Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pilot Season reviews, part 1: "Scorpion" and "Madam Secretary"

So we started watching the timeshifted pilots tonight... mixed bag thus far.


Interesting premise if done well, interesting characters if written and handled properly, cast may be a bit hit or miss, but it's hard to tell because...

...Unfortunately, the writing and direction has the worst case of "pilotitis" I've ever seen. Nothing but quick cuts, bang bang go go, no regard for plausibility, nothing but smash bang yell smash bang...

It's Bayhem, done badly.

And I quote...
Bobby: Dear gods, their writers are idiots 
Chris: No Bobby... their technical consultants are idiots. Good technical consultants could have made this work. People who know aviation, communications, security, computers and networks. 
...Well, that or the showrunner just ignored the tech geeks while they screamed "dear god no, that's incredibly stupid, you just can not do that". 
Bobby: ...Chris... 
Chris: Yes Bobby? 
Bobby: Why aren't we working in Hollywood as technical consultants? 
Chris: Because we'd be homicidal within minutes.
Bobby: Hmm... Scorpion might actually be good... as a drinking game.

I sincerely hope that this level of crapitude was because for the pilot, the plot, and the details, were effectively "lorem impsum BOOM!!!", so that idiot network execs to get interested in the show.

I will bet money that the elevator pitch... or at least the first line in the script coverage... on this was "It's 24, meets "Criminal Minds", meets "The big Bang Theory".

We'll give it a couple episodes, see how it does in the initial order.

Madam Secretary:

Another elevator pitch show: "It's "Zero Dark Thirty", meets "The West Wing", meets "Scandal", but the lead is a hot blonde, with a hot college professor husband, who has sexy students.

... and it's BLOODY AWFUL. 

Basically, everything is wrong. The cast should be great... nope. The writing is simultaneously mundane and melodramatic. The cinematography, sound design, and production design are entirely wrong... The show looks, feels, and sounds wrong.

Tea Leone demonstrates all the animation and expression of a somewhat wobbly block of pleasantly shaped wood. Every character (or performance) seems to be from a slightly (or dramatically) different show than every other character.

Stay away... stay far away.