I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.
I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.
The following reviews were compiled during the March month challenge and are reviews of the pilot only. I can’t say for certainty that they will be spoiler free and I will not take responsibility if the rest of the series is shit. That is your risk, not mine.
- Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
- No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
- Only 5 can be variety, game, other variety shows. Excluding sketch based shows entirely because I can watch those on my own damn time.
Let’s see if I can keep up…
Pilot 26: Family Tree (Sitcom, Slice of Life, Comedy, Mockumentary)
I was in a bind. I wanted to watch something short and good. At this point I wanted to only watch comedies but I only have so many slots I could watch comedies as per the rules I laid out. Stupid Sylvia and this dumb rules. I was browsing through the HBO catalogue and came across something with Chris O’Dowd starring and I just jumped in.
The show stars Chris O’Dowd as Tom Chadwick and his quirky family. At a recent family dinner, Tom is told he has inherited a chest of curios from a recently deceased Aunt. Inside the chest are nic-nacs and antique photos to which Tom believes they could be photos of his ancestors and goes on a journey to find more about his heritage. The episode revolves around a photo of a British war general, Tom finds a historian who is willing to help him out.
Tom has a sister with a small stuffed animal monkey named the same. Don’t know where they will go with his sister and her monkey but it could be interesting. His parents are a bit on the nonchalant side, somewhat rocky relations there but the pilot doesn’t really delve to much into that.
The show is a slow burn peppered with fine acting and jokes but it didn’t grasp me like some other other comedies on the list. If you like O’Dowd’s work, it’s worth a look into as watching the show wouldn’t be too difficult. It only got one season.
Moon Rating: One slightly race based joke at the end of the episode that seems to be a tried and used joke for so many shows
Pilot 27: Party Down (Sitcom, Comedy, Dark Comedy, Catering Business)
I’ve had the first season of this series on DVD for a while and have been waiting to binge it through. It’s got a ton of actors and comedians I really like but since I don’t physically see the DVD, I always forget I have it. While looking for more comedy pilots to pad myself with, I remembered I had it and popped in the first episode.
The show stars Adam Scott as a washed up actor named Henry that never made it bigger than his beer commercial he’d rather not bring up, ever, coming back to his old joke as a caterer with his old boss Ron, played by Ken Marino. Episode is really an introduction to what caterers have to put up with and what clients of caterers have to put up with. The false niceness, the quality of work and food, and of course, clients that like to go crazy at their own party while the help watches. Henry is then introduced through mishaps and side plots to the rest of the catering crew with stand outs being Martin Starr and Jane Lynch. He eventually meets Lizzy Caplan’s character Casey who is also a working actor.
The episode was pretty promising as per the shenanigans the characters could easily get themselves into. It is fairly deadpan and on the dryer side of comedy but still manage to pull in slapstick and physical comedy. If you like work genre shows, its certainly in a different vein than office comedies. Also, Adam Scott.
Moon Rating: Five please do your line from your commercial please omigawd
Pilot 28: Big Little Lies (Drama, Murder, Intrigue, Suburban Life, Adult Themes)
I wasn’t at all interested in this drama. It was about wealthy families on the coast of California, this is not criteria I look for when I watch a drama but a few friends were going off about the show and the press surrounding the finale (which I still don’t know what happened) was mysterious and intriguing. I decided to give it a go and it was a good idea. A VERY GOOD IDEA. Ho shit… I should really never underestimate shows about wealthy people, they really know what going bananas is because there was some serious shade work through this episode.
The show surrounds a few mothers and their families living in a coastal town of Monterey, particularly these mothers are escorting their children who are in the first grade to the primary school in town. The episode is intercut with moments from the end of the series, possibly, as the scenes dictate the next understanding. You know there is a heinous murder, you know it must be one of the women on screen, you just don’t know who it is until the end of the series. At least, that’s the implication. The episode itself gets geared up when it follows Renee Witherspoon’s character Madeline, an upper crust suburban mother who acts like she’s top queen of the mothers at her primary school. Along with her best friend Celeste, played by Nicole Kidman, and the new mother who comes to her aid Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, the trio gets mixed into this strange world that is the little town of Monterey and all the little lies they hide and live through as the viewer sees them.
It really pulls you in, the directing of the pilot is superb as it builds a mystery on top of all the great acting in the show. The edits to make everyone seem culpable was brilliant piece of work. Even the children don’t seen well.
It looks like it might not be your thing but trust me, it’s really quite interesting. Well acted, well edited, well directed, at least give the first episode a spin and don’t read any spoilers.
