Fall 2012 New TV Review… Part 2 – Drama

Posted: September 28, 2012 in TV/Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So just as every other New TV Season, I’ve taken it upon myself to watch every new show there is, push myself through it and see what’s what. Some end up great, some end up not so much. Some get through to a season 2, some get canceled… Oh, who am I kidding, 75% to 90% get canceled whether they’re great or not!

Fall of 2012 was no different  so I decided that this time around I’m going to share my thoughts, and either give you all a good chance to avoid the muck, or take a chance on something that you may end up falling in love with (even if it is ripped away from your heart in December or April…).

Keep in mind that these are ONLY the new series. These are the ones that really have to fight to stay alive in the cut throat arena of who survives and who has their sets dismantled and their casts separated and funneled into next season’s contestants. I’ll keep updating as I watch, so expect updates through to the weekend! So without further ado (ado? What does that even mean? it should be “without further prattling on and on), here’s what I have to say:



15 years after the blackout power is everything…

(NBC, Mondays)

Most Like: Terra Nova, Lost

It is literally today’s world’s worst nightmare. The entire world has lots its power. Not a single electric device (whether needing to be plugged in, running on gas or battery power) is safe. At the exact same moment, a wave sweeps across the planet that turns of EVERYTHING. Planes fall from the sky, pacemakers stop, tv’s shut down, cars go dead. Governments fall, armies disperse, and militias rise up. The greater United States gets split quickly into numerous republics where the people with the guns (or crossbows) run the show. That is the basic setting of this series. Fifteen years have passed since the lights went out, and the world has learned (kind of) how to get by without electricity. One family in particular has joined a small community of people trying to live life to the best of their ability, but the father has a secret. He knows something (though we do not know what exactly) about why the lights went out. One day, a militia group come to take him and his estranged brother (an ex-soldier) to their leader, the mysterious Munroe. In the ensuing fight, the father is shot dead, and the militia takes his son, Danny. Danny’s sister, Charlie, forms a group with her father’s lover and the local teacher (a former Google employee with millions in the bank, but no use for it now) to find her Uncle Miles, the only person she thinks can help save her brother, and a man she has never met. Along the way, there are several hints at a larger conspiracy involving Charlie’s family and the fact that someone out there knows why the lights went out, and maybe how to turn them back on.

Nerd Lair Rating: 8/10
I’m liking this show a lot. It has me gripping my seat, waiting to see what happens next, and leaves me asking questions at the end that I will watch again to see answered. Why should anyone expect less from Lost‘s JJ Abrams, Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke, and Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau? The family presented is easily likable, and immediately recognizable. The situation the world finds itself in is chilling, as it is a world that only 12 years ago was a fear for millions (or maybe less) as the Y2K fear gripped our technology dependent world. There’s action, adventure, humour (carefully timed), and romance. There is a feeling that the show could end up being a bit too much like Lost, in that it can start asking questions that get too complicated to keep track of, and some that they maybe never intend to answer, leaving interpretation up to the viewer. If they continue to answer mysteries in a timely fashion, while still raising others and keeping the over-arching mystery present, then they should keep viewers attention for a long time. A serial I can really get into. A recommended watch in any event!


Let the sin begin…

Vegas (CBS, Tuesdays)
Most Like: Boardwalk Empire, The Shield

The setting is 1960’s Las Vegas. Rancher Ralph Lamb has been assigned the duties of sheriff to try and get this not-yet Sin City under control before crime, corruption and the mob have a chance to lay down roots. Lamb is joined by his brother and son, who will help him in cleaning up the town at this important time in its development. They are not career lawmen, so they do not worry themselves too much with procedure and due process, but are strict on keeping crime out of their home. If someone acts in a way they may deem unhonourable (or deserving of the action), they can expect a Lamb punch to the face sooner or later. On the other side of the fence, Chicago mobster Vincent Savino has just arrived in town to take a look at his existing operations, and see what he can do about making Las Vegas his town. He’s willing to bring the big city crime action to this one horse town if he needs to. Who will win?

