Different stars imbue their series with different feelings and perceptions. The first new episodics viewed highlight this in the vision of Ian McShane (formerly of “Deadwood”), Nathan Fillion (of “Firefly”) and Tim Roth (“Reservoir Dogs”). The key is taking what made them interesting and intense in their signature roles but create a whole new dynamic. In all cases, the shift is possible enough as long as the stories support it.
Kings With a king like Ian McShane, everything seems in place. Creating a whole new country in the persisting vision of New York City can be interesting. For this series, a new country has been created in a bloody war but it shows what a modern day monarchy in the States might look like. Like “Dirty Sexy Money”, it runs on the perception that great lengths are taken to protect the high and mighty. However, unlike that previous series which was entertaining but with a soapy angle, “Kings” is more hard edged and there is more the essence of the cinematic. This is none the more true in the second episode as King Silas (McShane) stands on the top of his palace skyscraper in the rain. The basis here has a soldier who saved the King’s son being brought back from the front. With some elements you see a destiny form in the visage of the soldier. What is hoped is that this series can take on a mythical tragic quality which is what it seems to be moving towards. It is just a question of sustainability.
Castle The humor keying through this series has a great proponent in Nathan Fillion. This character has some qualities but is much more likable than his “Firefly” counterpart. The aspect of a novelist being allowed to shadow the cops is a bit far-fetched but the presence seems more loose than the slightly more eccentric “Life”. The chemistry is palpable between him and his co-star but the flirting needs to be upped a notch. The premise though, like another series I liked (“Journeyman”), lacks a basis of real world logic although this one is more based in the actual real world. The series, also like “Eli Stone” before it, has a strong lead character but the angles need to keep coming. The good aspect of it, unlike “Eli”, is that it has a procedural background to it which allows it to work easier as a stand alone and not over rely on any building mythology.
Lie To Me Produced by Brian Grazer and starring Tim Roth, this drama focuses on the tells and body language which show if a person is lying or not. This can be used to break down anything from a court martial case to a suicide to affairs of the heart. The science of it has a truth to it but the evidence as it relates to cases is all circumstantial at best which is where the drama continues on a weekly basis. This series wants to be “CSI” but it doesn’t quite live up to that mode because the science itself is a little more elusive. Roth has a good team around him and the aspect of his character having a daughter seems to round out the thoughts although it seems a little too cut and dry. The stories are alright and stand alone but they don’t light the scenes on fire. It comes off as well made but nothing exceptional.
And the beat goes on…