It is inevitable . Every fall, some shows go on to become television classics. Others just go into history as miserable flops or misses. But even some of the most successful shows in tv history started out with low tests and dismal ratings. This was in the days when networks had the time to wait to see the show develop an audience. Today with digital television and cable, there is no time and if a series fails to show promise off it goes. This is unfortunate for great shows like Aaron Sorkin’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” But enough with the soap box, let’s view chitownstarconnections picks.
There are some series that literally scare me. They include “The Blacklist” from NBC. Even having a chance to view before premiere , I didn’t take it. It just seemed a little too dark and sinister. Blair Underwood is a good actor, but just couldn’t imagine the new Ironside.Just because making a new series out of an old one worked with “Hawaii Five O”, doesn’t mean it will work again. I also can’t understand this trend of making fairy tales into night mare shows. ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” comes to mind with this. I love the beloved Lewis Carroll story , but this show is more like Alice on an acid trip through the lookingglass. Another show I was quick to pan was “Lucky Seven” . The characters are not lovable or likable and one is just not attractive at all. (Hey casting directors ! why didn’t you call me for that part.) But enough with the pans, there is a lot to like .
I would say that my favorite new show is CBS “The Crazy Ones.” It’s Mad Men as a comedy. Robin Williams becomes Roger Sterling. The best part is that it is classic Robin Williams. He utilizes that personality to the hilt with straight man Sarah Michelle Geller. The show takes place in Chicago, so there might be a possibility of a future appearance. Another show that makes me laugh is Fox’s “Dads. Knowing that show boasts the sick humor of one Seth McFarland, wunderkind of the Fox network’s Sunday night. I knew it would be good. Add great comic actors like Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, and Martin Mull , the show clicks. It is also cool to see Brenda Song grow up and play something other than spoiled, self absorbed London Tipton from the “Suite Life” I was first introduced to Anna Farris as the young, single mother on”Friends”. Even in that small role , she showed she had a talent for comedy which has served her well in the “Scary Movies” series. “Mom” proves to be a fun show with a great ensemble cast. Allison Janney shows her versatility as the trashy mother of Farris’ character. A long way from the Oval Office! French Stewart shows up as the arroagant chef. Christy is also having a secret affair at work with her boss,played by Nate Corddry, late of “Studio 60”
Comeback seems to be the thing on NBC. It also seems like they want to return to the glory days of “Must See TV” Last season, they put their faith in “Go On.” This year, NBC takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Sean Saves the World” and The Michael J Fox Show.” Sean Hayes is an out and proud gay father with a teen aged daughter. But we have yet to see his social life. There is some of that famous physical comedy he demonstrated on “Will and Grace” . but no Just Jack antics yet. Fox seems more to be a poster boy for Parkinson’s in his new series. I was expecting Fox to play a character with heart this time, unlike his beloved APK. But the show might still surprise me. After a turn on the Emmy winning “West Wing,” Bradley Whitford is a harried husband who is still tormented by his exes in “Trophy Wife.” Whitford, like his former co star, has a comic flare as well. His wife is played by the gorgeous, sweet Malin Ackerman. Ackerman was first noticed on Lisa Kudrow’s critically acclaimed show”The Comeback” as the innocent ingenue.
Finally we come to “Brooklyn99”. It is “Castle” with slapstick Andy Samberg comes to the forefront in this police comedy where straight cops are threatened by crazy, young bucks who won’t follow the rules.
In the seventies , we back to the fifties with “Happy Days”. In the eighties , we were taken back to the “Wonder Years”. The nineties transported us to that groovy time with “That Seventy Show” and in the milennium, we have “The Goldbergs.” Jeff Garlin and company transport us back to neon clothing, JR Ewing, and bands like REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Madonna. Also part of this cast is George Segal as the grandfather. Segal is best remembered as the boss on “Just Shoot Me.”
Past and present comic legends collide in “Dads.” As a Seth McFarland creation, I can see it as a live action cartoon of one of his heroes like Peter, Stan. or Cleveland. Green is a master of satire with his “Robot Chicken” and Ribisi has made a career of playing insane characters. Mull just seems to be the charming fool again.