Review catch-up

Ah, I’d better review the three new shows I watched last week before the next episodes come on and… um… I doubt these reviews are weilding much influence, so I guess nothing tragic wil happen. Still:

  • Dirt is talented actress Courtney Cox’s attempt to showcase her serious side, it seems. She plays the editrix of not one but two scandal rags. She slimily hires slimy people slimy things to find other people doing slimy things (if less slimy than hers) and publishes it. And that’s the central problem here. There’s no one to root for, to care about here. With something like The Sopranos, at least we’re watching a tragedy, a man who has the heart of greatness and yet is using it in ways both destructive and self-destructive. Cox’s character show no such center. And that will make this occasionally-stylish and smoothly made series an uphill battle; one can make interesting works about the tawdry, but a TV series requires folks to want to revisit the scene week after week. I’ll probably watch another episode or two, but I don’t have high hopes.
  • The pairing of The Knights of Prosperity and In Case of Emergency is clearly coordinated, and not just because the titles kinda rhyme (“In case of emergency / the knights of prosperity / come to the rescue of damsels and kids. / With major rapidity / they conquer adversity / whilst eating a salad of lettuce and squids.”) These two single-camera sitcoms are a matched set; Knights is about a group of life’s losers who aspire to a form of greatness, while ICoE is about a group of those who had something and have let it slip away.
    Knights is about some supposedly-lovable losers (it’s a mixed bag at best) who plot to burgle Mick Jagger’s New York pad, a plot which should run through the first season. They are ill-experienced to do so, but seem willing to get through it with charm and their slight wits. The characters are actually a little uncomfortable to watch, people you wouldn’t want to be around, but they are used smoothly if not all that humorously. What real laughs there are come from Mick Jagger’s self-parody as ‘he shows off his home and his lifestyle… and reports indicate that Jagger has chosen to cut back his involvement in the show. (And hey, here’s a thought for those who’ve seen the episode – just what do these guys expect to steal that will be sold for a lot? The hats? The soccer ball? The movie screen? The swimming pool? I suppose the popcorn topping dispenser would be worth something to a collector, if one knew how to find a Rolling Stones collectors underground.)
    In Case of Emergency has some interesting cast (including Courtney Cox’s husband, as it happens, the talented David Arquette) as folks who either didn’t live up to their high school potential or are falling from their success during the first episode. If Knights is taking its cues from My Name is Earl, this is taking cues from Arrested Development, a tragedy in which folks sow their own destruction, but come together in way for support. Alas, both of the new shows suffer in these comparisons, the shows capture only part of the charm and little of the humor.
    Both shows are non-generic enough to be worth sampling; neither is great enough at the outset that you should feel you’re really missing something if you give them a pass.
Published in: on January 9, 2007 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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