Friday, June 17, 2016
2016 Summer Pitch Your Show - Part D (The Leftovers - Mozart in the Jungle)
We're now halfway done with Pitch Your Show, covering everything from 12 Monkeys to Lady Dynamite. Today will take us through the M's so we will finish up on both Saturday and Sunday. To keep the articles readable, I have limited nominations to 2-3 per show. I am truly sorry if your nomination is not in here. Major Crimes and Leverage especially had a lot to choose from. Know that I appreciate your time and pitches. Making the choice of what went into the articles was difficult. As always, the link to the spreadsheet with all the pitches is below. There was some confusion about this earlier so to clarify, any show that received even 1 pitch is included in these articles. However, if a show got more than 2-3 pitches, not all of the pitches are in here to save space. That's why there is a link to the spreadsheet so you can see them all.
As always the goal is for you to find something interesting to watch during the summer hiatus. If you do, please leave a comment below. I know those who worked hard of their pitches will appreciate hearing from you. Also if you were unable to get your pitches in before the deadline, feel free to add them in the comments as well. Just remember that any show starting with N-Y may be coming in future segments.
***Nominated by Bradley Adams - The Leftovers isn't for everyone. I'm very aware that the snail-like pace and the lack of any real answers about anything in the established world is frustrating for some people. But, for my money, it is in the upper echelons of all of TV right now, and the second season didn't put a foot wrong at any point. Set after "The Departure," where 140 million people suddenly and inexplicably vanished, The Leftovers doesn't explore what happened to those taken from the world. Instead, it focuses on those left behind and the emotional fallout caused by losing your parents, children, siblings, friends, or all of the above. Many would suggest that the first season is devoid of any real plot - which isn't true, it's just not as explicitly explored as almost every other show - but The Leftovers is all about the characters (those who are "leftovers") first, plot second. Filled with stunning performances and some magnificent writing, The Leftovers is a masterclass in character-centric storytelling. It's perhaps the hardest show to watch because of how heavy each episode is, but watching is worth every single second.
***Nominated by Milo BOK - Possibly one of the most depressing series on TV, The Leftovers is set in the wake of the rapture and looks at people left behind following the loss of a large amount of the planet's population with no apparent explanation. Featuring an incredible cast that includes the likes of Justin Theroux and Christopher Eccleston, this show is adapted from Tom Perotta's equally good novel. Thanks to some great performances and a captivating storyline that isn't afraid to go into dark and haunting places, this show is well worth a watch.
***Nominated by Luana - I can never say enough good things about this show and, in fact, I pitched it last time. It is slow-paced and dark but if you can get into those kinds of shows, you should definitely give this a try. It's intriguing from beginning to end, brilliantly written and acted, and it has more depth than most shows on TV.
***Nominated by Ivankwok - Although DC's Legends of Tomorrow may not the best in the DCTV universe, it surely is the funniest one. Yes, the plot of this show is a little bit clichéd and the time travel rules do not make sense at all, but this show consistently gives me the most entertaining hour of the entire week because it has a lot of great fight scenes and fun character dynamics. So DC's Legends of Tomorrow is the ultimate popcorn TV show. If you like watching superheroes team up and kick a**, or maybe after a long day, you just want to sit back and watch a show that doesn’t require much thinking, then DC's Legends of Tomorrow is a no brainer for you.
***Nominated by Spindae2 - Quality wise LoT is not close to the opening seasons of its fellow Arrowverse shows. Still it has some magic attached to it and during its first season run, it delivers some strong emotional moments and laughs to remembered by. The positive thing about the show is from the pilot every episode is better than the previous and the show builds up great momentum towards the final episodes that were high quality on multiple levels. If you are a fan of Caity Lotz's portrayal of Sara Lance you should definitely tune in because Sara does kick a**.
***Nominated by Folie-lex - Disclaimer: I’m a bit bias on this one. The creative team behind it are friends of mine and I even worked on few episodes myself. Having said that, I maintain that it’s 100% a fun little project made with a lot of love and attention by a group of talented young people who love TV and storytelling. The logline of this little web series sums up the show pretty nicely: “A comedy about the life of Julie, an optimistic writer who lands a job unknowingly working for a less than...average greeting card company.” In case you couldn’t tell it’s a workplace comedy and, much as you’d expect from any show in the genre, this office is inhabited by a group of quirky, weird, funny and peculiar characters. There’s an abundance of pop culture references, a bit of romance and quite a few laughs. There is in fact some pretty great acting to be found on this show, which in my experience can't always be said about the less "professional/official" webseries out there. Five ten-minute long episodes have been released so far, and there’s five more waiting to be released (hopefully) soon.
