Thursday, October 17, 2013

The CW Network Fall 2013 -- Odds Bodkins! Smells Like Teen Spirit, All Right...

Though a couple of these premiered on CW last week, better to let the dust settle on the other networks, and settle it has.  FYI, ABC has already lost the much-touted Tuesday night 10pm series Lucky 7 and CBS pulled the plug on their Monday night We Are Men, to be replaced by the returning Mike and Molly which had been on the bench for mid-season.

On CW, Tuesday nights lead off with The Originals, a spin-off from the net's successful The Vampire Diaries.  It's set in New Orleans, does not have high-school kids, has vampires and werewolves and vampire/werewolf babies and a built-in fan base. The Originals has already received an order for additional scripts and this one looks like it's a perfect example of the CW knowing its audience.  Interestingly, though ABC's Marvel Agents of Shield was a huge hit right out of the box there has been a drop which would seem to leave things looking even better for The Originals.  The series stars Brit Joseph Morgan (The Immortals, The Vampire Diaries, Doc Martin, Master and Commander), Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, Saving Hope, Into the West, True Blood, Spider-Man 2), Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, H2O: Just Add Water, the Australian mermaid series), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, H2O: Just Add Water, The Secret Circle, Bait), Charles Michael Davis (The Vampire Diaries, Switched at Birth, Grey's Anatomy), Daniella Pineda (Homeland, Hey Girl, Men of a Certain Age, Inside Amy Schumer, The Vampire Diaries), Leah Pipes (Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Danielle Campbell (Prison Break, Drop Dead Diva).  The Originals airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on the CW, starting October 8th.

Wednesdays at 9pm CW offers up The Tomorrow People, based on a British series of the same name and centered around the precarious existence of teenagers with inherited superpowers and the folks who want to exploit them for their own nefarious ends.  Telekinesis, Teleportation and Telepathy -- Oh my!  These kids aren't just human, they're superhuman, and that's the problem.  Viewed as a threat by a secret military offshoot named Ultra, the Tomorrow teens are literally running for their lives.  The Tomorrow People stars Robbie Amell (real-life cousin to CW's Arrow star Stephen Amell, Alcatraz, Revenge, 1600 Penn, True Jackson, VP), Luke Mitchell (heart throb from the Australian serial drama Home and Away, H2O: Just Add Water), Peyton List (Mad Men, Charlie's Angels, Smallville, 90210, FlashForward, Big Shots, Windfall), Aaron Yoo (The Bedford Diaries, Disturbia, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Gamer), Mark Pellegrino (Revolution, Dexter, Supernatural, Being Human, The Closer, Lost) and Madeleine Mantock (Brit med series Casualty).  Do we think this is something anybody other than a disgruntled teenager might want to watch?  Probably not.  (You will love this terrific review from Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter -- hilarious.)  But don't let that stop you!  The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9pm on the CW, starting October 9th.

Even crabby teens may not want to tune into the CW's new take on medieval history with Reign, a melodrama detailing the romantic troubles of Scottish royal Mary Stuart and the manboys in tights who love her.  Turning the court of France into something resembling the halls of a posh high school on Renaissance dress-up day may not in fact be much of a stretch, but evidently (according to the buzz) Reign goes even beyond the CW's usual pandering to their demographic. Nobody expects an AP History class here, and if it perhaps sparks a real interest in a young person to read more about the actual history it would be a great thing, but it seems unlikely that will happen here.

The cast is gorgeous, though, pretty much a CW requirement:  Australian actress Adelaide Kane (Teen Wolf, Donner Pass, Power Ranger R.P.M.) is the ravishing young Mary Stuart, Canadian actress Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables, World Without End, I Am Number Four, Heartland) is Queen Catherine of France, Toby Regbo (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is a handsome French prince, Torrance Coombs (The Tudors, Heartland, Endgame) is a troublesome illegitimate prince, Canadian Alan Van Sprang (The Tudors, The Immortals, ReGenesis, Being Erica) is King Henry, and others to fill out the codpieces and bodices as the gender requires.  We forgot to mention that Nostradamus -- he of the mysterious quatrains -- makes appearances in Reign, only he's not a decrepit hoary soothsayer but a swarthy hunk played by Canadian actor Rossif Sutherland (E.R.). Tim Goodman from The Hollywood Reporter has supplied another cogently hilarious review of Reign here, as has Robert Biancho writing for USA Today here.  On the other hand, E Entertainment thought it was terrific.  If you are so far out of the demo range that you feel like you were actually there in the 16th Century, then methinks Reign won't be your cup of mead.  Reign airs Thursday on the CW at 9pm, premiering Thursday, October 17th.

More on the Fall Season as we review some of the new offerings and keep up with cancellations such as the two so far that we mentioned in the opening paragraph.  More to come, no doubt.

No matter what, there is a plethora of new shows available for viewing, certainly something for everyone and then some, so don't waste your time with something you don't care for.  You will find your true TV love!

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