Joshua Hudson: FOX has Nine-Nine Problems, but This isn’t One

by Joshua Hudson

brooklyn-nine-nine-tvwriter.comMany cop shows are heavy on the drama, action, and surprise twist endings. They are also very light on the comedic elements to lighten the mood to avert from the travesties they love to portray to hook you in.

FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine says it is time for a change.

Nine-Nine is the latest comedy to attempt to build a strong following on FOX’s Tuesday night schedule. Last season, none of FOX’s comedies hit – I’m including The Mindy Project in that statement even though it was picked up for a second season – so it was time to regroup.

Nine-Nine comes from Parks & Recreations’ Michael Schur and his co-creator Dan Goor. The cast is impressive, featuring SNL’s Andy Samberg, the always stellar Andre Braugher, and Everybody Hates Chris star Terry Crews, among others, and it plays right into FOX’s brand of single camera comedy ensemble. While New Girl and Mindy seeks to keep the attention of the females, Nine-Nine is geared more towards the male audience.

The 99th precinct of Brooklyn is about to gain a new Captain for their unit. Sandberg’s Peralta is a stand out detective, but is averse to rules and has the maturity of a third grader. His partner, Amy Santiago – played by Melissa Fumero – is determined to work her way up the ranks and hopes the new captain is someone that can serve as a “rabbi” for her. Their new captain is Ray Holt – played by Braugher. He is stern, unflappable, and expects everyone to adhere to his new way of command – including wearing a tie as part of the dress code. Naturally, Santiago loves him, while Peralta blurs the lines and manipulates the rules, landing him in the records room.

The Pilot seeks to show the type of camaraderie that lies in a police precinct. There is the detective – Charles Boyle, played by Jo Lo Trujilo – who wants to ask out another – Rose Diaz, played by Stephanie Beatriz – but is scared because she is a badass and can be overly scary; shenanigans from Peralta that outline the comedic nature, fully in tune with Sandberg’s signature brand of humor; the office goosip – Gina Linetti, played by Chelsea Peretti – who sets everyone on their path and gives the captain the ammo he needs to evaluate his crew; and the deadpan nature provided by Captain Holt to counter-balance Peralta’s immaturity.

The trailer introduced in May did this show little justice; I almost passed on the offering because of it. I am glad I succumbed, as this could easily be a bright spot on the 2013-2014 TV season, not just for FOX but as a whole. If The Lonely Island makes a cameo, all the better.

Do Not be One with THE FOLLOWING

So spaketh The Hudsonian! Here’s why:

The-Following-Castby The Hudsonian

I heart Kevin Williamson.

Williamson is the brain behind my favorite “horror” movie (Scream); everyone’s favorite rural town near a river (Dawson’s Creek); and one of my favorite shows currently on television (The Vampire Diaries).

He’s also the brainchild behind the mind-numbingly monotonous plague on FOX titled The Following.

This review could be as simple as one repetitive letter: Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Yes, a snooze fest. For something that is supposed to be a member of this newfound television “horror” genre, it pales in comparison to everything. (I’ve never actually seen American Horror Story, and I know reviews are mixed, but I can’t imagine it’s any worse than this.)

A captured serial killer with an obsession for all things Edgar Allen Poe escapes from jail. He was put there after a string of artistic murders and was caught as his attempt at a fifteenth failed. His capturer, Detective Ryan Hardy – played by Kevin Bacon, who has been separated by six degrees of emotional reactions – is a retired FBI agent with a drinking problem. He’s brought back into the fold when Joe Carroll, the serial killer, escapes from prison.

They spend much of the episode trying to track him down, put together the puzzle pieces, blah, blah, blah. He finishes his failed kill (poor Sarah Fuller), and is promptly captured. The twist? He’s kind of a prophet of sorts to a large Internet following – Does the name make sense now? – who now do his dirty work for him while he sits in jail and toys with the emotions of Detective Hardy.

I feel like I’ve seen this before. There was a similar storyline written into an old CBS show, Moonlight, but instead of a few episodes, Williamson made a whole series about it. The scary moments aren’t scary; the drama isn’t dramatic; and the score fails to provide the necessary feel to extract any meaningful emotion.

I want this lost hour of my life back.

Oh, and I want the real Kevin Williamson to make a good horror show. Thanks.

The Hudsonian Sees ARROW

Arrow Hits a Bullseye – by Joshua Hudson

***The pilot episode originally aired on the CW on October 10, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST. What follows is a love triangle between myself, the CW, and Oliver Queen.***

When a movie based on comic book characters makes $1.5 billion worldwide, everyone wants a piece of the action, right? Especially when you have your own catalog of cool characters, and you have yet to make that much. Being shown up by your competition is never a good thing.

Suffice it to say, Arrow is a television show, so it’s not likely to make that kind of money. But, and I can say this with the utmost confidence, Warner Bros. and the CW have themselves a hit TV show.

