Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

Fall 2011 Preview: The CW’s New Shows September 9, 2011

Filed under: Fall Preview,Television — Emily @ 5:00 pm
Tags: ,

Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to tv in Ringer, the CW's most promising new show.

I’m officially too old for this network. Although, I’m still watching Supernatural – not sure why – it’s not as good as it used to be and probably should have ended two seasons ago. And this year the only new show I’m interested in is Ringer. Only because Sarah Michelle Gellar is the star. Anyone else and I wouldn’t even consider watching it. They aren’t giving much info about the actual premise, other than that she is posing as her twin sister who disappeared or something. Another positive is that Jason Dohring (Logan on Veronica Mars) has been added to the cast. On that note, count me in!

The other shows:

  • Hart of Dixie – Looks painfully sweet and sappy, and I’m not too impressed with Rachel Bilson’s acting. All these shows that take Northerners or big city dwellers down south to small town America are so cliched and get a lot of things wrong. And Rachel Bilson as a brilliant surgeon? Really?
  • H8R – The name alone would keep me away from this “reality” show, but then I find out that it’s even worse than I thought. Mario Lopez is the host (go away!), and it focuses on “stars” like Snookie and some other people I’ve never heard of. I’m pretty sure only people who watch E! or MTV know these stars. It’s about celebrities confronting the people who hate on them. Sounds like a very silly premise. Am I really supposed to feel sorry for these “famous” people because someone doesn’t like them? Obviously, I’m very irritated by this show. I hope it’s an instant failure.
  • The Secret Circle – Not so much interested in this one. Trying to continue capitalizing on Vampire Diaries success, no doubt. But doesn’t that show have witches in addition to vampires and werewolves? This show apparently focuses solely on witches. Not sure this one will catch on. But you never know with CW. Vampire Diaries didn’t look too promising when it started, and it has a huge following now.

So that’s it. Weak offerings, CW, very weak. Then again, maybe I’m just too old to see the genius in them. 😉   After all, the old folks probably complained about Buffy and Angel back in the day.


Fall 2011 Preview: Fox’s New Shows

Filed under: Fall Preview,Fringe,Glee,Television — Emily @ 4:46 pm

"New Girl" is a refreshingly funny sitcom that I look forward to watching this fall.

This fall, Fox is too busy overhyping Glee and its newest Idol wannabe to leave much room on the schedule for new shows. So this won’t take very long:

  • Terra Nova – You’ve probably seen promos for this – it seems to be the Fox show they are promoting heavily. It’s a cross between Jurassic Park and Avatar, and I am not super interested, but I do like the guy from Life on Mars (Jason O’Mara) that stars in it. So, I’ll check out the pilot at least. I’m not very crazy about dinosaurs (I only watched Jurassic Park when it had been out for nearly ten years, and I hated it), so I hope the focus is on the characters and not the things trying to eat them.
  • Allen Gregory/I Hate My Teenage Daughter – Meh. One is a cartoon about a super intelligent and mature seven year old. The other is about two incompetent single moms trying to raise their teenage daughters. My guess is that neither one will do particularly well.
  • The X Factor – Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul try to reclaim their former Idol glory, and just as my interest in that show continues to wane (I still can’t believe how weak the finalists were this past season!), I just don’t care about this one. I haven’t even investigated it – just another talent competition.
  • New Girl – I am actually very interested in this one. Zoey Deschanel is just so cute, charming, and funny. The trailer looked pretty funny, and I like that she has a trio of male roommates who are trying to help her get back on her feet after a bad breakup. Seems different and funny. I’ve already seen the pilot thanks to Tivo’s free preview, and it was laugh out loud funny. The characters are not your stereotypical sitcom types. They are quirky but likeable, even after just the first few minutes of the show. Make a point to watch this one – it’s worth your time! I especially loved the use of Dirty Dancing references and music in the pilot episode. Instant classic.

