Month: March 2016

Miranda’s Rights (NBC) pilot preview: Grey’s Anatomy, legal edition

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Created and executive produced by Katie Lovejoy. Directed by Jennifer Getzinger (Mad Men, The Big C, Agent Carter). Also executive produced by John Glenn (Eagle Eye, The Lazarus Project, Allegiance). For NBC & Universal Television. 65 pages.

Description: Six years after a sex scandal with a politician upended her life, 28-year-old Miranda Coale finally gets a shot at redemption when she’s hired by a group of millennials living and lawyering together in a start-up law firm, The Young Law Group. That’s where her ex-boyfriend Tanner works, with Lana, his fiancée…

With Rebecca Breeds (Home and Away, The Originals, Pretty Little Liars), Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty, Southside With You), Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time), John Gabriel, Monique Coleman (High School Musical, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody), Noel Fisher (Shameless US, The Riches), Ruffin Prentiss (Power), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage, The Mentalist), Gail O’Grady (American Dreams, NYPD Blue, Revenge)…

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Think what you want about NBC’s strategy to climb to the top again but it worked. They are back as the number one network amongst the Big Four. They did it with a mix of Sunday Night Football, The Voice, live events, the Chicago franchise –that keeps on extanding with another spin-off in the works, Chicago Law– the immortal Law & Order:SVU, actions dramas like The Blacklist –which will get a spin-off too– & Blindspot and lighter fares like The Night ShiftThe Mysteries Of Laura Shades of Blue. But no comedy. And with a certain lack of creativity. And obviously, no shame. They’re doing it CBS-style, when CBS was still relevant. Miranda’s Rights is a legal drama right in their new alley. I feel like they may have found another decent player to add to the game. And for once, one that I’d be happy to watch every week if the subsequent episodes are as good as the pilot promise to be. It’s light, it’s soapy, it’s shinny, it’s funny, it’s easy. It’s a job well-done, my friends!

You can easily compare Miranda’s Rights to Grey’s Anatomy when it began 12 years ago. Even the title and its pun suggests is. It’s more or less the same thing with lawyers –except they are not students anymore– which can’t be a bad news if you’re a Grey’s fan like me. ABC already tried something like this a long time ago, it was called The Deep End and it didn’t work, even though it was an honorable product. My biggest fear before reading the script was that it turned out to be just one more lazy copy, coming too late. But it’s way better than that. Writer Katie Lovejoy did it cleverly, with all her youth and modernity. So yes, you probably won’t like it if you’re not into Shondaland and serialized shows. And beautiful people. And shirtless scenes. And hook-ups. And heartbreaks. And voice-over –but one which is conscious it can’t make a Meredith’s impression. And cases which mirror the characters’ own demons. And no, it’s not something that you can bill as bold and original. But not everything has to be, as long as it entertains you efficiently and keeps you coming back.

Apart from the heroine, instantly endearing -I can’t wait to discover Rebecca Breeds, the actress they chose to play Miranda- what I love the most about the show is probably the fact they don’t just work together. They all live together in the same beautiful house in L.A., in front of the ocean in Manhattan Beach (Hello, Private Practice). They sleep together. They breath together. And they reinvent the rules together. They are tired of the big firms where it’s hard to get a job and even harder to stay on the job, where attorneys are unhappy because they are overworked, always milking their clients for every last penny… So they came up with this idea of “The Young Law Group”, where you can actually like your job, where you can offer a better service at a better price… It’s totally unrealistic, of course. But it’s a TV show and being a bit idealistic and dreamy never killed anybody. It can make us happy and hopeful for an hour. That’s quite an achievement.

As I wrote earlier, it’s modern. Like a Scandal can be. In the way those people think, the way Miranda became a pariah, nicknamed “Millenial Monica” –for Monica Lewinsky– the way they brand their company to get new clients, the way Twitter and other social medias are used. And even the cases they are working on resonates with the world we live in. Some are very earthy, human. Others are more sparkly. For example, one storyline is about fighting to get to represent Xara, a famous pop star. Plus, they embrace diversity. Miranda is a white girl but her ex is black, his new fiancée is asian; and there’s her buddy Shaun, who describes himself as “a half-black, half-Mexican bisexual from small-town Texas“. We also have Jacob, the crazy eccentric one, who does what he has to in order to rein in his rage. They all form a very interesting melting-pot of characters. Another good reason to be very satisfied with the script: a right amount of seeds are planted for future storylines, like a competition with another law firm, or the return of the man who killed Miranda’s reputation and career…

It’s not hard to envision Miranda’s Rights as a long-running show for NBC. It’s a fresh, smart and fun hour of television, very feminine and demo-friendly, that can sell worldwide. Legal dramas are definitely back in the game!

