It goes without saying that since Lost and Fringe, I’ve been hooked on JJ Abrahams television shows. The man is a true genius, not only able to create and juggle and produce some of the best TV programming, but did you know he is also a music composer? He wrote the Alcatraz theme song.
So, Alcatraz’s premise is in its start narrative:
On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only that's not what happened. Not at all.The prisoners (and guards) all disappeared on that date and they suddenly started appearing in 2012, at the same age that they vanished. Although that sounds like there are some supernatural forces - the show suggests there is actually some sort of weird science behind the disappearance.
The show is about a cop, an FBI agent, and a comic book writer, and they go after a “prisoner of the week”.
Several things I have issues with the show: 1) Why do these ex-prisoners, once freed, go back to a life of crime? and 2) If they disappeared originally with prison outfits, wouldn’t it make sense that they reappear in the same garments ? and 3) How come these returning prisoners don’t have 1963 slangs and why aren’t they in awe of today’s technology - like an iPhone? If I were a time traveler, seeing a device like that would just blow my mind.
Anyway, I’m loving the show so far, mostly excited to see Sam Neill back in action, the man is a bit of a legend, having played Damiem in The Omen 3, Dr Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, and the scientist who created the Event Horizon spaceship.
Alcatraz is playing on Monday evenings on Fox, check your local time and listing.
Let’s be frank, "Smash" is NBC’s answer to the highly successful Fox’s Glee series. Unlike Glee’s cover-lover songs every week, Smash’s music is of the Broadway musical big band numbers - no covers. It's strictly original music by composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
The most interesting thing is that it’s a win-win situation for Columbia Record, who has rights to distribute both Glee and Smash music.
I did end up watching the pilot episode of Smash and can't say that I was impress. The show is basically about the birth of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe and its two lead singers.
Glee, on the other hand, continues to be quite popular with music fans. What's interesting to note is that they have a good mixture of music genre in their covers this week: alternative rock (Young The Giant's "Cough Syrup"), British/Irish boy band (The Wanted's "Glad You Came"), hip-hop (Nicki Minaj's "Fly"), R&B (R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly"), funk (Lenny Kravitz's "Stand"), hard-rock (Halestorm's "Here's To Us") and countrypop (Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You"). Music from the "On My Way" episode will be available tomorrow on iTunes.
Did you miss the premiere pilot episode of Touch? Well, you can catch it again as a free download on Amazon and PS3 and iTunes and Hulu and Xbox, under the “Free TV” section. Fox really want to get the pilot on people’s television, which, personally, I believe is the best way of promoting a new show (instead of spending thousands of dollars to buy advertisements).
If you were expecting the main character, played by Kiefer Southerland, to be as aggressive and in your face as 24, you may be in for a disappointment. That’s not a bad thing; Southerland is a solid actor, playing a concern father trying to understand his mute-math-child.
It is a great pilot, start, middle and end, and everything wrapped up neatly. The biggest problem I have is: where does the show go from here? It seems like everything is solved at the end of the pilot, do I need to come back for more?
Music, as credited on the show, is by Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, or better known as Wendy and Lisa. We reviewed their White Flags of Winter Chimneys: "you can hear the growth of two artists who have been making music together for over twenty years and who are very comfortable in who they are and the kind of music they create."
Okay, here’s an odd one. The premise is taken from the UK’s cop drama of the same name. I have not seen the UK Prime Suspect (on account that BBC’s iPlayer still won’t let people outside of the UK to view its programming), but I think I get the gist of it - a “tough as nail” girl homicide detective in a male police environment.
Again, I haven’t seen the UK version, but the US version, taking place in a large metropolitan area (presumably New York) and it works really well in this setting. One thing is for sure, everyone, cops and robbers, are all jerks! It’s what makes them human, and I personally like (and hate) all the characters.
Only 13 episodes were ordered, NBC hasn’t announced that they will be renewing it, but seeing as the show hasn’t exactly taken off... I don’t think there will be a season two. And it’s really too bad, because I was starting to warm up to the other homicide detectives. Even in their dumb ways, they manage to solve the crime in the end.
Theme song for the show is by Extreme Music, a music production company. I believe the song is entitled "Glorious". It sounds like a cross between U2 and Nickleback with violins.
Let me tell you: I love Westerns, particularly Italian Westerns, so I was blown away at this very modern take on the classic Western genre in a serialized television program. Justified is on its third season and brings back the same convicts and Marshalls from the previous seasons; even though I could have sworn some of them should have died with multiple gun shots!
In its third season, the main gunslinger, Raylan, finds himself wounded from the previous finale. He can’t shoot straight - yet somehow manages to outsmart and outshoot criminals! I love it.
Apparently Justified was based on Elmore Leonard’s western novels, so if you’re not into cowboys and outlaws, this really isn’t the show for you.
The theme song is the most colorful and memorable of all these new shows - it’s a bit like rap music set to a bluegrass folky music. That probably best describe the band Gangstagrass, who was nominated for 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Best Title Theme song for the Justified theme song, “Long Hard Times To Come”.
Don’t you miss Buffy? I missed Faith, then I saw Dollhouse, and boy, I didn’t miss five-by-five after that disaster of a show.
So, Ringer is the new show starring ex-Buffy star Michelle Sarah Gellar. She plays both Bridget and Siobhan (pronounced "sho-van"). Bridget is running away from the mob, so she takes over her sister's rich/successful life after she finds out that Siobhan committed suicide.
The show isn't that good; I find it hard to believe that the FBI (and all the characters, including her BFF) can’t figure out that it is Bridget, not Siobhan. The drama really is about a cat and mouse game of Gellar trying to conceal her big secret.
Theme music for Ringer is by Gabriel Mann, who also plays in a band called The Rescues.
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Again, another JJ production. This show had a great start, but as the show goes on and you find out more about the two main characters, it got a bit stale. I guess sometime you just want it to be a mystery, you know?
If you don’t know, the show is about a smart man, Mr. Finch, who built a computer that tracks and predicts terrorists. Finch hires Reese to help him prevent crimes based on the computer’s output.
As I mentioned before, I got kind of bored of this show - there just wasn’t any real “threat” to the duo. However, things are starting to get better, on the latest episode; we’re introduced to a hacker Root, who is giving them a hard time.
Once again, main theme is written by JJ Abrahams.