Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Final review

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

Final Fall Review

$#*! MY DAD SAYS ***1/2

A comedy about a mid twenties, out of work journalist who is forced to move in with his grumpy, forthright father.

+3:

· A joke fest. It's filled with dry wit, callbacks to earlier gags (the raccoon) and reversals of expectation which work on so many levels.

· William Shatner was tailor made for Ed, a sour, crotchety old man who speaks his mind and offers stubborn fatherly advice which adds to the charm and mystic of this comedy. And Shatner's stone faced deliveries ooze with sarcasm.

· The dynamic. All the cast seem comfortable in their roles and work together to create an enjoyable sitcom.

-3:

· The arguments and faux yelling take away the impact of the jokes. Tone those scenes down and let us enjoy the jokes.

· The awkward dance scene at the end could have been a down ending. Good thing the girl scouts saved the day.

· Lose the laugh track.

Based on the famous twitter account, $#*! is a breath of fresh air and a must see.

BLUE BLOODS *****

A crime drama that follows the lives of a tight knit, multi-generational Reagan family and their dedication to the New York City Police Department.

+3:

· The family dynamic. The Sunday dinner scene highlighted how these characters interact with each other. Sibling bickering heated exchanges of opinions, reconciliation and understanding. This is a great example of non-verbal communication. Each character is fully fleshed out with strengths and flaws compounded and duplicated until the Reagans are practically popping off the screen. Danny Reagan takes the law into his own hands to solve a case and he knows he’s going to pay for it… but it was worth it. Chief Reagan takes the opportunity to promote his legacy because he knows he’s on his last leg and has no friends in high places to save him. Erin Reagan-Boyle wants to uphold the law, but also protect her family and she’s not afraid to air her opinion, just like her grandfather. And Jaime, the new blue in a uniform, has a hell of a decision to make…

· The secrets we keep reveal more than what we say… And every Reagan has a secret...

· Story line. Set up, escalating problems, a solution that leads to another problem and more drama. Addictive.

-3:

· I’m still thinking…

Wow. The former producers of the Sopranos take an in depth look at the other side of the law and the men and women who serve and protect – by their own rules. The casting is wonderful. From the opening intercut between Chief Reagan’s speech and the kidnapping of the girl, I was put into a chokehold and held breathless until the final fade out. Blue Bloods accomplishes in the pilot what other dramas only dream of doing or spend seasons faking. This is story telling at it’s finest.

NO ORDINARY FAMILY **1/2

After a plane crash in Brazil, the Powell family returns home with special extraordinary powers

+3:

· Discovery of powers. When Jim catches the bullet at work and then goes to the batting cage to test his theories was a structurally sound sequence. When he realized he’s not invincible after being shot in the head it becomes a family affair was an added bonus to bring it full circle. Stephanie discovers her speed by running down the highway… I’m not sure it would not have played better had she just ran and got a beaker for an experiment. Daphne’s struggles with her mental telepathy. What a power for a teenager! And JJ has a beautiful mind… As they uncover their powers at different stages in the pilot, it added to the drama as they struggle to control their powers and understand their limits.

· George St. Cloud as the sidekick. From his fainting after shooting Jim, to utilizing the police scanner to building a lair with wifi, he is a great addition.

· The Ending. Revealing there are other extraordinary people out there and that Stephanie’s boss is involved. A tangled web they weave…

-3:

· The interview style introduction and the reveal the Powells are attending marriage counseling… I am on the fence because it does not feel like it’s adding to the story, just rehashing or explaining what we are seeing. There is already a lot of explaining in this series and the interview scenes may become redundant.

· Voicing subtext…

· Sneering villains with nothing more to do than shoot people and rehash tired overconfident, one-liners. The reveal that the robber had special powers was great because it sets up a balance of good and evil in this world, but now it begs the question, is this a family drama or will it be a crime fighting/action series…

No Ordinary Family fells like Heroes. Hopefully stays true to its premise.

Other shows watched but not reviewed

THE WHOLE TRUTH *

Competitive lawyers whoyou know the drill… The POV swaps in the first two acts were a change of pace, but could not save the show.

Old favorites still running on all cylinders

CHUCK – has hit its stride after struggling at the end of season two.

MODERN FAMILY – Can you say more Emmys?

TWO AND A HALF MEN – Old habits are hard to break.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT - Cast dynamic + writing = funny, funny, funny.

GREYS ANATOMY – How will Seattle Grace recover in the aftermath of last season’s bloody season finale?

NCIS – One word. Gibbs.

COMMUNITY -- Another word. Abed.

Hope you enjoyed the reviews and stay tuned…

FADE OUT.

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