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Arts in Review

Channel Surfing: Fall series preview part two

The second half of my two-part series on new programming premiering this fall will wade into familiar blockbuster territory, while delving into fantasy, fairytales, and a whole networks’ share of homicide, hunting, and tales of unfinished business.

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By Trevor Fik (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: July 8, 2011

The second half of my two-part series on new programming premiering this fall will wade into familiar blockbuster territory, while delving into fantasy, fairytales, and a whole networks’ share of homicide, hunting, and tales of unfinished business.

Following in the footsteps of last week’s well established blockbuster theme is the science-fiction thriller Person of Interest. From writer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), and co-produced by JJ Abrams (Lost), Person of Interest follows an ex-CIA agent hit man (James Caviezel) as he deals with his slow decline into madness after being let go from his job. Acquired by a billionaire software tycoon (Michael Emerson) with a knack for knowing who will commit a violent crime before it actually happens, the two embark on a vigilante quest worthy of Nolan’s Batman Begins.

Although the plot sounds very much like 2002’s Minority Report, the duo of Nolan and Abrams is one that will have fanboys (and girls) giddy with excitement. Nolan’s slick and engaging writing, combined with Abrams’ ability to keep a pace that is both exciting and nerve-wracking will make for an extremely engaging storyline.

Both Emerson (Lost) and Caviezel are veteran actors who have a proven track record of immersing themselves in their roles. Emerson, with his trademark psychopathic sneer, and Caviezel, who has quite literally walked on water in past roles, could be up for breakout cast of the upcoming 2011 season.

Those looking to add a bit of mystery and intrigue to their television schedules will also want to add CBS’s A Gifted Man to their must-watch list for 2011. A Gifted Man centers on a surgeon (Patrick Wilson) who reconnects with his ex-wife. The catch is that she died two weeks before the meet up, forcing Wilson’s character to choose whether or not to embrace his newfound gift, or write it off as a symptom of some mental disorder.

While the show has been marketed as a love story from the great beyond, the trailer lends itself to something more reminiscent of a character study of modern man. Have the trappings of success changed the surgeon, or is he willing to condone a completely ludicrous act of kindness inn order to help out someone form his past? An interesting ethical dilemma, to say the least, an one which will have viewers tuning in for episodes to come.

Fairytales and monsters dominate the next two show on my list, starting with NBC’s supernatural-laced horror show Grimm.

Grimm follows a homicide detective who discovers that he is the only one with the power to stop the werewolves, goblins, poltergeists, and pod-people that populate this earth. A descendent of past monster-killers, Grimm borrows heavily from fairytales to put on display an adrenaline-fuelled thrill rise that show tremendous promise from its trailer.

While the show is an obvious attempt to fill the void left by such programs as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the cast of relative unknowns combined with NBC’s ability to throw big money behind special effects and action make Grimm one to see.

Special effects are also abundant in ABC’s take on the fantasy world in a modern day setting, Once Upon a Time. Both Jennifer Morrison (House) and Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) star in Once Upon a Time, a story of Snow White and Prince Charming’s modern day descendants in a New England town frozen in time.

The plot, while certainly difficult to wrap your head around at first, will attract a certain audience eager for all the eccentric characters, insane costume designs, and fairytale references that accompany a production of this nature.

Though summer’s heat has only just begun, these shows are right around the corner with only two months before the leaves start to fall.

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