Thursday, June 18, 2015
Pitch Your Show - Summer, Part D (Penny Dreadful - Stalker)
After a one day hiatus, we are back with the 4th segment of Pitch Your Show. Thanks for joining us. Today, we have the second most nominated show, Person of Interest. Thanks again to everyone who nominated. I'm sorry we didn't have room to put in everybody's thoughts. As always, ALL responses can be found in the spreadsheet link below. Please however comment below too. Are there any shows you are interested in trying now? Any thoughts you'd like to add to these pitches? What are you watching this summer?
Link to spreadsheet
***Nominated by SGU - This is the type of show that horror TV needs more of. It has extraordinary acting, beautiful visuals and music, and fantastic story-lines. The show isn't afraid to do things other shows wouldn't which makes it dark and unique in many ways. It has no problem devoting entire episodes to build characters and unlike most shows where those kind of episodes break momentum, on Penny Dreadful they are episodes to look forward to. It tells its stories slowly, gradually building to an ending that never disappoints but keeping you entertained with twists and awe inspiring moments along the way.
***Nominated by Carol Rath - It is a show with a hopeful outlook for people with mental illness.
***Nominated by Dahne - While Perception is a typical crime procedural, the main character, Daniel, sticks out. He suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and often times cannot tell if things are a hallucination or reality. He helps FBI agent Kate solve crimes that have a neurological component and she helps him function more normally in society. Unlike Monk, which also deals with a crime solver with mental issues, Perception is not a comedy. It does have some humor in it, but it is more like Numb3rs where the viewer learns something while the case unfolds. As a neurology professor, Daniel's opening and ending monologues to his class are often as fascinating as the cases themselves.
***Nominated by Linda - In the simplest of descriptions, Person of Interest is a fascinating show that in the beginning was about a team of just two people who, with the help of an all-seeing, all-hearing machine, helped save a person in peril each week. But the twist was, they didn’t know if the social security number they received was that of the victim or the perp! Frankly, there is nothing simple about Person of Interest (also known as POI). It’s a show that asks you to pay attention because very often even the smallest details can be important. In that regard, it’s a show like Lost where you want to hang around “the water cooler” the next day or find a group on Facebook so you can discuss it with others. POI just wrapped up season 4. This is such an intelligent, dynamic, and “out of the ordinary” show for network TV that it’s best to start at the beginning if you haven’t watched it yet. In the fall you will be able to do so on WGN or Netflix streaming. (Or you can buy or rent seasons 1 – 3 on DVDs right now.) POI began as a procedural but has since become much more serialized….with character development and references back to earlier episodes, the addition of another more powerful machine, warring factions in the city like The Brotherhood and Elias with his deadly crew, recurring characters that add humor and pathos, and the addition of a magnificent dog! In my opinion, there’s something for everyone here: GREAT writing, directing, acting, photography and settings. Yes, there’s sex and violence but most of it is inferred, not shown….no rivers of blood and guts or naked backsides. And how can you go wrong with actors like Michael Emerson (Lost), Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), and Amy Acker (Much Ado about Nothing)? Did I mention the GREAT writers? Incredibly, they were writing about an NSA-type surveillance system a year BEFORE Edward Snowden came on the scene! A show that was considered science fiction quickly became science fact! For so many reasons, I can almost guarantee you’ll be adding this one to your list of favorite TV shows once you start watching.
***Nominated by Jon - - POI created complex, layered characters with whom the audience can sympathize. They're humans; they feel real. The show does an amazing job at portraying the dark side that exists in each of us and finds the right balance between dark and light. POI is the definition of a world of grey. We can root for the bad guys, because the bad guys are not cartoonish villains: they have motivations, a past often explained, they are capable of mercy and love, they're as interesting as our heroes.
- POI uses flashbacks brilliantly. In some other shows, flashbacks become boring really fast. With POI, they never do: flashbacks explain the construction of the Machine (central to this show), they explain the characters' past and motivations, and more importantly, they are never irrelevant or pointless. They contribute to the show's mythology and background.
- The casting is A+. Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Amy Acker, Taraji P. Henson, Sarah Shahi and Kevin Chapman are all perfectly cast and they're extremely talented.
- This show is not about romance/love interests. Yet, it does not mean that there is not love between certain characters. Mostly, love is a background thing, but the characters have more important things to do than to focus on their love life. The life they lead is dangerous, so it leaves little time/space for romance.
- The story arcs. One might be fooled by the procedural aspect of the show in the first two seasons (okay, the 1st especially) but the show keeps building and building mythology and story arcs that pay off in a big way. (One story arc starts in season 1 and ends in season 3; another starts in season 2 and is still on-going).
