After a crazy week, I finally had the chance to catch up on some of the latest dramas to premiere. Here are my thoughts. What are yours?
Our obsession with nostalgia continues with the production of another sixties era drama. While NBC has those girls in bunny costumes, ABC has classy ladies in airline stewardess uniforms (complete with girdle). Jack Orman and Thomas Schlamme bring us into the sophisticated world of flight attendants, pilots and even spies. Christina Ricci plays head purser Maggie who is accompanied by French mistress Colette and rich sisters Laura (who ran out on her wedding) and Kate (newly recruited spy). In the first ten minutes, I was hooked. The costuming is nothing less than STUUUU..Ning. Schlamme did a wonderful job of directing the pilot episode which had a great glow to it, while keeping a clean, fresh look. The score was fitting and beautiful. This show is going to blow "The Playboy Club" out of the water. Being on a network, they probably won't have the the freedom that "Mad Men" has to get as dark and dirty, but "Pan Am" has the potential to give them a run for their money. Watch out Matthew Weiner.
Sundays at 10pm on ABC
Verdict: Watch it!!!!
It's a fish out of water story starring that girl from the Magnum ice cream commercials. You might know her as Rachel Bilson from a little show called "The O.C.". Dr. Zoe Hart is on her way to becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon but her bedside manner could use some fine tuning. Since graduating from medical school, Zoe's received job offers in the form of small town postcards from one Harley Wilks. With basically no other choice after an ultimatum from her boss, she decides to take the position of hillbilly healer in Bluebell, Alabama where the mayor is a former NFL player with a pet alligator and the women dress up like Scarlett O'Hara and dance in the town square. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the lead should be believable as a doctor. The only thing Bilson makes me believe is that she's a ditz with a mental illness which makes her think she's a doctor. The folksy element is cliched to say the least and in the last act, we find out that Wilks (the now dead doctor that lured her down there) was actually her biological father. Sorry for the spoiler if you're delusional enough to be excited about this show. Despite having two "Friday Night Lights" alums and being created by "Eli Stone" writer Leila Gerstein, I'm gonna have to take a big ol' pass on this one. ROLL. TIDE.
Mondays at 9pm on CW
Verdict: Don't bother
Dylan Walsh and Poppy Montgomery return to television in yet another procedural for CBS. Walsh is NYPD Detective Al Burns (I know, horrible name) and Montgomery is Carrie Wells, former cop/homicide consultant who has a condition preventing her from forgetting a single detail...ever. The only things she can forget are the details surrounding her sister's murder. And oh yeah, Carrie and Al used to be a couple so I'm sure there'll be more than a little tension in this newly formed team. When Carrie recalls the memories, she's in the memory, walking through it, watching herself. It's annoying. The overkill continues by giving Carrie a mother with Alzheimer's. "Unforgettable" will most likely be my mom's new favorite show, but you need a better gimmick than crazy good memory to rope me into another cop show. It's difficult for me to get into and respect a series that treats its audience like idiots and ends on a freeze frame (NCIS excluded). Come on, throw me a curve ball. Nothing exceptional about this procedural.
Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS
Verdict: Don't bother (but tell your parents to give it a try)
Emily Vancamp is in the Hamptons and big surprise....looking for revenge (as a girl named Emily, not very original ABC). Back when Emily was Amanda, an eight year old girl spending the summer in the Hamptons with her successful single dad, the wealthy that rule this exclusive town were responsible for her father's downfall. She's back (undercover) and worming her way into the lives of the rich and fabulous all so that she can destroy them. Forgiveness is not an option. As expected, it's very melodramatic, but there was enough mystery to keep me interested. Madeleine Stowe is a natural queen bitch as Victoria Grayson. Not a fan of hers, but she's well cast as this cold and calculating matriarch. I have such a crush on the Henry Czerny who plays cheating husband Conrad to Victoria. What a silver fox! "Roswell" fans might recognize Nick Wechlser as a local boy who was a true friend to Amanda as a child. Not sure how I feel about him, but I think having the "real people" element will be good for balance in a world of fake rich people. If you like fancy clothes and houses, you might like it. I'll give it another episode or two and see how it goes.
Verdict: Give it a try
Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC
Ben Linus is back! Ok, so it's not Ben Linus, but Michael Emerson is playing another character that pulls all the strings in CBS' newest crime drama (with a twist!). Emerson's Mr. Finch recruits former Army Ranger Reese (Jim Caviezel...yes Jesus) to help him prevent crimes which he predicts from a machine he built. It sounds all sci-fi referring to it as a "machine" instead of software, but I read that it's actually based on technology that is in use and will be in the next few years. Unfortunately this magic machine only gives out social security numbers and the owners could be the victim or perpetrator. Let's all agree that Caviezel is not the best actor, but I do think he was well cast a soldier. The action was fun, but a bit over the top. Emerson was as creepy and mysterious as ever, just the way we like him. The transitions using a montage of security footage is cool. I was weary of this show after reading the descriptions, but it has potential. If the directors and writers can use the strengths of Caviezel, Emerson and the fabulous Taraji P. Henson who plays an NYC detective, they could have a winner. Focusing on how we're close to this reality will draw me in more than talking about a magic machine that spits out qualitative information. I'll give it a few more eps. How could I not with Mr. Emerson in the mix? Plus it's created by Jonathan Nolan. You might have seen his name in the credits of a few little movies called Momento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight. That gives me high hopes.
Thursdays at 9pm on CBS
Verdict: Give it a try
Women around the world were ecstatic to hear that Patrick Wilson would be headed to our living rooms every week in CBS' latest meta drama. Wilson plays successful surgeon Dr. Michael Holt who's life has been his work. When his do gooder ex-wife dies, she begins appearing to Michael from beyond the grave teaching him how to be a better man. It's all very idealistic so if you're into that kind of thing, good for you. For me, there were far too many centered close ups and white light. Although Holt has a good bedside manner with his patients and their worried families, he treats his assistant (played by the amazing Emmy winner Margo Martindale) like crap despite admitting she's the glue that keeps him together. That really rubs me the wrong way and makes it hard for me to root for him. The writers try to soften his character with a single parent sister raising a teenage son, but I can't stand Julie Benz (aka Rita from Dexter). Strike two is the blatant product placement of the iPad. I swear it's in every other scene. So far, Margo Martindale is the only reason to return and I don't believe that she's signed as a regular. My prediction is that this show will either sink very quickly or air of eight seasons. Depends on how much the old people like it.
Fridays at 8pm on CBS
Verdict: Don't bother (unless "The Ghost Whisperer" and "Touched by an Angel" are your favorite shows EVER)
***What are you favorite new dramas? Can't wait for the second wave...coming soon!
- Jenna Sliter
- Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm addicted to great television. I'm on a mission to share with you what I think are the best of the best when it comes to shows and mini-series. Long format visual storytelling is my entertainment of choice. I've got a lot to say, so stay tuned..... P.S. I am under some sort of invisible legal obligation to state that I do not own any of the photos posted herein unless otherwise specified and if you see any of your images and would like me to credit you or take it down (‘cus you’re just a meanie), please contact me