Fall Preview 2010-11: Big Monday

Monday night marks the official launch of the 2010-11 television season. Besides season premieres for several returning shows, like House, Chuck, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men, five brand new prime time network shows make their series debuts tonight, including the highly anticipated remake Hawaii FIVE-0. Battery up your remotes and set PVR’s to stun. Here’s how I saw them in Saturday’s edition of Starweek magazine:

The Event (Sept. 20, 9 p.m., NBC and Citytv)
Something spooky is happening. The president (Blair Underwood)  ducks an assassination attempt and needs to know what the heck is going on. This woman up in the arctic at a remote scientific outpost (Laura Innes) seems to know but is holding back. Meanwhile, Jason Ritter can’t find his girlfriend, and NBC is in last place. Is it all connected? Is there a hatch?
STARWEEK RATING: People lost without Lost could find their fix with The Event—although we said that last year with FlashForward.

Lone Star (Sept. 20, 9 p.m., Fox and Global)
Newcomer James Wolk plays charming con artist Robert/Bob Allen. He’s living two lives, one with his rich wife Cat (Adrianne Palicki), and the other with not-so-girlfriend Lindsay (Eloise Mumford). He loves them both and they seem cool with the fact he’s never home. His con man father figure (David Keith) says stick to the con game, but Allen wants to settle down and live his fake life. His fake father-in-law (Jon Voight) says he can spot a phoney. That could be trouble down the road.
STARWEEK RATING: Lone Star it’s called, and lone star it gets. Anybody remember that Calgary horse opera CBC ran two years ago? Wild Roses? Anybody?

Mike & Molly (Sept. 20, 9:30 p.m., CBS and /A)
Stand-up comedian Billy Gardell (The King of Queens) plays officer Mike Biggs; Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls) plays school teacher Molly Flynn. They meet and fall in love and aren’t about to let a few hundred extra pounds get in the way. Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) has an unerring eye for casting and ear for dialogue. The leads are winning because they don’t play as large as supporting players Reno Wilson (Biggs’ cop buddy Carl), Swoozie Kurtz and Katy Mixon (Flynn’s white trash sis and mom).
STARWEEK RATING: As sweet and irresistible as apple pie a la mode.

Hawaii FIVE-0 (Sept. 20, 10 p.m., CBS and Global)
Forget the breathtaking island scenery. Take the best damn theme song on television, add millions of dollars worth of exploding helicopters and other feature film-level effects, strip Grace Park down to her undies and, yes, you’ve got one hot pilot. Alex O’Loughlin is kinda stiff as McGarrett but Jack Lord was no Olivier. The breakout star is new Danno man Scott Caan (Entourage), who is nursing a busted knee (a predicament they’re writing into the series).
STARWEEK RATING: The pilot delivers as the fall’s big action hour. Can the series (and gimpy Caan) keep up?

Chase (Sept. 20, 10 p.m., NBC and Citytv)
The title says it all. Kelli Giddish (Past Life) goes all Jack Bauer as Annie Frost, the ballsy blonde member of a team of U.S. marshals hunting down the most wanted villains in America. Cole Hauser (K-Ville), Rose Rollins (The L Word), Jesse Mercalfe (Desperate Housewives) and Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) have her back. Each week the bad guys are going to underestimate her, and then be sorry they did.
STARWEEK RATING: Giddish kicks ass in the pilot, but isn’t there already twelve dozen Manhunter clones already on the air?

One Response to “Fall Preview 2010-11: Big Monday”

  1. Having seen Five-O, it’s as much a remake of the sitcom Wings as it is the originating police series.
    O’Loughlin and Caan’s characters as stand-ins for stoic Joe and exuberant Brian Hackett. An XL fat man behind a service counter humorously needling ‘the brothers’ as Roy Biggins. An older lady Faye working mainly with the unit boss, here as a Governor. Passive aerial scene shots introducing every segment after break. And a clean cut young woman, whom the brothers compete their affections towards, lugging around a surfboard rather than a cello. The only miscue was in not placing the retro car to Daniel Dae Kim’s character as the show’s mildly admonishing sidekick mechanic ‘Lowell’.

    The real-life knee injury can half work too as Wings’ second season (first full) had one of the brothers (Joe) unable to work as a pilot. Rather than rap music, they should have also mixed in the slow Wings theme song for island paradise contrast to the show’s overall fast pacing.

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