Thursday, September 30, 2010

ABC Wednesday Line-Up

Don't ask me how, or why. Blame it on boredom, or the fact I was cleaning and needed a bit of distraction. But somehow, I ended up watching the entire prime time line-up on ABC yesterday... I'm not proud. On the upside, I can give you a run-down of ABC's Wednesday night!

8pm - The Middle
What I love: The uncomfortably honest portrayal of a middle-class, Midwestern American family. They struggle financially, their kids are average (no one's a genius, a world-class athlete or secret rock star), and they're basically good people... most of the time. It's Rosanne without the despair. It's Malcolm in the Middle without the slapstick. Also, I heart Neil Flynn.
What I hate: Because it resembles other well-known shows, The Middle tends to be somewhat... forgettable.
Overall feeling: I'd watch it again.

8:30 - Better With You
Love: There was a nice moment where one of the protagonists, up until then a shiftless loser idiot, displays remarkable artistic vision.
Hate: That scene was the single point of interest during an interminable half-hour of television. Better With You chronicles the lives of three couples that form a single family - retirement-age parents have two adult daughters, both of whom are married. It uses every tired TV trope, creates caricatures rather than characters, and goes for the cheap laugh. A few diamond-in-the-rough moments of entertainment are not enough to make up for all of that.
Overall: There's a tiny glimmer of hope for this show - it's got strong (though not A-list) acting talent. Throw away some of those cliches and we'll talk.

9pm - Modern Family
Love: Everything.
Hate: Nothing.
Overall: Appointment television - I sat my ass down and promptly laughed it off. I didn't love this show at first, but I now recognize and acknowledge its sheer awesomeness.

9:30 - Cougar Town
Love: DAN BYRD. It is one of the greatest tragedies of our times that Aliens in America got cancelled. I previously blogged about this show as well - and I must say, without the weight of expectation, it was much more enjoyable on the second go-around. Possibly I also liked it because it was a Travis-centric episode.
Hate: I still think this show could be something more... a satire on our youth-obsessed culture, perhaps. That's probably just me.
Overall: Sure, why not.

10pm - The Whole Truth
Love: The cinematography is interesting - characters are presented as parts of their environment, rather than in a strict foreground/background approach. As a result each shot is crowded, but not cluttered. Something about it is more... organic? Immediate? I don't know, but it's good. Also, seeing the same story take on different meanings from the protagonists' individual viewpoints is a great representation of the adversarial legal system.
Hate: So far the characters seem pretty two-dimensional. Jimmy Brogan is a defense attorney, born of humble beginnings but with a heart of gold. Kathryn Peale is a tough female prosecutor just trying to get by in this man's world. Shared history, sexual tension, courtroom drama, blah blah blah.
Overall: I like the idea of it, and the way it's put together cinematically. Other than that... meh.

Sorry, guys. Got to tell it like it is.

1 comment:

Maggie Cats said...

Oh, I'm so glad you wrote about The Whole Truth. I watched the premiere and really liked it, I'm definitely keeping it around in my DVR. I think it does a nice job of showing how our justice system is not a good way of discovering the actual truth, just what the prosecution or defense can get the evidence to prove. And then you get the nice little moment at the end where you find out what really happened.

Also, yay! I'm so glad you're aboard the Modern Family train! I have to confess I thought you were crazy last year when you posted that you weren't feeling it, but now I am so happy you are on board.