TV Review: Quantico

quantico-s1-poster2

Airs: Sundays at 10/9c on ABC

Review: Pilot [Spoilers below]

I wanted to hate Quantico, I really did.  Yet, somehow, I didn’t.  I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it.  Hardly a ringing endorsement, I know.  The show is intriguing, yet the writing was sloppy at times.

It starts with our heroine lying in the rubble of the “worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.”  Yet, five minutes later, she is walking around without a scratch on her, even though she was “100 yards away.”  The writers at least lampshade this absurdity.  The key to the identity of the bomber lies in her recruiting class at Quantico (flashback nine months to meet the class – hurray for non-linear storytelling.)  It’s never explained why the FBI believes it was an inside job – just that it was.

The focus quickly turns on her – she knows this, as she sees a note about stalling, yet she does nothing about it.  Then 30 seconds after watching a live feed of the FBI raiding her apartment and finding a dead FBI agent and bomb-making equipment, she is arrested.  She cries, “Why are you arresting me?”  Wait, really?  Did you not see the video?

Instead of escaping on her own, she gets help from the deputy director of the FBI (or at least she was the DD nine months ago).  To which I say huh?  She is the boss of the arresting officer – why would she point out that she isn’t guilty, because what FBI agent would be stupid enough to leave incriminating evidence in her own apartment?

Quantico is a bit predictable, which is bad for a mystery-thriller – e.g. I have a good idea of who the bomber really is.  Quantico had a lot of twists, even if you could see them coming.  The characters are all intriguing –they all seem to be hiding something and you want to know why and what.  I will give the show a couple more episodes to clean up the writing, but they need to explain a lot.

WWYT Rating: 5.8

Nielsen Ratings: 1.9 – Up a significant amount over the dreadful Blood & Oil.  A 10pm show on a Sunday, I suspect ABC will take the 1.9 rating if Quantico manages to hold its audience – and with generally positive reviews, I expect it should hold a good number of those initial viewers.  60% Chance of renewal (unchanged from initial projection.)

TV Review: Blood & Oil

blood oil

Airs: Sundays at 9/8c on ABC

Review: Pilot

I’m not sure I can give Blood & Oil a fair review as I turned it off before the first commercial break.  I mean I’m sure it got better.  Set in the mountains of North Dakota.  (Wait, the mountains of North Dakota?  I know Americans are bad at geography, but are we really expected to believe this?)  Anyway set in the “mountains of North Dakota,” a young couple sets about to sell washing machines (maybe; some kind of machine, $37,000 of machines which they are going to turn into a fortune!)  But, before they can make it rich, they are in a car accident, lose their merchandise, and are now in dire straits because the husband forgot to get insurance for $37,000 of machines.

The young couple needs to stay in a hippie commune?  A trailer park?  A shantytown?  I don’t know, I have severely lost interest in this show already.  To rent a tiny one-bedroom apartment with a single urine stained mattress cost $2,000 a month.  [Actually maybe true!  Williston, North Dakota has the most expensive rent in the US.]

That is as far as I got, between the stupidities of the plot, dialogue, and characters I turned off Blood & Oil.  I don’t suffer fools easily.

WWYT Rating: 2.0

Nielsen Ratings: 1.4 – A poor performance.  With poor ratings and a poor pilot, this will not last long.  Chance of renewal 20% (down from 65% initial projection).

TV Review: The Player

the player

Airs: Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC

Review: Pilot

Ignorance is bliss.  The trailer for The Player gave no real indication what the show was about; oh, how I wish I remained in the dark. The title of the show comes from the game that the writers played – Who could write the most implausible scene.  I don’t know who won, but it is clear who lost – the viewer.

The first implausibility comes right away.  Alex Kane (played by Philip Winchester) jumps off a roof, grabs a rope and swings through a hotel window with ease.  This was a really cool stunt, but in reality he would have bounced off the window and plummeted to his death.  Windows aren’t that fragile.

Next, we move to the happiest divorced couple in the history of divorce.  Alex and his (ex) wife – Ginny – are happy with each other, and it is hard to believe that these two are divorced.  Not to mention that the divorce serves no purpose in the storyline.  A 30-second clip of them happily married would work just fine.

