TV Squad previews NBC's new shows
OK, so the networks have given their upfronts and they've sent out the screener DVDs. These are the pilot episodes of the new fall shows, in not-quite-completed form. Things could still change before they hit the networks this fall, but they give a good general sense of what the shows are about and what they're like.
Today Joel and I start with previews of some new NBC shows: Bionic Woman, Life, Chuck, and Journeyman. More networks and other shows coming soon!
(Photos courtesy NBC.com)
(Wednesday at 9PM ET)
Premise of the screener: As you can probably tell from the pic above, this isn't your father's Bionic Woman. The premise is pretty much the same: Jamie Sommers gets into an accident and her professor boyfriend and surgeons have to replace her legs, an arm, her right eye and right ear. This is good, since she'll be using those powers for the government to fight crime (including another bionic woman, an evil one).
Bob says: This is 3000 times darker and more violent than the original, and the military aspect is shadier. That's not a shock, of course, but you can see how different it's going to be from the first scene (a dozen people dead, blood everywhere, etc). It's very Alias-like actually, and you can see the influence of Battlestar Galactica too (it's from the same people and share cast members), though Michelle Ryan doesn't have the charisma or acting ability of Jennifer Garner. Some of the acting is so-so and things happen way too quick, but it could be intriguing. The bad guys are good.
(Monday at 10PM ET)
Premise of the screener: San Francisco reporter Dan Vassar finds himself traveling back in time at random. No one believes it's really happening and they think he's just using drugs. It might hurt his marriage, but he finds out he's going back in time for a reason, to save someone from dying.
Bob says: Yeah, it's sorta like Quantum Leap, only his travels are much more random, and he doesn't (so far, at least) stay in the other time too long. But this could be a ton of fun if it catches on. Lots of references to past events (Michael Jackson, a snippet of Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel on a 1987 Today Show, giant cell phones, etc) and a good pop music soundtrack. I also like the fact that at the end of the screener, his wife...well, you can see it when it airs. I like the fact that this isn't just some hero going back in time to save strangers, there's also a personal story going on here too, about an old girlfriend and the key she might hold to his travels. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would.
(Tuesday at 9 PM ET)
Premise of the screener: Twentysomething geek who works in the "Nerd Herd" tech support section for a Best Buy-ish store called Buy More gets an e-mail from an old college friend who is now a CIA agent. It contains thousands of secret files that get downloaded into his brain (don't ask). The government wants to find out what he knows.
(Wednesday at 10PM ET)
Joel says: Get past the main character's meaningless proclamations and his wonderment at newfangled technology like camera phones (as Keith said to me, "What, he didn't read a newspaper in prison?"), and this show is a run-of-the-mill procedural. It's almost as if the writers gave Crews, played by Damian Lewis, quirks upon quirks -- "Why don't we have him be obsessed with fruit?" -- because they knew the show itself wasn't all that distinctive. Adam Arkin, playing a former cell-mate of Crews, is funny, but his character seems like it's just there for comic relief. This show could catch the eye of the Law & Order crowd, but I don't see it being a big hit.