Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pilot Screener Reviewlets - ABC Dramas

- Charlie's Angels: totally sold on it, until Minka Kelly shows up? Still, probably has the best chance at succeeding of ABC's fall dramas. Very slick.

- Good Christian Belles: wasn't in love with the script, a bunch of changes made, and some good casting choices in the supporting roles. Very much in the cotton-candy dramedy vein. Not sure I love Leslie Bibb. Still feels like a bunch of sanctimonious hypocrites gossiping about the same thing for 42 minutes at times (honestly, there are soooo many intercut scenes of bitches on phones) and very little... doing anything. But I could see this being fun.

- Hallelujah: didn't read the script. Of the religion-imbued dramas, ABC clearly picked the right one going with GCB. The whole of Hallelujah feels... silly.

- Once Upon A Time: my issues with the script stand on both a story logic and "why do we care?" level, plays really slowly, stuff in fairytale world is pretty damn awesomely rendered, but, again, not sure why anyone's gonna care.

- Pan Am: as with the script... I'd watch a show about a 1960s stewardess-slash-spy. Unfortunately, that's maybe 1/10th of what this show is. The flashbacks are needless, except to get us off the damn claustrophobic plane and attempt to tells us who the girls are... which feels like a narrative cheat to me. The whole opening 12 minutes are incredibly sluggish and I suspect a ton of instant tune-out. Tonally, feels like it's playing on the romance of it all and wants to recapture the magic of Titanic... but doesn't. It's not like the plane is going to crash into an iceberg and we know that going in and then this crazy epic love story unfolds. It's all atmosphere. B-o-r-i-n-g.

- Partners: held off reading the script because of the nutso logline, and it wasn't picked up, so I still didn't. Special Agent Renee from 24 was pretty decent, but I think that's because I liked her from 24. Meh, no big loss it won't see the light of day.

- Poe: was distracted by Chris Egan with brown hair and Natalie Dormer as a blonde. It didn't sound much like dialogue in a period piece, played very "quippy TV crime solvers." I probably would've watched, but would have turned off after three episodes when every one came down to the X-Files question of "is it the supernatural or something crazy but real world" and never coming down on one side or the other.

- The Revenge: loved the script, lots left on the cutting room floor to get it down to time and, unfortunately, I don't think it works... I wouldn't have known what was happening if I hadn't read the script

- Scandal: (SPOILER ALERT) The explanation of what the crisis management firm does is a little clunky and I didn't care much for the new addition to the team. Not sure audiences will like not having an answer on the murder, but I'm happy, as I was in script, that the team (who are not homicide detectives) don't solve it. Might develop into something of an interesting character/team-cedural down the line. The thing the first case hinges on is a little obvious, and I felt that way in the script, too. The whole affair with the President thing really puts a sour light on the lead character, IMO.

Not yet watched: Georgetown, Identity, Missing, The River


Julia said...

I actually liked Pan Am and Once Upon a Time. I didn't love them, and wouldn't be surprised if I dump either or both of them after two or three episodes this fall, but I thought as pilots go, they weren't bad.

I still have The River, Scandal and Poe to watch, but didn't get any other ABC dramas yet.

Craig said...

Just my 2 cents: You might want to put a big ol spoiler warning regarding Scandal. When I watched the pilot, I said to myself I am so glad I don't read scripts because I didn't see that twist cominga and wouldn't have wanted it spoiled. If I was reading your reviews I guess I might be expecting spoilers but as someone that loved the twist of Scandal I would be annoyed if I read it in print before. I mean this and say this with much respect and I had already seen the pilot so it didn't ruin anything for me. You might disagree, Just a thought.

Travis Yanan said...

@ Julia - I'll be watching Once Upon a Time... or at least giving it an episode to get past the pilot stickiness and 'splain itself.

@ Craig - noted. Always a fuzzy line with any sort of advance review.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to watch Suburgatory... Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review of Charlie's Angels. How was Annie Ilozeh (Kate)? Was the pilot fun?

Anonymous said...


Didn't read the breakdowns for PAN AM but given it is set in 1963, (their attachment to the Bay of Pigs in the pilot) and the Kennedy assassination taking place later that year, so too with the deaths of all aboard Flight 214 (Clipper Tradewind) ... I'm expecting great things from this show. I'm already really impressed with the production value and art direction.

ONCE UPON A TIME looks just as great. Like ENCHANTED with amnesia. Reminds me a little of Jim Henson's JACK AND THE BEANSTALK from 10 years ago. The nostalgia should play nicely in this one.

As far as SCANDAL goes,... it will be trumped by PERSON OF INTEREST. I'd rather watch Jesus command vigilante justice riding the conspiracy theory wave than watch someone-average-I-could-care-less-about prevent embarrassing moments for the Oval Office.

Then again, I rather enjoyed ABC's EASTWICK, which was cancelled. It had been one of my favorite shows on ABC to date. So this year, keep in mind my opinion, when it comes to TV show longevity, must be taken with a grain of salt.