Pilot Watch: Round Up 3

Article Tools
Pilot Watch: Round Up 3

For everything you've missed so far, here's Part 1 and here's Part 2.

The Cleveland Show

The Pitch: Family Guy meets the Brady Bunch meets basically everything in the world.

The Set Up: Cleveland Brown from Family Guy gets his own show, wherein he leaves Quahog to move to California to be a Major League scout.  On the way, he gets sidetracked in his home town of Stoolbend, VA where he rekindles his love with a woman he went to high school with and becomes surrogate daddy to her two rowdy kids.

Ridiculous Pop Culture References: Are you joking?  It's packed with them.

Cringe factor (out of 10): 9.

Over/under for Cancellation:  By anyone else, this show is off in 12 episodes.  Since it falls under the banner of Seth McFarlane, who's been given the reins in Hollywood apparently, it'll probably be on forever.


The Pitch: Third Watch meets Fearless meets the episode of ER where Dr. Romano gets killed.

The Set Up: The lives and issues of a foursome of San Francisco paramedics.  Derek Luke is back as the hero with infidelity issues, the chick from Damages who isn't Rose Byrne is mixed in there, the new girl is fresh off her tour of duty in Iraq, and Cliff Curtis plays a character named Rabbit, adding to the list of ethnicities that he's played; so far as I know, this is the first time he's played a rodent.

Ridiculous Pop Culture References: "You aint no Steve McQueen."  Damn right.  Also, does a cameo by the guy who plays Buddy Garrity count?

Cringe factor (out of 10): 5.  There's some clunky dialogue here and some really standard "lives on the line" filmmaking.  On the other hand, it's rare that a show does something as courageous and shocking as this show did in its first five minutes and that's commendable.  Does it make it worth watching every week?  Probably not, but it definitely warrants space for one more episode on my DVR.

Over/under for Cancellation: 12 episodes.


The Pitch: Frasier meets reverse Beverly Hillbillies meets a Pop Culture Reference Machine

The Set Up: Kelsey Grammar plays a rich guy who losses his job and all his money and is forced to move back to his hometown with his grounded wife and clichéd children in tow.  Hilarity does not ensue.

Ridiculous Pop Culture References: The geeky son does an impression of Yoda during half the episode.

Cringe factor (out of 10): 10.5.  Not even a cameo by my former next door neighbor could inspire any tolerance for this piece of dreck.

Over/under for Cancellation: 6 episodes.

The Middle

The Pitch: Everybody Loves Raymond meets Green Acres meets Jerry Maguire meets Sarah Palin's worldview meets a Pop Culture Reference Machine

The Set Up: Patricia Heaton returns to sitcom-ville to play an over-worked mother of three balancing her kids, her job, and her incessant and annoying VO in this totally middle of the road show.  Yup, this pilot has it all: a ridiculous VO that sandwiches every scene, a starting-at-the-end plot gimmick, and a precociously sociopathic youngest child. 

Ridiculous Pop Culture References: In two separate scenes, the family gathers to watch Dancing with the Stars and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  Can you guess what network this show airs on?

Cringe factor (out of 10): 15.  The show opens with some remark about it being set in the kind of place that people generally fly over going between coasts, and it is, it's set in Indiana.  It tells us that people generally don't care about the lives of people living in these places, but we should because there's lots of good people there working hard to make America what it is.  We even get treated to some stock footage from the Seventies and everything.  The show kind of exists on the pretense that we've seen enough of the lives of Fake America-dwelling souls and that it's time for a show about Middle Americans because they never get credit for being awesome and most people think they're a bunch worthless ants that get flown over on the way to New York or Los Angeles.  Too bad there's nothing about the show that suggests any one of us should ever alter that opinion.

Over/under for Cancellation: 6 episodes.

Three Rivers

The Pitch: Six Feet Under meets Grey's Anatomy meets the episode of ER from last season where George Clooney made a guest appearance meets John Locke's backstory meets Minority Report

The Set Up: This totally middle of the road medical drama supposedly follows a team of transplant surgeons, the only problem is they do only one transplant in the pilot even though we follow three patients.  The other patients have their problems solved with some medical detective work and a lot of running around in a hospital where glass walls turn into giant touch screen monitors and each room's 42-inch plasma monitor (with "like a thousand channels," we're told) also doubles as video conference devices.  Don't you wish you lived in a place where this magical stuff could exist in your local hospital?  All it takes is a move to Pittsburgh!

Ridiculous Pop Culture References: Not really.

Cringe factor (out of 10): 12.  Ok, so the show opens with the death of a guy (thanks Six Feet Under) who obviously is going to have his body plundered to save some of the other characters, and, you know what?, it might be interesting to see how useful all the organs of the body can be.  Too bad only the heart of this perfectly healthy guy who has a horrible work-related accident befall him gets a scene in the show.  And, in case you weren't sure how important and miraculous the heart transplant is, the doctors put it into the body of a pregnant woman.  You just know somewhere along the line someone said, "hey, we need to raise the stakes here" and the writers came back with "pregnant lady gets a heart transplant."  Also, in the predictable Act IV "the family gets cold feet" scene, one of the doctors tells the new guy, "you can't force them, it has to be a gift."  I don't know how the actor kept a straight face.

Over/under for Cancellation: 6 episodes.  This show seems like it will run its course after all applicable organs have been transplanted.  I just know that I'll never be interested in a heart transplant scene again, so that's one down the drain right there.  I think the show gets one kidney, one liver, maybe a lung, and a November sweeps two-part episode with a facial transplant.  After that, it's over.

So, what did I learn from pilot week?  Lots of things actually, and I want to share all my inane little thoughts with you.  So tune back in next week for a ditty I'm tentatively calling "Things I Learned from Pilot Week."  Same bat time, same bat channel.

Web Design by okbreathe • © Copyright 2009 - Steves Word, All Rights Reserved