Posts tagged ABC

This Just Makes Me Miss Twin Peaks

With Lost ending soon, ABC’s really pushing their next big mystery-drama series, Happy Town. What’s it about? Well, the short version is: a Twin Peaks wannabe (the trailer even mentions “From the network that brought you Twin Peaks“—which by the way premiered on ABC ten 20 years ago this month…oops, as you can see, math is not my specialty). The series takes place in Haplin, Minnesota, a quaint small town where everyone is…you guessed it! happy. Except, there are some folks that are not. Apparently, some of the local citizens have gone missing in the past, due to someone named The Magic Man. Or maybe not. No one seems to know quite what’s going on. And voila you have a TV show.

Based on the first few minutes of the premiere episode (click here to go to ABC’s website to watch), I’m already skeptical. First of all, they take being cheerful to obscene levels. I know what they are trying to go for, but the overkill is a bit distracting. Second of all, they’ve injected way too many Twin Peaks-esque details that it’s nearly impossible not to feel that you are simply watching a rip-off. For example: the similar plot points (both shows include murder mysteries); both shows take place in small towns with dark secrets; and both shows feature quirky absurd moments (Twin Peaks: Agent Cooper eating donuts while going through a crime scene; Happy Town: the sun shining through the hole in a dead guy’s head).

Given Twin Peaks’ enormous cult-success and that legendary filmmaker David Lynch was the genius behind the show, I imagine Happy Town will never measure up. And for that, why bother? Why not just go for something completely original, rather than imitate and hope it’ll work out? I’m excited that ABC has taken programming risks and gone for edgier series, but I’m annoyed that in this case they went for something so similar to a beloved classic.

Despite being annoyed, I’m still going to check out the first few episodes. I’m curious to see where they go with it. Happy Town premieres April 28 on ABC, here’s the trailer…

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Okay, I gave into peer pressure, and finally watched Modern Family

image source: abc.com

And it is HILARIOUS! Fantastic writing, great performances, a victory for the broadcast network sitcom. You did good ABC. Not only did you deliver a clever family comedy with interesting characters, but you also got me to actually like Julie Bowen. Bravo! This almost makes up for According to Jim. Hey, don’t get cocky, I said almost.

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ABC giveth cool cop show, then taketh away cool cop show, then giveth another seemingly cool-looking cop show

marsMy question is: why can’t we have both?? It’s not like we don’t have 12 CSI’s and 74 Law & Orders!! Obviously American’s are cool with repetitive television programming!

Sometimes I wonder what those TV execs put in their champagne and caviar when they decide to cancel shows that are appealing, well done and actually interesting.

Exhibit A: Life on Mars

Now, I know I’ve said that Life on Mars can be confusing, but it’s also really compelling and grows on you if you give it an episode or two. Also, it has consistently provided outstanding performances from Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Jonathan Murphy, and Jason O’Mara as the series’ protagonist, Sam Tyler. And it takes place in 1970s New York City: dingy, long-haired/side-burned, leather-jacket wearing, gut-punching, graffiti-covered New York City. It’s part science fiction, part classic cop show, with a rockin’ soundtrack to boot. Given the enormous popularity of AMC’s Mad Men, and the desire for retro pop culture, you would think ABC would hold onto this era-loving series awhile longer and see what kind of mileage they could get out of it.

But nope.

Instead, they will be premiering another cop show, The Unusuals, which also includes a notable cast, Adam Goldberg, Amber Tamblyn and Harold Perrineau (Michael from Lost), as NYC cops. Yet sadly, not the NYC as described above.

*Sigh*

I of course will have to check it out because it does look interesting, well, at least the promos make it seem like it will be cool. But with one episode left of Life on Mars, I’m already missing Michael Imperioli’s handlebar mustache.

Below is a very brief promo for Life on Mars…and I suggest if you haven’t already checked out the show that you catch all the episodes on ABC.com before they go bye-bye. Following that is a brief promo for The Unusuals.

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