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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…