Archive for the ‘Dramas’ Category
There isn’t much to explain about the premise of The Booth at the End. A weird, nameless dude sits in a booth — at the end — in a diner and gives people cryptic assignments to complete in order to obtain things they want. It’s like The Wizard telling Dorothy to kill the witch, whom she’s never met and has no beef with, in order to go home.
Booth is a Hulu original series, but the episodes run the length of an ordinary televised show. That’s probably a bit long for a series of basically all bottle episodes. Read the rest of this entry »
Sex on TV can be a cheap way to get attention, whether it’s in advertising or entertainment, shorthand for “look at this!” And a pilot is where, above all else, a show needs to grab attention. It’s the rare cable drama of the past ten years that doesn’t feature at least one sex scene in its premiere episode. The pilot of The Americans, which premiered on FX several weeks ago, features not one, but three of them.
It’s easy to view the ubiquitous romp in the sheets (or airport supply closet, or… wherever) with cynicism. In this case, however, the sex serves the story brilliantly, and I’ll get to why. Read the rest of this entry »
Who else is on a J.J. Abrams high? I’ve been catching up on Revolution, binge-watching Fringe, and catching Star Trek whenever it’s aired on basic cable. (I do own it on DVD, but it’s always on.) And SO MANY Bad Robot/Star Wars/Star Trek mash-up memes.
We’ve come to associate Abrams with time- and universe-hopping, futuristic warfare, and badassery. All good omens for the new Star Wars. But you do know he created Felicity, right? That teeny-bopper mellow-drama from the era of Dawson’s Creek? Fanboys and girls, I think this show warrants some examination. Read the rest of this entry »
You wouldn’t think Christmas would be a particularly propitious time to set your pilot. Pilots usually air in the fall, or just after the holidays. And Christmas is the season for marathons of shows and movies you already know and love. But when you think about it, the holidays are rife with drama and emotion — often of the familial warfare variety. So there’s some material there.
There are a handful of pilots — that I’m aware of — that are set during the holiday season. Here’s a list. Are there others? Please leave comments if you know! Read the rest of this entry »
There are people who love this show. I’m gonna say right up front, I had trouble getting through the pilot — I thought it was awful. It premiered in 1999. I had to look that up to be sure because, watching it with no prior knowledge, I was estimating something closer to 1989. I’m going to plead, “You can’t judge a show by it’s pilot,” on this one because apparently it improves.
According to TV Tropes, “While its premise began as a fairly standard science fiction show, Farscape quickly distinguished itself with a focus on complex, evolving characterizations, jaw-dropping plot twists and movie-quality special effects and cinematography.” Read the rest of this entry »
Reelz Channel bills Bomb Girls as an original series, much as Soap Net took credit for the originality of Being Erica. Both are actually Canadian shows, lacking some of the sheen of more mainstream fare but with their own charm nonetheless.
The Bomb Girls pilot introduces us to a group of women working in a Canadian bomb factory during World War II. It opens with a series of very short scenes, quick brushstrokes that show us three women each under the thumb of a man. One expressing a desire to “go a little further” with her fiance is told to cool it. The next one is chastised by her husband for serving pot roast, a luxury he claims they can’t afford. The third is singing in a street choir and has the audacity to notice a passing man. Her preacher tells her with a firm hand squeeze to stay focused. Read the rest of this entry »
As Saving Hope heads toward the light, not a lot of people will mourn its passing, according to the ratings. It did so poorly this summer that NBC isn’t airing the final two episodes of the lone season. Viewers have had to watch online to find out if Charlie, a charismatic surgeon, wakes up from his coma. The finale goes online Sunday.
Saving Hope is a kind of Dead Like Me meets Grey’s Anatomy — and those two show probably don’t have a ton of audience overlap. Read the rest of this entry »
Gymnasts are an ideal subject for a television show, as anyone currently enamored with Gabby Douglas, et. al., might attest. The sport provides the perfect convergence of teenage angst, body image pressure, and fame. (Alyssa Rosenberg at Slate recently wrote a thought-provoking article about evolving views of and pressures on gymnasts and other young female athletes.)
The creators of Make It or Break It, which has aired for three seasons on ABC Family, saw the opportunity to fill the 3-year-and-50-week gap between Olympics. They imagined a group of aspiring elite gymnasts all training together as teammates and frenemies, with a healthy dose of parental strife for the older audiences. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s official. Bows and arrows are the hottest accessory for fall. I don’t know if Darryl from The Walking Dead started it, or if we can credit Katniss Everdeen, but two of the fall pilots screened at Comic-Con last night heavily featured this handy but rustic weapon.
Arrow, in case you’ve been living on a deserted island, is about DC Comics hero Green Arrow. You might remember the character, Oliver Queen, from Smallville. Forget about that. This is a whole different take on the character. Although it maintains that CW sheen, Arrow is darker and its hero more (so they want us to observe) troubled. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: 7/22/12 I wrote the analysis below having only watched the first episode of Battleground. I don’t usually approach these posts as recommendations for or against watching a show. Having now completed the first season, I say “Watch it. Watch it now.” This is one of those shows that the pilot does not do justice to until you can appreciate it as part of the larger picture.
For example, some of the stuff that makes you scratch your head in the pilot (like just when are these interviews supposed to have been recorded, and what the hell is Cole wearing?) are ambiguous on purpose. The final episode has me dying for season 2.
If you happened upon the pilot episode of Battleground, you might think you were watching a documentary. For a few minutes at least, Battleground defies the obvious comparisons to Parks and Recreation or The Office. As mockumentaries go, this one opens on a more serious note. There is a film-like look about it. Amber waves of grain and small hometown businesses flavor the opening credits. It’s a bit like the tour of Scranton that opens The Office, but without the underlying sense of sarcasm. Then… we meet Jordan T. Mosley, the show’s Dwight Schrute. But I’ll come back to him. Read the rest of this entry »