Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Save Me'
[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. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Show:"Save Me" (NBC) [Midseason]
The Pitch: "What would happen if we did a Showtime half-hour on NBC?" "It would probably do Showtime ratings." "I'm OK with that if you are."
Quick Response: A few years ago, there was a rush of "Women who may or may not be prophets" dramas. I'm thinking "Wonderfalls" and "Joan of Arcadia," though if you expand gender boundaries and your definition of "prophet," you might include "Book of Daniel" or "Dead Like Me." After letting the genre lay fallow for a while, NBC is jumping back into the fray (after, possibly, HBO's "Enlightened," which has similar underpinnings without needing to be so darned overt) with John Scott Shepherd's "Save Me," in which Anne Heche plays an awful woman who has a near-death experience and begins to think that she's a prophet. Or maybe she is. One thing she certainly is is a Showtime-style comedy leading lady, in that she's quirky, flawed, prickly and only occasionally [rarely, even] funny. And when you look at the director and producers on "Save Me," it isn't even slightly surprising to see that their credits include "Californication," "The Big C," "The United States of Tara." And, heck, NBC's entertainment operation is overseen by former Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt, so really none of the Showtime-ness of "Save Me" is surprising. And if "Save Me" were, indeed, on Showtime, we'd probably be talking about Anne Heche as a possible Emmy contender, because she's got her best part in years and she embraces every peculiar, not-entirely-likabe aspect of this character. Figuring out the exact point of "Save Me" is a bit more complicated. It either has a very superficial theme regarding faith and spirituality in the Midwest and in the suburbs, or else it's eventually going to make a bigger point that hasn't even been approached yet. And beyond Heche and Alexandra Breckenridge as the main character's husband's mistress, none of the actors or characters in the pilot make even the slightest impression. And, performance-wise, nobody seems to know exactly what the tone of the show is supposed to be, so some actors are playing it as a "Desperate Housewives" style comedic soap, some are thinking it's a sitcom and some are playing straight drama. It's confusing. [I'd point to Michael Landes in the "most confused" category. And I don't know which version of the show Landes would really succeed in.] Some of those Showtime "comedies" have also struggled to find their subtext and tone in the early-goings and have eventually become quite solid. But those shows have had the ability to produce in a vacuum and premiere without worrying about ratings. "Save Me" won't be able to do that and it is, like "Red Widow," another midseason show that isn't a fabulous match with its future home.
Desire To Watch Again: Moderate. I liked Heche and I was perplexed, but interested by "Save Me." I want to see what an episode or two of "Save Me" sausage will look like after it goes through NBC's development meat grinder. Or maybe I'm just perversely fascinated to see where NBC intends to schedule this show and how they intend on promoting it without raising an uproar from special interest groups that often take exception when a TV character talks to God.
That's it for the 2012-2013 installment of Take Me To The Pilots...What a crazy journey it's been...
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Red Widow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Cult'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Next Caller'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Following'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Family Tools'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Infamous'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's '1600 Penn'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Zero Hour'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Do No Harm'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'The Carrie Diaries'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Malibu Country'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'The New Normal'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Guys with Kids'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mindy Project'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Partners'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Nashville'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
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