<p>'Breaking Bad'</p>
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'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 83

Dan and Alan talk 'Breaking Bad,' 'Alphas' and 'Damages'

The

 
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Time for a busy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, featuring reviews of Syfy's "Alphas," DirecTV's "Damages" and, most importantly, AMC's "Breaking Bad."
 
Hopefully, Sepinwall and I will be back on Thursday with an all-Emmys podcast covering the nominations. Hopefully. And then next week, we will NOT have a Monday podcast, but we'll have a podcast later in the week, probably from San Diego, where we'll be mobilized for Comic-Con. Then it'll be Press Tour and we'll podcast when we can. But the next couple weeks are gonna require you to keep an eye on Twitter and our blogs and iTunes for the arrival of the next podcast.
 
Here's this week's breakdown:
"Alphas" -- 02:00 - 14:15
"Damages" -- 14:15 - 26:00
"Breaking Bad" -- 26:35 - 37:15
Listener Mail focusing more on TV/Film Actors -- 37:20 - 52:50
"Twin Peaks" -- 52:55 - 01:03:30

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And here's the podcast...

 

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<p>The stars of 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'</p>
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The stars of 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'

Viewers may feel towards this show like its leads feel towards their daughters

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"
The Pitch: "Wouldn't it be crazy if a mother hated her teenage daughter?" "Yes. That would be crazy." "Do you know what would be crazier than that?" "Ummm... I'm still overwhelmed by the initial craziness." "TWO mothers who BOTH hate their teenage daughters." "ZOMG. I'm speechless with my desire to give you money to realize this vision."
Quick Response: The entire premise/joke of the show -- 100% of it -- is delivered in the opening 30 seconds, when two women discuss these awful bitches they hate and then those bitches turn out to be... THEIR DAUGHTERS. And that's all there is. For the next 20 minutes, the mothers (Katie Finneran, Jaime Pressly) are shrill and abusive to their daughters and the daughters (Kristi Lauren, Aisha Dee) are shrill and abusive to their mothers. There's no real nuance or creativity to the abuse. It's a lot of unappealing people calling each other "bitch" and "whore." And this isn't one of those shows like "Raising Hope" where you start off saying, "There's no way on Earth these people should be allowed to keep a child" and by the end, you're all "Oh. I get it. They all have love and that's a worthy replacement for common sense, at least in TV-Land." No. The moms are horrible people who shouldn't be allowed to raise children and the daughters are horrible people who actually are deserving of all of the nastiness heaped upon them. Neither daughter has a personality and while Pressly and Finneran's characters are different, they're just different shades of noxious. I don't know what the takeaway is supposed to be, since I detested these people from the beginning and never wavered in my resolve. There was never the twist to indicate that anybody was learning anything from any of this ugliness. Oh and none of it was funny. That's probably a bigger deal than some of that other "I didn't see any life lessons" nonsense. I didn't see any funny. And it's really sad, too, because Pressly has razor-sharp comic timing and Finneran's a freakin' Tony winner. These are not bad actresses. These are not actresses who are incapable of delivering the goods in a multi-cam sitcom. This sure isn't the vehicle. Or maybe the problem is just that I don't have a teenage daughter who I hate. Yeah. Let's say that's what it is.
Desire To Watch Again: Part of me figures that this is a show that may be heading for some tweaking and reworking before it premieres, that FOX couldn't really believe this is a show that will find an audience in its current form. And that part of me wants to see if improvement is possible. I also want to support Chad Coleman (Cutty from "The Wire"). Ultimately, the best thing about "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" is that it's not the worst comedy to get picked up by major network for the 2011-2012 season. Kudos!

Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

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<p>The cast of The CW's 'Secret Circle'</p>
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The cast of The CW's 'Secret Circle'

Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'

Kevin Williamson gives The CW a solid 'Vampire Diaries' companion

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "The Secret Circle"
The Pitch: "Get me the most compatible show to 'Vampire Diaries' you can find." "How does same writer working from a book by the same author sound?" "Aces."
Quick Response: Y'all know I'm a "Vampire Diaries" fan. It made my Top 10 list for 2010 and even if it doesn't rank that high for this year, it remains a pleasure I watch without an iota of guilt. "The Secret Circle," at least in its pilot, doesn't seem as good as "Vampire Diaries" at its best, but "Vampire Diaries" wasn't as good as "Vampire Diaries" at its best when it premiered in the fall of 2009. So I guess what I can say about "The Secret Circle" is that it feels like a really compatible match with "Vampire Diaries," though I think it probably skews a bit younger and a bit more female. There's still a common backdrop of a young girl (Britt Robertson) in a town with a supernatural history becoming immeshed in romance, a family legacy and other unnatural oddness. As fans of "Life Unexpected" (I was one... until I wasn't) know, Robertson is a pretty capable young actress within in a specific, limited range and this definitely is asking less of her than her previous short-lived CW melodrama did. I can assure you, though, that whatever her character on "The Secret Circle" is actually named, she's only going to be "Lux" in my notes. The other known quantities in the pilot include a solid Thomas Dekker, plus Gale Harold and Natasha Henstridge who are facing the ignominy of being The Older Generation by The CW standards. Harold is having a particularly good time being hammy and probably-evil, which may be The CW's way of rewarding him for that time he wasted on "Hellcats" last year. My instinct could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the breakout star of "The Secret Circle" is going to be Phoebe Tonkin, the only one of the show's unfamiliar co-stars whose name I went out of my way to learn before the 44 minutes were up. My big fear goes back to something I mentioned when I reviewed the "True Blood" premiere: When witches are too powerful, they make for pretty weak ongoing drama (in my opinion) and this coven is too strong too soon and that leaves me immediately distanced. [Side note: A little diversity really wouldn't hurt this show. I'd hate to think The CW figures that since "Nikita" has an Asian lead, it can return to being mostly a network of pretty, skinny, young white kids. I guess "Hart of Dixie" star Cress Williams is gonna have to represent.]
Desire To Watch Again: I don't want to say my desire to watch again is "strong," but this has the makings of the sort of CW show I could happily watch regularly. We'll see how I actually accomplish that feat, given the brutal time period.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

 

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<p>'Unforgettable'</p>

'Unforgettable'

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'

Poppy Montgomery is solid, but the show is... forgettable

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show:"Unforgettable" (CBS)
The Pitch:"Remember that Marilu Henner segment from '60 Minutes'? We're gonna give it a CBS spin!" "You mean she can remember everything *and* she solves crimes?" "DING!"
Quick Response: This is just one of those names you don't want to give your new show, because CBS' "Unforgettable" is, regretfully, an almost aggressively forgettable show. How forgettable is it? The last line in my notes? "Meh!" This is assertively, confidently, professionally average TV and it's populated by a slew of actors I really respect, including Kevin Rankin and Michael Gaston. I particularly like leading lady Poppy Montgomery, who kept me watching "Without a Trace" for a least a season or two longer than I otherwise planned to do (the excellent Anthony LaPaglia didn't hurt). She's gorgeous, holds the screen with authority and I have absolutely no idea what accent she thinks she's doing in "Unforgettable." Directed with predictable generic thriller proficiency by "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" helmer Niels Arden Oplev, the pilot looks good and has an interesting key motif, as the main character has to go into almost a fugue state to journey through her memory to pick out details that got stuck in her brain that she didn't previously realize she'd noticed. That's neat. What's much less neat is that the pilot script is constructed not around our hero's aptitude, but around a series of coincidences and symbolic ironies -- a woman who forgets nothing is investigating the death of a woman with seemingly no past -- that become unbearable by the end. I stopped caring very early in the pilot's mystery-of-the-week and I couldn't bring myself to re-care by the time the writers decided to hammer home the obligatory ongoing mythology that involves the one day our hero can't remember. If "A Gifted Man" and "Person of Interest" feel like CBS (for better or for worse) trying new things, "Unforgettable" feels like it could have been made for any CBS development cycle in the past decade. Meh!
Desire To Watch Again: Like I said, I stuck with "Without a Trace" mostly for Poppy. But "Without a Trace" was also a really good show at its best, so there was no pain in that transaction. "Unforgettable" is going to have to very quickly establish how this character will be able to assist in cases that don't involve her very coincidental involvement, or I'll probably forget to set my DVR.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

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<p>Don't you threaten Amber Heard!</p>
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Don't you threaten Amber Heard!

