Category Archives: Pilots

666 Park Avenue — Pilot (S1E01)

This review is spoiler-free! If you are unsure of whether or not to try out this new show, this review just might be for you.

For a horror show, 666 Park Avenue does not appear to be very scary. It is, however, incredibly intriguing. We don’t know anything about The Drake, located at 999 Park Avenue (That’s the sign of the devil, 666, when in a shadow or upside down), and we know even less about the owners, Gavin (Terry O’Quinn, Lost) and Olivia Doran (Vanessa Williams, Desperate Houswives, Ugly Betty). Gavin can give people the one thing that they desire most, for a price. Does this sound familiar? It should, because this is one of the most common depictions of the devil: you sell your soul for the one thing you most desire. I’m not sure if Gavin is the devil himself or if he is just one of Lucifer’s dear disciples, but whoever he is, he has a lot of power. He can bring people back from the dead and give people a talent that no other can maintain. And when you don’t fulfill your end of the bargain, you disappear.

Jane van Been (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable, Brothers & Sisters), a very happy couple, are hired for the newly opened resident manager position (Mr. Hartwell “moved somewhere hotter” and left a vacancy). They don’t have a lot of money and are amazed at the amazing opportunity they are given to live in such a nice place, but what they don’t know is that the Dorans are scheming. The Dorans quickly take the two under their wings, taking them out to golf, shop, and to fancy cocktail parties. Jane realizes that this might not be 100% safe and isn’t exactly what they expect. But that doesn’t stop her from signing a contract without reading it first. Now they will be probably trapped here for life.

I usually don’t get scared during horror movies, so maybe it’s just me, but I really didn’t find this show scary. There is a scene where Jane is in the basement alone with a flickering light and the sound of water dripping. She climbs a ladder to fix the light, and while her back is turned a woman appears behind her and then appears again closer. The intention was clearly to show the dark side of the building, but it didn’t appear very frightening.

The show might not have scared me, but it definitely intrigued me. Is Gavin the devil? Why does he do what he does? What does he gain from it? There are definitely a lot of questions revolving around the show, and I’m willing to stick around for a few weeks to see if they will be answered.

Made in Jersey — Pilot (S1E01 Pilot)

This review is spoiler-free! If you are unsure of whether or not to try out this new show, this review just might be for you.

The story revolves around a woman from New Jersey who is trying to make it in an incredibly competitive New York law firm. While the partners discuss their current major case, Martina Garretti speaks up, letting them know that their “murder weapon” was actually a simply fashion accessory. The fact that she knows this show us a few major things about her: she isn’t afraid to put herself out there, she knows an incredible amount about fashion (and probably spends way too long getting ready in the morning), and that she knows how to apply her skill set. Martina is just a first year, so the fact that she was such a useful asset to the firm was a big deal, she was placed as a third chair on another murder investigation. This is a huge advancement for someone who has just been working at a firm for a few months.

The rest of the episode follows Martina trying to defend a high school student accused of murdering her professor, who she was supposedly having an affair with. Martina is incredibly passionate about her work, she makes sure that no stone is left unturned and is there for Ellie like no lawyer is ever there for their clients. The case itself is actually quite interesting. What makes it interesting is its complexity, which makes it incredibly unlikely that a young, inexperienced first year would solve the case while the other lawyers can’t.

While Martina is trying to solve the case, she is also trying to keep her huge Jersey family in check. Her niece wants to get a tattoo, but her mother is firmly against it. This storyline was incredibly bland and didn’t add anything to the show. If anything, it detracted from the law. The only real purpose that I can see is that it showed that Martina had to struggle, not only with work, but with a complicated family life. The family members need to be distinguishable from one another in at least a few characteristics for this to be a positive addition to the show.

Martina is clearly much smarter than she’s given credit for. But she isn’t giving the other attorneys–or the viewers–much reason to give her credit. She is incredibly ditzy and unorganized and, as stereotypical as it may be, her drawl isn’t helping her out. If she can make herself seem as smart as she is, she might be a more realistic character.

