Monday, September 16, 2013

From LA Examiner: 'We Are Men', 'Mom', 'Hostages', & 'The Blacklist' Advance Reviews...

"Fall 2013 TV Preview: CBS' We Are Men"

Do you remember on Friends when Ross thought about opening a divorced men's club where there'd be pool and basketball courts? After a guy she was dating got back together with his ex-wife, Phoebe told Ross that if they broke up again, he better not let that guy into his "sad men's club." Ross corrected her with "Divorced men's club," of course, and Phoebe said "Potato, potahto." That is pretty much the only thing that ran through my head while watching CBS' new not-quite alpha male comedy We Are Men... [MORE]

"Fall 2013 TV Preview: CBS' Mom"

Move over 2 Broke Girls, there's another low rent waitress in town-- and on your network to boot! This fall Chuck Lorre is getting in on the "anti-heroine" sitcom game with Mom starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney, and the show is everything you would expect from the master of crass... [MORE]

For the record, if CBS' Hostages was "just" a show about a regular ole family whose members each individually felt trapped by their circumstances and obligations and railed against them, rebelling in the most obvious-- and the oddest-- ways, I would want to watch it. I love character studies like that. But those are often very internal struggles about which not even the best actors can make an audience with limited time, limited patience, and limited willingness to think too much care. This is the entertainment business, not a psychology study, right? So the fact that Hostages takes this family with these problems and thrusts them into an extraordinary situation when they are quite literally taken hostage by quickly unmasked men is really just the icing on top of an already very rich cake... [MORE]

There has been a run on cat-and-mouse thrillers ever since Silence of the Lambs hit screens. These days, there is a tendency for writers to take that cop and criminal dynamic to a farther extent. On FOX's The Following, the criminal is just so obsessed with the cop he has amassed a whole citizen army of sorts to torture him psychologically and physically at times. On the upcoming drama that FX is developing based on the Gretchen Lowell books, the criminal personally psychologically and physically tortures the cop whenever she can. In every case, though, there is a history between the characters that explains, if not fully warrants, the obsessive behavior. On NBC's The Blacklist, the same can be said. Although the cat-and-mouse here is strictly psychological, and the deeper connection is not known after the pilot-- though it seems all-too-obvious what it probably will turn out to be... [MORE]

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