Chaos– I didn’t even know this show had started, so I missed it when it premiered. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about it. The tone is a little strange because the comedy feels a little too forced at times and the main character, Rick Martinez, is a little more earnest as the kid than you want to root for. The show, about a group of spies in a branch of the CIA who are trying to keep their jobs (Rick was hired to report an reasons why they should be fired) and tend to act outside their authority, had a poor debut rating (CBS’s lowest rated show of the season). Whether this is because people weren’t interested or because no one even knew the show was starting (I didn’t until I saw an article about it after the fact) is unclear. I didn’t hate the show, but I didn’t love it either. It seems like at the moment we are lacking in interesting, multi-dimensional characters. I’m willing to wait long enough to see if things get better after a couple of episodes before making a decision.
Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen– When I first heard about this show, I could not figure out what it was doing on the Syfy network. Upon seeing the show I can see the ever so tenuous connection. Marcel, a former Top Chef contestant, has started a new catering company. But he doesn’t make ordinary food. He uses molecular gastronomy to make special food creations inspired by his clients and the events. On the one hand, it is cool to see the things they come up with–noodles made entirely of wine, an engagement ring out of candy, a map made from fruit leather–on the other, Marcel is perhaps one of the least likable personalities I have ever seen on television. He’s rude to party planners that he is supposed to work with (in part because he has no understanding of how party planning and catering work and thus wants to do everything himself) and he’s somewhat impatient with his staff. This is the type of show I will watch should there be nothing else on, but it isn’t something I will be anxiously awaiting. This show is no hit like the network’s Face Off.
Workaholics– I haven’t watched much on Comedy Central, so I didn’t have much in the way of expectations. Honestly, I can’t tell you what this show is about, I couldn’t finish the pilot. I got as far as people always drinking and smoking. I’m not even sure why it is called workaholics since only one person on the show seems to be together enough to do any work. This is possibly one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen and it will definitely not be going on my Watch List.
Breaking In– This show follows a group of people who test security systems for a living by breaking into them. This is another one of those shows that will take a few episodes before I can decide how much I like it. I didn’t find myself particularly caring for Cameron, at least not at first. Mostly I felt like I enjoyed the pilot well enough but didn’t learn enough about the individual characters to really get a feel for them (mostly the episode was about introducing us the basics and getting Cameron acquainted with the team and the job). Definitely will check in again. So far it seems fun and that is something.
The Killing– Yet another import, this time from Denmark, is just one more success of the rapidly growing AMC original programming. As someone who generally prefers cop dramas with an unusual cast (which is to say shows like Castle, Bones, Psych, etc.), I was surprised to find myself really liking this one. it helps that I found it exciting to watch Mireille Enos in a new role (she fantastic on Big Love as the too early departed Jodean and twin sister Kathy but we didn’t get to see much of her) that is so dramatically different. She’s not the typical beauty who leads most shows–she wears thick sweaters, plain jeans, and her hair is always in a sort of ponytail wreck–but she carries the scenes perhaps better for it. Her partner (and replacement as she’s meant to be leaving her job), Joel, is about as unlikable as she is likeable most of the time, which makes for an interesting partnership. The show is not only an investigation of who actually committed the murder but an examination of how it affects the murdered girls’ family and the politician running for office (her body was found in a car owned by his campaign). It’s nice to see a show that really takes the time to build the murder mystery instead of making it easily solved within the hour. Of the new shows I have seen lately, this is easily one of my favorites.
Camelot– Camelot was perhaps one of the shows I was most excited for this season. Like AMC, Starz has really stepped up its original programming lately. Having watched the BBC’s Merlin, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a second Arthur-based legend. That show already felt so unique because it followed Merlin instead of Arthur as the main character. While this story is not quite as unique–Arthur is the main character, fighting Morgan for the throne–it still has some interesting new ideas–such as the fact that magic takes a great toll on its user, Guinevere was originally engaged to another man who is Arthur’s champion, Morgan’s troubled past which I can only hope we will learn more about. The cast is fantastic (I particularly enjoy Eva Green as Morgan and Joseph Fiennes as Merlin) and the show is as dramatically enjoyable as I could have hoped. Regardless of how it compares to HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones, I intend to keep watching this. (I am always happy to have more fantasy on television).