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New Shows (2013): October 2 - 6

More new shows launched into our world this week. We are coming to the end of the fall premieres (there are only a handful next week) and, unsurprisingly, not a single network show has jumped off the screen this year for me. There are some that I will give a few more episodes of my life to, but none about which I am overly optimistic. As always, the best shows seem to come from PBS, BBC America, and Showtime.

I do want to give a quick shout-out to NBC for their new logo thingy. I love the bright colors that morph into the peacock. Very cool looking. And, about the picture at the top. I was looking for a black cat (Witches of East End) and found this. How could I resist?

The color code: red means don’t bother; blue means maybe; green means good; magenta means great.

Super Fun Night (ABC at 9:30pm)
This show is so confused about what it wants to be that ABC shelved the pilot and aired the second episode as the pilot. I’m not sure if that helped or hurt. The show is about Rebel Wilson, her two BFFs and their attempts to improve their lives by having fun nights that involve leaving the house. In the pilot, they sing at a piano bar. One thing I can tell you about Wilson; the woman is one hell of a singer. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the thirty minutes. The jokes weren’t funny and the sight gags were worse. This is not a show I feel at all compelled to continue watching.

Ironside (NBC at 10:00pm)
This show could have been really interesting. A re-boot of the Raymond Burr series, it tells the story of a cop confined to a wheelchair after having been shot in the back. Every one of the characters is crippled by something; Ironside literally, his ex-partner emotionally, one of the younger cops financially, another young cop by the fact that she is a woman. Rather than explore this aspect, the writers settled for a bog standard police procedural in which the lead character is House-like in his arrogance; the supporting characters are dull and the villains are absurd. By the end of the pilot, I decided that I did not like a single one of these characters and that I was not coming back for more.

A Young Doctor’s Notebook (Ovation at 10:00pm)
A British export that is well worth checking out. Daniel Radcliffe plays a young doctor in a remote village somewhere in Russia. Jon Hamm plays the older doctor who interacts with his younger self. Both are superb and the supporting cast is just as excellent. The humor can be grim and there is a fair amount of gore, but it is a lovely story and I am looking forward to the next installment.

Wendy Williams: How You Doin’, Broadway?! (TV Guide Network at 8:00pm)
Miley: The Movement (MTV at 10:00pm)
The Soup Investigates (E! at 10:00pm)

The Millers (CBS at 8:30pm)
I wanted to hate this one for purely selfish reasons; I want Margo Martindale to return to another show. Well, she has proved to me that she has true comedic chops and can not only hold her own, but make comics like Beau Bridges and Will Arnett up their game. While this pilot was heavily reliant on jokes that have been done, it made me laugh out loud and it made me care about these characters all in twenty minutes. This is the first comedy this season that I will watch again.

Welcome to the Family (NBC at 8:30pm)
This sitcom reminded me of a late 90s movie called Fools Rush In. Two people, one a WASP, the other Hispanic, face an unexpected pregnancy and begin to blend their families. In this case, the parents-to-be have just graduated from high school, so the whole age thing enters in as well. This wasn’t horrible; it was saved by some very good performances. It’s just been done.

The Originals (The CW at 9:00pm)
Both Billie and J.D. have reviewed the pilot episodes. I will, therefore, let their excellent reviews speak to the show. I hated it; they both liked it. I will say, however, that I hated it a lot less after reading J.D.’s take on it.

Sean Saves the World (NBC at 9:00pm)
The sitcoms this year all seem to have a common problem -- brilliant casts who just aren’t given the right material with which to work. This is another example. Linda Lavin and Sean Hayes are both comic geniuses, and this does come through from time to time; but, the rest is just boring. Again, there are too many characters and too many situations. If this show can figure out what it wants to be, it might be great. Right now, it is just frantic and silly.

Hot Package (Adult Swim at 12:45am)
Man, Cheetah, Wild (Discovery at 9:00pm)
Society X with Laura Ling (E! at 10:00pm)

Cassadee Pope: Frame by Frame (CMT at 10:00pm)

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO at 9:00pm)
According to the filmmaker, Ali’s greatest fight wasn’t in the ring; it was when he refused to go to Vietnam. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court and this film is an account of that case. I am a Supremes groupie and believe that the Warren Court was the best that ever was or, most likely, ever will be. I have read and studied most of their cases, including this one. This film is an accurate depiction of what happened and its cast is simply superb. I understand that not everyone is as passionate about the law or the Court as I; but, if you are even slightly interested, don’t miss this film.

Christopher Titus: The Voice in My Head (Comedy Central at 10:00pm)
Those of you who read this column regularly know that I can be a harsh critic when it comes to comics. I rarely find stand-up, you know, comical and was actually dreading reviewing this piece. I decided to give it five minutes and bail when it met my expectations. Ninety minutes later, I turned off the show a fan of this man. Not only did he make me laugh so hard I cried, he told a story about meeting Bruce Springsteen that moved me to tears. Yes, a lot of tears, but what a treat. Catch this if you get the chance. This is what stand-up should be.