 

Model Woman (ABC) pilot preview: Beautiful Bertie is no Ugly Betty

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Created and executive produced by Helen Childress (Reality Bites). Based on Robert Lacey. Directed by Richard Shepard (GirlsRosewood, Ringer, Ugly Betty, Dom Hemingway). Executive produced by Sarah Fain, Liz Craft (The Shield, Lie To Me, Dollhouse), Rosalie Swedlin (Lagies, Red Corner) & Scarlett Lacey (The Royals). For ABC, TrisTar Television, Anonymous Content & ABC Studios. 65 pages.

Description: It’s 1977 and the formidable Bertie Geiss, a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman, with her colorful husband Miller by her side, lords over the Geiss Modeling Agency, a monopolistic powerhouse that sets standards of beauty worldwide. Bertie has an eye for spotting talent and cultivates her finds by mentoring the “girls” in a sorority-type home with strict rules and regimens. As she nears hitting the big 50th birthday, her whole empire is threatened by her Paris partner Lio Fibonacci, a sexy, dangerous snake who is secretly pilfering models to join his new agency in New York while introducing the models to the disco nightlife of glamour, sex and drugs which Bertie forbids…

With Andie MacDowell (Cedar Cove, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sex, Lies and Videotape), Steven Weber (Wings, Studio 60, Leaving Las Vegas), Nicole Ari Parker (Rosewood, Soul Food), Caitlin Carver (The Fosters, Hit the Floor), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town, Aliens in America, Easy A), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order: UK), Chris Mason (Lightfields, The Fades), Kaley Roynane (Gotham), Madeline Blake, Frank Harts (Billions, The Leftovers), Marcus Callender (Straight Outta Compton)…

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Every year, there’s a bunch of pilots you don’t understand why they got ordered. Not that they are awful. Just that they don’t fit with their respective network, and they don’t stand a chance in comparison to others. It looks like a waste of money and it gives false hope to the people involved. I guess someone inside the network roots for it, otherwise it wouldn’t be ordered at all. Right? In fact, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. That’s the case with Model Woman. It’s a pretty decent pilot but why in hell ABC would select this over way more on-brand properties? And it’s not like it was something critics would rave about either, like an American Crime. I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that it’s produced by TriStar television, which was relaunched last summer. It’s their first broadcast pilot picked-up. Maybe it’s just a way for ABC to show their interest towards the company and start a relationship with them. Maybe Model Woman is just a pawn in the game. Or maybe I’m paranoid and they genuinely think it has a chance to become a hit. Which is worrisome.

Look at the description: “a soapy period drama set in the fashion world”. I have nothing against the fashion world. Ugly Betty was set in it and it worked for them after all. Every decade or so, they try something like this. Remember Models Inc. from Sir Aaron Spelling in the 90s with Linda Gray and Carrie-Ann Moss? Even though they introduced it as a Melrose Place spin-off: huge flop. Remember The Beautiful Life on The CW? Cancelled after two airings or so. It seems like it’s not a subject people are interested in it. Or they didn’t find the right way to talk about it yet. But then again, Ugly Betty kinda did. And Model Woman is not in the same vein, at all. The “period” part is the real problem here. Usually, period dramas bomb on networks. Not sure why exactly, but they do. ABC tried, among others. Remember Pan Am? And between models and stewardesses, there’s not a huge difference. At least at the time. The Playboy Club and Life On Mars are other examples.

Because Model Woman is based on the biography of Eileen Ford, the outspoken and controversial woman who started as a model and went on to co-found the famous Ford Modeling Agency with her husband Jerry, it takes itself pretty seriously. Not a good thing when you want to make a soap. It could have been a fun show. It’s not. Sure, some lines are but the fun stops there. And it lacks surprises and unexpected twists. And bitches! Models can very bitchy. Or at least we want them to be. I mean, Naomi Campbell was discovered by Eileen Ford. Where is she in this? Where are the bitches?! The character of Rebecca Blakewell, who betrays the heroine, is supposed to be one. But she’s not enough for me. Helenjane Harris, Bertie’s competitor is another one. But she already signs a pact with her in the pilot. Do we have bitchy men instead? Not really. Bertie’s husband is not that good a person, but not the devil himself. The two young boys are pretty cool. There’s just this Lio Fibonacci, a friend who’s now a competitor. But you have to wait for the end of the pilot to discover it. Too little too late. All those beautiful people, including the young innocent Gemma or Bettie’s daughther Michelle, are definitely too nice for a soap.

