After One Week, Which TV Shows Look Good and Which Seem Doomed? – by Josef Adalian
Congratulations, fellow TV viewers: We’ve survived another premiere week! The networks threw all manner of new shows our way and forced us to fill our DVRs to bursting with returning favorites. It seems only fair that we repay their kindness by rushing to judgement about how their new lineups fared out of the gate, from the obvious winners to the Romney-esque losers. Yes, yes: One week does not a season make, particularly in an era when shows debut year-round and many viewers watch shows on their own damn schedules. But that caveat aside, we still think there are some early lessons to be drawn from the early days of the new season.
It’s more important than ever to pay attention to time-shifted viewing...
NBC has emerged from the Dark Ages…
Fox is off to a rocky start...
We can already tell which shows are sticking around and which are doomed…
No point in guessing. Just compare it to the premises for the shows below. Remember, regardless of what their ultimate fates may be, all these shows had premises that got them to the starting line…and scripts that took them beyond:
The Premise-O-Meter: Ranking the New TV Dramas – by Margaret Lyons (Vulture.Com)
ABC’s submarine drama Last Resort premieres tonight, and it’s a doozy: action, adventure, shouting, you name it. It’s great! But man, the show is heavy on concept: There’s a submarine, see, and it’s given an order to nuke Pakistan, but the captain doubts the integrity of the order, so he refuses to go through with it, and then they take over an island, and renegades, and the president, and a secret submarine prototype, and on and on and on. It’s a lot of premise. Not every fall show has this problem, though — there’s the other end of the spectrum, too, the premise-less end, the end where the show is about nothing and has nothing to say. Here are all your new fall dramas, ranked in order of complexity.
ACK! THAT’S A LOT OF PREMISE
Last Resort: See above.
Revolution: A close second. There’s a global blackout, and 15 years later, everything is run by scary militias, and there are freedom fighters and people who want to turn the lights back on, and a lady with a secret internet in her attic, and a girl whose parents are dead, and there’s sword-fighting and a few jokes. So far, the show is heavy on concept and light on character.
666 Park Avenue: An attractive young couple moves into the Manhattan apartment of their dreams, only to discover that the building and its residents are possessed by dark, supernatural forces. It’s sort of like Revenge, but with the devil instead of vengeance.
Nashville: A country music legend grapples with her fading stardom and there’s a young up-and-comer who’s trying to push her out of the spotlight. Enough of a hook to be a soap, but not so much nonsense that it feels like a bad episode of Melrose Place.
Elementary: Sherlock Holmes is now a British ex-pat living in present-day New York; Watson is now a woman and is Holmes’s sober-living companion. It’s fancy, but it’s still just a procedural.
Vegas: Just a ’70s cop show.
Chicago Fire: Dick Wolf made a show about firefighters. It’s sort of like Third Watch, except much dumber.
Emily Owens, MD: She’s a doctor. Mean girls exist.
The Mob Doctor: She’s a doctor. The mob exists.
Made In Jersey: She’s a lawyer. New Jersey exists.
ACK! THAT IS NOT ENOUGH OF A PREMISE
Yes, you’re right. The networks do not practice what they preach. Ask your teachers in the film-TV department what that means. Let us know if they can even pretend to have an answer.
Bugs the heck out of me. He looks like the kid I’d hire to mow my lawn. If I had a lawn. And if he didn’t seem so damn confident. I’m not all that into other people being confident around me, you know?
But the youthful Mr. Berman doesn’t need to mow lawns because what he does for a living is create and run shows like DROP DEAD DIVA and the upcoming THE MOB DOCTOR. And to make me hate him even more he has another new project at CBS, based on – yeah, this is upsetting – an article in a snobby-assed East Coast magazine! (Atlantic Monthly)
To top it all off, this wunderkind who should be begging to detail my car (although I don’t have a car worth detailing just yet but someday, kids, you’ll see) just made another overall deal with Sony Pictures TV, for enough money to get me every toy I’ve ever wanted…and that’s with, I’m guessing, only a week’s pay.
According to the IMDB, Joshman started as a writer on CSI back in 2000, so he’s probably older than he seems. OTOH, IMDB has been known to get some facts wrong. Well, whatever his age, all I can say is this, direct from the very center of my soul:
“Hire me, dammit! I’ll mow your lawn! I’ll wash your car! Anything!”
Desperation is ugly, isn’t it?
(EDITED TO ADD: OMG, I just read that he worked on BONES too. Dammit. Dammit to hell!)