The annual autumn surge of small screen candy has finally hit us. There were 3 shows I was particularly looking forward to. Here’s a quick retrospective inquiry into each of them.
New Girl (Fox)
Zooey Deschanel has a celebrity persona that treads the line between Hollywood-somebody and YouTube sensation. The writers of New Girl seem to be struggling to deal with this pseudo-stardom. While the premise of the show is typical, the left-of-center aura of each of the characters is endearing. Yes, they are derivative caricatures that we often encounter in sitcoms, but there is a tilt in the conventional power structure that makes the show intriguing.
The protagonist, Jess, is the type of person who usually sits on the armrest of the sitcom sofa. She is 21st century reincarnation of Phoebe Buffet, except this time she has a lot more lines and is the center of attention of all the other characters. I would like to see the writers round her into a more realistic character and accordingly develop the plot. Oh and it would also be super if they stopped plugging all of their jokes in their promos.
Verdict: Meh, but I’ll wait to see where it goes.
Pan Am (ABC)
If you’re like me and miss Mad Men, watch Pan Am until they bring Don Draper and the AMC series back. Like Mad Men, Pan Am brings the American 60s to TV in all its gloss and glory. However, while Mad Men indulged in gloss as well script, Pan Am doesn’t bother with the latter. It simply exists to be your guilty pleasure- a tremendous visual spectacle that requires very little emotional cognizance.
Verdict: Only if I come across it while channel-surfing.
How To Be A Gentleman (CBS)
Johnny Drama is back! As an Entourage fan, I watched the season finale with a heavy heart. But just like his character in Entourage, Kevin Dillon has picked up a sorry sitcome on CBS that just takes the farcical elements of Johnny Drama and rounds them up under a new name. Complete with canned laughter, predictable one-liners, and classic sitcom characters (anxious boss, bossy sister, hot neighbor, oddball gentleman), How To Be A Gentleman tries to hold on to a kind of television comedy that has been rendered redundant by the smashing successes of Modern Family and Community.
However, as it is CBS, I shall persist with this show for two reasons: one, their sitcoms usually start off slowly until the writers find good direction and create fantastic plots (just think back to early season of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory), and two, Kevin Dillon is clearly in his element playing the air-headed, muscle-laden fool. He is consistently funny.
Verdict: Will watch the first season. Can’t promise what happens after that.