Saturday, February 4, 2012

Smash, Awake, and Other New Midseason Shows

Since I unexpectedly spent my 1000th post talking about my movie-going doldrums, which is funny in retrospect since I'm pretty sure I'm going to go to the movies twice this weekend, I decided to spend some time talking about TV shows in my 1001st post, more specifically, new shows. Even more specifically, new shows coming out this midseason!

Despite looking forward to more than a few new shows this midseason, I've been rather picky about actually starting any of them. A few of them like The River and GCB aren't out yet, but I'm already thinking neither show will actually be for me. Alcatraz had a two-hour series premiere which was just way too much time for me to invest on a new show that isn't exactly getting universal raves. I did manage to catch the pilot episode of House of Lies, but it turned me off for some reason and I never came back for the next episode. I did end up liking the pilot episode for Touch, but it'll be a few more weeks until we actually get a second episode. Talk about a tease.

Of course, two of the TV shows I'm most looking forward to (not just for midseason but for the entire TV season) have yet to premiere. One of them will premiere the Monday after the Superbowl (just a couple days away!), as all of the commercials the past few months have hammered into our heads while the other one finally, finally got a shiny premiere date (March 1st) and time (10pm) just earlier yesterday. If you are still in the dark about which two shows I'm talking about they are Smash and Awake.

Who are these pretty men? Read on...

Smash, as one TV critic has described it, is like The West Wing (or Studio 60) for Broadway. In other words, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the players and shakers of the Broadway world as they try to put on a musical production, a Marilyn Monroe musical to be more exact. It has also been described as early as last summer as "Glee with brains" or "Glee for adults" which means there will be your requisite musical numbers without the ridiculously shoddy writing and inconsistent characterizations. I've actually already seen the pilot since the network has made it available in numerous places and while I didn't LOOOOVE it, I definitely really liked it and hope that America will also. The cast is fabulous, as expected, though for me it was a pair of pretty British boys (Jack Davenport and Raza Jaffrey, pictured above) who made me smile, or blush. Same difference.

Awake is something a bit more difficult to describe, but it certainly had the best trailer of ANY new show this season. Basically it's a guy who gets into a car crash with his son and wife. He then spends his time in a world where his wife died in the crash only for him to go to sleep and "dream" about living in a world where his son died instead. The series will most likely present the two worlds as equally valid constantly asking the audience along with the protagonist to alternately believe and disbelieve both realities. I'm sure there's more to the plot and it's probably way more complex, but that concept alone is just so... refreshingly cerebral. I have no faith whatsoever in the TV-watching public to actually get hooked on this show so I'm more than prepared for it to air only a handful of episodes before they put it on hiatus on its way to a quick cancellation. That's still not going to stop me from watching every episode and hopefully enjoying the ride.

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