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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The TV season is just about to start up this fall. With it, we have a slate of new shows, hoping to grab viewers’ attention. I am not as big of a TV watcher now as I was when I was younger, but even I cannot escape the promotion of some of the bigger shows coming at us. This week’s Friday Five, I am going to throw down my thoughts on some of the new series (one from each of the major networks).
Last Resort (ABC)
This show looks absolutely ridiculously. Even though it sports a fantastic cast (Andre Braugher, Robert Patrick) and headed by Shawn Ryan (The Shield), I cannot get over how stupid its premise is. From what I understand, a US Navy nuclear submarine refuses an order to wipe out Pakistan and the crew is judged enemy of the state (insert conspiracy angle). The logical solution? Invade an island, set up shop as a rogue nation, and declare hostilities against the United States. Even if the crew of the sub are indeed innocent, they are actively committing treason. How can they realistically come back from that? I know, I know…watch the show. It is so nonsensical. If something like that really happened, I would guess the US government would SEAL Team 6 that island.
Silly premise aside, how long can they stretch a story like this out? Like Prison Break a few years back, it does not seem like it can support a multi-year storyline. I think it is safe to say that I am going to pass on it.
It is Green Arrow done in the style of The Dark Knight. Honestly, I can see this working. And, since Green Arrow is, basically, a knock-off of Batman to begin with, this seems like a natural style for the series. The show looks fun too. Early reports have the series showcasing various other characters from the DC universe. It seems like the series is taking some cues from Smallville and using what worked and steering clear of what did not. I am not surprised that CW is pushing forward with this show. Smallville was a success for them, and with Green Arrow becoming a popular character on that series, his own series is the next logical step (note: this is not a Smallville spin-off). While I do not call myself a Green Arrow fan, I will be there for the Arrow’s opening night.
I am not sure what to make of this show. It has a very interesting premise: what happens if all electricity/technology is shut off overnight? What will society be like a few years down the road? What will humans do when forced to survive? This premise has near-limitless possibilities. Overseen by JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Eric Kripke (and I guess Jon Favreau is somehow involved), the show is in capable hands. The one down side is that previous shows by Abrams and Burk have floundered due to not having a clear goal in mind with the story arc. Hopefully, with Kripke being the exact opposite of that, the series will not fall into the trap. Also potentially hurting the series is that it is expensive to produce. If the ratings are not there, NBC is not going to justify keeping it around (see Terra Nova). The premise looks intriguing, but I think this one will be a “wait for the DVD” show.
It is an adaptation of an adaptation. Heavily inspired by England’s Sherlock, this modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes looks fun and engaging. There has been some online criticism due to this being an adaptation of said BBC series. The fact that the show has a cult following does not help matters. However, it seems very clear that while Elementary is taking cues from Sherlock, it is also doing its own thing. The biggest changes are that Dr. Watson is now a woman (played by Lucy Liu) and that the action has been transferred to New York City (don’t worry, Sherlock Holmes is still British).
I am up for this kind of revisionist storytelling. I do not care if it was based on a British show which was, let’s face it, barely seen in the US. What will make or break this series will be the chemistry between Liu and Jonny Lee Miller (Sherlock). CBS usually has a solid track record when it comes to casting these kinds of procedurals, so I feel confident the show will deliver. I will check out the first episode and see where it goes from there.
The Mindy Project (FOX)
I will be upfront and say it: this show is not for me. I do not get why people like Mindy Kaling. She is okay in small doses, but I find her largely obnoxious. Perhaps it is more her character on The Office who I cannot stand. However, this upcoming show spotlighting her just seems like she is playing the exact same character only now, more man-obsessed (because, you know, that’s all women are, right?*). Only now, we get to follow her around all day long! Ugh. Plus, I question if Mindy Kaling can carry a series. Is she really that popular or is a case of a network spinning? I am not sure.
I was talking to my friend Sharon (who’s judgment I tend to trust when it comes to movies and such), and she is really looking forward to this show. I was surprised, but it is more likely that I am just so far removed from being in the target demographic I do not even realize it. I am going to give this a pass and let whoever likes it to like it.
So, what do you think of these new shows?
* That was sarcasm. Don’t jump down my throat.