Big things for the small screen

What fall sweeps have to offer

By Lauren Paulsen, Contributor

The last week of September ended with a bunch of brand new shows:  11 to be exact. I found myself sick in bed, so besides keeping up with my reading assignments, I had lots of time to check out the week’s array of pilots.

Something that has been fairly consistent is the surprising amount of “fairly average” shows.  They aren’t great, and yet definitely aren’t bad. In general, I think most of them have potential, depending on where the stories go, such as with my previous reviews of shows The New Normal and The Mob Doctor. This week hasn’t been any different, but there are a few shows that stuck out that I thought deserved some attention.

First off is The Neighbors, a comedy where a new family moves in to a community of aliens posing as humans. Despite its immense cheesiness, the show had my family laughing at the antics, such as the unique greeting the aliens gave their new neighbors. The problem with this show, however, is that it is a tad more juvenile, so I can see it getting old before the season is even finished.

An interesting show that I was looking forward to was one called The Last Resort.  This one starts off with a navy crew aboard a large submarine that is given the order to shoot nuclear missiles at Pakistan. They question the orders because they come through a less-secure secondary line instead of the primary line, even though D.C. has not fallen, and because they have not been told they are at war. Several minutes later, while they await a confirmation through the primary line, an American missile is shot at them. They survive, but now they are on the run from their own country.

Some of the ideas presented in The Last Resort might be a little far-fetched, such as the crew taking a whole island for their refuge—assuming this is no Lost or even Gilligan’s Island—but the constant threat of death and war leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.

There are also two new shows that share a similar theme: Elementary and Vegas. They both focus on teams solving crimes, but while Elementary is about a modern-day Sherlock Holmes (following the success of BBC’s Sherlock and changing things up by casting Lucy Liu as a female Watson), Vegas is about a rancher named Ralph Lamb (played by Dennis Quaid) who becomes a sheriff in 1960s Las Vegas. Both are quite intriguing, and I definitely recommend them to anyone who enjoys a good crime drama or mystery show.

If none of September’s pilots appeal to you, don’t despair! There are more to come in the following months. Two that I recommend looking out for are the new Beauty and the Beast remake, which is loosely based on the 1987 CBS series, and Arrow, an adaptation of the Green Arrow which focuses on a wealthy playboy who becomes a vigilante crime fighter by night—not ninja-like Bruce Wayne, but archer Oliver Queen. Beauty and the Beast will take a look at a person’s actions rather than their physical beauty, while following the immense success of Smallville (both on the CW), Arrow will look into a darker side of the famed life of a superhero.