It's that time of year again, when all the networks, cable channels and streaming services roll out their new shows. This column, like past ones, gives my opinions on those shows that I have watched, and ones I hope to watch. Let's get started.
"The Good Place" on NBC stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. We remember Kristen from "Veronica Mars" and Ted from "Cheers," "Becker," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: NY" and "CSI: Cyber"; he played the same character D B Russell on all three shows. Ted also starred in many television and theatrical movies.
Kristen plays Eleanor Shellstrop, from New Jersey, who sent to heaven instead of hell; she admits she was a bad person when she was alive. She is trying to improve herself and is trying to show Michael, portrayed by Danson, that she is worthy of staying in heaven.
My take: an interesting concept that will gain some traction, I hope. Right now, I'll give it a grade of B.
"Designated Survivor," on ABC, stars Kiefer Sutherland. He plays Tom Kirkman, the almost fired Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who is the only Cabinet member to survive a massive explosion at the US Capital. He is the designated survivor in the case of a sudden loss of the government. Thrust upon him is a position he never sought or wanted. He has to find out, quickly, who are his friends and enemies before they try to get him out of office.
My take is that if you like government thrillers, you'll love this show. I give it an A.
"Pitch," on Fox, is a very socially aware show that features the first female pitcher in Major League Baseball. Newcomer, Kylie Bunbury, plays Ginny Baker. She has trained most of her life to become a pitcher, with a goal of making it to the big leagues. A famous Hollywood talent agent, portrayed by Ali Larter, signs her. He lands Ginny a contract with the San Diego Padres. There she meets Mike Baker, portrayed by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Mike is the team captain and the first one to accept Ginny. He becomes her mentor and tries to keep up with her physical training regimen, only barely managing to do it.
My take: Let's play ball, and let the characters develop. I give it a B.
"Timeless." on NBC, brings back memories of "The Time Tunnel," "Jumper" or "Sliders." The entire premise of one or two people trying to change time by changing actual historical events can be scary. If you've never heard about the "butterfly effect," go look it up. If one event is changed, how will that affect the future? The show stars Abigail Spencer, as Lucy, a history professor trying to live up to the legacy of her dying mother. Matt Lanter is Wyatt, a soldier sent along as protection; he is grieving his dead wife. Finally, there is Malcolm Barrett, as Rufus, an engineer who helped to build the time machine. The mysterious Flynn, portrayed by Gorin Visnijc, steals the latest version of the time machine.
Will time really change? You bet it does. When they return from their first mission, which is making sure the Hindenburg does burn, Lucy's mother is healthy, but her sister no longer exists. Time can be a cruel mistress.
My take: This can be interesting. It gets a B.
"Frequency," on The CW, is another time travel show that believes in the "butterfly effect," but on a much smaller scale. The show stars Peyton List, as Raimy Sullivan. When she is only eight-years-old, someone kills her father, a police officer. She resents her father for choosing his job over his family. It is now her twenty-eighth birthday; the ham radio set her father had previously used suddenly comes to life and it's her father on the other end, but from 1996.
Can this series out do the movie it's based upon. Yes, but only if Raimy can control and remember the changes she makes.
My take: If they don't try to make huge changes to time like "Timeless," the premise can work. It gets a B.
I want to watch and review a few more new television shows. Stay tuned!
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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