Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 Fall TV: Keep 'Ems and Cut 'Ems

As previously mentioned, Revolution is a keeper.  The ratings have concurred, giving NBC rare Monday night wins and NBC has in turn rewarded the show by giving it a full season pickup.  The Mob Doctor's attempts may be futile at this point as it may very well be headed for the morgue.  It avoided being the first cancellation of the season, but its lifespan might not be much longer.

I watched the pilot episode of 666 Park Avenue, but from the get-go, it was facing an uphill battle with my packed Sunday lineup, which gets even more crowded this week with the Season 3 premier of The Walking Dead.  666 kind of had a Devil's Advocate feel, but it also seemed like ABC wanted to bring the horror genre, which is all over feature films these days, to network television.  Aside from the aforementioned Walking Dead, I am not a fan of the horror genre, so 666 was certainly expendable from my lineup.  Its ratings have been described as "frightful" as well.

The pilot episode of Vegas was decent.  Dennis Quaid brings in his gruff Western character, reminiscent of his portrayal of Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp, which was a ok, but far less superior to Val Kilmer's in Tombstone.  Michael Chiklis is good.  He's got the same edge about him that made Vic Mackey and The Shield a success.  Vegas' second episode got a nice boost with the addition of Sarah Jones, the star of the short-lived Alcatraz.  Although there are standalone storylines in Vegas, the ongoing budding feud between Quaid's Sheriff Ralph Lamb and Chiklis' Vincent Savino gives it the nice feel of a serialized drama, which I prefer.

I'm a big fan of Tosh.O, South Park, and Family Guy.  Brickleberry seemed to incorporate elements of all three.  Daniel Tosh of course stars and brings his edgy comedic stylings playing an anthropomorphic bear cub (a mix of Brian and Stewie from Family Guy) and the pushing-the-limits jokes made famous by South Park.  Unfortunately, despite the winning formula, Brickleberry fails.  I watched the first 2 episodes and just didn't find the jokes funny.  I'll stick with the former 3 shows.

Arrow is the CW's latest attempt to bring a DC superhero to the small screen.  The WB/CW enjoyed a decade of success with the Superman-themed show Smallville.  The character of Green Arrow was actually featured in Smallville over the course of its latter 5 seasons.  It seemed feasible that they could have just used Smallville actor Justin Hartley and made Arrow a true spinoff of Smallville.  Oliver Queen's mansion in Arrow even looks very similar to the Luthor mansion in Smallville.  The CW however, decided to go in a different direction and start the Green Arrow storyline over with a fresh, new show.  Canadian actor Stephen Amell takes over the titular role with a supporting cast of Katie Cassidy as a character who could very well become DC Comics' Black Canary and Willa Holland as Oliver Queen's sister, whom he nicknames "Speedy," a nod to Green Arrow's comic book sidekick.  Arrow is good for what it is.  You wouldn't expect Lost or Dexter quality TV from the CW, but Arrow is entertaining and for superhero and comic book fans like me, Arrow is a show worth watching.  The CW will certainly be hoping that it can channel Smallville's success rather than the short-lived Batman-themed show, Birds of Prey.

Perhaps the surprise hit of the season is Last Resort.  The cast, storyline, and overall show are all very well executed and Last Resort seems like it has a lot of potential going forward.  It certainly has a serialized storyline, but one that can capture viewers, or so ABC hopes.  Although its ratings haven't been what Revolution's have been, I think Last Resort can sustain a viewership.  Though it's a rather large ensemble type cast, there is a good blend of solid, veteran actors (Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, and Robert Patrick) as well as promising relative newcomers like Daisy Betts, Autumn Reeser, Daniel Lissing, and Jessy Schram.  Serialized shows can have difficulties with ratings since they're not friendly to the casual viewer, but if Last Resort is able to build and maintain a faithful fanbase, it will certainly thrive.

I have a new edition to my lineup as well.  I didn't catch on to Cinemax's first successful endeavor at original programming, Strike Back, but its newest show, Hunted, looks like it has potential.  It stars Melissa George (the hot nanny from Friends) as a spy who's trying to find out who's trying to kill her.  Like Burn Notice, but hopefully less cheesy.  It premiers in the U.S. on Friday, 11/19.