This Season’s Pilots

It has been a long time since I have written anything, mostly because my new job has left me with so little time to sit down and write. But now that things are settled, I am hoping to get back to writing more regularly.

So without further adieu, thoughts about some of the new shows this fall:

Up All Night– I wanted to like this show more than I did. Following a young couple with a baby who seek to remain “young” while growing into their own as parents, the series stars two big name comedic actors: Christina Applegate and Will Arnett. Add Maya Rudolph to the mix and it seems like a surefire win. But for some reason the first few episodes did not do it for me. They lacked laugh out loud moments and I did not find myself connecting to the characters. Arnett was more likeable here than in Running Wilde, but still he lacks the charm he had in arrested development. I have heard that it has more recently gotten better and I am considering trying it again sometime when I get the chance.

Free Agents– This show sort of grew on me but unfortunately it was canceled before it grew on anyone else. The show is about a two co-workers who are attracted to each other as they grapple with the end of their former relationships (one through death one through divorce). Not exactly the funniest of premises, but not too bad either.

The Secret Circle– I am a little torn on this newest CW show. For one thing, I don’t love the main actress Britt Robertson in this role. I thought she was great as Lux in Life Unexpected, but somehow she doesn’t do it for me here. My bigger issue is that a lot of the action involves chanting words over and over and staring at things until something happens. it doesn’t make for a visually impressive show. Even Charmed, which had chanting witches, had other things to make the fight scenes more action-filled. Pru had telekinesis, Piper could stop time and later blow things up, Phoebe could fight on top of her hover ability, and Paige could teleport herself and other objects. The bad guys could throw fire balls and do other impressive things. This is what the show is missing.

Ringer– Sarah Michelle Geller back on TV! Well, I wasn’t as thrilled as I thought I would be. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it is missing the charm of Buffy (in large part because it doesn’t have the great comedic asides and I prefer the butt-kicking Buffy to the prissier character we see now). I have not had the time to follow this consistently so instead it is on my list of shows to get back to when everything else is on hiatus.

The X Factor– I love singing shows as much as the next person but this just felt like a reiteration of American Idol without the charming judges and no twist to draw me in. Sure, I stopped watching during the audition stages to maybe it gets better from there, but with so many other shows to watch, I just didn’t have the time to commit to yet another singing competition.

Revenge– I like Emily Van Camp a lot. Even more, I like the idea behind this soapy if not as mysterious as I’d hoped show. I have only had the chance to see the pilot, sadly, but it too has been put on my “watch during the hiatus season” list.

Unforgettable– I’m not sure about this one. Other than the gimmick that the main character has a perfect memory, there wasn’t much to set this show apart from the other cop procedurals out there. For now it is relegated to “try it out when I have time” but I don’t have a ton of hope for this one.

Prime Suspect– I was a little doubtful on this one. For one thing, there was the weird hat. A woman trying to gain respect from her fellow cops would not wear that stupid thing. For another, even though I definitely believe that the world of police still has a lot of male-female issues, it is hard to reconcile that with all the cop shows out there with strong central female characters. Ultimately, the central struggle being gender issues just wasn’t compelling enough for me. I’d rather shows that show woman as strong and capable to change people’s minds than actively drawing attention to it.

A Gifted Man– I didn’t have any hopes for this one about a self-absorbed surgeon who sees his dead wife and begins questioning his life. It feels a lot like that Philanthropist show fmor a few summers ago. It just isn’t deep enough.

Suburgatory– About a girl who is moved to the suburbs with her dad after he finds condoms in her drawer. Overall I like this show. Not the best of comedies to be sure, but it is fun in its own way. My one complaint: the voice over. I have always felt that voice overs must be done just right to be worth it but this show doesn’t quite do it.

Charlie’s Angels– The biggest problem with this already canceled remake mostly comes from the poor casting choices. While I liked Minka Kelly as the tutor in Parenthood, she did not feel believable as a hardcore car thief. The other actors were little better. To have worked, I think this remake needed to be made darker and more modern, instead it felt campy.

Homeland– I was late getting into this one only because I didn’t have enough time when it first started but I kept hearing good things and now I am finally back. I am glad to find it just as exciting as I’d heard. I am not the only one who is glad to see Claire Danes out from wherever she has been hiding.

Grimm– The first of two fairytale centric shows, this one follows that Grimms are a family line with the ability to see supernatural fairytale’s true identities. The main character just comes into his gift and uses it, in combination with his job as a cop to help people. So far I have not been thrilled by this one. It felt very earnest, like it was trying very hard to be exciting.

Once Upon a Time– The second fairytale show of the season is a little more successful. In one reality, the characters are famous fairytale characters, in the other, they are cursed to forget their true identities and are stuck in a town where time never passes. But the main character, Jennifer Morrison plays the daughter of Snow White and the only character who can save them–dragged to town by the kid she gave up some years before. I can’t decide if I like the part of the show that is in fairytale land, but for one reason or another, I am really enjoying this show. Of course, it is so high-rated that clearly other people are too.

Person of Interest– I only had the chance to watch the first episode of this new series about people who track upcoming murders by finding people involved in the murder without knowing what part they will play–murderer or victim. It’s an interesting idea, but I wasn’t convinced by the pilot. It’s another one relegated to the “try later” list.

Last Man Standing– There’s something so nostalgic about this show. It, like Melissa and Joey, feels like one of those old school comedies like the ones we came to get to know Tim Allen from back in the day. Again, not the most intelligent or unique of comedies, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Hart of Dixie– Rachel Bilson plays a neurosurgeon who doesn’t care enough for her patients and ends up in the deep south as a doctor at a small practice. I don’t really love Rachel Bilson in this show, she sort of bumbles and stuff in a way that i don’t find endearing or even so believable in a surgeon. But for some reason I’m still enjoying the show.

There are still a number of shows I haven’t had a chance to watch but what are your favorite new shows so far?