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Thoughts on all the new shows

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First, I’m going to the NYC TEEN AUTHOR NIGHT at the library tonight, so if you are going too, and see me, please say hello!

As you saw in my watching schedule, I watch a lot of TV. Here are some of my thoughts on the shows, in no particular order in the order I feel like discussing them in. I’ll post my thoughts on returning shows another day.

SHOWS I LIKED

DOCTOR WHO

Everyone on my twitter feed seemed to be obsessed with this show, piquing my interest. After all, I like sci-fi, I like things involving time travel, I like watching entire series’ in a row like I did last year with Buffy and Angel, and I like British accents. I’d heard it was campy and so I went in expecting to be entertained but my reaction to end there. I was wrong. First, as you may be able to tell from my twitter feed, I became obsessed. So obsessed I am making a Doctor Who-themed outfit for New York Comic Con. So obsessed I think my husband is ready to divorce me if I mention my love for David Tennant one more time. But I also had an intense emotional reaction to the show. I cried several times, in many different episodes (Father’s Day, Doomsday, The End of Time, etc). I sat on the edge of my seat, not even daring to breathe during the intense episodes (Midnight, Silence in the Library, the End of Time, The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone). And I was also impressed. Some of the writing on that show, particularly Stephen Moffat’s episodes, are brilliant. The end of Doomsday competes with Buffy’s Becoming Part 2 as the best cliffhanger ever (and both are similar in the way they end). I thought the mystery solutions in some episodes were clever and unexpected, and it’s hard to take me by surprise with mysteries (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead). Oh there are just too many to name!

Also, have I mentioned how much I am in love with David Tennant? I was devastated when my coworker went to the UK office for work last week and didn’t smuggle him back in her suitcase like I had requested (however, she did bring me a mini-TARDIS, so she redeemed herself).

I’m only in the middle of Series 5 right now, and every time I watch a new episode, I experience the loss of David Tennant once again. I mean, I know Matt Smith is going to be the Doctor, but I still get jarred at seeing him. That being said, I think Amy is my fave companion, so there’s that. I’m hoping to catch up to the rest of the world by Comic Con next week, though that still may not be possible due to the gazillion of other shows I watch and revisions that need tending to.

I’m interested in watching TORCHWOOD but afraid it’s too violent for me. Thoughts?

SUBURGATORY

Suprisingly, this ended up being my absolute favorite pilot so far. I haven’tseen the 2nd episode yet (since it doesn’t air until tonight), so I don’t know if it will live up to the bar it set in Episode 1, but I adored it. The voice crackled off the screen with the kind of humor I just adore. My favorite part of the episode was when the father and daughter sat silently across each other at the dinner table and the voice over said, “Dad and I expressed our feelings through passive-aggressive reference books.” The daughter was reading How to Become an Emancipated Minor and Dad was reading Is Adoption For You? Awesome! I’m really looking forward to the second episode.

THE SECRET CIRCLE

I have a thing for witches. The movie THE CRAFT is in my all-time top five movies ever (and honestly, it’s a feat in itself that I ever watched it in the first place because I hate scary things and that movie came out before I had a trusty Kids In Mind website to tell me if the movie would be too scary/violent for wimpy Shana (yes, I know that website is for parents, but I considering I have the violence-tolerance of a 7-year-old, it works for me too). ) Anyway, I like witches. I like mysteries. I like when parents are evil. So naturally I like this show. That being said, I do think there are places it’s lacking. Particularly in the way of character development. I don’t know ANYTHING about the protagonist Cassie and frankly, she keeps coming off as a bitch. I don’t like her yet, and I feel like I should like the protagonist by this point. That being said, this seems to be a common flaw in Kevin Williamson’s shows for me. I didn’t like Elena at all during season 1 of Vampire Diaries and now I adore her and think she’s fabulous. So I have faith that eventually I’ll grow to know and love Cassie, but right now her only purpose seems to be to oppose the witches without a good reason to do so. Yes, her mother didn’t want her involved and I know that’s what’s driving Cassie, but that’s the ONLY thing I know about Cassie. I want more.

2 BROKE GIRLS

Image from one of the scenes cut I had watched them film

As I previously mentioned, I went to the taping of the second episode when I was in LA for SCBWI LA. That experience was awesome, I am so glad I went, and I found watching the episode that aired to be an interesting lesson in revision. When I was on set, they would do a take, then pause to rewrite all the punchlines. Literally rewriting them on the spot with all the writers huddling together. They usually did 2 or 3 different takes of punch lines, but the jokes always had the same set up. So it was cool to see which jokes made it on air. And it was cool to see which darlings got killed. Entire scenes (that I thought were funny) were axed from the final edit. One scene that I thought wasn’t working ended up being reshot entirely with all new jokes–and since it hadn’t been reshot the night I was on set, it must have happened later. They did, however, sometimes choose jokes I thought were subpar to others.

