666 Park Avenue (ABC)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m easily pleased with the pilots of new series. It’s no secret that I enjoy watching TV. I watch it to help me relax and unwind at night. What’s difficult for new shows is keeping me as a viewer. I may like your pilot and I’ll maybe watch a couple of episodes but after awhile I stop watching. Show’s lose their initial spark, or take odd routes which don’t really make much sense. When this starts to happen I’m done. With all of that said I am intrigued by ABC’s new drama 666 Park Avenue though. It’s about a young couple who become co-managers of a luxury apartment building in New York. At first it seems like a dream job come true, but then things aren’t what they appeared to be. The building as well as it’s owners (Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams) seem to have a dark past and sinister intentions. The series follows the young couple and the owners of the building and it’s tenants.
There were a lot of elements that I liked, plus some that could potentially keep me from watching it in the future. Things that I liked a lot is the potential the show has to constantly bring in new dynamic characters with interesting story lines. This is a New York apartment building after all so they have endless opportunities to expand on new and exciting characters. I also thought the acting was pretty solid. Terry O’Quinn is great in this. He’s clearly the standout. The other actors hold their own but O’Quinn is excellent. Then we have the whole mystery element of the show. What secrets is the building hiding? What supernatural powers do the Duran’s (O’Quinn and Williams) possess? What’s the link between the two? There are many mysteries that can be solved throughout the duration of this show if it’s given enough time.
While I liked what the pilot offered up I can see potential problems in the future. I think that shows like this really need to answer some of the mysteries in an appropriate time period. If they do it too soon we (the viewers) will not need to keep watching, or if they wait to long to reveal anything we will become impatient and stop watching. Another potential problem I see is the characters. I think it’s good to build some back story and form viewer loyalty with certain characters but this whole premise sets up the opportunity to get get rid of characters and bring new ones in. With an apartment building in New York you have a revolving door of new opportunities. I think changing the characters up over time will keep the show fresh and interesting. If they keep the same main characters without any shakeup for too long of a time it will just become repetitive and boring. The whole paranormal and supernatural thing has a very fine line between interesting and cheesy. They touched on the supernatural aspect in the pilot and it wasn’t bad. Where they can go wrong is making it too outrageous and unbelievable. One last thing I want to voice concern about is that I don’t want this show to try and be the prime time network version of American Horror Story. Like hey you don’t watch FX or you think that American Horror Story is too violent or has too much sex? Then here’s a similar show but without the violence or sex scenes. I want 666 Park Avenue to stand on its own legs and be it’s own show.
Now that I’ve got my likes and concerns with this show out of the way I want to leave you with my recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed this pilot. I think it was enough mystery and side story lines to keep me watching what happens next. Don’t fuck this up ABC this show does have potential. So I recommend you watch at least the pilot and let me know what you think. (***) out of (****). -RC
Survivor: Philippines (CBS)
Survivor: Philippines is the 25th season of this reality TV phenomenon. As you guessed this season they are in the Philippines. 18 castaways are split into three tribes with a member of each tribe being a past survivor cast member. This season they are giving past players who had to leave the game early due to medical reasons a second chance at the million dollar prize. Look, I like survivor. It was one of the first big reality TV competition shows. And I still watch it. But I have some major problems with it. This article is going to be more of a rant than a review.
There needs to be some changes made to this series for it to get back to how good it was in the beginning. First off, these people aren’t suffering as much as the earlier season contestants did. Remember Survivor: The Australian Outback? They were all miserable. Starving and struggling the entire time. From a viewers stand point this makes for better TV. Survivor now a days feeds the contestants for the most part, they have nicer shelters, and they just don’t have to ‘survive’ like they used to. Secondly I’m sick of the damn immunity idol. This has been around for awhile now but it makes things less interesting. If someone has this and are afraid of being voted off they don’t have to scramble to disarm alliances they just play the idol at tribal counsel and they are safe for another week. I don’t think they should have any safety nets like this.
I feel like the whole vibe of the show has changed. I hate that now on Survivor the contestants immediately form alliances and for the past few seasons they pretty much keep those alliances until the end. This sucks for us at home. Its way more fun to watch people lie and back stab their old alliances to get further ahead in the game. I live for the last minute switches in votes and blindsides. Plus I love a good underdog story. If all the underdogs realize that they are being picked off one by one and join together to vote out all the jocks and barbies it’s so awesome.
I know I’ve hated on Survivor pretty hard here but it’s out of love. I do enjoy the show. I still find the human dynamic and interactions very interesting. The challenges are always different and I’m sure I’m not the only one watching who thinks about how we (as the viewer) would do during the challenges. Plus while the majority of Survivor has been pretty predictable there are still some surprises which makes it all worth it. And there are always a ton of people to root for and even more to hate on. My point is that Survivor just needs to go back to it’s roots. Keep things simple and deprive the contestants of basic supplies so they really have to survive. Diversify the contestant pool so people don’t just go with the people who are most like themselves. I like when people are out of their comfort zones and befriend people they typically wouldn’t in their ordinary lives. Unlikely alliances are the best. (**) out of (****). -RC