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Thursday, 21 of September of 2017

Category » Audition Review

Audition Review: Person of Interest – “Pilot” & Prime Suspect – “Pilot”

If you follow along with us at the blog, you know I enjoy a good procedural. But good procedurals are hard to do, with their own challenges (compared to the more serialized drama). You need interesting characters (as I’ve stated before here) but you also need compelling cases-of-the-week. If you don’t have the latter, the former get a little a less interesting (unless they’re really good actors and it’s one of those cases where it’s just a pleasure to watch them).

Annoyingly, Person of Interest and Prime Suspect both stumble in their pilots in compelling cases and are dragged down by uninteresting characters (though there are interesting characters in them, thank goodness). Likewise, both shows feel oddly dated. Person of Interest might’ve felt more relevant and engaging had it aired a season or two after the World Trade Center’s collapse while Prime Suspect is just a weird case of something that would’ve been big in the late 1980s or ’90s, right along NYPD Blue, but now seems a little unnecessary. Read more »


Audition Review: Revenge – “Pilot”

I have to admit, it’s nice meeting someone who never knew the old me.

This is the first hour-long pilot I’ve gotten to this season (I’m skipping The Playboy Club until the weekend), and I’m pretty okay with it. I don’t think Revenge is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly not the worst either. Of the new shows I’ve watch so far, it’s easily the one I’m most willing to tune in for a second episode of.

And maybe it’s because I’ve just had a long week (and I don’t even get paid to watch this stuff, let alone write about it), but I’m feeling like I’ve been a bit overly critical of stuff, picking at flaws more than the strengths. Admittedly, it’s easy to do that with a pilot since there are often just so many flaws (pilots, by their very natures, are little ugly ducklings), so I’ll try and offer more than just a list of flaws. Read more »


Audition Review: 2 Broke Girls – “Pilot”

Are you sure we can’t get the meth addict back? She was really good at cleaning.”

As I suspect I’ll be saying fairly often whenever I watch a new pilot this season (especially this half of the season), I really wanted to like 2 Broke Girls more than I ultimately did. The pilot created the oft-experienced cognitive dissonance where I enjoyed the two leads immensely but the writing just forced them into corners that just weren’t that great and they’re weighed down by a number of factors, including a supporting cast of ethnic stereotypes to pass off as New York City diversity.

But unlike New Girl, where I was generally left feeling adrift in a see of stuff I just didn’t care for, 2 Broke Girl at least earns a few more episodes because of those two immensely likable leads and a shimmer of hope that the writing will improve itself. Read more »


Audition Review: The Secret Circle – “Pilot”

Two lead roles in the CW in two years? Um, I don't get it.

I only have ten minutes, so I am going to write what I can and then maybe add more later. Here’s the summary judgement–I kinda liked The Secret Circle.  The reviews I’ve read haven’t been the most positive, but if you like cheesy TV with a side of angsty star-crossed lovers, then maybe this is for you.

Here’s the thing with the CW this year–I tried LUX but quickly figured out that the show was doomed, and then the show got so whacky trying to wrap things up.  But I just wasn’t that into the actors.  The irony is that only 2 of the 3 main actors are back on the CW this season, and they are the 2 I was less into.  Ah, well.  There is nothing wrong with cute little blondie, Cassie (Britt Robertson).  She is earnest and wears those sweet outfits with military boots well.  But am I going to root for her?  Unclear at this moment.  I’m way more into her grandmother–let’s make the show about her.

Read more »


Audition Review: Up All Night – “Pilot” & Free Agents – “Pilot”

I’m all for NBC trying to carve out another night of comedy. I like having comedy on TV, even if I’m probably pickier with comedy than I am with hour-long dramas.  And this isn’t just motivated by the fact that I generally don’t seem to care for a lot of reality and competition programs. Comedy can help us see things from a different perspective, and it can make us laugh at things that otherwise aren’t terribly funny. Comedy can make us feel better, help us cope, and give us appreciation for things in ways that drama simply can’t.