If you want to see a show with some interesting legal cases and a lawyer who cares far too much than s/he should, go check out Suits!* But if you want another legal drama that runs during the fall season, Made in Jersey is a mediocre choice.

*The Good Wife doesn’t fall under this category because Alicia isn’t anywhere near as passionate about her clients as Mike Ross and Martina Garretti are. Great legal drama, though!

Elementary — Pilot (S1E01 Pilot)

This review is spoiler-free! If you are unsure of whether or not to try out this new show, this review just might be for you.

As someone who has watched Sherlock, I can’t help but compare the two shows. But I’m going to do my best to keep an open mind and remember that Elementary and Sherlock are completely separate entities. So, unlike just about every other review of this show, I’m going to avoid the topic of BBC’s Sherlock.

The show begins with Sherlock Holmes’ first day out of rehab. His new sober companion, Joan Watson meets him at his house to help him make the transition back to the real world as smooth and natural as possible. She is supposed to be staying with him for six weeks, but since a show that only spans six weeks (besides 24) would either be a failure or a mini-series, Watson will clearly stay for longer. She will, no doubt, fall in love with Sherlock’s way of thinking and puzzle-solving and stay on as his sidekick for a long time. I say “fall in love with his way of thinking,” because the creators promised that there will be no chance of the two of them getting together romantically.

We don’t learn too much about Joan Watson in the pilot. We know that she was a surgeon who left her job to become a drug sitter, which is quite unusual for someone who has never had issues with drugs. She is easily intrigued (she quickly caught interest in Sherlock’s way of thinking and the case he was investigating) and fairly quick to anger. Hopefully her personality will expand soon, because right now, she is neither interesting nor relatable.

On the flip side of the coin, we learn quite a bit about Sherlock. He used to be a consultant for Scotland Yard, which gave him the freedom to work as he saw fit and he didn’t have to answer to anyone, which would clearly be a major difficulty for him. As Arthur Conan Doyle intended, Sherlock is hyper observant, he can determine an occupation from the calluses on one’s hands and will notice if the tiniest detail doesn’t add up. But he isn’t afraid to fact check, Google is his friend. He can keep a ridiculous assortment of facts in his head, he’s writing an entire book without writing anything down! Manipulating people comes easily to him, and he doesn’t hesitate to do so in any situation.

One thing about Sherlock’s brilliance that really irked me was that so much of what he deciphers would be impossible, even for a savant to do. He figures out the exact outcome of a baseball game, down to the plays. He would have to know every single statistic about every player on the field and be lucky for that to happen. But sometimes it’s the little things that drive me the most crazy.

Since this is a police (more or less) show on CBS, you should definitely expect a standard procedural with some elements of Doyle’s work. If you are a big fan of either procedurals or Sherlock Holmes (or both!), you should definitely tune in. If you tend to only follow serialized shows, this is not going to be your new favorite show. I have very little doubt that Elementary will become a hit, seeing as crime procedurals are what CBS does best. And if Watson becomes a genuine, loveable character and the writers manage to keep the cases interesting, I think that Elementary has a real shot at being a fun, captivating show.

The Mob Doctor — Pilot (S1E01)

When I first heard about this show, I was not expecting much. I mainly just wanted to watch because I’m sick of waiting for all of the other shows to start and Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights) is in it. I was expecting an average hospital procedural with the occasional mobster needing treatment. I genuinely enjoyed watching the premiere and I can’t wait for next week.

Dr. Grace Devlin is first seen as an adult treating a patient with a screwdriver in his head. If she had her way, she would have jammed it further into his skull, but she owes Moretti, a mob boss, big time. It turns out that her brother got into some trouble, and to save his life, she offered her doctoral services to the mob. I think that this takes place inside a veterinary clinic, because she has dog toys and her assistant mentions that the drug that she administers would take down a Great Dane.