When the (ex) wife is murdered, Alex is arrested despite having no motive and downtown Las Vegas would have his story captured on video ten-times over.  As he is detained, the sheriff’s idea of watching him is to leave the room and turn his back.  Alex predictably escapes, where he hops into the car of Cassandra King.  A high-speed car chase ensues, ending with Cassandra and Alex cornered in a parking garage.  She snaps her fingers and the cop cars back away for no reason.  They have a suspected murderer cornered and they just back away?  I don’t think so – nothing could have been said or done for that to happen.

Cassandra works with Mr. Johnson (Wesley Snipes).  They explain to Alex that a computer algorithm has been invented that predicts crime.  Instead of trying to stop crime, the ultra-wealthy bet on it.  Even the writers know that this concept is completely ludicrous.  Johnson even states “No one believes that this is true…”  Alex points out the stupidity of not stopping the crime but betting on it.

Snipes and Winchester are wasted on this insane premise.  With a few tweaks this could have been a fun, action-filled Friday night show.  Instead, it is a farcical Thursday night show with very little redeeming qualities.

WWYT Rating: 3.5

Nielsen Ratings: 1.2 This show is done.  Going up against Shonda and football, this show never had a chance.  With poor quality and low initial audience I don’t think this show will survive to November, much less a full season.  5% chance of renewal, down from 35% initial projection.

TV Review: Heroes Reborn

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Airs: Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC

Review: Pilot

“Save the cheerleader.  Save the world.”  Now that was a tagline.  It was focused; it told you what needed to be done.  It belonged to Heroes, a show that started successfully, and then fell on its face.  Heroes Reborn is a reboot of Heroes.  The pilot of Heroes Reborn was…not focused.  Their tagline, if they have one, seems to be “It’s coming.”  What’s coming?  Winter?  I hate to break it to the writers, but I think that one’s already taken.

For a two-hour premier, Heroes Reborn sure seemed to pack a lot of nothing into a long episode.  Everything you need to know happened in the first five minutes – a terrorist attack killed lots of people, forcing the “Evos” to go into hiding as humans hunt them down and kill them.  The rest of the episode was spent trying to introduce us to the new characters (and some old ones), yet somehow they didn’t give us any information about them.

Noah Bennett returns, this time as a used car salesman.  He has erased his own memory – conveniently only the “It” part though, because every other memory seems intact.  (Maybe “It” is a clown!  No wait, that is already taken too.)

The Mexican Wrestler, who runs an underground railroad for Evos, dies as a vigilante.  His “war hero” brother will take over the gig, but it is unclear if he has any powers – we haven’t seen any yet.  Does the Mexican wrestling suit give him powers?  Did the smoky priest?

The Kitana Girl’s powers seem to be the ability to go into a video game (with a kitana).  How is this a power?  What possible advantage could this serve?  Also it seems that the sword is actually the “power.”  Which could mean that two objects are imbued with power, which would be really cool, but also really needing to be explained and I’m not sure the writers could.  (Since the point of the show is that humans are evolving, not objects.)

Teleport Boy, had the most coherent storyline.  We watch as he discovers things about his powers – the objects he teleports goes to wherever he was thinking about at the time of teleportation.  His schoolmates even made sense.  I want to know why another Evo is protecting him?  Is it his father?  Or is Teleport Boy important to stop “It.”

Chuck from Chuck was awesome (Zachary Levi).  He plays the villain in this series; a far cry from the lovable Intersect in Chuck.  You don’t want to like the villain but he is still resourceful, sympathetic, and shows remarkable strength in not killing his annoying wife (though that may be a bad thing).

All the bouncing around between the yet-to-be connected characters made Heroes Reborn an unfocused mess.  It’s fine if the characters don’t know what “It” is, but the audience needs to know; we need to yell at the idiots to get their acts together to save the world.  The time spent on the Evos was wasted, only one of them came through as understandable.  I will give the show a couple more episodes to try to hook me.  I need more information, otherwise this is a confused mess.

WWYT Rating: 6.0

Nielsen Ratings: 1.9 Going up against the Shonda Rhimes juggernaught is no easy task (and football, mustn’t forget the football).  This is probably as good as NBC can expect (in fact, their Thursday night lineup is up 20% from last season’s Thursday premier night.)  50% chance of renewal (unchanged from initial projection.)

TV Review: Rosewood

Rosewood

Airs: Wednesday at 8/7c on FOX

Review: Pilot

What exactly is a private pathologist?  Is that a real thing?  Can you really make a good living when there is a county medical examiner doing the same thing for a fraction of the cost?  Who exactly are the clients?  Who are the clients when you piss off every cop you are around (wouldn’t that be your main source of business?)  Those are the questions surrounding Rosewood.

