Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tale of two movies (turned into TV shows)

I should have know I was in trouble when we did our TV fantasy draft.

Thinking clearly wasn't really a top priority, if you look at my list. The only shows I was really excited for were "The River" and "Awake" (which, who knows when that's starting.)

All the other shows are "I guess I'll watch that." And look what happens...

Two new television series based off successful movies.

First up is the new animated Fox series "Napoleon Dynamite." I think what made the movie popular was there was nothing like it at the time. It was weird, but not too weird and a lovable level of clever.

The TV show tries to catch lightning in a bottle by using everyone from the movie. While that does create a nice consistency, other issues prevented me from enjoying it.

Maybe the problem is that the movie was one thing, a one and done type thing, but more of it just doesn't work. Heck, I love root beer floats, but too much of it and I get sick of it.

Like a lot of new comedies this season, I just didn't find it funny. There was one moment in the pilot that made me smile: parts of the episode take place at a kid's pizza place and there is a robot band performing just like at Chuckie Cheese's when I was a kid. They got details right that made me smirk and think good thoughts.

But then the main plot of the show, an acne skin cream that turns you into a rage monster, brought me back to reality. While cute at points, it's beyond stupid at others.

The ratings were pretty good, so maybe I'm wrong.

On the other side is the new NBC drama "The Firm."

Based on the John Grisham novel, which then was turned into a 1993 Tom Cruise movie.

Yes, a book turned into a movie turned into a television show. Way to keep it original NBC.

The show stars Josh Lucas as Mitch McDeere, who is coming out of 10 years of Witness Protection after the events of the film.

You see, Tom Cruise might have taken down the firm and made a deal with the mob, but the US government finds a way to take down the mob using the information he provided. Hence, Witness Protection.

But, McDeere is the most unlucky man on the planet because not only is the mob after him again, but he AGAIN joined an evil firm.

Instead of an evil Gene Hackman to deal with, this McDeere has an evil, yet sexy, Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica") to worry about.

And here's my major problem with the show: flashbacks.

Listen, er look, "Lost" was one thing, but I'm not getting into a bunch of shows that do the whole flashback thing EVERY episode.

Part of each episode follows the present day where McDeere is running for his life. Then a majority of the episode is the past where he does a case of the week. Oddly enough the first two episodes were young men murdering people.

Other than the flashback issue there isn't much else wrong with the show. The acting is great. Lucas does a great job, in fact he does such a good job you're not even thinking about Tom Cruise. The first episode got a tad boring halfway in, but saved itself with a good ending.

I really don't know if I can, or want to, invest the time to watch this each week. Especially when "Alcatraz" (review coming soon) does the flashback thing better.

Pass and, maybe, pass.

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