Monday, May 29, 2017

TV Season Review: Good, the Bad, the Cancelled

Today, I'm going to be looking atre shows that will no longer be with us, but that really should have been around at least a little longer.

APB: You may remember back when I first posted the trailed for this series that it looked like Tony Stark takes over a police precinct. It was and it wasn't. Gideon Reeves, who looks like a SpaceX clone, is more of a tech geek and slightly less of an egomaniac than Tony Stark ever was. The premise was simple: after his best friend his murdered in the middle of a stickup, Gideon finds a way to take over the overworked Chicago precinct where he was killed. Instead of it being a one-trick pony, endlessly repeated, it had a very nice, even surprising balance. They usually introduced a new problem every week, and between his technology, and the basic police work, the problem is solved somehow -- usually after the problem adapts to each new solution. It was a fun show, and I don't know what the ratings looked like that killed it. But it was a solid 9/10, and it never had a chance. Damnit.

Pure Genius. While I originally likened this show to Tony Stark runs a hospital, it really wasn't. Yes, it was another tech genius, but he was highly charismatic in his element, yet amazingly socially awkward in every facet of his social life. He's better with tech than people. It was a nice look at some emerging medical biotechnology -- several of which hit the news as the show was on the air. So, I was seriously surprised at how well this show worked. But it was poorly marketed (the commercials looked nothing like the show, which is a good thing, the ads suck), and premiered late in the season, and had a limited run, as well as attempting to go up against The Blacklist, which is a bad call on their part. 9/10. RIP

Conviction: Haley Atwell can't get a break. A show that could have been pure agit-prop turned out to be surprisingly well executed. But after a half-season, I guess the ratings didn't support it. Again, I think the commercials didn't really grasp how much fun it was going to be.

Blacklist Redemption: I had given up on The Blacklist, because I was sick and tired of all the various and sundry crap around agent Keen, the Russian gangster who kidnapped her baby, and I'd just had enough.  But this brought me back to the original show. A mid-season replacement, Blacklist Redemption focused on Tom Keen, expert con man, as he joined a private security firm to run Mission: Impossible operations every week. It didn't hurt that Famke Janssen is still breathtaking at her age. The writing was sharp and tightly put together, with 24-style camera work. It brought me back to the main series, and I'm going to be interested to see if they integrate the story from this one into the main Blacklist storyline. Hopefully, they will. 7/10. RIP

Training Day: Damn it, I liked this show. While I had never seen the movie, the TV show picks up after Denzel's character goes down. Frank Rourke is presented as a dirty cop, though I think he's probably more accurately portrayed as a gray cop. He'll take a duffel bag full of cash from white slavers he just gunned down .... and use it to set up the slaves in new lives. His girlfriend is a madam, but they work. It's strange. It was also nice to see Katrina Law in a different environment from Arrow. The narration was fun, the comments hilarious, it was un-PC as all heck ... and then Bill Paxton, the lead, dies. Can't really run a show without the main character. It was also moved to Saturday night after he died, so lord only knows what that did to the ratings. 9/10. RIP

Notorious: It was a fun show that replaced a Shonda Rhimes piece of garbage. But it was smart and it was witty, and it had a basic ethical and moral code, so all of the people who watched expecting a Shonda Rhimes clone didn't get their usual fare of putrid filth, and so tuned out.

Ransom: This show was amazing. I'm just sorry I never got a chance to review it. This not only had the disadvantage of airing on Saturday night, it also had the problem that it was smart. No character -- not a single person -- was stupid on this show. Nobody. Not the HTs, not the cops. Everyone was spot on, with great writing, great acting, and awesome execution. It followed a team of hostage negotiators around the world, settling kidnappings. They never played the same trick twice. They never had a simple solution. They kept putting in variation after variation. It was fun. And it's dead. 9/10. RIP

Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarders: Or as I called it, Criminal Minds International was actually pretty fun. Then again, it was essentially the return of Mac Taylor from CSI: New York, the only park of the franchise that I wanted to keep going. Sadly, despite an interesting cast, fun dialogue, and some surprisingly badass moments, the show is dead. It still lasted longer than the last Criminal Minds spinoff, Suspect Behavior.  7/10, RIP

Grimm: This show was at least allowed to die a natural death. After years of twists, turns, and basically being Buffy for adults, this one had a solid resolution to most of the dangling threads that I recall throughout the series. While there could have been better setup for the final boss battle, I think that, all in all, it balanced out. Despite one of their last seasons going full GrimmDark (no pun intended), they brought the show back from the abyss, with "they all lived happily ever after." 8/10. RIP

Time After Time: Hey, a TV show based off of a film from the 70s, what could go wrong? The premise is that HG Wells built a time machine, and it is stolen by Jack the Ripper. Jack goes into our time period, and Wells follows after him.  This might have worked better if they had done something strange ... like told their own story, instead of stealing it beat for beat from the original film. Seriously, the movie version (of the same name) had Wells taking time to adapt to the current environment, puzzling things out as they go along. It also had Macolm MacDowell and David Warner as Wells and Jack. This? This had Brent Dalton, Agent Lifeless from Agents of Stupid, as Jack the Ripper .... Sadly, he was the best actor here. I finished the pilot, and then gave up on the whole thing. It was cancelled two episodes later. Do I have timing or what? 3/10 Rest in Pieces.

Doubt: A crusading lawyer show, starring Dule Hill, Katherine Heigel, and Elliot Gould. I'm surprised I even tried in the first place, since I don't believe in crusading lawyers. I gave up 15 minutes into episode one. It didn't make it to episode three. 1/10. Go to Hell, and stay there.

Emerald City: Vincent D'Onofrio is the Wizard of Oz! Sign me up! Yay! This is going to be awesome! .... Oh, wait, he's barely in the show? .... And it's a Grim and Gritty retelling? ... the Munchkins are actually savages, the Yellow brick road is only yellow pollen, Dorothy is a nurse with a police dog, and the Scarecrow without a brain is actually a former storm trooper for the Wizard's tyrannical rule, and he has amnesia? Are you freaking kidding me? I got through episode 1, and I wish I hadn't. The directing looked like that someone wanted to be Sam Raimi when they grew up, but have yet to grow up. -2/10. Yes. I gave it negative numbers. D'Onofrio may do his penance by making a Kingpin Netflix show. Everyone else? You're fired.

Here, the season is almost over. Have some books.

The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them. The instructions are right there.

The Love at First Bite series. 


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