New Shows (2013): April 9 - 18

As we all file our tax returns, at least in this part of the world, the new shows continue to premiere. For whatever reason, there are a vast number of new programs airing in April. Here is the second batch and most of them were truly awful. For clarity, I have listed them in the order they originally aired. As a reminder, red means stop, blue (yellow being too difficult to read in my world) means proceed with caution, green means go.

Find Me My Man (Oxygen)
A dating show that, I would hope, sends any man in a committed heterosexual relationship to the nearest jewelry store to buy diamonds. These women are proof positive that the grass is really not greener on the other side. It is filled with nasty women who only want to add to the collection of penis photos on their phones. I kid you not.

Ready for Love (NBC)
Because one dating show is never enough, NBC has entered into the fray as well. This one upset every feminist sensibility I have to such a level that I didn’t get through the teaser. The producers have pit twelve women against each other. The prize? A man. I would have hoped that we were well beyond this. Obviously not.

The Kandi Factory (Bravo)
Yet another show turning unknowns into pop stars. Expect the usual.

Ladies Man: A MADE Movie (MTV)
A run-of-the-mill rom-com. Guy has lots of women friends, but no one wants to go out with him. To impress the wrong girl, he tries to reinvent himself with the help of the right girl. Guess who ends up together at the end? Harmless and fun but, trust me, you’ve seen it all before.

Deep South Paranormal (Syfy)
Yet another show of ghost hunting, this time in the deep south. Once again, expect the usual.

The Moment (USA)
Kurt Warner, the football player, takes people and gives them a second chance to follow their dream. In the pilot, a woman wants to be a professional sports photographer. I was interested in this because I am interested in photography, but got annoyed when the producers obviously set this woman up in a situation that brought out a great deal of emotion in her. What could have been a lovely show became manipulative, especially when her mentor pretended not to know what was happening. I turned it off.

DaVinci’s Demons (Starz)
I really wanted to love this as I am a huge fan of the man. I was only able to get about twenty minutes in before I couldn’t take it any longer. It is not even mildly based in fact; instead, it is a horrible mishmash of what cable thinks its viewers want. Gratuitous sex, violence and a story that makes one of the most fascinating men who ever walked this planet look ridiculous.

Bet on Your Baby (ABC)
A standard game show in which one parent gets the child to perform stunts and the other bets on how well the child will do. Harmless and light, but not something I will rush to watch every week.

Stalkers (Lifetime)
This is another Lifetime movie that should have been great. Based on the story of the California DA who finally made stalking a crime, the story has been sensationalized to such a degree that I found myself rolling my eyes. The story itself is fascinating; it didn’t need all the extra nonsense.

Louis CK: Oh My God (HBO)
I’m not a huge fan of Louis’, but he does make me laugh occasionally. I got the impression that he was trying a bit hard in this one, but parts of it were very good. If you are a fan, watch it and let me know what you thought.

Life with LaToya (OWN)
Not surprisingly, Ms. Jackson ties the pilot of her reality series into the death of her brother. As creepy and manipulative as you might imagine. This is one that got about three whole minutes of my life.

The ‘80s: The Decade that Made Us (National Geographic)
If you lived through the ‘80s, this is a nostalgic trip down memory lane. If you were born too late, watch this and giggle at the fashions and the things that were so important to us at the time. It attempts to put the decade into a historical perspective, which it did, but it also made me feel old. It was fun, however, to relive the US ice hockey team winning the gold, watch clips from the Brat Pack movies and listen to the music.

Eve of Destruction (Reelz)
A disaster movie in which eco-terrorists sabotage our heroes’ attempts to discover unlimited energy. Oh no, a black hole! Some decent actors who are given nothing to work with. All too predictable.

Defiance (Syfy)
J.D. reviewed the pilot; he and others liked it. I tried three times to get through it and failed. Watch it and decide for yourself.

