My beloved roommate works at the USA Today, and she gets advance copies of upcoming tv shows every season. So far, we've got the CBS and ABC slate, nothing from NBC or Fox.
The CBS DVD contains full versions of Big Bang Theory, Viva Laughlin, and Cane.
Big Bang Theory - sitcom - The idea is that this recently-dumped, super hot girl moves in to an apartment next to these super-smart male scientists. Of course, these scientists are horrible with women and have no idea how to talk or interact with them. So, the idea of a vulnerable hottie next to these socially awkward brainiacs could be funny for an episode or two.
The problem with this show is that the smart guys are barely masculine at all - they all seem like the last thing they would be interested in would be a woman. And not because they'd be more into lab work, either. They truly act effeminate, which is almost an insult to the viewer. I'm not sure if that's the acting or directing, but it's a definite flaw. One guy is actually funny, the rest seem lame.
Cane - Drama - It's easily the best looking show on the CBS slate. It looks like a film, and it's the best acted and written script CBS offers. Could be a good show if they don't rush it. Jimmy Smits is a solid presenece on this show, though there has been some concern about him playing a Cuban.
Viva Laughlin - Drama/Musical - This is Hugh Jackman's production of a casino manager in the resort area of Laughlin, Nevada. It's supposed to be a musical drama, and before you can say "Cop Rock" this sucker will be gone. It's got pretty people, it's decently-shot and written, BUT, the idea of having a musical is for song-and-dance routines, right? Except these folks don't dance much, and the singing is actually karaoke. They have the original song going simultaneously, so these actors are pretty much mouthing the words. So, if the actor is singing an Elvis song, Elvis is singing right along with the actor.
It looks pathetic, though Hugh Jackman's cool.
Now, the DVD also contains sneak previews of Kid Nation and Moonlight. Moonlight is the tale of a kind-hearted vampire who solves crimes. Yeah.
Kid Nation is a reality show about children reviving a ghost town.
Yeah. I can't make that up. One could say Hollywood is out of ideas, though it's obvious CBS is. Couldn't they have made another CSI?
Now, for the ABC slate:
Pushing Daisies - Drama - Now this is completely unlike anything else on TV right now, and in a very good way. A young man has the ability to bring people back to life with a single touch, but if he touches them again, they die. If he doesn't touch them within a minute, somebody else nearby dies. He brings them back to life to find out how they died, and to collect any reward money for murder victims. Sounds morbid? It amazingly works. It's sublimely acted and written, and shot brilliantly. Vibrant colors, almost like a Tim Burton fairy tale movie with highlighters. Very likable cast...this could be a great show, kind of in an "Ed" and "Northern Exposure" way. Just don't "Moonlighting" it, because you can see the chemistry between the male and female leads.
Dirty Sexy Money - Drama - Great cast, interesting idea. An idealistic lawyer is hired by a wealthy family (think Kennedy or Rockefeller) and then has to keep them all from getting in trouble. One is on her third marriage, another is a terrible actress with suicidal thoughts, another is a young playboy, and another...well, he's about to be a Senator who's in love with a transsexual.
And he's played by a Baldwin brother. Two Baldwins in prime time!? What a world!
It's interesting...but I think it'll peter out. Too much plot too soon. It's got potential, but I think they'll make the pace far too dizzying. I can tell such things. Can smell it in advance.
Big Shots - Drama - Four youngish, handsome men with powerful jobs and a whole lot of issues. It's pretty sharp, actually. Great cast, sharp writing, not too much given away in the beginning. I was surprised Christopher Titus could act so well, but he pretty much rocks. Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan, and That Guy From Every Aaron Sorkin Show star.
Sam I Am - Comedy - Christina Applegate is Sam. Sam was in an accident, and suffers from retrograde amnesia. Sam wakes up with no memory of herself or friends or family, and as she struggles to regain her senses, she finds out she was not a terribly nice person. It's cute, but given the amnesia story is pretty cliche, I'm not sure how long this can go. It is funny, though, and I laughed a couple of times more than I thought I would. Applegate is a pro, and she can charm her way through some awkward writing with a smile.
Cavemen - Comedy - Oh. Dear. God. This is perhaps the single worst show I've ever seen. Remember when Fox first got on the air and would play anything? That's this show.
See, Cavemen aren't extinct, they're a repressed minority. Now, take every stereotype you've ever heard about a repressed minority, and that's what happens to cavemen. It's simply a bunch of rehashed jokes with non-clever wordplay.
The only saving grace to this show is that the one caveman who's the political militant bitter caveman is pretty funny. The dorky caveman is a good dancer. The third caveman is just kinda klutzy. And that's the extent of it. I laughed once in the 25 minutes, and that's only because I have a stunted sense of humor, and was thinking of something else at the time.
Otherwise, this thing isn't funny, isn't well-paced, and isn't really quality. However, I said the same thing about "According to Jim" so WTF do I know? `