Welcome back to my week’s worth of new TV show watching! Last week was super busy on that front—I watched seven pilots, and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t blur together a little. I realized something too; despite what I said last week, I’m not actually inclined to give up on a show after one episode. It usually takes me two to three to decide it’s not worth my time, so I’m a little more forgiving than most networks in that regard. Still, three shows fell to my axe this week, one of which was on the second episode.
Sleepy Hollow: I’ve decided this show is a twist on the monster-of-the-week genre except the monsters are tied to the apocalypse instead of say, the Hellmouth.
This week’s monster, um, writhing?
I’m okay with that for a show just starting, but overarching plots keep me watching, not ones tidied up by the end of the episode. So I hope they ditch the formula fairly soon. Ichabod is too obviously a heartthrob waiting to burst out from behind his Revolutionary hairdo, and I’m bothered that Abbie’s ghostly father figure is an older white man with beard and hair I associate with genteel slave owners of the past. I know I’m probably not being fair with that reaction but it rubs me wrong. Yet I’m still watching. Proceed to Third Episode.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (nope, not bothering with the periods): There was a lot of Charles Gunn in this episode, by which I mean J. August Richards, the actor, and that is always a good thing. But Charles Gunn was bad!
No, Gunn, no!
I missed a fair bit of the plot in my confusion at seeing my beloved Angel character turned into a scientifically modified superhero with a temper. I think he didn’t die in the end? Everyone looked too pleased to have actually blown a hole in his head. Either way, I want to know more about Centipede, and I did like that the superpower is coming from a nefarious plot rather than genetic mutations. So I’m in. Proceed to Second Episode.
Hostages: Not only is the Sanders family being held as hostages to force Ellen Sanders to kill the president through botched surgery, but the son’s a drug dealer, the daughter’s pregnant, and the husband is cheating.
That’s a lot of secrets to reveal all at once–I’m not sure if the fallout from them will be that riveting when the audience has already been spoiled. But the episode itself was absolutely riveting, and a confident, if probably psychotic, Dylan McDermott is a lot more attractive than the tormented, and probably psychotic, adulterer of American Horror Story. You just learned one of the secrets to keeping me watching, folks. Handsome men. It’s why I watched Prison Break for four seasons. Proceed to Second Episode.
The Goldbergs: The two older children of the Goldbergs seem too old already. Everybody yelled at everybody else, which is a common form of familial communication but not pleasing to my ears. Honestly, it was pretty cute, and the 80s references didn’t feel like shtick. The Wonder Years’ tone was strong, and I’ve seen much worse sitcoms. But I’m over laughing at family dynamics. Game Over.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: It’s two days later, and I honestly can’t remember anything that happened on this episode beyond the hot chick sort of liking the nerdy guy who likes her.
Definite interest there.
And Andy Samberg’s character matured a little, but if the humor comes from watching how immature his character is, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I’m afraid I’m going to have to break up with this show due to my own disinterest. Game Over.
The Crazy Ones: I love seeing Robin Williams on my screen, and the role of Simon Roberts, a visionary who veers between self-confidence and self-hatred, is a great one for him and his manic comedy. Robin Williams always makes us wonder if he’s really that crazy, but he combines too well with the other actors’ timing for him to be a true loose cannon here. I love that team member Lauren thinks Simon is hilarious even when he’s ruining their advertising deals. I love that Kelly Clarkson acted for the first time since When Justin Met Kelly and with much better results, especially when she put Sydney on the spot, forcing her to sing in a crowded restaurant in a last-ditch attempt to secure her services. As Sydney, Sarah Michelle Gellar gets to play funny again, but you can already see hints of her ability to move us with a nose twitch. And there were outtakes at the end of the show! Proceed to Second Episode.
The Blacklist: James Spader is amazing, and this role is no exception to that rule. Megan Boone has incredibly likable qualities as the profiler Spader’s character singles out for attention, and her dynamic with her husband was playful and relatable. But by the time that husband was being tortured, blood dripping everywhere including out of his eye, I knew I wouldn’t be watching again. The Blacklist is still a procedural, and I’m not interested in those because the topic matter is always the dark side of humanity, which is not something I want to add to my day-to-day experiences. I stopped halfway through. That’s not the show’s fault. It came across as very well done. It’s just not my preferred escapism. Game Over.
Trophy Wife: Malin Akerman of Children’s Hospital plays the title role of this sitcom, and the character is engaging and sweet. She’s genuinely in love with her older husband—
The happy couple getting to know each other at a hospital waiting room.
–and she wants to do well as a stepmother although she knows the kids’ and ex-wives’ attitudes are stacked against her. Honestly, I just spent thirty minutes feeling charmed by the actress, and that’s enough for me to keep watching. But something of more substance will need to stick with me next time. Proceed to Second Episode.
That puts me at a third episode for 1 show, second episodes for 4, and game over for 5. Yes, I promise to take your suggestions and add Broadchurch to the watchlist soon!
I didn’t view any returning shows last week, except Glee for which my column is here. Both Nashville and Modern Family are waiting in my queue, so you can expect reactions on those next week. In the meantime, don’t tell me how that car crash turned out for Rayna and Deacon!
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