Premiere Week: Day One
So this is the big week for television, and I am super-pumped to begin some new shows and return to some favorites. I wanted to cover as many as I could so you all will know what to watch. Some nights are jam-packed; whereas others are slow for me because there are certain shows that I don’t watch because they’re pure crap. These are the ones I picked to review (who am I kidding; we all know that The Maestro picks all!)
The Big Bang Theory
The number one comedy on television, CBS’S The Big Bang Theory, reminded everyone why they’re number one. Last night’s double season opener had me laughing out loud. (My dogs thought I was dying!) Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (apparently she got married!), Jim Parsons, and Johnny Galecki proved why they deserved their pay increases, while Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik were all equally as brilliant. And I hope that last night was an indication that we’ll be seeing more of Stuart (played to dorky perfection by Kevin Sussman) and his budding relationship with Howard’s mom. This show entered its 8th season last night and it’s as fresh as it was their freshman year.
Huge season PASS
All I have been hearing and reading about the last couple of weeks has been how FOX’S Gotham isn’t a Batman origin story. It’s so much more and it will stand on its own immediately. News Flash: If you’re gonna bill a show as a NON-Batman origin, then you probably shouldn’t open said show with Bruce Wayne! (Played very well by David Mazouz I might add) Now, I don’t want you to think that I didn’t like it. I did. But, call it what it is. Set around Commissioner Gordon’s (Actually it’s Detective Gordon here) introduction to Gotham’s corrupt system, Gordon (Played very Russell-Crowe-in-LA-Confidential-ish by Ben McKenzie) gets his first lessons by shady veteran detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue is soo good here). Tasked with finding young Bruce’s parents murderer, they start meeting with the city’s underworld figures. Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, a crime boss, was an interesting casting choice. We eventually meet most of the characters we know from the comics either before or at the beginning of their lives of crime. And I loved Sean Pertwee’s portrayal of Alfred. Reminded me of a badass English gangster. Robin Lord Taylor, who turns in a rather serial killer version of Oswald Cobblepot, is also worth noting. It’s a dark show, although, not the dark that people are used to with the Dark Knight. Ultimately, Gotham is an origin story of, well, Gotham. And I will continue to tune in to see just how it all started.
Other than the opening sequence confusing the hell out of me, I was so excited watching FOX’S Sleepy Hollow. The show came out of nowhere last year to knock me on my ass, and last night the action continued for the entire 60 minutes. (Well, 42 minutes because I fast forward through commercials) Starting right where they left off last season, Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) are struggling to make sure that the Horseman of War, who also happens to be Ichabod’s 250 year old son (John Noble), doesn’t succeed in getting Moloch out of purgatory and into Sleepy Hollow. One of my favorite things about this show is how it takes our country’s very real history and completely skews it with totally absurd explanations for historical events. Like Ben Franklin’s (played hysterically by Timothy Busfield) real reason for having a key tied to a kite during a lightning storm. I would also love to believe that Ben did, indeed like to take “air baths” naked in open fields! The only misstep for me was showing the horseman of Death without his shirt on in a scene with his ex-fiancée. Uggh! That aside, count me in for this pseudo-historical thrill ride again!
Not even 3 minutes into last night’s Season Premiere of The Blacklist on NBC and I was already in awe of James Spader. The guy doesn’t play Raymond Reddington, he owns him. Spader has done some remarkable work over the years, but this is, by far, my favorite. Season 2 finds Red still being hunted by Berlin (Peter Stormare in a well-suited role), and apparently some other genuine bad people as well. Berlin has employed a cavalcade of psychopaths to make sure nothing gets in his way this time. I’ve got to give the writers a tip of the hat for this episode. Using dissociative identity disorder as they did (trying not to give spoilers here! It’s hard!), was pure brilliance.
Lizzy (Megan Boone) seems much more comfortable in her job now that she’s had time to adjust to single life. Ressler (Diego Klatenhoff) doesn’t seem to think he needs any FBI mandated counseling after losing his lady last year, and Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) is still recuperating from his association with Red. This show has it all. Its written intelligently, got plenty of action, and did I mention that James Spader is in it? I did? Well, you get the point. Watch it or you’ll be missing out on something incredible.
I’m gonna be honest with you. This is the show that I had big hopes for. I saw the trailer a while back and something about it just clicked with me. Maybe it’s the whole genius thing, I don’t know. Maybe it’s Katherine McPhee. (Yeah, that’s probably it) Then I watched the opening scene. One that I saw in the movie Hackers way back in 1995. This was not a good sign. But I persisted. I’m afraid that CBS might be drawing from the “socially awkward genius” pool a little too much here but the action the show demonstrated could just save it.
Scorpion centers on Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his not-so-merry band of fellow masterminds, who, despite being the four smartest people in any room, are struggling to pay their bills. They are a think tank that is wasting its talents repairing network servers in diners and the like. Enter Agent Gallo (Robert Patrick), the same guy that caught Walter as an eleven-year-old hacking NASA’s database for a blueprint poster for his wall. So the two have some history and its alluded to, but not really explained until much later in the episode. Gallo is here to recruit the team to save Los Angeles from 56 airplanes falling and crashing all over the city. As I mentioned, the action sequences are great. It’s the rest of the show that worries me.
McPhee’s Paige Dineen is a waitress in the diner that the group commandeers and just so happens to have a nine-year-old son that is as smart as or smarter than Walter and his group. She is clearly the normal person the team needs to facilitate the “talking to other people” part of the job. If the writers capitalize on the relationship of Paige and her son Ralph (Riley B Smith), with Walter being the bridge between them, we could see more than a couple of episodes. But, if they stick with the clichéd formula that CBS seems to own, it’s gonna be a short ride.
This one, I am going to Season PASS with an asterisk because I’m not sure the word season will apply.