CliqueClack TV

My (oh so important) thoughts on some new fall shows

I woke up with visions of premieres dancing in my head. It was kind of like watching Buzz Aldrin on 'Dancing with the Stars.' He started with iconic promise, but it soon became obvious he was beyond his capabilities and tried too hard.

I wholly admit that I didn’t watch that many new shows this week. There were very few that called to me. This is NOT the norm for me during premiere week. Any other year, I would have plotted for weeks in advance what programs to watch, created a spreadsheet, found areas where there were more programs than DVR availability … yes, television is that important to me.  There were a lot of new shows, but even their titles were so uninspired they couldn’t draw me in.

I watched The Event for the hype, and it was OK. While premiere week in general was underwhelming, The Event was a bit overwhelming. The cast is huge and when you add in flashbacks, it felt like they were trying to keep your head spinning rather than tell a good story. Not to say I won’t tune in again, but I don’t feel confident in its staying power.

A few moments into The Whole Truth and I remembered that I never liked Maura Tierney or Rob Morrow. Despite how it went down, I am reminded how grateful I am that Lauren Graham replaced Maura on Parenthood. Maura is rather wooden, and seems incapable of emotion. Morrow does a great job of whining and standing around with his teeny mouth hanging open. Nothing good there.

$h*! My Dad Says wasn’t bad. I love William Shatner and the role is perfectly suited for him. He’s funny, no doubt about it. However, I read the book and a lot was lost in translation, bits I felt would have better served the plot. The show should have Henry’s mother rather than bring bitchy Bonnie (Nicole Sullivan) to the canvas. Shrewish screeches were unnecessary to the plot.  But, Michael started out fresh, and found it quite good. I’ll give it another try.

Even critical acclaim couldn’t keep Lone Star from tumbling out of the sky. Me? I didn’t tune in because I’m sick of women as men’s stooges. A two-timing con man. Oooh! How exciting! I’m still awaiting a show on polygamy featuring a woman and her 15 (hot) doting husbands. Not this this was about polygamy, but it still proves just how gullible women will be to be with a man. That’s all I needed to know to tune out.

There was a show about Blue people, Blue Bloods. I’m not sure how many Blue shows we need. Blue Bloods, Rookie Blue, Dark Blue. I think I get it. Policemen wear blue. Unless they’re detectives, and then they wear street clothes. So, I gather these shows are about beat cops. I really don’t care.

I hate to admit how much I enjoyed Hawaii Five-0. The dynamic between McGarrett and Danno was magically entertaining and found a permanent spot on my schedule, as did Hellcats. I had no idea what an Ashley Tisdale was before, and I still don’t outside the context of Hellcats, but I have been suckered in. Nikita didn’t do anything to refresh the franchise, and gave me a second season Dollhouse vibe.  Mike and Molly is making fun of the last group of people left without protection — fatsos! Since I already have Bonnie doing that to her large husband on $h*! My Dad Says, I’m full up on fat jokes.

Like I said, there were shows I didn’t watch, and many I don’t even know about. What were your favorites? Is the new season living up to your expectations, or are you wishing for the anticipation of years past? Sound off in the comments!

Photo Credit: CBS Television

26 Responses to “My (oh so important) thoughts on some new fall shows”

September 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I hate to say that I’m happy that Lone Star performed so poorly, but considering how I got based for my opinions before hand, it is hard not to feel just a little vindication.

You should check out the Defenders. Totally crushed my expectations.

September 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Hey I’m in luck. You didn’t watch Terriers :-)

September 26, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Hmmmm…does that mean you liked it or not? I seems to be doing poorly in the ratings. Not that it matters as much on FX.

September 26, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I watched the first two episodes of Terriers and liked them. But, with all the network shows back, I’m not sure it will remain part of my weekly viewing.

September 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Whoa, this year’s new crop of shows is underwhelming to say the least. Premiere week fell flat on its face for me, and while I knew beforehand that there weren’t going to be many new shows that I would be intrigued by, I did tune in to some I normally wouldn’t watch. Man, they were boring. Even The Event – which was the only show I was kind of stoked about – felt cluttered and hollow. It didn’t even care to present us with characters to be interested in, let alone give us some interesting twists or storylines to chew on in anticipation for next week. And man, I never want to see any show use the “x hours earlier” device ever again. EVER.

I think a great deal of the problem this fall is being caused by the “let’s mimic CBS because they’re so successful” vibe. All non-CBS networks jumped on the everything-needs-to-be-a-procedural bandwagon, with awful results (Lonestar, The Event, My Generation, Nikita and possibly No Ordinary Family are the only dramas that don’t involve law enforcement somehow). Even Undercovers, a JJ Abrams product, turned out to be just a watered down version of a light-hearted spy procedural – no serial elements or character development whatsoever.

