Monday, September 27, 2010

What's new on TV? Part 1

This past week saw a number of brand new offerings in the world of Television in the U.S. As usual it's a mixed bag of excellent drama and groan worthy crap but all worth a look for yourselves to see what's there for you. Sunday and Monday in particular fielded new show offerings...

Boardwalk Empire [HBO, Sundays @ 9]

Boardwalk Empire was created by Terence The Sopranos Winter and based on the novel Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. The series begins at the dawn of Prohibition in January, 1920, Enoch "Nucky" Thompson [Steve Buscemi] hatches a scheme to make himself and his associates very rich by bootlegging liquor. Nucky is approached by beautiful and pregnant Margaret Schroeder [Kelly Macdonald], who wants his help finding her husband a job. Jimmy Darmody [Michael Pitt], Nucky's former protégé, returns from fighting in World War I with ambitious ideas about his future and he forges an unlikely allegiance that could have serious consequences for both him and Nucky. The pilot was directed by Martin Scorsese who is an Executive Producer with Winter and Mark Wahlberg.

The Colonel says: Some people think I wouldn't know drama if it came up and punched me in the face. Maybe that's true but HBO's Boardwalk Empire walked up behind me and blew my brains out all over the screen. Oh no, wait, that just happened to one of the characters. I may be safe, but they're not. Interestingly, this show was the highest rated HBO launch since Deadwood six years ago.

Colonel Creedon Rating *****

Hawaii Five-0 [CBS, Monday 10/9c][Bravo UK in October]

A procedural crime drama and a re-imagining of the original 1968–1980 TV series. Like the original version, this one follows an elite task force set up to fight crime in the state of Hawaii. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci decided to reboot the original concept similar to their work on the 2009 Star Trek film, rather than a sequel to the original series. When Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett [Alex O'Loughlin] a Navy S.E.A.L. returns to Hawaii for his father's funeral, the Governor asks him to head a special task force to investigate his father's death because she wants someone outside of the Honolulu PD due to rumors of corruption within the dept. Reluctantly McGarrett agrees; he chooses the HPD detective assigned to investigate his father's murder, newcomer Danny Williams [Scott Caan]. He also recruits Chin Ho Kelly [Daniel Dae Kim], who has recently been ousted from the department but someone his father trusted. To fill out his team, Chin Ho recruits his cousin, Kono Kalakaua [Grace Park], who is still in training and they tackle their first case head on.

The Colonel says: I have only vague memories of Jack Lord and the original series but I've always had the ability to hum the theme tune perfectly as with many others from that time. I think anyone that took issue with Bob and Al's work on Star Trek will probably have the same type of issue with this series: It's the same - but different. There was enough action and gunplay here to keep me interested enough for a 2nd episode, nothing to do with Grace Park wearing next to nothing throughout the episode, no, nothing to do with that at all.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****

The Event [NBC, Monday ][Channel 4 UK in October]

Created by Nick Wauters and produced by Steve Stark, The Event follows Sean Walker [Jason Ritter], a man who, while investigating the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend, Leila, [Sarah Roemer] begins to discover the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. In the pilot episode, told primarily in flashbacks, Walker and his girlfriend were on a cruise where he planned to propose to her. Before he could get the chance, Walker returned from a snorkeling trip to find her not only missing, but with no evidence he or she had ever boarded the ship. In another flashback Leila's mother was apparently murdered by intruders, and her sister was kidnapped. Walker attempts to hijack a plane, which Leila's father is flying, apparently to prevent him from using it to assassinate President Elias Martinez [Blair Underwood]. The creators have assured audiences that unlike other such mystery shows, there will be less frustrating timeframes between questions and answers.

The Colonel says: It looks like NBC have this year's "mystery show" to fill the void left by the end of LOST and FlashForward on ABC. I consider NBC to be the "death" network now more so than FOX or ABC so it's going to take a lot to keep this on the air. I did have the patience for FlashForward but I doubt I'd have had the same patience for LOST. The pilot to The Event was intriguing and has the potential to be great, but only time will tell if it's worth it.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

Two shows I avoided from Monday were NBC's Chase and FOX's Lone Star.

Chase was created by Jennifer Johnson and stars Kelli Giddish and Cole Hauser as a U.S. Marshals fugitive-apprehension team, based out of Houston, Texas. Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnson are executive producers. I avoided this as 1) It was created by a woman, who has created nothing I've seen before. 2) Kelli Giddish isn't attractive enough as a lead character, 3) 90% of Bruckheimer's TV shows are too "bog-standard" for my liking and 4) The series is apparently so "bland" and "harmless" that it has already been picked up by the UK's Living channel. My Mom watches that religiously and she's in her 70's. Case closed.

Lone Star stars James Wolk as Robert Allen, a Texan con-man, who leads a secret double life. As "Bob," he is married to Cat and living in Houston [hell I've really avoided George Bush's state on TV] while working for his oil-tycoon father-in-law. Four hundred miles away in Midland, he is "Robert" in a second life with girlfriend Lindsey. As he schemes to take control of the oil business and finds himself torn between the love of two women, he must fight to keep his web of lies from falling apart. From the ratings I suspect this show will crash, burn and be shitcanned by FOX before the end of October.

More in Part 2


Live Discovery Channel said...

Its really interesting to watch some new TV shows and i am bored with reality shows.

Major General Creedon said...

Hopefully the rest of the world will follow you away from reality TV Mr. Channel. Television is for fantasy and drama; If you want "reality" turn off the TV and go an live it.

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, should I call Hollywood and cancel, Whopper, "Man of War"?, We'll have to send the advance back.

Major General Creedon said...

Fuckit Civvie, you'll have to. Tom Sizemore is doing some Celebrity Rehab reality TV. There's really no one else can can play me unless you can find Judd Nelson?

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, that's defeatest talk, the world needs to hear your story Sir, remember that time you saved those orphans from the explosion that you caused that killed their parents or your plan to revive the American economy by selling army surplus to the Taliban. As for a replacement the latest Bond is looking for work due to the recession. Craig Daniels, I think his name is, he'd have to up the action a little bit.