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I have devoted most of my spare time this weekend to the very Srs Bsns of evaluting the remaining pilots on my "maybe watch" list (except for NCIS: LA, which I have watched already, but I have a very specific way I want to set up that post which requires me to take and upload a photo, against which I am resisting because effort. Which.). They are, to my surprise and vague disappointment, 75% successful. I say disappointment because I am not actually in a mood to get suddenly tied down to literally as many new shows as I was already watching, thereby doubling my weekly commitment. My only saving grace is that maybe I won't write about these every week and simply watch them for pleasure, like normal people not paid to write about TV do.

How To Get Away With Murder

I was really hoping I wouldn't love this, because I know it's been well received and I'm really not ready to get tied down to another 5 or 10 year mortgage with Shondaland. I'm also worried it's going to get too racy, mostly because it already has and holy good god I am out of practice with 9pm dramas. But...the mystery! I am so excited to see how the professor's treasured picks got themselves mixed up in this murdery situation, as well as how Rebecca fits in. (Also, I'm just saying, I would not hate seeing more Noble Law Student/Kinda Trashy Damsel In Distress).

After two episodes, I don't know anyone's names except for Professor Keating (her first name is either Annabelle or Annelise, right?) and her husband Sam, and I am okay with that. This story is humming along on plot alone, and even though it's twisty and convoluted with its chronology, I am already enjoying the false clues and red herrings. I don't even like any characters except that nice girl [Karla Souza...Laura, apparently] who looks EXACTLY like what you would get if you used one of those apps to cross the faces of Cobie Smulders and Anna Kendrick.

Can I just request no more of the gay blowhard (ooh, accidental funny), because so far the only parts I have hated** have been his gross scenes. I don't know exactly how explicit they got, because I immediately plugged my ears, shut my eyes except for a tiny upper corner of the screen to guage when the lighting changed, and commenced loudly yelling "NO, GROSS, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING" until I was positive it was over. I accidentally saw two bare chests at one point and nope'd on out of there with angry threats about undoing all the good work Glee has done in two seconds flat.

**I also worry I might hate continually seeing guilty people go free. THIS FLIES IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING TELEVISION HAS RAISED ME TO BELIEVE. Particularly as Keating is working a lot harder from the "innocent people can't afford me" angle than the morally acceptable "I need to feed my children and take care of a family member's expensive medical bills" or "I defend people I genuinely feel are good and wrongly accused" ones.

*cough* No, but, I'm pretty sure the "there are two murdered bodies on campus before Thanksgiving" angle is enough to keep me coming back for several weeks more. Keating might even grow on me if she continues to prove she can be genuinely vulnerable at times and not a witch with a heart of ice incapable of compassion. Good work turning that tide early, I'm serious. I think the one I'm actually going to have to worry about is her female associate with the severe bob and tongue, who is really on the borderline of "awesomely bitchy" versus "intolerably bitchy" (being mean to Laura did not curry favor!). I'm going to call her Paris, because this Type A(ngela Martin) personality seems exactly like what Paris would grow up to be.

Or rather, since I have not actually watched Gilmore Girls but feel like she probably did grow a heart at some point, I bet this is what Paris would have reverted to if she had suffered some kind of deep personal loss or betrayal that caused her to make "conceal, don't feel" her mantra in the queendom of isolation. And with that in mind, I suddenly feel more favorable to her. Awww, it looks like RS is just a big softie who wants to ~understand~ the mean girls after all.

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Gracepoint

Wow. That was not appealing at all.

Because it was so SLOW. SO SLOW. AND DULL. The directing style was a pain in the ass, with all these ~dramatic shots~ that continually made my roll my eyes at this try-hard. David Tennant is still a very attractive man, looking extra fetching in a full beard and without any gel in his hair, but his American accent is as terrible as ever. I can hear the brogue! Let it out!! And I cannot really enjoy his face when he is so busy being an abrasive blowhard. Call me if he has a reason to comfort someone or otherwise display an ounce of sensitivity or internal pain; otherwise I'm out.

On top of that, I do not like a single one of any of the other actors or characters. They are boring and/or have punchable faces (exhibit A: dead boy's father. Cannot stand that actor). I feel very vague curiosities about why the dead boy's friend nefariously began attempting to erase his digital fingerprint, why that reporter took the bear and of course, who actually killed him and why...but in a way where I'm just going to Wikispoiler it when the season is over. Nothing I saw in the "coming up this season" promo so much as made me bat an eyelash.

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Bad Judge

I found that fairly enjoyable! Like, B- enjoyable, because it was not as riotously funny as the trailer and there was way too much boring stuff with the ~precocious~ kid who makes me want to boot him into an 80s family sitcom where he belongs. BUT. Unlike Gracepoint, this one's saving grace is a cast full of glittering stars.