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'

Eddie Cibrian's a mannequin, but Amber Heard as a Bunny is a good start

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show:"The Playboy Club" (NBC)
The Pitch: "Mad Men" meets "American Dreams" meets "Playboy After Dark"
Quick Response: I was practically cringing in the corner after the opening monologue setting the historical/culture scene concluded with "Anything could happen to anybody... or any-bunny." You have to build up a reserve of good faith to get away with a groaner like that and "The Playboy Club" hadn't earned that level of capital. But having started at that low point, it's a positive sign that I ended up liking "The Playboy Club" as much as I did. Thanks to director Alan Taylor and a crack production team, "The Playboy Club" looks stupendous and all of the period details -- not just the bunny costumes -- are lovingly and lavishly rendered. Chad Hodge's script is all over the place, but it introduces a murder mystery, all manner of '60s political upheaval and a burgeoning sense of decadence in short order. There are plenty of directions "The Playboy Club" could go from here and I'm intrigued by (interested in? amused by?) several of them. And even if the dialogue isn't exactly smooth in its use of period slang and references, thematic over-articulation and foreshadowing, it also introduces the concept of "A Bunny Emergency," which has become my favorite new excuse of 2011. For anything. Irrational advocacy group complaints aside, nothing in "The Playboy Club" is even vaguely exploitative. If "Hawaii Five-0" can give fans Alex O'Loughlin tearing off his shirt on a weekly basis, I see little reason why Amber Heard, Nauturi Naughton and Jenna Dewan Tatum in bunny suits will bring about the end of civilization. If anything, Heard seems like she'd rather be a good deal less covered and slightly empty line-deliveries aside, this is a good role for her, far more substantive than anything she's gotten on the big screen in a long while. It remains to be seen if "The Playboy Club" will suffer from having human mannequin Eddie Cibrian as its leading man. His Nick Dalton is the sort of character whose name other characters are constantly repeating even when he isn't around and Cibrian doesn't do much to justify that aura of awe. But he looks good in his suits and wears the slicked-back hair well, which may be all that's required. This could end up being a better leading vehicle for David Krumholtz, not that I'd expect to see Krumholtz on banner "Playboy Club" posters, but I liked him here.
Desire To Watch Again: I'm not instantly hooked, but I'm definitely curious. Of the two network attempts to reproduce "Mad Men," I prefer ABC's "Pan Am," but there are plenty of reasons to want to see what "The Playboy Club" has in store.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

 

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<p>'Charlie's Angels'</p>
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'Charlie's Angels'

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'

Bubble-gum action-drama could use a bit more fun

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "Charlie's Angels" (ABC)
The Pitch: It's like "Charlie's Angels" only... Yeah. Only nothing.
Quick Response: This is kinda a CW-ified "Charlie's Angels," so it's almost like "Ni3ita." But this is very straight-forward stuff in rebooting the franchise. The script by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar is brutal, all exposition and way, way, way too on-the-nose premise-establishing dialogue like "Who are you? You don't look like cops." "We're not." "We're angels." Director Marcos Siega tries a lot of flair, but when the pilot isn't in flatly choreographed action sequences, we get a ton of time with Bosley doing research on his super-powered tablet device, which is what comes from recasting Bosley as an MIT-trained hacker with seduction-ready abs. As for the Angels themselves, I kinda liked Rachael Taylor, but I also kinda liked her on "Grey's Anatomy," so I may just kinda like her. She's got the right pluck and edge for what this "Charlie's Angels" incarnation seems to be about. Annie Ilonzeh is neutral, but left me wishing they'd been able to (or interested in) woo Gugu Mbatha-Raw to just take her "Undercovers" character and try again in a different context. And Minka Kelly? I'm a big Minka Kelly fan, but she's not really believable as the street-smart tough-girl and biker-chick. I have a hard time imagining any actress weathering some of the dialogue Kelly is saddled with, but my recasting instinct already pushed Kelly out the door and replaced her with Taylor Cole, who was the only redeeming part of "The Event." There's a strong chance that now that all of the background is out of the way, "Charlie's Angels" can give up on justifying itself and can just start finding creative excuses to dress the girls in skimpy costumes on a weekly basis. But introducing such a juicy set-up shouldn't be such dull work, especially with producer Drew Barrymore presumably remembering why the first "Charlie's Angels" movie worked so relatively well.
Desire To Watch Again: Well, I wasted 43 minutes on backstory and learning each Angel, their skill-set and their individual neurosis. That wasn't pleasant. But I'll give "Charlie's Angels" at least one more week to actually entertain me.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

