Published on April 3rd, 2012 | by Mackenzie Bronk0
Spring TV Guide to the Latest Shows
As the networks near May, marking the end of most seasons of television, they often begin new shows to test them out and see if they stick with audiences. These shows usually have shorter seasons, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t pack a punch in the short time they have. Here is a guide to some of those series that have premiered or are premiering this month.
Touch (FOX) is a show about an autistic child, who sees patterns and numbers where no one else can, and his father who struggles to comprehend his son’s gift. Kiefer Sutherlands stars as the tortured father in this show, created by Heroes’, Tim Kring. The show began syndication this March, but previewed the pilot in January to great ratings, especially with its American Idol lead in on FOX.
Touch manages to combine science fiction and family drama in a really unique way by highlighting and magnifying the challenging and fascinating aspects of autism. Jake Bohm is an 11-year-old boy, who has never spoken a word in his life, but has instead employed numbers and patterns in an effort to connect with the people around him. His father, Martin, finally realizes what his son is trying to communicate to him, and begins to follow the road map of numbers that his son is laying out for him. Martin is trying to follow the numbers in order to prevent crimes from happening, while simultaneously trying to protect Jake from being taken away by child services.
One of the great things about this show is that it manages to be a science fiction drama without completely confusing the audience. Rather than mixing confusing plotlines, it is fascinating and makes you want to keep watching in order to figure out where the road map of number patterns will eventually lead. So far this road map has taken place through cell phones, which also provides an interesting commentary on how and why we connect with the people that we do. The show also manages to showcase a different unique story in each episode, while having a very large overarching theme that governs the progress of the series. Martin has just begun to discover that there are several people out there who ascribe to the same number patterns that Jake does, and this discovery will pan out over the course of the series. At its core, the show is about connecting with others and how these connections are the most fundamental part of our lives. Catch up on this one of a kind show, Thursdays at 9/8c on FOX.
Best Friends Forever (NBC) is a new midseason comedy about the difficulties of balancing a boyfriend and a best friend. After Jessica St. Clair’s husband files for divorce, she decided to spontaneously move across the country to live with her best friend, Lennon. Unfortunately, Lennon’s serious boyfriend has recently moved in with her and has difficultly fitting in the middle of their life-long friendship. The best thing about this show is sharp writing, which flows perfectly instead of spouting punch line and punch line. The friendship between Jessica and Lennon is so hysterical, that makes you want to be right in the middle of it. Meanwhile, the conflict between the best friend and boyfriend is a refreshingly real plotline that usually isn’t explored. Hopefully, this will help keep NBC above water as it heads into the murky waters of May Sweeps. Tune into the premiere this Wednesday, April 4th at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.
Scandal (ABC) is the latest serialized drama from the mind of Shonda Rhimes, famous for Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. The show’s short first season will take place over seven episodes. It stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a crisis management agent who helps protect the secrets of America’s leaders and do damage control when necessary. The character is loosely based off of Judy Smith, a press aide during the George H. W. Bush administration. Pope was the former communications director at the White House, before leaving to start her own independent firm. The show has a very interesting concept, combining the lawyer genre, the investigative genre and political drama. However, it needs to avoid falling into the trap of having too much drama, and being too salacious because it will cheapen the drama. The show also stars Lost actor, Henry Ian Cusick. It premieres this Thursday, April 5th at 10/9c on ABC.
The Client List (Lifetime) stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a Texas housewife who decides to get a job at a spa, only to discover that some of the employees are engaged in some rather risqué extracurricular activities. The show is based on a Lifetime original movie, by the same name, which premiered in 2010 and also starred Jennifer Love Hewitt. The plotline for both the movie and show is the 2004 Odessa, Texas prostitution scandal. Riley Parks, played by Hewitt, is forced to take this new job at the spa after her husband abandons her and her children, leaving her with no source of financial security. When she finds out what the spa does behind the scenes, she decides to participate in order to make more money and keep her family from falling further into debt. Although the show isn’t on a major network, it should receive many viewers for both the actors and the lascivious plotlines. Tune into the premiere this Sunday, April 8th on Lifetime at 10/9c.
Don’t Trust the B—in Apt 23 (ABC) is yet another well written comedy to grace the lineup of ABC Comedy Wednesdays. It will take the place of Happy Endings on ABC’s lineup, and while it won’t hold a candle to Happy Endings fantastic humor, it’ll provide much needed pizzazz. The story follows a 20-something named June, who just moved to New York for work, only to find her company in self-destruct mode after a scandal. She decides to move in with Chloe, who seems perfectly sweet, but as the title of the show reveals, she’s a full-fledged psycho roommate.
It’s a pretty risky comedy, not only because of its risqué dialogue and situations, but because the comedy is contingent on so few people. Both Chloe and June will have to really showcase their talents in order for his show to hold its own, especially on a night dominated by Modern Family. For me, however, the best part of this show is the one aspect of it that is remarkably original (a rarity in sitcom comedy)-James Van der Beek, playing himself. James Van der Beek has found is best role yet, playing a smarmy and pretentious version of himself as Chloe’s former boyfriend and current “straight gay best friend”. Maybe in a few weeks the Dawson’s Creek references will get old, but until then, James Van der Beek seducing ladies by putting on a flannel shirt and playing “I Don’t Wanna Wait” is enough to make this show watchable. This comedy of errors premieres Wednesday, April 11th on ABC at 9:30/8:30c.
Girls (HBO) is a new half-hour comedy by legendary comedic mastermind, Judd Apatow. The show centers on three girls in their early twenties as they struggle with the embarrassments and hardships of being a young adult. Lena Dunham, who also co-created the show, Jemima Kirke, and Alison Williams play the three friends living in New York City. Early critical reviews say that Girls is a fresh and original show, which focuses on the very real problems and misadventures that go along with living in a big city for the first time. The three girls decide pursue their dreams in New York City, after being inspired by former HBO show, Sex and the City. However, Girls cleverly shows the part of the population in New York that is often unaddressed—that is the normal, average girls. Because of this realistic view of the 20-something life, this series is sure to be a hit, especially with the current generation that often can’t relate to the absurd drama portrayed on television. The series will premiere on HBO on April 15th, 10:30/9:30c.
NYC 22 (CBS) is a new police procedural drama about six different rookie cops attempting to navigate the streets of New York for the first time. The show comes from creators Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, and stars Leelee Sobieski, Adam Goldberg, among others. The show has been on the burner for almost two years now and has now replaced CSI: Miami in CBS’s lineup. The rookie cops come from very diverse backgrounds, everything from a former volleyball coach, a former reporter, and a marine. The show has subscribed to the typical cop genre, but has managed to separate itself by having a very different layout. Rather than having a buddy cop show or a show focusing on a few police officers, it highlights these rookies from completely different situations as they make mistakes and attempt to restart their lives in a different profession. Hopefully, the different personalities of these cops will help separate this show from other police dramas. NYC 22 premieres on Sunday April 15th at 10/9c.
The LA Complex (The CW) is a Canadian drama series, which originally aired in January on CTV and MuchMusic but will premiere on The CW this month. It follows a group of young aspiring actors as they try to survive in L.A.’s cutthroat environment. The show stars Cassie Steele, of Degrassi fame, as she moves to L.A. from Canada in the hopes of pursuing her dream to be a movie star. The premise is not necessarily original, but it manages to succeed where shows like Melrose Place failed. The network also ordered 13 more episodes this March in order to expand the season to 19 episodes. The simple fact that this show has moved to the states and has been expanded so much, shows that this juicy drama will everyone’s new guilty pleasure. It premieres on The CW on April 24th, 9/8c.