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Two Good New Shows

Are you home this weekend with no idea what to watch?  Well, your good friend Tha Docta is here to help you out.  I’ve got a couple of new shows that are definitely worth your time.  I’ve got “Conviction” and the ABC’s new pseudo-makeover show “Miracle Workers” on the TiVo, so those reviews will be forthcoming.  But these two will be accessible this weekend, so I’m posting them now.  Enjoy.

“Free Ride”

“Free Ride” is a laugh track-free (yes!) comedy from Fox about what happens when a college graduate ends up not liking the subject of his degree and goes back home to live with his parents to avoid working in the field.  If you’ve been to college away from your hometown and then gone back to see what happened to all your high school acquaintances, you’ll be able to relate to this show.  In fact, even if you’ve just envisioned what might have happened to those people, you’ll probably be able to relate.  

Nate Stahlings (Josh Dean) just graduated from Santa Barbara and worked for a short time in Chicago, where he found that he didn’t enjoy the field in which he graduated.  He decides to go home to rural Missouri and live with his parents for a few weeks (what they say) or maybe a few months (what he says) until he can figure out what to do.  In the pilot, he runs into some entertaining characters from high school (the guy who is exactly the same, the guy who got married, the girl he liked who’s now engaged).  

If the series is as funny as the pilot was while simply setting the premise, this could be a good show.  If you’re interested, check out the pilot here.  I guess Fox must have something going with MySpace or something.  I’d definitely recommend you check it out.  I’m going to give it a few more episodes to see if it can keep up the laughs.

Final Score: 3.5 cents.

“The Unit”

I am only somewhat familiar with David Mamet’s body of work.  I loved The Untouchables, but hated Hannibal; while to me Heist and Ronin were just okay.  With his new TV show, “The Unit”, Mamet has something good on his hands.  

“The Unit” follows the members of a team of Special Forces agents as they carry out undercover missions throughout the world.  Focus is also given to the members’ families.  The leader of the unit is Jonas Blane, who is played by Dennis Haysbert (or President Palmer as we “24” fans know him).  In the pilot episode, new recruit Bob Brown (Scott Foley) is introduced, and that conveniently gives us a little introduction into the lives of the soldiers and their families.  The soldiers are a tight-knit group, and so are the wives who stay behind while their husbands are on top-secret missions.  

I was hesitant during the first part of the show, as the dialogue was heavy and I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on.  As it went on, however, I got acclimated to the flow of the plot, and things became easier to understand.  The presentation was actually more realistic that way, as the characters wouldn’t be babying some invisible observer by talking slowly and in basic terms so the transparent outsider would know what was going on.

Dialogue aside, the action scenes were fantastic.  The presentation was engaging and the action was intense.  Leading the way in every scene in which he appeared was Dennis Haysbert.  As was the case when he played President Palmer, Haysbert drips charisma and seems to genuinely be in authority.  His interaction with those who question him is extremely entertaining, and it is completely believable that he could get any soldier to follow his lead.

Luckily, the scenes that feature the families are equally entertaining, with Haysbert’s on-screen wife (played by Regina Taylor) being the unofficial leader of the spouses.  There’s more to the plot, but to talk about it would be superfluous—especially when the replay is tomorrow night at 8:00.  That’s Saturday, March 11, at 8:00 pm on CBS.  I highly recommend you watch it.  

Unfortunately, CBS put this show in a very tough timeslot against “House”, “Scrubs”, and “Supernatural” (at least until the latter moves to Thursdays).  Despite that fact, I think the show has a future if it can survive until the end of “House’s” season.  At least I hope.  If the pilot is any indicator, this is definitely one to watch.

Final Score: 4 cents.

This post first appeared on Eight Cents, please read the originial post: here

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Two Good New Shows


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