FOX just released its fall additions in New York, and they’re looking pretty FOXified. Their dramas tend to be more character driven (“House,” “Bones,” “Lie To Me”) than plot-driven, and also tend to skew more science fiction than the other networks. We’ve got the standard supernatural mystery show (“Touch”), the requisite J.J. Abrams mystery (“Alcatraz“), the hackneyed good-detective-becomes-great-detective-after-getting-exploded-by-an-IED-in-Iraq (“The Finder”), and Avatar-lite (“Terra Nova“). So let’s take a look.
The crown jewel of FOX’s fall schedule has been met with its share of both anticipation and skepticism. A family from 2149 gets sent back to prehistoric earth to save humanity (yeah, I think it sounds like Land of the Lost, too). While it certainly appears ambitious and grand, the thresholds for appearing that way on TV aren’t that high, which causes critics to wonder if the large budget will just lead to a very grand display of cheese from Steven Spielberg and Co.
An Iraqi war veteran moves to Key West to work outside the law, solving people’s problems. It’s like The Hurt Locker meets Michael Clayton meets Ernest Hemingway. Except it’s a spinoff from “Bones,” so I think that’s probably where the Hemingway comparisons will stop. It does sound like there is a fair amount going on here, complete with co-stars Michael Clarke Duncan and Saffron Burrows. It sounds like this show may have been assembled by a focus group, which is always the best way to go about creating art.
I could just say “this show is by J.J. Abrams” and leave it at that, but his shows haven’t proven to be such sure things. His ability to transcend fanboy adoration is no sure thing, so “Alcatraz” will be an interesting study. In “Alcatraz,” a detective follows the case of a grisly murder until it leads her to an Alcatraz inmate that died decades ago. Abrams will probably get around to telling us how that is possible in season 4.
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“Touch” is the most recent effort from “Heroes” adored-then-maligned creator Tm Kring. Well, if you liked “Heroes,” the plot of “Touch” will sound pretty familiar. A group of seemingly unrelated strangers affect each other in different ways, only to find that they’re all connected to each other in a mysterious way. Yeah, it’s pretty much “Heroes,” but with regular people. They should have called this “Regular People That Are Connected.”