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Showing posts with the label Pilot Inspektor

BuzzFeed: "Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Just As Awesome As You Suspected"

Marvel’s cinematic universe gets a television tie-in as the Joss Whedon-led spinoff — the pilot episode of which ABC screened for critics earlier this week — launches on September 24. Over at BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Just As Awesome As You Suspected," in which I offer my first impressions of ABC's pilot for Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. . Agent Coulson lives! Well, sort of, anyway, if the sensational pilot episode of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — a bit of a mouthful, not to mention a clutch of extra periods — is any indication. While Marvel’s studio bosses are keeping mum about the truth behind the revelation that Clark Gregg’s Coulson, who was last seen on the receiving end of a vengeful Asgardian god’s pointy stick in The Avengers, firmly under wraps, longtime fans of Marvel Comics can pretty much figure out what’s going on here. (Cough, LMD, cough.) But that’s really more than okay, because th

The Daily Beast: "Fall-Winter TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2013–14’s New Shows"

Summer TV got you in the doldrums? See what’s coming up with my and Kevin Fallon’s first impressions of 30-plus broadcast network pilots, from Resurrection and Believe to Ironside and Dads . At The Daily Beast, you can read my last story for the site (yes, you read that correctly!), entitled, "Fall-Winter TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2013–14’s New Shows," in which Kevin Fallon and I offer our first impressions of 40 or so broadcast network pilots coming to television next season. Your summer vacation may have involved lounging by the pool or traveling to Europe, but we’ve spent the first few months of hot weather sorting through the broadcast-network pilots for nearly 40 new scripted shows that will likely air next season. (A caveat: the networks have been known to yank a few before they even make it on the air.) We’ve come out the other side more or less unscathed and can now offer our first takes on the dramas and comedies that are headed to the fall and midseason

The Daily Beast: "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2012-13’s New Shows"

Will the 2012-13 television season be a success or a snooze? Over at The Daily Beast, Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our first impressions of 30-plus network pilots—from The Following and Nashville to The Neighbors and Zero Hour (and everything in between)—coming to TV next season. Head over to The Daily Beast to read my latest feature, "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2012-13’s New Shows," in which we offer our dueling he said/she said perspectives on all of the available broadcast network pilots. While some of you may have jetted off on summer vacations in the last few weeks, we’ve spent the first part of the summer wading through pilots for more than 30 new scripted shows that likely will be on the air next TV season. (Sometimes networks change their minds, and, if we’re honest, there are a few shows we’d love to see disappear altogether.) It was a Herculean feat to make it through the pile of screeners this year—it was not overall the best pilot season—to offe

The Daily Beast: "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2011-2012's New Shows"

Will the 2011-12 television season be a winner or another dud? Over at The Daily Beast, my fellow Daily Beast staffer Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our first impressions of more than 30 network pilots--from Awake and Ringer to Alcatraz and Work It --coming to TV next season. You can check out our he said/she said-style thoughts in my latest feature, entitled "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2011-2012's New Shows." Which fall or midseason show are you most excited about? And which are you most dreading? Head to the comments section to discuss, and see whether you agree with our first impression take on more than 30 broadcast network pilots. Did your potential favorite make the must-see list?

The Daily Beast: "The 8 Best Pilot Scripts of 2011"

The network upfronts—when the broadcasters unveil their fall schedules, tout their new programming, and bring out stars to shake hands with advertisers—are the week of May 16, but it’s never too soon to take a look at which shows you might become addicted to next season. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The 8 Best Pilot Scripts of 2011," in which I pick my favorite scripts--from the period dramas Playboy and Pan Am to the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring noir thriller Ringer and Kyle Killen's mind-bending drama REM . What shows are you rooting for? Which will make the cut as the networks unveil their fall schedules in the coming weeks? Head to the comments section to discuss...

The Daily Beast: "8 Crazy Scenes from David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman"

I've been vocal on Twitter about my confusion about why David E. Kelley was given the right to develop DC Comics' 70-year-strong "Wonder Woman" into a pilot script, which was initially passed on and then given an eleventh hour reprieve by NBC, which ordered it to pilot. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "8 Crazy Scenes from David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman ," in which I sort through Kelley's first draft pilot script to Wonder Woman and choose the most head-scratching, ridiculous, or just plain awful moments therein. Is this a take on Wonder Woman/Diana that you're excited to see? Or has Kelley gotten the character completely wrong? Head to the comments section to discuss.