- POI has both POC and LGBT representation.
- POI has neuro-atypical protagonists and they are portrayed consistently as such. It does not make them less of a person or under-used.
- The writers are brilliant and they value their audience: they've said on a number of occasions that they do consider their audience to be smart so they allow themselves to throw lots of references in their show, knowing the audience will make the connections.
- They rarely, if ever, go the obvious road. Some things you never see coming, much less imagine it could happen.
- POI tricked everyone into thinking their show was another procedural on CBS, but it evolved into more sci-fi territory with its third season.
- They actually manage to make you care and worry about an Artificial Intelligence.
- The directing/editing is splendid. Some episodes are out of this world (most recently, 4.11 "If-Then-Else"). The lighting, the scenery... all of it contributes to making POI such a great show.
- The quotes! Some quotes are truly wonderful and will speak to you.
- The show was created by Jonathan Nolan (Christopher's brother), Greg Plageman, and J.J Abrams, a dream team, basically. They are very involved with their show and they have the ending planned down to the last song they'll use. Which leads me to my next point...
- POI does not wander around. The show knows where it's going. Granted, the first season does a lot of set-up and is mostly focused on our protagonists saving people (number-of-the-week cases) yet this season is vital to understand who the characters are, where they come from and how/why they will evolve the way they do.
- Great soundtracks and choices of songs! I'm sure many of you are familiar with Ramin Djawadi who's the compositor for Game of Thrones' soundtracks? Well, he is for POI as well.
- The recurring characters are very likeable, too, and great actors (I'm thinking Paige Turco and Enrico Colantoni for example).
- You like badass female characters who take no s*** from anyone? POI is for you!
Seriously, check it out. You will not be disappointed if you stick with it. Maybe it'll take you some time to get into it but you can binge-watch the show so that's a plus! Once you're into it, there's no going back and you'll love it. Join us!
***Nominated by Joanna Bain - Person of Interest is the only remaining show I actually watch on network television. From its humble story beginnings amongst the procedural crime show lineup on CBS, Person of Interest has, over the course of four intense seasons, truly come into its own to become one of the most dynamic and subversive shows on television. Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson shine as an almost “Batman and Alfred” duo, joined by the brilliant support cast Kevin Chapman, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Acker, and Sarah Shahi - fighting crime and saving innocents in New York City. With its underlying science-fiction basis, however, it is so much more than that. Artificial intelligences at war, issues with public safety and privacy, corrupt cops turned good, honorable cops gone rogue, government betrayals, computer hacking at its finest, sassy government assassins, unexpected romances, witty dialogue, and the best gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, car chases, and explosions that you will see outside of a cinema, are all things of Interest has it all. With cheer-worthy characters and seamless, season-to-season story growth and development, Person of Interest is the ultimate binge-watch show. Prepare to be blown away.
***Nominated by Freda - This is a British series about rips in time allowing creatures from the past (or future) to enter into our world. A group of scientists team up to track and defend England from these creatures. The series accurately describes geological time. For instance, a creature pops out and someone is like, "OMG! A dinosaur!" and one of the scientist will be like, "Well, it's actually from this period so it can't be a dinosaur. It's blah" Honestly, I liked season 1 and 2, but somewhere in the middle of season 2 or 3 the series does something and it changes everything. Due to this change, it highlights the more enjoyable major side characters and the series really takes off. It had incredibly loyal fans while it ran, but it was not very well known here in the states. British fans brought it back from cancellation. It is similar to Doctor Who (fighting creatures through time) and Leverage (Character Dynamic). Trailer
***Nominated by omabin - This is the show that started my love for all shows. It was the first thing I watched for real (not the occasional/ casual episode on TV) and I got totally hooked on it. From then, it never stopped. That is to say I am pretty attached to the show for emotional reasons but, that aside, I also happen to think it is an excellent television show, and certainly one of my all time favorites. Best reason to watch: Those damn adrenaline rushes that will make your heart stop working for a few second while watching, the amazing twists in the storyline, the incredible relationships that are developed - particularly the brotherly relationship that is the heart and core of the show, the twists and heart stopping sequences (Again because they are worth mentioning), and I don't think there is a show quite like this on TV. Caveats: The quality of some of the late season isn't as good as the first one. I personally loved Season 4A as well and I thought Season 3 had its nice moments too, but 4B really wasn't that much my cup of tea and in general the consensus of the fandom is pretty much that the first couple of seasons are superior to the two later ones. This being said, I think that even an inferior Prison Break is good, so that's something. Appealing to fans of: The Walking Dead (for the heart stopping moments), 24 (from what people tell me, I've never actually saw 24), Dexter in a way, and I personally think this has potential to appeal to comic book shows fans despite the differences in themes
***Nominated by Lori - If you like historical fantasy with a Gossip Girl twist, then Reign is for you. Set during the 16th century, the young Mary, Queen of Scots, played by Adelaide Kane, must navigate her marriage to Francis, played by Toby Regbo, through troubled waters as well as negotiate alliances and treaties for two nations while trying to secure a third, England. During the upcoming third season Mary will be up against her mother-in-law, Catherine de Medici, played by the incomparable Megan Follows, and Queen Elizabeth I, played by Rachel Skarsten. Reign has thought provoking drama, compelling characters, outstanding costumes, and an amazing cast.
