Thursday, September 13, 2012

The 2012 3 Ep Test (New TV Preview)

Have you ever seen someone tackle one of those restaurant giant food challenges?  You know the kind.  They tempt you with a free meal if only you can down every last bite of the volkswagen sized burger with all the toppings. If you have, you’ve probably seen the result.  By the time the poor soul who bought it is trying to stuff down the last bit of beef he would gladly pay triple his bill just to go back in time and convince his idiot self what a stupid idea this was.

Well in the world of TV, I’m the idiot self, and this year I refuse to order the Volkswagen platter.

Each year I pick a handful of new TV shows to give “The 3 Ep Test”.  This test is based on the theory that every new show can be adequately evaluated by watching the first 3 episodes, no more, no less.  After the third episode I make the call.  “Out forever” or “In for life”.  This is the 6th year of this experiment (links: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007) and each year has been a pleasant experience of lightly tasting 5 to 7 new shows hoping to catch my attention...... until last year.  For some reason a year ago I decided it would be a good idea to try out 13 new shows, and by the end of the fall season I felt as bloated as the sad sack who couldn’t stomach that last bit of Angus.

The problem wasn’t just that I picked 13 (ok the problem was mostly that I picked 13) but also that I stuck with so many of them.  Unlike the abysmal 2010 list, where the only show that didn’t get cancelled was one I didn’t like, 10 of the 13 are still running! Of those 10, 6 managed to pass the test including the incredible “New Girl” which has quickly become one of my top 5 shows.

Point being, this time traveler has lectured his idiot self successfully and will not be making the same mistake again.  So here (in order of anticipation, from least to most) are the 7 shows I will be testing out for the 2012 fall season.

If there are any good ones I miss, they will just have to wait for next year’s “Ketchup” List...

It’s quite possible I’m very hungry right now.

7) Elementary (CBS)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c

The first mystery Holmes should solve is the theft of his own show.  “Elementary” is clearly a rip off of BBC’s successful (and brilliant) modern take on the London sleuth.  The only difference is that this time “Watson” is a lady.  Well that as well as the fact that it has no chance of being as good as the version starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I’ll be watching though, mostly out of curiosity, but also because I love a good detective story, especially when Sherlock Holmes is on the case.

6) Vegas (CBS)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c

Quaid and Chiklis are the draw on this one, as a rancher and a gangster going head to head in the early days of Las Vegas. The “Vegas” previews look melodramtic and over the top, but the fact that it’s all based on a true story gives it a foundation to possibly overcome it’s own cheese factor. This has the highest risk/reward factor of any of the new shows for me, meaning it might be amazing, OR it might just be the worst thing to hit the small screen since I accidentally let go of the Wii remote while bowling several years ago.

5) The Mindy Project (Fox)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9:30/8:30

You may know Mindy Kaling from her role as Kelly Kapoor on “The Office” or you may know her from..... hmmmm..... no, that’s about it.  But apparently it was enough to land her not only her own sitcom, but one with her own name attached.  I don’t have extremely high hopes for this one, but have heard enough good things about Kaling’s comedy skills to give it a shot.

4) Last Resort (ABC)
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c

OK, so go with me here. “Last Resort” follows the leader of a renegade submarine crew that goes on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles and then declares themselves the world's smallest nuclear nation.  AND YOU AREN’T GOING TO WATCH IT?! That’s what I thought.

3) Go On (NBC)
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9/8c

I’d follow Matthew Perry just about anywhere.  In fact I have.  I loved him in “Studio 60” a few year’s back and even enjoyed what he had to offer in last year’s “Mr. Sunshine”.  Apparently, I was the only one who knew that show existed, but the point is, I think the dude is hilarious.  I don’t even really know what this show is about, I just know I’m about to get my Chandler Bing on and that’s rarely a bad thing.

2) Nashville (ABC)
Premieres: Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10/9c

What on earth could entice a country music hater like myself to so desire to tune in to a show about country music?  Nope, not Hayden Panettiere, though it will be nice to see her on TV again. Nope, not the plot either, though I do think the old school music vs. new school music could be an interesting exploration. Nope, the real reason I’m so excited is much simpler.  I have a friend in the cast.  Well, technically a friend’s brother. What I’m saying is that every few minutes I get to point at the screen and yell, “Hey, I know that guy!” and isn’t that really what life is all about?

1) Revolution (NBC)
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 17 at 10/9c

J.J. Abrams takes his rightful place at the top of my annual list once again.  Look, when you bring me Alias, Fringe, and LOST, you’re going to have to let me down pretty hard to keep my eyeballs away from your work.  “Revolution” appears to be another perfect Abrams concept, with both mystery and relationship.  And though I can see why the previews might be reminiscent of a certain youth novel about teens killing other teens, I think the show itself will prove itself to be very different.  My prediction is that every week he will leave us with one answer and five new questions, so that by the end of the fifth season there will be about 100 answered questions and 500 unanswered ones, and once again he will have left himself shy of the ability to please the uber fans who want to know every detail.  My other prediction? That I will enjoy every last second of it.


  1. I have two of these on my list: Elementary and Revolution (for the same reasons as yours). I started the pilot of The Mindy Project on Hulu...didn't finish it. I have no desire to watch Nashville because a) I hate country music and b) I love the city too much to watch whatever spin they put on it and its business.

    One on my list that's not on yours...and should be: Ben and Kate.

    1. Ben and Kate.... Noted. I didn't leave it off for any particular reason, just didn't peak my interest. Maybe when I post my 21 hours of TV, if I come up short I will add it.

    2. watched Ben & Kate just on a whim last night on Hulu and it was actually really good. I subscribed and will continue to check it out.

      GO ON lost me by ep 2. not any better than his mr sunshine or whatever it was called last year that flopped. NEW NORMAL is mostly about life as a gay couple or with them, which if done right is funny (ModernFamily) but this one is not good. just gay to be gay and not funny at all. I suspect that PARTNERS will be the same way when it premieres.
      I am definitely going to try Revolution and Vegas based on interesting premise, and casting. but after getting hooked on SHERLOCK (bbc series) I cant watch Elementary. would never be as good. no way.