I haven’t watched Lonestar yet, and while I’m a “woman power” kind of gal, I think I’ll be watching the pilot just because it’s one of the aforementioned non-formulaic dramas. I have to admit I watch Big Love but half the time I cower at the treatment of those women – yet I find it fascinating at the same time. I’m into sociology and group dynamics and whatnot so that might be an excuse.

I’m going to watch Hawaii Five-0, The Defenders, Chase, Blue Bloods and Detroit 187 because of how devoid of originality the new dramas are. I might’ve tuned in to the last two if the crop had been better (BB because it has serial elements and Detroit because it has Michael Imperioli) but well, I’d have liked to be wowed by a couple of shows a bit. Thank goodness for the gems that are returning this fall.

September 26, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Keep up with the Event, it is worth the effort ;)

(Though, I couldn’t disagree more about the use of ‘in media res’ as a storytelling technique … I love it).

I think its a bit rough to knock a show for lack of character development in the Pilot … I mean, it is one episode. And pilots are always such a mixed bag. The primary purpose of a pilot is to get a show picked up; sometimes the storytelling can take a back seat (Not saying that’s a good thing).

September 26, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Thanks for the heads-up ;) I was on the fence whether to continue watching it but I think you may have persuaded me. As for character development, it’s not so much that they weren’t fleshed out enough for my taste, it felt like they were just there as pawns. And if a story starts off with characters as pawns I quickly lose hope that they will ever be more than cardboard cut-outs. Maybe that’s just my grumpy side speaking though.

September 26, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Oh, and do you know if the ‘in media res’ thing was just a one-off or is every episode going to be built around that sort of structure?

September 26, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I’m not sold yet on The Event. And I’m with Nissa, I think I now know that I do not like the in media res style of storytelling. Well, maybe it is easier when you are following the story of one person. Trying to keep track of so many people when and their varying time shifts is exhausting.

September 26, 2010 at 2:10 PM

It wasn’t so much the actual use of the ‘in media res’ device as HOW FREAKING FREQUENTLY they used it. We’d be in the present one minute, then 14 minutes earlier the next, then 33 days earlier afterwards, then back to the present, then last Tuesday, then in a Burger King in Topeka, then I’d have the duct tape ready to wrap around my head before it exploded.

We all came away with a feeling of “meh” after the pilot, half because of the aforementioned over-frequent flashbacks and half because it seemed too much was crammed in to the pilot. I’m definitely going to stick with it, though, because some of my favorite shows started with pilots I thought were real stinkers. I just hope I don’t have to keep up with 5 characters in different past portions of their lives at the same time every episode. I don’t like to work too hard when I watch TV.

September 26, 2010 at 7:10 PM

I’m not sure what to say… Tom, there were quite a few people who didn’t walk away with the ‘meh’ feeling. In fact, most people on staff at CliqueClack who were bashing the show after their first viewing have retracted much of their negativity on the second viewing.

The Event was one of the higher rated premieres this week. I think because of this negativity it will take a hit this week, but after having seen the 2nd and 3rd episodes, I think it will rebound.

I’m getting exactly what I want out of The Event (save the character development aspect), and I think I’ll be having flashbacks to the simplification of Alias in the second season if the show runners chuck what I liked about the Pilot. Will they continue telling the story like that to that extent each week? No, not if 2 and 3 are any indication, but IMHO, they’ve got a good thing going either way.

September 26, 2010 at 11:15 PM

There’s really nothing to say Ivey. As I stated, I have no intention of abandoning the show, I was merely expressing my frustration at an overused plot device. I think that was the sole reason for the “meh” feeling, but I could see an underlying potential.

It may sound silly to most, but I have this 6 episode rule (which I break sometimes when a show REALLY stinks) when watching a new series. I figure I’ll give a show 6 hours (or 42min, 23sec) of my time and that’s a more than fair chance. Honestly, I’m pretty certain I’m going to like “The Event” eventually. I was a huge fan of “FlashForward” for the entire run of that series, so I think I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to giving a show a chance.

I guess my comment was poorly written. All I was trying to convey was my frustration over the flashbacks and how it took away from my enjoyment of the pilot. I wasn’t trying to pass judgement on the series as a whole.

September 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Out of the shows you mentioned you still want to try, I have seen 2 of them. Hawaii-50 even though a cop show, was lots of fun. And, Blue Bloods another cop show, was more of a family drama than a cop show. If it spends more time on the family aspect and less time on the case of the week format, I think it will be a winner. I am also intrigued by a twist that I wasn’t expecting. I’d recommend you give those a watch definitely.

