Screen Junkies » lone star http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:16:17 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Fox Cancels ‘Lone Star’ After Two Episodes http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/fox-cancels-lone-star-after-two-episodes/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/fox-cancels-lone-star-after-two-episodes/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 They didn't even get the chance to shoot cool promo materials. "Lone Star" is cancelled. The show was considered by many to be the best and brightest of the new season, but after two low-rated airings was put out to pasture by Fox. It's a shame too. I was one of the four people who caught the first episode, and really dug it. Yes, it set itself up to be a little soapy but showed a pride and production value that you don't get with many shows nowadays. The network has pulled all future episodes from the schedule and will replace with new episodes of "Lie to Me." And if that doesn't work, there's always "House" re-runs. As anyone with the USA Network knows. (EW)

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They didn’t even get the chance to shoot cool promo materials.

"Lone Star" is cancelled. The show was considered by many to be the best and brightest of the new season, but after two low-rated airings was put out to pasture by Fox. It’s a shame too. I was one of the four people who caught the first episode, and really dug it. Yes, it set itself up to be a little soapy but showed a pride and production value that you don’t get with many shows nowadays. The network has pulled all future episodes from the schedule and will replace with new episodes of "Lie to Me." And if that doesn’t work, there’s always "House" re-runs. As anyone with the USA Network knows. (EW)

 

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Review: ‘Lone Star’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/review-lone-star/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/review-lone-star/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 I know “Lone Star” is Fox’s big push for the fall and a lot of critics like it already, but I wasn’t into it. It may just be personal taste, but I just don’t care about con artists and oil companies in Texas. Maybe that’s your thing, but here’s what I didn’t like about it. First of all, there are so many turns in the first episode that you can’t really get a handle on what you’re watching. Maybe three surprises an episode is exciting, but it doesn’t give you any time to get involved before it pulls the rug out from under you. Not that the twists are unpredictable. More after the jump...

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I know “Lone Star” is Fox’s big push for the fall and a lot of critics like it already, but I wasn’t into it. It may just be personal taste, but I just don’t care about con artists and oil companies in Texas. Maybe that’s your thing, but here’s what I didn’t like about it.

First of all, there are so many turns in the first episode that you can’t really get a handle on what you’re watching. Maybe three surprises an episode is exciting, but it doesn’t give you any time to get involved before it pulls the rug out from under you. Not that the twists are unpredictable.

More after the jump…

It starts off with John Allen (David Keith) teaching his little boy to run away from the people he swindled, so that’s messed up. Then it jumps to Bob Allen (James Wolk) all grown up n Midland, TX, packing for a business trip with his loving girlfriend Lindsay (Eloise Mumford.) They do a good job establishing a loving relationship with basic dialogue, enough to convey what they have to in the first minutes of a show.

Then Bob goes around selling shares in his mineral company to innocent townfolk. It’s pretty clear he’s a snake oil salesman. If his business is so complicated that he has to explain it with a carefully worded pitch, that’s not a business you should be involved with. Sound businesses don’t have to sell you on investing in them. I say this as an objective viewer. In real life, I knew the subprime mortgage scams were a bad idea but I still let them talk me into an interest only loan on a house I couldn’t afford. So no big shocker that Bob’s a scam artist.

Then Bob goes to Dallas, to another house, where he greets his wife, Cat Thatcher (Adrianne Palicki). Ooooh, big twist. He’s got two ladies. That’s not a spoiler because it’s all over the marketing. He’s got two lives. They even have similar romantic schticks with each other. It still diverts you in the first act of the show, which is fine but it doesn’t get solid yet.

The married life involves Bob with an oil business run by Cat’s dad, Clint (Jon Voight), for whom he brothers Drew (Bryce Johnson) and Trammell (Mark Deklin) also work. Drew (Bryce Johnson) has his own big plans for a hangover cure too, so everybody’s got an angle! Can you believe how entangled all these characters are? I know they have to set all the characters and plot up in the pilot, but by this point, just after the title screen, it’s asking me to get attached to people who seem like scam artists to begin with. I haven’t gotten attached to anybody and I’m starting to decide not to record a season pass.

Bob’s been learning the family business so he can run away with the money. However, when it all comes crashing down and John tells him to run, Bob decides to stick it out in both lives. Twist number three, he’s going to play both sides. That threatens John because it’s not his plan, and it certainly puts his son at risk for either side to figure him out. It also presupposes both lives are interesting enough that we’ll want to watch Bob balance them. That’s where it loses me.

Bob reveals his master plan at the end of the episode, but I’m not rooting for him to succeed. It’s going to be tough for him to pull it off, but difficulty alone isn’t what makes drama. I guess what’s at stake are the nice people Bob’s involved in both scams, but that’s not enough. Yeah, good people get hurt by bad guys. What else have you got?

As for the con artists, Wolk is a likeable guy but the cons seem so obvious. The dialogue is insincere or maybe I just know too many con movies, but these aren’t Oceans 11 or even Paper Moon level shenanigans. It’s not even as exciting as Sawyer’s long con on “Lost.”

