REMOTE OUTPOST – 12 FOR 2012
REMOTE OUTPOST… 12 FOR 2012
By Mark Onspaugh
Those who haven’t given up on me in disgust will remember I did a Fall preview back in September. Of the nine genre shows I previewed, I am only continuing to watch three… I guess 33.33% isn’t bad, but I am jonesing for some good science fiction on the order of STAR TREK, STARGATE: UNIVERSE or CAPRICA… I may get my wish on that one in January.
So here is a dozen faves that we all support here in the Remote Outpost:
TOP 3 GENRE SHOWS THAT PREMIERED THIS PAST FALL
PERSON OF INTEREST—the closest you will get to a live-action Batman series. The cast is amazing, especially the stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. You’ll never find them, but if your number comes up, they will find you.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY—who gave up on GLEE? We did, just couldn’t take it any more (it’s become like the parody on COMMUNITY). I didn’t think a horror show by the creators of that singing infestation would work, but it is compelling, scary and thought-provoking. The season ender was really amazing, and I hope we spend a lot more time in “The Murder House” with the Harmons and their not-so-friendly ghosts.
GRIMM—I lost interest in ONCE UPON A TIME, but GRIMM is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer was—fun. It may not be as smartly written (not everyone is Joss Whedon), but it is inventive and has its own compelling mythology. And Silas Weir Mitchell as a reformed “blut bad” (“Big Bad Wolf”) is hilarious.
TOP 1 NON-GENRE SHOW THAT PREMIERED THIS FALL
PRIME SUSPECT—I read someone didn’t find Maria Bello convincing as a tough, Irish New York cop—she is. The men in her department think she slept her way up to detectives. They’ve learned to respect her toughness and her instincts, but there is still plenty of resentment and conflict. Good stuff
TOP SITCOM THAT PREMIERED THIS FALL
NEW GIRL—we just couldn’t stomach WHITNEY, but NEW GIRL often makes me laugh out loud. I know a lot of you will find Zooey Deschanel annoying, but the writing for her roommates and her boyfriend (Justin Long) is funny… Not MODERN FAMILY or COMMUNITY funny, but worth a half hour of our time.
TOP PILOT THAT PREVIEWED BEFORE THE SERIES PREMIERE
LUCK—the new series from David Milch, who created and wrote the awesome DEADWOOD and JOHN FROM CINCINNATI. This one is centered around horse racing and stars Dustin Hoffman (you heard me) and Nick Nolte (you heard me). The show looks to be another Milch masterwork of Shakespearean drama with complex characters in a complicated world. Yes.
MOST EAGERLY AWAITED PREMIERE
ALCATRAZ—less than a month away for the new JJ Abrams show that is produced by LOST alumni. Sam Neill is our guide to the prison where, forty years ago, all the inmates disappeared… Now they are returning and wreaking havoc. I would be tempted to dismiss this as another THE 4400, but Abrams always turns things on their ear. I want another LOST-type show, don’t you? Yeah, even if you didn’t like the way it ended, you enjoyed the ride.
SHOW WITH THE BIGGEST JAW-DROPPING FINALE
BOARDWALK EMPIRE—this show continues to amaze. The attention to period detail, the drama of Prohibition leading to organized crime and the heroin trade… It’s superb. Steve Buscemi and company can’t return fast enough… If you watched the season ender you are, like us, saying “Damn! Now what?”
MOST EAGERLY AWAITED WINTER RETURN
JUSTIFIED—if you aren’t watching this show with Timothy Olyphant as a U.S. Marshall in Kentucky dealing with various outlaws and criminal types, you should be. I have a feeling the new season is going to deal with the “Dixie Mafia,” and methinks they are not stupid, inbred trailer trash. Justified presents an honest portrayal of mountain folk, good and bad. Plus, an amazing cast including Walton Goggins as best frenemy Boyd Crowder. Watch it, ya hear?
TOP SHOWS WE WANT TO RETURN
TRUE BLOOD—Alan Ball’s twisted and amazing version of Charlaine Harris’s “Sookie Stackhouse” novels. Great characters and tremendous mythology… And no twinkly vampires!
FRINGE—not many of you are watching this, but it fills that void left when THE X-FILES went south. Compelling and weird, and a hell of a lot of fun. If you haven’t ever watched, try the first season on DVD.
SONS OF ANARCHY—Hamlet on motorcycles. Kurt Sutter is another man who brings compelling drama to a world we may not be familiar with, but surely exists.
BONUS BAKER’S DOZEN ENTRY
BREAKING BAD—amazing. One season left to go in the disastrous decline of a chemisty teacher turned meth cook turned criminal mastermind… Lots of tension in this one, folks.
© Copyright 2011 by Mark Onspaugh