Friday, June 26, 2009

Fox Might Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

I recently had the chance to check out all of Fox's new fall shows. My thoughts:

I had already seen this one, and a second viewing didn't improve my opinion of it. A so-so show that sticks all of its great comedic talent (like Jane Lynch and Stephen Tobolowsky) in minor background roles, and gives all the comedic heavy lifting to a bunch of no-names. And it's about a glee club, which is a big negative.

A show with so many gimmicks, it should actually be called Gimmicks. The brother who's a retired pro football player is played by actual retired pro football player Michael Strahan. The other brother is in a wheelchair. They're black, so that puts a twist on the whole "brothers" thing. I was somewhat startled by the sight of Carl Weathers sans hair and mustache. CCH Pounder is a talented actress, but here she's reduced to being the setup (wo)man for all the "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" lines. I thought there was a limit to how many disability jokes you could squeeze into 22 minutes, but I was proven wrong. I'd say that once Fox cancels this, it could be picked up by CBS, which can't get enough shitty sitcoms, but the appearance of an all-black cast might alarm the network's key 60 years old and older demographic.

Past Life
A detective agency (?) investigates the past lives of its clients (hence the title). If you like Medium or Ghost Whisperer, you MIGHT like this show that isn't as good; otherwise, PASS. It's nice to see Richard Schiff on TV again, but that's no reason to watch this.

The Cleveland Show
I won't lie to you: I only watched approximately three minutes of this show. But that was all it took to deduce that this is yet another awful rehash of Family Guy. And, since Family Guy is one of the least funny shows on TV, it stands to reason that this is about a third as funny as that. Thanks, Fox, for continuing to perpetuate Seth MacFarlane's belief that he's hilarious.

Sons of Tuscon
This show can be summed up thusly: Scumbag adult hangs out with a bunch of youngsters and many shenanigans ensue. This will be lucky to air three episodes before being shown the door.

Human Target
Mark Valley plays a kind of fixer/private detective/bodyguard who protects his clients by insinuating himself into their dangerous circumstances. Despite the fact that this is derived from a relatively obscure DC Comics character AND that it has already been unsuccessfully adapted for TV once before, I actually like this show. It's by no means an original concept (The Equalizer is one previous example that comes to mind), but its outstanding production values and cast make up for its unoriginality. Chi McBride is totally wasted here (I'd much rather see him and Kristen Chenoweth in their own Pushing Daisies spinoff), but Jackie Earle Haley is a welcome addition to the cast (and the fact that Haley was completely out of the business five years ago should tell you how fucked up Hollywood's priorities are). There's even some quality guest appearances from Trish Helfer and Danny Glover. Of everything I watched, this is the only show I would watch again. That being said, it will get canceled after six episodes (because I like it, and that's what happens to shows I like).

Based upon what I've seen so far of Fox's lineup, I'd say they're going to need about 44 episodes of House and two full seasons of American Idol to make up for all of this dreck. Otherwise, I believe we might be looking at our new fourth-place finisher.

Things are looking up, NBC!

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