I Watch TV So You Don’t Have To: Superman and Lois

I will start this by letting you know that I am a big fan of the Arrowverse on CW so I am predestined to like this show more than the average person.

The Premise: Clark and Lois are working at the Daily Planet and raising teen sons at the start of the show when a combination of a death in Smallville and layoffs at the Planet take them back to Clark’s hometown. The kids don’t know Clark is Superman. After they a miraculously OK after an accident, the boys investigate and the truth comes out, including that they think the one son might be a star athlete because of latent super powers. The family decides to move to Smallville and a mysterious new villain arrives.

We enjoyed the premiere. I like seeing a different Superman story where we get to see Clark dealing with being a father and a superhero at the same time. I always liked the actors who play Clark and Lois when they were on Supergirl. I like that Lois’s military dad knows Clark is Superman and has a button to push to call him for help. I like the storyline of the sons dealing with finding out their dad is Superman and that they might develop powers. I enjoy that we seem to be getting a combo of a human villain in the rich guy who bought the Daily Planet and a bank in Smallville along with a mysterious villain who seems to be as strong as Superman. That gives Clark and Lois a fight. Lana Lang and her family are a good intro into Smallville life. I enjoy getting a new Superman story. I’m hoping this means we will get less “villain of the week” and more of a deeper story about the two main villains alongside a small town drama of two city kids adjusting to life in Smallville while also adapting to the new knowledge of family powers.

The verdict: Even if you have never watched any other CW DC show I think you will like this one. It’s like a superhero version of a show like Everwood.

I Watch TV So You Don’t Have To: Clarice

We finally got around to watching Clarice this week. The good thing about being late is that we had two episodes to watch instead of just the premiere. The show takes place one year after the events of Silence of the Lambs. Clarice is still dealing with PTSD from the events when the US Attorney General, who is the mother of the woman Clarice rescued from Buffalo Bill, sends her to join VICAP(Violent Criminal Apprehension Program). The leader of the team is not a fan and by the second episode has asked for her to be transferred off the team.

I am not someone who has a deep love of the movie Silence of the Lambs. I barely remember it. I didn’t watch the TV show Hannibal. I’m coming into this with a very basic knowledge of the source material. My thoughts are not based on how I feel it reflects any of that.

The cast is great. I really like Rebecca Breeds in the lead role. Michael Cudlitz is good as the boss who I’m sure will slowly warm to her methods. Lucca de Oliveira is good as Tomas, the member of the team who welcomes her from the start. Kal Penn isn’t given much to do in the first couple of episodes. I hope he gets more to do soon.

It is really just another CBS procedural with Clarice dropped in to boost exposure. The first episode is the investigation into the murders of two women found in a river. Clarice figures out it is more than just a standard serial killer and goes against her boss when he tells her to tell the media they caught the killer and it is over. I assume this story will come back again over the first season In the second episode, the team goes to Tennessee to help with a siege at a compound. Clarice is supposed to only help on the fringes, but that changes when the leader in the compound will only talk to her. It looks like it will be a case of the week procedural where Clarice is always able to solve the case alone using methods other people don’t understand.

It is a decent enough show if you like procedurals. I’m not sure the Silence connection is enough to draw in fans of the movie. The show would be better served to become more of an ensemble show rather than the Clarice show. There is a great cast being wasted just doing reaction shots to Clarice’s expertise. Clarice can still be the center, but make it more like House. She’s a genius, but the team works with her to help her get to the point where she solves the crime. I also think the fast they move away from the “she’s the person who stopped Buffalo Bill” the better. The last thing the show needs is to encourage the comparison to the movie.

Verdict – Give it a shot. View it as a procedural TV show and not a sequel to the movie

I Watch TV So You Don’t Have To: Young Rock and Kenan

Welcome to the first of a possible regular feature where I do a really bad job reviewing new TV shows. This will be good for me as I can then tell my wife that my afternoons watching TV is “for work.” Also, when I say new it might just mean new to me. I am sometimes behind in watching shows. Today, I watched the two new BC shows that premiered last night: Young Rock and Kenan.

Young Rock

The premise – The Rock is running for president in 2032 and is being interviewed by Randall Park about his life.

We see snippets of three time periods: elementary school Rock who just wants to hang with his dad and his friends, high school Rock who wants to fit in in high school where his classmates think he’s a narc because he looks like an adult, and college Rock who is on the football team at Miami I enjoyed each of the different eras. All three actors do a good job as a young Rock. I was a fan of wrestling when I was a kid, so I really enjoyed the elementary school part with versions of Andre the Giant and The Iron Sheik. I wish any one of the eras was the show. As it stands it feels like four shows in one with current Rock cut in between the other three. I hope later episodes focus on one era at a time with limited cut ins to current Rock. It has potential to be a decent show, but it could also turn into a mess where we never get a full story in one show.

Kenan

The premise: – Kenan is a widower with two young daughters. Don Johnson is his father in law who has moved in to help. Chris Redd is his brother who also loves with them.

The first episode deals with Kenan’s inability to deal with his grief. He hosts a morning talk show and his inability to deal with his grief is affecting the show and its ratings. We meet the kids, the father in law, the brother and the people at work. We see a clip of when he met his wife when she played his mom on a TV show even though she was only three years older than him. It is pretty It is pretty much a standard sitcom. The good news is I still like standard sitcoms of they are actually funny and this one was funny enough to keep me watching. As in SNL, Kenan is funny even when given lesser material. The ensemble is great. I like Johnson and Redd. Kimrie Lewis was in one in Single Parents, a show canceled way too soon and I’m happy to see her back as Kenan’s boss. I have faith that Kenan will deliver laughs each week and that’s what I’m looking for in a sitcom.