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Thursday, February 29, 2024 — Houston, TX

TV shows that make the cut

By Rachel Marcus     3/25/14 7:43pm

As a stereotypically busy college student, I definitely should not watch as much TV as I do. TV shows are my number one vice; new characters pull me in, and plot twists hook me for seasons to come. That being said, even I cannot watch every new show.

As a stereotypically busy college student, I definitely should not watch as much TV as I do. TV shows are my number one vice; new characters pull me in, and plot twists hook me for seasons to come. That being said, even I cannot watch every new show. I can multi-task all I want, but homework takes precedent, and some shows never make it past my pilot test. Recent mid-season premieres have offered new possibilities for my weekly tv schedule — others were deemed unworthy of my time. Here is my take of what’s worth precious moments of free time, and what probably should not make the cut.


Sunday 10/9 p.m. central on NBC

This show is staying on my radar, for now. The concept of the world’s most influential people submitting to kidnappers’ requests after their children are kidnapped on a prep school field trip is far-fetched, but the first episode had enough gasp moments to keep me interested. Rachael Taylor (Transformers) is mildly entertaining as a beautiful FBI agent, and Lance Gross (House of Payne) is definitely swoon-worthy as a gallant Secret Service agent, but the kidnapped teenagers definitely hold the most potential here. Personally, I would like to see the President’s son confess some juicy White House secrets while geeky Anton Roth (Joshua Erenberg, Suburgatory) amuses with random science facts before this potentially good drama gets weighed down with boring adult drama and forced romantic relationships. 


Wednesday 9:30/8:30 p.m. central on ABC

Featuring an entire season devoted to just one night at one bar, this show tells the stories of multiple main characters with multiple perspectives, with each episode concentrating on different individuals. The comedy so far is not great, but the characters are entertaining although not realistic. It is the perfect show to turn on but not pay much attention to (I’ve managed to fold laundry, reply to emails, and make my bed all while watching), and for that reason alone I find it valuable. I do not expect to begin caring about some characters; Tom (Blake Lee, Parks and Recreation) and Liv (Kate Simses, What’s Your Number?) are both poor stereotypes of goody-two-shoes that I have yet to begin caring about. However, I still plan to tune in for a few other characters, namely Bruce (Andrew Santino, Henry Poole is Here), whose eccentric nature, intentionally odd appearance and comically wrong philosophies have so far kept me entertained with low-level humor. 

About a Boy

Tuesday 9/8 p.m. central on NBC

This show is based on the 2002 movie of the same name, which was based on Nick Hornby’s novel. The original movie, which starred Hugh Grant (Notting Hill), Toni Collette (Hostages) and a young Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), told the story of a man-child who is taught to grow up by a mature and charming young boy. The movie succeeds with good character development, a relatively realistic portrayal of depression, and hilariously blunt humor. In contrast, this new show’s jokes fall flat, and I do not feel the same level of compassion for the characters. While Hugh Grant’s portrayal of a cluelessly immature playboy was complex enough to make the audience root for his ultimate success, this new show’s main character seems to know just how ridiculous and childish his actions are but also chooses not to care, and for that reason I never made it past episode two. Minnie Driver’s amusing portrayal of a sarcastic new-age mother almost saves the show, but in the end it just is not enough. 


Friday 8/7 p.m. central on FOX

Greg Kinnear stars in this show about an amoral lawyer named Keegan Deane and his antics defending some of LA’s sleaziest patrons. Kinnear, an Academy Award Nominee and Emmy Winner, nearly saves this show with his excellent acting; he manages to turn a character who makes one bad decision after another into someone I want to win. Keagan’s potential relationship with hooker Mikki (Bojana Novakovic, Edge of Darkness) maintained my interest for a few episodes, but ultimately their assuredly destructive romance is not interesting enough to keep me entertained. The episode plots, while somewhat creative with detail, are all actually the same: Keegan defends someone who has done something wrong but manages to get them off the hook by using his legal prowess and sheer wit. While a subplot rivalry with the mayor held potential, this show is going to have to mix things up a little bit more for me to keep coming back.

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