Russell’s 2012 Fall Postview

I haven’t seen anything like all the new shows, but I have seen a few. Some thoughts:

Partners: When your best (and only interesting) characters are the secondary ones (Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh) then the show doesn’t really deserve a second viewing. Too bad. Krumholtz is usually awesome. Next!

Vegas: This one was pretty much what I expected. Great performances from Quaid and Chiklis. But nothing else particularly super-awesome about it. Cowboys are cool; gangsters are evil; blah blah blah.

666 Park Avenue: I like the idea of a haunted apartment building (or, you know, run by Satan, or whatever). I like Terry O’Quinn in full Black Smoke Monster bad guy mode. What I don’t like is the kind of random, throw scary stuff at the audience and see what sticks method of horror. And the leads (the couple in the poster) are easy on the eyes, but otherwise forgettable.

Revolution: The pilot had some nifty scenes of destruction and chaos as a blackout hits the entire planet. There were some decent action beats. But with the exception of Billy Burke, I didn’t much care about the characters. And I hope they don’t rely too heavily on the already overdone flashback cliches to fill us in on everything that happened in the fifteen years between the blackout and “now”. I’ll give it a couple more chances, though, if only for the nifty premise.

The Neighbors: I expected this one to stick, just for zeitgeist purposes. I didn’t expect it to be this funny. The aliens are quirk and wonderful, but the human couple (Jamie Gertz and Lenny Venito) are equally hilarious. Who know if it’ll really have legs, but so far I like it a lot. (Hey, ABC, where’s the movie-style poster I can take off of IMDB for my review?)

Elementary: This version of Sherlock Holmes is way more Monk than House. Johnny Lee Miller is brilliant and jittery and haunted by some unknown thing that happened “back in London”. Lucy Liu is fun even though she’s the “straight man”. And the two episodes I’ve seen so far had some really baroque mysteries to solve. I like that.

Last Resort: I was anticipating liking this one, and I wasn’t wrong. It started with a great setup (a hinky order to fire nukes on Pakistan is questioned by a sub’s captain and executive officer) and the first episode just didn’t let up the tension, up to and including the detonation of the first of eighteen nukes in the sub’s arsenal. By the second episode, the complications were getting wonderful. There are so many different groups of people working at cross-purposes: the crew of the sub that are loyal to Andre Braugher’s Captain Chaplain; the crew that aren’t loyal, led by Robert “I only get more awesome with age” Patrick; the remaining Navy Seal who they picked up just before everything went sideways; the nice townspeople on the island they overtook; the not-so-nice townspeople; the NATO tracking staff on the island; the two captured Russian soldiers from the team that tried to steal the sub. And that doesn’t even include all the people back in the states, my favorite being a tech-head with a personal stake in the sub’s survival played by Autumn Reeser. Sign me up for six seasons and a movie.

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