Like The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez, Model Woman gives a starring role to a 50-year-old woman. Kudos ABC, once again. Bertie Geiss really is “a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman” and she’s the heart of the show. Maybe she’s the only real bitch in there. She’s the queen. She knows how to make an entrance. There’s a lot to like and to hate about her. Her lines are the best, by far. For example, to someone who says “the FDA just banned saccharine” when she asks for a cake with no sugar but saccharine instead, she responds: “Well, sugar causes fatness. We have to pick our battle.” Slay, bitch! I don’t know if Andie MacDowell is the right fit though. She ages gracefully but we’re so used to see her as a shampoo saleswoman we can’t remember if she was a good actress in the first place. Honestly, I don’t know.

Model Woman is a decent pilot script but a weak contender for a series order. If the story was contemporary and soapier, I’d say “yes, why not?” but as it is, ABC wouldn’t know what to do with it and it’s not the right time to take any chances. Sorry Beautiful Bertie, you’re just no Ugly Betty.

The Exorcist (FOX) pilot preview: One more useless nauseating remake nobody asked for

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Pilot “And Let Me Cry Come Unto Thee” written and executive produced by Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect, Fantastic Four 2015). Based on William Blatty. Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler). Also executive produced by James Robinson (Ace Ventura, Robin Hood, True Romance), David Robinson (Dream House, Two for the Money) & Barbara Wall (Century City). For FOX, 20th Century FOX Television & Morgan Creek Productions. 64 pages.

Description: Two very different men of faith, Father Thomas Ortega and Father Marcus Lang, tackle one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confront the face of true evil…

With Alfonso Herrera (Sense8), Geena Davis (Grey’s Anatomy, Commander in Chief, Thelma & Louise, The Fly), Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone, House of Cards), Camille Guaty (Scorpion, Prison Break, The Nine), Brianne Howey, Kurt Egyawan, Melissa RussellHannah Kasulka (The Fosters), Alan Ruck (Spin City)…

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It’s a constant for quite some time now: cult horror movies turned into TV series never work. Have you seen Damien, based on The Omen? Even Lifetime didn’t want it and left it to A&E. Horrendous. Have you seen NBC’s version of Rosemary’s Baby? One big pile of shit. Bates Motel is the exception. This show is pretty decent. Or at least was at the beginning. Hannibal? Very good series, but dismal ratings. In fact, even 100% original shows dealing with horror can’t find an audience: 666 Park Avenue, Scream Queens… It’s just not broad enough and not everything can be American Horror Story. Networks learned it the hard way. In the light of these simple facts, why did FOX order The Exorcist reboot to pilot? It’s beyond me. I just don’t get it. We know they are still looking for shows with preexisting name recognition (even if Minority Report flopped hard), but why betting on this one? They are heading towards another huge disappointment if they pick it up to series, which they would be crazy to.

Let’s be honest: The Exorcist is almost nothing for the new generation. Either they haven’t seen it or they didn’t like it. 40 years later, what was bold and disturbing at the time feels comical and boring. Remember. “Stick your cock up her ass, you motherfucking worthless cocksucker.” I guess we became too vulgar to be impressed by such a sentence. For older people, The Exorcist is a movie you can’t just play with. It’s THE classic horror movie. A masterpiece. I don’t even see them tuning in to see how it looks now. They won’t be this curious. So, I really don’t know who this series is made for. If it was for FX, or another cable outlet, why not? But for FOX (a network that doesn’t even air at 10)? Doesn’t make sense. You won’t get any “cock” or “motherfucker”, or other terrible words in the mouth of our new demon (the network version of the movie was censored by the way). She’s nicer than that, it seems. They won’t be able to do something very graphic either. There are limits on networks you just can’t ignore. Maybe that’s why they describe the show as a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller, instead of a horror one. There are maybe two scenes of real horror, where you’re supposed to see scary things like the famous head that rotates 360 degrees, but I’m pretty sure FOX will have to cut them heavily before airing the whole thing. Please note there’s no exorcism performed in the pilot, that could explain why it doesn’t go that far. For now.

