The Mediocre Mid-Season Replacements

If you've been reading along since I started blogging with any sort of regularity again back in September, you might have noticed I watch a lot of TV, and blogged about it quite a bit during Fall Premiere season. I haven't blogged about the Winter Mid-Season Replacement premieres yet because I've been busy, but that doesn't mean I haven't been watching. So far there have been four-and-a-half new shows that I tried watching (half? how? I'll get to that later!), and I thought I'd share my opinions of them with y'all now, whether you like it or not.

Spoiler alert: 60% of them suck.

House of Lies
I know; it got renewed for a second season after, like, the second episode and everybody loves it. It's just me. Maybe I don't like Don Cheadle enough to watch it. Honestly, there's too much of him and not enough Kristen Bell for my liking... and can you blame me?

Neither do I, Kristen. Neither do I.

And all the freeze-frames to explain things about marketing or whatever just lost my interest completely. Sorry, Cheadle, it was fun when Zack Morris did it, but you ain't Preppie, Slater.

I love J.J. Abrams. I do. Lost, Alias, Cloverfield, Star Trek... he's one of my geek gods. Seriously. I'm prone to occasionally, for no reason at all, yelling "Bad Robot!" But other than Sam Neil doing his mysterious is-he-a-good-guy-or-a-bad-guy routine, everything about this show just bored me to death. I can see that routine on repeats of Happy Town... now that was a fun show, but I digress. If you're that interested in Alcatraz, just watch The Rock again and skip The Further Adventures of Hurley.

The River
This is the one I was the most excited about. I loved the premise... a TV crew and family members hunting for a missing TV adventurer who is also the husband and father to those family members, the whole show filmed through the lens of that TV crew... sounded so good. I should have realized the fact that it's by the Paranormal Activity guy meant anything interesting here would be ruined by an over-reliance of everything that sucks about the whole "found footage" genre. The camera shakes too much, crappy editing cuts for effect are horrible, and anything remotely scary or surprising is telegraphed by the fact that you know it's coming whenever the camera is looking at something the characters aren't. Not to mention how generic everything is; from the one-dimensional characters (angry son, desperate mother, greedy producer) to the unoriginal scares (a tree with dolls hanging from it... because we've never seen that before)... yeah, I'll pass.

The Firm
I hadn't expected to like this one at all. I enjoy shows about lawyers, although I'm picky about them, but hadn't really enjoyed the original movie version of The Firm, of which this is a continuation. Imagine my surprise, then, when I was hooked after one episode. The cases of the week are fun enough usually, but that isn't the hook. The hook is how Mitch McDeere (originally played by Tom Cruise, who is outshone in my opinion by the current portrayal by Josh Lucas)

Sorry, Tom. I know the truth hurts, but it had to be said.

once again finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy cooked up by a dirty law firm that places him and his family in mortal danger. Plus, the mob is after him due to the events of the movie. I'm really into it. Which, of course, is why NBC moved it from Thursday nights to Saturday nights and there are only two more episodes left...

And now here's the half I mentioned earlier. I watched the special premiere of this a few weeks ago and liked it enough to want to see another episode, but I can't say I'll stick with it past that. I enjoyed the way the numbers were connected and how they connected to people and events, but I feel like that might get to be too much of a stretch as it gets repeated weekly. Also, the show's sentimentality might annoy me after awhile. A father trying to connect with his son autistic son who doesn't speak while they both try to get over the loss of their wife/mother on 9/11? Ugh. But we'll see what happens.

So that's it. One, maybe two shows added to my slate so far. That's not a lot at all. Anybody agree or disagree with me on these shows, or have any other ones to suggest I try out? Let me know!