It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already watched 3 premieres this week! I love September!!!
First on the docket – Hole In The Wall, Fox’s version of a Japanese game show in which contestants basically attempt to stuff themselves through a hole in a wall that is barreling toward on them on a track. If they miss, they’re knocked into a pool of water. Classic slapstick. If this show isn’t cancelled in just a few weeks, it will be featured on Comedy Central’s Root of All Evil, VH1’s Best Week Ever or E!’s Talk Soup…and not in a good way. The irony for me is that I really enjoyed the clips of its Japanese progenitor I found on youtube. The Fox version is Americanized – obnoxious hosts (particularly the floor commentator), green liquid in the pool and overly-caffeinated, idiotic competitors. My prediction: I need another episode of Hole In The Wall like I need another Hole In My Head. It will be replaced mid-season if it makes it that long.
Second – True Blood, HBO’s Louisiana-based vampire drama. In the illustrious history of its HBO original dramatic predecessors (Deadwood, Rome, the Wire, Generation Kill – rest in peace, my television lovelies), True Blood picks up with the typical cast of bizarre oddballs, brittle dialogue and vivid imagery. Most HBO new series take me an ep or two to get engrained and really love what I see…True Blood skipped all that flotsam and sunk its teeth right into my jugular (pun intended). My prediction: True Blood, like 99% of HBO dramas, will reach its conclusion too soon for me.
Last – Fringe, widely characterized as Fox’s new X-Files. I compare it less to X-Files and more to Lost. Of course, JJ Abrams is behind this one too, so that makes sense. The story is pretty good – I think it will get better after all the exposition is over. There were a few moments were I REALLY had to suspend belief and forget about reality – so, this brilliant madman gets released from a mental institution and within 15 hours has completely regained his sanity and saved a federal agent from a flesh-eating virus through the use of a mind meld? I chalk that up to just trying to get the back story told, though. Now that it’s told, I have big expectations for episode 2. All that aside, it’s the Abrams touches that I so love with Lost that kept me up past my weekday bedtime to see the conclusion of the show. He clearly loves symbology and writes a lot of that into his shows. He also loves mysterious back stories, particularly for characters played by Lance Reddick. My prediction: I really like Fringe, but the only way it will succeed is to keep the story moving (like Lost’s 5th season), tie up loose ends (like the British version of The Office), create some realistic romantic tension between the two lead characters (like Dawson’s Creek) and basically do all the things X-Files failed to do.