Thursday, October 25, 2007

Final thoughts on the fall TV season

I watched about ten minutes of Viva Laughlin, which was notable for being the most horrifically bad television to have ever assaulted my eyeballs. And ears. Cuz it's a musical. It's already been canceled.

I have to say that, having read the blurb that the show was going to be on, I was both interested enough to make note of the date of the premiere, and certain it would be cancelled. It's a musical. About a casino owner. Except it's also a drama. Y'know, like Cop Rock. So you had to kind of guess. Except it was, in every way, more awful than you could picture. Okay, let me put it this way: The stars lip-synched to well-known songs. I mean it. "Viva Las Vegas" and "Sympathy for the Devil" with very bad choreography while walking through plot points with jazz hands. Oh. My. Gods.

Moonlight may have made it all the way to the half-hour mark. Except, y'know, one hour show. The lead actor is a screaming nightmare of bland. The plot unfolds like an amalgam of every other plot you've heard of. And in that style of pretty people on pretty TV, everyone looks alike. Awful.

K-ville fared better. One might legitimately like this show. "One" meaning not me. The acting was excellent and the cast has chops. The cinematography (can you say that about TV?) was wonderful, gritty and appealing. But the relationships felt very forced and the plot was very cliched. It was all just-another-cop-show except for the cut-above quality. Can't be bothered to come back to this one.

My one true pleasure of the fall season is Life. I am loving every minute of this. Damien Lewis is fascinating, I just want to watch and watch and watch him. Adam Arkin is, of course, welcome on any show I'm watching. In fact, maybe he should do a guest spot on all of them. And Christina Hendricks has a recurring role.

The show is doing a good job of blending back story, character development, and murder-of-the-week. The only thing wrong that I see is two of the three primary female characters are that bland-pretty-we-all-look-alike type. Why can't I see more interesting women, dammit?

The premise is that police officer Charlie Crews was convicted of murder and spent twelve years in jail. Freed because of DNA evidence and the work of his devoted lawyer, he's been paid a large settlement and his badge has been restored. Now Charlie is trying to solve the crime he was convicted of, trying to adjust to life on the outside, solving crimes, and having a personal life. It's all rather intricate and usually handled with some delicacy.

Other than that, there's nothing much going on. Grey's Anatomy is not quite as bad as the latter half of last season, but the magic is gone. ER is actually better than last season, and in many ways has a lot of juice. In other ways, it's a lot like, am I still watching this thing? But yes, I am.

(Viva Cross-post)