Mid season will mark the premiere of Alcatraz, which has potential since it comes from J.J. Abrams and has Jorge Garcia. But like many supernatural shows, it may be too specific to last very long. Another new show will be Touch, which sounds very convoluted and complex. But I’m interested in it because it has Kiefer Sutherland playing a loving father to an autistic 11 year old who happens to have a very special gift of seeing the interconnectedness of events that other people can’t see. Or something like that. Those shows usually don’t last very long (remember Flashforward? – probably not…), but maybe since they have a few more months to work on it, the showrunners will get this one right.

So I will be watching The New Girl, along with returning favorite Fringe. In my opinion, this sci-fi gem is by far the best show on Fox. Every season it reinvents itself or adds another layer of complexity and excitement. I was skeptical about the alternate universe last season, but after a few episodes I was hooked and was equally interested in both storylines (over here and over there). However, I am on the fence about Glee. I still haven’t been interested enough in it to finish watching all of last season. The final three episodes are waiting on my Tivo. A few issues I have with it: overpromotion, weak to nonexistent plots, and inconsistent (if any) character development. Suddenly last season almost all of the teenagers on the show were completely self-centered and even vindictive toward their fellow gleeks. Why watch a show that doesn’t have any likeable characters? I have heard about some behind the scenes changes, so I am willing to give the show another chance. But if things don’t change soon I will have no regrets jumping off the Glee bandwagon. What will you be watching this fall on Fox?


Fall 2011 Preview: CBS’s New Shows September 7, 2011

Filed under: Fall Preview,Television — Emily @ 5:04 pm

Person of Interest is the only remotely interesting new show on CBS this fall.

Other than a few notable exceptions, CBS generally makes shows for old(er) people, tries too hard to make shows that will appeal to younger people, or simply makes shows that are borrring. And so the trend continues with this fall’s small batch of new shows.

  • How to Be a Gentleman – I’ll start with the worst one. Another “man’s man” show (apparently the big theme this year on all networks), this one has Kevin Dillon playing a “real man” who makes it his mission to transform this other guy from a weakling into a strong man. Chloe from 24 and Murray from Flight of the Conchords won’t be enough to save this one. Murray was extremely annoying in the trailer. That actor seems stuck in unfortunate type casting. Sadly, this show may succeed with a certain audience.
  • 2 Broke Girls – Really bad name, never heard of the actors, and a bland premise about two waitresses befriending each other. Who knows? Maybe it could be the next “Laverne and Shirley,” but I doubt it.
  • A Gifted Man – This one creeps me out, mainly because the main actor looks creepy. Oh wait, it’s Patrick Wilson, who played that weirdo guy in Watchmen (I suffered through the extended bluray version of that movie…). No wonder I don’t like him. So this one is about a surgeon whose wife dies and starts to explain the meaning of life to him in spirit form. What, is she going to look over his shoulder and tell him how to perform open heart surgery? Not interested. [Now some of the critics actually say this one is pretty well done, but I’m just not interested enough in the premise or the cast to check it out.]
  • Unforgettable – CBS seems to be running out of gimmicks for crime procedurals. In this one the main detective remembers every single detail of her life, except for her sister’s murder. Bummer for her. Easy one to skip for me.
  • Person of Interest – I saved the best for last. Michael Emerson’s presence is the main thing that makes this one interesting. He plays a man who designed a machine for the government that deciphers all the email/texts/etc. that the government has secretly been tracking since 9/11. The machine basically weeds out all the miscellaneous info and helps predict events that are going to happen. Sounds a little like Minority Report. So Michael Emerson teams up with a detective sort played by Jim Caviezel to help track down potential suspects or victims before it’s too late. I am sure Emerson will be very good in this role, but I’m not sure about the overall premise.

I just realized that I don’t watch a single show on CBS, and I doubt any of these new comedies and dramas will be added to my must-see lineup. There are a number of shows on CBS that I used to watch, but whenever I need to pare down by list of shows, this network seems like an easy place to start. I would still enjoy, but no longer watch: The Mentalist, How I Met Your Mother, Amazing Race, CSI. Will you be watching anything on CBS this fall?


Fall 2011 Preview: NBC’s New Shows September 6, 2011

"Up All Night" just may be my most anticipated show of the fall.

