Dear ABC: Combat Hospital? Really?
That thing had best beat a hasty retreat, as the desert is even worse than the jungle as a locale, and there is an EGREGIOUS lack of hotness (not to be confused with "heat"). Let's reflect back on my very first, December impressions of Off the Map, shall we? "I don't know, they seem to have a 100% success rate going on attractive men..." You see where my priorities are as far as making a show stand out. You want to showcase medicine in an exotic location with unique constraints, meet the base requirements first. I'm talking to you too, America. Don't be hypocrites. Warning you right now to let this one perform like the summer replacement it is and fade just as fast. My Off the Map grudge pops up everywhere!
Since we're talking about new shows, I'm going to very randomly talk at length about various pilots presented at upfronts.
NEW SHOW EVALS:
Now that the dust has settled, would you believe I got out with only three cancellations that hurt my heart? Medium, Off the Map, and Life Unexpected, one of which was admittedly tired enough that I have long since stopped being sad about it, and the other two of which wounded to the depths of my core but also weren't on my watchlist prior to December/January, so my fall lineup will be nearly unchanged. There are ever-so-many shows I would like to ditch, but odds seem low I will actually ditch any, especially if I'm still dragging the shells of CSI: Miami & New York around.
As for potential pickups...
I was really interested in "Smash" back when it was supposed to include Jonathan Groff, but that seems to have stopped somewhere along the way. Then I heard Katharine McPhee + Debra Messing + Anjelica Houston, and OH HELLO, DREAM CAST. Then I watched the 5-minute preview, and it put me into a coma. Theater: least interesting way to creatively express yourself possible, including artwork.
The CW WOULD be the network to pick up the one pilot featuring a beloved celeb of mine, except said pilot is the unfathomably stupid "Secret Circle" about a girl who...discovers she's a witch! Unless that girl's name is Sabrina and she has a talking cat, that is some stupidity I have no patience for, as magic not wielded by the aforementioned Sabrina (or Harry Potter) is so very trying of my patience. Britt Robertson's pull is not that strong.
"Hart of Dixie," on the other hand, has faint potential. I say faint because the main/only pull is Rachel Bilson and a big fat MEH to the supporting cast. It glimmers with possibility from the premise, but the promo casts it in a sheen of superficial CW gloss when I really want it to have a little more WB depth. So. I'll most likely book it for summer '12 after I hear how it's doing and what people think.
Come to think of it, that's my feeling on all the fall shows. A lot of them vaguely interest me, but none of them are the kind I want to book sight-unseen just yet. For example, I think that "Awake" would be super awesome as a movie, but it's hard to see how they'll stretch a TV series out of that, no matter how much I want to watch Jason Isaacs and Jack's kid from Lost. Especially as the answer is "some, but not an overwhelming amount."
All those other silly series with a dust of magic or supernatural/paranormal look awful. To be fair, "Grimm" actually reminds me of the tone of Primeval, but with monsters and magic instead of dinosaurs and anomalies, so I can see where it would appeal to people who don't HATE THOSE THINGS like I do. The rest just look...I mean, can we talk about the treacly Hallmark garbage CBS is peddling in that department? (Actually, can we not?)
On second thought, I am worried that "Once Upon a Time" might actually get its hooks in me, as it looks like it would make a better movie than TV series, but there is something interest-piquing about it and Jennifer Morrison earned a boatload of good will from me on How I Met Your Mother this year. Voice, put it with Bilson's project in the "let fandom tell me how to feel" cage.
I am a tad interested in "2 Broke Girls" solely for the Kat Dennings factor, as she is like the junior version of Lizzy Caplan (and how much do I want them to play sisters in a movie at some point). But it'll be in more of a "I am bored and this is what's on? Cool" way. Same for "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," but this time for Jaime Pressly and um...that guy, whom I recognize for some reason and my brain says I like; I'm thinking Judging Amy...bingo! I just don't recall exactly what his role was. The internet also says I know him from a zillion guest star roles and as Monica's sous-chef on Friends, but I think it's mostly JA. Kevin Rahm. /digression..
I think everyone agrees that Zooey Deschanel's comedy, "Secondhand Embarrassment," is DOA unless her character grows an immediate sense of self-awareness in episode 2 and/or has some sort of surgical correction made to her brain.
I was not aware "Good Christian Belles" starred Kristin Chenoweth and Leslie Bibb, but I don't care, I'm hating on principle and I am hating it FOREVER thanks to its original title and the fun its people had riding their edgy buzz.
I'm burned out on crime drama and have zero interest in picking up more, but Unforgettable and Prime Suspect both have wonderful central leads (Poppy Montgomery and Maria Bello, the latter of whom really appeals to me as an actress even though I've only ever seen her in "Flicka"), so I wish them well but won't be there. If I can't bring myself to follow Piper Perabo on a procedural, nobody's got any luck.
I will hurt viewers if they make Shonda Rhimes' Scandal a success. I really will. (seriously. grudge goes with me everywhere)
There, I think that covers the basics. That was fun; I usually only pay attention to the pilot crop like Hunger Games contestants: I get to know them all just so I can better enjoy watching them kill each other coming out of the gate and struggle to make it to the end of the season. I should start writing down my first impressions every year.
More updates as previews hit airwaves and we draw closer to fall. You know at least one of them is actually going to sucker me in by September. They always do. The longest I have ever fended off a crop of new shows is April, and even that year I was secretly an adoring fan of Worst Week first.
Those of you who made it to the end also get to hear my feelings on Pirates of the Caribbean 4, which are: geeze, I love the idea of this and I would absolutely be excited to go see it, especially since I hear it's a fun standalone and not bogged down by the exhausting and dreary plot complications of the last two. Problem: the very pressing fact that I cannot stand Penelope Cruz and her thick accent. She is singlehandedly stopping me from seeing this, although Ian McShane is...not helping. Stupid casting fail, ruining should-be-unstoppable Captain Jack adventures. For a minute there, you were actually going to be okay without Will and Elizabeth! And then, alas.