S01E01 - "There Goes the Neighborhood (Part 1)" (17 January 2011) - BEING HUMAN transitions to American television screens quite faithfully. Of course, it isn't a scene-by-scene remake [although I initially feared it would be; although the preview for the rest of the season holds many similarities to the first six-episode series of the British original]. Simply, all the elements are there: the vampire (Aiden), the ghost (Sally), the werewolf (Josh), and the police vamp in charge (Bishop), not to mention Aiden's victim (Rebbecca). But this version, produced in Canada, has its own distinct elements. The best example is the introduction of Josh's sister Emily is a fine and interesting aspect added, and the cliffhanger involving her and Josh was certainty pretty awesome. Of course, nothing will happen, but hopefully there will be some sort of fallout from it. SMALLVILLE alumni Sam Witwer fills the shoes of bloodsucker Aiden quite well, bringing the amount of inner turmoil to the table in bucketloads. Jimmy Olsen himself Sam Huntington is also pretty fun as Josh, and Meaghan Rath comes off as an exact replica of Annie. To her detriment or success, dunno yet. "There Goes the Neighborhood" is a odd experience, really, since I had seen the original series beforehand. By all means, this incarnation of BEING HUMAN looks to not only be faithful to the original, but also can be quite good and entertaining in its own right. But as of right now, the show lacks the friendship and chemistry the original had in spades. Again, not saying it wasn't a good 43 minutes of television, it just shows some room for improvement. I plan on staying with BEING HUMAN for the remainder of its 13-episode season, so we'll see how the show evolves. As of now, it got off on a pretty decent start.
S01E03 - "Kozmo" (17 January 2011) - By now THE CAPE is nicely settling into its comic booky routine: villain, Chess, family, "I AM THE CAPE!", "Who are you, really?", heroic shot, finale. Similar to V, I don't think THE CAPE has any plans to really expand or stretch to become something really, really good, which is unfortunate, but I give kudos to the producers for knowing what type of show they want to make and stick by making it. However, it's just not the type of show I'm currently giddy about. Dunno, maybe a bit down the line when the First Season DVD release hits stores and I choose to revisit it, I might sing a different tune. For now, I liked the guest villain of the week, the supremely awesome Thomas Kretschmann (KING KONG), who really does come across as a threat. Summer Glau is nicely getting comfortable in her role after a shaky start, and I'm beginning to like Vince's wife starting to unravel the set-up. Otherwise, I dug "Tarrot" more.
S04E011 - "Chuck Vs. The Balcony" (17 January 2011) - It's been so long I nearly had completely forgotten what went down in the CHUCKverse last it aired. I remembered the uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner party with Dalton and Hamilton, but not much other than that. A sign that perhaps this season of CHUCK hasn't been its strongest? Anyhow, this episode was all about Chuck's anxiety to make the best possible proposal to his Too-Hot-For-Him girlfriend Sarah. The opening scene was actually really funny, I give them props for that. Morgan never fails to elicit laughs, and even Lester was humorous for the first time in an eternity and a half with his whole blowing-the-relationship-out-of-proportion thing. I also liked how the writers stayed true to the character of Sarah by having her completely take over Operation Proposal, and even Casey's commentary about Chuck's situation. So, yes, there were some good things in this episode, some very promising things, but I'm not too sold on the final 'twist'. I don't buy it. Sarah go undercover as a traitor? Destroy Volkov's operation from the inside? Um, what? Volkov has extensive knowledge of Sarah already, and he should know that there is hardly a thing that would make her betray her country. So why? How does the CIA plan to pull this off? From a story aspect, it's interesting, but it's execution is flat out blah, and I normally can forgive these type of plot messes. On the plus side, Sarah will have sexy black hair next week, so I think I can make this work.
S01E01 - "Tony" (17 January 2011) - [What a coinkidink - this edition of The Watcher features two shows that are remakes of British programs] What a opening sequence. The first nine minutes is freakin' compelling and so well done, providing the audience with just enough glimpses and info about this large cast of characters to pretty much 'get' them ASAP, not to mention the kinetic pace that it was delivered. It was like David Fincher had directed the opening scene fresh off his SOCIAL NETWORK experience. Anyway, I hadn't really planned on watching SKINS cos I'm not that big a fan of MTV, but my curiosity obviously got the better of me. And I'm glad it did, because "Tony" was actually a pretty good 40 minutes of television. Far more grittier and realistic than, say, GOSSIP GIRL or THE O.C. (and especially ONE TREE HILL), SKINS tries to position itself in the 'real world' of crazy shit that happens in teen life. Of course, there are probably some liberties taken here and there, but for the most part, it rings true. The basis of the premiere is that Tony, the quick-mouthed smartypants and all around 'Awesome' guy, is trying to help his bud Stan to pop his cherry before his 17th birthday. But this is a tad more complicated because Stan actually is quite smitten by Tony's girlfriend Michelle. The rest of the day just goes downhill from there. Perhaps it's the soft side in me, but I always enjoy the romantic plotpoint of the dweeby character not settling with a girl because he really loves someone else, often the attractive girl who's with the jocky jerk. So, to see that triangle on display on this first episode - well, gave me a mini delight. Right now, the characters are already rather dimensional, and the next nine episodes will only enable the realism of these characters and their 'drama' to grow, and I'm excited for that. Plus, the entertainment value of the show goes up a few notches due to the fact the actors are actually around the age of their characters, instead of being 26-year old-somethings. Overall, the premiere episode of SKINS was quite engaging, and holds the potential to be something pretty - dare I say - 'special'. So I'll keep tuning in. One complaint, though: do they really need to show the SKINS logo each and every time there's a commercial break and when it comes back on? Really?
S02E03 - "Laid Bare" (19 January 2011) - Does 'Best episode of the Season' count as something? And really, I attribute that entirely to the deadly cold and freakishly awesome skin pealing sequence with poor Tori (yes, I know that's not her V character name, but damnit, she will always be Tori to me). It was brutal and heartless, just the way I wanted it. So thank you V writers for doing something pretty damn nice. It's still a tad sad to see her go, though. Earlier this week I re-read a interview with executive producer Scott Rosenbaum on how they're not going to hold anything back story-wise, how there would be six reveals at least per episode. Well, I'm waiting, guys. Right now, we know one thing that was expected (Tyler), and one thing that was quasi-smart (Red Sky first step in V/human breeding), but since the first episode, there hasn't been much movement in the 'reveal' department. Sure, we got Anna's mom who just make jabs and suggestions we know Anna will ignore, and we also have the pursuit of destroying the human soul, which could be nifty if handled better. The one aspect of the story I'm really looking forward to is the inevitable confrontation between Anna and, um, Erica (almost called her Juliet there). Now she knows about what happened to her during pregnancy, about Tyler's missing DNA strands, and probably soon how Lisa's mutating mating-ready body is gonna get her freak on more with her son to pop out an alien/human hybrid kid. Erica should be pissed (as viewers we don't really know, because none of the actors have emotive skills; Vandervoot and Baccarrin the amazing exception), so I expect to see one hell of a final brawl between the two mothers. That would be a satisfying series finale. Screw the aliens invading Earth - that hasn't been a story of interest for awhile - I wanna see Erica vs. Anna. Stakes of the world on two women, victor takes all. That kinda thing. C'mon, couldn't it be cool?
Next week, the return of SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL, and NIKITA to this rotation. w00t!
Next week, the return of SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL, and NIKITA to this rotation. w00t!