Sunday, January 23, 2011

USA Network Roundup-Winter Premieres

Every week I'll do a post with my reviews of USA shows. These shows are usually very lightweight so the reviews will usually be very short. My review of the winter premieres of White Collar and Royal Pains, and the series premiere of  Fairly Legal are after the jump

White Collar:

I really do like this show and the premiere reminded me why. It's a very fun, lightweight show that I enjoy watching every week. Another major plus is that Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay have great chemistry and I'd tune into the show just to see them play off each other in every episode.

With the USA Network formula you're going to get a procedural plot and an ongoing arc. For this show the ongoing arc is about the Music Box and what it means. I've enjoyed where they've taken this so far and I'm excited for the future. Shooting Mozzie, while a gimmicky cliffhanger, did create some great drama and real stakes for the characters in the episode. I'm also intrigued (not on a high level, but still intrigued) about where the arc is going (meeting "The Man who made me who I am").

The mystery of the week was a fun one. It was a good showcase for how well the ensemble works together.

Overall, a strong premiere for a very fun show.

Royal Pains:

I found this episode to be very similar to it's summer run. It is a good show but doesn't have much value beyond a show I watch when I want to turn my brain off and not think about something. It also has a lot of like ability and a very good sense of humor.  This works in the summer very well but in the broadcast season it really doesn't. Don't get me wrong, I really do like the show as an escapist TV but I really don't have room for it. If it wasn't for the fact that it's only six episodes and my family likes to watch it together I probably wouldn't watch it at all.

The Eddie R. Lawson plotline failed to draw me in during the summer. Henry Winkler's character came off as annoying and it didn't work. My feelings really haven't changed during the winter. He is still somewhat annoying but I've stopped thinking about it. He's less annoying when you stop trying to take him seriously and I started enjoying the chemistry that Henry Winkler and Mark Feuerstein have. That's when the plotline began to click.

Another complaint I have is I wish Reshma Shetty's Dyvia was given better things to do. This relationship with patient plotline is a waste of her talent and character. She can be so much better when given better things to do. Hopefully when her arc comes to an head (hopefully soon) her material will be better.

The Patient of the Week storyline was nothing special. It was fun to watch but it didn't have much meaning in the show.

I don't feel like I wasted my time with this show. It wasn't anything special but it was an average episode of a very lightweight show. I do look forward to new episodes and the show is fun to watch.

Fairly Legal:

The pilot wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Early reviews had this as a boring use of the USA Network formula that was way too long. I didn't think it was boring but it was way too long.

The pilot was one of USA's extended length pilots where they have to run 65 minutes without commercials. I feel like this pilot's story could easily have been told in 42-45 minutes. The story seemed way too drawn out and it was filled with filler and fluff. Even though this is really my only complaint about the show it's a major one.

The rest of it I thought was average and fills the role that a USA drama usually does, good turn you brain off fun. I won't mind watching this when I have nothing better to do. It's not too interesting as a show but it makes good TV for when you don't want anything intellectual.

The cast is fair, they're not particularly bad but not particularly good. Sarah Shahi is ok as a lead, not a lot of charisma but a good actress. The rest of the cast doesn't particularly stick out yet. This is something that generally happens to this type of show. The lead sticks out while the supporting cast is in the background.

This is a show that I will be watching again. Again, it's good TV for when you don't want to think.

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