House of Versace (Lifetime at 8:00pm)
Mystery Cruise (Hallmark at 9:00pm)
Scarecrow (Syfy at 9:00pm)

The Paradise (PBS at 9:00pm)
The latest BBC export and it is a doozy! Much, much better than the similar look we had behind the counter earlier this year in Selfridge, this is the story of a young woman who takes a job in a fledgling department store and starts putting all the others to shame. Like all BBC costume dramas, it is sumptuously filmed and the acting is wonderful. Pour yourself a cuppa and lose yourself in the story.

Witches of East End (Lifetime at 10:00pm)
As the first episode of the new season of Vampire Diaries sits on my DVR unwatched, this just might be the show to fill that void. Two generations of sisters are witches in a small town and the younger generation is just discovering what they are and what it means. By no means is this high drama, but the pilot was a great deal of fun and left me wanting to see the next episode. This just might become this year’s guilty pleasure.

TD Jakes: Mind, Body and Soul (BET at 12:00pm)
Cousins Undercover (HGTV at 8:00pm)
Alaskan Women Looking for Love (TLC at 10:00pm)
The People’s Couch (Bravo at 11:30pm)

The shows with links are those that we will be reviewing this year.

Monday, October 7:
Hart of Dixie (The CW at 8:00pm)
Beauty and the Beast (The CW at 9:00pm)

Tuesday, October 8
The Biggest Loser (NBC at 8:00pm)
Supernatural (The CW at 9:00pm)

Wednesday, October 9
Arrow (The CW at 8:00pm)
American Horror Story (FX at 10:00pm)

Sunday, October 13
The Walking Dead (AMC at 9:00pm)
The Talking Dead (AMC at 10:00pm)


  1. Wow! So many shows, so little time!

    I tried Ironside and very much agree with your opinion, Chris. I wanted so much to like it and ended up bored. I didn't think Blair Underwood could bore me.

    Where do you find those incredibly adorable animal photos? :)

  2. It's a mundane task, to be sure. I do images searches and then look through what comes up. This week, I had actually chosen another and then found this one right on the bottom of a page. The expression on the black kitten's face made me giggle. Doesn't he look like he's just tolerating that hug?


  3. Adorable?! I beg to differ.

    Blackie O'Kittenson is a freedom fighter from the jungles of darkest Peru. She was recently sent from the revolution's headquarters (Kamp Kitty) to assassinate Tawny "Stalin" Kittenski, a sociopath hellbent on worldwide kitten domination.

    What Blackie doesn't know is that Tawny got her start in the hard-scrabble streets of Aix-en-Provence. Blackie's lack of adequate mission intel has led to a fight to the death, as Tawny Kittenski uses every trick in the book--and a few of her own--to defeat her valiant assailant and resume the goal of kitten oppression.

    We can only wonder how this tense stand-off will end. Can Blackie O'Kittenson emerge victorious from the half-nelson of death? Or will the evil Tawny Kittenski once again foil the rebels' plot?

  4. Previously On is set to a rousing tune that will soon become ubiquitous on Top 40 radio. The music crescendos as we see Blackie and Tawny square off, leading to Tawny’s half-nelson of death.

    Of course, Blackie is able to escape and the ensuing fight is epic. Blackie’s tricks are learned from the jungle; Tawny’s from the concrete jungle. The viewer ignores the fact that stunt doubles are clearly visible more than once and that the CGI is occasionally forced.

    Panting, the two break apart and stare at each other. Just as they are about to re-engage, an empty cardboard box appears between them. As the viewers know that kittens cannot resist such an object, the collective breath is held as they jump in.

    Blackie and Tawny’s simultaneous mews are helpfully translated via closed captioning as “You!” Fade to black.

  5. I would definitely much rather see Kitten Karnage than any of the network shows.

    I recently saw some old Cagney & Lacey episodes and it was all about how tough it is being a female cop. That was 1981. It doesn't say much for us that more than thirty years later they're still using that in Ironside. Sigh.

  6. At least there are a lot more female cops out there, even if they're still complaining. :)

  7. Having thought the new network shows were blah, I just saw Witches of East End and loved it.
    It's really funny with some excellent performances, and the women in it are real characters, not just set dressing. I thought the humour was almost Whedonesque, an impression that was helped by Andrew from Buffy being in it. It's magenta for me!

  8. I really liked Witches of East End. It seems like it might not be another fast-paced, soapy, high-school drama, and I surprisingly welcome the change. I thought all the lead characters did fabulous jobs, especially Julia Ormond and Madchen Amick. Even Ingrid hitting me over the head with what a straight laced skeptic she is was only mildly irritating. The show even managed to poke fun of itself a little ("please don't say the power was within me all along"). In any event, I can't wait to learn more about their curses/history!

  9. The new Ironside sounds like a bad idea..Blair Underwood should get a better show to lead. Witches might be better than the long forgotten Eastwick I hope..That one sucked despite Rebecca Romjin who rocks and Paul Gross being devilishly cute. I'll see about it.

  10. My sentiments exactly on Ironside. But I really like The Originals! :o)

  11. I like The Originals too, CrazyCris. They appear to be making some interesting decisions about where to go with their characters, and I've enjoyed every episode so far.


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