When she returns to work, she is operating on an 8-year-old boy with a gunshot wound. She manages to save his life through (what I believe was) a risky move. After the surgery, Grace visits the patient, Kevin, and brings him a superhero stuffed animal. You can tell that she truly cares for him and is thrilled to see that he is okay. Kevin is transferred to a different doctor for post-op, because Grace has too much on her plate. Kevin ends up dying due to a failure on her attending, Dr. Flanigan’s part. Grace decides to go over his head and complain to the head of surgery, Dr. White (played by the fantastic Zeljko Ivanek). Though there is no official report, but Dr. Flanigan is reprimanded; he blames Olivia (a different doctor), who takes her aggression out on Grace, calling her a rat.

The reason she has too much on her plate is because she offered to perform a very complicated surgery on a protected FBI witness. The patient had collapsed on the stand while giving testimony that would put Moretti away for a long time. Once she agreed to take him on as a patient, she receives a note that just says the words “kill him.” Clearly Moretti doesn’t want Severino to rat on him. Grace jets down to Moretti’s expensive car shop to tell Moretti that she never agreed to kill anyone. Moretti believes that when she saved her brother’s life, she signed up for just about anything.

When Grace’s mom shows up to tell her that Suzie, a girl that Grace used to babysit was in the hospital, Grace is incredibly short with her. This fuse is shortened further when she brings up the topic of her boyfriend, Dr. Brett Robinson. Brett was the one who did Suzie’s exam, and he found that she was pregnant. Grace was the one who had to break it to her, but she did it incredibly gently and held her hand through the realization. To protect her from her dad’s wrath and the loss of her scholarship, Grace pushes Brett to lie about the operation, saying that it was a ruptured ovarian cyst rather than an abortion. he goes along with her plan, but he is ticked off that she put him in that position. Which seems like something that she does often.

Grace constantly visits Constantine Alexander to give him his insulin shots (he doesn’t trust anyone else to do it). He was the old mob boss before Moretti, but was convicted. One of Moretti’s men photographs her visiting him, probably to use as leverage or blackmail material.

There is a drawn out, slowed down shot of Grace scrubbing in for the surgery, she is debating whether or not she should comply with Moretti’s request. As soon as she steps into the operating room, she picks up the syringe with the fluid that would kill him and injects it into him. If you were shocked that she did this, you’re not alone, she was definitely surprised when she woke up from her dream. When she was actually operating on him, she “accidentally” dropped the syringe. To show Grace that this was a mistake, Moretti kidnaps her mother. Why he went himself is beyond me, I thought that he would have sent one of his henchmen to do his dirty work.

Grace doesn’t take kindly to these threats, so she bashes his incredibly fancy car and drives off, hoping he would follow. Moretti chased him all the way to Constantine’s house, where he brought his gun. Constantine shoots him without a second thought. Apparently, Constantine was planning on getting rid of Moretti anyway, that’s why he was the one who turned Severino. He wanted his mob back, and to do so, he had to get rid of the current leader. He knows that many of the men are still loyal to him and he will be able to take back control. When Grace refuses to leave town, Constantine agrees to protect her as well as he can as long as the debt she owed to Moretti gets transferred to him. He then says, “And remember, you had a choice.” I think she knows that she might have to kill for him.

And to wrap up the episode, the story flashes back to her as a young girl (this is how the episode began as well), examining her first corpse. It turns out that it was her drunken father, and she was happy that he was dead. She sees a white Cadillac pull away from the scene of the murder. It snaps back to present time and she sees the same white Caddy. It looks like Constantine has been protecting her for a lot longer than she had realized.

It is very clear from this first episode that Grace cares very little of what her colleagues and superiors think of her. She has her own moral code and she expects everyone around her to follow it. This does not seem like a very ideal position for someone in her position to be in. It’s bad enough to disrespect authority in a hospital, but when it comes to the mafia, disrespect can lead to death. To contrast her bad people skills, she somehow has amazing bedside manner, and is surprisingly good with kids. When Grace is in the position of authority, she knows just how to deal with everything and everyone around her; just as Constantine said, she is a surgeon for the power (it may be a different type of power, but the idea still flows).

