New TV

Given it’s the time of year when all the new series start I thought I’d give the new shows a bit of watch and do some mini reviews. To save filling the blog front page with loads of articles I’ve decided to combine everything into one (easily avoidable) post…

The shows discussed after the break are:
The Event
Running Wilde
Undercovers
$#*! My Dad Says
Raising Hope
Nikita
Boardwalk Empire

I’ve deliberately held back on posting this to give each show a couple of episodes… In the interests of fairness and all…

The Event
This seems to be the latest in the big mythology based shows. There’s been an “event”, it doesn’t tell you what this is, or what happened but from the flashbacks littering the episode I’m assuming you will be told and the point is not to know, however as is the way with these things there’s a big government conspiracy (which the president appears to only just be finding out about) which involves all the main characters of the show in a range of different direct and indirect links.

I like how this has been put together with each segment of the show focussing on one character but all the stories pulling together into one event – hopefully they’ll learn the lessons of Fringe and Lost and not leave you hanging too long to find answers.

I’m going to be sticking with this one – it’s teetering on the edge of greatness and I’ll like to see how the concept stands up after a couple of weeks.

Running Wilde

If I was to be comletely honest I wasn’t that enamoured with this. It’s a new sitcom from the creators of Arrested Development and I just found myself sitting there, not really liking any of the characters, and just not really feeling in the characters. The episode moves along at quite a lick but you it felt a long time. It was nice to see Peter Serafinowicz getting to appear in a bigger production but I really didn’t feel like this really went anywhere. I’ll give it another couple of episodes to see whether it improves but I think this is one to miss…

Undercovers
So Undercovers is the latest series from the writer JJ Abrams. The story is based around a married couple who have retired from the CIA and now work as caterers, however when on of their old friends is kidnapped they are re-activated back into the field to help rescue their missing colleague – who may or may not be a traitor. Also has expected (given its an Abrams show – there’s a hint that something more may be going on beneath the surface but this is barely touched on in the pilot episode).

The show seems ok – it’s not really reaching the levels of greatness other Abrams shows have reached (eg. Lost, Fringe, etc) but it’s not awful. The story moves through the episode and the leads are ok, if a bit dull – hopefully this will improve with later episodes. I’m hoping that like Fringe this is a show with a weaker pilot which grows into a much stronger show when the story-arcs start coming into play – the big story-arcs for a show certainly being one of Abrams strengths. The direction of the show was good and I’m going to be watching the rest of the series, I’m just slightly disappointed that this wasn’t better. Still there’s at least another 12 episodes for it to breathe into and hopefully improve through…

The second episode of this seemed better but still felt lacking – it’s not serious enough for a good spy thriller, but not fun enough for a comedy…

$#*! My Dad Says
$#*! My Dad Says is the new William Shatner sitcom based on the popular Twitter feed of the same name. To be completely honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from this having read and enjoyed the twitter feed I just wasn’t sure how well it would convert to a tv show… The answer to that appears to be very well – you get Shatner being big and pompous in a fantastic manner, throwing out some of the wall lines in a completely natural manner. I still think that this could benefit from another couple of weeks to allow us to get to know the characters a bit more, and for the relationships to settle down into the pattern that is right for the show but this looks like it’s going to be a good one to be sticking with – plus it’s William Shatner!

Raising Hope
To be completely honest this show was miles better than I was expecting. It’s a story of a young man who has fatherhood somewhat thrust upon him and how he and his (quite large) family cope with the new arrival.

It has it’s moments where it didn’t work for me – but it also had moments that were amusing and sweet. It’s one I’m probably going to keep going with to see if it’ll keep this tone up before deciding fully on it though.

Nikita
The biggest draw to me for Nikita was that the premise seemed very similar to the fantastic series Dollhouse. There is a secret enclave of assassins – with not everyone there of their own free will. The pilot was very gung-ho in the classic spy/thriller style territory and I found myself enjoying. The twist at the end was interesting and it’ll be interesting to see where they take this – this one looks like it’ll be worth sticking with for a bit.

Boardwalk Empire
This is the big Martin Scorsese produced drama serial set in 1920s Atlantic City at the start of the prohibition. The sets, costumes and production are all sumptuous to look at – alot of thought and money has gone into this. The problem for me is this isn’t my kind of tv. I found myself losing interest as the episode continued and was tempted to turn it off at various points. This wasn’t due to it being a bad show it’s just not a genre that appeals to me and due to this I’m unlikely to be continuing on with it.

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