Fall Review: Casual & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Usually I review shows that air on the same day, but what can you do, I totally forgot to write the post when the show actually aired.

Casual

Network: Hulu
CastMichaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, Tara Lynne Barr, Patrick Heusinger, Nyasha Hatendi, …

A recently divorced woman moves in with her bachelor brother and her daughter. They all try to maneuver the crazy world of dating and staying sane in general.

I did not expect to love this show as much as I did! It’s like a weird Indie movie in TV show format and that’s totally my thing. The awkwardness was palpable, it was hilarious, had smart dialogue and was just generally great. I loved the dynamic between the main cast, especially Alex (Tommy Dewey) and Valerie (Michaela Watkins) as siblings. In my mix it’s not just a comedy but also has a bit of drama mixed in.

I could see this not being everyone’s type of humour, however the show is on my TV Fall list and for now it will most definitely stay there!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Network: The CW
CastRachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Santino Fontana, Pete Gardner, Vella Lovell, Donna Lynne Champlin, …

Young and successful lawyer Rebecca is unhappy with her life, that is until she randomly meets her ex Josh. Even though their meeting only takes minutes, she discovers that she still has feelings for him and he gives her the idea to move across the country to his home town. 

I am so conflicted about this show. On the one hand I am not in love with the musical-aspect of the show, but I did laugh a lot! The title already hints at Rebecca’s behaviour being a little … irrational, but I don’t think she’s actually a nutjob – maybe a little crazy, but aren’t we all? In my mind she didn’t follow Josh across the country for love, but rather to find a way to finally be happy. She chose finding her own way and doing what she wants over guaranteed success and that’s actually kind of brave. But don’t worry, the show’s theme is definitely a light-hearted, uplifting and bubbly one – not all that serious.

My favourite character so far is Greg (Santino Fontana), the barman and a friend of Josh. Also, I think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend works quite well in combination with Jane the Virgin, which is why I will watch a couple more episodes before committing to it for good.

Did you watch either one or both shows? Did you like them or not?

Fall Review: Code Black

Once again I am coming to you with a Fall Premiere of a show. This time it is from CBS and called Code Black!

CastMelanie Chandra, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Marcia Gay Harden, Harry Ford, Raza Jaffrey, Luis Guzmán, Bonnie Somerville, …

A Code Black is when there are more patients needing help than a hospital can provide due to lack of resources. A normal hospital has this happening about 5 times a year, the Angel’s Memorial an average of 300 times. The show follows the doctors and nurses who have to deal with the craziness.

I thought I was done with medical dramas, but it turns out I am just tired of Grey’s Anatomy. All the others are still fine! Code Black is based off the documentary of the same title by Ryan McGarry. They really tried to push the show with the casting of Marcia Gay Harden as one of the leading tough surgeons, but I recognised some of the other faces too. The characters are fine so far, but not all of them are likable from the beginning. They tried to give each resident their own problems, but what show doesn’t have that?

That’s a bit the problem with Code Black. It focuses on a very unique situation in hospitals, but whereas that should create tension and drama, it still has difficulties distinguishing itself from all the other med dramas out there. Sure, if you like that sort of thing, it’s an entertaining show with lots of blood spilt and suctioned up, but it’s not unique. It is possible that it will develop over time. My Wednesday nights are already pretty full with Chicago PD, Empire, Nashville and some other comedies. Still, I’ll give Code Black a chance, but only for a couple more episodes.

What do you think? Should the producers have taken a look at the market and never even developed the show? Or are you embracing another medical drama?

Fall Review: Quantico and Blood & Oil

Today’s shows are both from ABC. While they do have to work on their CGI, they definitely know all about drama. Here’s what I’ve got for you!

Quantico

CastPriyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis, Josh Hopkins, Jake McLaughlin, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, Graham Rogers, Anabelle Acosta, Mark Pellegrino, Brian J. Smith, …

An explosion in the middle of New York, the city is in chaos. Amidst it is young FBI agent Alex Parrish and it seems like she is going to get framed for the whole incident. Now she has to go back to her training at Quantico to find out who of the other cadets or staff could have done this.

