Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pilot Review: Below Deck

Below Deck (Mondays at 10:00 on Bravo; Premieres July 1)

Rather than looking for the next lowest-common-denominator series like Princesses: Long Island or Most Eligible: Dallas, Bravo has instead opted for a kind of youthful Downton Abbey at sea, a reality television version of the 1980s film Overboard. That's the best way I can describe Below Deck, the newest addition to the Summer by Bravo lineup. It's an appropriate new show for summer, full of sun and poor choices, and it even manages to be passably entertaining and moderately fun. In other words, Below Deck is a great summer diversion that doesn't require the viewer to pay very close attention in order to enjoy it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pilot Review: Ray Donovan

Ray Donovan (Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime; Premieres June 30)

I'm going to be in the minority on this show, and I'm okay with that: I really do not like Ray Donovan. I can recognize its potential and its positive attributes, and I can understand what others will enjoy and find praiseworthy in it (namely the performances and the overall darkness of the show). But for me, Ray Donovan is predictable, slow, and glowering.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pilot Review: Devious Maids

Devious Maids (Sundays at 10:00 on Lifetime)

I watched this pilot nearly a week ago and had every intention of putting up a review before last night's premiere date. But Devious Maids, the new soap from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, instilled me with such lethargy that I just kept putting it off and putting it off, and suddenly the thing had premiered without my review ever being written, let alone posted. That should tell you something of how I feel about Lifetime's new summer series.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pilot Review: Twisted

Twisted (Tuesdays at 9:00 on ABC Family; Premieres June 11)

I'm torn over Twisted, the newest teen boilerplate mystery/drama from ABC Family. On the one hand, I'm semi-intrigued by the characters and (less so) the plot; on the other hand, I don't really care enough to want to watch much more. It has a strong enough central hook for me to commit to the first ten episodes this summer (there also isn't much more interesting scripted fare to choose from this time of year), but the mystery isn't nearly clever or deep enough to last multiple seasons the way the one on Pretty Little Liars has. Still, it's a fun distraction despite its shortcomings and multiple flaws.