Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Episode 504

There seem to be more series premieres than usual this season (or at least they're advertising more heavily -- what's with the 10-page magazine spreads everywhere?) which means I'll have to watch in moderation. I most certainly will not be watching the pilot of Outsourced tomorrow for moral reasons (having nothing to do with outsourcing and everything to do with the fact that it bumped one of the funniest sitcoms on television out of the fall line-up). So I limited myself to three new shows: two sitcoms and a drama.

I started out with Raising Hope - made it to the first commercial break. None of the jokes landed and I was oddly creeped out by how much the girl from Parenthood (the movie) looks exactly the same 20 years later. Next on the docket was Running Wilde - can't go wrong with Will Arnett and David Cross, right? Right. Within the first few minutes, the writers gave us Arrested Development fans a shout-out, having Arnett's character worry that "he'd made a huge mistake." Though the pilot didn't hit as hard as Modern Family on its premiere, it has definite potential.

My new drama of choice was The Event. I don't know if it was the incessant NBC ads for it, the commercials they played for it before every movie I've seen in theaters in the past six months, or just the fact that it got a good review in EW, but I went for it. I was actually impressed by the character-focus of the first episode (and if you were wondering "why do I recognize that dude?", it's from Parenthood. Or maybe Swimfan). In any case, my recommendation would be to watch the first 59.5 minutes of the pilot and then turn the TV off and treat it as an open-ended TV movie. Unless they really, really make up for the absurd Gob's magic trick (illusion) meets Heroes-effect ridiculousness that happened in the last 30 seconds, I'm going to have a tough time buying into this one. Unfortunately, LOST has done everything, and done everything better, so these mystery/drama/action shows are going to have to prove themselves big time.

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