Her difficulty dealing with people her age and those around her makes it a bit difficult to believe that she has a good friend in Ro and a boyfriend in Brett. I’m not sure how long her relationship with him will last. But I think Ro might be willing to suffer through some of Grace’s annoyances. It might be worth it just for her sick sense of humor: when she was late to surgery because she was dealing with a man with the screwdriver in his head, her excuse was, “I had a patient with a killer headache”.

Now that I’ve seen how the writers plan to mash up the medical procedural with a mobster movie, I think that it shows real promise. I’ll be tuning in again next week. How about you guys?

(My review of the next episode of The Mob Doctor, Family Secrets)

Revolution — Pilot (S1E01)

NBC put up the pilot for this brand new show two weeks before it premieres on TV. If you want to watch it, it is up on Hulu and NBC’s website for free. The show actually premieres on Monday, September 17th at 10:00pm on NBC.

The show opens in Chicago, with Charlie and Danny as young children. Their father, Ben, tells their mother that they don’t have much time before “it” happens. We soon learn that “it” is the loss of all electricity. In the time that they have left, Ben downloads something onto a USB stick and calls someone (who we learn is his brother, Miles) to warn him and the other man that he’s with. During this call, the electricity begins to cut out. This is followed by some nice shots of the city going dark and a helicopter rocketing downwards. Then there is a beautiful view of the globe going dark, and it cuts to the opening sequence.

Fifteen years later, Charlie takes Danny out exploring beyond the outskirts of their camp. She is clearly going to be pushing boundaries that were set for a reason. I’m going to guess that this is going to be the main thing progressing the story. While out, Danny suffers an asthma attack, which foreshadows future problems that he will have. Any sort of medical issues in a post-apocalyptic world will never end well. Danny is treated by the town doctor, Maggie, who happens to be Ben’s new girlfriend. Charlie is not pleased that Ben took on a new woman after their mother’s death (which I doubt happened).

Monroe’s Militia shows up at their camp gates, led by Captain Neville. Ben hands the secret flash drive to Aaron to protect it. When the militia is about to take Ben, Danny decides to be the hero and pulls out a crossbow to defend him. Neville ends the fight by shooting a good number of the men, and then takes Danny as a hostage. By the time Charlie gets back to camp, she sees her dad bleeding out. His last words to her are a request to go find his brother, Miles. And the only thing Charlie knows about him is that he’s good at killing.

Maggie and Aaron insist on going with Charlie to find Miles and eventually save Danny. While going to get water, Charlie runs into a boy named Nate. He was awfully polite for someone in this terrible future. Charlie doesn’t let Aaron and Maggie know that she saw him, so they continue on their journey to Chicago. They then happen upon a plane, they decide to sleep in it over night. There are some cute pop-culture references here, Aaron says that he owned a plane because he worked at “a place called Google.” And all Charlie knows about it is that it’s “a computer thing.”

While asleep on the plane, the trio are ambushed by three men. Maggie manages to poison two of them with spiked whiskey. The third one is trying to rape Charlie, but is stopped dead in his tracks by Nate’s arrow. The following day, they continue on their journey to Chicago, with Nate in tow. Maggie pulls Charlie aside and tells her not to trust him. But Charlie, being naive, responds with “They can’t all be monsters, some people have to be alright.” Charlie wanting to see the best in people right after it is shown that Maggie keeps poison in her pocket is no accident. This is a beautiful example of how different the character are when raised during the blackout or being thrust into it as an adult.

The people in Chicago are not doing as well as Charlie and her family’s little town elsewhere in Illinois, they all appear to be homeless and there is a lot of fighting. The four of them make it to The Grand, the famous hotel/bar that Miles Matheson is known to be staying at. After telling him that Ben is dead, Miles admits who he is, and agrees to talk to Charlie alone. Miles says that Monroe is looking for him because he thinks that he and Ben knew something about what caused the blackout. Charlie’s strategy to get Miles to come with her was “because we’re family.” Miles not only scoffs at this and tells her he doesn’t know her, but he doesn’t think it’s worth saving Danny, some kid he doesn’t know, to risk his own life. Danny is just bait, and he won’t fall for any tricks.