First, there's Kate Walsh as Judge Rebecca, who is AMAZING in this role which might as well have been written for her. I can tell she's having a blast playing a mess of a woman with a disproportionate amount of power, and boy howdy is that mess fun to watch. The show would absolutely fail without her, but she has mindblowing amounts of charisma and personailty. I want to be her friend. Also, guess who I just heard has been hired in a recurring role as her actual friend? ANGELA KINSEY. YES!!

Second, the bailiff. I do not know who that actor is but that guy is WONDERFUL. I want to watch 47 episodes of him hooting at her office indiscretions and making grossed-out faces at being ordered to handle things way outside his job duties, like used pregnancy tests. They are the best at sassing each other and I want to revel in this friendship for always. I would also support a friends with benefits thing. Presumably Rebecca would give zero fucks about the rules probably prohibiting such an affair.

Third, CANDY ANDY IS BACK. He's calling himself "Gary" and pretending to be a mental health professional, but I don't care because he appears to be 100% as cheerful, casual, easygoing, and quick with the lighthearted snarky comments and comebacks as he was on 2 Broke Girls, and that is a beautiful thing to behold once more. Plus, he and Kate Walsh are pretty in a way I would not have imagined would work.

Fourth, Judge Hernandez, who appears to be basically reprising his role as Manny on "Medium" except having moved up from D.A. to judge. A+. And not just because by the second time, I too was warning Rebecca not to take that call.

Like I said, the only thing I really want from this show is to see more of Rebecca being a drunken and trashy mess, because that seems like a gold mine of untapped potential for humor. But I think they've got a good base. Depends how much is being ruined by that whole "showrunner exits after 4 episodes, series is retooled."

DISCLAIMER: I am aware that this show is receiving terrible audience reception and will probably be lucky to last the season. But Go On died an ignoble death, so Imma have fun with this one while I can.

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Red Band Society

I REALLY had to force myself to watch this. I'm not sure why, as originally it was the one I wanted most, but I think my biggest problem is that I'm not ready to warm to a new group of teenagers with Glee so fresh and raw. Their problems are petty and stupid, and their relationships probably trite. (she says, from behind the giant mound of realistic YA novels she regularly checks out and loves)

Which is intersting, because with the additional focus on Nurse Jackson and the doctor, it's very Glee-like in its determination to show both age groups' perspectives. I hope it sticks to this better than Glee did, because the nurse is much more interesting than any of the kids. (Although even if it doesn't, I'm pretty sure I'll be okay with her just showing up to alternately mother, mother hen, and headslap her charges as needed. Especially that last one.)

Well, I take that back. I adore Kara! Not unlike with Glee, the bitchy blonde cheerleader is my INSTANT FAVORITE. This one seems even more heartless and evil than Santana, much less Quinn, AND she's a druggie, yet somehow she is pure delight. When the lame girl tried to shame her by yelling that everyone hates her, my legit reaction was to flip my hair and say, "So what? She's hot. And good at getting what she wants." I find the best role models for myself, clearly. (See what happens when you let a child grow up without the experience of being bullied?)

(was my favorite part the moment where she was readily willing to sabotage the recovery of a girl with an eating disorder to satisfy her own hunger? Absolutely. That level of not-giving-a-crap was remarkably refreshing after two years of Tumblr Coddling.)

Naturally, the part where she overhears the discussion about her failing heart rather nicely broke mine. A+.

I also, over the course of the hour, eventually warmed up to cute-as-a-button Emma. I mean, that hat! VERY FASHION. Plus her whole face and studious nature are delightful. I was hoping she would accidentally make friends with Kara, but I can live with insecurity and jealousy if I have to.

Last on the positive side, Jordy*. I LIKE HIS FACE. I tried to resist his natural charm, and it lasted like 2 minutes before I realized that not only does he have quiet but magical charisma**, he is my Augustus Waters. That is exactly how I pictured Augustus Waters. There are multiple reasons I didn't see The Fault in Our Stars, but one of them is the punchable face of the guy playing that role, whereas THIS GUY IS SO IT. So, you know, the part where he has the same disease and is basically playing the same role is pretty useful for my brain. Not sure if Emma will become my Hazel, but I will absolutely swoon if they continue to have charming scenes like the dancing.

*we're going with Jordy. None of this girly "i" spelling.
**his slightly overgrown and floppy hair might be part of it, so I hope they don't take that away from me

On the negative side: I cannot look at Conehead. I just can't do it. I object most strongly and hope TPTB have signed off on his death for the inevitable High Stakes Sweeps Sacrifice if he's going to be so mopey about anticipating it. I also can't stand his buddy, Stereotype Trash, whom I vaguely hope gets involved in either a drive-by hit or some hard drug dealing just to solidify the image. Coma Charlie as the omniscient narrator isn't working for me either. Alternately obnoxious and saccharine.

Also, Rich Reuben seems decidedly sketchy with great potential for perviness that none of the hospital staff seem to be picking up on, so that's creepy.

Like I said, still 2 episodes behind so I don't know if I'll catch up on right away, but will try.

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