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New Shows: March 1-7, 2014

An interesting mix of shows this week, including a new channel, a reality show (don’t judge, just read), and a documentary that surprised me.

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

Delon’s Family Playbook (OWN)
The Happy Face Killer (Lifetime)

Building Penguin Paradise (National Geographic Wild)
Normally, I would have watched this show as I am fanatical about all things penguin. This one, however, was about SeaWorld and what they are doing to enhance the lives of the penguins in their care. As I am now boycotting all things to do with that particular organization, I did not watch this show.

Against the Odds (American Heroes Channel)
This is the first series for this new channel, formerly the Military Channel. It tells the tale of battles fought in which American troops were severely outnumbered, yet prevailed. The pilot episode was about the Tet Offensive at Hue. What struck me watching this was how young these kids were who fought this battle, how brave they were, but how sad a chapter Vietnam is in our history. Not a series I will watch, but this episode moved me.

Southern Charm (Bravo)
I can see you wondering what the hell I am doing reviewing this horror of a reality show. Well, Craig, one of the main players, is a local boy and two of the men with whom I work knew him pretty well back in the day. According to one of my colleagues, Craig is more or less himself on the show. That’s a good thing as he is the least offensive. Frankly, that’s not saying a lot.

Those Who Kill (A&E)
Yet another procedural in which a wildly troubled detective teams up with someone else; in this case, a forensic psychologist who is even more troubled than she. While the acting was exceptional, the plot was hackneyed and the twist at the end was telegraphed so strongly that, if you missed it, you weren’t paying attention. Unfortunately, there are too many shows like this on the air right now for me to want to continue to watch this version.

Going Wild (National Geographic Wild)

Carvers (Syfy)
CIA: Declassified (American Heroes Channel)

Bring It! (Lifetime)

Review (Comedy)
This show has an interesting concept. Andy Daly plays Forrest MacNeil, a critic who reviews life. In the pilot, he reviews stealing, addiction, and prom night. What makes this show unique is that Daly is not afraid to take his character down the rabbit hole, which left me very uncomfortable at times. Too much so to follow the series, but I truly applaud the effort.

Saint George (FX)
A new half hour sitcom that is simply dreadful. The jokes are either penis jokes or Anglo vs. Hispanic. The characters are trite and stereotypical and the plot has been done many times. I was hoping that we would get a comedy in which diversity is celebrated; instead, it is ridiculed. Don’t bother with this one.

Sirens (USA)
A trio of paramedics (the straight man afraid of commitment yet still in love with his ex, the gay man, and the rookie) ride around Chicago saving lives and playing pranks. It wasn’t bad and it made me smile once or twice. The humor can cross the line from raunch to just plain gross, but overall the chemistry among the three is good and this one has potential. I’ll wait to see if it reaches it before committing my DVR.

Beat Bobby Flay (Food Network)
Celebrity Home Raiders (Lifetime)
Chicagoland (CNN)

Gucci: The Director (Showtime)
My idea of high fashion is shorts that weren’t originally jeans and shoes that are not flip flops. I expected to be bored silly by this documentary about Frida Giannini, the creative director of Gucci. I was not. The film follows a collection from its original inception through the shows and is a fascinating look backstage at one of the premier design companies in the world. If you are at all interested in fashion (here’s looking at you, sunbunny), don’t miss this.

Cesar 911 (National Geographic Wild)

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