September 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! I suspected that Hawaii Five-0 would be a light-hearted and fun show (something that all of us need sometimes) and it’s great to see Daniel Dae Kim in his natural habitat again (Hawaii) so soon after Lost’s finale! Blue Bloods looks really good too and I will definitely check it out soon. Here’s to hoping that they will indeed keep the serial elements and characters in the forefront instead of the case-of-the-week!

September 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM

That’s the way I felt about Blue Bloods too, and from what I read, the show runner left b/c he wanted a procedural and Selleck wanted a character drama and Selleck won! :-)

September 26, 2010 at 7:46 PM

I watched Blue Bloods today. It was better than I expected, but damn! That is one ridiculously successful family. I do love that Tom Selleck is the only actor I can think of that has successfully pulled off a mustache for his entire career. Reminds me of my dad. :-)

I watched Hawaii Five-0 three times, I think, too. I just really enjoyed the McGarrett/Danno banter. I’m a sucker.

Since I have an hour to kill, I’m going to check out The Defenders. I’m one of the few people who actually found a few seasons of Belushi’s sitcom enjoyable, so I may enjoy it. I think I had a hard time tuning in because it was just two days after I watched Piranha and couldn’t stop thinking of them eating O’Connell’s ding dong. Ewwwww.

September 26, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I watched The Defenders today and it was surprisingly (to me at least) good. The banter was fun. The Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell characters are a little over the top, but not too much (which is what I feared). I would also recommend checking it out. Thanks to Ivey, I’m glad I did.

September 26, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Seconded (Obviously).

I expected little out of the show, but had to give it a try after its outstanding ratings.

It was probably the one of the best/unique lawyer dramas I’ve seen since Eli Stone.

September 27, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Wow it took two pages for someone to mention Jerry O’Connell. I can’t believe it. If anyone would’ve mentioned that earlier I would’ve watched the show already.

Next time, instead of mentioning the dud, mention the cool guy on a show. kthxbye


September 27, 2010 at 6:16 PM

I watched and enjoyed it, as well. Although it just angers me that it’s so true to life (that lawyers tend to “play” with peoples lives for a “win”). But it made it to my DVR, yes indeedy! Anything but The Whole Truth. Oh the pain!!

September 26, 2010 at 7:04 PM

I don’t want to tell you that the Pilot was an aberration, but it kind of was. Episodes two and three are flashback heavy, and there’s some jumping around, but I don’t remember it being nearly to the extent that it was in the Pilot.

And you’re not wrong about the character development, I just think that they tried to pack so much into 43 minutes, there’ wasn’t much time. As someone who is a such a huge proponent of ‘Characters’ I will warn that it doesn’t get markedly better in the next couple installments.

September 26, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I liked Hawaii 50, but I can assure you I will never watch an episode twice. In contrast, I still have the last few episodes of last seasons SGU on DVR. One never knows when one will be called upon to talk about some piece of Sci-fi minutiae.

September 26, 2010 at 7:13 PM

I, alas, watched the Pilot of H-50 for the third time as it aired this week. Once to review, once … um … well, let’s just say I have a family member who is a BIG Alex fan, and third because I wanted to see Hawaii in HD again :P

September 27, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Voted-take some, leave some. Have to TIVO episode 2 of 5-0, so I can watch back-to-back for action and character–it is a MUST SEE here. I watched Event from the hype, and found it okay, but as you note: I can’t see a full season with that storyline. Think NBC has potential with UnderCovers, Outlaw, and Chase. But Chase’s Monday, 10 pm slot between 5-0 and Castle is no good. Outlaw, clever concept; however, Superman has to lose a time or two to be real. Nikita could be stronger, but the CW and good female demo should help.

I like Rob Morrow, but Whole Truth, Terriers, and Lone Star are on my quick drop list, without early and big improvement. Add Whole Truth’s time slot between Castle and 5-0; things don’t look good.

I’m with you on the vets, but think Medium has run the course. On the other hand, think CSI:NY has gotten stronger each season and like it best of the civilian franchise. If you have to replace a major cast member, Sela Ward is a good choice. I was more interested in NY’s return than CSI’s. Only found ABC’s Detroit 187 worth the time. Hopefully, No Ordinary Family will be a peasant surprise.

September 27, 2010 at 11:43 PM

I’m watching ep 2 of 5-0 right now, and it’s not as good as the pilot, but still entertaining. I also watched ep 2 of Chase tonight – they have to change the time slot. It’s not bad, but not great. I didn’t like the case, and there were some holes in it, as well.

I liked the season premiere of Medium. Showed possibility to keep it fresh, but I cannot stand Joe asking if she’s alright every time she awakes from a dream.

Finally, I caught No Ordinary Family when they had it online for the first 5000 viewers or something. It has the potential I wanted from Heroes…but Heroes floundered fast – hope NOF sticks to the feel of the pilot.

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