Tag Archives: cbs

is cbs’ elementary worth watching?

A few weeks ago, Elementary found itself on the list of shows we at TVDM couldn’t wait to see in the Fall 2012 season, as well as among those we’re sure will be cancelled. Unlike some of the other new shows, Elementary isn’t a sure bet for quick cancellation (*cough* Animal Practice *cough*) or a second season pick-up. It was guaranteed views by people who wanted to compare/contrast to other Sherlock Holmes adaptions (as of recently, Robert Downey Jr. and BBC’s Sherlock) and those that know CBS handles the crime procedural genre almost as well as The CW runs the popular teen drama game. So, low ratings may not be an immediate issue, but is the show any good?

Well, I don’t usually feel the need to check out shows that involve oddly-paired duos running around solving crimes, unless they’re Shawn and Gus (Psych), so I’d planned to let this show quietly slip under my radar like most of CBS’ programming. Then I remembered how much I loved Lucy Lui in Ally McBeal and Kill Bill,and I promised I’d at least check out the pilot. I can’t definitely say if I loved or hated the pilot episode, but here’s what stood out:

  • Sherlock Holmes is played by Johnny Lee Miller (who I will always remember as the annoying Jordan Chase on Dexter). It’s unfair to compare him to any of the other actors who’ve played the Holmes role, so instead I’ll think of him as an incarnation of the Hugh Laurie’s House, which is to say he’s brilliant beyond measure,  incredibly flawed and the dysfunctional protagonist network television needs. Holmes is a recovering alcoholic and Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Lui) is his ‘sober companion’, hired to make sure he doesn’t fall off the wagon. He’s a rich boy who loves what he does so much, that he works for free and she’s a former surgeon who clearly hates her new job. Together, they’re an interlocking puzzle that solve crimes while trying to figure each other out. Their dynamic wasn’t immediately annoying, so that goes in the plus column.
  • Fans of Sherlock Holmes will appreciate Elementary‘s subtle nods to the legacy, such as him keeping bees on the roof of his home in the city or use of drugs, as well as noting that Watson is a former surgeon. I simply respect any adaptation that recognizes its roots, either in major or minor ways. It says that the writers are considerate of the fans and did the smallest bit of research. Something that tends to bode well if you’re interested in quality television, which I am from time to time. Another plus for this show.
  • Although Holmes is pure genius, Watson isn’t intimated by him in the least. This is illustrated in their interaction when she notes that he doesn’t keep any mirrors in his home because he “knows a lost cause when he sees one.” Watson is Holmes’ balance and it’s good to see that they went with that tone in the pilot instead of feeling the need to make her character continually clash with Holmes in some alpha male pissing contest just to prove her strength as a woman. I’m sure the fact that Watson as a girl instead of a guy will play a part eventually, I just didn’t want it continuously emphasized throughout the first episode.
  • There wasn’t a surprise twist-ending in the vein of the Law and Order franchise. Holmes solved the crime with 15 minutes left in the episode, so I was really scared it would get hokey and lame just to get a “gasp” out of the audience, but it didn’t. Instead, we watched (mostly) Watson get the proof they needed by making tiny connections and Holmes presenting it in a nice pretty package for the detectives. In that respect, it was the lack of twist that surprised me. I’m torn between respecting the show for not stealing a storytelling technique and annoyed that there wasn’t more “pow” in the episode.

I don’t think it will be the connect-the-dots format that will make this show a hit, unless they get a little more inventive with their crimes and how Holmes solves them. Instead, I believe the true potential lies in how amazingly screwed-up they can make Holmes and how he interacts with Watson. Elementary isn’t mind blowing, but it’s solid enough that I’d at least recommend checking out the pilot. Overall: 6/10 will probably watch next week.

 

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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fall 2011 tv premiere dates: sept. 12-18

This week kicks off TV premieres for shows, both new and old. We get how annoying it can be to miss a new show entirely because you missed the first few episodes. For the next few weeks, we’ll provide all the helpful info you need to watch TV as diligently as we do.

