Give TV a (Second) Chance
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By etrigan - Last updated: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

As we stand at that brink of season finales and mid-season “replacements” that are mere weeks old I would like to talk a little about the state of television. It seems not as long as 75 days ago that Joss Whedon laid another golden egg on our squawk box, and “Dollhouse” is universally loved — even by people who didn’t dedicate a summer to watching his first and awesomest show “from beginning to end”: — but there are other new shows on TV. Some of them are even worth watching…despite their pilot episodes.

Don’t turn me off right away. Yes, you sat through the same pilots and recognized the massive suck, but you rely on me to be “that guy” — the one who watches a show more than once, sometimes more than twice, to make sure the show is as bad as it seemed. When I tell you to watch the following shows again, recognize that I am as flabbergasted as anyone that they don’t suck. (I am starting to consider a theory that pilot episodes are nothing like the actual shows they are launching.) Give these poor starving shows another look and maybe you’ll decrease your risk of skin cancer this summer.

* “Castle”: – This is the least surprising since Nathan Fillion is a Whedon alumnus — he played the antagonist in both “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”:, and in the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The premise of a murder/mystery author job-shadowing a hot-but-tough female cop seemed so cliche, but Fillion pulls it off with aplomb. “Castle” is funny and the sex/romance is hot…if you like that chiseled handsome kind of thing that Fillion does so well.
* “Cupid”: – The original series, released in 1998 with Jeremy Piven, is not “hard to find on YouTube”:, and many question why it is being rebooted without the star who carried the weight of the show. The pilot of the new series made that question harder to answer. Actor Bobby Cannavale who has appeared in a dozen other tv shows, never more than five episodes…except for “Will and Grace” where he played “one of Will’s boyfriends”: for fifteen episodes, made an abrupt turn-around in the first episode. Becky even cried a little when…no, I won’t spoil it. Considering the premise — a grounded Roman god has to produce 100 couples without his bow/arrow — it will surely deliver more heart-string-pulling and laughter.
* “The Unusuals”: – During the viewing of the pilot episode, at our house after Sunday night dinner, several people simply walked out…of my house. I can’t blame them. I have a really high tolerance for craptastic. Something changed, though, and while the bumpers still seem trite — “This week is _so_ _much_ _more_ UNUSUAL than last week!!!” — Amber Tamblyn (of “Joan of Arcadia”), Adam Goldberg (Chandler’s _other_ roommate) and Harold Perrineau (the black man from “Lost” who turned out to be a really horrible father…wait, that sounds like a bad stereotype…anyway) are delivering a very different kind of cop drama. I still don’t like the side story questioning which cops have gone bad, and whether they had a good reason for going bad, but this show is more than “watchable”. It is actually good.

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