***Nominated by Goodbye Revenge - Revenge will have you addicted in seconds. From the first few seconds of the first episode the audience is filled with intrigue and excitement. The beautiful Emily VanCamp stars as the beguiling Emily Thorne who seeks revenge upon Victoria and Conrad Grayson and all those who had a part in her father's demise. VanCamp perfectly portrays a woman corrupted by her need for revenge. The fact that Emily is not a perfect saint is what makes the show interesting. Both VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe (Victoria) are phenomenal actresses who truly fit the part. Madeleine Stowe masterfully portrays an evil woman however through her acting and writing the audience can sometimes see a woman who only acted on her maternal instincts to protect the ones she loved- something many would do. Not only are these two actresses amazing but the supporting cast is also excellent including Gabriel Mann as the eccentric billionaire Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny as the rich Conrad Grayson, Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter and many more. Gabriel Mann's character provides the show with a refreshing, quirky, humorous character. The plot is as exciting as any show gets. My motto for the show is expect the unexpected. Revenge is filled with so many twists and turns you will never see what's coming until it hits you and in that moment you'll realize what a special show this truly is. However the plot isn't the only great thing about the show. The writing done for the show is perfect! Most episodes are accompanied with a voiceover which goes with the episode title. These voiceovers (excellently written by the Revenge writing staff) give the audience insight as to what's going on in the mind of Emily Thorne. Through a series of flashbacks to Emily's youth, the audience learns about what transformed an innocent, young girl into a vindictive, dark girl who will do anything to exact revenge. Another amazing element to Revenge is the attire the cast wears. Jill Ohanneson, the costume designer, makes everybody looks terrific with clothes ranging from beautiful dresses to dark "revenge-y" clothes. Fil Eisler composes beautiful music which perfectly matches with the scenes. So if you're looking for a drama to start watching, this is definitely your show.
***Nominated by Missions - Revenge ended just a month ago and I am already missing it. While I was able to let go happily, it will always be missing on my Sunday Prime Time schedule. Right away, in the first moment of the series, I knew that I would love this show. It was tradition to start every season with a flash-forward which was always very intriguing. This show will definitely warm your heart. It features everything a drama-thriller-mystery-soap opera needs to be perfect: great fighting scenes (!!), deaths that will make you cry and leave you depressed for days and shocking cliffhangers that will make it impossible to wait for the next episode! The season finales are incredibly well done and are more exciting than many other shows’ finales. I myself binge watched the first two seasons and I loved it. If I were able, I would relive that whole rollercoaster ride again. Never have I been so connected to a main character. Emily Thorne is just incredible! She is bad-ass but weak on the other hand. I always felt for her!! In addition, Emily VanCamp has given some of the best performances followed by Madeleine Stowe who is just amazing. Personally, I thought there was no way to stop watching. While it did have its weak episodes and season(s), it was a great series. The writing was very inconsistent and at times not very good. However, it did not bother me at all because they always and I mean always came up with something that changed my mind. Fortunately, it has complete closure which makes it easier to watch until the end! During the four years, it became a part of my life. The cast felt like my family! Now, since they are gone, something is missing. So if you are bored in the summer, watch Emily Thorne’s journey! Even now I still rewatch certain scenes and episodes many, many times!!
***Nominated by Luana - This show is a lot of fun. Even if it has its dramatic moments, it's a comedy through and through. The way they make it seem as if it happened in real life gives it a special touch, and the naivety of the character who writes reviews about life itself gives it a bit of social study vibe that's just hilarious.
***Nominated by Kelly - It's an amazing cop show with drama, the actors are amazing, and the story lines are so good. My favorite show without a doubt
***Nominated by Majda - I love the teamwork in Rookie Blue and the romance and friendship they have in and out .... oh, and there is McSwarek in Rookie Blue ...and Oliver Shaw.
