September 17, 2010By Joe Diliberto Posted: Sep 17, 2010
The new fall season is getting under way in stages, and I have to say that the new shows I have started watching are not exactly blowing my socks off.
This week's premiere of SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA probably disappointed me the most, because I actually had fairly high expectations for it, based on the series' track record of being entertaining. However, this cycle's charisma-challenged cast left me cold.
The CW has trotted out two new series, and while not awful, HELLCATS and NIKITA have not wowed me. I was hoping HELLCATS would be more like MAKE IT OR BREAK IT than...what it is. Although the second episode was an improvement over the premiere because it focused more on characterization and deepen the relationship between the girls and their mothers, I think it would help greatly to reimagine Gail O'Grady's Wanda as much less-cliched character. And, if HELLCATS is planning to appeal to the GLEE demo, it should add more performance segments.
NIKITA arrives with a lot of baggage because it is carrying the legacy of two movies and an earlier TV series. That's a lot to live up to, and so far this version of the female-assassin story is keeping it low-key. Surprisingly for an action series the pacing of the episodes has lagged. By far the best thing about NIKITA is star Maggie Q, whose smooth and controlled line readings give Nikita an unflappable calmness and confidence. I'm not sold on Shane West, but Lyndsy Fonseca (ex-Colleen, YOUNG AND RESTLESS) is growing on me as young operative-in-training Alex.
I just hope NIKITA and HELLCATS keep practicing...until they get it right.