Fall TV - Week Three

7:19 AM Posted In , , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay well. I watched a few new shows this week, and made decisions about the three shows that were on the bubble for me the previous week. I don't think there are any *new new* shows left for me to watch / assess at this point, but I do plan to pick up 'The Walking Dead' come October 16th. And lordy I am excited for it.

In the meantime...

Pan Am
Hmmmm. Okay I can see why people might like the show. It's a shinier, happier, glossier version of the 60s than what we've been treated to for the past few years on Mad Men. But for me, the realities - the deconstruction of the Camelot era - that's what makes Mad Men tick. I'm not really interested in a saccharine replacement. I also wonder whether the show will have real legs...there's only so much interest on a plane, although I'll admit that Kelli Garner's spy gal twist was fun. I think all of the actresses they cast are lovely and dynamic, but the guys are sadly a little square and flat. I also didn't like the constant use of flashback, which is weird because a show like 'Revenge' uses it in equal portions. Anyway. We decided not to carry on with this. I didn't *mind* the show, but I didn't love it. Another gripe? Mad Men provides a social commentary from a modernist perspective, while Pan Am seems content to let you dive into the 60s - which makes you wonder, why should we care?

Terra Nova
I realllllllllly want to like this show. To the point where I'm still hemming and hawing about taping a second episode tonight, to give it another shot (after last week's premiere we opted not to do so). And there is a lot of cool stuff - the glimpse of the 'modern world' was fascinating and jarring and sad. The age of the kids makes for fun teenage drama, as per the crux of last week's episode with Landon Liboiron's jaunt in the jungle. I find all of the actors relatively interesting and engaging to watch...but something is just stopping me from getting into this. I think it's because it seems like a reallllly action-y show, especially based on the clips of 'weeks to come', and while the show is attempting to draw on the mystique of a jungle-set show like Lost, it seems to have forgotten that the action sequences on Lost were some of the weakest parts of the show. It was the mind games and character back story that made Lost, and right now they don't seem too focused on either with TN. I don't know. I think based on the preview of weeks to come, I might have to skip this one altogether.

I was on the fence about watching this one. I only happened to do so because I heard positive things after the premiere, and it happened to be on at a random time this weekend when I was home. So I sat through two - LIVE - segments of the show (this is notable because I loathe commercials). And that was enough. In fact it's what inspired my 'Art of Comedy' post from the other day - the recognition that this was what I deemed a 'high camp' show which is not to my taste. Everything just felt a little too exaggerated for me. And it reminded me of Easy A, which in theory is a movie I enjoyed, but in actuality, I found it kind of irritating that Emma Stone's character was the only one with a properly working brain. The same seems true of our Proto-Emma heroine here. A good show is built on the shoulders of more than one character. Just saying.

As for my 'Bubble' shows? I decided to keep 'Ringer' and 'The Secret Circle' on my to-record list. The reason being The CW wisely invested in shows with carry-you-along cliffhangers. I find it a little sad that will all of the new programming out this fall, two of the four shows I picked up are teen-oriented (sort of) shows, but whatever. I find the writing on both shows to be a little jarringly blunt (and dare I say, bad) at times, but I have a lot of questions that I'd like to see answered. At this point I suspect TSC will be around for many years to come, a la Vampire Diaries, but I can't say the same for Ringer.

We decided to drop 'Up All Night' after three episodes. Ultimately I feel like the show is trying too hard - there are these forced little moments that remind me of SNL's desire to have 'that moment' that everyone talks about afterwards. I also feel like Will Arnett is the only attraction for me. Christina Applegate's character is never as funny as she ought to be, and Maya Rudolph's Ava is very one-note (and way too derivative of her typical roles on SNL). Ultimately I just don't think I'll 'miss' this show if I stop watching it - but I think it'll do just fine without my viewership.

Revenge is also a lock for me. I'm a little uncertain about the long-term prospects of the series as Season 1 feels very tightly knit and well-constructed, although oddly a little 'monster of the week' when you look at the first two takedowns. I see Season 1 as a wonderful, self-contained entity (and the writers have promised answers by the end of it) - I just wonder whether they've got Seasons 2, 3, 4, and more planned out as well. I see it as a grown-up 'Pretty Little Liars', along with all the other shows I referenced last week.

Oh and this week was also the Season 4 premiere of Being Erica. The exciting news is that Erin Karpluk (Erica) recently mentioned in an interview that she was looking at this season as if it was her last and just enjoying the ride. Which hints that there is a maybe baby possibility that the show will return for a fifth season, despite the flags waving that have said 'final season' for the last few months. I'm an optimist. Sometimes. Anyway this was another emotionally-charged episode and a surprisingly strong opener (I really didn't like the S2 or S3 premieres) that once again found a way to flip Erica's flashbacks in a fresh new way, with the return of her first patient, the ever creepy Josh (doubly so because he is a DOPPELGANGER of a former coworker of mine). My *only* complaint is that I felt like the costume / make-up people really half-assed it this week in making Erica morph into a 1999 version of herself. They're usually way more 'on' than this, and I felt like this week she looked identical to her 2011 self. Either way, beyond psyched for this show to be back, and it's one of the few (alongside TAR & Survivor) that I will make an effort to watch on the night it airs.

- Britt's On


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