***Nominated by Nathalie - Scandal is about a young, beautiful and powerful black lady having an epic, difficult, devastating, and incandescent love affair with an older, idealistic, romantic, Republican, married, white president.
***Nominated by Nancy - This is the best series if you love drama, mysteries, and some comedy. I recommend this.
***Nominated by SGU - Going into this show I wasn't expecting to get as sucked into the mystery as I did. Every episode gave new answers and new questions which kept it entertaining through the whole season. The cast worked great together and I loved the lead character played by Ryan Phillippe. I ended up anticipating the next episode as soon as the last one ended and the season as a whole was a fun thrill ride, well worth the watch and I look forward to season 2.
***Nominated by Freda - So, this series is not for everyone. The first part of the series is really hit and miss and the cheesy humor might not be for everyone. This horribly named series is about a social-media obsessed shallow character, who was bullied as a kid, trying to be rebranded into a human being who empathizes with people and makes social connections she couldn't as a kid. The series is actually pretty anti-selfie. It is a statement about stepping away from the instant gratification and virtual sense of self-worth of a fake online world we get sucked into, to find real people in the real world. In several episodes (mostly later ones), the show does this with a lot of heart and corny-as-hell lines. Some of the middle and beginning episodes might be a little too over the top, especially in regards to the main female character. However, the last episodes more than make up for it in my book. The last episode really accomplishes what the series set out to do - show that you don't have to hide behind vapid, social media look-at-me selfies to feel loved. If you can accept yourself and love yourself, you will find more happiness than in a million selfies. The series was cancelled after its first season. Selfie -- I will miss you. Trailer
***Nominated by Jasmin - This show blew my mind immediately. The scope of the production, the breadth and the lengths that the writers and producers took to create the scenes were the factors I noticed first. They filmed this show in a bunch of different locations: Mumbai, Iceland, London, Chicago, Kenya, and Seoul. It's insane and even in these different locations, these characters aren't glorified. They're individuals in these cities and you can tell that they're living with others because of the interactions with other characters and the scope of the scenes. I mean you start to wonder whether people were extras and if they weren't, how did they all end up there? Long story short, this show went above and beyond. The story line flowed together, the character development was insane, and above all was the representation of people. People will comment about this when talking about this show: the conversations about life, death, and presentation of the self (discussed heavily by the transgendered character played by Jamie Clayton). The scenes don't feel fake or acted out. They feel real, so real, so extraordinarily real that everything feels raw and new. In simpler terms, it's the Game of Thrones of the Sci-Fi world. It's amazing. It needs a Season 2. There's so much that can be explored with the characters and the abilities and the science behind everything. There's still so much that we need to see. Watch this show! You'll get sucked into it before you know it. The first episode is a hooker.
***Nominated by SGU - There are so many great things to say about this show I don't where to start. First I'll say it's format is probably a little different to what people are used to. It's first season, which is all it has so far, feels more like a 12 hour movie rather than an episodic series. As a result it's slow in the beginning but gets exponentially better as it goes on. The show has a large cast but no one is wasted, all serve a purpose and each have their own individual stories to be told as well a story for them all to share. The basic premise is that 8 people are all suddenly linked to each other, able to share memories, thoughts and even experiences in real time. This allows for some very interesting scenes which I won't go into detail about (no spoilers!). The characters come from all walks of life. If this isn't the most diverse show out there I don't know what is. It has everything you could possibly ask for: a great cast, great visuals, deep and complex characters, and superb action. It really is the whole package.
***Nominated by Carol Rath - It is an eye opener.
***Nominated by Dahne - No lie. I hated the pilot of Stalker. I thought it a torture porn, shock thriller with nothing to add to the TV conversation. Still I like to give shows 3 episodes to prove themselves because many pilots aren't that good. I am glad that I decided to give it a chance because it turned into a great show and by far the most improved from its pilot this season. It has the violence of Criminal Minds or The Following but it isn't anything worse than those so I'm not sure why, besides the pilot, it got such a bad reputation. What I really loved about this show was the main character, Beth. That in itself is unusual since I tend to prefer secondary characters but Beth is a rarity. She's a kick butt women who is allowed to be vulnerable too. She is undeniably tough but her past is of such horrors that it would break anyone. Basically an ex-boyfriend set a fire that killed her entire family and now she's living under a new name as a detective specializing in stalker cases. While there is a stalker of the week format, the serialized elements involving Beth begin fairly quickly and eventually become the focus of the show. Stalker was cancelled after one season, but all plot points were wrapped up so no need to fear a cliffhanger.