I don’t remember watching the pilots of Dynasty, Thirtysomething, Get Smart, The Untouchables, Ultraman, Gilligan’s Island, The Love Boat or The Brady Bunch. Even if I had, I wouldn’t have known what a ‘pilot’ was, anyway. Who knew from pilots? Then? (Familiarity with that term doesn’t happen until you kiss all dreams of law or any kind of graduate school goodbye and move to Los Angeles). Anyway, those were some of my favorite TV shows. Still are. And there are networks hoping right now that the new crop of programs bowing this week will instantly become someone else’s favorite TV shows. Is there another Modern Family or Glee this year? I sincerely doubt it, but let’s watch them and see what they have to say.And so begins the big bad back-to-school TV premiere week. We have right out of the gate something soapy: Lone Star. Because Dallas worked, and so did Dynasty (even though that was Colorado, I know). In short – Lone Star’s all about a guy with a double life who is cute/dangerous and responsible/rakish and good/bad and of course it’s all set in Texas (the title might have tipped you off). So there’s already that built-in oil money feature that everyone loves to watch and hate. Apparently there’s plenty of it and Jon Voigt’s at the helm of the empire. Basically this looks good to me but all the supporting players in the world and colorful shenanigans cannot make a show work if the protagonist doesn’t do the trick. Which means James Wolk is under a tremendous amount of pressure. Although early reports suggest that perhaps he may be up to the task (and I have to assume that TV’s current Coolest Grifter Guy, Matt Bomer, was tied up with White Collar).
Then we have Hawaii – Five-O. We know that drill.
Which is pitted against NBC’s The Event. Why the obsession with apocalyptic drama? Is this because a gimmick is required to sustain interest ? Because nothing is watchable if its own brand of particular menace wasn’t spawned inside the secret chambers of the White House itself ? If in fact TV has had to become scarier, extra-terrestrial-er, violenter, with consequences that are even dir-er than we’ve imagined prior — just where does this leave us? Again, this show’ s all about the protagonist, we’re told. Jason Ritter is a talented young actor (and yes he is son of the fabulous and sadly late John Ritter ). So let’s watch and see.
Then we got…
Mike & Molly … a newbie comedy about two people who meet cute at Overeaters Anonymous – and it’s all about whether love can prevail in the age of weight consciousness. The show’s real life boss – Chuck Lorre – is also the guy behind Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, so he knows a thing or two about making shows that people will like. I also happen to know Billy Gardell and know too what a great performer he is, so if those two factors are any consideration this new show will be appealing indeed.
There you have it. On TV tonight. Will you watch? Will you DVR? How many episodes do you watch before you think it’s a hit? And similarly, how far do you stick with it hoping it gets its footing. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and let us know which of these TV shows bowing tonight you’re most excited about:
1) The Event
2) Mike & Molly
3) Hawaii Five-O
4) Lone Star