My Unfair Previews, Fall 2008: ABC & The CW
Amazingly, ABC is only introducing two new shows this Fall, so I'm combining them with the CW, which has three. Let's hope that among them, they produce one show worth keeping.
--On Tuesdays, ABC brings us Opportunity Knocks, which looks to be a combination reality/game show. The show comes to your home, sets up shop in your neighborhood, and asks you questions based on how well you know your friends and family. Which counts a misanthropist like me right out.
Actually, this looks like an interesting concept, provided they go the family friendly route suggested by the preview site ("Who last loaded the dishwasher?"), rather than, say, the Fox Moment of Truth way ("Have you ever cheated on your husband?"). Not that I would ever consider watching it, but I appreciate the effort. Strikes against it: produced by Ashton Kutcher; hosted by former Sex Wars host JD Roth.
--And on Thursday, we have Life on Mars, which has had troubles before even making it to the air. The pilot was written and executive produced by David E. Kelley, but he has been removed from the show now that it's gone to series. The show is a real stretch: not only is it an adaptation of a popular British program, it's pretty damn weird, involving a modern police detective who is somehow zapped back in time to 1972, where he's still a cop, and trying to solve a case which may or may not help him find his girlfriend, who went missing in 2008. Got it? Hope so, because 90% of America won't. I'm guessing six episodes and out.
Which is a shame. Seems intriguing, with a cast I mainly like, including Star Trek: The Next Generation's Colm Meaney, Lenny Clarke from The John Larroquette Show and The Job, and Rachelle Lefevre, who was so great in... okay, she's just really, really pretty. So sue me. I think I'd like this show to succeed. But it won't. Oh, man, will this tank.
--First up on the CW: Tuesday's 90210, which is tearing me apart. On the one hand, it's produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and a couple of the writers from Freaks and Geeks, and it features Lori Loughlin, who is adorable, and Arrested Development's Jessica Walter, who is awesome. On the other hand -- it's 9021fucking0. Good Christ.
I think I'm out. It'll probably be a huge hit for the CW, but I just don't think I can do it, even with what presumably will be a certain amount of talent in the writing. I watched way too much of the original, back in my college and post-college days, and it was awful as hell even when it was aimed at someone my age. Now that it's aimed at someone half my age -- no, I can't bring myself to watch this crap, not twice. I'm out.
--Right after 90210 is Surviving the Filthy Rich, a title which I like. But I don't see much else to like here. A wannabe journalist Yale grad becomes live-in tutor (live-in tutor?) to a cosmetics mogul's twin daughters... I'm already tuning out. It doesn't help that one of the daughters is played by Jaime's shitty, hateful little sister on The Bionic Woman. I'm betting this show will be as dead as that one by December.
--Next: Stylista, a title which instantly makes me hate the show, for some reason. And looking at the details, it appears to be a mash-up of The Apprentice and America's Next Top Model, with Tyra Banks producing. Hey, I was right to hate it! I don't watch reality shows, so this one never had a chance, but even if I did -- this one never had a chance. I can't imagine a premise more guaranteed to make me change the channel. Unless it was hosted by Tila Tequila.