Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Friday, May 16, 2003

Idiot Boxing Again: Part Four

See previous posts. Breaking up The Pitches (TP) and My Highly Opinionated Snap Judgements (MHOSJ) on the networks' new fall series by day yadda yadda. All times listed are Eastern and PM, and TP quoted verbatim from the nets.


ABC: It's All Relative (8:30) - TP: Bobby's a bartender - the only son of gregarious, salt-of-the-earth Irish Catholic parents from Boston. His fiancée, Liz, is a toney Harvard student and she's Protestant (no, that's not the problem). Liz has two dads, not one, and they're a worldly pair of well-heeled gay men. The moment Bobby popped the question to Liz, they knew their families would have to meet. And the first time they brought his Mom and Dad together with her Dad and Dad... well, things did not go well. Aside from the obvious, there's a culture gap between these in-laws-to-be that makes the Grand Canyon look like a seam in the sidewalk. From Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, acclaimed producers of the Oscar-winning "Chicago." MHOSJ: "Aside from the obvious"?? So we must naturally assume that any time you have straight parents meeting gay parents "things do not go well," because it's obvious! It sounds like a bit of a train wreck waiting to happen but curiosity will probably get the better of me, as it does with most new sitcoms, and warrant a peek or two.

ABC: Karen Sisco (10:00) - TP: Karen Sisco is a United States marshal on Miami's Gold Coast. In pursuit of dangerous fugitives, Karen must pick her way through the dark underbelly of South Beach nightlife and the sunshine and glitz of Palm Beach highlife... while she struggles to win the respect of her supervisor and fellow officers. The only man she truly trusts is her father - a retired marshal with a wealth of life experience and street smarts. He's Karen's confidant, counselor, confessor - and her rock when her confidence waivers... which it does every time she tries to connect romantically with a man. Based on the character portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in Elmore Leonard's Out of Sight, Karen Sisco is that rare combination of action and character-drama, with a fresh and original young lead. MHOSJ: Whose name, as with all the ABC new shows, isn't mentioned. Oh, sorry. Ahem. A cop show - how unique! See previous posts. I might actually watch this one if they moved Marshall Sisco to Antarctica and paid Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber a bundle of money, but apparently the movie beat 'em to it. (Besides, Whiteout was more a murder mystery than a cop drama.)

CBS: The Stones (9:30) - TP: Winston Stone (Jay Baruchel, Undeclared, Almost Famous) and his sister, Karly (Lindsay Sloane, Bring It On), wanted to throw their parents, Barbara and Stan (television veterans Judith Light and Robert Klein) a surprise anniversary dinner they'd never forget. But when their parents announced at supper that they were getting a divorce, it was Winston and Karly who had the shock of their lives. Now these two twenty-somethings must adjust to their parents' decision. Winston sees it as the end of the world, while Karly is troubled but feels she may have seen it coming. But neither one knows how to deal with it, especially since Barbara and Stan seem happier than ever. MHOSJ: This has my vote for most interesting-sounding sitcom premise, and on the basis of that alone I'll sit through Judith Light and Robert Klein.

CBS: The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H. (10:00) - TP: He made his way from real-life lawyer to Emmy-winning writer on "L. A. Law." Then David E. Kelley went on to redefine television with hits that included CBS's Picket Fences and Chicago Hope, as well as Ally McBeal and The Practice. Now Kelley returns to CBS with THE The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H., which focuses on the families of three brothers in that small town, one (Hank) the sheriff, one (Garrett) the mayor and one (Waylon) still looking for his calling. Local heroes in their youth--they were high-school hockey stars--they are now tackling grown-up problems such as the local economy, their children's educations and their growing families. But, as in most families, the Shaw brothers know they'll always have each other to help weather the storms of their changing lives. And, of course, they'll always have David E. Kelley. Randy Quaid heads the cast, with Mare Winningham and Elizabeth McGovern costarring. MHOSJ: I'm not an especial Kelley fan, but I like the cast members mentioned so I might check this one out.

Continued above...