A couple of days ago I previewed ABC’s new shows. Next up is NBC, whose primetime lineup is so cluttered with Dancing with the Stars and other mediocre reality shows that there is only room for a handful of new offerings. Very few of these look promising:

  • Free Agents – The only thing this show has going for it is that Anthony Stewart Head is in it. But he plays “the boss,” so I doubt that will be very interesting. This show is about “two recently heartbroken coworkers desperately trying to put their lives back together.” Yawn… The only buzz about this show among the critics is that it will likely be one of the first to get the axe.
  • Grimm – Okay, so this show looks like it wants to be better than it actually will be. But I will at least watch the pilot since it is written and produced by Angel/Buffy guy David Greenwalt. I think Once Upon a Time will be the better fairy tale show this season. This one may be too procedural in nature. The main guy is a detective who is also one in a long line of “grimms,” protectors of humanity from the monsters that really exist. It looks like he’s trying to find the “Big Bad Wolf” and save a little girl in the pilot episode. Maybe a little too specific, and too strange a combo of normal procedural with fantasy. That’s the problem I had with Alex O’Loughlin’s Moonlight, and it ended up being short-lived. That being said, I am intrigued by Silas Weir Mitchell’s “reformed grimm” character, who acts as an informant for the main character. Could add an interesting dynamic to the show.
  • Prime Suspect and Whitney – These two shows have nothing in common except that I have no interest in either one. American remakes of British shows don’t usually succeed, and just because a comedian is funny doing standup doesn’t mean they will find Seinfeld level success on tv. The show pages didn’t do anything to draw my attention to the story, characters, or actors. Moving on.
  • The Playboy Club – Another rip-off of Mad Men, with this one being offensive to me because of the whole blatantly objectifying women thing. It’s like the NBC powers that be said, “Hey, I bet people would watch a show where women bounce around in playboy bunny costumes…” Supposedly they will feature storylines about women’s rights and equality and such, but it’s hard to take those topics seriously in a playboy club setting.
  • Up All Night – I’m really excited about this one! What’s not to love about Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, and Maya Rudolph? (As an aside, if you haven’t watched Bridesmaids, save it to your Netflix queue – so funny, if also highly inappropriate.) Anyone who currently has a baby, is suffering from sleep deprivation, or is navigating the unfamiliar landscape of parenthood, can relate to this show very well right now. Will and Christina are new parents to a baby girl, and he is a stay at home dad while she resumes her career. Maya Rudolph plays her well meaning boss who is totally clueless about kids. It looks really, really funny. Hope it lives up to my expectations!

So there you have it. I will check out Up All Night, and with a more skeptical eye, Grimm. NBC hasn’t had a great track record with dramas in recent years, but it is home to my current favorite drama, Parenthood, and one of my all time faves, Friday Night Lights. I also admit that The Sing-Off is a guilty pleasure for me. I’ll probably get caught watching it from time to time this season. NBC’s main strength, though, is still its comedies. The Office is past its prime, but I’m still loving 30 Rock and Community. Which NBC shows will you be watching this fall?


Fall 2011 Preview: ABC’s New Shows September 4, 2011

Filed under: Fall Preview,Television — Emily @ 5:22 pm
Tags: , ,

One of ABC's most intriguing new shows

I love this time of year! The summer heat starts to dissipate, the kids go back to school, and the tv networks launch a plethora of new shows. Every year I enjoy researching these shows before they ever air: who stars in them? what are they about? what shows are they up against? And most importantly, why should I care? With that in mind, I’d like to share my initial impressions of the five biggest networks’ new offerings. I’ll start with ABC, since, as usual, they have the most promising new crop of comedies and dramas.