Premiering September 12th-18th

 

 

 

 

Tuesday (Sept. 13th)

The CW:

90210 ( @ 7pm CST)

Ringer (@ 8pm CST)

NBC:

Parenthood (@ 9pm CST)

 

 

 

 

Wednesday (Sept. 14th)

CBS:

Survivor ( @ 7pm CST)

The CW:

H8R  (@ 7pm CST)

America’s Next Top Model ( @ 8pm CST)

NBC:

Up All Night ( @ 9pm CST)

Free Agents ( @ 9:30 pm CST)

 

 

 

 

Thursday (Sept. 14th)

The CW:

Vampire Diaries ( @ 7pm CST)

The Secret Circle (@ 8pm CST)

FX

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (@ 9pm CST)

Archer ( @ 9:30 pm CST)

 

Not sure what you want to watch? Check out our picks for what we can’t wait to see, what looks too horrible to watch and what will probably be cancelled by the time 2012 rolls around.

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fall 2011: new shows we won’t be watching

We will watch a lot of things and are the first people to admit that sometimes those shows aren’t exactly Emmy-material (*cough* Jersey Shore *cough*). But there are some shows that are so spectacularly senseless we refuse to even give them a one-episode pity view. The blame could fall on shoddy marketing efforts on the show’s behalf or disastrous looking previews. We might even be inclined to dismiss a new show because we don’t like the lead actor/actresses (it has happened and we’re not proud of that, but we have to stand by those petty decisions).

As we’ve covered, there are some fall shows that look great and others that we think won’t make it past the first few episodes, but the shows that made this list we just don’t plan on watching. Ever. Unless they become hits….at which point we’ll offer a formal apology and perhaps even jump on the bandwagon….but we’re confident it won’t come to that….ever.

11 New Shows We Don’t Plan on Watching

Hart of Dixie – The CW
Missing – ABC
Smash – NBC
Unforgettable – CBS
Man Up – ABC
Allen Gregory – Fox
Suburgatory – ABC
Napoleon Dynamite – Fox
A Gifted Man – CBS
H8R –The CW
The Secret Circle – The CW

New Show I Definitely Won’t Watch by Nicole…“H8R”

We’ll start with the name: H8R. In the show’s defense, I probably wouldn’t have liked Hater any better, but text abbreviations have their time and place, and a show title is neither of those. The show plays on our obsession with celebrities. Every day people (just like you and me!) are confronted by the celebrities they hate and during this “confrontation” the celebrity tries to win their “h8r” over. AC Slater…er…sorry…Mario Lopez is the host AND executive producer (I’ll let you do with that whatever you please).

Overall the show looks like something MTV might have thrown on its afternoon programming back when TRL reigned supreme. The celebrities that keep popping up in the promos are Snooki and Kim Kardashian, which works since they are hated by so many people, but I can’t help but feel that it’s going to turn into a tear-fest when these women (and whatever other celebrities this show plans to have) try and win the favor of the fans that hate them. It’s a waste. The people that invest time and energy into hating celebrities are too busy doing that to faithfully watch a show that calls them out on it.

I say all of that to simply say this: the show looks dumb and the name of the show is even dumber. I know the CW sometimes takes a ‘throw it in the air and see if it flies’ approach to programming (Example A: The Beautiful Life) so I’m sure they’re hoping for a hit. Unfortunately for whatever new show that could have had that time slot, they don’t.

New Show I Definitely Won’t Watch by Will…“Hart of Dixie”

I have never been a fan of Rachel Bilson’s acting per se but I don’t mind her just showing up every now and then. But if you’re going to try and sell me on the fact that the girl from those anti-awesome Magnum Ice Cream commercials is headlining the new CW show Hart of Dixie then I hope you have more than a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

The “big city meets small town” dynamic has been done countless times and I’m not dismissing the show for that sole purpose. I just don’t think Bilson has what it takes to lead the cast and have me setting the DVR to tune in weekly – especially when House is in the same time slot and, possibly, in its final season. Positioning the new show behind a successful show (Gossip Girl) with a similarly targeted demographic is a great strategic move to get some carry-over views.

