The Rise of the Fall
Depending on the channel, new shows pop up all the time. Channels like SyFy and BBC have their own schedules, but most of the public air channels (for those who remember TVs that had antennas) have classically started their new series in the fall. Although September used to show all the pilots, this year year has them scattered out even into November. A few have already started and here are some of the ones I’ve checked out.
Xiolin Chronicles (Disney XD) For those who missed it, there was a show called Xiaolin Showdown that ran on Kids WB from 2003-2006. In the cartoon revolved around a young monk named Omi (who has a big round yellow head) and his 3 new monk friends who each represented one of the 4 elements. With the help of a dragon and the guidance of a much older monk, the 4 young monks go searching for ancient artifacts called shen gong wu which each have some sort of power. The problem is that there is an evil sorceress (who is only a ghost at the start) and a bunch of inept bad guys who try to get the shen gong wu as well. When a good guy and bad guy each grab a shen gong wu, they have to battle for it in a contest called a Xiaolin Showdown. The battle between good and evil to get all the shen gong wu was the main part of the show until its end.
When I saw an announcement that Xiaolin Chronicles was coming on, I figured it would pick up where it left off with the character Raimundo having just moved to the next step in his monk progression. I was sadly wrong. It turns out that the cartoon is a reboot of the old show. We start with the 3 new monks already there along with a new apprentice monk named Ping Pong (really?!?) who has the power of the “wood element”. (I’m sorry but I don’t remember there being 5 elements.) While the dragon is still around to help, their elderly guide Master Fung only makes minor cameos if he shows up at all. This causes Dojo Kanojo Cho, the dragon, to go into sappy and annoying school girl crush episodes about the master. All of the shen gong wu which have been reintroduced have all been given new names. Also, the character Chase Young created a daughter/potential crush (incest in a kids’ cartoon?!?) from his rib in one episode. The show might be interesting for someone who never saw the original show but it’s a travesty for those of us who were fans of the original. I’ll probably be wiping this off my DVR recording list soon.
Dads (Fox) I saw the ads. Seth McFarlane creates a live action show which stars Seth Green. I loved Seth McFarlane’s shows Family Guy, American Dad, and Futurama. Seth Green was great in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as doing voice overs and creating his own stuff. I was psyched. While Seth Green is as cute as ever (I got to meet him at San Diego Comic Con once.), his character (Eli) and the one of his best friend, Warner (played by Giovanni Ribisi), are very 2 dimensional. Seth’s character is the stereotypical laid back semi-stoner type while Warner is a stick-up-the-butt, pussy-whipped bore. Then we get to add in the dads. Eli’s father is the annoying, obnoxious, do nothing (unless it’s the wrong thing) type while the other is the type who thinks he knows everything and gets in middle of things he shouldn’t because of it. The only characters who make it worthwhile at all are Warner’s wife, who tends to keep him in line, and Eli and Warner’s female Asian boss who picks on them mercilessly, tries to keep them in line, and is just cool in general. This show really needs to pick up soon or it’s dropping from my DVR schedule.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox) I’m a bit fan of supernatural shows and this was my first new one of the season. Now, everyone knows about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. What that meant for this show, I had no idea. All I knew was that I saw enough ads (even on my free games on my cell phone) and thought I’d check it out. The show starts out in New York in 1781 where we first meet Ichabod Crane. He’s fighting in the Revolutionary War when he sees a man on a horse among the Red Coats with a full face mask. Although the man survives a gun shot wound, just before going down, he is able to behead the man. Ichabod’s wife turns out to be a witch and puts a spell on him before he dies. In modern days, both Ichabod and the, yes, headless horseman awaken and the story starts to unfold. We meet Lt. Abbie Mills who gets see the horseman in action when he kills the sheriff. It turns out that Abbie had some previous supernatural experiences as a young girl with her sister so starts to believe Ichabod’s story when she meets him. It turns out that the horseman is actually Death and the other 3 are on their way. Ichabod and Abbie are on some 7 year plan to save mankind. There’s a lot more going on than the Four Horseman as we’ve also met a demon who attacks people in their dreams. This show has some potential. It’s reminding me a lot of what Supernatural was in the early years when it was still good. I’m not a big fan of long hair on guys but Tom Mison looks damn good in the show too. I can’t wait to see more unfold with Abbie and her sister as well as what’s going on with the sheriff’s ghost the appears to Abbie (or is she imagining it?) Plus, Ichabod’s wife is guiding him from some sort of Limbo as well. John Cho (Sulu from the new Star Trek movies) even appears for a bit as a minion of one of the demons. Check this one out.
