New Shows Premiere! Fan Bandwagon Now Open For Business
The most high-profile entry is the new Office spin off that isn't a spin off, called Parks and Recreation. P&R stars the always excellent Amy Poehler, along with Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones (the yummy Karen from The Office, though she's playing a new character here). Early reviews are mixed, but with a cast this great and a producing staff like this, I'm in for the long haul. Remember that The Office took almost 15 episodes to really find its groove. After all, Baby Mama was a terrible script with a weak central story, but Amy Poehler's performance went a long way towards making it a film I wanted to watch more than once (and I have, and she's still awesome the second time around).
The first 4 episodes of Better Off Ted have already aired, but if you missed it, you can still catch up on ABC's website. Seriously, this charming little show is laugh out loud funny most of the time, and it's still in its infancy. Portia di Rossi totally steals the show as Ted's ice queen boss Veronica (the scene of her assessing a line of children at the company daycare facility for a child cute enough to be her protege is particularly hilarious), but the rest of the cast also performs admirably. This week's episode dealt with the subject of race, and knocked it out of the park (Central plot: the new motion detectors installed by evil corporation Veridian Dynamics refuse to register the presence of black staff members, whose skin can't reflect enough light to make the sensors work. The company's solution? Hire white minimum wage workers to follow all the black employees around to open the doors and make the drinking fountains work. Hilarity did indeed ensue.)
New show Harper's Island sounds like it should be awesome. It's a cross between Survivor and Agatha Christie's 10 Little Indians. Basically, a group of friends and family have arrived on the private Harper's Island for a wedding, but a serial killer is on the loose. Over the course of the show, the killer works his way through the island's occupants, with the show promising that a cast member will die every week. It stars Christopher Gorman, who I've loved in all his other roles (Ugly Betty, Popular, Jake 2.0). It's the kind of show that's fun if you're watching with friends and essentially playing along at home trying to figure out who the killer is before the big reveal. Reviews are mixed for this, but if you follow zap2it.com's 10 handy tips for enjoying the show, it might just be the kind of sweet televised confectionary treat to start your spring off right. Also, even if you hate some of the characters, you can enjoy the thrill of seeing them brutally murdered at some point!
A new cop drama premiered last night called The Unusuals. Normally, I'm not thrilled to see the TV schedule cluttered with yet ANOTHER cop show, but in this case, I may make an exception, due to the excellent cast assembled here: Amber Tamblyn (loved her in Joan of Arcadia, curious to see how she does playing an adult for once), Harold Perrneau, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Renner look like they might be a lot of fun to spend Wednesday night with (consider the show a nice chaser to go along with your dose of Lost for the week). Jace over at Televisionary has good things to say about this show:
But don't let the series' innate quirkiness get to you. The Unusuals is clearly positioning itself as NYPD Blue crossed with Barney Miller. Yes, there are homicides and other crimes typically found in every single cop series, but there's a levity and humor here that's not often found in most straightforward police procedurals. And there are also some other interesting approaches at work here that might make you a believer in the unusual as well.Sounds good - I've got the first episode DVR'd and will post my thoughts in a bit.
Ultimately, The Unusuals is an offbeat and compelling police series that offers a tantalizing blend of bizarre cases, eccentric characters, and an overarching mystery that seems to involve the secrets of every single character in the precinct.
Last, but not least, one more cop show that might strike your fancy - the new John Wells show Southland, premiering tonight. Former O.C. hunk Ben McKenzie stars, and is joined by , Tom Everett Scott, Kevin Alejandro, Shawn Hatosy and Michael McGrady, along with the always welcome Regina King. Televisionary isn't as glowing in his reviews of this show, but if you feel like you need another gritty cop drama to go along with the eight flavors of CSI and Law and Order already on the air, it might not be a bad way to pass your time. Maybe it's another slow starter that might just grow on you as the season progresses.