Arrow is based on the DC Comics character Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, and details his journey from being a notoriously spoiled playboy – Tony Stark, anyone? – to a hooded vigilante who’s out to protect his city from those that stand to corrupt it.

This show is everything you want not just as a fanboy, but as an introduction to a character that may get you excited about comics. I personally have never read a Green Arrow comic, but I’m ready to pick up DC’s latest trade paperback featuring Queen. And I read comics every week.

Oliver Queen was aboard a boat with friends and his father when a hurricane tore it apart and he was left to float away in a life raft until stumbling upon an island in the Pacific Ocean. Everyone on the boat died, including his father and his date for the trip, Sarah Lane; who also happened to be his girlfriend’s sister.

When Queen is rescued and returns home, everyone is shocked, surprised, elated, and/or disgusted. Depends on whom you ask, really. Living a life of debauchery will create jealousy amongst peers, but in the case of Dinah “Laurel” Lane, it’s simply anger because he survived and her sister did not. Oh, and she’s hooking up with Queen’s best friend, Tommy Merlyn. It’s the CW. Would you expect anything less than a romantic love triangle?

Queen takes the last dying words of his father to heart, and sets out to help his city become what his father helped destroy. He is targeting the wealthy aristocrats that siphon funds from the poor and manipulate the system only to benefit themselves. To make life easier, Queen turns his father’s old factory into a “home base” of sorts where he trains and plots his next move.

He takes down Adam Hunt in the form of $40 million dollars, and closes Laurel’s case against him. (Oh, she’s a DA, and doesn’t know how to turn down a fight.) Of course, he’s not the only one on the list. There are many others, which will essentially make up the basis of each episode. Luckily, it’s a pretty long list.

There’s a little twist at the end, which I won’t spoil, but it involves Queen’s mother and trying to find out what her late husband told her son. Too much? Do yourself a favor, and watch this show. It’s a good mix of story, action and romance, and will make you appreciate Wednesday nights more than you did before.

My only gripe? Arrow should be paired with Nikita to create the best action-packed two hours on television. And this is on the CW. Who saw that coming?

The Hudsonian’s New Web Series

 by Josh Hudson

Hello everybody!

For those that have read my reviews, you can probably guess that I love TV. You may also know I’m hoping to one day write for television. Two extremely obvious statements since you’re reading this on, but still.

In hopes of creating a catalog for myself that doesn’t revolve around reviews for shows that are too terrible to be on television and make me bitter that my great ideas aren’t on TV, I created a web series to bring my voice to the masses.

Odds Of Winning is a web series centered on a struggling bar in Las Vegas. There’s no poker or slot machines and not coincidentally, no customers. Jimmy, the owner, turns to his friends – Larry and Roosevelt – for help in his efforts to jumpstart his establishment before he’s forced to sell it to one of the many hotel & casino owners looking for more land. Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s the only competent one in the bunch.

There are laughs, love, music, pretty people, mean people, and a lot of alcohol. I’d like nothing more than to bring my characters to life and show you why. My team and I have put together a crowd funding campaign to help us fund this project. I’ve written 12 episodes, and the bar we’re filming at has graciously donated their time to us if it doesn’t affect their business hours. The filming is being stretched over four weeks to accompany these requests, so food and equipment are at a premium.

EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Sounds cool, Josh. I’m really looking forward to this. Just one word of caution: So is munchman. In fact, he just told me how much he can’t wait to review it. Good luck, dood!

The Hudsonian Sees PARTNERS

by Josh Hudson

This new CBS comedy originally aired on September 24, 2012. Considering the time slot, it was a rather dismal ratings performance. Much like the acting and the writing.

4 people, 3 couples. That’s the unofficial tagline of this show. If you can’t read between the lines, I’ll translate:

This show won’t be on the air long.

Partners is a semi-autobiographical story about its creators, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. One’s gay, one’s straight, and they spend a lot of time working together, but also have their significant others to tend to. Sure. Sounds like something no one in America wants to see.

There are good actors involved in this project, with Michael Urie and David Krumholtz playing Joe and Louis – the Partners – and Brandon Routh and Sophia Bush playing their significant others Wyatt and Ali, respectively. I mean, one of those guys was Superman!

Maybe if he put on a red cape, he could save this show.

There are some bright moments (I believe every comedy that hits the air has at least one or two decent jokes in the pilot) but it mostly fell flat. The worst part? Not a lot of chemistry between the actors. And when the show revolves around relationships, that can’t be a good thing.

There were a lot of high hopes for this show, especially because of where CBS placed it on its schedule (Monday nights, between ratings darlings How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls) but when it’s not topping out at 7 million overall viewers, and it’s on CBS, that’s a recipe for cancellation.

I write this with optimism. And no, it’s not that I think that Partners will some how survive, but that CBS will bring back one of my favs, Rules of Engagement, earlier than expected. There’s always one show every year that has high hopes and fails to deliver what Rules always does.

Sadly, two of the last three years, it’s been shows from KoMut (Kohan/Mutchnick) Entertainment.