Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Shows - Follow up

Let's start today with a few new shows I hadn't had time to blog about last time.
First and foremost:

Heroes (Monday, NBC, 9PM).

Let's get this straight: this new show can be awesome. The pilot WAS awesome.
For those of you who haven't watched, the concept is the same as X-men. Due to some genetic crap, some people find themselves with super powers. A blond and busty cheerleader can't be harmed. A cop (Greg Greenberg, from Alias) hears voices. A young New Yorker can fly. But the best character is Hiro, a young japanese worker who can stop time and teletransport anywhere he wants.
What's great about this show is that most of these "Heroes" are loosers, people who wouldn't accomplish great things in normal circomstances. It's also absolutely hilarious, and ethnicaly incredibly diverse. The plot, or what I understand of it after two episodes, seems good enough, with a drug-addict painter whose work describes the future, and everyone gathering in NY. It's a little like "The stand", by Stephen King, with the artist in place of the old woman, and a pre-disaster world instead of a post-one.
In any case, a show super original with its form, and the way it treats content, if not in the basic idea. Personally, I'm hooked!
Grade: 9/10

Ugly Betty(CBS, Thursday, 8PM):

America Ferrara stars in this adaptation from a mexican Telenovela, about a young and ugly girl trying to make it in the fashion industry. Kind of "the devil wears prada" as a TV-Series, except it's hard to picture a pretty Betty Suarez, when Anne Attaway was so obviously gorgeous since the beggining.
The series is very well written, smart and witty in its description of the fashion world (which I know nothing about), and the characters are lovable enough.
It's very well directed, which can not be said of most of the new series. No stupid VO is already a change. But it's in its very realistic depiction of the Queens family, and of an ordinary girl's struggle, that the show excels.
It builds a plot around its character, instead of doing the opposite (Grey's Anatomy comes to mind). It asks: "what's a poor girl from Queen's problems, and how can we work around it?" Instead of: "What episode could we write so that we can end with a Coldplay or James Blunt song?"

Let's wait a little for a final appreciation, but for now, 8/10


Jericho seems to be on the dreaded Roswell slope. In each of the two episodes so far, they managed to build some stupid life-or-death situation drama that has nothing to do with the story. It reminded me of poor Kim BauerIf you can't manage an hour show during the first season with the character you already have, you're as good as canceled.
Give it another few months, then poof! Gone.

On the other hand, Studio 60 is on its way up. The ratings are fantastic, and so is the show. I'm amazed at how good are Matthew Perry and Brad Whhhithhhford, far from Chandler and Josh. The writing is great, of course, the world it takes place in very well defined. After only 3 episodes, I know and remember the names of maybe 10 characters, and that's a sure sign. How long can they keep it up is my only worry. Exciting! Looks like Aaron Spelling can't fail!

I stoped watching 6 degrees, Justice and Smith. I expect I'm not the only one.

Men in Trees keep being what it promised. A simple, not pretentious show. I'm not hooked - but then, I don't think I'm in the demographic target audience. Nice to put in the background while I work on something else.

Finally, The Class, is not as good as it promised. As I feared, too many easy jokes, not enough built-up situation comedy. A few genial moments, but a few (very) low-downs. The story line where ? (see, I haven't got their names here) is presenting the weather forecast was as lame as it gets. Like Jericho, if they need a feeler that early, it's no good sign. The difference is that the sitcom genre is dying, so quality doesn't matter any more. Expect it to stay, expect me to be watching something else.

That's it for now.
Friday Night Lights premieres tonight, and I can't wait! Stay tune for more!

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