***Nominated by Suzana - Leverage would be a classic case-of-the-week show if it wasn’t for one detail. Cops? Nah. Thieves? Oh yeah. It follows this crew that will end up becoming a little family. It’s a show where you’ll find disguises, covers and plans, thieves, grifters, and masterminds. Most of their targets are people who abuse the law but are protected by it. Hence the title, our crew provide leverage against those people. The relationships between the members of the crew are really great. This show has action and fun, but more importantly this show has Parker who is simply one the most well developed characters I’ve ever seen.
***Nominated by Brie Danielle - Leverage has everything good and nothing bad. It has heart, humor, intrigue, thrilling action, and light romance. I never tire of it. Starring Timothy Hutton (mastermind), Christian Kane (hitter), Beth Riesgraf (thief), Gina Bellman (grifter), and Aldis Hodge (hacker), Leverage is a show about 5 conmen, each the best in their respective fields, who use their skills to help right wrongs. It’s kind of Ocean’s Eleven-y, if Ocean’s Eleven were taking on big corporations and bad guys to fight injustice. Leverage owns my heart.
***Nominated by Louise Shive - This is the best-written, smartest TV show ever. These are Robin Hood stories that are not sticky sweet or overdone. Fast-moving, dramatic, action-filled, funny, entertaining, poignant, topical, and thought-provoking, no episode disappoints. What a perfect way to escape your reality. The ensemble cast is made up of talented actors who work together like family, their camaraderie coming through the screen. The plans never work out as originally planned, but it's so much fun to watch as the team overcomes injustice from powerful people and corporations. How could you not love it?
***Nominated by Heidi Dobson - The Librarians is a continuation of the three movies made by Noah Wiley in the early 2000's. The Library has decided that the main character Flynn Carson should save three promising candidates from when there was last need for a new Librarian (when he was hired). The ensemble cast includes John Larroquette, Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, John Kim and of course Noah Wiley. There is action and magic and laughs in every episode, making it a very easy show for the whole family to watch together and we need more of that. These reasons are why I am nominating The Librarians as a show everyone should check out. The third season airs this fall.
***Nominated by Samantha Smith - The Librarians is a show that captures all areas of the human imagination. It's got a little something for everyone! Magic, action, history, mystery, romance, horror - you name it; The Librarians has it. In a world where we are bombarded with scary situations like school shootings, massive floods, and an increasingly nasty presidential election, this show provides an escape into an impossibly wonderful world where magic is real and hope and knowledge are your best weapons. This show has very strong female characters played by Rebecca Romijn and Lindy Booth, who are just as fierce and smart as men. Speaking of the men, Christian Kane plays Jake Stone, who struggles to accept his intelligence and whose quest for acceptance is something we can all relate to. He's smart, tough and, quite honestly, not too bad on the eyes! John Kim plays the lovable, if occasionally frustrating Ezekiel Jones, a thief, rouge, and yet all around good guy. The cast is carefully guided under the watchful eye of Jenkins, played by the incomparable John Larroquette. Noah Wyle reprises his role from the original Librarian movies from time to time too. The show is a great escape for anyone! Watching this show is a choice you won't regret!
