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New Fall Shows Recap -- Part One

It’s that time of year -- the major television stations have released their new shows for the 2012/13 season. Here is part one of my recap of the new shows. I will post part two in a couple of weeks after all the other shows have had their premiers.

Partners (CBS at 8.30)
The producers behind Will and Grace have created this show, a direct ripoff of their highly successful series. The same idea, two best friends (both men this time) one of whom is gay and one of whom is straight. In the pilot, the straight friend gets engaged and the gay friend almost ruins everything. The jokes are old; the plot is old; the premise has been done. Really, really bad. Give it a miss.

The Mob Doctor (Fox at 9.00)
Another show that we’ve seen time and again. A young, pretty doctor who is excellent at her job, but doesn’t play nicely with others -- unless she’s shagging them. In the pilot, we see Grace Devlin (get it?) report her attending to the hospital board, convince her boyfriend to lie about the operation he is going to perform and pull a screwdriver out of some guy’s head. Why? Because her brother got in trouble with the mob and she is paying off his debt. The twist at the end, which anyone who has ever watched more than an hour of television would have seen coming, is that the mobster we think is her friend now has her debt. And, oh yeah, he killed her dad. I didn’t bother to watch the second episode.

Revolution (NBC at 10.00)
Because of its pedigree (Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams), this was the show I was most looking forward to and the pilot didn’t disappoint. The story grabbed me from the beginning and the cinematography was so lush that it was a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately, the second episode was a huge letdown. The main character is whiny and one-dimensional and, unfortunately, played by a young woman who struggles to act. I haven’t given up on it yet, but I am not hopeful. Billie is reviewing the series.

Ben and Kate (Fox at 8.30)
Oh my God! We’ve like never seen a show like this before. You know, the carefree, selfish older brother and the serious younger sister raising her like kid. There is like the drunk best friend and the like other guy who is love with the sister, but she like just sees him as a friend. The dialogue, oh my God, is exactly like this; the acting is atrocious; the story is cliched. While I was watching it, my computer kept freezing. It’s so bad, even hulu doesn’t want to stream it.

Emily Owens, M.D. (CW at 9.00)
October 16

Go On (NBC at 9.00)
Matthew Perry is playing a widower, Ryan King, who gets involved with a support group to help deal with his grief. Parts of this show are really well done, especially the scenes with the group. The problem is that Perry is playing Chandler Bing ten years later. I like it and I have watched all the episodes so far, but I’m not sure how long I will stick with it.

The New Normal (NBC at 9.30)
A gay couple hires a surrogate to carry a child for them, in the process letting the woman, her child and her mother into their lives. Ellen Barkin, who plays the mother, gives the performance of her career and it is worth watching the show just to watch her. I love this one. Give it a shot.

The Mindy Project (Fox at 9.30)
A thirty-one year old doctor, raised on romantic comedies, decides to change her life because she is tired of always being drunk and sleeping with the wrong men. The problem with this show is that not one character is sympathetic and most of them are just hateful. The lead is ridiculous; the men are, without exception, sexist pigs and the token child is a spoiled brat. This is a one and done, I’m afraid.

Vegas (CBS at 10.00)
I have been in love with Dennis Quaid forever, so I was predisposed to like this one. The premise is rather dull -- a rancher becomes a sheriff in Las Vegas just as the mob is becoming entrenched. What saves this show is the chemistry between Quaid and Michael Chiklis who plays the mob boss. The pilot was filled with fantastic scenes of the two of them squaring off, but in the nicest possible way. This is one show I’m going to stick with for a while, just to watch these two act together.

Arrow (CW at 8.00)
October 10

Animal Practice (NBC at 8.00)
A vet, who hates people, finds that he now needs to share his practice with his ex-girlfriend. The practice is filled with stereotypical characters, nothing we haven’t seen a thousand times before. But worse, George has a monkey who is a bigger part of his life than anyone else. Simply dreadful.

Guys with Kids (NBC at 8.30)
Three friends are all raising their kids together. I liked the actors and I liked the basic story, but not being a parent, a lot of the jokes were lost on me. I won’t keep watching it, but my guess is that if you’re a parent, you’ll enjoy it.

The Neighbors (ABC at 8.30)
A family of five leaves the city and moves to the ‘burbs, only to discover that all of their neighbors are aliens. Sounds awful, doesn’t it. It’s fun -- think a reboot of Third Rock. I laughed out loud more than once and this is one I will keep watching -- as long as it continues to make me laugh.

Nashville (ABC at 10.00)
October 10

Chicago Fire (NBC at 10.00)
October 10

Last Resort (ABC at 8.00)
A group of nuclear submariners disobey a direct order to fire their nukes and end up running from the American government. They wind up on an island, somewhere in the South Pacific. By far, my favorite new drama of the season. Suspenseful, great acting and a story that looks as though it might have some legs. This is now on my must watch list. Katie reviewed the pilot.

