Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall TV Season Begins

Premiere week may not be for another week still, but this past week already saw the premieres of two new shows that caught my attention: FX's Terriers and The CW's Nikita (that's right, I'm letting the Ashley Tisdale cheerleading show Hellcats go by unwatched). I'm still planning to do a full fall TV preview post at some point, but in the meantime here's verdicts on these two pilots.

First up Terriers, a light detective drama starring The Tao of Steve's Donal Logue and True Blood's Michael Raymond-James as unlicensed private detective partners. The two leads are very likable with lots of good banter between them, and the generally breezy tone makes this a perfectly enjoyable hour of TV.

But with all the crime shows on these days, is a straight-up detective series enough to cut it? The clips of upcoming episodes make it clear this is not just a case-of-the-week procedural, and that the events of the pilot will have repercussions on the rest of the season. But while watchable enough, the set-up's not quite intriguing enough to keep me coming back. I'd be curious to hear if things pick up down the line, but with so much else to try out, this just doesn't stand out enough to warrant a DVR pass.

On the other hand, I'm a little surprised to say I will be giving Nikita at least one more episode. I haven't seen the movie or the original USA TV show, but I can say that the newest update is a lot Alias and a lot Dollhouse. But since I like both those shows and neither is still on the air, I'm ok with that.

Nikita (Maggie Q) was part of a secret government organization called Division that trained attractive young people to be assassins. But something turned her against them, and now she's waging a one-woman war to take them down. Meanwhile, Alex (Lyndsy Fonesca) is a new Division recruit, just starting her training. With other familiar faces including The O.C.'s Melinda Clark, 24's Xander Berkeley, and Shane West, it's an appealing group.

The pilot crams in a lot, and it's clear this won't be the most character-based show on TV, but it's got potential. Between this summer's Covert Affairs and the fall's Undercovers, there's a bunch of new spy shows but this is the only one attempting an Alias-like mythology (though without the Rambaldi stuff, I hope). After a few episodes it may turn out to be more of a cheesy CW execution than some of the other genre shows it aspires to be, so I may bail after episode 2 or 3. But I could use a fun action show, and it's possible this could be it.

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