Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pilot Thoughts: The New Normal and Revolution

At this point, getting into a Ryan Murphy show seems futile at best and masochistic at worst. And yet I tuned into The New Normal because I quite loved the cast from the super adorable Justin Bartha to the hilarious Andrew Rannells. Plus one can't really go wrong with Ellen Barkin as a sharp talking grandmother, right? Oh how wrong was I about the latter part. Yes, the show itself about two gay men trying to have a baby through a surrogate has been solid to even good. At worst, that part of the show might sometimes veer into treacly or preachy, but overall Bartha and Rannells have good chemistry with each other as well as with the surrogate mother played earnestly by newcomer Georgia King. But the Barkin part of the show is much less successful. With her constant racist and homophobic remarks, she's Sue Sylvester on steroids and it's cringe inducing. I get her purpose on the show, but Murphy has been unable to give her character any kind of shading. Maybe in time, but I'm not holding my breath. Right now the show is more about the message than the characters and that's disappointing for all. I would give the pilot episode a solid B grade, but it's been going down each subsequent episode. B/B-/C

Leading up to its premiere, people already started asking whether or not Revolution was more Lost or if it was more like Terra Nova. Unfortunately for this show, it's neither as its pilot episode paled in comparison even to the now-cancelled Terra Nova. The concept of a world without any kind of electricity is definitely cool, but the execution is less than ideal. Of course this is a mainstream network attempt at a dystopian future so I can hand-wave the pretty, healthy actors wearing the latest fashionable clothes even after 15 years of no electricity. The bigger crime of the pilot is eliciting no real excitement from me to know more about this new scary world and most of that has to do with the bland characters on display. My favorite actor, Elizabeth Mitchell, was relegated mostly to flashback early on. The two teen characters already seem insufferable and the adults are mostly grim-faced. The "Monroe" and the power locket double reveals at the end were gasp-worthy surely and should keep me watching for a few more episodes, but they need to quickly make me care about the characters or, pardon the pun, it's lights out. C

1 comment:

  1. Drat. I missed Revolution and was hoping it would be worth on hulu. Doesn't sound like it.


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