Test Pilot: File #45, Batman (1966)

Test Pilot #45: Batman (1966) Debut date: January 12, 1966 Series legacy: One of the more famous superhero adaptations on television; a bit of a joke Welcome friends, to the second Test Pilot Special Theme Week. We had such great success with the week devoted to Joss Whedon-produced series back at the first of the…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #45, Batman (1966)

Test Pilot: File #39, Kings

Test Pilot #39: Kings Debut date: March 15, 2009 Series legacy: Yet another one of NBC’s failed late-aughts drama series Welcome back to Test Pilot guys and gals! With that extra-special Joss Whedon Theme Week behind us, it’s time to fall back into the typical, but still lovely rhythms of the feature. Today, we continue…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #39, Kings

Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Awake pilot last night (or over the past few weeks, thanks to NBC releasing it online fairly early). If you haven’t read my review, please consider doing that. But amid all the beaming reviews and superlatives for Awake, big questions remain: Is it a series? Can the story be maintained…… Continue reading Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

Test Pilot: File #36, Profit

Test Pilot #36: Profit Debut date: April 8, 1996 Series legacy: Known for its dark, complicated story and even darker lead character; thought to be ahead of its time Welcome back to Test Pilot guys and gals! With that extra-special Joss Whedon Theme Week behind us, it’s time to fall back into the typical, but…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #36, Profit

Series Premiere Review: Touch

Let’s get this out of the way first: Tim Kring is the worst. He is not just the worst because he took a series with a great concept and a handful of truly good episodes in Heroes and quickly ran it into the ground, repetitively. Tim Kring is just the worst because he knows exactly…… Continue reading Series Premiere Review: Touch

“We’ve had a really bad fall” (and decade): On the fatal flaw of NBC’s development strategy and defeatist thinking

Note: This post is a longer (but barely) and hopefully more coherent version of my tweet explosion from Friday night. With the annual winter Television Critics Association Press Tour coming to an end and many of the season’s mid-season premieres here or right around the corner, I wanted to take a little time and talk…… Continue reading “We’ve had a really bad fall” (and decade): On the fatal flaw of NBC’s development strategy and defeatist thinking

Controlled madness: On The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and narrative pacing

This summer, I made my way through the first season of Nikita, a series I liked in the early part of last season but one I ultimately lost touch with because I was already watching 71 other things at the same time. Thursday nights are tough, you all know this. Generally speaking, I very much…… Continue reading Controlled madness: On The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and narrative pacing

#TVFail Entry 3: Heroes, “How To Stop An Exploding Man”

The accused: Heroes, “How to Stop an Exploding Man” (Season 1, Episode 23) The crime: Failing to provide a satisfying conclusion to a much-hyped season of serialized drama Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very beginning (hello, FlashForward, Lone Star) to the much-discussed clumsy conclusions of series we…… Continue reading #TVFail Entry 3: Heroes, “How To Stop An Exploding Man”

Series Finale — Smallville, “Finale”

Here we are at the end of a long, winding and oftentimes bumpy, 10-year road. Smallville is over. As someone who tries to review television objectively, I’ll be the first to acknowledge this series’ weaknesses, both those within its control and those not. I want to point out all of those things first as to say…… Continue reading Series Finale — Smallville, “Finale”

#TVFail Entry 1: Lost, “Stranger in a Strange Land”

The accused: Lost, “Stranger in a Strange Land” (Season 3, Episode 9) The crime: Proving that the Lost creative team had no “real plan” to tell their story. Television’s failures are supposed to be obvious. From the overhyped non-starters that flop from the very beginning (hello, FlashForward, Lone Star) to the much-discussed clumsy conclusions of…… Continue reading #TVFail Entry 1: Lost, “Stranger in a Strange Land”

Test Pilot: File #12, The Marriage Ref

Test Pilot #12: The Marriage Ref Debut date: February 28, 2010 Series legacy: One of the worst television series to hit the airwaves in the last few years, a signal that we should all respect Jerry Seinfeld less. Test Pilot is back! It’s a new year, but the historical pilot analysis continues! In case you…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #12, The Marriage Ref

Test Pilot: File #11, Knight Rider

Test Pilot #11: Knight Rider Debut date: September 24, 2008 Series legacy: One of the most disastrous remakes in an era full of disastrous remakes. Test Pilot is back! It’s a new year, but the historical pilot analysis continues! In case you have forgotten or are new to the site, here’s the general primer: In this bi-weekly…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #11, Knight Rider

Test Pilot: File #10, Heroes

Test Pilot #10: Heroes Debut date: September 25, 2006 Series legacy: A legitimate cultural phenomenon that flamed out within a year of its debut, now a major touch-point that critics point to when discussing both the failure of serialized television and NBC’s downfall. Test Pilot is back! It’s a new year, but the historical pilot…… Continue reading Test Pilot: File #10, Heroes

The Cape, “Kozmo”

After a busy, poorly paced two-hour opening, The Cape settled down just a bit in “Kozmo.” This series continues to be mediocre at best and dreadfully awful in certain worsts, but there’s just something about it that’s uncomfortably appealing. I really, really want to hate The Cape. And yet, I cannot. It helps because “Kozmo”…… Continue reading The Cape, “Kozmo”

Event pre-air musings: Haven’t we been down this road before?

On Monday, NBC’s much-publicized The Event debuts. I should be excited. The series wants to fill the void left by Lost and 24 by creating a dense, complicated thriller with a global scope and some sort of secret ongoing mythology. It features a ridiculously cryptic title and is powered by an effective/stupid advertising campaign, much…… Continue reading Event pre-air musings: Haven’t we been down this road before?