The first episode definitely starts with a bang – both literally and figuratively. I can’t believe how many known faces are in this show, I was just like “Oh, I know you from somewhere and you and you …”. At first I thought that the constant switch between present day and the start of the academy was a bit too fast and random, but it worked better as the episode progressed. I like a lot of the characters with my current favourites being Simon, Nimah, Shelby and Ryan, but it’s a ton of information at once. Especially considering how many lies and secrets are uncovered in those first 45 minutes.

I was personally more invested in what’s going on at the Academy, because we still need to get to know everyone and can’t really judge who’s framing Alex from the get go. The whole explosion is just too far in the future and too many pieces are missing inbetween. However, the show knows how to deal with drama and is surprisingly funny at times. I definitely want to continue watching, even though I am still sad that Brian J. Smith‘s character was such a bust.

Blood & Oil

Cast: Chace Crawford, Don Johnson, Scott Michael Foster, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Amber Valletta, India de Beaufort, Adan Canto, Miranda Rae Mayo, Delroy Lindo, …

Billy and Cody gave up everything to make a better life for themselves during the modern-day oil boom in North Dakota. While they are resourceful and hard-working they have no idea what they are getting into, playing with high stakes and rich devils.

This is not my typical TV show. It’s very Dallas-y, which you could probably already guess, and while I appreciate some good soap drama, there is just not much mystery to it. First off, Blood & Oil does not seem realistic at all to me. There are already so many twists and turns, money owed and deeds to pay, they could have easily put those in 3-4 epsiodes. I cannot imagine how they’ll keep up with the pace.

I started watching the show because of the cast, really being excited to see Chace Crawford on TV again. Also, Scott Michael Foster is one of my favourites and he is reprising the role of a rich bad boy. Unfortunately, I think I have to be disappointed and he won’t have a golden heart deep down though. But I am not sure that will be enough to keep me as their viewer. While I do understand the motives of everyone, I don’t really feel sympathetic with a lot of the characters – it’s all happening too fast.

I’m going to stick around for a couple more episodes, hoping for a little slower pace and for the characters actually having to work for what’s coming to them.

So, what do you say? Are you in for the drama?

Fall Review: Heroes Reborn & The Player

Today’s shows are both from NBC. Let’s see what we’ve got!

Heroes Reborn

Cast: Jack Coleman, Ryan Guzman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Gatlin Green, Rya Kihlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane, Henry Zubrowski, Clé Bennett, Krista Bridges, Lucius Hoyos, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Masi Oka, Francesca Eastwood, Toru Uchikado …

Evos are out in the open and on the brink of achieving peace with humanity, if only it weren’t for a terrorist attack that killed many people and destroyed any chance of reconciliation. Even though the number of evos is as high as ever, they are hunted and once again back in hiding. But there is a reason why they are here and the world needs them for something big is coming.

The first scene starts out with Bennet, a very familiar face, and in the background the music I know so well starts playing – just like that, it was as if the show had never left. I am so happy! As of right now it is still considered a mini-series, but I am hoping that that status might change if it proves to be successful.

However, not everything is the way it was before. There are a ton of new characters and from what I gathered, even more are going to be introduced in the next episodes. The different storylines are a mixed bag, because while some of them are promising, I can’t see the overall connection just yet. There is a LOT of mystery, up to a point where you don’t actually know what’s going on. Also, there are some characters that I like more than others. I really wanted to love Zachary Levi, but he’s making it difficult since he is anti-evo (understandable because of his backstory, but still not good). Tommy’s story (played by Robbie Kay) seems similar to the one of Claire in Season 1 to me. Somehow he’s going to play an important part in saving the world and has people protecting him. Carlos (Ryan Guzman) is interesting because he doesn’t actually have powers but is right in the middle of the action. He will have to inspire people to become heroes. Miko is cool because she can travel into video games, but she seems so detached from all the other stories. There are still so many more characters but I am going to stop right there.

