Tag Archives: pilot

revolution recapping: series premiere

Talk about a mixed bag. Revolution rumbled onto my television set late Monday night and left me with a big pile of questions, annoyances, and a middling stack of tepid interest. I want to like it, okay? I’m also prepared to see it canceled quicker than quirky stewardesses prancing around in the friendly skies. We’ll see NBC, we’ll see.

The Premise

All the electricity is out, and it’s been like that for about 15 years. The government has been replaced by a big scary militia. People walk around with crossbows and swords and gaze longingly at postcards showing the electric yesteryear. It’s like the zombie apocalypse – except without zombies. Or like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road – except people smile every once in awhile and don’t mind wearing shades other than gray.

The Characters

  • Dad Ben knows something, but he’s not sharing it with viewers at home. Oh, and he dies about nine minutes into the episode. Of course.
  • Mom Rachel has major sci-fi cred. She had big parts in both Lost and V, but she sort of seems to be dead already as well.
  • Their daughter Charlie hardly smiles, knows how to identify an asthma attack (“You are having an asthma attack!!), and wields a bow like the long lost love child of Legolas and Katniss.
  • Danny, Charlie’s younger brother, has one distinguishing feature: he has asthma (“It is his asthma!!”).
  • Miles is Ben’s brother. His coolness is sort of forced on viewers, but it more or less works. Watch as he drinks all the whiskey! Watch as he kills all the men!
  • Someone not named Nate is a militia man. He’s Charlie’s complicated love interest.
  • Maggie is Ben’s British girlfriend.
  • Aaron is comic relief.
  • Sebastian is Dean’s former (?) friend. He’s also the big bad villain on the show (spoiler alert).

Where Are We Now?

The quality quad of Charlie, Aaron, Maggie, and Miles are off to rescue Danny from the militia men who killed Ben. Not-Nate has reunited with his militia brethren, but he seems to be harboring complicated feelings for Charlie because she’s the only pretty girl he’s seen since all the lights went out – or some other equally romantic reason. Sebastian, head honcho of the evil militia, is hanging out at his evil villain compound (a green lawn with some crisp white tents).

The “Wow” Factor

So I like a lot of things about this show. I’m always down for a high concept science-fiction tale, and this pretty much fits the bill. Complex characters bouncing around in complex settings boosted by an injection of post-apocalyptic shenanigans, tyrannical militias, and sword play is where I live (in my mind). I appreciate strong female characters, and I assume Charlie is supposed to be that based on her decidedly un-girly moniker. I’m also a sucker for anti-heroes that are a little rough around the edges – which I assume the Miles character is aiming for. Add a little intrigue about the fall of electricity and the people who may or may not be able to restore it? Sure, why not?

The “Ick” Factor

On the other hand, this episode felt like a recipe for cookies made out of only chocolate chips and flour. Yeah, the big ingredients were there, but everything else apparently got thrown out the window. Where are my multi-dimensional characters? Danny could literally have been played by a llama if you could teach a llama to have an asthma attack (a very serious and proper use of the word literally). Where is the interesting exposition? I have no idea why Revolution’s America is so empty. Zombie apocalypses conveniently deal with that problem by eating everyone, but without that gross luxury, I don’t understand how the entire country emptied to the point that Charlie has to ask if “there are other towns like ours.” Like other towns with people in them or other towns with beautiful, air-brushed people who have no personality? Because I’m doubtful about the latter.

Prognosis

So far, so good. Over ten million people reportedly tuned in. Let’s hope Revolution can keep up the ratings (and fix a few character and story problems while they’re at it).

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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a few reasons to watch nbc’s ‘bent’

Judging from the ratings, you probably didn’t watch Bent last night. There’s a good chance you haven’t even heard of NBC’s newest comedy. Similar to shows that aren’t The Voice or 30 Rock, there wasn’t a great deal of marketing and if you don’t already watch NBC, you probably didn’t see any previews.

Fortunately for all of you that missed out, I watch Are You There Chelsea? (not a particularly amazing show by any means, but I’m inexplicably drawn to anything with Lenny Clarke, Laura Prepon and Jake McDorman) and I was too lazy to change the channel. This turned out to be a good and bad thing. I’m not sure if I like Bent, but someone at NBC must have realized the pilot isn’t enough to sell viewers on the show, so they offered up two new episodes (Pilot and Smitten). If you trust my opinion as the gold, which I’m assuming you do, then here are a few reasons (mainly the cast) you should tune in for the next episode (Wednesday 9/8c):