Burger Land (Travel)
I love a good burger as much as the next person, but an entire series devoted to them? Even the pilot got old quickly.

Scam City (Science)
A ten-part series that promises to expose how scams work. What really irked me about this series was the overall sense that threats are everywhere and that we should trust no one, especially when we are in strange places. As someone who has traveled all over the world, this idea is nonsense. Please, do not watch this show.

Casino Confidential (TLC)
Behind the scene at Binion’s in Vegas. Can you believe it? People go to Vegas, drink too much, gamble too much and sleep with the wrong people. Shocking.

Who Gets the Last Laugh? (TBS)
Three comedians play practical jokes (think Punk’d) on the unsuspecting. I loathe practical jokes as I fail to see the humor in humiliating people. These jokes took it to a whole new level and I stopped watching almost immediately.

Off Pitch (VH1)
Reality shows never cease to amaze me. Truly, who could possibly be interested in a Glee-inspired singing group out of Wisconsin? The only time I was mildly interested was watching the sparse audiences who watched them perform. The expressions were a mixture of boredom and disbelief that made me laugh. Probably not the reaction wanted.

Which Way is the Front Line from Here? (HBO)
Tim Hetherington was awesome. His photography was among the best of his generation and he could write extremely well. A life lived without fear, he covered most of the battlegrounds of his time. Unfortunately, it was this life that led to his death when he was killed by a mortar shell in Libya. This documentary, of which I was only able to see bits, is a moving and thoughtful tribute to this extraordinary man.

Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell (Adult Swim)
A comedy series about the trials and tribulations of people who have been sent to hell. An example of the humor is spending eternity at the bottom of a urinal. Hilarious. (Not really.)

*********

Although it is not technically a new show, PBS is currently showing the Ken Burns documentary The Central Park Five. I remember this case well. The woman who was attacked was my age, worked in my industry and lived in my city. The attack scared the hell out of all of us and we were all relieved when the boys who had confessed were thrown in jail. This film made me feel about as guilty as it is possible to feel about people I have never met. Beautifully shot and presented, it is a cautionary tale of a city held in the grip of fear. Drop everything and watch this.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of red..Last month was much better..Spies of warsaw was awesome, as was Hannibal. Defiance will get a look. Great overview.
Anna

Miguel said...

I went to the premiere of 'Which Way is the Front Line' HBO did a couple weeks ago and really loved it. You should try and check the whole thing out if you can. A wonderful documentary about an inspiring and courageous journalist. I loved it.

ChrisB said...

Miguel - it is in my Netflix queue already. I can't wait to see it.

celticmarc said...

"tax returns"

Same here Chris !

Gee whiz. So many shows, it is just insane. Paragraphs number 2 and 3 : a huge sigh; can't believe this in 2013...

sunbunny said...

I watched The Central Park Five per your recommendation. What a gross case of abuse of power by law enforcement. How could they think what they were doing was right?!

It was an interesting glimpse into NYC's history as well. I had no idea the 80s were so icky there. A lot of L&O and NYPD Blue makes more sense now...

ChrisB said...

sunbunny -- it is impossible to exaggerate how big the Central Park case was when it happened. The overwhelming reaction was fear, especially with young women. We had all, at one time or another, been in Central Park, alone, after dark. If it could happen to her, it could happen to us.

The press went crazy, coining the term "wilding," which only increased the city's panic. The police and the DA's office were under enormous pressure to find who had done this and throw away the key. The relief when the story broke that the guilty parties had been arrested was palpable. We were free, once again, to walk in the city at night. Of course, it was all an illusion.

Watching the documentary brought all of those feelings back, but with an enormous sense of shame. I wish now that someone, either in the police, the DA's office or the press had pushed this story harder. Instead, we all chose to bask in our glee that NYC was free of these boys. Truly awful to think about.

ChrisB said...

Turns out I'm not the only one who hated Ready for Love. NBC has already pulled it from the schedule. This renews my faith (at least a bit) in the viewing public.