The fall TV season has begun and, as with previous seasons, I’ll try to watch as many new and returning shows as possible and write about them. And if I happen to watch a film in between, comments about it will be made. I’ll try my best no to include spoilers, but I’ll most likely fail. You’ve been warned. Here we go:
Boardwalk Empire – Pilot
A well known fact of the last decade – and something that has become sort of a universal constant – is that one should expect great quality from HBO. And great quality is what Boardwalk Empire has. Here a few quick notes about the pilot:
It’s about time Steve Buscemi got his own show.
Steve Buscemi can do no wrong, and it’s fantastic to see him in the lead as a powerful man instead of the quirky characters he usually gets.
In the era of the title card, it’s great to see that HBO continues to invest in well designed title sequences for its series. Boardwalk Empire’s is as beautiful as the title sequences for Carnivale, Six Feet Under and True Blood. For more in-depth analysis, visit The Art Of The Title Sequence. They don’t have anything on Boardwalk Empire yet, but I’m sure it’ll be up there soon.
The story is set in the 1920’s, right at the beginning of the prohibition era. I’m not much of a modern gangster genre fan. To me it’s more interesting to see gangster stories set in the 1920’s because it was a period that reconfigured the criminal underground and set precedent to modern gangster.
It’s like Canivale in the city!
I’ve always loved the music and style of the 1920’s, and Boardwalk Empire’s wardrobe, art design and music are spot on; there’s great attention to detail in every shot.
The show has an outstanding cast. Aside from Steve Buscemi, it’s great to see Michael Pitt outside the indie world. Other familiar faces I loved seeing are Shea Whigham, who played Eugene in Wristcutters: A Love Story; Kelly McDonald from Trainspotting; and Stephen Graham, who did a kick ass job in the wonderful BBC miniseries Occupation.
As an auteur, Martin Scorsese has developed a very distinctive style. The mark of Scorsese is all over Boardwalk Empire and that’s never a bad thing.
I must admit that I thought the pilot was a bit low on action and somewhat slow. But what it lacked in action, it made up for in character and story setup and development without resorting to exposition.
Boardwalk Empire has the potential to be great. We’ll just have to wait and see how it develops.
A quickie on House – Season 7, Episode 1
OH MY GODS, THAT WAS AWFUL!
Mini review: Hawaii Five-O – Pilot
My life sucks…
My expectations for this show were so very low. In the past few years, remakes of old shows haven’t worked. Also, poor Alex O’Loughlin. That poor man can’t seem to catch a break since he started working in The States. Could Hawaii Five-O be his curse breaker?
The banter between Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan’s characters was great, and both characters mesh well with the other two team members, played by Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.
There’s nothing innovative about the story or the way it’s being told, but the action sequences were so good, they kind of reminded me of the golden days of 24.
I was surprised by how fun this episode was. It didn’t blow my mind but I was thoroughly entertained. I think Mr. Alex O’Loughlin might have finally found a proper vehicle. Good times!
Mini something: Lone Star- Pilot
Meet Bob: He’s pretty, he’s charming, he has a wife in one city and a girlfriend in another, he has daddy issues, he’s a con man with a newly found conscience, he’s a con man in love, the actor who plays him played a teacher with tourrettes in some TV movie (I think)…
On a more serious note, I love Bob as a character. He is terribly conflicted but trying to make things work. I like what James Wolk has done with the character. The music on the pilot was excellent. I, however, don’t love the show. I don’t think it’s a bad show, but I don’t feel compelled to continue watching it.
A few days ago, I decided to dust my Donnie Darko DVD and pop it in the player. This being the 450th time I see the movie, I was happy to see that I loved it just as much as the first time, and with that awesome soundtrack it reminded me of how much I love Tears For Fears and The Church. I wanted to post a video of that great conversation Donnie Darko has with his friends about The Smurfs, but instead (and for lack of a good quality clip) here’s the school montage featuring Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears (one of my favourite songs ever).
Micro review: Mike & Molly – Pilot
Cute. The show had some pretty great lines but 80% of the jokes were fat jokes. Although some of those jokes were funny, it got a bit old. Even though the two main characters are an overweight teacher and an overweight police officer who meet at an overeaters support group, can’t the comedy come from something other than their size? Can’t it?
Mini review: The Event – Pilot
Where are you going?
I found very interesting the way in which the stories were interconnected by showing a particular situation from different perspectives. The episode was well paced and its tone was a mixture of Lost and 24, and I’m not just saying that because there was a plane, black vans, a tropical setting, a big mysterious something, and 24’s font for the title cards.
Based only on this episode, I fear this show could easily go the way of Flash Forward by getting lost in individual stories and dragging the big mystery for too long, though it’s too soon to tell. More episodes must be watched to make a full assessment and see how the show shapes up.
I don’t love it, but I’m giving it a chance.
The show I couldn’t force myself to watch: Chase
Simply because I’m not interested.
That’s all for now, folks!
In the next installment of Fall Teleshenanigans: Running Wilde, Undercovers, and some returning oldies. There are way too many shows premiering this week. Hopefully I won’t die from TV overload before the next post.