Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ABC's Fall 2008 lineup

Now that I've gotten NBC out of the way, I wondered what would be the next appropriate network to focus on.

And then I saw an ad for a new ABC show with the intriguing title of "Dirty Sexy Money." That seems like a plea for attention if I've ever seen one, so I thought I'd reward the poor pitiful ad man that came up with the title of the show. So, I began loading up the ABC website to see what the new Fall shows are and, lo and behold, I was confronted with "Caveman."

How could I have forgotten about "Caveman?!!" Surely the biggest train wreck of a television concept since "Whoopi." How could I not have made "Caveman" the entity around which I hang all of my contempt and disgust? How could I have let NBC slide by with their paltry lineup of shows?

First, there is Samantha Who? (Monday Oct. 15 @ 9:30), which is not an attempted spin off of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Instead, Christina Applegate plays someone who was in an accident, comes out of a coma eighty days later and has retrograde amnesia. What the hilarity ensue as Samantha tries to delve back into her life and discovers (to her horror?) that she wasn't a nice person. Will she learn from her tragedy? Will goodness triumph over evil? Does this sound like "Regarding Henry," a Harrison Ford movie that I really didn't like?

Next up, Caveman (Tuesday Oct. 2 @ 8 pm).Honestly, what can go wrong with a sitcom based on cavemen? That's comedy gold, right? Didn't you like "The Flintstones"? Isn't Barney Rubble funnier than most TV shows on television right now? Oh, wait . . . this sitcom is based off of a series of commercials? Are you sure that's right? Well, I'm sure the commercials were funny, weren't they? And the commercials sold something hilarious like toilet paper or ice cream? Umm, the commercials were for insurance? Cavemen and insurance? And now there's a TV show based on the cavemen that tangentially sold insurance? And, oh no . . . the show is set in Atlanta?!!

(I really hope someone gets fired over this one.)

Quick, let's move on, eat some dirt, do anything to get the taste of failure out of our mouths.

Carpoolers (Tuesday, Oct. 2 @ 8:30) will die a swift death, if for no other reason than it follows "Cavemen." (Sorry to bring it up again.) But, let's just say you like following the story of four guys who are "living different versions of the modern suburban family life who obsess, dream, and strategize as they rocket their way up and down the carpool lane every day." Doesn't that sound like something you might want to watch after you've spent your day carpooling to work, strategizing your way through . . . oh, okay. Well, at least it's got Jerry O'Connell in it. He was good in Stand by Me twenty years ago and some people liked "Sliders" about a decade ago. Too bad his character's name is "Laird." (It could have been "Marmaduke, who, I kid you not, is another of the carpoolers. Quick quiz everyone. Which among us ordinary suburban office drones is named Marmaduke or knows someone named Laird?)

So far ABC isn't impressing me very much. These comedies don't seem to have much going for them. The concepts aren't working and some of them are tragically doomed in utero. But things have got to improve sometime! At least LOST will be returning . . . in February! Yikes!

Moving on . . .

If "Carpoolers" is too close to home for some viewers, I'll bet you have nothing in common with Ned, the star of Pushing Daisies (Wednesday, Oct. 3 @ 8 pm). He bakes pies. I'm willing to bet that you purchase pies and don't bake them yourselves. Oh, and Ned can also touch dead people and bring them back to temporary life. He's decided to use this odd gift to bake better pies!

No, he's doing this to help solve murders! Maybe it's "Good Eats" mixed up with "Murder She Wrote." Well, the minds who brought you Men in Black and The Addams Family are behind this one, so expect a distinctly visual experience, full of highly saturated colors, sardonic eyebrows, and biting humor. I'm told there is also an element of romance in this show as well, but I've read "The Monkey's Paw" and I know that nothing good ever comes from trying to bring a loved one back to life.

Next up? Private Practice (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 9 pm). Do you like "Grey's Anatomy"? Well, if so, you might like this show which is a spin off of "Grey's," focusing on Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery's attempts to do something different. At least, I think that is what the show is about. I don't like "Grey's Anatomy" and so I'm not too jazzed about this one. Moving on.

Dirty Sexy Money (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 10 pm) wins the award for the most provocative title of any show in the Fall season this year. What's the show about? A lawyer is given the task of handling the legal and financial matters of a very wealthy and very untamable family. There are some good actors here--Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland--but I don't know if people will care. Something seems formulaic about the premise. Maybe it'll be a lot of smoke with little substance?

Big Shots (Thursday, Sept. 27 @ 10 pm) is another group of four working guys but any possible comparison to "Carpoolers" must end right there. These Big Shots (Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott, and Joshua Malina) are four competitive CEOs that will do anything to stay on top. I admit to being slightly intrigued by the return of Vartan, who was Jennifer Garner's love interest on "Alias." Of course, McDermott was on "The Practice" for quite a while. So, the actors are pretty solid, but I wonder if t he substance of the show will maintain over the long haul?

Women's Murder Club (Friday, Oct. 12 @ 9 pm) is probably doomed from the start, for several reasons. Those reasons are not because it's full of women, or because it's another San Francisco show that must fight off the spectre of "Nash Bridges." No, the fact that this show is on Friday night and won't even premiere until mid October doesn't bode well. The idea of the show--Angie Harmon's Det. Lindsay Boxer uses a special group of women crime specialists to help solve murders--might actually be interesting, but how interested will anyone be on a Friday night? I don't have high hopes.

Finally, the last show of the Fall premiere's is Cashmere Mafia (Tuesday, Dec. 4 @ 9 pm; special preview Nov. 27). This show tracks yet another group of four (what is it with groups of four?) women who have been helping each other our since Business school. They do everything together, much like the women from "Sex and the City," which isn't a coincidence since the producers of both shows are the same. I guess when you have a good idea, you stick with it.

So, that's ABC. I've got to say that I'm not thrilled with the shows they've got lined up for the Fall. The rest of the schedule is filled out with reality shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and the critically acclaimed "Ugly Betty" that did so well last year. I only care about "LOST" which won't be back on the air until sometime in February. So, I don't think I'll be checking out the alphabet network much for a while.


KM said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

i can't believe you'd dis "Nash Bridges" like that. for shame! there was NO better show starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin in 1997. that show helped get me through the gothic horror that was grad school in Georgia. being a Georgian, yourself, i hold you partly responsible, and it is not for you to dismiss our San Francisco-based coping mechanisms. (that's right, i said "our." i was not alone.)