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You Can't Please Everyone...

By Stephen Lackey     October 16, 2006


Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller (right) on PRISON BREAK.
© Fox
OK, I hear you. The one thing I knew coming into this article is that folks would have comments and things they'd like to see in this article. I will try to incorporate some of the comments from last week's article. I do watch other shows besides the genres covered by this site. I also check out THE AMAZING RACE on Sunday nights, but I had planned to try and put more focus on the genres covered by Cinescape and leave the rest to Entertainment Weekly. I will compromise by adding series that would seem to appeal to you guys but I won't get into sitcoms and all the other mainstream stuff. For example, I'll add 24 and PRISON BREAK (a show that I am easily as addicted to as LOST) but not 30 ROCK or DANCING WITH THE STARS. I'll also try to cover some movies and specials that we all might like but not ever consider. For instance, this week I'm looking at a special on The History Channel.

It didn't take long for the shifts and cancellations to start with all the new series. SMITH, the action/drama starring Ray Liotta (GOODFELLAS) and Virginia Madsen (CANDYMAN) has already been canceled after only three episodes. KIDNAPPED starring Jeremy Sisto (SIX FEET UNDER), Delroy Lindo (THE ONE), Timothy Hutton (THE DARK HALF) and Dana Delany (SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES), a series that I actually enjoy has been given thirteen episodes before it's cancelled and it's been moved to Saturday nights. I don't know what the budgets of these shows were but it's interesting that both series have some fairly big names in them. The good news is that NBC's only new breakout hit HEROES has been given a full season. I have said before that I thought the series started out a bit slow and I stand by that. At the same time though, in its few opening episodes has established some interesting characters, and the last two episodes ended with some exciting cliffhangers. I enjoy series that are purposefully slow paced and I believe HEROES is, but I have nightmares about last season's INVASION and SURFACE two slow starters that I liked that both and got the axe.

Speaking of cliffhangers the one to watch this week is BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. The two hour season premiere ended with a stunning finale. Now, we all know that regardless of what they lead us to believe they didn't kill off two thirds of the primary cast but I still can't wait to see where it goes this week.


Monday

PRISON BREAK (NBC, 8pm PST) "Buried" Repeat

This series is on a three week hiatus hiding from baseball, but it's a great place to catch up if you've missed a few episodes or are new to the series. All the prison escapees have reunited in Utah and are digging for a few million bucks hidden by one of their cohorts who didn't make it. The place the money was buried has had a house built on top of it so they take a woman and police officer daughter hostage and dig up the garage. Friendships crack in this episode and Tea Bag is at his creepiest and funniest.

HEROES (NBC, 9pm PST) "Come Together"

The thing I'm interested in this week is that Hiro and Nathan will both find themselves in Sin City. Hopefully with this episode we'll start to see how the series will cross these heroes up. It might be interesting to see them all play a part in saving the world but still working separately. Also in this episode we'll see the resolution of last week's big cliffhanger with Claire the invincible cheerleader.

DARKNESS FALLS (FX, 9pm PST)

A film about an evil ghost who poses as the tooth fairy and attacks kids in a small town. I actually think this film blows but if you get the DVD their's a fascinating documentary about the real tooth fairy on the disc.

ALIEN ENGINEERING (FX, 9pm PST)

Often I'm turned off to the production values of series that run on the History Channel. They feel like PBS circa 1985. This special, the first of a two parter, sounds fun. The documentary speculates about alien technology based on reports of UFO crashes. It's sure to be bogus stuff, but it sounds fun. I'll set the TiVo.

CSI MIAMI (CBS, 9pm PST) "Death Eminent"

I've kind of fallen off the whole CSI bandwagon but I did dig this series because while it was coated in sepia and Miami vanity, it's still grittier and more violent than the original. This week's body of choice is a politician who has a swing vote in a land development deal. Things heat up when a second body appears.

Tuesday

NCIS (CBS, 8pm PST) "Dead and Unburied"

Like CSI, I don't really follow this series too much. This week the investigators find a dead body propped up in a chair after being dug up from the back yard. You tell me, do any of you guys check this series out?

HOUSE (FOX, 8pm PST) "All In" Repeat

HOUSE is a repeat this week. In this episode House has to treat a boy with the same problems an elderly man who died under House's care a dozen years ago.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (FX, 8pm PST)

In this film a man discovers he has the ability to time travel. He uses his newfound ability to try and make the lives of himself and his friends better by changing tragic events from their past. If this guy had just watched Star Trek he'd no better. Ashton Kutcher plays the lead role here which takes a few points away for me, actually.

HOUSE (FOX, 9pm PST) "Forever" Repeat

IN hour two of the HOUSE marathon he investigates a mother and her newborn baby.

