Features

Grading television: mini fall reviews

Siobhan Dempsey

Staff Writer

“Forever:” 10pm Tuesdays on ABC
“Forever,” starring Ioan Gruffudd, Judd Hirsch, and Alana de la Garza, is a show clearly designed to monopolize off the recent success of various Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Dr. Henry Morgan (Gruffudd) is an immortal, infallible, insufferable Sherlock Holmes copycat who works in the NYPD medical examiner’s office and lives with his friend Abe (Hirsch). The show begins when Dr. Morgan is killed in a subway crash, and comes back to life naked in the East River. He then spends the rest of the episode investigating the crash with Detective Jo Martinez (de la Garza) as a reluctant partner. This show is an obvious knockoff of Elementary, down to the character design and title card. Dr. Morgan’s immortality is boring and his dislike of it, a cliché. There are better ways to spend your time than watching a pseudo-unique copycat.
Rating: C-

“Gotham:” 8pm Mondays on Fox
““Gotham,” starring Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordon, tells the story of the titular city before Bruce Wayne puts on the bat ears and gets in the batmobile. The first scene of the show depicts his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne getting shot right in front of the young Bruce. The show primarily follows the very deadpan Gordon and his corrupt partner Harvey Bullock as they try to solve the Wayne case and survive in the seedy city full of future members of the Rogues Gallery. “Gotham” thrives in its darkness and is definitely worth watching, especially for the performances of the lead actors .
Grade: A-

“How to Get Away With Murder:” 10pm Thursdays on ABC
Viola Davis leads the diverse ensemble cast of “How to Get Away With Murder,” which is about as awesome as its name would indicate. It follows two timelines: one where Annalise Keating’s (Davis) students are being inducted into her class and her law firm and one on the night when Keating’s husband was killed apparently by four of her best students. This show is well acted and well written. The most common complaint I have heard about this show is that it’s not realistic. Who cares about realism in television? Boring people, that’s who. Viola Davis acts her butt off and her ensemble cast most prominently including Alfie Enoch, Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter movies are all fantastic. Sit back and enjoy the show.
Grade: A

“Madam Secretary:” 8pm Sundays on CBS
“Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni as the title character, is a procedural with potential. Elizabeth McCord (Leoni) is the recently sworn in secretary of state, who now has to deal with case-of-the-week international relations situations and a conspiracy involving the death of her predecessor. McCord’s character design is meant to evoke visions of Hillary Clinton, but the show heavily emphasizes that she is a “Washington outsider,” which never seems like a good qualification for someone who wants to get into American politics. To her credit, McCord never describes herself as one and she adeptly deals with the issues given to her in the pilot. On another note, the secondary cast is stacked with theater regulars, which can only lead to good things. The pilot could have been better, but I have faith that this show will grow into itself.
Grade: B

“Selfie:” 8:30pm Tuesdays on ABC
“Selfie,” the terribly titled new show starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, is an updated version of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. Eliza Dooley (Gillan) is a showy, social-media obsessed sales representative who, after an unfortunate (extremely gross) experience with illness on a business trip, realizes that she needs to change her image so she can actually gain and maintain friendships. She asks marketer Henry (Cho) to help her, and although he vacillates between enthusiasm and hesitation for the idea, he accepts the task by the end of the episode. Gillan and Cho’s performances were fantastic. Although the show veered towards over-shaming Eliza at times, it at least began to show faults in Henry’s character as well as beginning to explain why Eliza is so focused on her appearance both on and offline. I think Selfie will do well if it continues in that vein.
Grade: B

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