Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm a Critic!

I got to view advance showings of two new TV shows! I feel so special.

Okay, I'm not that special. Anyone can join Entertainment Weekly's Front Row program. Usually, they just ask me to grade new movies I've seen (which haven't been many) and guess what the next cover of the magazine will be (Pirates of the Caribbean was a no-brainer. The rest, not so much.).

Tonight they asked me to view The Class and Shark, two new CBS TV shows premiering this fall. And because I like mouthing off, I'm gonna say what I think.

I was actually pleasantly surprised. I read about The Class (guy throws a third-grade reunion to surprise his fiancée) and thought it sounded really dorky. It was only partly dorky. The casting was interesting, with some familiar faces and some I never saw before. The acting was very stiff and blocky, like, "Now I walk over here, lift my hand like this, and state my next line." But it's a pilot, so it stands to reason that would relax out as the show goes on. But the thing that makes this show have a chance is...everyone say it now...the writing.

It was surprisingly funny. I BARKED with laughter. Yes, barked. Some dialogue was excellent, and there was a shocking development near the end. Not sure what will happen with it. The characters were refreshing, in that they were stereotypes that didn't fulfill their promise. The disdainful, says-what-she-means character has compassion, for example. I might TiVo this for a while and see if it holds my attention.

Shark is yet another legal drama, about a defense attorney who switches sides. I adore James Woods, but I wouldn't have watched this show without the advance video. Actually, I didn't finish it, because the feed locked up, three times, and I got sick of trying. Again, there are some refreshing elements. He's a divorced father with a good relationship with his daughter and ex-wife, a guy trying to do the right thing for them all. The process is kind of interesting. The acting was decent, though it looked like the production company got a 19-for-one Botox deal. The "team" assigned to Stark (Woods) seem like placeholders. They all seem to be the same age, like they're interns or something. But they're supposed to be full-fledged attorneys with varying levels of competence. It was interesting to see Clark Kent's psycho girlfriend playing a suck-up. Bottom line on this one was...I am so sick of legal dramas and I haven't watched one since LA Law...I recommend giving it a try, but I won't be watching it.

Next week starts the series of season premieres, so be warned, I'll probably be talking about them for a while. :)

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