VERONICA MARS (The CW, 9pm PST) "Wichita Linebacker"

This week's episode finds Veronica caught between the Dean of her college and a sorority house mother in trouble for marijuana. Veronica also finds herself worried that Logan is being unfaithful to her. I don't have any comment on this series because I haven't been following it. The first couple of seasons are on my list of DVD's to check out though.

EUREKA (SCIFI Channel, 9pm PST) "Before I Forget" Repeat

This isn't one of my favorite episodes of the series but it's still a good bit of fun. In this episode Sheriff Carter finds himself suffering from short term memory loss and ends up shooting Henry. If missed the first season check it out now!

Wednesday

JERICHO (CBS, 8 PST) "Federal Response"

The power comes back on and a prerecorded message from the government plays on the phone. This series is really trying to play on some formulas started on LOST and 24 where each week they give up just a little more information mixed with red herrings to try and throw us off the trail. The drama has been a little heavy handed in this series but overall it's still worth checking out.

LOST (ABC, 8 PST) "Further Instructions"

This week we finally get back to the rest of the Survivors. For the first couple of episodes of this season the series has been focused on Jack, Kate, and Sawyer who were captured by "the others". Last week's episode ended with Said, Jin, and Sun having their boat taken from them by "the others". This week Hurley gets back to camp and shares what happened when he and Jack and Kate went with Michael to save his son. We should also find out what happened to Locke and Mr. Ecko.

BONES (fox, 8 PST) "The Man on the Fairway" Repeat

As good as this show might be they aren't that creative with the names. There's a ton of episodes that start with the words "The Man..." In this repeat from season one Brennan and Zach investigate a plane crash where they find bone fragments from a person that wasn't a passenger.

MYTH BUSTERS (DSC Channel, 9 PST) "Concrete Glider"

This week the crew attempts to make a concrete glider fly.

GHOST HUNTERS (SCIFI Channel, 9 PST) "OK Corral"

This week finds the ghost hunters looking for ghosts at the OK Corral, the site of one of the most famous shootouts in American history, in Tombstone Arizona.

CSI: NY (CBS, 9 PST) "Oedipus Hex"

Another body, some green or blue lights, and some blood for sure. This week they investigate a dead punk rocker that was found dead after a performance with "The Suicide Girls" and a dead amateur basketball player.

Thursday

SMALLVILLE (The CW, 8 PST) "Arrow"

The Green Arrow makes another appearance this week. This time he steals a diamond and Clark goes after him. Even in this alternate Superman reality does The Green Arrow stand a chance against Clark? Maybe his green arrows are made of Kryptonite. It sounds like a joke but hey with this show it could totally be true.

SUPERNATURAL (The CW, 9 PST) "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"

A college student dies and of course finds her way back to the world of the living even though she isn't living anymore.

CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS, 9 PST) "Double Cross"

Yes, it's the quirky dark original! Two nuns discover a woman crucified on a makeshift cross.

Friday

GHOST WHISPERER (CBS, 8PM PST) "The Ghost Within"

A ghost whose body was buried in the wrong grave haunts the cemetery as someone else's wife visits his grave.

DOCTOR WHO (SCIFI Channel, 8PM PST) "The girl in the Fireplace"

Madame de Pompadour is dreaming about a man known as "The Doctor". When droids attack her 18th century palace she knows that this stranger in her dreams must save her but is she really in the 18th century or on a ship in space in the 51st century?

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SCIFI Channel, 9PM PST) "Exodus 2"

The Galactica finally jumps into action with a rescue mission while Pegasus stays to protect the civilian fleet. At the same time the "insurgency" must deal with a traitor in their midst.

Saturday

RRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (ABC, 8PM PST)

The second film in the mega popular Harry Potter franchise. I liked the second film better than the first. It's faster paced and much darker than the first film in the series.

FIANL DESTINATION (SCIFI Channel, 8PM PST)

The best thing about this film are the kills, which I fear will be heavily neutered but if you've seen Harry Potter too many times it might do in a pinch.


Sunday

HALLOWEEN (AMC, 8PM PST)

John Carpenter's classic film is a must view during this holiday season. This is one of the very few horror films that are actually shown in film schools across the country. If you're into film, get the special edition DVD and listen to the commentary, it's like a film class in a box.

