Tuesday, October 05, 2010

New Kids On The Block

It feels strange going into the new season without Lost and 24. Lotta big shoes to fill. A few quick thoughts on some of the new genre shows:

The Event

I think the alien stuff is a bit of misdirection. My theory is that detainees and their kind are advanced humans from the future with a hidden agenda. It's an intriguing show that needs better developed characters and fewer gimmicks. Thankfully, flashbacks have been at a minimum since the dizzying pilot. The cliffhangers are fairly effective. It's the other forty-eight minutes that could use some work. The show has an unusually high opinion of itself. Nowhere as slick or as engaging as the promos would lead you to believe. What is the Event? Who is behind the conspiracy? How long will viewers put up with being left the dark? I groan at the thought of Jason Ritter's quest to find his missing girlfriend lasting the entire season. Actually, I'm being a tad optimistic with that prediction. Ratings have yet to stabilize. FlashForward all over again? I complain and yet I watch. Maybe it would benefit from a time slot change.

Nikita

This isn't your big sister's Nikita. Maggie Q comes off more like a brooding super-heroine than badass rogue assassin, but it seems to be a hit, by CW standards anyway. The producers have made some clever adjustments to make the show a good fit for their teen-girl oriented network. Alex training at Division is pretty much a high school setting with higher stakes: fail and die.

No Ordinary Family

I already posted my thoughts on the pilot here. This show probably has the best chance of seeing a second season. Seems to have a better handle on how to entertain their audience than the others.

Undercovers

It's almost hard to believe this came from the mind of the man who gave us Alias, Fringe and Lost. A run-of-the-mill premise about married spies lured out of an early retirement, in the hopes of reviving that spark in their relationship.... Look, not every J.J. Abrams series requires some fantastical, mind-blowing element in order to be successful, but it certainly helps. Networks seem infatuated with spy shows these days. Not sure why. Alias never had big ratings. And even though Chuck has an intensely passionate fanbase, its ratings are just so-so. As I blog, ABC is prepping a new spy show for next summer. *shrugs*

Sexpionage and cutesy banter can only take you so far. Starting with the Blooms as a couple puts the writers in a difficult spot. Where's the sexual tension going to come from? Hart to Hart was well over twenty years ago. Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw, while photogenic and likable, aren't Wagner and Powers. Look how much mileage Alias got out of Sydney and Vaughn. They should have ma-- I'll save that suggestion for my own scripts. Although the second episode showed some signs, the declining ratings don't suggest a lot of faith from viewers. A big disappointment.

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