Hey, Buffy fans: some of you may be of mixed thoughts about the
revival of Sunnydale High, but you gotta give Joss this: those
last two minutes showed that he still knows how to grab our
HAUNTED is the new show slotted to follow Buffy: The
Guidance Counselor. The lead character is a detective who
is revived after flat-lining, to find that the near-death
experience has left him with the ability to see dead people.
If that description sounds familiar to you, you may be recalling
Michael J. Fox’s last great film roll, the overlooked off-beat
The Frighteners. But whereas that film mixed humor
with its thrills, Haunted is about as humorless as it
gets. Filmed in a dead color palette of grays and crimson,
the first episode included gore, child murder, and child
pornography. Now dark is fine, if it illuminates the human
soul, but thre’s no illumination here. What you’re left with
is a not-that-good TV version of a horror film, and that
doesn’t do much for me. Following the dark but humorous
and enlightening Buffy, this show is wanting much.
If there ever was a show that was designed to rerun on
Lifetime, PRESIDIO MED is it; it’s about a
San Francisco hospital-adjacent medical practice staffed primarily by women.
(It seems like Lifetime wants to hold on to some shadow of the network’s original
plan to be a cable channel for doctors.)
But that shouldn’t be taken as a denigration. The first
episode was enjoyable, with a quality cast playing likable
and intriguing characters. The men come off a bit one-dimensional,
but I’ll be glad to give them time to grow while watching
Blythe Danner and Dana Delaney play the more full roles.
Tuesday won’t be Presidio Med‘s usual slot, however.
The premiere was shifted to Tuesday so that it wouldn’t be
right against the premiere of MDs, another San Francisco-based
medical drama. People were quick to complain about placing two
similar series in the same time slot, refering to it as a mistake
and constantly pointing back to when two Chicago-based medical
dramas appeared against each other years ago. Excuse me? Yes,
E/R and Chicago Hope premiered against each other.
Was it a mistake? Well, all I can point to is the fact that the
less successful of the two ran for six seasons.
Presidio Med will be lucky to do so well. (And if the
ads are any indication, the rest of us will feel lucky if
MDs doesn’t do so well, opening up a space for a less
obvious and manipulative show.)
THE IN-LAWS is about a cooking student and his wife
who move in with her parents. Dennis Farina plays the intimidating
father-in-law, Jean Smart the more accomodating mother, and they
make a good couple in some ways. However, the laughs just aren’t
that strong, and after two episodes the conflict already seems
repetitive. They also have had “aw, he’s actually soft” moments
about Farina’s character in both episodes, and without giving
him the depth of an Archie Bunker it would seem to just weaken
the character. It’s not awful, but being that it is slotted up against Buffy
and Gilmore Girls, I don’t foresee turning this one on
HIDDEN HILLS also premiered tonight, but I need sleep
and will view it and comment on it tomorrow.