Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review of New Fall TV Programs

It's that time of year again - (or at least it was last month) time for the new fall line-up of TV programs. Already a few have been cancelled after just a couple episodes ("The Playboy Club," "Charlie's Angels" - do I detect a common theme here?).

However, I don't want to talk about the duds. Instead I thought I'd mention a few of the brighter stars (or at least mediocre ones).

My favorite of the three new ones I've seen has got to be "Pan Am" because of the sense of nostalgia it invokes, even for those of us who are too young to remember Pan Am in its heyday. The set designers really did their research down to every last detail from era-appropriate clothing down to the tiniest of props (cameras, etc.). Although the plots aren't always the most riveting, the excellent casting makes the viewers want to know more about the Pan Am crew. Christina Ricci, a seasoned actor of all of 31 years, is particularly excellent as Maggie Ryan, the flight crew's purser. I look forward to getting to know the other three actresses as the season continues.

"Suburgatory" is a funny new comedy, but perhaps a little too ridiculous or over-the-top for me. It seems a little too much "Desperate Housewives" meets "Arrested Development." My one reason for watching this is because of how much Jane Levy (who plays Tessa, the teenage daughter) reminds me of a good friend of mine. In fact, I'd even go so far as to call her a doppelganger of my friend. I gave up on it after the first episode, but may watch it in reruns or on hulu.com.

I had high hopes for Tim Allen in "Last Man Standing," but as a viewer who remembers all eight seasons of "Home Improvement," it feels a little like a second marriage for Allen. It's like he traded in the boys for girls, and I think I liked the dynamic better between his sons than his new daughters. Also, there's the fact that one of his daughters has a child out of wedlock. I suppose this is indeed a modern blended family. All in all, the series just feels a bit cliche'.

I eagerly anticipate "Once Upon a Time" which premieres next week.

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