There’s nothing much left from the novel/movie. They just took the name, a story that vaguely resembles it and made it a TV show. They insist on the family drama at the center, where Geena Davis, as the mother of the possessed, can do great things. And I have to say this part of the show is interesting. Depressing too. But at least you know it’s not gonna be ridiculous with such an actress. Then you got strange scenes in rural Ethopia, from Father Marcus Lang’s past. Those are, on the contrary, almost ridiculous. It’s all about weird screams and wild animals. It’s too cliché. Most of the pilot is about the daily life of Father Thomas Ortega, our real hero here, the chosen one. Depressing too. He’s very alone, except when he takes care of his sister’s son. It’s dark and painful. And gloomy. And austere. As you can imagine. Those characters are lifeless, even though none of them are supposed to be dead. I’m not saying the pilot is badly written or totally uninteresting, but it’s not engaging, appealing. Unless you are looking for a good reason to commit suicide. And most of all, it doesn’t make an hour long weekly TV series! A 2-hour movie? Yes. A 4-hour mini-series? Workable. But more than that? Nope. I certainly don’t see what FOX saw in it. To me, there’s no potential for a series there, either good bad or bad.

The Exorcist TV series doesn’t belong to FOX, or any other network. It’s just as simple as that. And I don’t believe in the theme of exorcism as something that could work on television. Exorcists are not the new vampires or new zombies. Sorry folks! A better (but not perfect) option is Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, coming to Cinemax in a few weeks (Read the preview). This remake nobody asked for is just useless and nauseating, since it doesn’t even pay a real hommage to the novel/movie. Why bother? I definitely prefer “sucking cocks in Hell” than watching this.

CBS 2016/2017 Comedy Pilots ranked

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This past season was, once again, not a great year for CBS’ comedy department with new entries not doing so well. Life In Pieces seems to work only because it follows The Big Bang Theory, and still manage to lose a big chunk of its viewers anyway. A move next year could prove very problematic, but it’s a slot wasted for a show that’s not even produced in-house… Angel From Hell was, as expected, cancelled after a few airings. Mike & Molly was sentenced to death for unknown reasons, even though it was at least a utility player. Second season of The Odd Couple, which should never have been ordered, was kept all season long and will finally start airing on April. Meaning it’s basically already cancelled. Mom is doing fine, thank God. And 2 Broke Girls is okay, despite multiple moves on the schedule.

Whatever they decide to renew or cancel in the end, very few slots are available for new comedies. The race will be tough. But “fortunately”, most of their comedy pilots don’t look promising on paper (and the worst one is a straight-to-series order, ugh). Decisions shouldn’t be that hard to make. They took mostly multicamera comedies -they finally understood!- but there’s still some single-camera left. Let’s take a look!

  1. SUPERIOR DONUTS (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate rate rateFollows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop, his new young employee and their patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago… With Jermaine FowlerBrian d’Arcy James, David Koechner, Sarah Stiles…

This is the only comedy pilot script at CBS that I liked. A lot. It’s not only very funny, it’s also insightful and it really fits with their actual line-up. I totally see it sandwiched between Mom & 2 Broke Girls, or after The Big Bang Theory. And I feel like Jermaine Fowler can become huge in the next few years. I’m not sure about Brian d’Arcy James though. Didn’t know he could be that funny. For me, it’s a sure bet. Plus, it is directed by sitcom superstar James Burrows.

 


2. MY TIME/YOUR TIME (Sony Pictures Television / CBS Television Studios)

rate rate rate  chronicles the relationship of Marla & Wade, a young couple as they begin dating long distance through Skype. One is in New York, the other in Los Angeles… With Jane Levy, Nicholas Braun, Izzie Steele…

Yet another dramedy about millenials looking for love. Okay, it’s not original but it is something networks have a hard time to find, something that feels true and fresh and fun and melancholic… It’s appealing, honest, really cute…

Read the full preview

 

3. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND (Warner Bros. Television)

rate rate rate two 40-something parents who were wild and reckless teenagers now face their worst nightmare—raising three teenagers of their own… With Jason Lee, Alyssa Milano, Matt Murray, Tia Mowry…

Single-camera comedy. Ouch. If they can only take one, this is the one! It’s a bit too classical to be honest, it doesn’t tell anything new about parenting, but it’s a strong vehicle for Lee & Milano, who already played a married couple in My Name is Earl. They have chemistry. They can do great. The script is a little rough around the edges, but it mostly works and the kid characters really do exist. ABC could have generated this one. It just lacks the thing that would make it really special.