I think the show will make it through the season and even be picked up for another season on the CW. The hardcore viewers of the network seem to faithfully tune in to their dramas even when sometimes we…uh…they feel a show may have overstayed their welcome. Here’s looking at you OTH.

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tvdm top nine tv picks for the fall season (there was room for ten, we just prefer nine)

Before cable TV introduced original programming, we were forced to endure reruns during the summer months. Obviously, this time should be spent enjoying summer fun in the summer sun and all those other things the Beach Boys so happily sang about, but realistically, there was a gaping hole felt from May to September.

With the fall season almost here our excitement level is high. New things, old things! Soon-to-be cancelled shows, should-have-been-cancelled years ago shows! All of them lighting up our screens and filling our DVRs!

We’ve compiled a list of our top nine (yes, nine) picks of returning and new shows set to start this season. The news shows we’re hoping make it to mid-season and beyond, and if there were bets being placed on them, we’d do that too.

Top Nine NEW Show Picks in No Particular Order
New Girl – comedy on Fox
Person of Interest – drama/thriller on CBS
Ringer – drama/mystery on The CW
Alcatraz –drama on Fox
Homeland –psych thriller on Showtime
Terra Nova
– sci-fi drama on Fox
Grimm
– fantasy/mystery/cop show on NBC
Two Broke Girls
– comedy on CBS
Once Upon a Time
– drama/fantasy on ABC (the fairy-tale similarities between this and Grimm have not went unnoticed)

Nicole’s Top Pick: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was integral to my formative years and hands-down one of my favorite shows ever, which was largely due to the acting talents of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Her new show, Ringer, sounds exciting (twins, murder, double-lives, adultery, spying, low-lighting, strobe-lighting, etc.) and I think somewhere along the way my brain was wired to watch every CW show at least once. I am also a fan of the quirky, awkward acting style of Zooey Deshanel, but I’m rooting for Gellar the most.

Will’s Top Pick: Sooooo you’re telling me that I get to see Zooey Deschanel on a weekly basis? With those beautiful doe eyes? With that adorable smile? (She could be a smile model!!!) And that classic “Ridiculously hot and awesome girl next door vibe”?! I’m sold! But if I have to actually pick an entire show, I go with Homeland. I love a deep digging and thought provoking thriller every now and again and this one has the ingredients to satisfy. After the abrupt collapse of AMC’s Rubicon – that show was amazing until the last two eppies went all nonsensical – Homeland should be able to step in and capitalize in a genre that is, seemingly, difficult to maintain.

Top Nine RETURNING Show Picks in No Particular Order
Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Glee – Fox
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – FX
Fringe – Fox
Community – NBC
The Walking Dead – AMC
Parenthood
– NBC
Dexter
– Showtime
How to Make it in America
– HBO

Will’s Top Pick: This season I’m going to be following Fringe the closest. Even though my inner/outer “Gleek” is concerned with the impending changing of the guard, the stories and characters that J.J. Abrams and crew can create sucks me in every single time. As many times as I try to predict the future in that show I end up looking more and more like Ms. Cleo (racism not included).

Nicole’s Top Pick: I’m looking forward to all of these for completely different reasons (Community’s Joel McHale and Donald Glover are reason enough and Dexter is doing a “time-jump” that is supposedly going to result in a season one feel for the show’s main character), but I’d have to say I’m most excited for How to Make it in America. I can relate to the “twentysomething, screw corporate America and build something of your own, similar to Entourage but more realistic” feel of this show and I can’t wait to see how they’ve developed the characters (and if Kid Cudi will have a larger role this season).

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