So maybe I need another episode to see what this show’s going to be week in, week out. Maybe all the setup in the pilot spread me too thin. For now, “Lone Star” has an uphill battle to fight with me. It’s going to be one of those shows where Bob almost gets found out but he says something just convincing enough to keep it going another episode. He’s going to have to work a lot harder to persuade me to invest.
 

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James Wolk ‘Lone Star’ Interview http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/james-wolk-lone-star-interview/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/james-wolk-lone-star-interview/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 "Lone Star" is Fox’s biggest push for the new TV season. It’s their hour-long drama about a con artist playing both sides in the Texas oil industry. Relative newcomer James...

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"Lone Star" is Fox’s biggest push for the new TV season. It’s their hour-long drama about a con artist playing both sides in the Texas oil industry. Relative newcomer James Wolk steps into the lead as Bob, whose father (David Keith) taught him how to run cons. He defies his father though by sticking in his double life after things get complicated. Now he’s got a legitimate position in an oil tycoon’s (Jon Voight‘s) business, a wife in one life, a girlfriend in the other and none of it is real.

Over the summer, I got a moment alone with Wolk as he was gearing up to start the series. Fox threw a party in July to get the buzz going, and now we’re starting to see ads leading up to the Sept. 20 premiere. Wolk couldn’t contain his excitement, beaming with giddiness as caterers passed out drinks and hors d’ouvres, and publicists pulled him from one interview to the next.

Screen Junkies: What are your thoughts stepping into the lead of this new series?

James Wolk: I’m just very excited, honored and excited and eager.

SJ: There are so many twists and turns in the first episode? Do you have a sense what the show is going to be moving forward?

JW: Going forward, to be completely fair, I think we have a genius group of writers who are really creating this thing. The guy who created the show had an idea of where the whole first season’s going to go, but I think it would be unfair to say that it is entirely mapped out. I think any creative force is moved to go certain ways and I think our writers are no different. As the actor, they keep me privy, they keep me on the inside of things so I get to know what’s going on.

SJ: You look very excited about what you’re going to get to do.

JW: Can you tell I am very excited. I am. I’m really excited about it.

SJ: Do you have a little freedom to play with what our expectations of Texas might be like?

JW: That’s something that we play with interestingly in the pilot. You know how there are some accents and some aren’t? It remains in question and there’s a scene where someone asks me where I’m from. That’s still for the audience to determine. As far as my character’s dealings in Texas, I don’t think Bob was necessarily born and raised there, let’s say that. His character is going to be able to jump around. I think he can move around the classes. He can be with the socialites in Houston. He can be with the good country folks in Midland. So I think as a con artist, I’m going to get to play different roles, maybe play a different character, put on a different persona.

SJ: How much time have you spent in Texas so far?

JW: We shot the pilot and I’m driving back down. When we start the series, I’m going to take a road trip to go back down so I’m actually going to get to go and spend time in some of these towns that the series takes place in which I think is pretty important. In order to represent something, you’ve got to be there.

SJ: How are you preparing to set up shop and live in Dallas?

JW: I’m getting an apartment, right downtown. I’m very excited, a little loft, pretty cool. Our creator, Kyle Killen, he resides there and everyone in the crew that was shooting down there with us, they’re all from there and they just go on and on about how amazing it is.

SJ: Do you have family you’re moving with you?

JW: No, I don’t. My family’s all back in Michigan. I’m from the Midwest so my mom and dad, cousin, sister, everyone’s back in Michigan. Going down there, it’s just kind of like with the cast, I’m not bringing down any wife or kids with me.

SJ: Were you looking for a series to do?

JW: Yeah, yeah. I think I’m just open to good writing, to be completely honest. As good as you may or may not think it is, and I hope you do like it, it was there on the page. So the writing when I read it, it really truly was there on the page and so that’s what I look for. For this, I think anyone that has half a brain that’s a young actor would have really loved to have gone out for this role. I don’t know, I’m not behind the scenes, I don’t know exactly who went out for it but I imagine there was some good competition.

SJ: Who’s more dangerous, David Keith or Jon Voight?

JW: I like that question. Let me throw it back at you and then I’ll answer it. Who do you think is more dangerous?

SJ: David Keith because he thinks he’s trying to help.

JW: I think they’re different. I think each of them has an element of danger but from complete different walks of life, right? You have Jon Voight sitting at the head of his company and has power running through his fingers. Then you have David Keith, he’s a man, at least he comes off to me in the pilot as a man capable of a lot. I don’t think there’s much that this guy wouldn’t do to get the con done. So that’s danger, someone that doesn’t necessarily have much to lose.

SJ: Will it be doubly romantic or more tragic with the two ladies you’re stringing along?

JW: I think yet to be determined. I think that’s going to be the thing that keeps people coming back is what is going to happen with both of these things. I think truly that he loves both of them, so where that goes, who knows? But he does have love for both of them.

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