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Quick Hits: Pilot Season — My Generation

September 24th, 2010 Comments off

It’s Pilot season in America. There certainly seems to be more shows that at least have the potential to be intriguing. There’s the can’t miss in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the LOST clone in NBC’s The Event, the waiting-to-see-if-it-can-deliver in AMC’s The Walking Dead and a host of other intriguing new shows. I may not drop thoughts on all of them, but I will try to give my initial thoughts on some of those that catch my eye. On Tuesday, I reviewed NBC’s The Event. Today is NBC’s spy series, Undercovers.

My Generation debuted last night and was, quite simply, great.

Sometimes it’s hard to project the performance of a show out from its pilot. Often this is because a pilot is produced with significantly more elbow grease and attention to detail than a standard episode will receive in its normal course. Other times it is because you’re not sure how characters will play out over the course of a series run, as opposed to in the short term.

ABC’s My Generation is a bit different from either of those two scenarios. Getting out of the way immediately that I thought the pilot was great, I think competent writing and production will allow the characters to work long term and that there’s no immediate concern regarding production value and attention. The one point of caution is whether or not it is a series concept that can function over the long haul. Perhaps it is aspirational to think long haul on a pilot that was panned by more critics than it was hailed by, but like the New York Times, I found My Generation to be a unique spin on a familiar concept and I found it to be the pilot with the best potential so far this season.

I do wonder whether or not it’s going to last and be able to fulfill that potential. It’s the type of show that probably won’t find a Network audience and therefore belongs on cable. It’s not fast moving, action packed or sexy. It’s about people, their expectations and their failures. In other words, it chronicles life.

I’ve stated before that the four core concepts that I look for in a show are a) a solid score, b) production value, c) a solid cast and d) a plot with something to draw you in. That formula works in the context of a big production. That’s not what My Generation is all about. This show is a bit different in that it will be entirely character driven, but will rely on the side items in important, but secondary, ways.

More thoughts and my quick hits, after the bounce. Read more…

Review: Original “V” Miniseries (1983)

November 2nd, 2009 Comments off

As mentioned below, Sunday was the SyFy marathon of the original “V” miniseries and the follow-on “V: The Final Battle.” Juggling football, baseball and a family dinner, I managed to finish them up late at night. It was refreshingly awesome and set a very high bar for ABC to hit on Tuesday. [Ed Note: I apparently somehow only taped part 1 of V: The Final Battle… guess that’s getting added to the Netflix queue now]

The general plot line of the series, which was created as a screenplay, involves the arrival of about 50 mother ships from outer space. Their appearance is pretty much totally ripped off by Independence Day, if you want a frame of reference. The aliens, who ask to be called “Visitors”, appear human and promise to cure humankind’s ails. But, of course, there is a sinister motivation to their arrival and a resistance quickly forms, led by TV journalist Mike Donovan (Marc Singer), MD Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant), and a cast that is suitably multicultural (in TV executive minds) to make the series seem to represent all of humankind.

Before going into great detail, it has to be remembered that this was shot in 1983 and the special effects, and even language used (e.g., “Selling reefer”) seems antiquated at this time. But this miniseries still rocks out. The mannequin used to show Visitor No. 2 Diana (Jane Badler) eating a gerbil is, quite frankly, so bad it is awesome. Making a mannequin look realistic wasn’t easy in ‘83, but they didn’t even remotely have the same skin tone. The Visitor ships also look only marginally better than Ed Wood’s saucers on a string.

CLICK THROUGH TO KEEP READING

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Trailer: ABC’s “V” (2009)

October 31st, 2009 Comments off

In anticipation of ABC’s remake of the classic, sci fi miniseries “V”, the SciFi channel (which for some bizarre reason now goes by Sify) is airing the original miniseries and its followup “V: The Final Battle” in back to back airings from 12:30 pm ET to 7 pm tomorrow (the Sunday after Halloween).

I’ve not seen the original in ages, so I’m not sure if rewatching something I remember as a classic (classic used liberally) part of my youth will still rock (as with Red Dawn) or suck (like The Black Hole). Here’s hoping that if they remake The Black Hole, too, they’ll improve on that original.

Anyways, I’m hopeful that this remake will actually pleasantly surprise me. I’ve been disappointed with so many of the recent remakes (with movies such as GI Joe and Transformers stealing pieces of my childhood from me). I’m resting a lot of my hopes with V and with the new Red Dawn.

Below is the sneak peak Trailer for the new “V”. It premiere’s on ABC on Tuesday, November 3rd.