When I heard there was a new show called Daybreak about a dystopian high school world, with gangs of 4Hers for example, I predicted cancellation. I didn’t notice it was Netflix, so the business model is different, but the premise was just too weird to renew. I figured it was probably some form of Divergent or Hunger Games.
Nope, the show draws from six separate sources:
The show takes place after a nuclear attack, which is generic for any number of sources;
It steals a page from Star Trek back in the Original Series, from an episode in season 1 called Miri. In it, all the grown-ups (called “grups” in the ST show) are killed by a disease. In Daybreak, they are either dead or have all turned into zombies who keep repeating the last thought they had which is annoyingly mundane (i.e., as one attacks, she keeps repeating a desire to get yoga pants at Lululemon);
Add in a little bit of Red Dawn, where the kids have to defend themselves;
Pull out the name-dropped Mad Max costumes, vehicles, and marauding gangs;
Drop a pinch of the Warriors (there is a direct homage scene where five kids are inviting them out to “play” in the streets); and,
Give it a light-hearted main character narrating directly to the camera like Ferris Bueller.
EPIX put out a decent amount of new shows this year, and one of them is Godfather of Harlem. Shows like American Gangster and Hoodlum have used some of the same real-life characters before, so it’s not unfamiliar ground for many, but there’s no telling how close it is to reality of the era. Based on the premise, I predicted cancellation.
Ignoring the historical roots for a moment, the premise is a black crime boss returns from Alcatraz to his old neighbourhood in Harlem. According to the show, he went down on a narcotics bust that the mafia families had screwed up, and yet he took the hit and didn’t snitch. So he has some goodwill on his side. But he wants his business back. While he’s been gone, the Italians have taken it over, from 110th to 160th Street. I found two scenes particularly compelling in the opening episode.
Fox went with a ripped from — or imagined from — the headlines premise for the show Almost Family, and added a twist. The premise is, “What if a fertility doctor used his own sperm to fertilize the eggs of the women/couples he helped?”. The twist is that the focus is on the aftermath for the potential multiple babies involved. The show even creates a hashtag of #BechleyBabies after the name of the doctor, Leon Bechley. It didn’t seem like it had anywhere to go, so I predicted cancellation.
But when I started watching the show, I was surprised. First of all, the show introduces you to three women…First up is Brittany Snow as Julia Bechley, his sole child, or so she thinks. Daughter, worker in the clinic, she’s devoted her life to the guy. Even put off med school. But her life is a bit of a mess. She’s always on her bike as she never learned to drive, but it’s constantly giving her problems (rain, forgetting things, almost getting hit by other cyclists, etc.). » Read the rest
Netflix has a show called The Politician, and based on the description, it apparently is about a young man’s self-chosen destiny to be the President of the United States. In order to get there, Payton has six other elections to win, and the apparent intent of the show is that each season will deal with each of the elections. Up first? The election to become president of his high school. Based on the description, I was estimating something between Jack and Bobby and the West Wing, but likely closer to Jack and Bobby. And I predicted cancellation.
What I didn’t see mentioned in any of the short materials announcing the show was the note that the show is, more or less, a COMEDY. If I’d known that, I would have predicted cancellation much more rapidly. Now that I’ve seen it, I can only say it is not like any other show I’ve ever seen. » Read the rest
Fox has a new animated show called Bless the Harts, and all I had on it was that it was animated, about a Southern Family, and umm, well, Jesus was one of the characters. Okaaaay. I predicted CANCELLATION.
Now that I’ve seen the pilot, let me address the elephant in the room…yes, Jesus is sort of a character. His picture is on the diner wall where the main character works, and from time to time, she imagines him coming down from the wall and talking to her. So sort of a character. Also a bit of a flake, but I digress.
Anyway, the main character is a waitress at a diner, married with a young daughter, a husband who is not the biological father, and living with her mother. This is the lucky-scratch-card crowd, a cross between Married…with Children and the old show, Alice, who worked at Mel’s Diner. The opening episode combines the debt-ridden broke world of Married…with Children with a bit of the get-rich schemes of Bart Simpson. » Read the rest