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Jack and Bobby is by the far the best new show of the year,and one of
the best shows on television.It is an intelligent and enjoyable drama
with great actors.What more do you want?Oh wait,from what I've been
reading from some people here is that it is boring and predictable.You
know what I see?I see an intelligent drama that is just too intelligent
for the vast majority of people.They would rather watch the crap that
is reality television or gritty crime shows such as CSI which is the
most predictable show on television.I'm not saying CSI is bad,I watch
it and its okay,but it is just a crime/forensic drama that doesn't
involve much thinking at all,I have always guessed the killers right
off,and have always been right.
As for reality TV,it is ruining great dramas such as Jack and Bobby,Angel 3rd Watch which is better than ER but doesn't get near as many viewers.Jack and Bobby is beyond reality TV,it involves people to think and to get sucked in,reality TV is for the people who find it hard to think.Great acting from all the cast,most notably Christine Lahti and the young Logan Lerman and great writing from Greg Berlanti(Everwood),Thomas Schlamme(The West Wing),Vanessa Taylor(Everwood and Alias) and directors such as David Nutter (Without a Trace,Roswell,The X-Files), provide a top quality show that is just too intelligent for many people.
Jack & Bobby tells the story of 2 boys, raised by a single mother. It's
a story of growing up, trying to find your way, searching for your
identity,... It's hard to describe what this TV-series is about because
there's so much in it. It's not a classical TV-series about the typical
American family. It's a clever masterpiece which deals with serious
life issues of teenage boys who are trying to find their way in this
life, who are trying to find out who they want to be and what they want
to stand for.
I have seen many series and movies about people, trying to find their way in life, about people who haven't figured it out yet...but this is the first series who succeed in capturing it all in such a unique, intelligent and sensitive way without getting melodramatic. An episode lasts about 40 minutes but I have the impression it lasts less and every time the episode has finished, i can't wait to see the next! I'm afraid I'm getting addicted to it. No seriously, this is just outstanding, wonderful, brilliant,... Just see it!
There is also some great acting in this. Christine Lahti (who plays Grace, the mother) is brilliant. I think she should have won the Golden Globe. The rest of the cast is also without any exception terrific.
Here I will tell something more about the different characters. Jack & Bobby is the story of two brothers and their mother Grace. Jack is the oldest of the brothers. He is 16 (but looks and is in real life much older) and he is a nice, good looking and popular young guy. Although he is only 16, he is very responsible and grown-up. For him, it's very important to be accepted and to fit in. His girlfriend Missy is a blond, rather shallow young girl who cares a lot about her looks but doesn't seem to have much inside her head.
Besides his relationship with Missy, Jack also has a beautiful friendship with Courtney. Courtney not only lives in his neighbourhood but she's also the deans daughter. She's a fragile young girl who has been through a lot. For her, Jack is more than just a friend, he is her best friend.
Then there is Bobby, the youngest brother. He is 13 and he differs a lot from his brother Jack. He doesn't care much about fitting in. For him, growing up isn't as easy as it is to Jack. But there is a good understanding between the two brothers. Like his brother, Bobby also has a good relationship with Courtney. They understand each other very good and they are both good listeners.
Last but not least there is Grace. She is about 40 and she is the mother of both boys. She's a single mother but she's very self-confident and intelligent. Raising her two boys on her own isn't always easy and she does make mistakes, but she is a good person.
It's only just the start of this TV-series. I've seen 8 episodes and I can't wait to see the rest! I'll give it ***** out of *****
Jack & Bobby is a strange drama in that it is original without seeming
so. Two brothers grow up under the gaze of their brilliant, breakable,
over-controlling, liberal-professor mom, and one of them becomes
president. Weird concept, unlikely to work. But the real shock of J&B
is: it does. The actors are one of the main reasons. Lahti is out of
this world as a woman who desperately needs to be loved, but won't let
it come to her. Lerman and Long, both fairly new, bring their
characters to life wonderfully. Slattey is pleasantly wry as a father
who has lost his wife and must now raise his children. Pare and Hodge
add as well, and Cooper gives a surprisingly deep performance that
proves strangely real.
The plots are good too. Yeah, it's bothering that week after week, we have to see poor Grace "learn" her lesson, and be humbled, but it's TV: no one would watch if an intelligent person wasn't forced to be put down contantly. Another good moment features her affair with a TA, which comes off, not as a fling, but rather as a ripping, surprising romance. The boys too add their own mix. Teenager Jack is pretty stereotypical, but he's still real, and while overly good Bobby is a bit too good, he still comes off as sweet and impressionable.
My only hope is that the WB learns to appreciate what a gem they have. This one's a keeper, guys.