Miles grabs Nate’s wrist and pulls down his sleeve, showing that he is militia. Nate runs off, probably to retrieve more troops. Miles forces Charlie and her band to leave, but insists on staying himself. Nate returns with the militia, they are instructed to bring Miles back alive. Cue insane battle sequence: Miles pulls out a sword and takes out half a dozen men. He then grabs a one-handed crossbow and kills a few more men. They didn’t lie when they said that Ben knows how to kill. Of course, Charlie comes back and shoots another man, she had never really left. When Charlie was pinned down and about to get killed, Nate shows up to save the day, yet again. They leave us questioning his allegiance.

Danny’s story is much less interesting. Here’s the quick summary of his adventure: he managed to unscrew the pipe that he was handcuffed to, and knocked out the guard watching him. He suffers another asthma attack due to the pollen in the air. He wakes up in a bed with an inhaler and a woman training a gun on him. The lady refuses to tell Captain Neville that Danny is there, but he was an insurance adjuster in his past life, so he knows when people are lying. She lets him in and he captures Danny before he has time to escape. After Danny is gone, the lady opens her secret attic (which has about five locks on it). She pulls out a USB stick like Ben’s and plugs it into a computer, and a lightbulb turns on. She (and therefore Ben) harnessed the power of electricity. She sends a message on a computer to an anonymous user letting them know that the militia was at her place, but they didn’t find “it.”

And to end the episode. there is another flashback. Miles and the other man in the car, Bass, head back to base. When he is called by his full name, it turns out that Bass is Sebastian Monroe. Clearly Miles has a stronger relationship with General Monroe than he lets on.

Revolution definitely shows potential. There are already some well-established characters, some who have clear intentions and others who don’t seem to have a clue of what they want. The plot is left open-ended enough to head in any direction, but not enough so that it could get easily lost. We know that there is electricity still available in this post-apocalyptic world, and it’s definitely intriguing to know why the woman can access electricity, and even more intriguing to know why the blackout occurred in the first place.

Though there are many ways that this show can get off track and fail, I think that it shows great potential. And I can definitely put my faith into a show run by Eric Kripke and JJ Abrams.

(My review of the next episode of Revolution, Chained Heat)

The Mindy Project — Pilot (S1E01 Series Premiere)

Hulu and Fox were kind enough to put an advanced screening of The Mindy Project’s premiere online! So if you want to watch it, just search for it on Hulu. The television premiere will be on September 25th at 9:30pm on Fox.

Since this is a pilot, I will go ahead and recap the episode and introduce the characters for those of you who haven’t watched. The story revolves around Mindy, a 31-year-old OB/GYN doctor whose life (mainly her love life) seems to be falling apart around her. As a kid she would always watch romantic comedies, and it doesn’t seem to have let up as she has aged. So when she meets an attractive guy, Tom, in an elevator that breaks down, she thinks it’s fate. Turns out that Tom wasn’t the man she thought he was, he dumped her for another girl. Mindy shows up to their wedding, gives a terribly distasteful toast, and bikes away drunk. When she crashed the bike into a pool, she thinks she hears a doll talking to her; even the doll has a boyfriend! If this wasn’t enough to show Mindy that she needed to turn her life around, being arrested definitely should have.

Jeremy, an incredibly attractive British guy practically offers to sleep with Mindy. She is incredibly proud of herself for refusing, so she texts a picture of him to her best friend, Gwen, and brags about her restraint. Mindy goes back to her office to see a potential patient, she doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t speak English, and is nine months pregnant. Mindy admits that she usually takes on patients that don’t have insurance secretly, but she doesn’t do that anymore. However, after the patient’s son talks to her for a few minutes, she gives in and agrees.

Mindy is preparing for her first date with a guy she has never met, so she is showing off her outfit to the other women. Danny tells her that what she is wearing is absolutely terrible. Obviously, Mindy tells him off and ignores his recommendations. To which he responds, “You know what would really look great? If you lost 15 pounds.” It’s a low blow, but she deserves it, she was being a harpy.

