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The Blogulator Presents: Fall New Scripted TV Preview, or, Who Will Suck The Least This Year (Part I: Sunday and Monday)

This Fall, like every fall, TV is new! And it's fresh! And...it's mostly boring!

After last year brought to live new mega-hits like ABC's Modern Family and (eventually) Cougar Town, alongside NBC laffers comedies Community and shows that amused me for at least half a year like Fox's Glee, Chris, DoktorPeace and I approached the new TV season with excitement. What's gonna be this Fall's Glee? You know, the show that we all like when it starts because it feels fresh, then starts to feel stale when song after song get piled upon plot point after plot point that feel repetitive after, like, seven episodes?

Sadly, the networks don't appear to give us much of anything like that. Of course, a lot of that could change--there are a few sure-fire appointment TV additions this year. (Mostly on cable.) For the most part, I think I'll mostly be catching up on shows I didn't totally finish this spring/summer like Treme, re-reviewing episodes of Six Feet Under (so much more satisfying than watching new episodes of True Blood!) and watching for the first time Friday Night Lights (Love it. So. Much.) Buuuuuuuut, for the interest of being snarky, here are descriptions about new scripted shows on TV this Fall, along with predictions of how long they will last on my DVR. Chris will tackle Tuesday and Wednesday tomorrow, and DoktorPeace will analyze Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Sunday
Weirdly, this Fall's TV schedule contains no new shows on the Big 5 (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW). So, I'll move right into cable.

BBC America
Luther (Oct 24)
What it's about: From the BBC America press release: "A brilliant detective tormented by the darker side of humanity, Luther shines a light into the hearts and minds of psychopaths and killers, and the shadowy spaces of his own soul." What's not said here is that it stars Idris Elba as the title character, which is obviously awesome. Elba, as said "brilliant" detective, questions killers and tries to hunt 'em down, using psychological trickery to track said killers down. The twist is that he's not also a serial killer, ala Dexter.
How long will it stay on the DVR? Probably as long as it takes for me to finish the season. Thankfully this is likely to happen because a) the season is only six episodes long and b) based on the trailer it appears to be a show totally in my wheelhouse. Plus, hearing Stringer Bell with a British accent, plus 'splosions, both metaphorical and literal, are plenty to keep me interested, even without knowing a ton about it.




AMC
The Walking Dead (Oct 31)
What it's about: Zombies, in a post-apocalyptic future, have overtaken the population, and a group of ragtag survivors gather together to battle the "walking dead", all while learning a little bit about each other. Okay, that was my complete and utter guess without having looked at the actual AMC press release: "The six-episode series tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors..." Yep, that's cool.
How long will it stay on the DVR? Again, as long as it takes for me to watch all six episodes(*). Showrunner Frank Darabount, he of The Shawshank Redemption fame, looks like he is using the source material of the comic book by Robert Kirkman quite well. AMC's track record has been pretty perfect already, what with the two best shows of the year Breaking Bad and Mad Men along with up-and-comer Rubicon effin' ess up. so I fully expect a four-for-four with The Walking Dead. Fanboys everywhere are surely excited!

(*)Yes! I love the fact that six episode seasons are coming into fashion! Please let this continue to happen, cable! My attention span is too short!



HBO
Boardwalk Empire (Sept 19)
What it's about: Atlantic City kingpin (and Treasurer! Rock on, accountants!) Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) does Gangster-like stuff in the roaring twenties, in a big-budget period piece run by second-hand man of The Sopranos Terrance Winter (is that, consigliere? Eh? Correct terminology?) and directed by Martin (I call him Marty, because we tight) Scorcese. Also, it's HBO's return to its wheelhouse of shows it is most famous for -- big, violent, well-written high budget shows about big ideas and stuff.
How long will it stay on the DVR? All twelve episodes will be watched, and probably as they air. Based on last night's premiere, Empire is a highly watchable, extremely well-done production, written tightly, albeit from a familiar genre. Based on critics' reviews of the first six episodes, the series expands and deepens as it goes on. Booyah.



Damn, new Sunday, you rock this Fall.

Monday
CBS
Mike and Molly
What it's about: Two fatties fall in love in a sitcom created by Chuck Lorre, he the creator of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. Other Blogulator staff are not fond of either show, whereas I kinda like Jim Parsons as Sheldon in Bing-Bang (as frequent Blogulator commenter Papa Thor calls it) and see a place for corny-yet-well-done CBS sitcoms. Also, Melissa McCarthy of Gilmore Girls is, reportedly, quite good as a lead actress.
How long will it stay on the DVR? Um, doubtful that it makes the DVR at all, especially given the Monday night mash-up that will be happening soon. But, I'll probably check out a few minutes once or twice. Doesn't mean I'll like it, but maybe if the Vikings are on Monday Night Football and there's a commercial, I'll change the channel to CBS, briefly.



