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I’m impressed! You?

So the new TV season continues. I just watched SPEECHLESS and I’m delighted. Now everyone on the show is perfect–husband supportive, wife crusading, kids adorable–but I’m still delighted. Because it features a child with disabilities as a major character and it’s very much time for that. In fact, it plays with a lot of stereotypes–the daughter is the jock, the wife is the alpha. We haven’t yet seen much of the young boy with disabilities personality yet, except to realize he has one. He uses his talking board to swear, among other things.

In the first episode, they deal with something I ran into in real life with a friend who uses a wheeled device to get around–that the garbage ramp is considered an acceptable “alternative access.” I loved Minnie Driver as the assertive-to-the-point-of-abrasive advocate. The world needs more of these kinds of people.

This is a show that’s going to be heartwarming on the surface, and advocate strongly for persons with disabilities underneath. You’re going to get your consciousness raised without even knowing it.

Plus it features some wonderfully appealing characters/actors. I keep waiting for Kripke to have his Big Bang Theory speech impediment, but that’s just me. And some pretty clever casting.

I’ll stick with this one a while longer.

speechless

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Who’s watching…?

Welcome to the first few days of the Fall 2016 TV season. If you’re like me, this is the best thing about Fall. Now if only they could make it pumpkin spice flavoured.

I’ve already deleted “Kevin Can Wait” and “The Good Place” from rotation. Never even made it through the first episode of the latter. I’m delighted to have “Lucifer” back. “Big Bang Theory” didn’t start off with a big bang, but that’s okay. We’ll stick by our goofy gang of geeks for another season.

I did watch “This is Us.” I’m not sure why I bothered to record it because the promo ads didn’t make it look particularly interesting, and that’s too bad, because it was. By the end of the first ep, I found myself heavily engaged with all the characters, pleased with their actions, and whoo-boy, I did not see that twist coming. They played me like an aging arcade game.

So what’s it like, you ask. (Sure you did.) That’s a toughy. It’s dark and yet funny, in an almost Buffy-esque kind of balance, and yet it’s kind of an inspirational at the same time. Sort of “Love Boat” meets “Touched by an Angel” meets “insert serious drama here.” All those those. None of those.

I have no idea where the show is going or even what they’re going to do for the next episode since the set-up was pretty damn grand. For once, I feel that the writers actually have a plan. Let’s hope they get the chance to show it to us.

Check it out.this-is-us

HollywoodFail! And here’s why.

Made in Jersey was the first show to be cancelled this year, after only airing 2 episodes. Too bad. I liked what I’d seen. But I can understand why.

Here’s the problem. When I first saw Jersey listed in the fall TV guide, I recognized immediately that it was inspired by one of my fave book series, the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. So I looked forward to it eagerly.

First off, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter, while Jersey’s main character is a lawyer. This was probably a “marketing” decision on the part of the suits (those people who decided airing Firefly’s third episode first was a good idea) to make the series “more accessible” or else they ran afoul of some copyright issues. But if that were the case. instead of giving her another unusual, exotic profession, they went with lawyer.

So now we have “just another legal drama.”

Sometimes you can take something old and make it new again by giving it a different spin. How different was House than every other medical drama before it? And they did give her a Jersey background complete with a Jersey family.

Here’s where they went wrong. The main character was perfect. She never set a foot wrong. Never said the wrong thing, never did the wrong thing. Even when it looked like she was going to, it all worked out without any fallout. Stephanie Plum? Not so much. Stephanie is constantly screwing up. She says herself that she’s a lousy bounty hunter and the only reason things work out for her is luck. At least once per book she is covered with guck, handcuffed to something and left there, almost blown up, or loses a car. Our Jersey gal? Never a hair out of place.

The Jersey heroine’s family was warm and supportive, if a little invasive. Stephanie Plum’s friends and family are over-the-top wacky, complete with strange habits, inappropriate behaviours, and everybody carries a gun. Her friends include an ex-“ho”, a straight transvestite, her crazy grandmother, and a boss who’s rumored to have had inappropriate relations with a chicken. On Jersey, the boss is strong, handsome and supportive. Agreeing with all her suggestions, although he does hesitate a beat or two over the wilder ones.

Stephanie has two love interests–a good cop and a good security guy who does bad things as well. On Jersey, I couldn’t tell who the love interests were, but all the characters were warm and supportive and never made a pass at her regardless of how beautiful she was.

In short, Hollywood took the wonderful Stephanie Plum books and sucked everything that made them work right outta there. It’s a lesson on how not to turn a great premise into a TV show.

In contrast, let’s look at True Blood. It may not be following the plotline of the books, but it continues to capture the dark-yet-fun feel of the books.

Still, despite it’s flaws, I liked Made in Jersey and I’m sorry it got cancelled.

 

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Beauty & The Beast? Bad PVR didn’t record it. Should I play catch-up?

My PVR is acting up lately and neglected to record last night’s new Beauty and the Beast.

So… how was it? Did you enjoy it? Should I go download it to catch up?

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