Missing

Missing features Ashley Judd as an ex-CIA agent whose long-dead husband was CIA until he was long killed, and whose teen son has just been kidnapped, so she goes on a multi-season long (they hope) search to find and rescue him.

In other words, it’s a violent family actioner. If you were a big fan of 24, I bet this is a good thing to try. But shaky-cam fistfights isn’t doing it for me, a woman whose central attribute is her victimhood (going back to childhood) doesn’t captivate me, and even Sean Bean doesn’t make me want more of this.

Published in: on March 27, 2012 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Bent

Bent is a new single-camera sitcom featuring Amanda Peet as a single-mother who has a We Must Not Have A Relationship relationship with her freewheeling contractor. It’s amiable, but not amazing; watchable without ever actually being particularly amusing. TV fans may be amused by one of the stars of Friday Night Lights playing against a character named “Riggins” again. The central relationship isn’t driving enough to be fascinating; the supporting characters (including Jeffery Tambor as the contractor’s long-struggling actor father) don’t have enough interesting to do to distract from the leads. I won’t cringe from watching it again, but I’ll be slightly surprised if I do.

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Smash thought

VERY MILDLY SPOILER; MOSTLY SPECULATIVE

I’m not loving Smash – nice music, some pretty actresses, but I just don’t care about the conflicts.

But I’ll lay down a prediction that I’ve had about the show since episode 1: that after struggling through some creative conflicts, they’ll come to realize that what the musical needs is for both actresses – the blonde (I am no good at names on this) playing Marilyn, and the dark-haired one playing Norma Jean. Show the inner conflicts in that very external way.

And something I doubt they will do, but which I would do if I were constructing that play: I’d have one actor play all three key male roles (Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio, JFK).

Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Awake

Awake is a good concept – a cop has a car accident, and finds himself awaking in two worlds – one in which he and his wife survived, and one in which he and his son survived. But which one (if either, but that question goes unasked in the pilot) is real?

Yes, that’s a good concept… for a movie. The problem as a TV series is that it creates the promise of one of two paths:

  • It will be a constant dabbling into the mystery of “Which one is real”, never really deciding, so it leaves us with two scenarios to not invest ourselves in.
  • It builds into a more-complex Rich Real World Mysteriously Revealed, without the textural fun of a Twin Peaks or the absurdity of the conflicts of Life on Mars.

Neither sounds inviting. For the pilot, we have the central conflict set up, and then within that context we end up having to have two fairly basic cop stories, one in each world (trying to wedge two of those into an hour with other stuff requires them to be terse.) If this was a movie, we could be looking to some revelation or some emotional settlement at the end of our two hours, but no such release seems to be coming soon here.

The cast is good. The tone kind of has to be somber – you are after all dealing with dead wife/dead kid scenarios – but if they’re wise, they’ll find some things perhaps in supporting characters that allows them to have some small amount of fun in the mix. (I’d love to see one character, aware of what our hero is going through, sending messages to his other-timeline self…. perhaps a game of trans-reality chess.) I don’t suspect I’ll be along for the ride.

Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

8 was well worth watching – and it’s free

I’m glad I watched 8 last night – although had I known for sure that it wold’ve been available recorded on YouTube rather than just livestreaming, I would’ve waited for the recording (my TV set-up has only awkward and lo-res ways of whowing YouTube livestreams, but it’s great for recorded content.) Anyway, John C. Reilly won the night with his portrayal of ultimately-disqualified expert witness David Blankenhorn (but less you think he was just being mocking… I’ve read through Blankenhorn’s testimony, and it’s both as tone-deaf for presenting one’s self seriously and as undercutting of the case his side was trying to make as this reading presented. Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon also stand out, and real props to everyone involved.

Published in: on March 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cool streamy TV

Tonight: a reading of the Prop 8 play, featuring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, George Takei, Yardley Smith, Jane Lynch, various other cool people! 7:30 PM Pacific. Watch!

Published in: on March 4, 2012 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  

I bet someone lost some sleep thinking up this one

Tonight’s NBC schedule, starting at 9:30, is Up All Night followed by¬† Awake.

Published in: on March 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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