So, I just finished watching the new television shows Speechless (a family situation comedy) and Lethal Weapon, a buddy cop dramedy, and both were surprisingly entertaining. I was going in with low expectations.
1. Speechless stars Minnie Driver, John Reese Bowie and Cederic Yarborough. It's about a family of five, one of which has cereberal palsy. Mom has been dragging her family from school district to school district in a desperate attempt to find the best educational situation for her son with cereberal palsy, who is paralyzed and can't speak (hence the title Speechless). The humor is wry and absurdist comedy - completely character and situational driven, similar to Malcolm in the Middle and The Middle and other similar comedies. There's no laugh track or audience laughing at the proper moments.
The pilot episode -- the family just moved to a debilitated house in a rich area. When the kids ask how they can get into this great school district or even afford the neighborhood, the father explains that the trick is to find the worst house in the neighborhood and buy it. Look, it is next door to...not the highway, but the train, and that's not a tree, it's a cell phone tower in their yard.
I actually laughed throughout this comedy. And I found the characters endearing. The kids look like real kids. And John Reese Bowie and Minnie Driver have good chemistry. The conflict centers around the school and for the most part, what it is like to have a child with cereberal palsy. It's clever, unpredictable, and weirdly, not offensive.
Saved to the DVR, and given a season pass, for now.
2. Lethal Weapon - this didn't get great reviews, but I enjoyed it. It was fun, and I laughed in various sections. Reminded me a bit of the movie on which it is based, although they changed a few things here and there. Murdoch is not a few years from retirement. And Riggs lost his family in a car accident, not in a brutal murder. Also Riggs doesn't have PTSD, as far as I can tell. He's a little less nutso - then Mel Gibson played him in the original film.
Surprisingly Damon Wayans and the guy playing Riggs have good chemistry. And I like the guy playing Riggs a lot more than I'd expected. He's not pretty on paper, but he is charismatic and compelling on screen.
It was a little jarring at first -- having seen the films, albeit a very long time ago. Since I loved the films, the bits they kept from them worked for me. Which was the relationship between Riggs and Murdoch and Murdoch's family, which eventually becomes Riggs family.
The pilot felt a bit like watching a mini-action buddy cop film with comedy. Much more entertaining than last night's Bull.
Although, I probably should admit that I have a weakness for buddy cop dramedies. While I despise procedurals, I love buddy cop mysteries. Partly because they take themselves less seriously, there are less characters - so better character development, and the mysteries make sense.
In the pilot, the bad guy was portrayed by the same guy who played Dracula in Buffy vs. Dracula. He looks old and has not aged well.
Anyhow, it too has been given a season pass on the old DVR. At least for now.
If this year is anything like last year, I may run out of room on the DVR or time, and have to start canceling shows again.