It’s that time again: previews for the 2011-2011 tv season. Check out James Poniewozik’s post at Time.com about NBC previews, which, after checking them on-line at nbc.com, strangely intrigue me. But, that’s the trouble of previews – they’re just previews.
Poniewozik’s analysis of NBC’s previews also hits on some of my concerns (besides the whole Donald Trump’s-only-out-for-Trump business).
For instance, as much as Maria Bello is fascinating as Detective Jane Timoney in the American network version of “Prime Suspect” in contemporary NYC, I’m a little disturbed.
So, there’s a name change. Ok. And American Jane brandishes a gun, which the original British Detective Inspector (later Superintendent) Jane Tennison – as played by Helen Mirren – wouldn’t really do that (well, because it’s more of a British thing). And, Bello as Jane – in the preview anyway – isn’t nearly as self-destructive as Mirren as Jane (Jane Tennison kept failing with men; it got too sad to watch. Actually, I fell so behind on watching “Prime Suspect,” so perhaps I shouldn’t say what was sad about Tennison).
And, I’m not saying that a NYPD homicide unit isn’t sexist – it might very well be; but is it so masculine as to hate women in their midst, when it’s 2011? Why wouldn’t the men mask their bastard behavior just a bit more? (as if we hadn’t learned anything from years of “Law and Order” and “NYPD Blue”).
And, it’s really weird to see Kirk Acevedo in the “Prime Suspect” preview, because he was so recently Alternate Charlie on “Fringe” and, seeing him with the blonde Bello – well, it does look an awful lot like a redux of Charlie and Olivia from the first season of “Fringe.”
And, if “Prime Suspect” gets picked up for a full season, will/can Acevedo still make a guest appearance on “Fringe” as Alternate Charlie (or even a non-dead Charlie, because time-traveling is a bitch, after all?). I’d hate for Acevedo to lose a chance at weird tv. And, according to his profile on imdb.com, he’s part Chinese, so I’m all for representation and diversity on tv.
“Grimm” could have been more interesting in its preview about a series of a modern day cop who finds out that he’s from a long line of Grimms, people who fight (were)wolves (and he seems to befriend one anyway; huh?). I couldn’t really tell from the preview and I’m never sure of what to think when NBC makes a stab at fantasy/sci-fi (they find a way to botch it).
The preview for “Awake” looks great – a bit of detective story with inter-dimensional/philosophical/dream versus reality and which is which. And… Jason Isaacs as the lead! (continuing the trend of Brits as Americans; but he’s done it very well for quite awhile now (see the ex. of “Brotherhood“). Plus, he’s clearly available after the end of the Harry Potter series anyway.
But, as tv critic Alan Sepinwall notes: “Awake” is made by “Lone Star” creator Kyle Killen. And, “Lone Star” looked good – but couldn’t last as a series (as I’ve noted previously (and when it first aired)). I wonder if “Awake” is going to be the same – sure it’s high-concept, but its staying power for purposes of a series is another story. And, Sepinwall’s right – previews aren’t exactly the best ways to judge the potential of a tv show.
Also, over at Entertainment Weekly, check out Ken Tucker’s commentary about the NBC previews (I like his take – pretty even-handed about “Grimm” and I totally agree about the out-of-era sexism of “Prime Suspect”), about the FOX previews (the un-evenness is making it that, yeah, I think I’ll only watch “Fringe” on FOX, unless this new Abrams show is somehow fascinating), and about the ABC previews (another fairy tale show? why is it that NBC and ABC keep trying to vie with each other – “Community” vs. “Modern Family” and now this?).
I have to say, following the travails of the NFL lockout has been fascinating for all these legal gambits (and yet another opportunity for mediation – assuming the parties will negotiate in good faith). Crazy, though…
The passing of Edward Hardwicke, who played Dr. Watson to Jeremy Brett’s Holmes; now, both men are gone. I grew up watching those episodes on PBS, when “Mystery!” was not under the “Masterpiece” umbrella. Edward Hardwicke was also the reader for Sherlock Holmes audiobooks (check out his imdb page – I honestly wouldn’t have thought that he did a voice in the Lara Croft game).
The passing of Murray Handwerker, the son of Nathan Handwerker – of Nathan’s (hot dog) fame.