TV Review: Son of Zorn

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Airs: Sundays 8:30/7:30c on FOX

Review: 2nd Episode

I missed the premiere of Son of Zorn since it aired on September 11, despite everything I saw saying it premiered on September 25. The missing episode didn’t really hamper my understanding. It is pretty much the definition of mindless entertainment.

Zorn is basically a misogynistic He-Man from the ‘80s, trying to be more involved in his (live-action) son’s life. It is every bit as stupid as it sounds. I laughed at it several times, but hardly ever with it. It does seem to fit in with the other Sunday FOX programs (Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons – though those are much better than Son of Zorn). It is a clever concept that just doesn’t work on screen, despite Cheryl Hines and Tim Meadows (though I hope Meadows continues his role on The Goldbergs).

WWYT Rating: 3.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.1 This is more or less in line with the other FOX programs for the evening. Mostly less. With the juggernaut of NFL as a lead-in, you would expect the ratings to be significantly better. While the show fits the theme of the night, I expect this number to continue to drop – decreasing its chances of renewal to 45% (from 55%)

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TV Review: The Exorcist

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Airs: Fridays 9/8c on FOX

Review: Pilot

What the heck was that? I never saw the movie; maybe I would have a better idea of what was going on in The Exorcist if I had.

A woman believes her daughter is possessed. I’m not sure why she thinks that a moody teenager is possessed, because if she is, that means there are a whole lot of demons in this world. The father (Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) has something wrong with him (we don’t know what – that would have been helpful information). Why doesn’t she suspect him of being possessed?

Meanwhile, Father Tomas is having dreams about an exorcism done in Mexico City. Tomas seeks out the priest who performed said exorcism, and to say that Father Marcus might be a little disturbed is an understatement.

The Exorcist might be creepier if it weren’t so confusing. It isn’t an awful show; but it isn’t for me. If creepy movies are your thing – then by all means knock yourself out (so to speak).

WWYT Rating: 5.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.0 A bit low, but given that it is Friday and on FOX, it should have a decent chance, but technically this is a “limited series.” This means that they won’t renew it but it won’t be “cancelled.” Chance of renewal 5% (unchanged).

TV Review: MacGyver

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Airs: Fridays 8/7c on CBS

Review: Pilot

I must be getting old. My memory isn’t what it used to be. I remember MacGyver being a likable guy, who could do anything with a roll of duct tape and a stick of gum. The new MacGyver has totally ruined it for me.

Let’s start with the characters. They all suck. They ooze smarminess. The original MacGyver used his brain to solve problems; he was never a ladies’ man making sexual innuendos (at least that I remember). I don’t remember if the original had a voice over, otherwise it is more like Burn Notice (and Burn Notice was more interesting). The original Jack Dalton was a smart ass, but never as smarmy as the current one.

In addition to the smarmy characters, the writing was atrocious. The cliché ridden plot, was written by someone who clearly had watched too many action movies and was determined to fit elements from every single one into the pilot. The dialogue was hokey and the acting was not up to any sort of acceptable standard. Finally, the special effects were clearly on a budget.

Much like The Muppets last year, my vision of MacGyver was ruined by this reboot. I wish the reboot was a bit more of a prequel – how did they all meet? How did an MIT student get into espionage? How did former military man get hooked up with an ultra-secret organization?  Also for goodness sake, make MacGyver a likable guy.

WWYT Rating: 2.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.8 An excellent start, especially for a Friday. But when it loses half its audience (as it should), renewal will be borderline. Not sure anyone will want to continue to watch this dreck, but it has a long way to fall before cancellation. Chance of renewal 45% (unchanged).

TV Review: Notorious

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Airs: Thursdays 9/8c on ABC

Review: Pilot

What a bunch of despicable people. There is zero redeeming value in Notorious. I have brought this up before, but when creating characters, you either need to make them likable or good at something. The characters in Notorious are the opposite of likable, but to be fair they do seem good at their various jobs. A lawyer and TV producer – not exactly the pantheon of likable professions.

I could go into the plot, but I’m not going to bother. I wanted to shut Notorious off 20 minutes into the episode, but I suffered through for you, dear readers. After watching the full 60 minutes, I can firmly say “Don’t watch this show,” unless you like watching people that you hope get hit by a bus. In which case you deserve to watch this show.

WWYT Rating: 3.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.1 Dreadful ratings, especially given the timeslot. ABC has had the quickest trigger finger the last few years, and won’t hesitate to axe this show by November. Chance of renewal 5% (down from 65%).