Hawaii Five-0
What it's about: Remember this show called Hawaii Five-0? Well, this is that show, but done now instead of back then. Also, Daniel Dae Kim of Lost gets to stay in Hawaii and Grace Park of Battlestar Galactica looks good in a bikini.
How long will it stay on the DVR? At least through the pilot. Despite being a remake, I am very glad CBS is making a cop show that is not self-important and dour like the CSI series. I also love looking at any scripted TV that is in high-definition that is fun to watch. Sounds like this pretty much covers all those bases. Also, Grace Park looks good in a bikini. Did I mention the bikini?



NBC:
The Event
What it's about: Some mysterious shit happens, probably involving some secret government conspiracy. Said conspiracies lead to more conspiracies, which we are expected to care about as the conspiracies get revealed. Also, we don't know what "the event" is, but it's probably something crazy. But, hey! Blair Underwood and Zeljko Ivanic! They're good actors!
How long will it stay on the DVR? I highly doubt I'll have the patience for another Lost knockoff, so probably not long. I'm guessing five episodes, and I'll watch one-and-a-half, until I remember that Friday Night Lights is a lot better, and I have a lot of catching up to do before they air their final season(**). There is one hilariously bad line in the trailer that sounds a lot like a lifted lyric from a certain Coldplay song. I think the discovery of said line is about all you need from this show.

(**)Anybody know where I can find the final season of FriNightLights even if I don't subscribe to DirecTV this Fall? Eh?



Chase
What it's about: From the NBC press release: "'Chase' is a fast-paced drama from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer . . . that drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. marshals hunts down America's most dangerous fugitives." Um, yeah. Is this perhaps the most generic-sounding show of all time?
How long will it stay on the DVR? Well, it does take place in the oh-so-not-typical city of Houston, TX, and instead of starring a butt-kicking heart-of-gold dude, it stars a butt-kicking heart-of-gold chick. But, it's not going on the DVR. Sorry.



Fox:
Lone Star
What it's about: Speaking of the great state of Texas, a con man in Lone Star decides he is tired of the con and tries to get out of it. Shaky camera and indie-Americana soundtracks ensue, with Jon Voigt featured in the cast. An AMC/FX-style drama done right on Fox. Craaaazy.
How long will it stay on the DVR? Definitely will stick around for the first three or four episodes. Alan Sepinwall is saying that this is the best network pilot of the season, but have expressed their doubts that it will work as a long-term series, based on the shows premise, which could easily be solved in the length of a movie. Still, thanks Fox, for taking a risk on a decent looking show.


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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 6:35 PM |  

    I never thought I'd see Grace Park again after BSG (especially not in a bikini), so I'm happy for her. Now what did you say Hawaii 5-0 was about? Crime or someth...zzzzzzzz...

  2. Blogger chris | 1:14 PM |  

    Lone Start pilot was deece. Definitely has potential and director Marc Webb makes the generic network sheen work by imbuing fancy editing tricks, so hopefully future directors follow that tradition. Overall though, the world of the show, which is inherently convoluted and fake due to the plot, doesn't feel fleshed out or lived in. Hopefully that will change though with more eps and backstory.

    I read what The Event is. It's a plane that is trying to crash into the White House but gets sucked up by a wormhole before it can crash and kill the president. Yup.

    Also, while Sepinwall's post cleared up the exposition of B-walk Empire, it kind of pissed me off that an online recap was needed to put the pieces together. Nevertheless, it was hypnotic and the 75 minutes whizzed by.

  3. Blogger qualler | 8:28 PM |  

    Whoaaaaaaaa, spoiler alert, Chris! As far as BWalk, I much prefer a convoluted, complex pilot plot to a crappy pilot, although I hope that as we learn more about the show, the more we see the pilot as not that complicated, like what happened with The Wire for me.

  4. Blogger qualler | 10:55 AM |  

    Sounds like we won't have the opportunity to see if Lone Star's world develops more, as its premiere ratings were awful. Damn you, network TV.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/09/21/tv-ratings-monday-dancing-castle-two-and-a-half-men-up-lone-star-no-star-the-event-hawaii-five-0/64332

  5. Blogger chris | 5:51 PM |  

    Of course I prefer a complex pilot to a crappy one. And yes, The Wire was complicated, but I never needed a recap to explain to me the basics of who killed who and why. Other things, yes, but not the main plot events.

    Too bad about Lone Star, but not surprising. It's felt very out of place on FOX since it was announced. "A drama that doesn't involve killing and/or crime solving? No thanks," muttered America.

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