September 10, 2004

Can NBC get back on top?

In short, probably not this season. While their lineup is solid, we all know that isn’t necessarily a good thing – After all, “Bobby is a solid boy” doesn’t exactly ring pleasant thoughts unless you need a cow milked. Even though the NBC regular lineup will include Joey, Will & Grace, The Apprentice, and ER, I still have my doubts. Last night’s showing consisted of the premieres for Joey, The Apprentice 2, and Medical Investigation. Here are my inane observations and please note, I have made a conscious effort to include no spoilers since the Apprentice repeats on Saturday:

Joey – First, Joey was always my least favorite of the Friends. With that said, I wholeheartedly admit I enjoyed this show – I think this gig has a chance of making it. Will it be a Frasier-ed level of survival? Not unless they add a few more compelling characters, keep the witty writing coming (it WAS pretty funny – I actually giggled out loud several times), and come up with some good storylines. Basically, this sitcom has potential and I was pleasantly shocked to see that. When I first heard of the Joey concept, my first reaction was to roll my eyes and declare it a flop. Of course, what do I know? This is the same network that canceled Boomtown (more grumbling on that later). Anyway, they did a great job casting the nephew – his deadpan delivery makes him a good foil for Joey. I was very disappointed in the Gina character; she was basically a watered-down version of the Soprano’s Adriana (who I am still wearing black for. Sob.). They just aren’t using Drea deMatteo to her fullest extent. The casting of the agent was genius – let’s hope she’s a regular (unlike the hilarious one from Friends who we rarely got to enjoy). I’ll be recording this one – for awhile at least. 3 out of 4 sheep.

Apprentice 2 - This premiere was basically what I expected. Introduce the apprentices (or is it apprenti?) show Donald’s hair flapping around, get a glimpse of Donald's latest sweetie from a Eastern European Bloc country with a flashy smile (and chest), then blind us with his apartment AGAIN, and then perform some cheesy task for one of the many corporations clamoring to get on the show now that it’s a hit. I loved it! I appreciate the fact they are working for a JOB, not just prize money (and yes, they will have to work. I read People and Bill Rancic is working his heiney off. He is! People said so.) The challenge was fun, too – how can you go wrong when kids with attitudes and regrettable haircuts are involved?? They did an excellent job casting the apprentices, as well. In this crowd, there are plenty of contenders for the top positions of Omarosa and Sam so I don’t think this season will disappoint. 4 out of 4 sheep

Medical Investigation – I SO wanted to love this show – at least for the fabulous Neal McDonough in retribution for NBCs ridiculous scheduling and ultimate cancellation of the incredible Boomtown (can you tell I am still seething?). I tried, really – I did. However, this medically themed knock-off of Without a Trace just didn’t do it for me (do these 2 shows have the same producers? The cinematography and special effects were very similar). Even with Kelli Williams and Anna Belknap (um, did you get the point of her character? I didn’t). Overall, the drama felt forced and well, dramatic. I just have a hard time believing there will be major outbreaks every week in the New York City area. I might watch this, only if I happen to be home and have a hankering for Neal’s baby blues. 2 out of 4 sheep

There you have it. My 2 Lincolns on last night’s NBC viewing.

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