A quick review of last night's "Up All Night" coming up just as soon as I make my Facebook pictures look good...
Reagan and Chris go too far trying to impress the neighbors
Maria Bello's no Helen Mirren, but there's potential here
The pilot episode of NBC's "Prime Suspect" (it debuts tonight at 10) spends almost as much time showing its heroine, NYPD detective Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) battling rampant sexism from her colleagues than it does on her work investigating murders. The jump ahead of her in the queue to catch the next case, try to stick her with the gruntiest of gruntwork, accuse her of having slept her way to the top and mock her to her face at least as much as they do behind her back.
Ordinarily, a pilot episode is a template for what the ongoing series will look like, but the "Prime Suspect" producers have said they're going to seriously cool it on the sexism starting in the second episode.
What did everybody think of the new ABC soap opera?
Too many new shows this week, and not much time to review them all. Fienberg published his review of ABC's "Revenge" earlier today, and all I have the time or energy to say is that I found this chilly, humorless update of "The Count of Monte Cristo" - and the lightweight lead performance by Emily Van Camp (whom I've liked in the past) - too dull to even qualify as a guilty pleasure.
Now it's your turn. For those who watched, what did you think? Are you setting the season pass now?
Nick meets the new night shift boss, who fits right in
I'm not much a fan of CBS' crime procedurals (most of which are fine for what they're doing but not my area of interest). I am a big fan, however, of Mr. Ted Danson. What to do, then, when Danson becomes the new "CSI" leading man? Well, at the very least I could take time to watch his first two episodes as new night shift supervisor D.B. Russell, and to be impressed - but not particularly surprised - at how easily he fit into the vibe of the show(*), played off of George Eads and Marg Helgenberger, etc.
(*) And, specifically, how quickly he and the writing for his character were able to bring back the slightly offbeat comic quality from the show's early days with William Petersen. That sense of humor, as well as the insistence on always treating the Vegas CSIs as nerds, no matter how attractive they were, were two huge elements that elevated the original over the spin-offs. Glad to have that back.
All in all, I thought "73 Seconds" was a very good introduction for Danson/Russell. But then, I haven't been a regular "CSI" viewer for a very long time. For those of you who are fans, how'd you feel about the new guy? I know the Laurence Fishburne era got mixed reactions; did this seem like a step up to you? And is there anyone who might start watching the show (or return to the show after an absence) just for Danson?
Tensions mount as Freddie and Bel decide to challenge the government
Many great moments, but perhaps still not a wholly-great series
Early in the new season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" (the premiere is Sunday night at 9) aspiring crime lord Jimmy Darmody is told by his father, "You'll be judged by what you succeed at, boy, not what you attempt."
Few dramas on television attempt as many things as "Boardwalk Empire" does on a weekly basis. Fellow HBO show "Game of Thrones" feels like the only other current drama that has the same scope. "Boardwalk" not only has to recreate the Atlantic City of the 1920s, but toggle back and forth between the boardwalk, Chicago, Manhattan, Philadelphia and even the White House. It's both a crime story and a political story - and suggests that, more often than not throughout history, those are the same thing - with a sprawling cast of characters, some real and some fictional, and all with his or her own inner life and agenda. And it strives to pack every frame with details that evoke the sights, feel and sound of Prohibition-era America.
Judge "Boardwalk" on what it attempts, and it's extraordinary. Judge it on what it succeeds at, and it's still a very good show - and often great - but one that still seems to be figuring itself out a bit in year two.
Some more silly moments, but fine acting to elevate them
Vigilante drama would benefit from a livelier lead performance
With many of this season's new shows that seem to squander a lot of talent and/or an interesting premise, it's hard to know where to start in figuring out how to fix them. With CBS' new vigilante drama "Person of Interest" (which debuts tomorrow night at 9), the solution is simple:
Someone needs to buy star Jim Caviezel an alarm clock, or find some other way to wake him up.
Jax and Clay try to push through the cartel deal, while Kozik shoots some hoops
What did everybody think of the new CBS drama?
I posted my review of CBS' "Unforgettable" this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched the pilot, what did you think of Poppy's accent, how the show displayed her memory, etc., etc.? Where would you rank this on the scale of the current field of CBS crime procedurals? And would you rather have Poppy playing Marilu Henner herself, or else have Henner playing the title role?
Have at it.