***Nominated by Laura Markus - Do you like any of the following: a wide variety of adorable and interesting characters? A stunningly layered and complex villain? A thoroughly relatable protagonist? A crime procedural that is so much more than just that? A serialized story arc surrounding a mythology that is routed in captivating sci-fi elements? A soundtrack and score that always plays the right songs in the right moments, especially in the last 5 minutes of episodes? A set of actors, actresses, writers, directors, and other creative cast and crew members not just performing amazingly, but having fun with the material they are creating? A show that just seemed to get better and better each week? A show that encompasses and transcends every genre you can think of? Then Limitless is the show for you. Limitless masked itself behind "your typical CBS police procedural", but proved week after week that it had so much more to offer to the world. NZT-48 is a drug that allows you to access the full potential inside of you, and with that comes a lot of crazy scenarios and situations. I know for a fact many people on this website dropped it after the pilot in fear that it would be unoriginal and boring, but I'm here to reassure you and convince you that it is NOT. This show cared deeply about how it presented its information about its cases of the week. Whether it was quirky animations appearing on screen or any number of Brian's crazy NZT antics, the writers knew about the inherent stigma towards this genre and always strived to create a world beyond this, despite the serialized moments always being the best part of every episode. If that's not enough, the two lead characters weren't involved in some forced romance. They remained the friends that they were, and that friendship was excellent and was one of the best parts of the show. This show knew how to have fun, while also epically toning the serious, heartfelt moments. Episodes like Headquarters! prove in spades that this show is unique and original, despite being based on a movie. It was cancelled too soon, but fear not. It did not end on a cliffhanger. The writers had the respect to end off on a high note with all of their dignity left.
***Nominated by Grace - This is the most unique police drama with an all-star cast. It has amazing actors and actresses and lovable characters that I know I've fallen in love with. It's hilarious as well and has made me cry from laughter. Even though it's been cancelled, it's definitely still worth watching the whole season.
***Nominated by Maria Sol - When I first heard of this show, based on a comic book character that I didn’t know, a group of people wanted to take it off TV for being about “the devil." So being a religious person myself, I decided to check it out to see what all this fuss was about and I don’t regret it at all. At first sight it might seem your regular procedural (which I don’t mind since I’m a fan of these kind of shows), but the case of the week actually serves most of the time as background to the main story: the devil taking a vacation from hell in Los Angeles and struggling with demonic and human feelings. The charming and talented cast has great chemistry. If you stick through the whole first season, you’ll get mysteries to solve, interesting characters, story development and funny dialogue, all wrapped with supernatural elements that will probably make you want to return in the fall for season 2.
***Nominated by Luana - This show about the devil’s vacation in Los Angeles is so ludicrous, hilarious and sometimes even heartwarming. It does have a case-of-the-week thing going on but that doesn’t make it less original or fun.
***Nominated by Milo BOK - This British cop show is one of the best series to come out of the BBC and thanks to the amazing Idris Elba is incredibly watchable and binge-worthy. Gritty, dark and awesome, the show has four seasons under its belt (although season four is a shortened two episode event) and features an excellent cast that includes Ruth Wilson as one of the most fascinating and complex antagonists on TV in the form of Alice Morgan. There is not much catching up required thanks to the small episode count per season. Luther is compelling, captivating and compulsory viewing for fans of crime dramas.
***Nominated by Quinquin - In general I'm not a fan of procedural shows. I prefer continuous stories with true character development. So why do I like Major Crimes so much? Surprisingly, though essentially being a procedural crime drama, Major Crimes provides all I want from a TV show. The central element of the show is the developing relationship of the head of the Major Crimes division, Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) and the teenage material witness turned foster son turned adopted son Rusty Beck (Patrick Graham Martin). This main story is organically interwoven with the professional and personal relationships of all squad members, and also frequently with the "case of the week". Each character is an elaborate personality aside from ethnic, gender, or any other stereotype. They all have their own background stories, traits, experiences, and so on. They even have very individual modes of speaking and they evolve, some more, some less. (It helps that both, writers and actors are apparently very good at what they are doing)! Even most of the characters that reoccur only occasionally, like attorneys and judges are actual characters. One of my favorite figures is Judge Grove. I always enjoy his passionate personality. The whole cast handles both, emotionally loaded scenes and humorous elements equally graceful. It doesn't happen very often, but I'm truly hooked!
***Nominated by Maggie - Major Crimes is unlike any police drama I've ever watched. Yes, there is a crime committed and solved in every episode. Yes, most of the scenes take place at LAPD Headquarters or the morgue or the crime scene. Yes, every week this team of awesome gets to use cool gadgets to help them find the bad guys. This is where Major Crimes stops being like other police shows and starts being a new type of drama - one that gets criminals to confess what they've done and "make a deal" that ensures they go to jail for a long time, with or without parole. It's a new concept. Instead of the long-awaited "day in court" or the drawn out appeals of a death-row case, Major Crimes tells just how long criminals will be behind bars right after the confession! What a concept! Along with the deal-making, fans get a talented cast of award-winning seasoned actors and younger actors who are fairly new to TV. This cast, most of whom were on The Closer for 7 seasons together, works together like a well-oiled machine. They know every beat, every nuance, every moment to make fans laugh hysterically one moment and scream in absolute indignant anger the next. With a diverse cast and many LGBT characters, there is a little something for everyone who watches Major Crimes!
