Thursday, March 31, 2016
Rush Hour (Thursdays at 10:00 on CBS)
Here we are again, folks: a few months later, and CBS has premiered yet another odd TV extension of a popular film following the moderate success of their fall launch of Limitless. Rush Hour has quite a few of the same problems as Limitless and then some, proving that just because an idea worked once doesn't mean it will work again (as if Rush Hour 3 didn't already prove that in the original film franchise). This notion can be applied to both the development of successful films into watered down television shows, as well as to remaking this particular story, which feels dated and tiresome eighteen years after the film grossed a quarter-billion dollars.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Crowded (Sundays at 9:30 on NBC, beginning March 20)
I'm not surprised Crowded found its way to NBC's schedule. It has all the charm and ease of a comfortable 1990s sitcom, with the simplicity common to them as well. Suzanne Martin has created a show much like her TV Land hit Hot in Cleveland that throws back to a time when comedy was mined easier, when laugh tracks were louder, and when TV didn't always tackle the difficult issues of the time. Sure, Crowded touches upon the current financial status of the country, with several educated twenty-somethings forced to move in with mom and dad once again due to lack of job opportunities, but it actually finds its comedy in situations like grown children walking in on their parents having sex, not in the complications of navigating adulthood in an unstable economy or something similar. It's hard to say if that would have made a better show than what Crowded is, but it probably wouldn't have been hard to be better than what Martin and Co. gave us.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
The Family (Sundays at 9:00 on ABC)
The Family may be another soap opera for ABC to add to its roster, but they have such an impressive list because they have discovered the secret to a soap's success: good acting. The storylines for shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are absurd, over-the-top craziness (maybe not quite as ludicrous as what's on daytime soaps, but still), but they have Kerry Washington and Viola Davis anchoring the insanity, respectively. Strong performances can bring gravity to an otherwise unbelievable story, and The Family fits snugly into this formula.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Slasher (Fridays at 9:00 on Chiller)
Until a few days ago when I first saw a commercial for the premiere of a new series called Slasher, I had no idea what Chiller was. Imagine my surprise to find out that not only is it a specialty cable channel catering to scary movie fans, but it's one I've received for years and have scrolled past countless times on my FiOS TV guide. I'm kind of glad I know of its existence now, because Slasher is an ideal addition to Friday night viewing: familiar but weird, creepy but fun, and cheaper than going to the movies to see whatever fright-night crap is being unleashed any given weekend.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
What ethnic minority is left for ABC to tackle with a quirky family sitcom? We've got African Americans (black-ish), Asians (Fresh Off the Boat, Dr. Ken), and Jews (The Goldbergs) covered. The gays are represented (Modern Family), and so are the ever-relatable middle class (The Middle, Last Man Standing). Latinos had Cristela last season. Now we've got the Irish Catholics taking center stage in The Real O'Neals, and the characters' ethnicity is about the only thing separating it from any other dysfunctional family comedies currently on television.