I’ve caught up on a few of the season premieres and, if they are any indication of the TV season ahead, it’s going to be a dull one.
I was hugely disappointed with THE BIONIC WOMAN. It’s no BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, that’s for sure…even though they a bunch of actors from that show. The plotting was weak, jumpy and non-sensical. But that might have been okay if the lead actress wasn’t so dull and if I believed a single emotional reaction she had. She loses her legs, an arm, one eye and an ear and then screams in horror because…she can see and hear just fine and arms and legs look just like her old ones. Instead of being thankful at being, essentially, rebuilt without a scratch, she freaks out and is full of resentment. Um, why? One faction of the secret organization responsible for her super powers wants her alive, the other wants her dead. The pilot ends with her telling the secret agency that she knows her powers now…and she is in charge.
That’s almost beat-for-beat the way CHUCK ends, too. He’s a nerd who also gets super powers, and he also doesn’t behave in any manner resembling actual human behavior…and at the end he, too, tells the secret organization that he knows his powers now…and he is in charge. This duplication wouldn’t be quite so painful if the shows weren’t on the same network. CHUCK seems to be a one-joke show…and the joke wears thin before the pilot is over.
JOURNEYMAN is QUANTUM LEAP without the fun or the clear franchise. It’s also so "TV" that I wanted to throw a brick through my television set. The hero is a reporter, his brother is a cop, and his ex-girlfriend is an assistant D.A…of course. I’m surprised his wife isn’t a surgeon and his best friend isn’t a private eye. It’s never clear why he’s jumping back in time and his reaction to this stunning event is to mope around in a daze. You will, too, after watching this show. It’s a shame, because I like the guy from ROME and it’s nice to see Gretchen Egolf, one of our regulars on MARTIAL LAW, on a series again.
BACK TO YOU is, as one of my friends said, the best sitcom of 1987. It feels very familiar, very formulaic, and very competent. And also very dated. It’s clear that everybody involved with the show, on screen and off, are pros doing professional work. It was slick, it was well-made, and it was laughless. It reminded me of that Henry Winkler sitcom from last season — or your parents’ Cadillac sedan. Yeah, it’s classy, smart, comfortable and safe, and it feels nice while you are having a ride, but ultimately it’s bland and forgetable.
Coming up on CBS soon is MOONLIGHT, the werewolf cop. I think he should team up with NICK KNIGHT, the vampire cop, and become private eyes. (What’s funny is that CBS originally developed NICK KNIGHT with Rick Springfield and then let it go into first-run syndication…and, a few years back, they gave us WOLF LAKE, a werewolf series that immediately tanked. What is their fascination with supernatural cops and werewolves?)