by Billie Doux
We're nearly into November, and opinions about the new fall shows are shaking out. What's interesting is that these opinions are all over the map. That is, except Bionic Woman, because nearly everyone thinks it sucks. And if you had asked me back in August which new show was most likely to be a runaway hit, it would have been that one.
What's wrong with Bionic Woman? Well, nearly everything. We don't know what Jaime can do, or what her limitations are. We don't know what her new job is supposed to be, other than going places for Miguel Ferrer, beating people up, and leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Jaime herself seems like the sort of young woman they should have passed over as a candidate, and I'm afraid I must say the same about the actress who plays her. Her home life with her utterly bratty young sister feels like it was shoehorned into the story. They're also too vague about the most interesting character in the cast: Sara Corvus, the original bionic woman (Katee Sackhoff). The secret bionic government agency keeps capturing Sara and losing her again. I've been hanging in there, hoping it will get better, or that they'll make Katee the lead. I'm nearly ready to give it up.
Of the rest of the pack of genre shows, the big favorite appears to be Pushing Daisies. I was sorry to hear that, because I can't stand Pushing Daisies. Sometimes heavy-duty fantasy just goes right over my head, and I think this is one of those times. I find this show to be twee, precious and surreal, and the narrator's voice makes my teeth hurt. Yet many of my friends find it unique, clever and hilarious. To each their own, I suppose.
I've already stopped watching Chuck, too. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because having a guy so important to national security working at Best Buy is just too difficult for me to believe in a show that is supposed to be grounded in reality. Having two other agents wasting their time in similar McJobs while assigned to watch Chuck just makes it harder to swallow. I never warmed to the lead, either; I keep wanting the action to be centered around Adam Baldwin. Maybe he and Katee Sackhoff should be cast together as leads in something else. I'd watch that.
Reaper is the one I thought I'd dislike, but no. It makes me laugh, and it doesn't pretend to be anything other than the silly outing that it is. I like Sam. I like his idiotic best friend. I like the weird and imaginative "vessels" that Sam has to figure out how to use. I also like the way they're portraying the Devil as a tanned, smarmy used car salesman with a big, false smile. Yes, it's no Dead Like Me, and there's an obvious lack of anything serious and touching. I can see me getting pretty tired of it at some point. But for now, like I said, it makes me laugh. I don't watch sitcoms, so shows like this will have to do.
Journeyman, a.k.a. Quantum Leap 2.0, is apparently ripe for cancellation. I won't cry if it is, even though I sorta like it and I think it has potential. I like the way they keep pulling Dan out of his life unexpectedly, leaving mayhem in his wake. I like the romantic conflict he's experiencing as he keeps encountering the love of his life in the past while remaining committed to his wife and child in the present. It also appears that they're going to try to explain scientifically what's happening to Dan. If there's time before it's canceled. Pun intended.
And then there's Moonlight. I keep hearing derisive, dismissive, and lukewarm comments about it, so much so that I feel like I have to apologize for liking it so much. Moonlight is my favorite of all of the new genre shows. I love the more subtle vampire trappings (certainly more subtle than Buffy or Forever Knight) and the flashes of tongue-in-cheek that stays firmly away from camp. I love the vamp/human love affair blossoming between the two leads (which feels more mature than Buffy and Angel and less violent than Buffy and Spike). I love Jason Dohring as the amoral vampire, Joseph. But mostly, I love Alex O'Loughlin, who plays Mick St. John. He's cool, he's hot, he's sexy, and he has fangs. So I'm a girl. Sue me.
So. No obvious break-out hit. Polarizing differences of opinion. Serious apathy, too. Not at all like the last time we got a bunch of new genre shows at once, and all of them were promptly canceled. (Remember the season of Invasion, Threshold, and Surface two years ago?) It's difficult to tell which of these shows will find a loyal audience and stay on the air. It pretty much depends on the patience of the networks, and possibly on a looming writers' strike. Anything could happen.
But please, whatever else stays and goes, could I keep Moonlight?