Archive for the ‘TV Show Reviews’ Category

Hello!

Below is my list of TV Shows (Drama) that deserve your attention this fall season.

The Playboy Club 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set in 1963, ‘The Playboy Club’ will go through a lot of comparisons as soon as it hits the airwaves. When you watch the pilot, you will see that it has many similarities with ‘Mad Men’. Excessive drinking, smoking, womanizing and a lot of hair gel. But if you get past that, you will realize that this is a very different show. It centers around the lives of the employees aka ‘Bunnies’ at The Playboy Club in Chicago. It has skimpy clothes, the local mafia and murder thrown in for good measure.

Many have already criticized the pilot for being extremely offensive and not being fit for family viewing. But I highly recommend it. It does have its downsides, yes. For example, Eddie Cibrian – the male lead is trying too much to be like Don Draper. Too much time was spent on insignificant characters too at one point.

But, if I were you, I would watch it. It is easily one of the best shows this year. The only downside to this is that it is going to be on NBC in the USA. This might be the reason for its early demise. This show would have been a perfect cable show. Having said that, the show’s female-driven cast is reason enough to give it a try.

Homeland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on an Israeli TV Show called ‘Hatufim’, ‘Homeland’ is probably my favourite TV Show premiering this fall. It is a fantastic psychological thriller created by Howard Gordon (Executive Producer for ’24’) with a plot that is super interesting — A CIA agent suspects that a recently released prisoner of war might actually be a terrorist sleeper agent. It stars Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in roles that they are made for.

I highly recommend this show. The end of the pilot was like a sucker-punch in the face. Must be watched by all means.

PS – If you like storylines of this sort, check out the old Showtime series called ‘Sleeper Cell’.

PPS – Psst! The pilot of ‘Homeland’ is available on the interwebs.

Hell on Wheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first reason to watch ‘Hell on Wheels’ is that it is going to be on AMC and they rarely disappoint. FUCK YOU AMC, FOR CANCELLING ‘RUBICON’. Hmm. Moving on.

Set in the 1860s in a boom town near the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, ‘Hell on Wheels’ is a Western that follows a former Confederate soldier who’s looking for revenge on the men who killed his wife. The trailer looked brilliant. When I watched the pilot, I was floored. I haven’t seen attention to detail in a TV Show like this since ‘Mad Men’. The storyline is very gripping too. Highly recommended!

Person of Interest 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Person of Interest delivers the elements of a crime procedural in an unpredictable manner. Michael Emerson is brilliant in his role as Finch. There are undercurrents of Benjamin Linus in his behavior. But I am sure that will pass once he finds his own feet as Finch. Jim Cavaziel is very good in his mysterious character Reese – A special agent whose past is unknown. The writing on the pilot was tight for most parts barring the painful and over-dramatic dialogues at times. But it comes from writer Jonathan Nolan and producer JJ Abrams, so I have faith in this show.  If you liked the concept of ‘Minority Report’, you will love this show as the premise is similar. If the writers flesh out the characters well on the show in the coming episodes, the series should work.

I have only one concern. This show is on CBS. CBS rarely lets shows go in the direction the producers want. Hence, this show runs the risk of getting mediocre very soon. But you should definitely give it a shot.

Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Grammer,  like you have never seen him before.

The mayor of Chicago, Tom Kane (Grammer) has always used any means necessary to get the job done, and has been very successful at it. But when he’s suddenly afflicted by a degenerative brain disorder. I haven’t watched the pilot of this show but from whatever I have heard and what I saw in the trailer, I cannot wait to watch it.

Terra Nova

 

 

 

 

 

Probably the most awaited show of the year. The most expensive show of the year with a budget of an average of $4 Million per episode.

The year is 2149 and Earth is running out of resources to sustain mankind. Scientists of devised a way for humans to travel 85 Million years back in time to the prehistoric era where dinosaurs exist. The hype and the buzz around this show is only because of dinosaurs but take my word for it — This show is much more than that. The two-hour TV premiere of this show will be the biggest TV event in my opinion. And even if the story doesn’t excite you, I suggest you watch it for the sheer scale at which this project is being executed. Also, there’s this dude called Steven Spielberg producing this show. Just thought I’d let you know.

My concern is that this show is a huge production commitment that FOX has made. An average episode takes 8-9 days to shoot and then 6 weeks for post-production. Plus it doesn’t shoot in the USA. It is shot in Australia. They will be able to take this forward only if enough people watch it and they can make profits on the money that they are pumping into this project. Let’s hope they do.

PS – The show premieres on Star World in India on the 8th of October at 9 PM. Just a little over a week after it premieres in the USA.

Tomorrow, I shall do a similar post for comedies.

DG

 

 

 

 

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Creator: Alan Ball / Network: HBO / Years: 2001 – 2005

From the haunting opening strains of the incredible theme music by Thomas Newman to the scene of the death that will be this week’s ‘client’ of the Fisher family funeral home, you know that you are in for a different type of viewing experience. With one of the most well directed opening sequences ever, Six Feet Under makes an amazing watch across all five seasons of its run. The amazing Alan Ball (Writer – American Beauty) has put together a staggering ensemble of actors, directors, writers, photographers and editors that, without fail, present the finest hours on television. The make-up department deserves a special commendation for the work they do on the sometimes horribly mutilated ‘corpses’ of the ‘clients.’

One of the most fundamental principles for engaging an audience is to present engaging characters. Six Feet Under is a prime example: each character we’re introduced to does take some getting used to, but all are wonderfully rich and complex and three-dimensional, balanced nicely by each other. Not only the Fishers but also all their friends, acquaintances and lovers are well developed, highly involved and important to the show in its many layers. Nate’s girlfriend Brenda (Rachael Griffiths) and her manic-depressive brother Billy (Jeremy Sisto), David’s boyfriend Keith (Mathew St. Patrick) and the Fishers’ Puerto Rican employee Rico (Freddy Rodriguez) are all fantastic characters that do far more than just complement the show’s funeral home family.

Most, of all I admire the characters: some of the most complex and enchanting creatures ever to grace the idiot box. After a few episodes, they feel like a second family. Each and every character of the Fisher family is extremely well written. Right from the insecure Nate, to his sex addicted girlfriend Brenda (Golden Globe winner Rachel Griffiths). Even David (Michael C. Hall) is outstanding. Each of these characters evolves through the five seasons of this show, episode by episode.

These myriad pieces, strong characters and outstanding production values all come together brilliantly under the firm hand of Mr. Ball and provide a fascinating look into a life that we all know exists but most of us have never explored. Every time I watch an episode, I am struck back be depth of storyline, the intricate characters and the left-of-the-middle storytelling. Allan Ball’s menagerie of ghosts (past characters influencing the present), trippy daydream sequences, surreal atmosphere and some wicked black humour make for a very entertaining show and sell what would otherwise be a marketing disaster to the masses. To top that, every component from acting to directing to screenplay is flawless.

I have to give this show my highest commendations. There are, of course, moments when I feel like throwing my chair at the television, but that is simply the consequence of watching a show that challenges me, rather than offer cheap amusement. It’s a heart-wrenching ride, and probably not for everyone. I can see a lot of people shying away from a show like this, simply because it refuses to be disposable. I really can’t say enough about this show. I didn’t know TV could make me feel the way I felt while watching. The characters, their struggles, they really find a vulnerable place where insecurities and fears haunt the human condition of our culture. And with a diverse and well-acted cast, I would imagine so on multiple age levels, races and faiths. This show speaks truths, and I feel lucky to have heard them.