Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TV: The New Tuesday - Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!

Nope! Not a mistake. Tuesday night is Football night redux, at least as far as the new TV shows this fall go. I might have been looking forward to CBS's Smith, but I stayed for NBC's Friday Night Lights, the small-screen version of the movie of the same name.

Bluntly, it's the only new show Tuesdays will continue to bring into the house. Even if I have to tape it to watch House and NCIS. It's like The OC with a purpose and a Texas twang. Forget the football, it's a teen soap opera with believable parents (faves Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton). Too many people see the SF label and bypass Battlestar Galactica. This one's stuck with the pigskin outline on its rear. Get over your dislike for sports shows that ain't for real. This is one for the VCR while you watch your REAL Tuesday at 8 favourite.

One of the VERY BEST SHOWS ON TV ANYWHERE (have I got your attention?) is Hustle, the British caper show, shown on this side of the Atlantic in hacked apart one-hour shows (it needs 90 minutes to show the full British episode). It's through three (regrettably short) seasons and coming back for more. Just about every other theft-inspired show over 'ere seems to die part way through the first season. Well, at least since It Takes a Thief. I had high hopes for Smith. Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, a moody movie approach, some appealing secondary characters given life by Amy Smart, Simon Baker and Frankie G. And it plopped. Big Time. No chemistry between the intense Liotta and the expressionless Madsen. Smart's character wasn't very smart. And it wasn't the little things that set the authorities onto the caper crew, it was a spot-on ID by a child-hood friend that Smart's character neglected to mention to the rest of her high-end team. It was the first casualty of the year, although I watched it to the bitter end (okay, it WAS only three shows).

What should have been the first casualty was the show I could only watch a half of. ABC deserves a bad chastising for releasing Ted Danson's dreadful Help Me, Help You on to an unsuspecting viewership. When the clean freak he's treating reaches into the garbage can for a partially eaten something or other as part of her aversion therapy, I reached for the remote. Just horrible. Won't subject myself to it again.

I sort of liked Standoff's first show. Even liked the second. Started hoping they'd start losing hostages by the third show. A show about hostage negotiators needs a LOT of time away from the job to have any legs. Otherwise, it becomes like a Superman comic where you KNOW nobody's in real jeopardy. Super Clark will always arrive in time to save Lois Lane. Takes the dramatic kick completely out of the show. But this is a work-place show. And losing hostages isn't really part of the romantic comedy the two negotiators have set up by becoming lovers as well as partners. It's like corn chips. Easy to overdose on, and slow to come back too. Ron Livingston's fine as one half of the team, can't say I'm much impressed with Rosemarie DeWitt as the distaff partner. But even Billy Connelly and Charlize Theron couldn't make this work.

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