ABC's No Ordinary Family is Painfully Ordinary

ABC's superhero dramedy No Ordinary Family might be all the more frustrating because it has the potential to be something fun and irreverent, but instead is tonally inconsistent and plays too heavily with the sentimental and saccharine. To borrow some superhero parlance, rather than leaping tall buildings in a single bound, it thuds to earth with a sonic boom. Creators Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman want to have it both ways: he wants a superhero spectacle that borrows liberally from the success and charm of Pixar's The Incredibles but he also wants to tackle familial issues as well. When the Powells crash their plane into a remote section of the Amazon, they're granted extraordinary powers that separate them from mere mortals. Which would be enough of a suspension of disbelief but the powers they receive just happen to coincide with their particular cross to bear in life. Father and husband Jim (Michael Chiklis), a police sketch artist by trade, has lost his spa

Con Men and Tricksters: Thoughts on FOX's Lone Star and NBC's The Event

In a television series where so many ideas seem to be inferior iterations on programs we've already seen, it's refreshing to come across a series that attempts to do something original. FOX's con man drama Lone Star , which launches tonight, is just that series. While I don't think the Kyle Killen-series is perfect--there are quite a few flaws that jump out during the pilot episode--it has the potential to develop into something intriguing. That is, if viewers give it a chance. The series revolves around Bob Allen (James Wolk), a roguish con man who has ingratiated his way into two women's hearts. There's the mark: Cat ( Friday Night Lights ' Adrianne Palicki), the wealthy daughter of an oil tycoon (Jon Voight), who Bob used to infiltrate the company. And then in the small Texas town of Midland, there's Lindsey (Eloise Mumford), his earnest girlfriend for whom he enjoys mowing the lawn. (No, that's not a euphemism.) But Bob has broken the cardinal

Lethal Weapon of Mass Destruction: An Advance Review of the CW's Nikita

The only way that you could have missed the provocative and eye-catching ads for the CW's Nikita , premiering night, is if you are perhaps visually-impaired. The red-hued promotional campaign, featuring series lead Maggie Q ( Live Free or Die Hard ) have been ubiquitous of late, popping up on mall food court tables, billboards, and bus sides for months now. The wait, however, is over now. Tonight brings the series premiere of Nikita , the latest in a line of adaptations of Luc Besson's landmark 1990 film La Femme Nikita , which starred Anne Parillaud as the titular character, a government-trained assassin from, uh, humble origins who finds herself transformed into a cold-blooded killer. The film was then adapted into Bridget Fonda vehicle Point of No Return before being resurrected as the Peta Wilson-led USA action series La Femme Nikita and going on to influence ABC's Alias ... and now it's been revamped again as CW's high-flying action-thriller Nikita , which s

Expansion and Contraction: An Advance Review of Syfy's "Stargate Universe"

Confession: I've never watched Stargate SG-1 or Stargate Atlantis , other than a few episodes here or there. So it wasn't with any real familiarity with the Stargate , er, universe (other than vague reminiscences of the Kurt Russell/James Spader feature film) that I watched the gloomy three-hour series premiere of Stargate Universe , the newest iteration in the fifteen-year-old franchise which seems hell-bent on being as broadly accessible to the mainstream population as possible. Taking some visual clues from the darker Battlestar Galactica , Stargate Universe tells the story of a disparate band of survivors who are thrust through one of the titular gateways and discover themselves trapped on an ancient spaceship on a course to some distant location among the stars. While searching for a way home (said ship is on a one-way course that can't be changed), they must band together to find a way to survive and create a new home for themselves under some remarkable and unexp

Future Tense: An Advance Review of ABC's "FlashForward"

Is it the next Lost ? That seems to be the question on many people's minds regarding ABC's new ensemble drama series FlashForward , which launches tomorrow evening and is based on Robert J. Sawyer's novel of the same name. After all, despite the many protestations of the actors and creators of the series that FlashForward isn't at all like Lost , there are some similarities on the surface. A group of disparate and ethnically diverse individuals united by a staggering and life-altering phenomenon? Check. Said phenomenon possibly caused by some sci-fi wackiness? Check. Non-linear storytelling that reveals information about the characters? Check again. Questions about fate versus free will? Youbetcha. Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger? Um, yeah. That said, FlashForward is a different beast than Lost , which wraps its run beginning in January. When it began, Lost was ostensibly about the survivors of a plane crash on a seriously creepy island; while there were whispers

Honor (and Style) Among Thieves: An Advance Review of USA's "White Collar"

Imagine the high stakes tension of Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can crossed with the rapid-fire humor of The Thin Man films and the slick, elegant style of Mad Men . Still with me? Combine those elements and you begin to approximate the effervescent and engaging new crime drama series White Collar , which launches in October on USA. Created by Jeff Eastin ( Hawaii ) and directed by Bronwen Hughes ( Burn Notice ), White Collar is a cat-and-mouse chase with a twist: the bad guy was caught years ago by the good guy and now assists him in tracking down other nefarious types using his criminal skills, deductive powers, and roguish good looks. The good guy in this case is FBI Agent Peter Stokes ( Tell Me You Love Me 's Tim DeKay), a grimly determined G-man assigned to the bureau's white collar crimes division. Which means that he spends his days (and often nights) tracking down art forgers, embezzlers, and con artists with a mix of relish and reluctance, given the q

Exit Planet Dust: An Advance Review of FOX's Gripping Two-Hour Event "Virtuality"

