TV RECAP: New shows on Night 1

LONE STAR

Far and away the best new show. Fresh, original, subtle. Beautifully written and directed. James Wolk is charismatic, good-looking and totally sells the show. I believed him and was interested. Hope this grows and develops into a decent sized hit.

THE EVENT

It feels like the producers took parts from all the recent serialized shows and stirred. People forget that even if you remove the smoke monster and the plane crash, the LOST pilot was still compelling because we cared about the characters. Jason Ritter is the only one representing an actual  human being in the pilot (and not an archetype), but otherwise just lots of questions and time jumps and no story.

MIKE AND MOLLY

Surprisingly sweet. Many critics didn’t like it and said it was just a collections of fat jokes and I guess to a certain extent it was. Here’s what resonated with me, though. It’s so refreshing to see real people as leads on TV and I just don’t mean aesthetically. There is a moment where at the Overeater Anonymous meeting Mike, played by Billy Gardell, talks about his self loathing and feeling no one’s gonna love him and the look on Molly’s face expressing empathy was very real. When Molly spoke at the next meeting there was a look of happiness on Mike’s face. Basically anyone who’s ever struggled with weight (and I have and still do) can relate to these feelings. But it was also witnessing the connection being formed by these two people who happen to share this one thing in common. I’ve been a fan of Billy and Melissa McCarthy and it’s so nice to see them both in a leading role. They have a great and natural chemistry. I also liked Reno Wilson. Yes the show needs some finessing, but it was just a pilot. My major gripe was that the character played by the mega talented Swoosie Kurtz was a caricature in the pilot (and I didn’t find her funny) and she’s capable of much more. I assume those things will get smoothed out and the writing will get tighter. Chuck Lorre’s last pilot, THE BIG BANG THEORY didn’t have a perfect pilot either. But I like the two leads a lot. I buy their attraction to each other. It seems authentic. I laughed. I related to them. I am rooting for them to fall in love. It’s wonderful seeing two real people who have had their struggles, find a connection. It gives hope to those of us still searching for that. For a pilot –  that’s a pretty good start. I assume from here it will develop into a love story with 2 people who just happen to be overweight. I hope that’s where it goes anyway.

HAWAII 5-0

Again, I probably have the minority opinion here . It was universally praised and deservedly so. It’s a very well made pilot. It has action, some humor, great and sexy leads. But in a way, it’s just another CBS crime procedural, one with a few more bells and whistles. For whatever reason, they just don’t hold my attention. I like character driven shows. So I can watch this and acknowledge it’s well made and most definitely will find an audience, and probably be a big hit, but it’s just not one I’d gravitate to on a weekly basis.  Scott Caan was my favorite part of the show. I liked his character details and he made me laugh. I bet if the show focused on his character juggling between trying to be a single Dad and solving crimes, I’d find it more interesting.

Haven’t gotten to CHASE yet.

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