When she gets to the date, Mindy talks nonstop. I’m surprised he didn’t just get up and walk off. Instead he calls her “down-to-earth” and insists that she is normal. Honestly, this guy can’t be normal if he thinks she is. I mean, honestly, she has a “red flags list” on her phone and asking him strange questions. Luckily for Dennis, she gets pulled back to work when her newest patient is giving birth. It takes the waitress a good minute or two before she and Dennis can convince her to answer the phone. Instead of just telling Dennis that it was nice to meet him, she made the whole situation incredibly awkward by inviting and then uninviting him back to her place after she gets off work.

While Mindy is on the phone with Gwen she tells her that she has really changed and she is going to be a better version of herself, the doorbell rings. Jeremy is on the other side of the door, he walks in, and of course, they sleep together. Hmm, real changes there, Mindy!

I think that the show was decent, but it isn’t fair to judge it just by the first episode. A lot of sitcoms take a few episodes to find their footing, and I’m pretty sure that this is one of them. As the show progresses, I’m sure that the characters will get more developed and the story will become much more involved and enticing. Because of this, I will give the show a couple more episodes and I’ll try not to be too hard on it in this review.

Within the first thirty seconds of the introduction of Danny, it was incredibly obvious to me that he and Mindy will be a will-they-won’t-they relationship. I’m not sure if this was intended to be obvious, but their banter definitely points towards it. I bet by halfway through the season there will already be some sexual tension that they are going to have to deal with, one way or the other.

There weren’t too many good one-liners in this episode. But the best dialogue by far was when the police officer was questioning Mindy. After hearing that her charges were public intoxication and disorderly conduct, Mindy asks why the police aren’t going after rapists and murderers. The cop responds very cleverly with, “You are a rapist of peace and quiet.” That was a nearly perfect line. And as Mindy was being escorted out, she asked her, “Will it be possible for me to get a tour of the special victims unit?” Looks like someone watches too much TV (and I’m not talking about myself this time)!

I don’t think that Mindy Kaling want me to say this, but I think my favorite part about this episode–and probably the rest of the show–was the guest actors. If we see more of her The Office co-stars and Saturday Night Live guests, that will be a huge bonus! And because this is a sitcom written by Mindy Kaling, I think that it’s a good bet that the guests will keep flowing.

I do want to restate: don’t be too hard on a sitcom on its first episode. It’s really difficult to introduce multiple characters, have tons of jokes, and drive a storyline in less than thirty minutes. So I’m going to stick with this show for a few more episodes and we’ll see how it goes!

(My review of the next episode of The Mindy Project, Hiring and Firing)

Sherlock — A Study in Pink (S1E1 Series Premiere)

I’m rather ashamed that it took me this long to watch Sherlock. So I’ll make up for it by watching both of the first two series this week. I hope that the rest of you are smarter than me and have already subscribed to the BBC’s fantastic adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, so I will skip the recap of the case.

Dr. John Watson was an army doctor in Afghanistan before he took a bullet that put him out of commission. Sherlock Holmes is the same hyper-observant, narcissistic man that he was portrayed as by Doyle and every other adaptation, but in Sherlock he doesn’t seem to be able to understand human emotion or social cues; when Molly tried to ask him out on a date he completely misunderstood. Sherlock calls himself a “consulting detective,” the only one of his kind, he consults on cases when the cops are out of their league. A sergeant, Sally, says that the only reason he consults is because he loves the thrill of the interesting cases; she wouldn’t be surprised if he became a killer himself when he lost interest in the cases.

Holmes and Watson are introduced by their mutual friend (or acquaintance in Sherlock’s case) Mike. Within the first thirty seconds of meeting, Sherlock knows just about everything there is to know about Watson. When Sherlock explains to Watson how he figured everything out, Watson responds “Extraordinary, quite extraordinary.” Sherlock responds calmly, “That’s not what people normally say.” Watson, “What do people normally say?” And with a smile, Sherlock responds “Piss off.” I think that this exchange explains beautifully the characters that Sherlock and Watson are and how close they will become.