I think it was an interesting start of the series that can be improved though. Still, I am looking forward to more of it.

The Player

Cast: Philip Winchester, Wesley Snipes, Nick Wechsler, Charity Wakefield, Damon Gupton, Cara Buono, …

Alex Kane is a former intelligence officer who now works as a security expert in Las Vegas. When his wife gets murdered, he gets sucked into the strange game of a company that can predict crime. People with too much money are able to gamble on different kinds of stakes here. Alex can help prevent terrible events from happening, but only if he becomes their Player.

This one honestly took me by surprise. I thought it was just another military-guy-becomes-hyped-security-guard-in-Vegas kind of story, but it’s so much more than that. I did not actually watch the trailer before watching the show, so I went in blind. I like the element of crime-prediction and the mystery that surrounds the company that deals with other peoples fates. It doesn’t seem like a realistic show at all, but it is interesting to watch.

The first episode set up so many questions and despite what I initially thought, I am going to continue watching this show.

What did you think about those shows? Did you like them as well?

Fall Review: Limitless, The Muppets & Scream Queens

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am trying to review a lot of the new Fall Season TV shows. Today there are even three shows I want to talk about and all of them are very different in genre.

Limitless

Network: CBS
Cast: Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, Bradley Cooper, Ron Rifkin, …

I have to admit that I was positively surprised by this one. As the title already suggests, Limitless is based off the movie of the same title, but I didn’t actually expect it to be an extension of the existing story. It was great to see that Bradley Cooper (who played the main character in the movie) would actually be guest starring in a couple of episodes and therefore be a vital part of the story.

This time around the focus is on Brian Finch, a good guy who’s life isn’t really going anywhere. When his dad gets sick, it is time for him to step up. I liked that he didn’t take NZT-48 (the drug that enhances brain efficiency) for his own good, but mainly to help his dad and later to solve a murder case. I think Jake McDorman, who was very unlucky with his show Manhattan Love Story last year, fits this role alright, but doesn’t exactly stand out. I like his dynamic with Jennifer Carpenter‘s character though.

BUT it’s looking like this will be a sort of crime drama, seen as Finch will be a counselor for the FBI. The drug just becomes an excuse for him to go sherlock-ing around and that’s a bit boring in my opinion. However, I am interested to see how far he’ll be pushing his brain in other areas of his life. For now, I intend to continue watching this show!

The Muppets

Network: ABC

The Muppets is an attempt to bring the show into modern-day TV. I honestly am not sure how exactly I feel about it. It’s all a lot more grown-up now, which is fine, but I just didn’t think it was all that funny.

The show is a mix between a sort of Behind-the-scenes-mockumentary and just “normal” life on set of a late-night talk show. In my opinion it felt a bit forced every now and then and the different celebrity cameos didn’t help that much either. I think the show will have to be careful to not push it too far sometimes. I am sure it will gather a lot of curiosity, not just among nostalgic fans, but I just don’t know if that will be enough for the long-haul. The Muppets is definitely on the brink of loosing me as a viewer.

Scream Queens

Network: FOX
Cast: Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Diego Boneta, Lea Michele, Glen Powell, Nick Jonas, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Oliver Hudson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, …

Okay, everyone who knows me, knows that this is not my genre. Anything with Horror, even if it’s Comedy-Horror, is just not an area where I feel very comfortable. I am a wuss, I admit it. However, there was such a big hype around Scream Queens and so many big names that I knew, I thought I should at least check it out.

I think the show is ridiculous. I just can’t deal with gross deaths and then some sort of comical scene. Barely any of the characters are really likable (or sane of mind) and that is such a shame because. The only people that really intrigue me so far are the characters of Diego Boneta, Skyler Samuels and Nick Jonas. At times the show is really predictable but then again I do sort of wonder who the serial killer is, but I don’t think I want to know it bad enough to keep watching this week after week. But if they keep killing characters (especially the celebrity kinds) like they did in the first two episodes, there soon won’t be many people left anyway.