***Nominated by Sherry Murphy - Intelligent and witty, the performances of the talented and award winning cast, including Mary McDonnell, are extraordinary. The plots are timely. The dialogue is mature and snappy. The connection and magnetism between the characters/actors is electric. It all keeps me coming back every episode.
***Nominated by Luana - This is like a long, more detailed, romantic comedy. It’s smart in the way they show relationships and very funny. Both of the main characters are so charming and have so much chemistry that it became one of my favorite comedies pretty fast. It only lasted a season but if you like this sort of thing it’s so very worth it.
***Nominated by Dahne - I am a staunch anti-shipper and even I thought this romantic comedy was charming. Its appeal rests solely on the characters and not just the main couple. Most of the story is also told in voiceovers, which I usually hate but works here. Sadly Manhattan Love Story came out at the same time as half a dozen other romantic comedies and got lost in the shuffle, so there's only 11 episodes.
***Nominated by Louis Rabinowitz - As someone who has never really been much of a comedy fan, Master of None completely gripped me from episode 1. From the fairly standard premise, Aziz Ansari builds a brilliantly incisive and layered comedy that thoughtfully and originally examines aspects of society that most comedies would simply pass over such as racism in the TV industry and the ways in which younger generations often ignore the experiences of their elders. Equally competent with the deeply personal drama of the central relationship as it is with providing fresh perspectives on standard comedic tropes, Master of None is a fresh and invigorating show that's so much more than just a standard sitcom.
***Nominated by Pablo - Some people dropped Master of None because they thought there was no continuity after the first episode. That's not true. The whole first season of the show is the constant evolution of a 30 year old man navigating life. It sounds like a simple premise, but it is handled with such good humor and taste. It underlies so many issues that Master of None may be one of the most important comedies in today's landscape. From the treatment of Indian actors to harassment of women, the show deals with issues with grace and nuance, never fully becoming a drama or abandoning its comedy roots, but rather pushing itself forward to tell a story of how a man who is figuring out his life sees life. Aziz Ansari gives a stellar performance and the writing does nothing but enhance that feeling of engagement you have with the show. Check out 2 episodes. I'm sure it'll be worth your time.
***Nominated by Maria Sol - You could think this is another regular procedural, and you are right, but the development of the main story, the characters and their chemistry make it different from others. That’s what made me love it from the very first moment I watched it, as a recommendation from my mom. If you're still not convinced, I can tell you that the cases of the week are entertaining and if you need something else, Simon Baker’s smile, eyes, hair, and especially his talent, may help to seal the deal.
***Nominated by Maria Sol - Looking for new shows to watch, I recently discovered this nice approach to a very known story. The show bears witness to the origin of the legend of future King Arthur as a very young Merlin arrives to work at Camelot. If you are familiar with the basic Arthurian mythology, you'll be smiling like me when a reference to it pops up. Currently watching season 2, I’m really pleased with all the adventures, romances, funny and scary moments that make this a show that all the family can enjoy.
***Nominated by Dahne - Merlin was introduced to me last year through Last Week in TV. Usually I only watch whatever episode was nominated, but I liked Merlin so much that I ended up watching all of season 1. It's a great fantasy with familiar roots but what they do with it changes the whole story. In this version of Camelot, King Uther has banned all magic from the kingdom since he blames it for his wife's death. Enter a clumsy, often goofy young sorcerer named Merlin, who has to keep his magic a secret. He meets up with Prince Arthur by insulting him and ends up becoming his squire. What I like most about the first season is that both Merlin and Arthur go from having some serious character flaws to growing into heroes in their own right. Mostly though, this story is all about the bromance, which I love. As Arthur and Merlin go on countless adventures together, they grow closer and develop a friendship that the rest of the show revolves around.
