Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From LA Examiner: Heavy Dramas Abound!...

In these advance reviews (and one interview), I show you why drama has many faces these days. The Cape adds a bit of whimsy to vigilantism; Lights Out will K.O. the dramatic competition; Michael Cudlitz adds soul to the stoic Southland officers; and The Biggest Loser returns super-sized in contestants' weight, number of trainers, and twists along the way.

"The Cape dances its way onto television's vigilante landscape"

Not unlike the show’s lead in, Chuck, NBC's new superhero drama The Cape centers on a once-ordinary man given an extraordinary circumstance who embraces it and is determined to make a difference and the save greater mankind. Chuck Bartowski may do it out of a sense of obligation because he is special, but The Cape aka Vince Faraday just does it to prove to his son that one man can stand up to corruption. Many critics are judging The Cape for being over the top or just plain ridiculous but LA TV Insider Examiner has to consider that all stories set in comic book worlds are, in some ways and for that, we're will to cut a newb some slack. The man at the center here, much like the show itself, is new to the game (genre) but trying to play with the big boys. It’s not going to be an entirely smooth ride, but it’s through the mistakes made that strength can emerge... [MORE]

The one thing we can count on from FX is consistent, traditional, old-school storytelling in their original dramas, and Lights Out, which premieres next week, more than follows suit. The series starts off with a strong image: that of boxer Patrick ‘Lights’ Leary (Holt McCallany) lying flat on his back after a disastrous fight. He is beaten, bloody, broken. And he is about to get out of the game, more at the hands of his wife than his own will. It is an image that will stay with you, seeded in your mind as the rest of the drama slowly unfolds. The subsequent scenes may take place years later, after his face has healed, but in many ways his pride hasn’t, and he is more broken now than his cracked skin ever was... [MORE]

"Michael Cudlitz keeps Southland on the cutting edge of cable cop dramas"

"He’s in pain, and Ben’s concerned about him, and you know, he sees him medicating himself. When used properly the drugs are good, but at what point is he taking drugs and being on the job on drugs and doing things that he should not be doing? At what point does that cross the line?" Cudlitz is clearly a thoughtful actor when it comes to portraying the character but also explaining him and his situations... [MORE]

Tonight The Biggest Loser returns with an all-new couples edition, for the first time featuring an overwhelming amount of parent-child teams, and while holding that mirror up to the families of America is certainly still necessary, after all this time it is sad for a different reason. “Are they just not getting it?!?” Trainer extraordinaire Bob Harper yells into the camera during one of his testimonial interview moments... [MORE]

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