In the end, I think you should check it out for yourself, seen as I am not the most reliable source in this kind of genre. Tell me what you think about it in the comments!

So, did you watch any of those shows? What are your thoughts?

Fall Review: Blindspot & Minority Report

It’s that time of the year again – a ton of shows are starting and my TV schedule will be close to bursting. As per usual I am trying to review as many shows as possible. But because of the sheer quantity of shows, I’ll keep the reviews rather short. You’ll get the gist of it!

Blindspot

Network: NBC
Cast: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Kelly Aaron, Caliph Jones, Michael Gaston, CJ Parson, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach, …

As the trailer above shows quite well, Blindspot is about a woman with tons of tattoos but no memory. My first impression was that it looks really good, but in the end the pilot didn’t blow me away. Jaimie Alexander definitely has it down to look really scared and confused while being fierce to no end. However, the situation is just not that believable. I just can’t get it into my head that a federal agency would let a civilian with amnesia tag along and their lack of control over said person is frightening. I mean they just let her wander around and get into all sorts of trouble.

Also, I am afraid the show will have a sort of villain-of-the-week-theme and that can get boring easily. Nonetheless, the concept is still interesting and I’ll definitely continue to check it out for a couple of more episodes. After all, I do want to know what’s up with those mysterious tattoos.

Minority Report

Network: FOX
Cast: Stark Sands, Meagan Good, Nick Zano, Wilmer Valderrama, Laura Regan, …

So, obviously this show is connected to the movie of the same title. It takes place 10 years after the end of Precrime and focuses on one of the PreCogs who has difficulties adjusting to “normal” life.

I have watched the movie, but it’s been a while. Still, I think it was a mistake to set the show after Precrime has already been abolished. There is none of the moral dilemma as to whether it makes sense to arrest someone before they’ve actually committed a crime, because this time around it is all about catching the bad guys on time. Now it is just yet another cop show and the acting wasn’t really that breathtaking either.

Aside from FOX having a track record of cancelling sci-fi shows pretty fast, I have decided for myself that I won’t continue with that show, because it just didn’t really hit home with me.

What are your thoughts? Are you going to watch Blindspot or Minority Report?

Fall Review: Jane the Virgin

Finally, I can say that this is the last pilot I’m reviewing this fall season! Despite the really terrible title “Jane the Virgin“, it’s such a fun show to watch. If you’ve seen the Trailer for the first episode, this review can in no way spoil you, but if you haven’t and you want to go into all of this pretty much unknowing, then beware of Spoilers ahead!

As I said, I’m not a big fan of the title, but I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed watching the show. The premise is as follows: Jane’s life pretty much turns into a telenovela when she accidentally gets inseminated by her gynecologist. As if that fact alone wasn’t already terrifying enough, circumstances are even more complicated. Despite her 2-year-relationship with her boyfriend, Jane is still a virgin and was in no way prepared to have a child, especially since she lives her life according to a strict timeline, just to avoid turning out like her mother, who got pregnant at 16. Also, the supposed father of the child, Rafael, is a former crush of Jane’s and the sample she was inseminated with was his last chance for a biological child, due to the cancer he had. In addition to that, his wife just tried to get pregnant to save her marriage with him, because according to their prenuptial agreement, she gets about 10 million Dollars if they stay together for 5 years. Also, she cheats on him with one of his best friends. Even worse is the fact that the gynecologist who screwed up is actually Rafael’s sister. Told you it was like a telenovela!

