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TV PILOT reviews!

While I owe you guys at least four more movie reviews from the festival, I'll just write all six (including tonight's two) tomorrow...

However, I've gotten the chance to watch some of the new TV pilots for upcoming fall shows:

The first I watched, may not have gotten picked up...I don't see it listed on the Fall 2006 TV Grid at tvpicks.net. I'm not very surprised, 'cause I couldn't even finish it. It was called The Angriest Man in Suburbia. First of all, UGH, that title! Second of all, UGH, Richard Kind (Mad About You) as the second banana. This stinks of CBS "Everybody Loves Raymond" older middle America as the demographic. Basically, the husband is upset that they moved to suburbia because of his wife's promotion. Whatever. I didn't laugh in the first ten minutes, so I turned it off.

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The second one: the probably soon to be way over-hyped The Class. It's by one of the creators of "Friends" and it's pretty much just a poorly done watered-down remake of "Friends". The premise is that a young man wants to surprise his fiance for their twentieth anniversary of knowing each other (they were in the same third grade class). He throws a surprise party, inviting as many of his former classmates as he could find.

It's kind of convenient how though the class portrait shown is multi-cultural the only people he invited (or who showed up) are white (and how they all pair off into couples that had crushes on each other it seems). Some of them have known each other and remain friends (considering they continued to go through the REST of school together...including one couple that were prom dates) and some of them were never seen by the others since third grade (two sisters who went on to private school after that year).

There's a Joey character who is a doofus Italian guy who lives with his mother (though he may actually be Jewish (going by the cloying portrayal of the mother), but to WASP TV execs that's the same thing). He's paired up with a woman in an apparently loveless marraige (they've already had their big "he opens the front door and she steps in to kiss him, 'cause they've had this lingering passion for years" kiss...which to me just read as Ross/Rachel". The girl in this relationship is probably going to be the "Monica" character, since the original creators intended for Joey and Monica to be the couple on "Friends" before Ross and Rachel took off. She's played by the girl who was Joey's landlord/non-romantic romantic interest on "Joey".

There's the clean cut guy who throws the party and gets dumped so of course he's going to be the Ross character. There's a pair of sisters (Ross and Monica were a brother and sister). One of them is tough and "gothy" and the other is a Phoebe-like ditz (both with ANNOYING voices). There's the Rachel-esque rich girl (another with an ANNOYING voice) who goes to the party only to confront her prom date about how he dumped her only to discover that he's STILL gay (Chandler?) and we also find out that she's married to a closeted gay man (it's not explicitly stated that he's gay, but it's strongly implied)...played by "Star Search"winner (and out in real life gay man) Sam Harris (who is playing his character like a more sophisticated/better dressed Jack McFarland).

Then, there's the guy who was planning to kill himself before he gets the invitation to the party...and ends up dating the Phoebe character (he's the whiny depressing side of Ross, combined with maybe Grace Adler's wallowing in self pity).

There is nothing here that is original. Don't bother. I'm not. If you MUST watch a sitcom, tune in at 8pm on CBS Monday nights and watch "How I Met Your Mother", then tune back in at 9:30 for "the New Adventures of Old Christine"...forget this crap, it won't be around long enough to make up for this piss-poor cookie cutter pilot.

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Third: I saw a new drama/action series from ABC (which is apparently set for midseason replacement...so I'm going to be a bit frustrated until this story continues after January). It's called "Traveler" and is going to be basically "The Fugitive" post 9/11 fears of terrorism.

Three guy friends, recently graduated from college, decide to take a Jack Kerouac inspired road trip. They start in NYC and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The one guy has the idea that they should pull a prank: two of them are going to put on skates and roller blade from the top of the museum to the bottom while he video tapes the whole thing. (of course, maybe they just couldn't get access to the much better for skating Guggenheim museum). The two guys go flying down the stairs and hallways and their friend disappears in the chaos created. Security guards chase the two, but they get away.

When they get to their decided upon meeting place, their friend is nowhere to be found. They call him on his cell and he says "I'm sorry for this" and the next thing they know there is a HUGE explosion taking out a whole wing of the museum.

When they get back to their hotel room, they discover that they are being shown on television via securty cams from the museum, with the news reporters calling them terrorists. Now, they have to clear their names, find their friend and escape from NYC.

As the episode progresses they discover that they may have been set up by their friend, Will Traveler, when they find they have no surviving photo of him (all photos have his hand before his face) and the FBI is claiming that Will Traveler doesn't exist...hopefully, this one will be given at least a full season so that the storyline can be satisfyingly ended without leaving us hanging forever (like with "Reunion" on Fox).

If you want to check any of these shows out, I suggest surfing through your bittorrent sites...they are pretty easy to find.

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