I was really drawn by the premise of this show, as well as by its loose
allusions to the Kennedys, and funny, even though the acting leaves a
bit to be desired and the dialogue sometimes approaches the Dawson's
Creek zone. We've seen these situations before on the WB -- check out,
for instance, one of Courtney's first lines when Jack tries to pick her
up in the opener -- "you don't know anything about me" -- obviously
implying she has some deeply-buried skeletons in the closet that will
be uncovered in a later episode; very much like Andie McPhee's
introduction to Pacey in Dawson's ... recycled material. However,
unlike Dawson's Creek, which I watched religiously for three-plus years
out pure amusement (you knew you couldn't take a show seriously in
which every other line was some long-winded diatribe), there's
something deeper, something more fascinating about "Jack and Bobby"
that makes me keep coming back.
I believe that lies in the actual characters -- in some weird way, you really care about them. Maybe part of that has to do with the relationships -- they just seem so real. Jack has a strange love-hate relationship with his brother that actually reminds me very much of the relationship between my own brothers. Jack wants to push Bobby away because he's sick of being trailed by his annoying little brother, but at the same time subconsciously longs for his company, though denyingly embarrassed to say so. Grace is fighting to find the balance between smothering her sons and letting them do what they want. Some of the previous reviewers have criticised the show for not being explicit enough -- that Jack continuously refers to Bobby being "weird" but Bobby's actions don't support the accusation -- but they should look twice. How many of the outcasts in high school were truly those one-dimensional freaks you see portrayed too frequently in bad sitcoms? More often, the line between fitting in and being "different" is all too subtle -- I find it most interesting that Bobby is such a naive do-gooder at this point, he can't even internally comprehend what makes him so "different"... and because he can't see it, you can bet that it'll take time for the casual viewer to see it, too.
Another reason may be the flash-forwards -- you know this is not just some cheesy drama focusing on teens because they won't stay eternally young; everything they do in the here and now influences the people they will someday become, and the pieces are slowly and subtly being exposed, one by one. My greatest fear for the show is that, because we're learning about the future as we're learning about the present, the writers don't eventually get too boxed in, reveal too much about the future, and have to go back and "change" characters or take certain liberties in plot and time frame. If the writers can avoid such a pitfall week after week, there's little doubt in my mind that "Jack and Bobby" the show will be destined for greatness.
Seriously worth a watch. I can't wait for episode three.
Of all places to discover a dramatic gem, the WB! The show started out
strong, with good casting and writing, a promising premise, and a few
surprises. After just 11 episodes, (the balance of them to begin Jan.
26,2005), the show has developed an extremely loyal fan base, and even
garnered a Golden Globe Nom., for Christine Lahti. TV Tome has placed
it in their best new shows category. And reviews from Entertainment
Weekly, to local newspapers have spread the joy, that this is a show
not to miss.
My own experience agrees with the critics and fans. I have laughed, shed tears, and had my mouth open catching flys. To think that the suits at the WB had enough sense to make this series, almost makes me think they have enough sense to renew it for another season. If you want quality television, you need look no further than this fine new series!
I had the pleasure of previewing this program on a promotional DVD. I have to say that it is an interesting and somewhat charming drama that peeks at the life of a future president of the United States during his boyhood years! The family chemistry is excellent; Jack, as the brooding, somewhat self-assured big brother to Bobby, the geeky and asthmatic kid, coupled with their liberal-over-protective-college-professor-single-mother, wonderfully played by Christine Lahti. The emotions seem genuine (which means good acting!) and the story line (at least for the pilot) was engaging. The dialogues are smart and real. The "flash-forwards" are tastefully done, and although definitely related, doesn't distract us too much to the "present day" storyline. I would love to see how this story develops.
I watched the first episode of Jack & Bobby which airs tonight on a
promotional DVD that was provided by Entertainment Weekly.
The show is innovative, it is a futuristic documentary that centers around the president of the United States between 2040-2048 and looks back to when he was a normal (or not so normal) kid in our present day. The show is pretty darn innovative, mixing some great creativity of our future, with some even more great realization of our current lives. It shows how one child, not too different from you and me can grow up to be president.
The cast is nice, great chemistry between all of the actors, and no significantly weak links among any of the cast, although the boy who plays Bobby's conformist friend could have stood some more acting lessons. The story for the pilot was great, it involved Bobby's mother and brother fighting over how he should be raised, and it deals with drugs in a smart gritty way, not how 7'th Heaven would deal with it. But again, most of all is how the show seems to blend Futuristic Political Documentary With Present-Day gritty drama, so seamlessly.
