Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Columns

September 5, 2012

While not a ‘Revolution,’ the undead look to liven up the fall TV season

Now that the long Labor Day holiday weekend has come and gone, folks across the region can turn their attention to more pressing matters. I’m not talking about the presidential election. As a state-line community, we’ve already been bombarded with phone calls, messages and other not-so friendly reminders about the big election from both President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney since early summer. Nope. Been there, done that.

Instead, I’m talking about the long-awaited start of the fall television schedule. From what I can tell, it’s shaping up to be a pretty decent fall season. As in year’s past, we have many returning favorites to look forward to, and a couple of new shows that are destined to capture our attention — and then get unceremoniously canceled.

Sadly, the news still doesn’t look very good for last-place NBC, as their fall line-up once again looks to be lacking. In fact, the only show I see of interest appears to be the one getting the biggest push from the peacock network. It’s called “Revolution,” and deals with some type of apocalyptic event that causes airplanes to fall out of the sky and everyone across the world to lose electricity. I guess it’s a late Y2K bug glitch or something to that extent.

But, anyhow, the premise does look promising. The prominent imagery of the young lady holding a cross-bow would appear to be appealing to fans of “The Hunger Games,” but there seems to be no real parallels between the two otherwise.

I’ll try to watch the premiere of “Revolution.” It looks promising. But ultimately time will tell if it has staying power, or if it will be another highly promoted new series to later be canceled by NBC. Remember “The Event.” We never found out what the event was — as the show was canceled by NBC before the big reveal.

I will also try to catch up this fall with two shows that are being headlined by alumni of “Lost.”

For those who may have forgotten, “Lost” was the brilliant drama/science fiction series that chronicled the story of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, a doomed airliner that crashed into a mysterious tropical island populated by polar bears, time traveling bunnies and a mysterious smoke monster that was clearly up to no good. For six long seasons, we were told by the producers of the show that the survivors weren’t dead. But as the final season reached its uneven conclusion, it was revealed that the survivors were — you guessed it — dead.

They were apparently stuck in limbo. But did they die from the plane crash, or the nuclear bomb that exploded on the island during their time traveling adventures back into the 1970s? And where did that time traveling bunny end up going to? The future or the past? I’m still scratching my head over that one.

Nevertheless, I’ll be interested in checking out “Park Avenue 666,” starring Terry O’Quinn, and season two of “Person of Interest,” starring Michael Emerson. O’Quinn and Emerson were the real stars of “Lost,” and both of their new shows seem to be appealing to fans of the old island drama.

While I do enjoy comic-book related adaptations, I’ll pass on “The Arrow,” as it doesn’t look very intriguing. The same goes for “The Beauty and the Beast.” Why would the CW Network opt to remake such an obscure series from the 1980s anyhow?

In all honesty, the fall TV season won’t begin for me until October. That is when the dead will walk again. Season three of “The Walking Dead” on AMC is highly anticipated. The second season of the zombie survival series shattered all basic cable records despite its slow pacing. Why is a show about zombies such a big hit? Great acting. Great casting. And a compelling story. Yes, there are zombies in the show. But the series is really about a group of diverse characters who are brought together as a community by extraordinary circumstances. It’s more drama that science fiction.

The third season will introduce popular characters from the comic book that the television show is based upon, including the evil governor, and fan-favorite Michonne. If the producers opt to follow the comic book, the new season should culminate in a bloody struggle between two groups of humans fighting for possession of an abandoned prison. A prison — it seems — is kind of a handy place during the zombie apocalypse. It keeps humans in, and zombies out. So that’s why it’s apparently worth fighting for. It should make for a great third season.

And yes, there will be plenty of political coverage to keep us busy this fall as well, including the big debates between Obama and Romney, and vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Considering all of the mud slinging we’ve seen already on the campaign trail, it will be interesting to see if the candidates take the gloves off and come out fighting during the all-important face-to-face debates. I, for one, will be tuning in to the debates.

Charles Owens is the Daily Telegraph’s assistant managing editor. Contact him at cowens@bdtonline.com.

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