Nerd Lair Rating: 6/10
It still have a lot of room for improvement, but I don’t hate it. Vegas scores with the fact that it is based largely in reality. Ralph Lamb is a real life 60’s/70’s Clark County, and a consultant on the show, so you can expect some realism and believability. The protagonist and antagonist (Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis respectively) are fantastic actors with impressive resumes and experiences to back up their roles. Lamb’s no-nonsense attitude to crime is refreshing, and easy to relate to for anyone that’s ever had a problem with crime and no way to combat it effectively. Unfortunately, the show tends to be a bit boring when someone isn’t getting shot or punched. The reality of 1960’s Vegas is that it is not today’s Vegas. Shows like CSI have given popularity to the criminal aspect to the Sin City, but this show must rely on a time when things were just getting started. Westerns can work, as Justified and Hell on Wheels have shows us, but they have to bring in a little bit of modern sensationalism in order to do it. The potential is there for this to be a great show, but Vegas will have to grow an inch or two to reach it.


Obsessive. Impulsive. Volatile. Bloody brilliant…

Elementary (CBS, Thursdays)
Most Like: The Mentalist, Diagnosis Murder, Matlock

A police procedural with a twist! It is a modern day telling of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Inspector Gregson set in present day New York City. In this version, Holmes is a recovering addict, who is also a former consultant to Scotland Yard. He seems to indulge in the occasional “woman of inspiration” as he needs sex for his brain and body to operate at optimal levels (thought he doesn’t enjoy it…). Holmes is as expected: opinionated, observant, and obsessive. Dr. Watson is actually presented in this series as a woman, hired by Sherlock’s father to be his Sober Companion. She has a medical background, and is basically Sherlock’s keeper and watcher, trying to keep up with the obsessed Holmes. Captain Gregson is a former colleague from Holmes’ days working with Scotland Yard, and a current captain with the NYPD. He brings Sherlock into the cases he investigates.

Nerd Lair Rating: 7/10
I like this show. I’m actually a bit biased here, since Sherlock Holmes, in his many incarnations over the years in books and tv, has been one of my favorite characters of all time. I love me a good mystery and the detective that is there to wrap it altogether. Other than the aspects that modernize the characters and setting, the roles keep quite true to the originals, and that is always important when re-introducing well established characters. It is a procedural, which many people can tend to get a bit bored with, but I am actually a fan of them when they are done well. It does still keep an overarching story going, as it holds to many Sherlock Holmes story plots and aspects, so that can help a bit for those who generally dislike this type of cop drama. The actors are believable, and talented, and includes Lucy Liu (a strange choice for Watson, but it works in context.) Also, they touch on Holmes’ (the original’s) use of various illicit substances, which is always nice to see in a modern telling. It does lose some points with the fact that in this world, it is not quite the modern world, as the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have obviously never been written. If they had been, then at least one or two of the policemen would eventually have to wake up and think to themselves, “Wow… this guy’s name is… and her name is… and the captain’s name is… Wooooahhhhh…” And if we are to believe that it is exactly like our world, then I’m just waiting for someone to point out the major hole in everyone’s ability to notice such a big convenient coincidence. All in all, however, it’s an enjoyable watch.

Click here for the New Fall 2012 Comedy Lineup Reviews!

Stay tuned as The Nerd Lair reviews the remainder of the New Fall 2012 Drama Lineup!

  1. JimmyMackey says:

    Vegas and Elementary have more in common with each other despite Vegas and Revolution being period dramas because both Vegas and Elementary are procedurals. Both have grown on me for different reasons, Vegas mainly because the conflict is so visceral when Lamb confronts these rebel rousers and cut throat criminals. My DISH coworker says it’s getting decent ratings too, which I figure should guarantee even more success and money to keep it a class act show. I found out about it when my Hopper PrimeTime Anytime feature I enabled, automatically recorded it. I like the fact that I find lots of new shows to watch, since every major network show records each day.

  2. […] Fall 2012 New TV Review… Part 2 – Drama […]

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