I know this show has no concept of what hipsters and Brooklyn is really like, but I do find it funny and I think both actresses are great. Plus, I like a lot of the writers involved.

WHITNEY

I really didn’t want to like this. Most of the reason for the rewrites of 2 Broke Girls was because Whitney arrived on set and nixed every joke already in the script. I feel annoyed that I actually liked her show. The problem is, I related to it. It’s about a couple happy unmarried. That had been me and my husband for, oh, seven years before we tied the knot. The last episode involved Whitney realizing the two of them never had a first date and so they make up for lost times by doing the whole First Date thing/not calling right away/dressing sexy to make him want her. And the thing is…my husband and I never really had a first date! We started as platonic roommates. So…I found myself identifying with her. And with utter horror I went to watch the latest episode on my DVR only to realize I had already watched it…and I was upset I didn’t have a new one to watch! Gah. That’s how I know I like something, when I look forward to it.

SHOWS I’M MEH ABOUT

RINGER

I do think this show gets better with every episode, and I haven’t seen lastnight’s yet. At first, I was really only watching for the cast. Buffy back on TV? Yes please! The hot guy from LIFE UNEXPECTED (and short lived VALENTINE, a show only my sister and I watched it seems based on the ratings)? YES! Non-aging Richard Alpert from LOST? Sure. Logan Echolls on his way? YES YES YES. That’s what was keeping me going despite the show’s obvious problems, and it’s horrible visual effects and compositing (something I used to do for a living) is the least of them. The real problem is this show lies too much on Mystery! and Dangerous (and highly unlikely) Situations! that it sacrifices character likability. Our protagonist is someone whose twin sister “dies” and what does she do? She considers it an opportunity and assumes her identity! We’re supposed to care about her because she’s in danger, but she’s also a former prostitute, a former addict, and pretty selfish. She does show some signs of sympathetic behavior when she helps out her twin sister’s step daughter, but it’s not enough yet. And then there’s the twin sister who fakes her own death and does such stupid things as trying to take out money from the bank (because that won’t start a paper trail of her whereabouts *eyeroll*). So I think the show needs some work, but I’m hoping Logan Echolls is the fix it needs!

NEW GIRL

The pilot seemed to be “Look at Zooey Dechanel! She’s so quirky and adorable! Yeah, there are these other guys, but don’t pay attention to them. LOOK AT ZOOEY!” I didn’t think the pilot was all that good for the above reasons, but I liked the second episode better. I thought Leo from Veronica Mars stole every scene he was in, quite a feat against ZOOEY. (Obviously actors from Veronica Mars are the fixes any show needs. See my Ringer comments.) What the show failed to do, however, was introduce the replacement roomie after Damon Wayons Jr. went back to Happy Endings. I felt like Damon was the only guy to hold his own against Zooey in the pilot…and then he was gone. And replaced with someone far less memorable. I’ll give it a chance but now I sort of wish the 3rd roommate went the way of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Or the secretary on Murphy Brown. AKA someone different every week, a running joke. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. I haven’t seen the 3rd episode yet. I’m sticking with this but it’s in the middle of the pack for me.

I just wish the boys are cuter. I’m not that attracted to any of them (including poor Leo) and I find being attracted to a cute boy on show is necessary for me to like the show. However, I could be swayed by superior writing, which this show has not demonstrated yet.

UP ALL NIGHT

I love Christina Applegate. I love Will Arnett. I don’t mind Maya Rudolph. Ithink this show is cute, and I’m entertained while I watch it, but I also don’t look forward to it every week. I think my problem is that I’m not quite sure where it’s going. It seemed to be a show about two partiers now having to spend their nights with a baby in the pilot. But in the next two episodes, it felt more like a workplace comedy with the stay-at-home-dad’s workplace being at home. That being said, I do think the show is cute and the characters are fun. Possibly I would relate better to it if I had my own baby keeping me up at night.

FREE AGENTS

I did like this. More than I thought I would. I am equally elated by Giles making lewd sex jokes as I am creeped out by it. Unfortunately, the ratings are atrocious and this show is not long for the world.

HART OF DIXIE

I’m still not all that enamored by it. I think the show is super contrived and suspends my disbelief a bit too much. But I want to give it a chance, particularly because it focuses more on the characters in the small town than on the medical stuff. I like small towns, I hate medical stuff. (I just wish the medical stuff was accurate. The last episode about MS was so blatantly wrong, I got frustrated. My uncle had MS. In my experience, they made claims about the disease to raise conflict that are simply untrue. But whatever.) I like Rachel Bilson and there are some cute boys on this show, so I’ll stick around for a bit.

