Saturday, July 22, 2006

Return of Television?

I've become very excited about a couple of new TV series debuting this fall, two of which are about TV shows in and of themselves. First there's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" with Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford and from the creators of "The West Wing." From the initial teasers played earlier this season, I couldn't tell what it was going to be about. Was it a comedy or a drama? They just didn't play well except to list the cast of stars. Tonight I've seen some updated trailers about the plot and it's style of comedy AND drama. The show definitely looks great, and it's fast paced action behind the scenes looks like an audience favorite. I'm concerned it might be too fast for a half-hour show; but it should be just fine with a full hour. Then there's the Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin comedy "30 Rock", a TV show about the behind-the-scenes antics of an SNL style sketch show. Pretty much anything with Tina Fey is a winner and the trailer is hilarious. This show seems to have something, even if it's a whole lot of nothing. And yet, even a third debut has its hooks on me.

I'll be the first to tell you that my favorite movies tell stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations. From Shawshank and "The Truman Show" to "The Game" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, I'm astounded by tales of the regular guy (or hobbit) finding strength and facing the fears that surround him. Even M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable" grabbed me by the heart and pulled me in; although one could argue that Bruce Willis' character wasn't exactly an ordinary guy, but that was after he discovered his 'powers.' So of course I'd be intrigued by "Heroes." Can you tell I only watch NBC? "Heroes" seems like an Unbreakable story with the number of character to challenge the X-men. Although it does seem like they researched and analyzed the public's love for Wolverine and Superman, disected their strengths, and created individual characters to embody said powers. Not exactly original, but the execution could still be great. As a side note, next time you see the trailer for Ali Larter's character, Nikki, listen to her answering machine. "Hi this is Nikki, leave a message." It sounds exactly like the answering machine from "Swingers" where Jon Favreau's character continues to leave messages after getting cut off. Now that I think about it, all the "Heroes" trailers are told like that original Unbreakable teaser.

Funny how television is becoming more like film. Teasers, trailers, high definition widescreen, event programs, commercial free (for those of you with the right technology), even the cinematography, and visual effects. I guess this makes things easier for actors to move from film to television (Alec Baldwin) and so forth.

May I also say "Kudos" to NBC for airing the pilot of Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" in support of it's film adaptation with Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. I have to admit I don't remember actually watching the show, but I saw the pilot tonight, and dare I say it was actually good. Dare I go farther to say that Don Johnson did a decent job. Michael Mann, you haven't made a bad film I've seen, don't fail me now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

television is the devil.