 


4. THE KICKER (Universal Television)

rate rate rate  an oddball athlete drives family, friends and strangers insane after he unexpectedly finds himself cut from his professional football team… With Geoff StultsDavid Spade, Joanna Garcia Swisher…

The Tina Fey / 30 Rock team came up with an efficient, pretty funny pilot, whose only real fault is too rely so much on its star that if Geoff Stults is not the right one after all, it will probably fail miserably. The character is so annonying that if the actor doesn’t have the charm required, the pilot could quickly turn into something unwatchable. I’m pretty condident though. Too bad it’s not produced in-house and it has almost the same pitch as Kevin Can Wait (see below)…

 

5. REAL GOOD PEOPLE (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate rate centers on a conservative, small-town family from Texas who is forced to reconcile their family values when they discover their children’s lives are less than perfect… With Nick Zano, Lenora Chrichlow, David Keith, Julie White…

I am moderately convinced by the script, but I feel like this family has a real potential and the cast is capable of turning it into something better than it is on the page, but it’s certainly not special. Remember The Millers? I fear it gets the same destiny (the creator wrote multiple episodes for it)…

 

6. FURST BORN (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate about a wife and mother who learns she was adopted and that her birth parents are a flamboyant but loving family of drag-racers… With Poppy Montgomery, Katey Sagal, John Carroll Lynch, Swoosie Kurtz…

Stellar cast! Really. But damn, why is it so unfunny most of the time? I didn’t laugh a lot. It’s not complicated: you got a few good characters -the two set of grandparents- and all the others, who are boring as hell. Dunno if Poppy Montgomery can deliver in a comedy -it would be her first- but I feel like it’s meant to be another Life In Pieces (and it’s also a single-cam): good cast wasted in a mediocre comedy. Magic can still happen…

 


7. I’M NOT YOUR FRIEND (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate a contractor learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work and he has to take care of the little monsters by himself all day long… With Matt Le Blanc, Jenna Fischer, Diana Maria Riva…

Bad vehicle for Matt Le Blanc returning to network comedy. He deserved better after 5 years of the excellent Episodes. Clearly, he’s not our friend Joey anymore.

Read the full preview

 

8. THE GREAT INDOORS (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate an adventure reporter must adapt to the times when he becomes the boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the magazine… With Joel McHale, Chris Williams, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Stephen Fry…

I have NO IDEA why Joel McHale accepted this (and why CBS ordered it in the first place). How come a show about millenials can be so cliché and outdated? Didn’t laugh once. It just ends up being unfunny and unrealistic for the most part. From someone who comes from Community, it makes no sense. And I don’t think he will be able to improve the material.

 

9. KEVIN CAN WAIT (Sony Pictures Television) – Ordered to series

rate  a newly retired police officer looks forward to spending more quality time with his wife and three kids… only to discover he faces much tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets. With Kevin JamesErinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Ryan Cartwright…

It’s never funny. Same old jokes that don’t work anymore. No diversity. Kevin Can Wait is more outdated than The King of Queens was at the time! It’s just not possible airing this in 2016. It could have been tacky in a sweet and nostalgic way. But it’s just tacky as… shitty tacky.

Read the full preview

 

Bunker Hill (CBS) pilot preview: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, let’s save lives!

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Created and executive produced by Jason Katims (The PathParenthood, Friday Night Lights, Boston Public, Roswell). Based on a draft by by Sarah Watson (Parenthood, The Middleman). Directed by David Semel (Code Black, Dr House, Person of Interest, American Dreams). Also executive produced by Michelle Lee (The Path, About a Boy). For NBC, Universal Television, CBS Television Studios & True Jack Productions. 67 pages.

Description: The story of the unlikely alliance between James Bell, a young Silicon Valley tech titan billionaire and Walter Wallace, a veteran surgeon with a controversial past, to start together a hospital with a cutting edge, “new school” approach to medicine called Bunker Hill…

With Dermot Mulroney (Shameless US, New Girl, Enlightened, My Best Friend’s Wedding), Augustus Prew (About a Boy, Kick-Ass 2, Klondike), Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zach And Cody), Odette Annable (Dr House, Banshee, October Road), Reshma Shetty (Royal Pains), Ward Horton (One Life to Live, Annabelle), Aaron Jennings

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Nowadays, when a new medical drama is coming our way, the inevitable question is: is it more like ER or Grey’s Anatomy? Last year, at pilot stage, Code Black made me feel like it wanted to be ER but couldn’t help being more of a high-octane Grey’s Anatomy. LFE, the other medical pilot ordered at CBS at the time, was clearly a Grey’s Anatomy new generation, with a cable feel. Heartbeat at NBC was just an update of Grey’s Anatomy, with an older heroine and without the Shonda’s touch. With Bunker Hill, I have to admit it’s hard to tell. Which is a good sign. A very good one indeed. I don’t want to be presomptuous, but I feel like it has a good chance to become something if it’s picked-up. The “cutting edge” approach, which seemed weak to me when I read the pitch, is on the contrary its biggest strength. The show works a bit like a window on the future of medecine and the future of the hospital experience for both the patients and the medical staff. It’s fascinating and engaging.