BLOOD SUCKERS (SCIFI Channel, 8PM PST)

Intergalactic VAMPIRE HUNTERS ANSWER DESTRESS CALLS BY PLANETS OVERRUN BY VAMPIRES. This movie will probably suck, but Michael Ironside makes it worth a look.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 13
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jon41380 10/16/2006 4:16:28 AM
Well, I must say, I am a bit disappointed to hear about Smith. It was one of the shows that I decided to try and follow. It was pretty good, I liked the dynamic of the cast. I also was following Kidnapped. I really liked the show. I was glad to see Sisto have another great part (he was great as Billy Chenowith in Six Feet Under). I did read however, that they will wrap up the story of Kidnapped within the 13 episodes. If you liked the show, keep up with it on it's new time. That way, they will at least finish it. Is it just me or are they producing more shows and caneling them after a couple of episodes. Last year was pretty bad with Invasion, Threshold and Surface. It makes me very leary of committing to any shows.
karas1 10/16/2006 7:44:24 AM
I watch NCIS. And since it stars Michael Weatherly, a vet of genre show Dark Angel, it merits inclusion. I agree that there is no need to cover reality TV (though I, too, watch The Amazing Race) or sitcoms. Hour long dramas, movies and documentaries/specials of interest are good though. And you should be including Dead Like Me and Threshold from the Scifi Channel. Yeah, they are reruns, but many people may not have seen them before (I never had Showtime to watch Dead Like Me) and might be interested. Oh, and what happened to Numb3rs?
snallygaster 10/16/2006 8:04:37 AM
jon, I think the networks are a bit quicker at killing off new shows lately. Part of the problem is that the last couple seasons, the networks have bought a lot of shows which are heavily serialized because they all want another hit series like Lost or 24. The catch with is that the networks know that audience viewership of serialized shows tends to only go downhill over time, as initial viewers tune out and new viewers don't want the daunting task of catching up on a complex storyline - just look at the drop in ratings for Lost and Galactica (24 has the best of both worlds, since it basically "reboots" itself with each new season, making it easier for new viewers to join). If these types of shows don't start off with a large audience, the networks know it's highly unlikely that they will ever get one. They also know they can toss in a rerun of a popular show and get the same or better ratings, or replace the expensive scripted show with a cheap reality show for the same ratings (and sometimes those cheap reality shows turn into hits). It's early in the new season, and so far there's been three cancellations: the Fox sitcom Happy Hour, Smith, and Kidnapped. But at least NBC is letting the producers of Kidnapped wrap up the show and will air the episodes in the TV dead zone of Saturday night (unless it pulls in remarkably crappy ratings even for that timeslot). Personally, I'm not watching any of the new series (haven't seen any except for the debut of Jericho, and I wasn't much impressed with it). Instead, I'm going to catch up on some of the HBO series on DVD (Carnivale, Rome, Deadwood).
nax37 10/16/2006 8:23:18 AM
Smith and Kidnapped also had high production costs due to Name actors. Little nitpick, I believe the character's name on Lost is Sayid, not Said.
bdd 10/16/2006 9:04:14 AM
Welcome aboard. The problem last week with only covering genre shows was that you only had one per day. I say just cover whatever you like, just make sure there is a little something for each day. Plus you can cover shows that you really like and you don't think get enough attention. That said Weeds is on Tonight at 10 on Showtime. I think it's the episode before the season finale. Last weeks episode was great.
eviljoe621 10/16/2006 10:19:39 AM
NCIS is a really interesting show with good characters, followed by an excellent program called the UNIT. I'm really enjoying both Jericho and Heroes. I wonder what the next high cost series to be cancelled will be?
djcgmcse 10/16/2006 10:23:39 AM
Error: PRISON BREAK (NBC, 8pm PST) “Buried” Repeat I beleive this should be FOX.
nax37 10/16/2006 11:00:38 AM
I'd put money on Studio 60. It's gotta have a high price tag with it's cast and I don't think the ratings are too hot.
bdd 10/16/2006 11:45:59 AM
Studio 60 will not be canceled for at least a few more weeks. NBCchanged their whole fall schedule just to fit Studio 60. NBC invested a lot into it and will at least wait a little longer until they give it the axe. The show already has 13 episodes ordered by NBC so they have nothing to lose by waiting a few more weeks.
gazelle024 10/16/2006 1:10:47 PM
I don't think Heroes moves too slow. Besides it's hooked me with a variety of mysteries. Besides I'm wondering if Ali Larter's eyes bulge when she becomes outraged and then her skin turns green like the She-Hulk. We all like the japanese guy best. Hiro is an ironic name for him, but the guy is just so into being a super-hero that you gotta love him. Fast healing girl looks to be heading into big trouble and she is extremely accident prone. What's up with the super-powered psycho/serial killer and can that guy actually fly like his brother or did he just copy his brother's power somehow. I'm also looking forward to seeing Jericho and what's the story with the supposed ex-cop from St Louis. I love post-apocalyptic stuff, but this is different somehow. There seems to be some kind of conspiracy involved perhaps something like the theories that went with JFK's assassination and the theories on 9/11 so it's not just a remake of The Day After. As for what to include in this column; just list any genre shows on any channel that are new /first run shows and films and any re-runs that you think are worthy of catching and anything else you happen to personally be watching.
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