Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Human Target Puts Action in its Sights!

So I wondered whether the Human Target would be as good as the comic book, a series that many consider one of the best ever written? Well the mystery is solved, the Human Target exceeded my expectations! With a lot of action and some clever dialog, Mark Valley (of Foxes Fringe) manages to bring a character of substance and a bit of validity to what is so often a failed genre.

The pilot episode was well directed and for the most part seemed more like what you would see at the theater, in a high budget action movie, rather than something you would catch prime time on your local network. The Human Target solves the problem that many have faced in the past when trying to bring comic books to the silver screen. The show manages to delicately balance dialog and action, by establishing strong characters that don't get overwhelmed by the intense action of the show.

Mark Valley's character Christopher Chance, is one of a body guard but not just any body guard. This guy's job is not only to protect his client but also to eliminate the threat to them. In doing this he will go to lengths that go above and beyond the norm. It doesn't hurt that Mark Valley has a military background, graduating from the United States Military Academy, nor that he has already steeped himself into the action genre with his short but memorable tenure on Fox's successful Fringe. Along with Valley, the supporting cast consists of Chi Micbride (Pushing up Daisies ABC) and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen 2009), both adding the necessary break from the often intense action surrounding Valley's character. They are both excellent actors and are one more reason I have hope for this show. Jackie Earle Haley, is the character that really shines as Guerrero, a mercenary who gets drawn in to Christopher Chance's good fight. Haley manages to bring an intelligence and brooding nature to the character that makes this small, skinny framed man seem truly menacing.

Whether they maintain the quality of special effects in the pilot episode remains to be seen, if they do it will be an expensive series to run, but whether they do or not doesn't really matter. What they have now is some solid writing, with plot lines that are fast moving but still hold together the basic elements of todays successful drama shows, lots of intrigue, and plausibility.

The down side is that the Human Target is appearing on Fox, a channel notorious for canceling shows that do not make the top spot in their slot. This could bode ill for a show with such potential but that remains to be seen. With Fox's decision to give Dollhouse a second chance (even though it did end up being canceled) as well as allowing Josh Whedon to wrap up the shows storyline, maybe Fox has learned from past mistakes. Many a fan still remembers their pulling of Firefly, Family Guy and a host of other shows that didn't meet their high expectations in ratings. With so much animosity building from fans, maybe they've realized that a lot of viewers don't even bother tuning in because, seriously, whats the point if it's going to end up being canceled anyways?

Either way I think the success of Glee, Fringe and of course American Idol, has given Fox a little more leeway to allow for a show like the Human Target to survive the ratings. We can only hope that no one has to throw themselves in front of a bullet to save this great show. Tune in and check it out because the Human Target promises to entertain with all the oohs and aahs of your favorite action movie.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 TV To Look Forward To!

So as we wind 2009 down and bring 2010 into full swing, we can look forward to some awesome television this season and I don't say that lightly. We have some truly great shows staring on their sophomore seasons. I want to touch base on the highlights of this coming year.

I think that the most impressive show this season is destined to be Lost on ABC. Seriously, this is the ending to a show that has season after season kept people on edge. Now, finally, we get to see what's behind the Island and hopefully why the Island chose the Oceanic Six.

On top of that, we've already seen a few episodes of ABC's other shows, Modern Family, Better Off Ted and Cougar Town. All three shows did great in the ratings and were pretty well received by critics. Whether all three will make it to the third season will be the true test. I personally think this year is probably the best year for comedies on ABC in a long time. One show that struggled on ABC is also coming back, The Middle.If you didn't watch it, please take the time to sit down with your family. if you have one or by yourself if you don't, because this show is really one of those show's that works for everyone.

Now NBC had a rough season last year. I'm sure most of you have heard about the Jay Leno debacle, which apparently most people think was the worst thing to happen to NBC (seriously no one watched Trauma?) last season. I for one didn't expect much from Conan moving to the Tonight Show, he attracts a totally different crowd then Leno. So riddle me this, how did the great executives think that those people who made the majority of Leno's viewers, the baby boomer crowd, would react to the often offbeat and absurd Conan? I'm guessing a whole lot better than I did. Conan has lost upwards to 40% of the viewer base from the Tonight Show, if you're wondering, thats probably the worst of any show in a long time. Whether it's the networks fault for not putting enough support into The Tonight Show with Conan or is up to debate. The problem is that they should have realized what was going to happen.

