Thursday 9 October 2014
Fall Frosh: Forever, Selfie, The Flash
By Courtney Lockhart
We are a few weeks into the new TV season and I'm already behind. I haven't seen Gotham or caught up with old friends like Bones or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D but that's what long weekends and random mid season breaks are for. However, I have managed to check out three of this year's freshman class. One was a sure bet confirmed, another a pleasant surprise, the third has potential but I'm reserving judgement.
SURE BET: THE FLASH
Barry Allen is a nerdy, clumsy, awkward forensics expert. That is, until the day he is struck by lighting caused by the STAR labs particle accelerator blowing up. He wakes up from a coma nine months later with killer abs, fast healing and super speed. With these new abilities will he become the hero he wants to be?
I've been counting down to premiere day since the first trailers came out. As a spin off from Arrow this show had a lot to live up to and it did. The new cast featuring familiar faces like Grant Gustin, Jesse L Martin, and Tom Cavanaugh gels well right from the start. The origin story wasn't rushed passed for the new people, nor did it drag on for the well-versed. The pilot sets up the possibility of good old fashioned 'bad guy of the week' stories alongside the larger story arcs. With excellent writing and a last scene twist that had me talking back to the television, I'm looking forward to seeing if lightning will strike twice for executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisburg.
PLEASANT SURPRISE: FOREVER
I checked this one out purely on a whim, and I have to say it was a very good whim. Forever follows the new rulebook of network cop shows: sensible police officer plus off-beat but brilliant expert solve crimes while trying not to flirt with each other too much for the first few seasons. However, as with most storytelling it is the nuances that make it unique. Dr Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) works in the New York medical examiner's office and is very good at his job. He strikes up a working partnership with Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) thanks to his Sherlock Holmes worthy deduction abilities. But Henry has a secret- he's been alive over 200 years and can't die.
This is another show that thrives on good writing. The cases presented are interesting but it is the dialogue between Henry, Jo and the rest of the cast that charms viewers to keep watching. The first four episodes offer glimpses into Henry's past, particularly a lost love named Abigail who left Henry and their adopted son Abe (portrayed in modern times by Judd Hirsch) for reasons that have yet to be explained. There is also the promise of a Big Bad in the form of a mysterious caller who not only knows Henry's secret, but claims to have the same condition. There is a lot of potential in this series and I truly hope that ABC gives it the chance it deserves.
There were two things that peaked my interest in checking out this modern manners sitcom. The first is my inner theatre geek was intrigued by the idea of a Pygmalion/ My Fair Lady modernisation. The second, I adore Karen Gillan and wanted to support her. Gillan plays Eliza Dooley, a successful sales rep who realises she has thousands of online followers, but no one to check on her when she gets food poisoning. She asks her company's new marketing and branding guru Henry, a delightfully bitter and grumpy John Cho, to help revamp her image and her life.
I'm not sure however that actor loyalty and a familiar premise will be enough for this show. The awkwardness and humour based on annoyance can be grating at times but on the plus side Cho and Gillan have great chemistry. If the show doesn't get on it's feet quickly it may not get a chance.
Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat. She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.