Moon Rating: Three mothers who don’t know shit about each other fuuuuuuck
Pilot 29: Marco Polo (Period Drama, Far East, Epic Adventure, Netflix)
Period dramas are my bread and butter, I can get hooked so fast. This one might take a few episodes to convince yet but I do like the tone and story.
The show stars Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo, the Italian merchant who is left by his father as payment to the Emperor Kublai Khan, played by Benedict Wong, for safe passage out of China. Here is where the story begins, it is about Marco and the Khan dynasty characters living and scheming in Ancient China. The characters begin their scheming surrounding the taking of a fort city in Southern China, characters who are trying to snake their way into more power. An Asian Game of Thrones, the players are slowly rolled out for the audience to piece together. Marco plays into the story as Kublai takes interest in him as he describes the landscapes and people in a very vivid way. He trains Marco in everything from calligraphy to fight in which he meets one of the most interesting characters One Hundred Eyes the warrior who trains Kublai’s best.
It’s well acted but the pacing is a bit slowed and it’s a bit strange to hear the majority of the show in English although they employ many kinds of languages as per the Khan dynasty legacy. The end of the pilot poises many questions and gets all the first line of characters in a good position to spread out the schemes and risks for the rest of the season.
Moon Rating: One hundred eyes sees all
Pilot 30: Trollhunters (3D Animated, Fantasy, Kids Getting Magical, Netflix)
This show was kind of a quick pick, it’s a Guillermo Del Toro created property and I like his movies well enough.
The show is about Trolls and Trollhunters, created by Del Toro it’s based on a book by himself and Daniel Klaus. The first half of the pilot, or episode one, opens with two troll warriors fighting in a canal. As the sun rises. they move under the shadow of the bridge, as one troll begins to lose he sacrifices himself to the sunlight telling the other troll he will never get the amulet. He falls back and turns to stone, shattering on the ground in the bright light, an amulet in the rubble. Enter Jim, a teenager who has impressive cooking skills, taking care of his mom and on his way to school with his BFF in tow Toby. As they take a short cut to school, it just so happens to cross the very canal that hosted the troll fight earlier in the episode. Jim finds the amulet and continues on to school.
I mean, it’s pretty obvious what happens from here right? The episode goes on to define Jim’s character and to an extent a few other side characters that will shuffle into more importance later. Jim becomes the newest and first human Trollhunter and meets a few “good” trolls in his basement.
The show is pretty cute but there are a few stereotypical pitfalls in just the pilot alone. It definitely has the pacing meant for a kids show. It might be a bit of a snore, perhaps later in the series it picks up momentum. It is unknown to me but if you’re still interested, give it a few episodes to get more of the story going.
Moon Rating: Six troll eyes blinking in the dark
Pilot 31: Misfits (British, Dark Dramedy, Super Powered, Alternative)
I think I was getting really jaded by this point. I felt like not watching TV anymore after this last pilot. I had been avoiding second episodes and getting kind of sad that some shows people recommended me were not worth my time. I was discouraged and then I turned this show on. It certainly cheered me up.
The show surrounds five ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) young offenders doing community service; Curtis Donovan played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Simon Bellamy played by Iwan Rheon, Alisha Daniels played by Antonia Thomas, Kelly Bailey played by Lauren Socha, and Nathan Young played by Robert Sheehan. While painting benches, a freak lightning storm occurs sending massive hailstones sending the five and their probation officer running for cover when they are all struck by lightning giving each of them powers. All the powers are slightly contingent on their circumstance or personality; Curtis can turn back time, Simon turns invisible, Alisha turns anyone who touches her into a horny freak, Kelly can hear anyone’s thoughts, and Nathan appears untouched and not powered. It’s a super hero show with regular people, better than Heroes I swear.
The pilot allows each character to reveal their traits and new super powers in a timely manner. The gang really meshes well, tons of raunchy humour and sexuality throughout the episode with a heavy dose of dark dramedy as the gang needs to figure out themselves and what happened to their probation officer in the storm.
It’s fun, great jokes and character work, you’ll actually like Iwan Rheon for not being Games of Thrones arch-nemesis Ramsay Bolton, the actors are really on and if you like mouthy characters you’re gonna love Nathan Young.
And since this was the last pilot I watched, it could’ve been bad and I just shut the TV off but instead I was able to binge the first season in a sitting since it’s only 6 episodes. It’s exactly the ending I wanted on this long road of 31 pilots.
Moon Rating: Six hours WORTH IT
Comedy: IIIII IIIII IIII
Drama: IIIII IIIII III
THAT’S 31!! I AM RELEASED!!!!!! AHHH!!!!!
I die now. Aftermath follow up soon. *dies*