I think NBC should concentrate more on there poor turnout of new shows last season. Nothing was even remotely as successful as Modern Family was for ABC or Glee for Fox. NBC does not have a show in the top 30 of the ratings list and is in the last slot for network television! That should be scaring them since for ever and ever they numero uno, especially when it came to sitcoms. To see that all get totally uprooted must be hard for them to swallow. At least we have Parks and Recreation and the Office coming back. As well as Chuck, which was on shaky legs in the ratings last season. I'm guessing it was better to bet on a maybe than to start from scratch hoping that a new show would be able to clinch it. I personally enjoy Chuck and with the new story line I am hoping for good things.

As for the old stand by CBS, they are bringing back almost their entire catalog of shows. With that in mind even though David Letterman and Charlie Sheen both had some serious personal issues, according to Nina Tassler, entertainment chief of CBS, none of that will affect either show. Thats good news for fans of Two and Half Men and the David Letterman and probably a safe bet for CBS. Maybe taking the forgiving approach towards your talent may be the stronger approach to successful television.

As for Fox they have American Idol, Fringe and Glee all coming back, all three great shows (I don't really watch American Idol other than the clips) that have dominated their time slots. If anything, Fox is finally being rewarded for the risks it often takes in programming. Not all their shows float in the norm and because of that ratings sometimes suffer but with these three at least we have seen some shows that go off the beaten path make it in the lime light. As for American Idol, if anyone out there has any writing talent and wants to post on this blog about it, feel free to submit some ideas to me. I personally cant get through anything other than the auditions.

Then we leave the big four networks and we come to the cable stations, SyFy has some great shows both new and returning this season. Caprica is the shining light for SyFy, a precursor to Battlestar Galactica, it covers the rise of the Cylons with all the intrigue you could ever want from a Space Opera. Though touted as being something everyone will enjoy, I don't see many people who didn't enjoy BSG tuning in even if it does seem much more main stream.

With Caprica aside, SyFy also has Warehouse 13 returning, a fantastic scifi show that I enjoyed for the quirky humor and great character dynamics and with the clincher in the season finale it promises to be even better this season. Then theres Sanctuary the show that strongly reminds me of Stargate, when Stargate was still interesting. It's a dark future show where all the things that go bump in the night are being tracked and captured for the benefit of man kind by the Sanctuary. This show is probably one of the top scifi shows out right now and it's got a lot of buzz around it. If you enjoy scifi then give all of them a chance.

I enjoy all of USA networks shows, this station has really come into it's own. All of its shows are wonderfully written with hugely talented actors on them. I dare not label one my favorite though I will say I am most excited to see what happens on In Plain Sight. Though all the shows season finales were in my opinion some of the best on television. White Collar and Royal Pains will be on their sophomore seasons and both were big success on cable television. With USA having a more lenient approach to their shows than most networks, I didn't see either getting cut the first season, which is good. I loved White Collar and I have to say of all the shows, it's season finale surprised me more than any other (even Lost.) Psych is consistently funny, though pretty much the same every season, it's kind of like Friends was. It's one of those shows, that even though it runs the same every season, it still entertains. On top of the other great shows Burn Notice promises to be awesome, though I honestly did not get to watch it last season mostly due to Hulu only running it sporadically then only for a short period of time.

Dexter is the show that everyone was talking about and I literally had to plug my ears to keep people from ruining it for me. I'm hoping to finish the whole thing in the next few weeks and be ready to watch it next season from start to finish.

That wraps up what I see as being worth watching this next season. I'll post more as I here it. I'm going to be taking a different approach in the future towards this blog. I'm going to be posting blurbs daily about different things as they pop up, as well as my longer post's such as this. I think that to maintain a faithful fan base I need to get more quantity out there. As always thanks for reading.