Pilot Season continues at the Meisenheimer household. In case you are setting your DVR according to our feedback, here is the next round of pilot analysis:
A woman detective struggles against sexism in a frat house police force in New York City. This is an excellent drama—the dialogue is quick, the characters have heft and the crimes aren’t over-the-top. In one episode there was the classic “is-the-free-pedophile-guilty-of-the-abduction?” plot, but it had a surprising twist: empathy for and suspicion of all parties involved. I look forward to watching this show deal with complex crimes, without simplifying the work into a battle between good and evil.
An ex-cop can remember everything except a crime that changed her own life forever. This show is the opposite of Prime Suspect. The crime solving is as contrived as a Law and Order episode. The premise is fascinating, but the execution of the memory idea is utter fantasy. It’s Psych without the comedy, ingenuity, or fresh appeal. Also, her fake lips distract me.
Once Upon A Time
Classic story book characters are bewitched by an evil queen who traps them in present-day Maine. Judging on the first episode, this show is watchable. Incredibly watchable. The visuals are beautiful in both the land far away and present-day Maine. Although the show appeals to childhood stories, this is deceptive. There are some themes, such as a tragic adoption scenario, which could be harmful for children. The most intriguing parts of the story so far happen in the present day town of Storybrooke. If it weren’t for this portion of the show, I would not be interested in the second episode.
A bunch of people work at a paper supply company. This show has changed drastically this year, losing Steve Carell and bringing in James Spader. I think we were all holding our breaths, waiting to see if The Office had jumped the shark, once and for all. The Office has been struggling to find its footing ever since Pam left reception, but I think they are off to a good start this season. They have rescued new boss Andy twice so far (the tattoo, the picnic) and I don’t think the old “feel-sorry-for-Andy” routine will get old soon. It’s heart-warming and I like it. What I don’t understand is why they made Robert California CEO instead of regional manager. Why would a CEO work out of a conference room at a branch office? That makes no sense. Apart from that, I <3 Robert California. The character is hysterical. I want more Robert California! His speech at the garden party killed me.
An extended family laughs and loves through highs and lows. The best comedy on television. Sometimes the kid actors drive me crazy, but the adults are artists. I love them, especially Cam and Mitchell…and Phil…and Gloria…okay, all of them. Modern Family is the only show I know that can combine physical comedy with sitcom simplicity and real characters and create such moments of humanity on screen.
A young single dad raises his daughter, Hope, with the help of his family. This show is still going strong. If you liked My Name is Earl, you will love Raising Hope. Cloris Leachman is a legend. Garrett Dillahunt is the highlight of every episode. And the ridiculous plots show more creativity than the rest of the new, canned sitcoms combined.
The Good Wife
The best for last. An attorney leaves her powerful, political (cheating) husband to pursue her law career and chaos ensues. Ahhh, The Good Wife. Pitch-perfect dialogue, fresh plot lines, believable characters, and a whiff of Aaron Sorkinesque humor. LOVE.
So, how about you? What are you watching? Have I missed anything so far?