Tag Archives: NBC

HANNIBAL Episode Recap: “Potage”

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I can’t remember the last time I’ve so emphatically recommended a network drama.  Hannibal, a mere three episodes in, is already heads and shoulders above, say, The Following, not just because of its writing and acting, but its style.  Few people can put a visual stamp on things like Bryan Fuller, and while Hannibal and Will inhabit their own distinct spaces and looks, it’s the loathsome Freddie Lounds who really embodies that slightly cartoony / candy-colored world that Fuller built in Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies.  In Hannibal it’s more muted, but the time-lapsed establishing shots and vivid staging (the chat in the hospital’s greenhouse, or in the bright fall leaves behind the Hobbs’ house) still keep things from looking like a rote procedural.  So does the advent of Abigail Hobbs.  Hit the jump for why you should never threaten someone who thinks about murder all day (like kittens) … READ MORE

HANNIBAL Episode Recap: “Amuse Bouche”

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A fellow TV critic said of Hannibal, “NBC doesn’t know what it has with this show.”  He’s absolutely right.  Though it has some of the trappings of a procedural (a case of the week, a familiar make up of quirky forensic detectives, a kind of “you can’t handle the truth!” refrain), Hannibal is elevated by three things.  It’s incredibly stylish (but not cartoonishly so, as CSI: Miami could be), it has two great leads (Mads Mikkelson and Hugh Dancy), and it has a built-in anticipation with the development of Hannibal’s character, because we know where he and Will end up, something that adds a lot of tension to the onscreen proceedings, even when they’re not overt (like that little dinner Hannibal served Jack).  NBC, don’t mess this up.  Hit the jump for more on why you should always inquire about where the loin came from. … READ MORE

Ready for Love: TV Review

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Executive producer Eva Longoria offers NBC’s answer to ABC’s “The Bachelor” in a glossy spectacle that truly focuses on dating as competition.

ABC’s dating show juggernaut The Bachelor has dominated its genre for a long time, but now NBC is attempting to launch a rival network franchise with Ready for Love, a new Eva Longoria-produced dating series. NBC’s show shares some aspects with that “other” show (which it references with appropriate catty disdain in the opening moments), but makes this endeavor wholly its own, for better or worse. … READ MORE

HANNIBAL Recap: “Apertif”

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Hannibal, featuring the latest and possibly one of the better incarnations of the infamous cannibalistic serial killer, is also the latest in some very gruesome TV.  But at the hands of Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), who wrote the first episode and David Slade (Awake) who directed it, it becomes haunting and dreamlike, and not the schlocky bloodbath of, say, Fox’s The Following.  In its first episode, Hannibal sets up all of the major familiar players of the Hannibal Lecter series, but like A&E’s Bates Motel, even though we know where things will end up, the journey getting there seems worth following.  Hit the jump for more on the series’ inaugural episode, as well as a really tasty recipe for cooked lung.  If you missed the pilot, watch it online right here. … READ MORE

‘The Voice’ Gamble Pays Off With New Coaches Shakira, Usher (Analysis)

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The new mentors are playing the part of upstarts, getting playfully ribbed by the veterans while also, as Shakira says over and over, potentially benefiting from “beginner’s luck.”

NBC is looking to double-down on its biggest non-sports ratings hit The Voice by introducing some new blood to its coaching lineup. For this season (at least), Usher and Shakira will be filling in for Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera as they pursue their own projects, but there was a network nervousness over how these new coaches might work with veteran coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton READ MORE

DO NO HARM Review; NBC’s Jekyll-and-Hyde-Based Series Could Have Promise

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Like Sherlock Holmes, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydehas been done and redone to death.  But also like Sherlock, there are still ways to modernize it and keep it fresh.  Whether Do No Harm is one of those who can do so well remains to be seen.  Viewers of the BBC series Jekyll, healmed by Sherlock and Doctor Who scribe Steven Moffat, will find a lot of similarities with Do No Harm.  But the later series has the opportunity to not turn into the same messJekyll eventually became (within six episodes!) if it just sticks to the basics.  Hit the jump for more on this updated classic. … READ MORE

1600 PENN Series Premiere Preview

I’ll admit I was biased against the NBC’s new White House sitcom 1600 Penn, about a “dysfunctional First Family,” after I saw the terrible, terrible, parody-esque bump the network made for it (seriously, isn’t that the same style/music 30 Rock uses to make fun of terrible fictional NBC shows like “Queen of Jordan”?).  But a series shouldn’t be punished because of an inept promo editor, and some early positive buzz from a few trusted sources had me watching the first three episodes with cautious optimism.  Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last through even one segment … READ MORE

‘Revolution’ Season 1, Episode 3 Recap

Over the last two weeks I’ve been informally polling friends, family, and strangers about the new Fall shows. Many express a doubt over whether they should invest in some new series in case they get cancelled, others are overwhelmed with the current lineup, and almost everyone universally hates the New Normal. When it comes to “Revolution,” there are skeptics, but the most-oft refrain is, “that’s the show that’s like ‘Lost,’” right? … READ MORE

‘Revolution’ Season 1, Episode 2

Perhaps the biggest problem with “Revolution” is not the wooden acting and dialogue or the chaotic nature of the storytelling, or even the fact that in its second week it has already established a repetitive narrative formula (Miles wants to leave the group, Charlie gives him Sad Eyes and does something naive / sentimental / impulsive, the group is in trouble, Miles saves the day and reluctantly re-joins the group, repeat) — its worst sin may be that it’s just kind of boring … READ MORE

‘Revolution’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 1

NBC has let the pilot for their new J.J. Abrams-produced series “Revolution” (filmed in Atlanta!) hang around on the internet for weeks now, which is a dangerous prospect anyway but even more so given how the pilot seems to be turning more people off of the show the longer it hangs around without resolution. While the first episodes of brand-new shows are usually a terrible way to truly judge whether a series will be good or not, the game is much harder for series looking to gain a foothold among the broadcast networks, who are quick to ax under-performing series whether critically acclaimed or not (few more so than NBC, whose quickness on the trigger has lead to protests over series like “Friday Night Lights” and “Community,” series that make the network look good but don’t apparently meet its profit point) … READ MORE