The cast was chosen very well in my opinion and includes: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Justin Baldoni, Yael Grobglas, Brett Dier, Ivonne Coll, Jaime Camil, Ryan Devlin, Alano Miller … But let’s step away from the facts and take a closer look at some of my thoughts:

  • I like the use of text during the show, but they need to keep it moderate in order to have it’s effect. On-screen text is just like voice-overs – it can be nice, as long as you don’t overdo it and since the show has both, voice-overs and text, they better make sure it doesn’t get annoying.
  • The story definitely is a bit ridiculous, but the way they promoted it and even gave it that telenovela look on purpose, doesn’t make me judge it. You get what’s on the package, so I’m fine with the concept. However, I still wonder if that is something that appeals to a lot of people …
  • The show mainly avoids talking about serious issues (e.g. the abortion that is considered by Jane) though and take a much lighter approach to everything. The soapy nature of it all makes it easier to forgive that.
  • Michael, Jane’s now fiance, seems so sweet and understanding and most of all patient. He certainly looks too good to be true. I can’t help, but think he has a massive and dark secret, as teased by Billy, his brother, and the narrator at the end of the episode.
  • Gina Rodriguez, as Jane, does a great job! You are totally on her side, whatever she decides and she has chemistry with both, Michael and Rafael. They did well casting her as the lead.
  • We’re not supposed to like Petra and I don’t, so, that’s good too I guess.
  • One of the shockers of the first episode was the fact that the telenovela star Jane idolizes and hallucinates about, is actually her father. That’s going to lead to so much more drama!
  • Rafael’s sister really made a huge mistake and seemingly has made others before. She could get her license revoked, but it doesn’t seem that way just yet. One thing that is for sure though, is that there is a chance for her rekindling the romance with her ex who was a lawyer.

In the end, I am not sure that CW’s scheduling of the show makes that much sense. Putting it behind the vampire drama “The Originals” isn’t exactly the place I would have chosen. However, this show was really fun and charming and I don’t regret at least checking it out. We’ll see how it continues from now on and whether I will stick with it. What are your thoughts?

Fall Review: Manhattan Love Story & Happyland

I’ve reviewed a lot of shows for this Fall Season and I am finally about to see an end on the horizon. Today I’m talking about MTV‘s Happyland and ABC‘s Manhattan Love Story! After that I’m only planning on reviewing Jane the Virgin and (the show I am most looking forward to) The Flash. If you still want my opinion on anything else, let me know in the comments below!

Happyland

Have you ever read Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler? Because this show reminds me so much of the book! It’s basically also about teens that work in an amusement park or theme park that is very similar to Disney’s and about falling in love, the illusion of fairy tales and happy endings. The show definitely diverges on some other topics, because parents are barely involved in the story in the book, but are really important to what’s happening in the series.

I have to admit, that I’ve seen stronger pilots this season. Happyland, while interesting on some level, didn’t grab my attention like other shows managed to do. The actors are alright (and include: Camille Guaty, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulène, Ryan Rottman, Bianca A. Santos, Chris Sheffield, …), but the premise is nothing I haven’t seen before in multiple soap operas. It’s difficult to relate to the fact that your crush seems to be your brother and other than that they are just building on a lot of more love triangle-related drama. I can’t really tell where the show intends to go, but I think I won’t follow it for too long.

Manhattan Love Story

Analeigh Tipton seems to be everywhere these days and I certainly don’t mind it. There really isn’t much to say about Manhattan Love Story; it is a fun sitcom that takes on the difficulties of dating and relationships in New York City. If you’ve watched the Trailer above, you’ve pretty much seen the entire first episode. The main cast isn’t that huge and consists of the aforementioned Analeigh Tipton as well as Jake McDorman, Jade Catta-Preta, Nicholas Wright, Kurt Fuller and Chloe Wepper.

So, this isn’t the smartest of shows or something like that, but people like Romantic Comedies and this one is a pretty standard example of one. Besides the extensive thought voice-overs (which are just too much for me), I really don’t find a flaw in it. The show is sweet and fun and that might just be enough.

What are your thoughts? Talk to me in the comments!