Beauty and the Beast (CW at 9.00)
October 11

Elementary (CBS at 10.00)
A new take on the classic tales with Johnny Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson. Being a huge fan of the latest BBC version, I expected to hate this. I was pleasantly surprised, especially by Lucy Liu who did a very nice job. I will probably continue to watch this for the time being, but I am holding the producers to their promise to not allow a romance to develop between the two leads. Katie reviewed the pilot.

Made in Jersey (CBS at 9.00)
A young, working class woman from a big Italian family living in New Jersey gets a job at a prestigious law firm in Manhattan. There is a show like this every year (last year’s was Hart of Dixie), but I really liked this one. I liked Martina’s attitude, her ability to relate to people and her determination to get to the truth. Although I don’t hold out a lot of hope for this one, especially as it is in a deadly time slot, I will stick with it for a while.

666 Park Avenue (ABC at 10.00)
A young couple move into the Drake, a posh apartment building on Park Avenue, and become its building managers. Odd things happen all around them, spearheaded by the Dorans who live in the penthouse. This is another one I really wanted to like, but I’m not sure. Terry O’Quinn is his usual brilliant self, but none of the other actors really excited me. I’m going to watch the next few shows to see how the writers expand the story, but for now, I recommend it with reservations. Nadim has reviewed the pilot.


  1. Hey Chris!

    I didn't you were doing this what a fun feature. It's crazy how much we agree on practically everything!

    Partners: Pretty bad but I would watch Sophia Bush do anything. She's gorgeous and charming.

    Revolution: You read my mind. LOVED the pilot. But I also mentioned the second episode was a letdown in my review. The main character is indeed so useless.

    Go On: Strangely charming. I've seen all 4 episodes as well. Let's see how long we stick with it!

    Last Resort: Superb. Suspenseful. Brilliant. I do hope it keeps it up!

    666 Park Avenue: Same. So much potential that has yet to be tapped into. Hopefully this won't be the case for long.

    The Mindy Project: The one thing we didn't agree on, I found it hilarious! How weird is that? I've never watched The Office so I don't know Mindy but I found her bizarrely charming! Aaaah! But I can totally see how anyone would hate it (my brother was going to kill when he found out I liked it, he detested it)

    Looking forward to many more of these recaps Chris! :)

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  3. Fun feature, Chris. I completely disagree with you on Ben and Kate. It made me laugh, and I felt like there was genuine heart and affection between the titular characters, which is what made me want to see more. I enjoyed the interactions with the daughter, and felt like Ben and Kate both had something to offer each other. The relationship doesn't just go one way. Even though the characters come across more as basic types in the pilot, I think there's the potential for the ensemble to develop nicely. Comedies often take time to settle into their final groove. If the characters/actors have chemistry at the start, then it can be worth giving them time to find themselves.

    And, as a parent, the scene in which Ben tries not to curse in front of the daughter just cracked me up.

  4. One of the great things about television is how different characters speak to different people. I hope a lot more people will comment on how they disagree with my assessments.

    And, Jess, as much as I hated the show, the scene with Ben trying not to curse did make me smile. Not too long ago, I was hanging out with my five year old nephew and inadvertently swore. Perfectly seriously, he looked up at me, told me that "son of a bitch" is a bad thing to say and he put me into a time out. Luckily, he relented on the age thing and I was able to play again after just five minutes. :-)

  5. Hmmm...out of the 15 new shows that have premiered, I only watched two of them and both coincidently enough are ones that Katie reviewed, Last Resort and Elementary. (cue Twilight Zone music? :D)

    Elementary - I always like any Sherlock Holmes, and liked this new take on the character and like you ChrisB, hope they keep Holmes and Watson as friends and companions and nothing romantic develops because that is so not the point of their relationship.

    Last Resort - an action movie as a TV series done right. I'm hoping the writing keeps up as well as the pilot.

    Weirdly enough, out of the remaining shows that have yet to premiere yet, I am planning again to only view two of them, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast.

    Arrow - I read the comic book this is based on, so looking forward to see how the adaptation translates to the small screen.

    Beauty and the Beast - I like Kristen Kruek but if this show gets too cheesy as it might, I may just drop it.

    Doesn't look like I added many new shows to my TiVo box, though some of the new shows I was interested in aren't airing till Midseason like the Following.

  6. Thanks for doing this Chris! That's a lot of TV to watch!

    Have to disagree with you on Partners. It may just be another Will and Grace, but I loved Will and Grace. Michael Urie is damn funny.

    Nadim - Sophia Bush is so annoying in this! She's definitely my least favorite part of the show. Her voice is always so screechy. Girl needs to learn how to modulate her voice.

    Mob Doctor just pisses me off. It could have been good, I'm convinced. If only it had been on cable, they could have done so much more. I feel like everyone working on this show just aimed for the middle. Plus the premise of the pilot was so dramatic, I don't know how they think they're going to top putting Grace in the predicament of having to kill someone.

    I thought Guys with Kids was a train wreck, although I have only seen one episode.

  7. Cool cool cool Chris !

    Besides Revolution and Last Resort's pilot, I watch.....none of the shows up there. Oops. But I always appreciate having an interesting opinion about what's going on. (yes, yes, add that to the list of items of why I love this blog so much)

    Hum, hum...Community is coming this upcoming 19th....


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