go

Spoke to the nicest Comcast Customer Service Representative ever this morning. Reduced the bill by $20/month over the next year and gave us Showtime free for the next six months. Now I can watch and write about Homeland on the night it actually airs. That's a good thing too since I really don't see myself regularly recapping any other show this fall. Plus, my brother Jimmy can get to watch Dexter. I will probably write on that show's season premiere and/or I will let Jimmy guest recap it himself if he wants. Unfortunately, Showtime doesn't offer up too many good movies so the benefits may end with their original programming. Still, not a bad deal.

Monday, September 17, 2012

'Revolution': Initial Reaction

This new 'Lost' imitator is a little more promising than past 'Lost' imitators.  However, 'Revolution's first hour makes it abundantly clear that network executives still don't truly understand why the island-set mystery ever worked in the first place.

I write this knowing perfectly well that J.J. Abrams has a producer credit for Revolution--a producer credit that really serves more as an endorsement for the show.  Abrams neither wrote nor directed the pilot of Revolution.  Compare that with Lost, where he both co-wrote and directed the pilot and then played a key role in setting up the first hints at a larger mythology.   Now, Revolution was written by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man).  Two men who are definitely capable of creating an intriguing television show about a world that exists without electricity.  It just seems doubtful that the suits at NBC will allow Kripke and his writers make such a version of the show.

'Bates Motel' Casting and 'Community' minus Donald Glover?

'Bates Motel"

Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) has been cast as a young Norman Bates in A&E's upcoming Bates Motel.  Max Theriot (Kit Kitterage: An American Girl) has also been cast as Norman's older brother, Dylan.  For those failing to remember an older brother from Hitchcock's Psycho, Dylan is a new character developed for this series.  Vera Farmiga was cast as Norman's mother, Norma, a few weeks ago.  A&E also released this new poster to The Hollywood Reporter.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Donal Glover (Troy from NBC's Community) is developing a new comedy at NBC. The potential pilot could be made for the 2013-2014 season and would see Glover in the lead role if it got picked up to series.  Community, which has already lost creator Dan Harmon, wouldn't be the same if it continued into a fifth season minus Troy.  Almost seems like NBC and Glover aren't even taking Community into consideration with the development of a new show.  Have they already accepted that the fourth season will be its last?  I hope not.

Source: TV Line

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ratings for Tuesday Night: Go On and The New Normal

'Go On ' and 'The New Normal' Off to Decent Starts

The second episode of Go On did pretty well for its regular timeslot debut.  The Matthew Perry show was seen by 9.6 million total viewers and had a 3.4 rating in the 18-49 demo.  It appears that the post-Olympics preview was a wise strategy for this show.  For now, anyway. 

The New Normal didn't fare as in its second episode.  It had 7.0 million total viewers and a 2.5 rating among viewers aged 18-49.  Pretty much the same as ratings as the Monday night premiere.

For more details on Nielsen Ratings on these and other network programs from Tuesday nights see TVbytheNumbers.

'Go On': Initial Reaction

Go On (Tuesdays @ 9:00 pm NBC)

Matthew Perry hasn't been the luckiest of actors since Friends ended nearly a decade ago.  He starred in the NBC drama Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip in 2006.  That Aaron Sorkin produced show only last for one season.  A couple of years ago he starred in ABC's Mr. Sunshine.  That half-hour comedy only lasted for 13 episodes.  For the 2012-13 TV season NBC and Matthew Perry are making one more attempt at bringing back that old Friends magic with the group therapy comedy Go On.

Like The New Normal that aired after it, NBC had already previewed the Go On pilot prior to the official Tuesday night premiere.  The preview of the pilot was first broadcast in a post-Olympics spot on August 8th.  The show attained a robust sample viewing audience of over 15 million viewers.  The pilot was re-broadcast on Monday night.  After seeing the first episode, I was willing to give the show another shot.   It will be interesting to find out how many people decided to do the same (the ratings for last night will be posted this afternoon).

'The New Normal': Initial Reaction

The New Normal (Tuesdays @ 9:30 NBC)

First off, I didn't pay close attention to NBC's schedule of its new series. The New Normal's pilot actually aired on Monday after The Voice.  Tuesday had NBC broadcasting the second episode, called "Sofa's Choice," in the show's regular Tuesday night time slot.  Fortunately, it is easier to write a review (or reaction) to a show when you have seen more than one installment.  Unfortunately, I think two episodes of The New Normal may have been two too many.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Soft Start for Fall Begins Today

A Couple of Networks Get the Fall Season Going

Returning Shows

The Voice--Season 3 (NBC) @8pm.  Premiered Monday.  Continues on Tuesday.
Parenthood--Season 4 (NBC) @10pm

Sons of Anarchy--Season 5 (FX)10pm

I didn't include any of these shows in the partial calendar I posted a few weeks ago.  That's because I've never watched them.  I will never watch The Voice out of principle.  On the other hand, I've heard good things about Parenthood and Sons of Anarchy in the past.  Both those shows are available on Netflix. So the opportunity to sample those two dramas is always there.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wonder Woman to the Small Screen

Today, it's the CW's turn to take a shot at bringing DC Comics Wonder Woman back to the small screen.  For the 2011-2012 TV season, producer David E. Kelly made a Wonder Woman pilot for NBC with Adrianne Palicki playing the DC heroine.  NBC did not pick up that pilot.  Warner Bros. TV has now decided to give a Wonder Woman show another try.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall is Here: Time for New and Returning Shows

 What to Expect from this Blog in the Coming Weeks

The best time of year for TV fans is almost here.  The traditional launch of a new TV season usually begins in Autumn.  This mean the old Networks are going to be launching a whole new slate of programs, most of which will be cancelled before the mid-season break.  Fortunately, there are plenty of cable favorites that are returning as well including Homeland, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, and Dexter for those who still care (I'm looking at you brother Jimmy).  Sorry, Mad Men won't be back until next Spring.  I won't be writing up on all these shows.  After all, according to Entertainment Weekly's cover of their Fall Preview issue, there will be 104 shows this fall.  104!! Too many for one man.  But based off what I've read from some critics and my own personal taste, there are definitely a fair number of new shows that I will be writing about in the coming weeks.  After the jump, a truncated calendar of key premiere dates.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Breaking Bad 5.8 "Gliding Over All" Recap


Woodrow Wilson...Willy Wonka....Walter White?

Back when Hank jokingly proposed the idea that W.W. was indeed his brother-in-law, Walter was able to reach into his quick wit toolbox and find a Walt Whitman quote on a previous page in Gael's "Lab Notes."  Of course, Walt was able to do this because he's incredibly f---ing smart!! And yet, smart people tend to make the stupidest and laziest of mistakes.  How else can anyone explain Walt leaving Gael's note of appreciation in the copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass that Gael gave to him.  The only answer I can come up with is that Walt never actually opened the book.  To be honest, I've recently done a rewatch of Breaking Bad.  Seasons one to four.  But I really can't recall when Gael gave Walt the book.  Does anyone else know the history of this particular copy of Leaves of Grass?