Welcome to part three of the mid-season 2010 – 2011 review. In this post we’ll be discussing Tuesday’s programming.
We’re sad to say that as much as we were excited after the pilot of No Ordinary Family, the show has turned out to be, well, pretty ordinary and it’s suffering in the ratings because of it. In our review, we noted that one of No Ordinary Family’s greatest assets was the focus on the Powells as a family. Well it’s turned out that this aspect of the show is becoming its greatest liability. This is supposed to be a live-action Incredibles which means at the heart of the series, it should be a superhero show first. It hasn’t worked out that way. This show is far more focused on the dysfunctional nature of the family and each character’s individual neurosis than it is in crime-fighting.
To make matters worse, they go through this charade every week about how “it’s too dangerous to use these new powers so we won’t use them” and then they go ahead and use them. That’s getting pretty stale and it’s frustrating for audiences because it’s like they haven’t come up with a premise for the show, yet. Are they crime fighting superheroes or what?
The next problem is Michael Chiklis and not him per se, but the casting of him in this role of police sketch artist, Jim Powell. In the beginning we felt that his talent and presence would carry this show, but again it’s not working out that way because of how the character is written. To put it bluntly, we don’t mind sensitivity in a male character, but Mrs. Powell has more balls than Jim. We can’t remember the last time we saw a protagonist as completely emasculated as Jim Powell and it’s even more striking considering Chiklis’ last lead role on The Shield. Quite simply, Vic Mackey needs to grow a pair.
It’s not looking good for No Ordinary Family in the ratings and based on that alone it would be unlikely that it would be picked up for a second season, however, No Ordinary Family is no ordinary show. It’s an ABC Studios production and is the personal pet-project of Disney. Despite the low ratings, it is entirely conceivable that No Ordinary Family may get at least a second season to sort out its issues.
We still like the show and because it hasn’t had any kind of real serial arc, it is much easier to fix the problems in the show going forward and save it than it is to save a show, for example, like The Event without a massive overhaul.
CBS – NCIS
In its eighth season, NCIS is as good now as it has been in the past several years and it is still one of the highest ranked dramatic series on television for that reason. Not much more to say than that.
FOX – Glee
*Sigh* It pains us to say this, but Glee has become a victim of its own hype. The musical numbers are still wonderful but the show itself has become so exaggerated and unbelievable that we aren’t even watching any more. Prime example: we tuned in on a whim the other night to watch the Christmas episode and here is the premise that we were supposed to buy:
Exceptionally nerdy kid in a wheelchair is dating cute blonde cheerleader, Brittany… who (and I’m not kidding) still believes in Santa. So, the Glee Club takes her to the mall – together… because they can’t take a dump without each other – to sit on black Santa’s lap (and mind you, a black Santa who was wearing his beard off of his face) and Brittany comments on how tan he is and asks him for her boyfriend to be able to walk for Christmas. Santa says, “OK.” Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Sue has rigged the “Secret Santa” event and put her name on every slip of paper in the empty protein shake container. It gets better: We are also treated to an ever-so- slightly creepy rendition of Baby, it’s Cold Outside by the gay kid and another gay kid he’s pining for that is sure to be a hit with the NAMBLA crowd and to top things off, at the end of the episode the aforementioned nerdy kid has a pair of robot legs from Israel waiting under his tree and nobody knows where they came from! Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
So basically, the show has gotten ridiculous but it doesn’t seem to care because they are walking on water right now after their breakout surprise success last year and can pretty much do what they want. We believe that they have jumped the proverbial shark but via stealth and no one has noticed yet. Although the show is incredibly popular right now (it is FOX’s highest rated scripted show) and will certainly be renewed for a third season, we believe that when it crashes it will crash hard and suddenly because audiences are going realize that they’ve been watching a, if not horrible, at least very silly show for a while.
Glee completely lacks the heart it was known for in its first season and the only really positive aspect of the show in its sophomore season was the GQ photo spread the cast appeared in.
The ‘Tastic would like to say to all of our male readers in advance, “You’re welcome.”
The Battlestar Galactica prequel failed miserably during the second half of its first season for many reasons and was cancelled with five episodes remaining. It was certainly a show we liked, but we get why it failed. We did an analysis of its demise, here.
When we’re wrong, we admit it. We started watching NCIS: Los Angeles this season because we promised we would. We’ve watched the first three episodes in the last week and I have the rest on DVR and we are impressed. It’s a lot more compelling and complex than it was in the beginning of last season (when we stopped watching) and the characters have actually become likable. This is good for this franchise because it’s using all of the elements that have made the original NCIS so successful. The audience numbers for this show are phenomenal so you can be sure that there will be a season three.
Another case of admitting when we were wrong with this one. As noted in our preview and subsequent review, Raising Hope is a surprisingly funny and charming show. It’s officially a bubble-show at this point so it could go either way for a second season.
The watered-down version of Battlestar Galactica meets Star Trek: Voyager has also been canceled. SGU wasn’t a particularly bad show, it just wasn’t a particularly good show and it wasn’t nearly as good as the other series in the franchise. Sorry, SGU, but you really won’t be missed.
In yet another example of we here at The ‘Tastic admitting when we were wrong, as noted in our review, Detroit 1-8-7 has been a pleasant, if not completely original, surprise. Yes, it’s a formulaic cop show that rips off its style from every cop procedural that’s aired in the last 20 years and yes there are a handful of cringe-worthy, eye-rolling clichéd moments in every episode but overall, the stories are compelling and the characters are pretty well-written if not all fleshed out yet.
We are particularly impressed with Michael Imperioli (Life On Mars, The Sopranos) as Detective Louis Fitch and although this is an ensemble cast, Imperioli steals the show. We couldn’t be happier as Imperioli is an excellent actor and it’s not only nice to see him in a lead role but it’s particularly nice to see him as something more than a foul-mouthed gangster. Nothing against The Sopranos, but we feel that it’s pigeon-holed a lot of fine actors who have found little success since the series ended in 2007.
Unfortunately, though, Detroit 1-8-7 is on the ropes right now and will probably not be renewed for a second season.
Next up, we take a look at Wednesdays.