"I'm alive/And I'm alone/And I've never wanted to be either of those." - Chemical Brothers It's rare that a network ever airs a pilot that it doesn't intend to order to series, much less one that has engendered quite so much support from viewers ahead of its broadcast. And yet that's just what FOX is doing tonight with the gripping and sensational two-hour pilot for sci-fi drama Virtuality , from creators Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor of Battlestar Galactica fame. (You can find an exclusive interview with Michael Taylor here and a write-up of a press call with Ron Moore here .) Virtuality , gorgeously directed by Peter Berg ( Friday Night Lights ) is a mind-bending, acid-trip exploration of deepest space and the innermost recesses of the human heart. Deftly combining space-set action with reality television, Virtuality seeks to answer some eternal questions about the nature of reality itself. What is real? What's fantasy? And what happen

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of FOX's "Sons of Tucson"

I really wanted to like FOX's comedy series Sons of Tucson . After all, I loved the pilot script for Sons of Tucson , written by Tommy Dewey and Greg Bratman, which I found to be really witty and fun and had the same sort of enthusiasm and madcap action as the early episodes of FOX's own Malcolm in the Middle . For those of you not in the know, Sons of Tucson , which will launch on FOX in midseason, is about sadsack hustler Ron Buffkin ( Reaper 's Tyler Labine), who works at a local sporting goods store (and I use the term "works" extremely loosely) and lives out of his car. In the course of a day filled with his usual small-time grifts and general shrugging off of both determination and honesty, he comes across Robby ( How I Met Your Mother 's Davis Cleveland), Gary ( Doubt 's Frank Dolce), and Brandon ( Entourage 's Troy Gentile). The Gunderson boys have turned up in Tucson after their banker father was imprisoned for stock fraud and given a sente

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of CW's "The Beautiful Life"

Imagine a series that features some very beautiful people indulging in some very dubious behavior in Manhattan. Picturing Gossip Girl ? Guess again. The Beautiful Life , launching this fall on the CW, does approximate the decadence and excess of that other drama series but it takes place in the demimonde of the modeling world rather than in the privileged corridors of power on the Upper East Side... and it does so with a flair and distinctive filmic style all its own, creating a darkly frothy series about the downside of famous faces and fast-made fortunes. Written by Adam Giaudrone ( Swingtown ) and executive produced by Mike Kelley ( Swingtown ), Carol Barbee ( Jericho ), and Ashton Kutcher, The Beautiful Life follows the personal and professional lives of some of New York's modeling elite as they head out to go-sees, walk the runway, issue catty remarks, and crowd together (among other things) in an underlighted New York apartment building with a picturesque view of the Brook

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of ABC's "The Forgotten"

It's impossible to keep track these days just how many police procedurals there are so it's hardly a surprise that each development season several writers try to crack a new way of doing the familiar cop drama without following the same formula. This year, that project is ABC's The Forgotten , created by Mark Friedman and executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, which the network will launch this fall. Rather than focus on detectives attempting to solve cases, The Forgotten focuses on a group of amateur crime-fighters who work John and Jane Doe cases after the police have given up on identifying the victim, in order to solve the case, catch the killer, and give the dead back their names. It's an interesting conceit but The Forgotten doesn't quite follow through on its potential. For one, the motley group of amateurs approaches the crimes in much the same way that the police would. (It's as though they've all been watching episodes of CSI and Cold Case

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of ABC's "The Middle"

My favorite thing about ABC's new comedy series The Middle might just be youngest son Brick, played with unapologetic realness by Atticus Shaffer. I had the opportunity a few weeks back to watch the full pilot episode of The Middle , which launches on ABC this fall on Wednesday evenings, and was instantly enchanted by Shaffer's adorably awkward Brick, a boy who continually refers to his mother as his "hero" (but not quite for the reasons you might think), who whispers to himself because it makes him feel good, and who embodies all the bizarre quirks and foibles that many of us carried around for a bit in childhood. Created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline of NBC's Lipstick Jungle , The Middle tells the story of the Hecks, a very average middle-class family living in Middle America... or the middle of Indiana to be precise. If I'm being honest I'll say that I've been more or less in love with this winsome script for the past few years; the project

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of CW's "Melrose Place"

If you're like me, you remember watching episodes of the original Melrose Place with a zeal bordering on near obsession. After all, this was a nighttime soap where anything--and in fact, everything --was possible: from apparent returns from the dead to jaw-dropping plot twists (Kimberly removing that wig, anyone?) to bombs going off right in the namesake apartment building that housed most of the characters. So I'll say then that expectations were high for the CW's revamp of Melrose Place , which the netlet will launch later this fall. Would the new incarnation of Melrose Place live up not to only one of Los Angeles' most tony streets but also to the original series, which pushed the envelope in terms of over the top plots? I had the opportunity a few days ago to watch the full pilot episode of Melrose Place , written by former Smallville producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer and directed by Davis Guggenheim, and sadly I have to say that I was pretty disappoin