8/10 - I have high hopes for this one!
the first episode of jack and bobby moved me in such a way that i swore to myself i would watch every episode until production ended. so i was there for the second, and the third, and the fourth, and then...oh no, wait a second. no...NO...this can't be happening...it's turning into dawson's creek! when the relationships started flooding in - jack with courtney, then jack with missy, then jack with courtney, then missy with courtney, then bobby with dex, then the mom with the school president, then the mom with the TA...i was becoming so wary to the point of paranoia. every time one of the three leads gets close to a guy or a girl my brain goes...oh no, not a love triangle, not a wrong relationship....oh no! i mean, THIS IS A GREAT SHOW HERE,one with SO MUCH POTENTIAL...the actors are great beyond all expectations from TVland acting...but the writers had to stick with the Love angles?? goodness, there's SO MUCH MORE TO EXPLORE! COME ON! get on it already...how did bobby build such an extraordinary character? will jack and bobby's love/hatred for each other only root from girls?? there has GOT TO BE OTHER angles than these circles of relationships. the mom doesn't even have to have that angle! she could probably have that near the last season or something, but there's just so much boy and girl hoopla here that i can't seem to find the excellence, the passion, the greatness that was in the first episode. EXPLORE FRIENDSHIPS, REAL RELATIONSHIPS, for jack and bobby's sake. I OPEN THIS TO ALL THE PRODUCERS, THE WRITERS...go back to what you started in the first episode! there's so much more to this!
I viewed the WB's "Jack & Bobby" on a preview DVD of the first episode
which is airing this Sunday. Got it from an insert in "Entertainment
Weekly". I had seen the TV trailer on the WB, and thought the series
conceit was a modern retelling of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. "One brother
will become President of the United States." On the surface it is, and
this series has the possibility of being breakthrough television. "Jack
& Bobby" centers around the conversation of the origins of greatness in
The first episode is expertly crafted, effective in it's retrospective narrative, i.e. from the future looking back. I don't know who wrote the episode, but he or she is visionary, having a noble cause.
The cast is powerful. Christine Lahti plays Grace McCallister, free-spirited college professor and single mom to her sons, Jack and Bobby. Matt Long plays Jack, the older brother. Jack is a high school sophomore, track star, smart cool loner, and popular with the girls. Logan Lerman plays Bobby. Bobby is the sensitive geeky asthmatic brother, who really doesn't much care about what other people think. He also has a strength of character that even he is yet unaware.
The first episode is a battle of wills between Grace and Jack over Bobby's future, and the possibility of the man he will become. Long and Lerman have a special chemistry which is the power of "Jack & Bobby". Jack and Bobby have an unconditional and unspoken love for each other, and see the other as great. In the narrative the future First Lady recalls that Jack and Bobby are like "two sides of the same coin". Rather each fills in the other's "missing". Jack inspires the strength and character in Bobby, that he himself has not yet distinguished. Bobby brings out the heart and compassion in Jack which he often chooses to dismiss or disguise. Ultimately, "Jack & Bobby" is a story about greatness, and those who inspire greatness. It is not a coincidence that "Jack & Bobby" focuses on the relationship between three strong, smart, and special people. "Jack & Bobby" has the possibility of greatness.
On the Sunday it premiered on the WB I think I heard the ad for it
about 4 times on the radio in my half hour of total driving and decided
that the plot sounded unique and was worth wasting an hour of time not
doing homework. After watching the first episode, I found myself amazed
at the unique style in which the pilot was done with no truly telling
the truth of which brother becomes president and in how the idea
switches back and forth throughout the show. But what makes the show so
good is it's big underlying question, What is the next great
president/world leader like today, as a kid growing up? (Is it that
geek that played D&D or the cool jock who still did all that community
service?) This ever present idea that one of these two very unique and
powerful brothers will soon be this mythical leader "The Great
Believer" is inspiring and truthful.
Now after having watched the fifth episode, I find myself wanting to see the next right away. Each episode deals with a sort of theme or tying events between the two brothers. But the true power of the show is the chemistry of all the main characters and how they are portrayed. Matt Long is brilliant as Jack, the strong cool brother who still learns from Bobby (like when he helps his friend out by taking his job). Logan Lerman is superb as Bobby, the doesn't give a hoot what everyone else thinks kid who looks up to his brother and shows the ever amazing ideas that inspire to be more (like trying to start the space club with no support until Courtney becomes his ally). Christine Lahti is out of this world as Grace the mom, nothing needs to be said about how good a job she does. The rest of the cast is amazing in the support of this family. Their on screen chemistry takes the show by storm as every scene is good and the already well written plot is only amplified by the well done acting. Already given a second season, I hope to see this show go for a while. Please WB don't give up on this, it's just too good...
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