The way that Sherlock deduces everything is quite amazing, this was no surprise. But what did come as a surprise is how the show displays his intellect. Text rolls across the screen as Sherlock notices any little thing (like the victim being left handed or pieces of her clothing be wet or dry), which helps the viewer understand what goes on in his strange mind. Along the lines of showing a little extra, as Sherlock and Watson were chasing the cab they showed a map of both routes that were being taken. I thought that this was completely unnecessary, but a very nice addition.

Once the cabbie dragged Sherlock with him to the place that he was planning on assisting his suicide, the story really got interesting. The two geniuses each have an opportunity to live another day, but Sherlock has to understand what is going on within the cabbie’s brain if he wants to live. You know that it’s a good start to a show if during the pilot they already have their audience on the edge of their seats, and I definitely was. Right as it appears that Sherlock is going to take one of the pills, though, Watson shoots the cab driver. With barely any time left before his death, the cabbie blurts out that Moriarty was the one who put him up to it. This didn’t come as any surprise.

I was, however, incredibly surprised that Moriarty wasn’t the man that approached Watson previously. Turns out that was Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. I have a sneaking suspicion that they might be the same person, though… I’m probably wrong, but something about Mycroft seems so evil.

I have to say, Sherlock has lived up to all of my expectations. Bravo, Steven Moffet, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman, I am definitely going to be watching the rest of the series!

(My review of the next episode of Sherlock, The Blind Banker)

The Inbetweeners — First Day (S1E01 Series Premiere)

I have to start off this post acknowledging the fact that I have never watched the original, British version of this show.

The show opens with Will’s first day at public school. The vice principal orders Simon to show him around and make sure he is included. The VP stresses the fact that Will was bullied at his old private school, so he needs to be treated with care. Simon, Neil, and Jay are not pleased to be handed this task, so they take it out on Will’s dorky messenger bag and his blazer. Will thinks that the transition from private to public school will be an easy one, so he doesn’t pay much attention to the insults; he can just find some other friends. He soon realizes, after hitting a kid on crutches with a football, that this wouldn’t be as easy as he thought it would.

The story revolves around these four boys who aren’t the absolute lowest on the food chain at the school, but are damn near close to it. There is Will, the new kid, who embarrasses himself with his manners at the lunch table and his fancy dress. He doesn’t seem to have anything that really distinguishes him (besides the blazer). Then there is Jay, who makes up ridiculous stories about his “experiences” with girls, which are, of course, not even slightly believable. Next is Simon, he has been in love with his friend Carly since they were eight years old, he will do anything to have her fall for him, but instead makes a fool out of himself. And last is Neil, a complete airhead; the only time he seems aware of what is going on is when the other boys are insisting (tastelessly) that his dad is gay.

As soon as the other three find out that Will’s mom is hot, they decide to give him a chance and they let him cut class with them. When Will comes to “drive them to school,” he insists that his car is the paneled van one that looks “molestery”. This was a pretty good joke, but after being repeated half a dozen times it killed it. The first stop is the liquor store, where Will buys the group vodka. Once they are drunk enough, they convince Simon to confess his love for Carly by spray painting it on her driveway. She is, of course, annoyed, but then invites him back to her place later that night while she babysits her brother. With Will in tow to babysit the kid, Simon heads over (completely drunk) to see Carly. After acting like a complete pig, the alcohol finally hit Simon and he spewed his guts all over Carly’s kitchen and even got some on her little brother.

The only scene that I found genuinely amusing was when the parents confronted the kids about skipping school. Will decides to take the blame to help out his friends and maybe get himself some cred, so he begins to cry and blurts out that it was all his idea, he was acting out because he was being bullied again.

The show seems to think the only way that they can wrangle in the teenage audience is through crude language and swear words (that are bleeped out anyway). The only real jokes that were thrown around were either on the basis of sex or Neil’s dad being gay. And none of them really seemed to flow very well. I only laughed once or twice throughout the entire episode. And another thing that adds on to the tacky show is the terrible voice over.

I think this will be the only episode of The Inbetweeners that I will catch (of the American version at least). Sorry, MTV, but I’ll stick with Awkward.

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