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<p>Creepy people from 'Torchwood: Miracle Day'</p>
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Creepy people from 'Torchwood: Miracle Day'

Credit: Starz

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 82

Dan and Alan talk 'Torchwood,' 'Treme,' 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and more

The

 
Happy Monday, Boys and Girls! Wait. Happy Wednesday, Boys and Girls. It's time for this week's installment
of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We really need to figure out a solution to our Skype problems, because when the podcast gets recorded in thousands of bits and pieces, we lose track of how long we've been talking and that's how we end up with an episode in which we discuss the "Treme" finale for a full 27 minutes. Strange.
 
Anyway, it's a chatty week...
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Torchwood: Miracle Day" -- 2:05 - 16:05
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- 16:05 - 24:25
"Treme" finale -- 24:30 - 51:30
Listener Mail: "Buffy" Big Bads -- 51:30 - 59:25
Listener Mail: Movie actors on TV -- 59:30 - 01:12:20
James Spader on "The Office" -- 01:12:30 - 01:16:30
"Twin Peaks" -- 01:16:50 - 01:30:00

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.]

 

 
And here's the podcast...

 

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<p>David Giuntoli and Russell Hornsby of NBC's 'Grimm'</p>
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David Giuntoli and Russell Hornsby of NBC's 'Grimm'

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'

NBC's fairy tale procedural is less grim and more dull

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "Grimm" (NBC)
The Pitch: "What if you stripped fairy tales of their whimsy and subtext and just built a generic procedural around fighting fairy tale bad guys?"
Quick Response: There's almost no way of saying this without sounding like I'm maligning either "Grimm," NBC or Syfy, but what on Earth is this show doing on a broadcast network rather than on cable? "Grimm" is a niche-y show and doesn't appear to have any desire at broad reach. It's a grim (pun not-particularly-intended), serious-minded procedural with an approach to procedurals that's almost completely devoid of fun or humor. Instead, creators Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt fill the pilot script with Germanic-sounding creatures and portentous chatter about legacies and family destinies. The production values are middling (pilot director Marc Buckland has kept everything lit as darkly as possible and not in an evocative way) and the cast isn't glutted with big name stars. This is the kind of show Syfy could pair with a "Haven" and it would probably have a chance to find an audience acceptable enough to keep the thing around for a couple seasons. NBC has scheduled it for Fridays and without a star to promote or even a hook-y visual motif, there's no chance it'll succeed. Like ABC's "Once Upon a Time," "Grimm" is built around a "What if the stories were real?" tag, but unlike "OUAT," "Grimm" wastes that tag on 44 minutes of the dullest murder investigation possible, as people turn into wolves and other critters in the background. Leading man David Giuntoli isn't so bad that I'm forced to make jokes about his "Road Rules" background, but he isn't nearly charismatic enough to justify NBC's choice to bank this entire series around a totally unknown leading man. Giuntoli is wooden and Brandon Routh-esque, though the real Brandon Routh would have been promotable. Of the supporting players, only Silas Weir Mitchell has enough energy to enliven the series around him. As low-budget as most of "Grimm" looks, the special effects are OK, especially when our hero beguns to realize that he's seeing the folkloric essence beneath some seemingly normal humans.
Desire To Watch Again: I'll give "Grimm" the courtesy extra episode or two that I give most new shows, but nothing here is making me enthusiastic about that return engagement. That's a shame, because I like a lot of Greenwalt's past work and the premise *ought* to be entertaining.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

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<p>&nbsp;Zooey Deschanel of FOX's 'New Girl'</p>
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 Zooey Deschanel of FOX's 'New Girl'