REVENGE


I thought I had really liked the pilot, but then I left episode 2 on my DVRuntil last and dreaded when it came time to watch it. That’s not a good sign for me. That being said, I still enjoyed the second episode like the first. I’m kind of confused about this show though. Am I supposed to root for the main character to do horrible things to people? Or am I supposed to root against her? I’ve found arguments for both things. I found the stock stuff in the 2nd episode super confusing as well. But, I like the mystery and I want answers. I want to know how Amanda changed her identity to Emily. Why the other Hamptons residents framed her dad. If her dad is really alive (since I don’t believe he’s dead…if we don’t see a body, it’s not confirmed in my mind).</p>

TERRA NOVA

This suffers from the same horrible visual effects as Ringer and also the lacking writing and characterization. It WANTS to be LOST: Mysterious island = Mysterious Land! Time Travel = Portal through time! Smoke Monster = Dinosaurs called Slashers! The Others = The Others! (okay they are called Sixers). Kate the fugitive on the run = Main character Dad fugitive on the run (I don’t remember his name). Ben, the mysterious leader of the island = White-haired guy, mysterious leader of the settlement (again, I don’t remember anyone’s names). Mysterious Hatch on the island = Mysterious writing and symbols found on rocks.

The problem is, Lost excelled at setting up intriguing mysteries and even more intriguing characters. Terra Nova failed at these things. In the biggest head scratcher of them all, they ANSWERED THE QUESTION ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS WRITING at the end of the pilot. Seriously? They had set up an awesome mystery. I was really really intrigued. THen, they answered it. And they answered it in the LAMEST WAY POSSIBLE. It wasn’t another group of people already on the island. Or aliens. Or something else cool. It was (SPOILER ALERT) just a son trying to piss off his dad. *headdesk*

They also didn’t answer the major question I had? Why the hell did they need to go back 85million years into the past to save the future? To me this isn’t a mystery, it’s a question of motivation. And I see none.

I didn’t really get to know any of the characters. The fact that I don’t remember any of their names is a problem. I have a thing for names and it’s rare I don’t remember them. The only one we really got to know was the son, who makes such stupid decisions that I didn’t care at all when he found himself in peril when chased by dinosaurs. DUH. Don’t go out of the fence, idiot! He’s a kid though and he was following an equally rebellious pretty girl, so I’ll give him some leeway. But I still wanted to learn more about the characters and in particular, I wanted to learn interesting things. A kid rebelling is not interesting, whereas LOST presented us with all types of interesting characters from the get go.

I think the show has potential, but I fear it will go the way of FLASH FORWARD and THE EVENT, both shows that focused more on Plot! and Mystery! Than on characters. And both shows failed.

PAN AM


I’m watching but I’m not hooked yet. I keep getting all the charactersconfused and I can really only remember one of their backstories (the spy). I’m not quite sure what this show is supposed to be? It seems all the good drama takes place in flashbacks OFF the plane. I’ll keep watching to see where this goes…</p>

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

PERSON OF INTEREST

I gave it a shot, but it’s just not for me. I hate procedurals and Michael Emerson seemed to be playing Ben Linus. Same type of character. Same voice. It was unnerving! I had to stop.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

By some miracle, I made it through the entire first episode. I blame the fact that I was watching while getting ready in the morning and only half paying attention. It was just noise in the background and I could have been watching the weather and been just as rapt. I never watched the original and I won’t be watching this revival. (Neither did anyone else, it seems.)</p>

A GIFTED MAN

I turned it on. Within the first minute there was a bloody surgery. I turned it off. My mom loved it and we have generally the same taste, but I couldn’t subject myself to all the surgeries this show promised. I can only get through Grey’s Anatomy because the characters usually talk about other stuff, character stuff, during surgeries so I can just close my eyes and listen. This show talked about surgeries while doing a surgery. No thanks!

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN

I just couldn’t even bring myself to watch. That’s not a good sign for me continuing to watch!

PLAYBOY CLUB

I watched the pilot, and though it intrigued me, the ratings made it clear it would be the first show canceled. It was, I stopped watching. Nothing else to mention.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on returning shows (hint: most are in the SHOWS I LIKED category, but there are some I gave up completely).

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Originally published at shana-silver.com. You can comment here or there.

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
edgyauthor
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:02 am (UTC)
I love Suburgatory, too! I'm surprised I saw the pilot, since I hadn't heard of the show before. I caught it by accident, thanks to it being on after The Middle. I'm so glad, 'cause it's too hilarious to pass up! 2 Broke Girls is pretty funny, too--so cool how you saw an episode taped!

The Secret Circle, though...eh. I was underwhelmed. (Which is a shame, since I do like what I've read of the books so far.) I've kept watching it, to see if it'd improve, but all it's done is bore me--and after seeing what happened to a certain character in the latest ep, I'll likely give up on this show completely now. Oh, well.

Ringer is actually my fave new show this fall. I love all the secrets and conspiracies, and each episode just gets more and more amazing, IMO. I can't wait to see more!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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A non-fantasy retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in which sixteen-year old Alice follows a rebellious new friend on an adventure through the underground (i.e. secret society) of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.


THE ART OF SELLING MY SISTER
Kasey Fishbein, sixteen, ruins her older sister's life by destroying her chances at a college dance scholarship. Now, she has to fix things for Lara before their parents find out.






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