Morris Chestnut plays Dr. Rosewood, a smart-ass private practice pathologist.  Unfortunately, his smart-ass comments make him more an ass than smart.  No one seems to like Rosewood when they talk to him, even his sister and mother seem to put up with him rather than genuinely like him.

Rosewood tries to forge a partnership with a tough female detective (oooh, how original).  The friendly “banter” isn’t foreplay; rather it has the feel of I’m-going-to-kill-you-in-your-sleep.  The two have no chemistry, yet were supposed to believe that they will collaborate on future cases.

The premise is overplayed – A smart-ass pathologist and an opposite sex, tough cop.  The chemistry is non-existent and the characters aren’t likable.  There is no reason to watch this show.

WWYT Rating: 3.5

Nielsen Ratings: 2.4 Rosewood is the lead in for ratings monster Empire (6.7!?!  Are you kidding me?  Where does that come from?  How did FOX generate that kind of viewership out of nothing?) People tuned in early for Empire and drove the ratings up (viewership went from 2.1->2.7 at the half hour mark).  As long as it is paired with Empire, Rosewood will continue succeed, no matter how bad the show is.  Chance of renewal is 60% (up from 45% initial projection).

TV Review: Limitless

Limitless (tv)

Airs: Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS

Review: Pilot

The first 15 minutes of Limitless was exactly like the movie.  A struggling artist (singer on TV vs. writer in the movie) runs into old friend who gives him a “magic” pill.  Both artists do amazing things while on the drug (e.g. files 2,000 files in two hours on TV vs. write a law paper, and several chapters of a novel in the movie).  Each artist goes back to the old friend to get more pills, only to find their friend murdered.  In the movie, however, he is cleared of wrongdoing immediately, while on the TV show, he is the prime suspect.

The TV show does have a couple things going for it.  First, I think that Brian (played by Jake McDorman of Greek) has a much stronger motivation to use the drug – his father is dying and by taking the drug, he might figure out how to save him.  Also, there is a great chemistry between the two leads – they clicked right away.  Finally, I really liked McDorman on Greek; he played a smarmy yet likable character – something that is difficult to pull off.

I still have a problem with the lack of origin information of this magic drug.  Where does NZT come from?  How do all these random people get their supply?  Surely we can trace it.  I should probably lighten up on this point because it is A) lampshaded; B) part of the plot; and C) probably part of the appeal for some.

It is a good setup for a pretty standard procedural.  With a likable cast and fun premise, it is probably worth a couple more episodes.

WWYT Rating: 6.51

Nielsen Ratings: 1.9 10pm timeslot ratings are hard to determine.  Very often shows in the final timeslot of the evening are low.  The 1.9 rating puts CBS in a tough spot, the rating isn’t very good, but nothing else would do better.  But, How To Get Away With Murder is proof that you can do well at 10pm.  The ratings did grow from its lead in show, NCIS: New Orleans.  Although, that doesn’t change the fact that this is currently CBS’s third lowest show.  Chance of renewal 50% (down from initial projection 70%)

TV Review: Scream Queens

scream queens

Airs: Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX

Y’all should be super proud of me.  I made it through an hour of the two-hour premier of Scream Queens.  Or ashamed of me.  More likely ashamed.  There’s an adage in writing that you need to either make your characters likable or really good at something.  The characters in Scream Queens are good at one thing – being despicable human beings.

Why anyone green-lighted this project is beyond me.  Why anyone would anticipate this premier is an even bigger mystery.  I know what the producers were going for – Scream.  The problem – Scream did it first and they did it better. While the characters in Scream were dim-witted, they were at least likable.  Scream Queens, on the other hand, you are willing to kill them yourself just so you won’t have to watch them destroy your faith in humanity.

The cast of characters include: “Deaf Taylor Swift” who can seemingly hear sometimes; A girl in a neck brace, who can move her head from side to side when she’s buried; The Queen B who is mean and twisted because her father has money; and her “Heathers.”

So other than a tired premise, characters that you vehemently dislike, and continuity errors, this show is great!

WWYT Rating: 3.0

Nielsen Ratings: 1.7 A surprisingly high number given the quality, but it did lose over 25% of its viewers over the two-hour premier.  I expect a 25%+ drop next week (and probably the week after).  I will leave my chance of renewal at 20%.