It’s the most wonderful time of the year: pilots are everywhere! But who has time to sift through every new show that’s starting and help you figure out what you want to watch? Me, that’s who.
So here’s Pilot Season 2013, Part One.
We Are Men
We Are Men opens with Carter (Chris Smith) getting dumped at the altar, Happy Endings style (minus rollerskates), and continues on its mediocre way for another 20 minutes, which is a shame because it features Kal Penn and Tony Shalhoub, who both have done some excellent work, and Jerry O’Connell, who I don’t know much about. Penn is probably the least offensive “man” in this show, but Shalhoub and O’Connell’s characters spend their time chasing young, hot women (something something young Asian women something sex something). To be fair, I’m not the target demographic (from what I can make out, the target demographic is slobby, 20- and 30-something year old guys who hate women). But also, I hate this.
1/5 stars – a resounding “eh”.
Seeing the name ‘Chuck Lorre’ never fills me with confidence (sorry man), but the pilot of Mom is surprisingly good. Chances are your experiences of Chuck Lorre are of perennially unfunny (and
at times often downright sexist) Two and a Half Men, or perhaps they’re of The Big Bang Theory, which divides opinion (personally, eh). Anna Faris stars as one of the titular Moms, who works in a fancy restaurant and is a recovering alcoholic. The other Mom is the delightful Allison Janney, who I have fond memories of as the receptionist who writes smut in Ten Things I Hate About You. Anyway, unlike the other (admittedly few) Chuck Lorre sitcoms I’ve watched, there haven’t been any cheap digs at women and the subject matter is quite interesting: a sober mother working a shift job must deal with her own mother as well as her children (and dopey ex-husband). Also, Jon Cryer makes a brief appearance.
3/5 – who says laugh tracks are dead?
Sleepy Hollow is already making waves on the internet. Not related to the Tim Burton movie of the same name, this show also draws inspiration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by George Washington. Ichabod Crane dies in 1781 after beheading a mysterious horseman, and crawls out of his tomb in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Biblical, supernatural chaos ensues. Featuring movie-level production values and an excellent cast (Nicole Beharie is spot on as sarcastic, smart, competent lieutenant Abbie Mills, Tom Mison is convincing as the recently awoken 18th century revolutionary Ichabod Crane, and Orlando Jones, Katia Winter and John Cho are all perfect), Sleepy Hollow is a great take on the supernatural genre, and well worth watching.
5/5, it’s perf.
When I saw this one, I thought this was another vampire thing. But no, it’s a show about a bunch of self-proclaimed geeks who get internship positions at Comickaze, Stan Lee’s fan expo. I admit that I am kind of jealous of these guys. Who doesn’t want to work for Stan Lee, even in a minor capacity? Idiots, that’s who. So with that acknowledgement, I would like to say that I did not enjoy this show. Firstly, I dislike reality television immensely. Like, so much. So fake. I dislike the weird, forced hook-ups and crying, the talking to the camera, the inherent fakeness of…everything. I also hate the capitalist mentality that these geeks have: that obsession with every collectable ever. Sucks that I have rent to pay. (What? I’m not bitter.) Quote of the episode:
This is exploiting geek culture.
Funny, that’s what I thought this ENTIRE SHOW was about. Girl-hate? Not cool. To be fair, I’m not a big fan of booth babe culture, but just because Molly(…??) enjoys cosplaying for one reason doesn’t mean other people can’t cosplay because they enjoy attention?? Whatever. Also, what’s up with everyone bar one being white, and all the girls being cute? Dontcha know, geeks are white and geek girls are pretty?
Anyway, the best part of this episode is George Takei.
2/5 – not a fan of Fangasm (I’m hilarious).
Back In The Game
Terry and her son move back in with Terry’s loud-mouthed, opinionated father (who also raised her), and ends up coaching a baseball team of misfit middle-schoolers that are terrible at sport. In the process, she starts repairing her fraught relationship with her father, showing a bunch of baseball-toting douchebags what’s up, and strikes up a friendship with Lenora Crichlow, who shows up as a rich widower with a gay son (cue Lady Gaga, and all of the gay jokes). Kinda heartwarming, a little formulaic, but there are some good lines even with the forced monologues.
3/5 – All in all, a solid effort.
Andy Samberg stars as Jake Peralta, a likeable but childish police detective, in this workplace comedy from two Parks and Recreation writers. He has a rival and love interest in his partner Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), as well as a host of kooky co-workers. Samberg’s foil isn’t his partner, but rather new captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), who is straight-laced and strict (and also gay). They don’t tackle anything too strenuous in this episode, and the murder here occurs over a scuffle over a very expensive ham. In addition, I’d rather have Fumero star – she takes a backseat to Samberg’s affable man-child personality, which is amusing but not revolutionary. Still, a lot of funny lines are tossed around, and the combo of Samberg and Braugher is pretty darn funny. (It’s worth watching the pilot episode just to hear Samberg being a robot, and Braugher saying “meep morp”. It will make sense, I promise.)
3.5/5 – So much potential!