So, while even though I didn’t like the pilot (or, really, the premise) for New Girl,  I’m glad it’s on. I’m likewise glad that Up All Night and Free Agents are on, even if neither of them have particularly strong pilots. Indeed, Up All Night‘s pilot the stronger of the two, but Free Agents is the show I’m more interested in seeing more of if it can deliver on its ideas more fully (the pilot is not as successful at it as I would have liked). Read more »


Audition Review: New Girl – “Pilot”

Pink wine makes me slutty.”

While it doesn’t premiere until Sep. 20, Fox has decided that early preview sessions have worked so well in the past (Glee), that they would go ahead and unleash New Girl on us a couple of weeks early (What, Terra Nova still isn’t ready?!). Never mind that  because I’ve been drowning in promos for the series on TV or due to the painful fawning over her at the TCAs I experienced via Twitter, I feel like I’ve been on board a constant hype train for Fox’s attempt to prove that they can still do a comedy (Raising Hope in a minor, but charming, fluke, I think).

But I will take a free preview (it’s on iTunes and your cable provider’s on demand options right now; it’ll be on streaming services on Sep. 13) since it means I don’t have to make time for it while trying to sort out the new schedule. And thank goodness for that since I’d be kind of annoyed that I cleared time away from watching other shows to check out New Girl.

Read more »


Mr. Sunshine – “Pilot”

“Just melt the ice, Bobert!”

I love Matthew Perry. Let me just affirm that first. Chandler was my favorite character on Friends and I have loved the majority of his film career (that includes “17 Again”). That makes the following very hard for me to say.

Mr. Sunshine is really not that good.

Could I be any more disappointed? I was very excited for Matthew Perry to be back on TV and producing and writing and starring in his own new show. I was sure it would be great. And he is. The show itself? Not so much.
Read more »


No Ordinary Family – “Pilot”

As part of the new fall season coverage, we’re doing what we call audition reviews for new shows. An audition review doesn’t necessarily mean the show will enter the normal rotation, but it will provide an initial reaction to a new series. Especially in light of time shifting practices, we think this is a valuable way to read brief reviews on new series to help you decide if you want to watch the show. For those who watch it live, it’s a good way to begin a conversation about a new series. These reviews will typically be shorter than our regular reviews, and may include thoughts from more than one of our writers.

Matt’s Take

You’ve all heard the pitch before: No Ordinary Family is a live action version of The Incredibles. There are similarities to be sure, but it quickly (a little too quickly) establishes its world and characters and dives into creating its own mythology.

Through the first act I was not too impressed. For starters, the 3 minute long trailer we were given over the summer made the show come across as cheesy and boring so of course that is what I was expecting going in. The exposition flies by at supersonic speeds, introducing us to the four members of the Powell family, their problems, and crashing their plane in the Amazon River all in about 5 minutes. I understand getting all of that out of the way quick and early but it felt rushed. To top off my early discontent: interview style narration.

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Boardwalk Empire – “Boardwalk Empire”

Nucky at the docks

Isn't this supposed to be Jennifer Connelly in a dress...?

As part of the new fall season coverage, we’re doing what we call audition reviews for new shows. An audition review doesn’t necessarily mean the show will enter the normal rotation, but it will provide an initial reaction to a new series. Especially in light of time shifting practices, we think this is a valuable way to read brief reviews on new series to help you decide if you want to watch the show. For those who watch it live, it’s a good way to begin a conversation about a new series. These reviews will typically be shorter than our regular reviews, and may include thoughts from more than one of our writers.

In the show HBO hopes will make itself not TV again (it’s been floundering with its original programming due to a mess of executives, like a broadcast network), Steve Buscemi plays Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the gangster/pillar of the community that has been allowing Atlantic City to thrive. But times, as they say, are a changin’, and Nucky has to figure out how to navigate the feds enforcing Prohibition and young upstarts, like his driver Jimmy (played by the never aging Michael Pitt).

Read more »


Hawaii Five-0 – “Pilot”

As part of the new fall season coverage, we’re doing what we call audition reviews for new shows. An audition review doesn’t necessarily mean the show will enter the normal rotation, but it will provide an initial reaction to a new series. Especially in light of time shifting practices, we think this is a valuable way to read brief reviews on new series to help you decide if you want to watch the show. For those who watch it live, it’s a good way to begin a conversation about a new series. These reviews will typically be shorter than our regular reviews, and may include thoughts from more than one of our writers.

Read more »