Thursday, September 21, 2006

Triple feature

Another day of two columns dealing with three shows. First, a combined review of "Six Degrees" (which isn't nearly as good as you would think, given the talent involved) and "Brothers & Sisters" (which isn't nearly as bad as you would think, given all the backstage turmoil), but neither of which is even interesting trainwreck TV:
Every TV season brings with it at least one show that looks like it can't miss on paper, then turns into a problem in reality. This year, there are two Show In Trouble candidates, both of them on ABC: "Six Degrees" and "Brothers & Sisters." They have two of the most pedigreed casts of any new shows, respected producers, and premises that promise something different and exciting. And I would be stunned if either, let alone both, survives to the end of this season.
To read the rest, click here. Then "Shark" gets to lead off the All TV column:
And this year's Truth in Titling award goes to CBS for "Shark," a legal drama in which James Woods is invited to chew up the scenery for an hour each week. The only more accurate title might be "Wood Chipper," and that would create some confusion about his name, so "Shark" it is.

Fortunately, Woods is one of our great diorama devourers, so the fact that there isn't much to "Shark" beyond that is just fine -- for now.
To read the rest, click here.


Devin McCullen said...

I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. Hope Davis and Campbell Scott in a TV series? I'm watching it. End of discussion. LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You can sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" all you want, Devin, but there's no there there.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

I think it's because I had to wait a long time to see it, but I rather thought Six Degrees was simply average, as opposed to below average.

Granted, it could be a LOT better, but the cast kept me interested.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to have thoughts on "The Office" (or "My Name Is Earl" or the 13th season of "ER")? Thanks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Office and Earl, yes -- just as I did last season. ER, I haven't watched regularly in years.

Shows I will attempt to watch all in one evening: Survivor, The Office, Grey's and CSI. (I've already seen Earl, Six Degrees and Shark.)

Kjell said...

Not to say Six Degrees is without its problems, there really IS some sursprisingly funny and inspired writing in there: when Carlos visits Maes old apartment and the guy opening the door says "oh, you're a fan, you read my blog!", and Carlos of course has no clue of who the guy is, and isn't the least interested... and in the nail salon, the dialogue involving an old thanksgiving Sonic Youth-concert. I liked that.

Lindy said...

I had a more negative reaction to "Shark" than you did, Alan. I was really, really annoyed by the way the show kept trying to humanize Stark, most notably by forcing a precocious teenage daughter into the mix. The scenes with Stark and his daughter seemed to belong in another show. James Woods is fun as a slick defense lawyer, but I'm not terribly interested in sticking around if half of every show is going to be devoted to cheesy father-daughter bonding scenes.

Kjell said...

Yes, take away all that "humanizing" and Stark could be the prosecutor's office's own Dr House! He had a couple of lines in the pilot that suggested this, especially when one of his staff pointed out some "prosecutorial misconduct" and Stark replied "Oooh, we'll just have to be brave on this one", in that typically sarcastic, Hugh Laurie-style mock whining voice.

Lindy said...

I agree, there's definitely a "House" vibe in the show, Kjell. I couldn't help wondering if they added Stark's daughter and ex-wife to try and soften the comparison. "No! It's a totally different show! Our guy has a daughter and sometimes feels really bad about neglecting her!"

I think a better show could reconcile the loving father with the bad-ass attorney to create a compelling character, but in the pilot Stark practically had dual personalities, and only one of those personalities was interesting.