  • Amanda Peet (Alex) is one of the leads. She’s hot and has a history of being pretty humorous. David Walton (Pete) is also hot and was recently on Happy Endings, which demonstrated that he’s funny too. These two have good comedic (and potentially romantic) energy. He offers the easy-going bad boy to her tightly wound, straight-laced good girl. You know that they will inevitably date or she’ll get drunk one episode and kiss him, but they have enough chemistry where the will they/won’t they wouldn’t get too boring too quickly.
  • The resident black BFF (a staple for many comedies, especially on NBC) is played by J.B. Smoove. If you don’t know him from Pootie Tang, you’ll recognize him from Curb Your Enthusiasm. He immediately won me over when he noted that smitten is a ‘white person word’, something that isn’t entirely untrue.
  • Margo Harshman (Tawny Dean, Even Stevens) and Joey King (Ramona Quimby, Ramona and Beezus) help balance out some of Alex’s neurosis as her sister and daughter, respectively. It’s awesome to see little Tawny as an adult who day drinks tequila and can’t always remember the guys she’s slept with.
  • Pete’s dad is played by Jeffrey Tambor (Daddy Bluth, Arrested Development). That should be enough to garner a view or two from any AD fan, but his character (Walt) is funny as well. He’s the kind of dad that carries around Malibu rum in his pocket, plays Fleetwood Mac on a department store piano and sleeps with women 1/2 his age. Also, his interactions with Gary (Jesse Plemons, Friday Night Lights) could potentially be one of the best parts of the show.
  • There isn’t an overwhelming premise (i.e., thirtysomethings adjusting to their new roles as parents), which means that the show isn’t tied to any of its plots. All we know is that Alex is recently divorced and Pete is her contractor and a recovering gambler/stoner. The lack of having a point could be a good thing and give this show room to grow. Or it could be the reason no one grows attached and the show ultimately gets cancelled. Both realistic options.

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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ringer recapping: pilot episode

Heading into last night’s series premiere all I could think was “BUFFY’S BACK!!!!!!” But if I don’t reign in that kind of thinking and cease with the continuous compare/contrast, it’s going to be a long next few years (notice my use of positive thinking towards the longevity of this show).

The first half hour of Ringer didn’t really impress me, but it wasn’t until the last 15 minutes that I realized nothing we’d seen was really as it seemed (this gives me hope for the suspense level of the show). And as the mini-interviews that ran throughout the episode kept emphasizing, this show will require some patience as the layers of each character are slowly revealed.

The Lying Game, which is a comparable new show for a younger crowd, also took two episodes to really hook me so I kept that in mind just in case the whole Buffy appeal wore off. Fortunately, it did not and by the time the episode wrapped up for the night I realized that this show could provide a certain level of suspense as long as we’re willing to offer up patience.

Key Points

  • The fake twinnery we were forced to watch was really poorly done. This is probably because we won’t have to see Bridget and Siobhan side-by-side very much, so they didn’t feel it was important to make it look good.
  • Siobhan committed suicide…but not really. When Bridget got the call from Siobhan’s doctor, I assumed that Bridget had some sort of disease and she wanted to end things before it got bad. False. Siobhan faked her suicide. We don’t know why and this may be just one of several mysteries the premiere set up.
  • Andrew, Sibohan’s husband, originally came off as distant and rude. He’s still seems decidedly uninterested in his marriage, but we learn that this is really just a reaction to Siobhan’s affair and detached attitude. His relationship with his daughter Juliet is a tad rocky, which may or may not be due to Siobhan’s role as the evil step-mother. 

  • Bridget learns that Siobhan was sleeping with Henry, her best friend Gemma’s husband. Although Bridget ending things with Henry when he gave her an ultimatum, this probably isn’t over. Still not sure if Siobhan was really in love with Henry or if he was just something to do while she passed the time as a rich bitch.
  • Bridget is an alcoholic and former prostitute. However, since she didn’t fake her death and try to have her twin killed, she’s winning the morality race between the two. Her best friend and the men in Siobhan’s life immediately realized the difference between the two women, but not enough to make a bid deal about it or even think that she wasn’t herself.
  • Who is Sean? He’s first mentioned when Bridget attempts to apologize to Siobhan and later when we see a picture of him and Siobhan in her jewelry box. I’m thinking he’s either a son or a little brother, but I’ll hold any further speculation until they give me more to work with.
  • Siobhan is/was pregnant and Bridget, who couldn’t take two seconds to make sure she was alone, said this in front of Andrew. Unless Bridget is preggo herself, there will probably be a “miscarriage” or she’ll pretend she was never pregnant to begin with.
  • Bridget will no doubt have to balance Siobhan’s life with her own. Victor (the FBI agent) and Malcom (Bridget’s sponsor) are part of the main cast, so that part of Bridget’s life will probably overlap. A decent recipe for multiple romances as well.

Quotes

  • You’re already forgiven, you just need to forgive yourself.” (Siobhan to Bridget….since it seems she tried to have Bridget killed, this is highly unlikely)
  • I’ll just hook up with one of the workmen. I’m sure contractors make more than out of work novelists.” (Gemma to Bridget-as-Siobhan who she doesn’t realize is the one having an affair with her husband)
  • “Why can’t we just be nice to each other, for real?” (Bridget-as-Siobhan to Andrew…..this might be the start of her weakening Andrew’s coldness)
  • “I feel like every time I clean up a mess, I end up dirty.” (Bridget in a moment of introspection that could be relevant to her new life being Bridget-as-Siobhan)

Next week’s episode: Double Cross

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