With its focus on a female attorney surrounded by people from a different "world" than she's used to, CBS' unfortunately-titled legal drama Made in Jersey had a sort of Legally Blonde feel to its premise, except instead of a bubbly Los Angeles blonde trying to fit in among a bunch of Harvard East Coast snobs, we get Martina Garretti, a New Jersey native working at a posh New York law firm. Beyond the fish-out-of-water gimmick, CBS' new drama seems less about focusing on the contrast between its female lead and her surroundings and more on the work the attorney does.
CBS' modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes and his trusted partner-in-crime-solving Watson premieres tonight, joining the network's Thursday night line-up. BBC's Sherlock set the bar high for a series like this, but what I've deduced, having thoroughly observed the pilot episode of Elementary, is that there's no reason to compare the two shows beyond noting that both celebrate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective in their own way.
There are a couple of new series this season that take us into unfamiliar waters. Among them is Last Resort, a drama that follows a military submarine crew that finds itself under fire from its own government when they question the order to fire their nukes. From the first couple of episodes, Last Resort is exciting, action-packed and offers the start of some very interesting character drama.
Guys with Kids is emblematic of the new NBC. Despite the (initial) success and critical acclaim that came with the inventive, challenging and risky 'Must-See' comedies like The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and, especially, Community this season marks the beginning of the end of the network trying something fresh. That may sound like a harsh over generalization but it's true, and the proof is in the pudding.
For eight seasons, Justin Kirk was one of the best parts of Showtime’s quirky comedy, Weeds. The actor has good comedic timing, he’s a little bit of an oddball, and he totally deserved a series where he could be the lead and carry the whole show. Enter Animal Practice, an impractical, awkward comedy with a monkey, that actually managed to suck me in the second time through.
Sci-fi comedies aren't exactly a common trend on television right now. These days, it's all about families or twenty/thirty-somethings. Then again, that's been the trend for years. The last time we saw a really successful alien-focused comedy on television was probably 3rd Rock from the Sun. By comparison to Bonnie and Terry Turner's 1996 comedy, ABC's new series The Neighbors doesn't measure up.
Bridging the space between stories about single women pursuing self-improvement (New Girl, The Mindy Project), and Fox's more family-focused comedy Raising Hope, is Ben and Kate a new comedy that shares a little bit in common with all three mentioned series, as it centers on a single mother who's raising her 5-year-old daughter with the help of her chaotic but well-meaning brother.
If there's a silver lining to Mindy Kaling's departure from The Office, it's that she left the NBC comedy to create and star in her own comedy series at Fox. The Mindy Project puts Kaling front and center as a thirty-something trying to juggle her hectic professional life as an OB/GYN with her fairly disastrous love life. The Project takes some of the more amusing aspects of Kelly Kapoor and puts them into a lead character with a bit more substance and direction.
CBS' new comedy Partners manages to get off to a good start as it introduces us to two lifelong male friends, one of whom is straight, while the other is gay. We soon learn that their friendship with one another may be as close, if not closer, than the relationships they have with their significant others. For years, I've been waiting for a CBS comedy series that would fit right next to How I Met Your Mother. At the risk of speaking too soon, I think Partners just might be it.
With House off the air, Fox has a vacancy for a new medical drama. I thought The Mob Doctor just might fit the bill there, with a concept that twists a medical drama with the suspenseful world of organized crime, following a female doctor who's attempting to pay off her brother's debt by working on the side for the mob. There was potential in the concept, but unfortunately, the pilot pushes things too far, too fast. From the first episode alone, the series could be described as a drama about a surgeon with ties to the mob, questionable ethics and really great hair.
Among the more ambitious new dramas headed to primetime this fall is Eric Kripke's and J.J. Abrams' Revolution, a post-apocalyptic story set in a world where all technology has blacked out. From the pilot episode of the series, the backdrop is set for an exciting story and an intriguing mystery. But will the series manage to live up to its potential? That remains to be seen.
Knowing that Glee had intended to split its focus between Rachel's adventures in New York and the rest of the characters' lives back at William McKinley High School, I braced myself for what might be a very bizarre, fractured Season 4 premiere. As it turns out, not only was the season premiere not the mess I thought it might be, but things actually get off to a good start for the Fox musical dramedy's fourth season.
It stands to reason the Season 2 premiere of Fox’s hit series would also be big and bold, featuring a blue carpet (instead of red), a handprint ceremony, and free treats for fans, all occurring back-to-back at the famed Grauman’s Chinese theater. I attended the event, and it was quite the night of festivities leading up to the premiere on Tuesday, but when the packed auditorium of people finally settled into their seats and the big screen popped open, the premiere left everything else in the dust.
It's around the fifth season where some dramas begin to show their age, for better or worse. Sons of Anarchy is no exception there, but fortunately, this series is aging well, following up on a strong fourth season with a couple of truly intense episodes to get things going for Season 5.
On thing I came to learn about Friday Night Lights is that it takes a while for the characters to grow on you. Maybe that's not the case for everyone, but it was for me. I didn't feel fully invested in Dillon and the stories of the town's characters until somewhere in the second season. But once I was in, I was in. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't stop watching. Parenthood is a different show in many ways, but there's a similar kind of bond formed when it comes to connecting with the series.