It must be a general feeling of post-9/11 America to play it safe. I know Mrs. Skippy and I aren’t flying anywhere these day; and we have taken what little money that’s left in our stock portfolios out and put it in cash. Nobody seems to want to take a risk now. And who can blame them?
Unfortunately for the television consumer, the same feeling apparently is permeating the executive suites in Hollywood. We have watched a few of the new shows to find out which ones are ‘Must See TV,’ however, most of them turned out to be ‘Musty TV.’
We watched two episodes of the new show Push, Nevada on ABC during the special preview two weeks ago. We had high expectations (well, high for TV, at least), because two of the show’s producers are Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
We like quirky, unusual stuff, we like murder mysteries, we like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (we love his commericials with the duck); plus, this show had the added bonus of being a mystery that viewers at home can solve for a prize (the sum of one million dollars. Now, that’s a prize!)
Push, Nevada started with a good sign, literally; on the desk of the main character, well-played by newcomer Derek Cecil, sat a placard naming him as one “James A. Prufrock.” We smiled, assuming the “A” stood for “Alfred.” But that’s as clever as it got. And it didn’t even attempt to reach that level of hipness thereafter.
Quirky? If you count weird camera angles and unnecessary film speed changes as quirky, yes. Not much “heat.” Not much suspense. We are big fans of X-Files, Prey, The Night Stalker, the first 3 hours of 24, things with real edge-of-your seat squeamy oddness. Push, Nevada’s idea of quirky was killing off a man who suffered from hypothermia by dumping shaved ice on him while he was handcuffed naked to a bed (trust us, it reads a lot quirkier than it was).
Very little plot movement, no surprises, nothing to maintain our interest. Perhaps our problem was that we did not sit with a lap top at our fingertips connected to the web at the same time we were watching, so we had no way to “interact” with the show on its website. Geez, we spend hours at the computer blogging, we can’t expected to be on line during our tv time! Cut us some slack, ABC!
Also seen on ABC that same week, the first 15 minutes of John Ritter’s new show, 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teeenage Daughter. This show is apparently based on a best-selling humor book of the same name, although we had no idea about that until we researched this review (that it was based on a book, not that it was supposed to be humorous. We knew it was supposed to be humorous). Mr. Ritter’s new sitcom was so painful to watch, we switched off halfway through, missing Bonnie Hunt’s new show, Life with Bonnie. We’ll try to catch up with her at a later date, as we find her to be engaging and funny. But we just couldn’t sit through John Ritter’s bad imitation of an impotent Ozzie Nelson. And it was simply painful to watch Katy Segal, so was so arch and witty as Peg in Married with Children, here reduced to simply, “the wife.” A waste of good talent. And John should either lose some weight or go the route of big Hawaiin shirts, ala Donal Logue in Grounded for Life.
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter? Rule number one: make sure your new sitcom is funnier than Three’s Company.
More new reviews of the same old stuff, sorry, we mean, new television shows, to follow later.