TV Review: Pitch

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Airs: Thursdays 9/8c on FOX

Review: Pilot

There is a show on AMC called Preacher [I’ve heard it’s good, but I haven’t watched it], which is too bad because that would be a better title for Pitch. The first 10 minutes were the most preach-y but it had other moments throughout the show (basically any scene with Ali Larter).

Friday Night Lights was never about football. Similarly, Pitch isn’t about baseball. That is where the similarities end. Ginny Baker has a major-league arm, and now she is about to prove it with her first start for the San Diego Padres. Her first start doesn’t go well.  She throws 10 straight balls to start the game then pulls herself from the game. I did that once. I was 10. I got absolutely shelled. Afterward, my mother didn’t try to coddle me — she yelled at me for giving up on myself and my team. Anyone (male or female) who did that in the majors would be ripped to shreds and rightfully so. Her team would never accept her and she was already facing an uphill battle, this would cement the deal.

I’ll ignore the fact that Ginny’s mechanics are terrible for someone who allegedly throws in the low 80s (after all if they found someone who could throw in the low 80s, she wouldn’t be there). Ginny has probably had to deal with sexism on every level she’s played A, AA, and AAA, yet she still doesn’t know how to deal with it – she blows up at the stuff that isn’t sexist and ignores the stuff that is. She seems to spurn any attempt to make her part of the team – when the catcher comes out to calm her down [more on him in a second] she blows him off. With her quitter mentality [despite her father drilling into her not to be a quitter] and her own hang-ups, she would be a lousy teammate. So any integration into a major league club would be dead. Show over.

The show did have one bright spot. Mark Paul Gosselaar was fantastic. He plays the catcher and captain of the team. He is supportive (at least to her face) and funny and steals every scene (which probably isn’t a good thing for a white male to be overshadowing a black female lead). On the other end of the spectrum, Ali Larter plays the obnoxious agent. The key word being obnoxious. I would skip any scene she is in.

If you love Zack Morris and have every episode of Saved by the Bell on DVD, then this is probably a great show for you. Otherwise, just watch a real baseball game.

WWYT Rating: 5.0

Nielsen Rating: 1.1 A pretty low start to begin with, and will probably drop further. Its saving grace is that it is on FOX, a network with struggling ratings outside of Empire and whatever else they put on the same night. Chance of renewal 30% (unchanged)

TV Review: Lethal Weapon

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Airs: Wednesdays 8/7c on FOX

Review: Pilot

Movies converted to TV shows have struggled in recent years. I mean, sure, M*A*S*H did pretty well for itself, but that might be stretching the definition of “recent.” Lethal Weapon attempts to correct this by taking the script from the movie and using it as the pilot episode.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Riggs loses his wife and has a death wish, so he is completely reckless. Murtogh (played well by Damon Wayans) is a bit different though – he isn’t too old for this [stuff] as Danny Glover is in the original. The plot was nearly identical to the movie (if I am remembering correctly).

Given the similarities to the original, I will have to watch a few more episodes to determine if the writers have any original ideas or if they are relying completely on the script. If the second episode opens with a bomb on Murtogh’s toilet, we will know that they will scrape the bottom of the barrel by the fourth episode.

WWYT Rating: 6.5 (pending further review)

Nielsen Rating: 2.2 Leading in to Empire is just a golden timeslot. If the ratings hold it will stay. Chance of renewal 65% (unchanged)

TV Review: This is Us

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Airs: Tuesdays 10/9c on NBC

Review: Pilot

It’s not often to find a TV show that is well done, but I don’t want to watch it. Deadwood is one of my favorite examples, as is Mr. Robot (unfortunately). Sometimes a show just isn’t for you, no matter how well done. This is Us falls into this category.

Are you feeling bad about yourself? Want to feel better? Watch This is Us to feel better about your life. These people’s lives are pretty darn good, yet they are presented in the most depressing manner possible. This is Us follows the lives of four separate people, all of whom have the same birthday (and are the same age – 36). The problems these four have are everyday problems – problems that all of us have, thus, I believe, the title.

There isn’t much of a plot beyond following these four people, but the twist at the end was both unexpected and brilliant. I don’t know where the show is going to go from here. Will they just have a string of incidents that are really quite mundane, but present them dramatically? Will it go somewhere? Will I care if it does? This is Us is well done, but ultimately won’t have the excitement to keep my attention.

WWYT Rating: 7.0

Nielsen Rating: 2.8 Probably the highest premiere of the season, and it is well done.  It has The Voice as a lead-in, but it would probably do okay in just about any timeslot. Chance of renewal 80%, up from 60%.