***Nominated by Pablo - The Middle is a gem flying under the radar. It has magnificent character development, and it's not afraid to evolve and let its characters be happy. Most of the humor comes from banter, well thought-out jokes and smartly crafted storylines, while underlying poignant feelings of unity, love, uncertainty and growth. No other show has pushed itself as far and retained its identity as well as The Middle has. Each season is different while the heart of the show remains the same.
***Nominated by Jessica VanWinkle - The Middle will be heading into its eighth season in the fall, and it’s still going strong. The show is about the Heck's, a middle class family living in a middle sized town in Indiana. It features Mike and Frankie Heck and their three kids: Axl, Sue, and Brick. This show is hilarious, but it’s also realistic. The mom, Frankie, tries to keep up appearances with her friends, earn enough money to support the kids with all of their ridiculous activities, and keep their house from falling apart. Axl is the popular football player, Sue loves everyone and is always excited, and Brick is super smart and loves reading. Those three sometimes fight like cats and dogs, but they really do love each other. The Middle is my favorite comedy on television, and it’s because of the fantastic characters and great writing.
***Nominated by Jane - If you are a fan of the early seasons of Castle or shows like the Murdock mysteries, I would like to suggest Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. This is an Australian series that can be found on Netflix. It is about Phryne Fisher, a thoroughly modern woman living in 1920's Melbourne who decides to become a private detective. Essie Davis is absolutely wonderful playing Phryne. Phryne is a true feminist for the times which means that not only does she have an adorable bob hairstyle and amazing clothes but also lovers and a gun. The show also has a great supporting cast. The main three are Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, Constable Hugh Collins, and Phryne’s paid-companion Dot Williams. Dot is a devout Catholic who has some problems with Phryne’s life style but is also striving to find a way to be more modern herself. There is also Mr. Butler, Miss Fisher's loyal butler, Bert Johnson and Cec Yates, two working-class friends, who often assist with investigations, Dr Elizabeth "Mac" Macmillan, a close friend and doctor at a women's hospital in Melbourne, and Phryne’s Aunt Prudence. All of these characters are well written and interesting in their own right. The show does have its problems and can be a little cheesy at times but it is also a lot of fun. My biggest peeve with it is that someone really needs to teach Essie Davis how to hold a gun because she clearly hasn’t a clue. So if you are tired of dark, depressing dramas with missing or dead children or shows with plots so convoluted you have to start drawing diagrams to figure them out and just want a light-weight, fun, easy to watch show, I recommend giving Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries a try.
***Nominated by 327 - Let's be honest. It fits perfectly the "girly" type of show. That's why it's so good! The difference is that Mistresses embraces that label with pride and does the best out of the genre, without ever being cheesy or shallow. It's like the modern-day version of Sex and the City with a group of close female friends and their takes on various relationships. What guarantees that Mistresses isn't like any other show that tried to pull off that card? That's easy, the plot twists. Things never stay the same over the course of 2 or 3 episodes. There's always something interesting going on with the girls, and when things are about to calm down there's a twist in the story (in a very soapy way) but without feeling forced at all. It's not a pretentious show and because of that you can be sure that it's going to surprise you. The main characters are compelling, and it's easy to relate to their issues. Everyone should really try to watch Mistresses because when you least expect it, you'll be hooked and start thinking about what's going to happen on the next episode.
***Nominated by Spindae - Essentially this show is a soapy telenovela with an incredible cast you relate and connect to from the first second. The characters are flawed and they don't deny it. We witness them live through and face every lie told or secret kept. The show really lives up to the title and delivers sexy moments, nasty comments and coffee meetings filled with nasty gossip. Overall it's an enjoyable ride and the perfect summer guilty pleasure to watch episode by episode or binge it.
***Nominated by Milo BOK - Netflix isn't the only one that can make a great web series and Mozart in the Jungle is Amazon's best show. It's sex, drugs, and classical music with some great humour and amazing performances that really work, making the most out of an unlikely subject for a TV series to cover. It creates some compelling viewing that's easily binge-watchable. Possibly one of the most underrated comedy series around, Mozart in the Jungle is well worth your time.
Don't forget to keep checking back for more Pitch Your Show nominations this weekend. We've got plenty to come and hopefully you'll find new shows you are interested in checking out. If any of these inspired you or if you have something to add to the pitches, please hit the comment section below.