  • Apt. 23 – This roommate comedy has a naive midwesterner choosing her new roommate (Krysten Ritter, the girl from Veronica Mars and Breaking Bad), because she is friends with James Van Der Beek. That’s about the only interesting thing about the show, and all the characters seem pretty unlikable. It is funny that James Van Der Beek plays himself, but I think that will get old. Think I’ll skip this one.
  • GCB – I think that if you want to go there and name a show something controversial like “Good Christian Bitches” then you should own it and not shorten it to GCB. No one knows what that means! They should have found a more suitable name that wouldn’t alienate much of what is probably their target audience. I hear that at one point they changed the name to “Good Christian Belles,” but I’m sure they want a name that conveys a snarkier tone. It is about a woman returning to her hometown of Dallas after a nasty divorce, only to encounter the mean-spirited ladies she went to high school with. Based on the trailer, this show looks like it is trying too hard to be clever. I would totally skip this one, but Kristin Chenoweth is in it, so I may at least watch the pilot. I also think it’s weird that Leslie Bibb is playing mother to a teenager! She was on that WB show Popular when I was in graduate school 10 years ago! That wasn’t really that long ago, was it?
  • Charlie’s Angels, Last Man Standing, Man Up – I lump all these together because they seem to emphasize the same thing: females are starting to dominate the world. Do we really need a Charlie’s Angels tv show again? The first movie was okay, the sequel was so so. I’m not interested. And Last Man Standing is basically Home Improvement 2.0. Man Up seems mediocre at best. Not even worth writing about here.
  • Missing – Sounds like it has potential with Ashley Judd as a former CIA operative on a mission to find her missing college aged son in Europe. Perhaps too specific a plot to last long, but I’ll watch the pilot.
  • Pan Am – This is ABC’s obvious attempt to recreate the success of Mad Men. May be too stylized to work on network tv. I don’t find myself very interested, but then I never got into Mad Men either. Unlike Mad Men, there isn’t much buzz about this show. Critics are calling it boring and saying you’ll fall asleep watching it.
  • Revenge – This one stars Emily Van Camp as a woman out for revenge against a bunch of rich people for destroying her father’s life. What happened to our sweet Amy Abbott from Everwood? Could be a good soapy show, plus it marks the return of Nick Wechsler (Kyle on Roswell) to tv! (He’s been floating around as an occasional guest star for the past decade…)
  • The River – I enjoyed the preview for this one. Features some good actors (Joe Anderson, Leslie Hope, etc.), and looks pretty spooky! I like a good adventure thriller, so I’ll check this one out. It centers on the mysterious disappearance of a popular wildlife expert in the Amazon, and when his family and crew go on a quest to find him, they stumble upon something frightening and deadly.
  • Scandal – This is the one that stars our beloved Desmond (Henry Ian Cusack) from Lost. For that alone I’ll watch the pilot. But it actually looks really good. Not necessarily a show you’d have to watch every week, either. But it looks very well done. It’s about a team of lawyers whose job is to make their clients’ scandals go away. The premise doesn’t sound too exciting, but the trailer actually made it look pretty riveting.
  • Suburgatory – Hate the name, somewhat offended by the obvious mockery of the suburbs since that’s where I live! But this one actually looks like it has similar humor to Clueless, which I loved. Fitting, then, that it stars Jeremy Sisto (he played Elton), but how weird that he’s the dad! He moves his teenage daughter to the suburbs, where she is less than impressed by her fellow students and everyone else. It also stars Alan Tudyk (Dollhouse, V, Firefly), who is overdue for a successful show, and Ana Gasteyer. I’ll check this one out.
  • Work It – Worst. Idea. Of. This. Season. The preview was embarrassingly awful to watch! This is Cavemen bad. If it succeeds, then there is definitely something wrong with Americans. It’s about two unemployed car salesmen who dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. A similar premise may have worked for Tom Hanks in the early ’80s show Bosom Buddies, but I just have no interest.
  • Once Upon a Time – I am excited about this one! I am intrigued by the cast (Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parilla, etc.), anything from the Lost writers must be pretty good, and it has that epic feel to it. Hope it finds an audience! Like everyone else, I’m having trouble understanding exactly what it’s about, so I’ll just say that it’s about the real world and fairy tales colliding.

So there you have it: ABC’s new shows for 2011-2012. Some of these won’t premiere until midseason, but it’s good for the network to advertise them now. I’m not completely sold on any of these shows, but I am hopeful that at least Once Upon a Time and Suburgatory will be worth adding to my viewing lineup. Which of these shows are you looking forward to or rolling your eyes at?