Every day, without anyone in the world noticing, thousands of TV shows are cancelled. I took the time to dig a few series synopses out of the black hole that is the entertainment industry, just to show the world what they’re going to be missing.
8-Track: Narrated by Ethan Hawke, 8-Track is a story of Shawn Layman (Max Charles), a twelve-year-old growing up in San Francisco in the late 60’s. What should be an ideal existence is always complicated by the schemes of his eccentric, single father (Kevin Dillon), and slacker older brother (Kevin Jonas). His veteran next door neighbor (special guest star Roger Moore) does his best to provide counsel and guidance, but it quickly becomes clear that Shawn must make his own path, one littered with broken hearts, bad grades, and 8-track tapes. Only on FOX.
Ben Murphy, of teevee.com, says “A comedy that seems to stumble through jokes. If it isn’t using a tired, “I remember that” reference (which will be lost on the FOX primetime demographic), it’s making a joke about Shawn’s pubic hair. And, trust me, you’d be surprised how quickly pubic hair jokes get old. I counted 6 within the first ten minutes.”
Between Me & Me: In this hilarious new series from Showtime, we meet Roger Parks (John Turturro), supermarket cashier, angry alcoholic and aging, aspiring filmmaker, who desperately wants to fund his first feature film. In this pointed parody of Hollywood, we find that the road to stardom is not an easy one, especially when you’re dealing with a greedy producer (Brian Cox), a paranoid screenwriter who is also Parks’ wife (Jennifer Irwin), and a neurotic boss who can’t afford having Parks take any more time off (Patton Oswalt). Along the way, Parks will learn that, sometimes, it’s better just to hold your breath and jump in.
Alex Mox, of notsosilverscreen.com, says “Turturro is wasted in this piece of drivel. He almost seems to wince through his lines, his eyes nearly closed, as if dreaming of better times: Coen brothers films, Tranformers 2, fucking anything.”
Shift: This new SyFy channel original series will take you, not only to the limits of space, but to the limits of your mind. When the Federation Lord (Malcolm McDowell) discovers a wormhole that could threaten his domineering agenda, he sends top rookie pilot James Handler (Aidan Turner) to try and close it. Accompanying Handler on his mission is a rag tag assortment of characters, including the bumbling mechanic Olly (Tyler Labine) and navigator Vanessa (Sarah Hyland). However, they soon discover that the Federation’s intentions will have a much graver impact than anyone was previously aware of, a discovery that will not only test them physically, but mentally as well. Prepare to “Question Everything,” as Shift premieres on August 12th, only on SyFy. Imagine greater.
ThatManVince, from the tenthplanet.com forums, says “Really, really retarded. And I mean that. I don’t know what happened to the Sci-Fi channel after the 90’s, but it’s certainly gone downhill.”
The Beneath: What started with House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black continues with The Beneath, a new series available only to Netflix subscribers. It’s been 4 years since the dead began to rise, and now the world is slowly beginning to rebuild. Integral to this is “Post Infection Developer” Will Stockman (Richard Armitage) and his partner Shelley Banks (Betsy Brandt), who soon unravel the plans of a terrorist organization, led by the mysterious “David” (Michael Pitt), that has learned the secret to reanimation and plan to use it to destroy the world. It is up to them to deliver news to the President (Ian McShane), but with another doomsday quickly approaching, will they make it in time?
Ashley King, from fromthecouch.com, says “More Survival of the Dead than Dawn of the Dead, The Beneath is watching a bunch of tired, old zombie tropes being brought back to life, much to the excitement of no one. Michael Pitt does his best with the material, and McShane tries to salvage lines like “This is American soil, and I won’t have it broken into,” with extra hamminess, but mostly, it’s drudgery and clumsy camera work. Although, I could listen to McShane say “Zombies?” aloud to himself all day.”
The Ropes: From the mind of David Milch (Deadwood), comes a revolutionary new HBO series, based on the heyday of Memphis professional wrestling in the 1980’s. Though he works as a lowly disk jockey in Memphis, Jerry “The King” Lawler (Josh Hutcherson) has the talent necessary for much bigger and better things. A chance encounter with local wrestling promoter Aubrey Griffith (Kevin Costner) sets him on a path that will turn Jerry from a young man into a legend.
George Burke, author of Natural Reaction: The Work of David Milch, says “Audiences who expected wrestling got too much talking, and audiences who expected talking got too many piledrivers. If given the chance, The Ropes could’ve evolved into a series on par with NYPD Blue and Deadwood. Sadly, possible fans could never really reconcile the drama with the chair shots, and tuned out.”
Ma’m: There is no one more rude in Chicago than Madison Miller (Aubrey Plaza), as this new FXX series will show you. When the software company she works for decides to fire her, it’s up to Madison to create a rival business in the best way that she knows how: by any means necessary. Whether it means robbing her pathetic best friend (Danny McBride) or setting up a fake fundraiser for the handicapped, she’ll stop at nothing to prove herself better than the woman who fired her, corporate mogul Charlotte Rains (Robin Wright). Guest stars in Season 1 are set to include Aziz Ansari, Will Arnett, Jenny Slate, Timothy Olyphant, and Drew Carey.
@heisenberg95, from Twitter, says “damn i expected mam to be funnier smh :(“
The R Train: AMC has been proud to present the best in dramatic television, and will continue to do so with The R Train. Frank Ludlow (Sam Neil) has played many roles: doting father, loving husband, and humble Brooklyn restaurant owner. But when a murder happens in his kitchen, Frank gets involved in a world that he never possibly imagined being a part of, and accepts money to keep quiet about the crime. But how much is enough? The guilt will push Frank and his family to the brink, and farther, because, as Frank will find out, blood doesn’t wash away very easily. Also starring Willem Dafoe, Cara Seymour, Blake Lively, Ray Stevenson, and Dwight Yoakam as “Richie.”
Zack Curci, from LA Today, says “The R Train isn’t bad. Sam Neil is always a delight to watch and I’m sure the pace will improve as the storyline falls into place. But it just isn’t that good either. Scenes that should be crackling with energy don’t, and the whole thing feels confused. Why is Frank so relaxed and ready to accept money so soon after he watched someone get murdered in front of him? Why is Frank’s wife always sitting in that chair whenever someone comes through the front door? And what accent is Ray Stevenson trying to use? It’s stuff like this that muddles what could be compelling television. It gets a C.”