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Not good, but not as awful as some reviews make it out to be
As a song in the Ragtime musical said, "You can never go back to before". What made McGyver special in the 80s can no longer work in 2016. It's a product of its time, and the narrative energy and conviction of the original can no longer be there for a remake.
So they try to adapt it for a new time and they change the character, making him a James-Bond-style super-spy who looks like a new-age jerk compared with the original. That bothers fans of the old show and hence all the 1-star reviews.
Then we have the production values. No way around it, they are bad. The acting, the special effects, the cinematography... Not very good.
On the plus side, they do a relatively decent job when trying to show and update McGyver's technical brilliancy, they have an interesting plot twist in the pilot and they try to set potential for drama between the characters.
The whole thing seems a bit routine, though, making the motions in an attempt to offer a dignified entertainment product but without much conviction.
The Brady Bunch (1969)
Nostalgic, innocent, feel-good family series
This was a sitcom that became a household name in reruns, after it was already canceled. It was innocent fun from a different time, very tame by modern standards, and did not bother with heavy topics.
Nostalgic, innocent and feel-good, it became a model of family series. Other series would borrow from it or rebel against it. It has also become ingrained in popular culture. Those six kids and two parents, along with a live-in maid, who "must somehow form a family", will forever be part of the history of TV in the US.
Several generations of children grew with the Brady kids and envied them for having such a large family, where something fun was always going on.
This worthy successor ended up surpassing Star Trek TOS
This was quite a trip for Star Trek fans. It has all the good things that made TOS work. The optimism in humanity's future, the sense of wonder and adventure, the charismatic characters... It successfully updated the concept.
In such a long run, it had its share of weak episodes, but in general the level was high, and there were some completely outstanding ones.
Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard and Brent Spiner as Data deserve special praise for their career-defining performances.
TOS was cut a bit short, but TNG had time to develop and reach its full potential. The first season was not the best. The show was finding its feet then, and the characters were not yet as well-defined as they would become. That first season is still worth watching, though. It has good things to offer, and the show would get even better.
About a Boy (2014)
Very good first season, it ran out of steam in the second one
It follows the steps of the 2002 Hugh Grant movie. It's not a laugh out loud comedy, but it's endearing, funny and has a lot of heart. Or at least it did in the first season.
In the second season it seems that the writers ran out of things to say, and the situations became too forced and not that funny. It still had its moments, but there were too far between. Rates plummeted and the last season was swiftly canceled, with the last 6 episodes being released months later on video on demand.
The series finale was quite good, although all in all I prefer to keep the memory of the fresher first season.
Dawson's Creek (1998)
Soap opera with
I kind of like the concept of a teen series where the characters talk in an unrealistically sophisticated way. However, the story is too much like soap opera for me, and the characters kind of annoying, difficult to believe in. And speaking of that, the fact that the actors are supposed to play 15-year-olds when they look much older really takes away from the experience, particularly because the age is important for the plot. For example, we have one of them flirting with his teacher, which is quite creepy given the ages of the characters. However the actor looks like a college graduate, so it's difficult to feel like this is a 15 year old we are talking about.
Girl Meets World (2014)
Where to begin? There seems to be an unwritten rule that Disney Channel sitcoms must be mindless and badly-written. Yes, I know they are not intended for adults, but children are actually intelligent beings. As a kid I loved Wonder Years, which was an excellent show, very well-written. I also liked Boy Meets World, although even back then I could see that it was clearly worse than Wonder Years. Still, it was meant to be sillier and it had enough heart and integrity to make you care about the characters and be willing to accompany them as they grew up and learned life's lessons.
Now there comes this spin-off and I tried watching for nostalgia's sake, but I had to give up after forcing myself to watch a few chapters. Girl Meets World is bad even when compared to other Disney shows. It just has no redeeming features. Sure, it's nice to see Cory and Topanga again, but I still spent the time cringing instead of remembering fondly. They decided to make a spin-off of a beloved old show, and they took the trouble to hire the original actors... couldn't they have taken the trouble to hire decent writers too?
