New Shows Review: One Out of Four Ain't Bad...?

I'm back with what is going to be my penultimate review of new shows for the 2013 Fall Season. I'm a bit late on a few of the shows included here because for one thing I didn't have enough to write about any of them to give them a blog of their own really and, for another thing, life has been pretty busy lately. Plus, out of these four shows, only one was any good, so there wasn't any motivation to devote a whole lot of time to them.

So yeah, this is going to be pretty short. And away we go!

We start with a spin-off of an actual good show that seems to be a spin-off in name only as nothing I saw in the pilot or set up has anything to do with its parent show, Once Upon a Time. In fact, this show sort of defies that show's entire set-up; OUaT is about fairy tale characters moving back and forth between our world and the world of fairy tale. But, Alice is a fairy tale character who moves in and out of the fairy tale world and the "real world" in the fairy tale, so how does that affect the rules of the OUaT universe? It isn't addressed. If you can ignore that confusion in narrative logic, you get to the plot: Alice returns to Wonderland to find the man she fell in love with while she was there: the Genie from Aladdin's lamp who is apparently being held captive by the villain team of the Red Queen and Jafar, who are hunting for Alice because she's keeping the three wishes the Genie granted her in a hole in her shoe in the form of little rubies.

If that doesn't sound like bad fucking fan fiction, I don't know what does. Pass.

Here we have the CW version of a 1990's Nickelodeon remake of a 1970's British show that was on the face of it nothing more than an X-Men rip, right down to calling the people with powers "the next stage of human evolution, Homo Superior." Knowing all this ahead of time (and even somewhat remembering watching the Nickelodeon version twenty years ago), I gave the show a shot, and was confronted with a generic plot, bland acting, bad special effects, and a cardboard cut-out villain with a plot twist that will surprise only someone who has never watched a show or movie or read a book before, all of which adding up to equal a show that makes the worst episodes of Heroes look like Shakespeare.

Pass #2.

A legend is reborn... as Dracula is reawakened by Van Helsing, his reluctant BFF, so he can pretend to be an American captain of industry faking a really bad accent so he can use a new form of technology to destroy a group of people whose ancestors killed his family. Or something. It was a muddled, boring mess that hit as many cliches as possible while telling a story that has absolutely nothing to do with Dracula other than the character names. And yet, as bad as this was, there are only nine more episodes so I'll probably end up hate-watching the hell out of all of them. Maybe it'll turn around and surprise me at some point... but if it does, I'll shit in my hat. Pass #3.

I just realized something. Not only is The Originals the second spin-off on the list, it's also the second CW show on the list AND the second vampire show on the list. So apparently if you take all the shit shows I talked about above and make a Venn Diagram out of them, you get a middle full of win. This Vampire Diaries spin-off is just as good as the original (and if I haven't convinced you yet that you should be watching TVD, fine, sit there in your ignorance and miss out. Enjoy your bliss, you heathens.) The show follows the surviving members of the Mikaelson family, the first vampires of that universe, Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah, as they return to New Orleans, a city they founded, and try to reclaim it from the vampire who usurped it while they were away, Marcelle, and his army of vampires and secret weapon. These are three great characters who balance each other out really well and the show is already a hit in my book, making it only the third new show this year I'm actually enjoying (Sleepy Hollow and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being the other two). In fact, I might go so far as to say it's the best of the new batch. It has great acting, drama, twists and turns, fatalities... much like TVD, it's like True Blood, but consistent in quality.

One more show to go and I'm done with these posts for another year. In the meantime, some reader participation would be nice: have you watched any of these shows and agree/disagree with me? Or have any you think I missed that you think I might enjoy? Let's talk about it!


  1. I've already gotten bored with wonderland and dracula. I am not a bit Vamp Diaries fan so Originals is already off my list... although still set to the DVR for the woman. Tomorrow people seemed Meh. it seems the new sitcoms are trying to take back TV

    1. I haven't even liked any of the new sitcoms really. The only one I liked a little was Brooklyn 99 and even that I don't like enough to actively try to watch.

    2. we're giving the new Michael J Fox show a shot just because it's Michael J Fox. andy samberg just isnt funny to me. nothing he's done has ever really made me crack a smile even

    3. Oh, yeah. I don't like him either, but the supporting cast is pretty hysterical.

    4. And I don't think I could watch MJF's new show, just because I'm pretty sure I'd be laughing for all the wrong reasons...

  2. Dracula was awful. I wanted to kick my cable box. Or going to bed. Or both.


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