Since The WB’s merge with UPN in 2006, The CW has not fared very well. Some of its solid hits remain, such as Supernatural, but many of the shows that have premiered since the merger are gone. Now, the network has a strong presence online. Of all the networks, The CW seems the least reliable. Maybe it’ll get lucky this fall.
This Action/Adventure drama revolves around billionaire Oliver Queen. Queen returns to his hometown of Starling City after having been stranded on an island for five years and presumed dead. After struggling to mend the relationships of those he left behind, Queen creates the persona of Arrow, a vigilante committed to protecting the city. I am really not sure what to make of this show. Character development will be a must. If it is simply Arrow saving the citizens of Starling City multiple times, it could get boring. Aside from that, the premise and casting of this show seems poorly executed. Oliver Queen was already a main character on Smallville. Justin Hartley’s portrayal was brilliant. This show’s continuity will be reworked and Queen is now being played by Stephen Arnell. I do not understand why this is not a direct Smallville spinoff. I’ve seen The Green Arrow before. Arnell isn’t as good as Hartley. I don’t think this show is going to last too long.
ABC hasn’t found a hit show since the writers strike of 2007-2008, which dealt a big blow to the network. In the last five years, many of the shows introduced on ABC did not live to see a third season. The new shows introduced at the time of the strike were disrupted and most were cancelled. Now that Desperate Housewives is gone, ABC will have to rely on the untested once again. Below are reviews of three more of its new shows.
In Malibu Country, Reba McEntire returns to television for the first time since Reba went off the air. This time she stars as Reba Gallagher, a country singer who moves to Malibu with her family after she discovers her husband cheated on her. The trailer had some funny moments and some sentimental ones. It left me wanting Gallagher to succeed. There was great chemistry between Gallagher and her mother, who is played by Lily Tomlin. The rapport for these characters, as well as Gallagher’s kids, seems to work. Gallagher also realizes that her heartbreak can provide great inspiration for a resurgence of her singing career. I don’t know if this show will be hilarious, but it will probably be enjoyable.
If any network is good at finding hits, it’s CBS. It renewed 19 shows for the Fall season and only has four new shows on its schedule. CBS has a way of defying the unpredictability and inconsistency of television. When it finds a hit drama, such as CSI, it can spin the show off into multiple shows and make those last as well. When CBS finds a hit sitcom like Two and a Half Men, they can make it last even after the disgraced star is forced to leave and the title makes no sense. CBS has managed to keep multiple shows on the air for a decade or longer all in the same time frame. Even though the new options for this season are limited, I’m always excited when a classic is found. CBS seems to have the best chance given their history.
Vegas is a drama taking place in the 1960s. It stars Dennis Quaid as Sheriff Ralph Lamb. In the 60s, Las Vegas was evolving from a “rough and tumble town” to the city it is now. According to Quaid in the preview, Lamb became sheriff somewhat reluctantly. His straightforward personality and no-nonsense methodology may lend itself to exciting conflict. Michael Chiklis also stars as Vincent Savino, a man in the Chicago crime family. Lamb and Savino fight over who gets to develop Las Vegas into a large city.
FOX is notorious for shows with incredibly short tenures. Whether it was reality shows with absurd premises or just really bad sitcoms, a lot of its shows over the past decade lasted less than a season. In some ways, I almost anticipate most of their shows getting cancelled, even if I tend to like them. I know what’s done well and I know what’s not. I just don’t always like what’s done well. The fact is, network television is a rare and coveted entity.
New television excites me, though. It’s a new opportunity for a critical eye, whether my sentiment is “I like this,”, “I hate this,” or “I love to hate this.” The variables of FOX will most likely make this season very enjoyable.
The Mindy Project
I like Mindy Kaling and I don’t really have a concrete reason why. Her character type seems somewhat simple. She said in behind the scenes segments of The Office to basically be an exaggerated version of herself. The character of Kelly Kapoor is a caricature. She’s very over dramatic, immature, and lacking emotional development. Despite all this, she’s still charming to watch. Kelly went from an auxiliary background character to one worthy of an episode’s focus. She made me laugh, especially concerning her relationship “drama” over the course of the show. When I heard about The Mindy Project, I knew that I would have to give it a chance.
Kaling stars as Mindy Lahiri, an OB-GYN, who while a very competent doctor, has a lot of trouble with friendships and dating. The trailer was interesting and made me laugh, but I couldn’t tell much about the show’s premise. Lahiri seems to have a lot of the same mannerisms as Kapoor, especially concerning her fixation on men. The trailer also detailed her being charged with public intoxication. Her complaints about men and her struggle with alcohol could get old, but it might not matter so much if the episodes are funny.
Regardless, the show’s premise isn’t very much established in the trailer and self-contained shows do not impress me as much as shows with recurring arcs. Either way, I’m not sure what kind of show this is going to be. If The Mindy Project becomes a show about various neuroses Lahiri has to endure with her “guy of the week,” I don’t know if it can sustain itself. If it becomes a show about the delicate balances between her career and the discoveries of what (and whom) she really needs out of life, that seems a bit more promising. I just couldn’t tell. However, out of loyalty to Kaling, I would have checked this out regardless of what the trailer told me and I will watch at least a few episodes. I just hope it shows Kaling’s potential, even though I will miss her on The Office.