Fall Review: Gotham & Scorpion

I can barely keep up with all the new shows that are released this season. There is a lot that I want to watch, although I am not sure all of them will survive until next year. This particular post focuses on CBSScorpion and FOX’s Gotham. Again there are very few to no Spoilers in the review, but the Trailers give away a lot (at least for the pilot episode)!

Scorpion

So, Scorpion didn’t get the best of reception from what I could tell, but I actually liked it. As you could see in the “First Look”-Trailer it is inspired by true events and the main character Walter O’Brien really exists (although he is not nearly as handsome as Elyes Gabel, but real people never look as good as actors and actresses). I have no idea how much of Walter’s story is real, but I did find out that he worked with the Hacker name “Scorpion”, so that’s why the show is called that way.

It is true that some of the characters are a little too polished and maybe even stereotypical, but I nonetheless found it entertaining. Alright, so it needs some work, but the show has a great cast (next to Elyes Gabel we have: Katharine McPhee, Jadyn Wong, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Robert Patrick, Ari Stidham, …) and I think it shows promise. I like premises about socially inept people, packed with a ton of action and even a bit of humour. Unfortunately, all that doesn’t change the fact that I think this show will probably have a difficult time getting renewed. I guess we’ll have to see how it develops throughout the season.

Gotham

When I think of Batman and Gotham, I usually picture Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine as Alfred. They are ingrained in my mind, but Ben McKenzie might just be able to change my view of James Gordon. I absolutely loved the first episode of the show. If you are truly interested in the origin stories of several villains and vigilantes from the Batman-stories (Catwoman, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, the Riddler …) as well as James Gordon’s background, you should not miss the show. It all starts with the murder of the Wayne family, with a brilliant young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), and from then on the city just goes on a downward spiral.

I’ll admit that I am usually preferential to Marvel adaptations, but lately the DC TV shows are really killing it. Gotham was intense and they somehow managed to pull me into that dark universe right from the beginning. I can’t wait for Arrow and the Flash to continue/start and Gotham is definitely going to make the wait easier. Other cast members of the show include: Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cory Michael Smith and many more.

What do you think of the two new shows? Did you watch them?

Fall Review: Our Girl

There is My Girl and New Girl already out there, and now I present to you: Our Girl. What started out as a British one-time drama in 2013, is now a full 5-part series on BBC One. Just like in previous posts, I will do a little review on the pilot episode and tell you what I think, and it even seems like I can do this close to spoiler-free again.

To be honest with you, I didn’t know about the movie before I started watching the show. The promo for it was always played before the new Doctor Who episodes, and I was just immediately intrigued. Now, the storyline isn’t that difficult to explain: Molly Dawes (Lacey Turner), a young woman who joined the British Army as a medic, goes on her first mission to Afghanistan. Being the only woman on the platoon, she has to prove to her team and herself that she can do the job right. That pretty much sums it up, so here are my reasons why you should watch the show:

  • It is almost physically painful to watch Molly underestimate the situation. Of course the real thing will never be the way you imagined it, but she just seems massively unprepared for what’s ahead of her. Yet, she gets it together and thrives under the harsh circumstances – those transformations are always great to watch!
  • Iwan Rheon is in it! I’ll grant you that this might not be a reason for everyone, but I am a huge fan. I loved him in Misfits, laughed with and about him on Vicious and loathed him on Game of Thrones – I even wrote a whole post about him sometime last year (click here to read it). I’m not entirely sure what I think about his character Smurf now, but I’m looking forward to finding it out!
  • Sometime during the first episode I fell in love with Ben Aldridge, who plays Captain James. There’s so going to be a love story between him and Molly and you know how much of a romantic I am.
  • The whole theme of the show is compelling and also thought-provoking. In my opinion, it doesn’t just glamorise the actions of the army, but also questions them.

I am a little sad that the series isn’t longer, but I understand why they chose the format of a mini-series. I am definitely going to tune in again next week – how about you? What do you think about the show?