The writing is bad, and I would feel sorry for the actors for getting so little to work with if they did not do a bad job too, either overacting or being expressionless. Cory's classes are a mess, Farkle is a creep with no nuances, Lucas is inexpressive and vacant, Riley is all about making overacted faces, with no personality...
If you are interested in this because of Boy Meets World, sure, give it a try and form your own opinion, but be warned that you'll probably decide this is a painful waste of time.
Red Band Society (2014)
Could be better
I have just watched the first chapter, but since I'm not going to continue watching I'll tell you my opinion.
I was expecting a bit more of this show, with such a sensitive subject matter. However, I felt they went the easy way. They made it a rather conventional teen drama. The characters were too stereotypical, did not seem real to me. Except for the tough but golden hearted nurse (see? another stereotype), who did a good job.
Then there were the absurd situations. Like the horny teenage kid who runs around without difficulties but asks the young nurse to give him a sponge bath, and she just does (OK, let's accept she is very naive and does not notice the obvious motivation, but does she just do whatever procedure a patient asks for without instructions from their superiors? does she have so much free time during her shift?). Or like the cheerleader whose roommate is a boy (yeah, he is in a coma, but still, people get roommates of the same sex). Or the doctor discussing with the cheerleader's parents her difficult prospects right by her room where she can easily hear. I could go on, but you get the idea. This is a TV show, I don't expect too much realism, but so many absurd details make it difficult for me to suspend disbelief and makes me think the writers are not even trying too hard.
Their idea of making these kids act like "real" kids is to have them smoking marijuana, taking a doctor's car without permission and buying alcohol, but it felt forced, like they were trying too hard. They did not seem real to me. Because of that, the emotional scene in the roof felt unearned, particularly considering that some of the kids there had just arrived and did not really know the others.
With me talking about the flaws all the time, you might get the impression that I hated it. It's not that bad, however. There are hints that they want to develop the characters from those stereotypes, there are still emotional moments that rang true, like the conversation between Leo and Jordi when they were in bed the night before Jordi's operation... I kind of would like to follow some of these characters and see what happens, but there are so many good shows to watch that I don't think I will.
It could have been done better
I'm watching the first season, and although I will stick till the end of the season, that will be all for me. The defects of this show are already too apparent. I like the idea of this series much more than the actual execution.
I like the music (although they abuse the digital enhancements, that make all the voices sound "perfect" but too similar and without personality). I also like the components of underdog individuals and team competing against prejudices and strong rivals.
However, the drama is very low quality and far-fetched. It is really bad among the teenage characters (teenage, although they are played by much older actors), but among the adult characters it's even worse. No one acts or talks or has problems like that in real life.
As a comedy, the scarce best moments are provided by Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch), although again in a very over-the-top manner.
This is an optimistic series, that gave voice to some underrepresented segments of the audience. However, it could have been done better. Enjoy the music and try not to wince too much at the drama.
The Bernie Mac Show (2001)
Unpalatable unless you are a fan of Bernie Mac's persona
The title is "The Bernie Mac Show", and it lives up to that name. It's all about Bernie Mac and his antics. In fact "Bernie Mac" are the most often used words, since Bernie always talks about himself in the third person when he breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience directly. Another gimmick is that on-screen scribbled text and arrows are used as captions. None of that will make this palatable unless you happen to enjoy Bernie Mac's whiny musings about how he is a manly-man and should not be expected to look after kids and about how he is going to instill discipline in the children, while in reality he loves them and they run all over him.
Very hit-and-miss, and I suspect that for most people it will be more miss than hit.
Anger Management (2012)
We saw this, done better, in early "Two and Half Men"
Charlie Sheen is back as the unprincipled but funny womanizer. It's not awful. Some of the jokes work. However, it feels like something we have already seen too often. When you compare it with the first seasons of "Two and Half Men" this is more of the same but not as good. Jon Cryer was there to play the straight man and here we get nothing as good in his place. It may be funnier than what we are getting in the last few years of "Two and Half Men", but do we really need to set the bar so low?
Also, Sheen looks prematurely old and that makes it difficult for us to accept the premise of the show.
All in all this show is watchable, but you can probably find something better.