Friday, May 19, 2006

TV: My Unfair Previews, Fall 2006: Fox, The CW


New on Monday, Vanished is another show trying to tap into the ongoing mystery thing that seems so popular right now. The wife of a Senator disappears, but, as the web page says, "before the FBI can solve the mystery of where she is, they first need to figure out who she really is." BUM BUM BUMMMM!! She's an alien! No, wait, she's a ghost! No, wait, she's Abe Vigoda!! What's more: "In VANISHED, nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. And no one is safe." This show is just making me tired already. Hey, Vanished, let me let you in on a secret of my own: I'm not watching you.

For Tuesday: Standoff is about two FBI negotiators. One's a man and one's a woman, so -- surprise! -- they're sleeping with each other. There's some other junk but I'm so bored already I can't concentrate. At least Ron Livingston is in this thing. And Gina Torres. They might at least make it not entirely horrible.

Then on Wednesday, there's Justice, a lawyer show. SO BORING. Why are you boring me, Fox? It's got Victor Garber from Alias, but it's still just another damn lawyer show. BORING!

On Thursday, Fox is putting two new sitcoms up against My Name Is Earl and The Office. Good luck with that. First up is 'Til Death, about a cynical, long-time married couple whose new neighbors are perky happy newlyweds. It's got a decent cast -- I love Joely Fisher, and Eddie Kaye Thomas is usually pretty funny, though I am getting sick of Brad Garrett. Or at least, Brad Garrett being Brad Garrett -- he is just relentlessly obnoxious when he's being himself, so overbearing and desperate for attention. Kind of like Robin Williams. But I digress. The fourth person in the cast is Kat Foster, who looks very familiar to me, but I don't think I've ever seen her in anything before. Anyway, she's a little cutie, so good for her. I know I won't be watching this show, but I don't instantly hate it like everything else new on Fox so far.

The other sitcom is Happy Hour, about a guy who moves to Chicago, then loses his girlfriend, his job, and his apartment in one day, and has to move in with a new roommate who, surprisingly, is very different from him. They're the original Odd Couple! I don't recognize anyone in the cast, and the premise does nothing for me. I'm betting this will get axed almost instantly.

And that's it for Fall. Wow, pretty disappointing from a network with a reputation for being cutting edge. A cop show, a lawyer show, two bland sitcoms, and whatever the hell Vanished is going to be. I'm guessing it'll play like a soap opera. It's the only thing that really feels like the old risk-taking, mold-breaking Fox -- too bad it sounds so stupid.

The CW

I can't find any preview sites for this new network, so I'll just tell you that they only have two new shows. The first is Runaway, on Mondays, and I can only share what I've learned from Tim Goodman: it stars Donnie Wahlberg "as a father who takes his entire family on the lam to prove he's innocent of a murder charge." It's a family-sized The Fugitive! And the second show is The Game, which "revolves around women either married to or sleeping with football players." Based on those shreds of info, both of these shows sound like must-miss TV to me. Good job, the CW! Hey, at least they saved Veronica Mars. Of course, they also saved 7th Heaven and Reba after announcing both were cancelled. I think the CW doesn't know what the hell it's doing.

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