Saturday, October 04, 2003

TV: Series Premieres

And now, let's see what's on tap for the new season:

The Handler

My family hasn't had HBO for years, and thus I've never seen an episode of "The Sopranos." So while I'm familiar with Joe Pantoliano's work, I've never seen him in his most infamous role. That said, he's good here, and I think this show has a good chance of surviving. After two episodes, the premise is solid, the plots are convincing, and the "players" are good. And the first episode was capped with a nice surprise at the end. I do hope they expand the number of undercover agents, because watching the same small handful of agents week after week could get repetitive. A rotating cast of 8 or so would be sufficient. Still, despite all its good points, there's just not enough here to bring me back every week, especially on Friday nights. It'll be an occasional watch, I expect.


When NBC pulled a rerun of "Scrubs" at the last minute in order to re-air this pilot, I figured I might as well give it a try. I wish I hadn't. This program is absolutely atrocious. Lots of unfunny jokes, lots of exaggerated situations, and characters that I couldn't care less about. Actually, the Persian mechanic manages to squeeze a laugh or two out of his lines, but even those moments are spotty. On the other hand, the white-acting-black girlfriend character is incredibly annoying, and is one of the worst sitcom characters that I can recall. As a one-episode guest she would be irritating and forgettable, but as a regular, she's a horrid idea. While it did well its first week, I can only hope those viewers will wisen up and let this show die fast.

Lilo & Stitch

This Saturday morning cartoon spin-off of last year's Disney movie seemed like a great idea in theory, but I'm not crazy about the execution. I really enjoyed the film, and the premise of the show is decent enough (i.e. searching out Stitch's fellow experiments), but the result is fairly bland. There are high points, particularly David Ogden Stiers' Dr. Jumba, as well as Captain Gantu (who unfortunately has been made into a bit more of a comic relief character than I'd prefer) and his Monty Python-esque bunny boss. And the art and animation is better than most network cartoons these days. But in order to make the show 'educational,' some parts of the show get overtly preachy and dull, and the aura of Pokemon doesn't help matters in the plot department. I'll give the show another shot, but I'm not expecting much. Still, it's sure to appeal to the little ones, and the built-in premise promises at least 600 more stories to tell, so I'm sure this'll survive for a while.


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