Madam Secretary brings Téa Leoni back to television as a strong-willed woman appointed to Secretary of State in the midst of a tragedy. It reads on the outset like a non-bipolar Homeland, but it’s not really like that show at all, and that’s a good thing.
It's that time of year again, when all the networks unveil their hopeful new series and viewers have to wade through a ton of terrible TV in order to find the few hidden gems worthy of the always-shrinking room left on their DVRs. To help with this endeavor, let me offer some advice with this review.
Taking a cue from The Fault in our Stars, Red Band Society is a hip, hopeful and knowing drama about sick teens living in a hospital ward. Fox gets the tone right with its new series, creating characters that are multi-faceted enough to pique anyone’s interest.
There was a time when a TV series’ final season meant that the show’s worth had finally petered out to the point that it wasn’t feasible to keep producing episodes. But it’s an entirely different age of television, and the only thing petering out on FX’s Sons of Anarchy is everyone’s patience for everyone else, and things are going to end very badly for most people involved.
What if disease wasn’t something that was solely spread by germs and personal contact? What if it could be spread through the Internet and viral videos? (Get it? Viral?) That seems to be the basic gist of whatever the hell is going on in the dramatic quasi-thriller Hysteria, one of Amazon Studios’ entries in their third Pilot Season.
When it comes to television comedy, marriage and relationships rule the landscape, and it takes either a strong premise or a talented cast to raise a new series above the bar. Amazon Studios’ third Pilot Season has given us Really, an amusingly risqué trek into the lives of four couples, as anchored by show creator Jay Chandrasekhar and Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke,
Fish out of water tales have been around since people first started telling stories, and there have been multitudes of examples in which this concept is used to a great effect. (Fievel!) But The Cosmopolitans, one of the projects in Amazon Studios’ third Pilot Season, does so little with this idea (or anything else) that I soon became jealous of the fish still in the water, where things actually happen.
Coming-of-age stories are a rarity on television, where youth is generally tainted by unrealistic wealth and precociousness, and this is exactly what makes Amazon Studios’ Red Oaks feel like such a breath of fresh weed-clogged air. It’s like The Wonder Years as filtered through Dazed and Confused, and it’s about as perfect as dramedy pilots get.
Ron Perlman fans no longer need to stream old Sons of Anarchy episodes in order to get their televised fix of the hulking actor. For at least one episode, Perlman is at the center of an emotionally charged holy roller coaster ride that goes by the name of Hand of God, which premiered today as part of Amazon Studios’ third Pilot Season.
Crackle’s latest original series Sequestered has subverted nearly every expectation one might have for an online streaming thriller, and by doing so has established itself as a breezily suspenseful trip through the conspiracy-soaked aftermath of a well-publicized murder. And at only 22 minutes per episode, there's never a dull moment.
Comedy is all about timing, and that's especially true for the rhythmic humor found in a well-constructed multi-camera comedy. Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer have proven adept at good timing and comedy, so the idea of the two actors paired up in a new series is brimming with potential. FX's Partners taps into some of that, but doesn't really bring anything new to the table.
Expectations for a new series are always a bit higher when the drama is an adaptation of a beloved novel. That applies to Starz's Outlander, a Scotland-set drama from Ronald D. Moore, based on the first book in a series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander excels both as an adaptation and an intriguing new drama.
Syfy's forecast calls for a Sharknado, and come tomorrow night, the network plans to deliver. We took a peek at Sharknado 2: The Second One ahead of tomorrow night's grand debut, and if you're looking for full-on shark mayhem, this sequel delivers a hearty helping. and then some. Expect blood. Expect chaos. Expect New York City to be soaked in sharks and terror.
Joining Salem among WGN America's slate of original programming is Manhattan, another period piece for the network. The scripted drama centers on the lives and top secret work of the men and women involved in the Manhattan Project during World War II. Mixing an intriguing historical setting with suspense, drama and mystery, where the stakes are incredibly high...
For better or worse, Season 7 kicks things off in an unpredictable way by adding a new judge and some unneeded gimmicks to ramp up the pressure on the 16 contestants vying for the top prize.