The project written by Sarah Watson was first set up at CBS last year with a put pilot commitment, but it didn’t make it. The idea was revisited this year with a new take written by Jason Katims himself. I think we don’t give enough credit to this guy. Okay, he’s no Shonda Rhimes or Greg Berlanti, his shows are never huge hits but they’re always damn good. As a producer, he’s responsible for the incredible The Path at Hulu, which premieres in a few days, and he has scored pilot orders at HBO (Us.) and Showtime (Mating). Bunker Hill is his only network drama in the works at the time and I really hope CBS will give it a chance. He already failed to get a series order with his previous medical drama attempt a few years ago, County at NBC.

The pilot of Bunker Hill starts the day Walter Wallace gets fired from the Cincinnati hospital he worked for decades. A child patient died because of him. Wrong decision at the worst time. Six months later, he’s still unemployed and accept to visit a hospital far from his home and family in California, one which apparently wants him. And the whole episode consists of convincing him to stay. He’s welcomed by Angie, a geeky Asian programmer who scans his whole body in 3D (!) and the famous James Bell, a young magnetic billionaire, brilliant and totally unapologetic, that I would described as a nicer and crazier Dr House. He rocks. It’s a classic but efficient confrontation between an old-school doctor and a young brilliant mind. They make one hell of a duo.

Other characters are Zoe, an idealistic physician; Scott, the McSteamy of the hospital, an intense neurologist; Malick, an afro-american who defies our traditional idea of a doctor with his street vibe and countless tatoos; and finally Talaikha, who officially gets the award of “most complicated character name of pilot season” – she’s Doctor Channarayapatra! She may or may not have a crush on Wallace, despite the age difference. That’s all I’m saying. This diverse group made me wanna stay longer in Bunker Hill. There’s a lot to do with each one of them. They are portrayed just the right way. Just as Jason Katims knows how to. We’re given enough informations to care about them already and we feel there’s still plenty to give away in subsequent episodes. The patients and their medical cases are also taken care of properly, with sensibility. And the way they are treated, thanks to new technologies and bold thinking, is not the same as in every other medical shows. What becomes boring in Grey’s Anatomy sometimes -because they already did almost everything- is refreshed here.

The hospital itself is a character. We follow Wallace in his discovery of this incredible place, where there is for example a zen garden, where families wait for informations about their loved ones in a soothing environment; or an incubator, a real geek’s paradise with high-tech gadgets, a ping-pong table, for the doctors. In every patient’s room, there’s a “wonder wall”, a huge screen where doctors can get all the informations they need about the patient, that can turn into anything the patient want when the doctors are away, like an image of a Buddhist Temple or of the earth rising over the moon… All of this is impressive and exciting (and could be costly for the production).

Bunker Hill looks like the new medical drama we were all waiting for and networks are looking for a long time : it feels fresh, distinctive from what we are used to in the genre; warmhearted, optimistic; incarnate. I really hope CBS will give it a chance, whatever they decide to do with Code Black, which is on the fence for renewal at the time. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, CBS!

SCOOP: TNT about to order dark workplace dramedy-noir pilot “Claws”

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Alongside the new version of Tales from the Crypt, already ordered to series with M. Night Shyamalan producing, TNT goes deeper in its exploration of the horror genre with an order for “Claws”, a series described as “a midnight-dark workplace dramedy-noir”…

Produced by Rashida Jones & her partner Will McCormack through their Warner Bros. TV-based Le Train Train shingle, the project was first sold to HBO in 2013 but was passed on recently. It is now redeveloped at TNT, no longer as a half-hour but as a one-hour drama. Written by Eliot Laurence (The Big Gay Sketch Show), Claws is about a nail salon in Florida and the strange, dangerous women who work there. Sounds like a pitch Ryan Murphy could have come up with! 

 

SEE ALL TNT PROJECTS ORDERED