Fangasm (SyFy) This show filled the slot after the 6 episode show Heroes of Cosplay (which I still need to write about). After that show, I was really hoping this would be good despite the commercials which just made geeks, nerds, and fans look like a bunch of idiots who need a life or need to be locked in their parents’ basements. The show really didn’t redeem itself much from the commercials. Fangasm is another documentary reality TV show which follows 7 people who are accepted to be interns to Stan Lee to help get things going for Comikaze. All of them are put into the same house to see how they interact. There are 4 guys and 3 girls. The girls all seem pretty cool. (Girl geeks tend to be fairly normal and a lot of fun.) As for the guys though…. One guy they used repeated in the commercials and seemed annoying there was just annoying (if not more so) on the show. How he is the only one in the group who is not single I’ll never know. There is only one non-white person in the house (a black male) and he is arrogant and very stuck in his opinions and acts like he thinks he’s God’s gift to the world. I can tell he is someone I wouldn’t get along with. The other two guys are your average geeks, sort of interesting but not too overly adept at being social. Overall, the show isn’t what I thought it would be and it isn’t all that interesting. At least half the show is them outside the internship and the time spend in it just shows that a lot of them don’t care, do a sloppy job, and just are a waste of space. Is there any way we can cancel this and get some more episodes of Heroes of Cosplay?
The Originals (CW) I watched a couple episodes of the Vampire Diaries and quickly lost interest. Since this is a spin-off of that show, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. I knew it was about some really old vampires from the show who move back to New Orleans. Supernatural stuff in New Orleans? I can get behind that. So, I start watching the show and there are 2 brothers and a sister way back in the day who were given powers by their mother (a witch) so they could protect themselves. That’s how they became the first vampires. The one problem was that the one brother was a werewolf so when that side of things kicked in (after his first kill), things got really messed up for him. And, yes, they even call him “an abomination”. Can we stop hitting this cliche just to make White Wolf fans groan? In modern day, the vampire brother heads back to New Orleans to find out what’s going on with his hybrid brother. The sister would rather stay home and take bubble baths. Once in New Orleans, it is discovered that the hybrid got a werewolf girl pregnant. Oops! We have the standard battle for power in New Orleans as well as trying to figure how what is going to go on with the baby. Not sure what to expect on this yet. There’s some potential but it could go down the bad road of the Vampire Diaries with its pretty boys and cheesy drama too.
Witches of East End (Lifetime) Could they have gotten this any closer in name to the Witches of Eastwick movie? But, we have magic and witches and such so I thought I’d check it our despite the fact that it’s on Lifetime. (That fact scared me a bit.) The show is very female-centric. The main story revolved around 2 sister witches and the 2 witch daughters of one of them. One sister is cursed to keep giving birth to the 2 girls after they keep dying due to magical means. The fact that that sister is immortal means lots of pregnancies. The other sister isn’t immortal but is a cat so has 9 lives. The daughters are just learning about their powers. One is doing so as she is getting engaged. The appearance of her fiancé’s brother (who seems to be magic even though his brother isn’t) just makes things even more complicated. The only other guys are a detective who is after the other sister, a gay co-worker of that sister (played by Tom Lenk the openly gay actor better known as Andrew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and an enemy of the family. While there is potential here, the Lifetime drama and women power of this while thing means it may not work too well for me. I’ve only seen one episode so far, so I’ll have to see.
There are a few good shows there and some that just may not make it. It’s good to see that one of them (Witches of East End) had a gay character in it. It’s too bad none of the geeks on Fangasm were. That’s another disappointing part about that show. I can just hope all 6 of the shows grow in a positive way. There are still a few more shows I’m waiting to start up. Among them are The Tomorrow People (airing tonight), Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (the new Once Upon a Time spin-off), Dracula and maybe Atlantis (BBC) and Enlisted.