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"Limitless" and "Supergirl" look like new CBS winners

 

This is the third in a series of articles about what the broadcast networks have in store for the new season.

With “Two and a Half Men” history, “CSI” about to join it with a series finale on Sept. 27 and “The Big Bang Theory” and several other series aging, CBS needs some new hits.

It looks like it may have found a couple of winners, too.

Here are mini-reviews of its new fall series:

“Limitless,” 10 p.m. Tuesday: Based on the feature film starring Bradley Cooper, it is about a lost millennial who takes a mysterious drug and suddenly finds himself so smart that the FBI wants him to help it solve crimes in New York City.

You’ll Like It If: You like fast-moving programs with a handsome lead (Jake McDorman of last season’s “Manhattan Love Story”) whose character bonds with a strong female agent played by Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”). It is smart, tense and features Cooper in a recurring role as a presidential hopeful.

You’ll Hate It If: You don’t want your brain working overtime understanding all the twists and what is going on and how the lead eventually overcomes the drug’s terrible side effects.

Outlook: My favorite drama pilot of the season, it is one of the best adaptations of a film in years and the weekly heroic stories are indeed limitless. 3 and a half stars

“Code Black,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30: Set “in the most notorious emergency room in the nation” (that’s from the CBS release), the title refers to when there are too many patients for the resources of the hospital. Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden is the driven residency director who fights administrators to do what is best for patients. Bonnie Somerville co-stars as an older resident (though not very old) who bonds with Harden’s character over similar personal heartaches.

You’ll Like It If: You just can’t get enough of hospital shows and am even willing to sit through the 20th version of “ER” since it was retired by NBC.

You’ll Hate It If: You’ve had your fill of hospital series and all the tired, heartwarming stories involving babies being born, old people miraculously overcoming strokes and patients being saved by organs from people who die in accidents.

Outlook: It has all the usual suspects – a tough-as-nails leader, an administrator who tries to keep her in check and residents who are competitive, insecure and willing to challenge authority. I’d rather keep watching “Grey’s Anatomy” or old “ER” reruns.  1 and a half stars

“Life in Pieces,” 8:30 p.m. Monday: A quirky, multi-generational comedy with a great cast that includes James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Colin Hanks (Tom’s son) and Thomas Sadoski (“Newsroom”) and supposedly celebrates the great family moments that don’t seem so hot when you are experiencing them. However, the show’s theme is that, when pieced together, those moments make for enjoyable lives and can be remembered forever. At least that’s what the press guide suggests. The pilot deals with a couple’s first date, the birth of a child and the impact on the parents’ sex lives, a college tour with a child, and a funeral of a grandparent who is very much alive.

You’ll Like It If: You can relate to all the awkward situations this family gets in.

You’’ll Hate It If: You can’t stand comedies that rely on a lot of sexual situations and genitalia talk.

Outlook: The pilot has equal parts funny moments and crass moments, but it would have seemed to work better as a movie than as a TV series that is trying to last forever. 2 and a half stars

“Supergirl,” premieres 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26: No explanation probably is needed, but it is about Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist of “Glee”). She has taken more than a decade on earth -- after leaving Krypton -- to exhibit her superpowers to protect National City against the initial advice of her adopted sister (Chyler Leigh of “Grey’s Anatomy”). Mehcad Brooks (“Desperate Houswives”) is aboard as James Olsen and Jeremy Jordan (“Smash”) is Kara’s friend who also knows her secret.

You’ll Like It If: What’s not to like? Am enthusiastic 24-year-old female hero that is sweet, caring and adorable, and has to deal with a coldhearted boss (Calista Flockhart) who runs a media company.

You’ll Hate It If: You’re a sexist pig.

Outlook: Another Greg Berlanti production, the pilot is well-cast and moves quickly. Benoist is adorable and easy to root for. The season’s one sure hit. 3 stars

“Angel from Hell,” 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5: Jane Lynch, the acid-tongued cheerleader coach of “Glee,” stars in this comedy as a cheer-leading angel to a “seemingly perfect woman” (that’s from the CBS release) and daughter, Allison, (Maggie Lawson) with self-confidence issues that impact her relationships with her boyfriend, father, brother and best friend.

You’ll Like It If: Can’t think of one reason, except if you are a Lynch fan and are willing to watch her over-act and play an annoying angel.

You’ll Hate It If: You’re tired of lectures about the importance of being yourself and actually expect your comedies to be funny.

Outlook: I couldn’t stand it. If it wasn’t for the fact that it doesn’t appear until November, I would think it might be the season’s first cancellation. 1 star

Midseason:

“Rush Hour,” Based on the series of hit movies featuring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, it is a buddy cop drama set in Los Angeles that teams a rule-breaking, wisecracking American Detective Carter (played by Justin Hires) with a too serious Hong Kong Detective Lee (Jon Foo) who doesn’t often get the joke but gets his kicks elsewhere as a master martial artist. Amherst native Wendie Malick co-stars as the police captain who has to put up with Carter’s antics.

You’ll Like It If: You love the "Rush Hour" movies and think anyone can reprise the chemistry between Chan and Tucker.

You’ll Hate It If: You love those movies and can’t believe the producers think Hires and Foo can recapture the magic.

Outlook: Don't rush to see it. A big disappointment that doesn’t have an ounce of the entertainment value of even the weakest “Rush Hour” movie. I suggest you re-watch the movies rather than waste your time on this mess. 2 stars

apergament@buffnews.com

 

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