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Friday, September 21, 2007

Reviews: Private Practice, Moonlight, and Chuck

Private Practice
Premiere date: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Airs: Wednesday s @ 9 p.m. ET on ABC

Confession: I’ve loved Addison Montgomery since she marched her stiletto-clad legs up to Meredith Grey and informed her she was sleeping with her husband. Apparently, I’m not the only one who was rooting for Team Addison; ABC gave the woman her own spinoff. The good news is that Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes is behind this new show. The bad news is that the pilot is mediocre, at best. Sure, expectations are high, and they should be, with Rhimes on board and the superstar cast. The majority of the actors - Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Amy Brenneman - have headlined their own shows. But for some reason, I didn’t get that warm, fuzzy feeling that glues me to the TV screen when a show is working on all levels, and I’m not sure why. Kate Walsh and Daly have enough chemistry to power their own hospital, and Diggs is fun, flawed and charming. But Addison seems to have been dumbed-down in this new role, acting like a silly schoolgirl, at times, instead of the take-charge surgeon we’ve come to know. Most of the characters are interesting, with the exception of Brenneman’s. Her storyline had me reaching for the fast forward button. I’ve learned never to write off a show because the first episode doesn’t wow you. (Hello, Friday Night Lights!) And I’m not writing off Private Practice, as some critics have done already. I think it has potential. The problem Grey’s fans may have is the gaping hole Addison is leaving at Seattle Grace. On Thursday, ABC aired an “Addison” special that recapped her time on Grey’s. I’m sure the idea was to get fans to follow her to the new show. The problem is that the recap made me realize how much I’m going to miss her interaction with Miranda, Derek, and the gang. My apologies to Meredith fans, but the Addison/Derek/Mark triangle was one of the best ever on primetime. Period. Addison had mega chemistry with both McDreamy and McSteamy. If you’re questioning whether to invest in Private Practice, after all the mixed reviews you’ve read, I say give it a try. It may find its groove yet. If not, I hope Addison will come home to Seattle Grace and bring Daly’s Dr. Pete Wilder with her.

Premiere date: Friday, September 28, 2007
Airs: Fridays @ 9 p.m. ET on CBS

Within the first minutes of Moonlight, vampire Mick St. John humorously dispelled all the things I thought I knew about TV vampires from years of watching Buffy and Angel. (Vampires can’t be killed with a stake, he claims. Hmmm…I guess Buffy never got the memo.) From the moment Moonlight began with its interview with a vampire, I was hooked. Alex O’Loughlin is funny and charming. He plays his vampire character with just enough bite to leave viewers wanting more. I was surprised at how strong the storyline was, including a fantastic twist at the end. Veronica Mars fans will be delighted to see Jason Dohring in his role as Josef, Mick’s friend and fellow vampire. Josef is wealthy, tough, and, lucky for us, mischievous. If you like fantasy shows or were ever a fan of Buffy and Angel, don’t miss Moonlight. For everyone else, you should tune in, too. You never know when you’ll need Mick St.John’s tips on how to kill a vampire.

Premiere date: Monday, September 24, 2007
Airs: Mondays @ 8 p.m. ET on NBC

I love geeks, and Chuck Bartowski is this year’s Seth Cohen. He’s a computer genius who works at Nerd Herd (NBC’s hilarious version of Geek Squad.) He’s witty, as evidenced by his explanation of his career goals: ““Working on a five-year plan. I just need to choose a font.” Chuck is hard to categorize into one specific TV genre. If I had to label it, I’d call it an action-adventure dramedy. Other critics have called it a comedy, but I save that label for true sitcoms. Chuck’s problems begin when he receives an e-mail from his old college roommate, who is a spy. The e-mail has subliminal government secrets in it that are downloaded to Chuck’s already super-powered brain. He soon becomes a target and must work with the government to stop the world’s evildoers. Zachary Levi is so good in this role he may become this season’s breakout star. Even Summer Roberts can’t resist him. (That’s actress Rachel Bilson, formerly of The O.C., for you non O.C. watchers.) Seth Cohen’s old flame is scheduled to guest star on Chuck this season. The supporting cast is excellent, too, including fanboy fave Adam Baldwin. The show runner behind Chuck is TV genius Josh Schwartz, who gave us The O.C. So, I think you know what that means. Set your DVR season pass.


miz behavin said...

I hadn't planned on watching Moonlight. Now, I think I'll have to check it out. Thanks Tube Talk Girl!

kim said...

Chuck sounds like my kind of show. I was a sucker for Seth Cohen and Chuck seems just as cool.

It sounds like this one is going to be more plot centered than soapy.

Lesley said...

Chuck was excellent. My kind of show. Your description got me intrigued, and I decided to check it out. If loving the geeks is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

nerd herd 101 said...

Chuck definitely has promise.I'll tune back in next week.

Todd W in NC said...

Although I still wonder how and if these three shows can sustain a full season or more, I do feel like they all had good pilots.

In fact, I think Chuck has had the best series/season premiere so far this fall. It may have the best pilot since the first episode of Alias. It just clicked. All the elements worked well, and there were no real flaws.

Private Practice and Moonlight may have more fragile futures, but I'm willing to give them both a chance.

tube talk girl said...

I agree with you, Todd. I'm not sure how Chuck could go more than one season. But, hey, Earl did, so anything is possible!

mira said...

hi there. i thnk ur reviews are just excellent! I just watched the first episode of Moonlight on wednesday night and i thought it was awesome. What u said was fair though i was practically head over heels in love with Mick at the end of the series..hehe..he has just so much to offer..and Josef is just adorable and naughty. I like Mick's love interest, that sweet looking journalist and i liked the twist about him saving her when she was young. My hubby thought the whole plot is very promising and we've decided to watch it every week.Hopefully it goes on for a season or more.

Unfortunately we don't get the other two series in australia (not on free tv anyways, not sure about paid ones though) so i can't comment on 'Chuck' or 'private practice'. But they sound pretty good based on what you reviewed and what others had to say!

thanx! :)

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