TV season 2010-2011 lineup review

Another Fall, another TV season starts. As I usually do every year, here’s my review of the most interesting new series. One interesting thing about this year is that SyFy Channel had no new series, and that the USA Network played it safe and renewed all of its TV series without creating new ones either. I think TV in general is in pretty bad shape financially right now. Additionally, no new show broke more than 14.5 mil viewers (most did below 10 mil, which is not enough to sustain them on a major network). So, here we go:

* The Event

The most advertised new show. It’s a serialized sci-fi action show, that employs “flashbacks” like LOST used to. The problem with The Event is that in terms of quality is closer to “Heroes” than it is to LOST. Its over-used flashbacks technique fractures the time-line a lot, and the show has no memorable characters.

Verdict: It will get canceled by December, and if not, it would still be a close call.
My rating so far: 6/10

* Hawaii Five-0

The re-make of the popular ’70s show. It’s well-made technically-speaking (especially the stunts), but it’s a very episodic show, with nothing truly new to offer. It’s another cop show. It just looks better with Hawaii in its background.

Verdict: It will do well with older viewers. It already does.
Rating so far: 5/10

* No Ordinary Family

A sci-fi show about a family of super-heroes. Unfortunately, the show is so cliche, that makes it uninteresting to me. This is a show that should have been shown on ABC Family, not on the main ABC TV channel. It’s mostly episodic, but there’s also a bit of background serialization. Just not very exciting or original.

Verdict: It can go either way.
Rating so far: 5/10

* Chase

Yuck. This is the worst new show on TV. Yet another old style cop show, but of the worst order. And not only on the entertainment level, but also technically. The 5 minute opening in the pilot featured shots that were not all HD, different shutter speeds, different frame rates (!), and overly contrasty grading that made everything look over-exposed. A mess.

Verdict: For the love of God, please cancel it already.
Rating so far: 2/10

* Nikita

An episodic spy-like show, but with a bit of a background story. Not badly done, but let’s just say that it’s not the next big TV revolution either. Just a predictable action show, pretty cheaply done too. We can’t expect more from CW though, which is not as rich as the big-4 TV channels in the US.

Verdict: It will probably see another season.
Rating so far: 4/10

* Undercovers

Another spy show. This one sucks more. It’s very episodic, very old style too. So we have this married couple who used to be spies, then they got out and started a kettering business, and now they’re back in the spying game, with a different mission on each episode. Sorry, but this is not going to fly with me. It’s too repetitive, and I don’t give a shit about marriage problems of two ex-now-again spies. I mean, this is so ’80s.

Verdict: It’s going to get canceled.
Rating so far: 3/10

* Lone Star

This was the best new show of the season. Take note, it was a drama, and I’m a sci-fi/action girl. And yet, THAT was for me the best new show. And I’m saying “was”, because it’s already canceled, after just two episodes. The show was a hit with the critics, but the American population decided otherwise (fewer than 4 million people watched it). The show was about a con-man who lived two separate lives, married to two different women, while trying to con an oil tycoon. My only problem with the show was that the main character confessed that he truly loved both his wives, something that degraded the heroes’ believability for me. But other than that, the show had the right script, cinematography, pacing, serialized build-up, even great music. In fact, that was the only new show that had strong, memorable characters. Too bad it’s already gone. Some say that this show should have been either a mini-series, or on cable (rather than on FOX). If anything, it shows how much of a gamble the TV business is right now. You make a good show, and no one’s watching. You make a bad one, and no one’s watching either.

Verdict: Canceled.
My rating: 7.5/10

Overall, a very poor new TV season. Nothing truly exciting. Not because there are no good show ideas on the table, but because almost no one seems to be able to execute them properly.

1 Comment »

memsom wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 5:12 AM PST:

re: Undercovers, when you say “kettering”, what is that? I read it and lolled because Kettering is a place in the North of England – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettering – you meant “catering”?

We are getting Nikita over here next week. It’s being heavily promoted and looks crappy. It’s a re-hash of a French film “Nikita” (aka “La femme Nikita” in English lang distribution), that was re-made in the US as “The Assasin” (though it was called “Point of No Return” in the US) and starred Bridget Fonda. Then there was the TV series that was from 1997 called “La femme Nikita”…. Rehash/reuse/recycle. *sigh*


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