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'

Banking everything on the appeal of Zooey Deschanel isn't a bad bet

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "New Girl"
The Pitch: "So we've got Zooey Deschanel and..." "Stop! SAY NO MORE!"
Quick Response: It's going to sound like a weird comparison, but "New Girl" is like FOX's sitcom equivalent of ABC's "Castle." When "Castle" first premiered, ABC was making a simple contract with viewers: If you find Nathan Fillion charming and promise to ask *nothing* else of a quirky crime procedural, we can promise you 44 minutes of Nathan Fillion being charming EVERY week. ["Castle" has become a bit more than that, thanks to Stana Katic, but that's still the basic backdrop of each episode, three seasons later.] With "New Girl," FOX is making an equally simple contract: If you find Zooey Deschanel utterly and completely irresistible and demand little more to a single-camera comedy beyond Zooey Deschanel's particular brand of twee majesty, we can offer you 22 minutes every week. That's selling the entirety of "New Girl" the tiniest bit short. Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Damon Wayans Jr. are all acceptable foils to Ms. Deschanel, but whatever individual gifts they might hypothetically offer in the future -- Wayans' future being particularly brief, with "Happy Endings" demanding his time after a couple episodes -- for the sake of the pilot, they're being well paid to respond with encouraging confusion and amused bafflement as Zooey Deschanel does what she does. In this case, she sings (frequently), she cries, she falls down and when she puts on a little black dress, everybody suddenly realizes that she's been hot all along. It's SHOCKING. Thus far, nobody's asked Deschanel to stretch in any meaningful way, but just because she could probably play this role in her sleep, doesn't mean that she chooses to. She's fully committed and, if you've loved Zooey Deschanel in the past, the odds of your not falling for her here are low. But anything else -- that includes the premise, the dialogue, the three supporting actors and the arc of the pilot -- is window-dressing.
Desire To Watch Again: High. It turns out, at least for a couple weeks, that I'm one of those viewers who will be totally happy to watch Zooey Be Zooey on a weekly basis. My patience won't be endless and I feel like the loss of Wayans is actually a big loss for "New Girl," but when you have as strong a cornerstone as "New Girl" does, you *ought* to be able to make that work. [Note: One of the disadvantages to Letting Zooey Be Zooey is that if you're one of the not-so-few viewers who have any kind of antipathy towards Deschanel, you're more likely to have your issues re-confirmed, rather than overcome.]

 

Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

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Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'

If you buy Rachel Bilson as an MD, there's fun to be had

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show:"Hart of Dixie" (The CW)
The Pitch: It's less "Doc Hollywood" and more "Northern Exposure" in the South. Or maybe it's "Medically Brunette." See what I did there?
Quick Response: See, it's a Vocational Irony Narrative *and* a Nomenclatural Irony Narrative, because Rachel Bilson plays a cardio surgeon whose name is Hart, but who doesn't have enough heart herself. She's Christina Yang meets Summer Roberts, which is a little awesome and a little off-putting, depending on how quickly you buy into Bilson as a doctor. Willing suspension of disbelief, y'all! I bought in pretty quickly and just let Bilson's adorable charm carry "Hart of Dixie" over more than a few Southern cliches and Scott Porter's erratic accent. There are good supporting performances from the likes of Cress Williams and Tim Matheson and Nancy Travis (likely to cease to exist due to her "Last Man Standing" commitments) and if the universe is properly evolved, the backdrop could become the Alabama equivalent of Star's Hollow from "Gilmore Girls." I think there's a lot to work with within the premise, though I have some concern that after shooting the pilot on location, "Hart of Dixie" will move production to Los Angeles. Also a concern? "Hart of Dixie" is the latest in a string of CW attempts to channel the spirit of the old WB. It didn't work with "Privileged." It didn't work with "Life Unexpected." And I don't know that this show is really a great match with "Gossip Girl" on Monday nights.
Desire To Watch Again: At least for a while, I'll happily set my DVR to watch Rachel Bilson yield a stethoscope. See, it's like that brief time in "The O.C." Season One when Summer was a candy striper?

 

Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'

All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

 

 

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