Wednesday, September 20, 2006

TV Review: Vanished

Genre: Drama
Channel: FOX
Season: 1

The Premise: The wife of a Georgia senator is kidnapped. Wackiness ensues.

I've watched 4 episodes of this new show now, and believe me when I tell you: if you haven't caught "Vanished" fever, then brother... you're probably someone with good taste.

From FOX:

"Sara Collins, the beautiful young wife of prominent Georgia Senator Jeffrey Collins, has inexplicably vanished.

As the search for Sara unravels one of the nation’s most prominent families, it also exposes evidence that could rock the foundations of American society. In VANISHED, nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. And no one is safe."


OK, at what point did this conversation occur?

FOX EXEC #1: You know, there's another kidnapping show coming out this year too.

FOX EXEC #2: Blast! We've got to do something to separate ourselves in the mind of the viewer!

FOX EXEC #1: I know! Instead of just being about the kidnapping, we'll also rock the foundations of American society!

FOX EXEC #2: Brilliant! Plus, we'll have a completely charmless lead... it's great counterprogramming to that Timothy Hutton and Jeremy Sisto!

FOX EXEC #1: It'll be the breakout show of the season! That'll teach Fox not to fire us from 24!

ALL: BWA HAH HAH HAH HAH!

No seriously. That's what had to have happened here.

The good:

1) Ming-Na? Hawwwwwwwt. I have a serious crush on that girl. Too bad she's reduced to playing Captain Exposition.

2) The show is set in Atlanta. Having been born and raised there, it's nice to see a drama not set in New York, Chicago, L.A. or a deserted island.

The bad:

Virtually everything else. The show screams low budget 24 knockoff, from the repeated use of extras in different roles, re-use of sets, to the bargain-bin actors populating the series. The Georgia senator, in fact, is played by the same dude who was the bad guy in last season's 24 for the first six episodes.

Additionally, the show is buried in cliches. The FBI kidnapping specialist who's recovering from a case gone horribly wrong? Check. Annoying TV reporter who walks a fine line between covering the news and obstructing justice? Check. Powerful white guys in suits with an agenda? Check. And because it will "rock the foundations of American society", it's a sure bet that either the Freemasons or the Knights Templar will be involved at some point.

Look, 24 has its silly comic-book-y moments and plots you don't want to think too hard about, but it moves quickly enough and the actors sell it well enough that it ends up being a fun ride. Vanished seems like a bunch of outtakes from that show strung together without any semblance of direction.

Additionally, with the exception of Ming-Na, who as I've mentioned I have a personal bias towards, the entire cast displays the charisma and acting chops of a tractor.

I'll be switching over to Kidnapped tonight, and hopefully that'll go better.

A/V Rating: 1/5. Move along, nothing to see here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sara J said...

Hee

7:29 AM  
Blogger googum said...

I keep watching Vanished because the premise seems to be this vast, criminal conspiracy that seemingly exists just to fuck with the FBI's collective head, put bluntly. While investigating a crime scene, they find a body from another crime years ago, planted there for the Feds to find. Why? Why do that? Why keep that body, frozen? Why sabotage the freezer so the body melts? Why why why!And hey, let's put our secret mysterious logo on disposable underlings, our secret underground lair that we don't need anymore, coffins...

This is 24's legacy: Someone referred to that show as being like it was told by an energetic 8 year old. "And then Jack fights these guys, and he's beating them, but then one gets away, except his car blows up, and Jack dies. But he gets better..." Vanished just goes to the next level, creating mysteries it has no intention, and no way, of solving.

11:08 AM  

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