TV Time: The Playboy Club, Person of Interest

The one-hour drama is a hard sell with me. I’ll try anything that’s a half-hour, especially if I can tape it and zip through the commercials. But an hour? That’s a big commitment of my time and my attention span.

Plus, most one-hour dramas are cop shows or lawyer shows or doctor shows or soap operas and I have no interest in any of that. And the ones that are interesting almost always disappoint me in the end. Once again, I’m looking at you “X-Files” and “Lost.” And remember how lousy that last season of “Buffy” was? And how many hours did I waste watching “Smallville?” Now that I think on it, the only drama I can think of that I regretted it ending was “Angel.”

Still, gotta be optimistic. Gotta give ’em a try.

The Playboy Club

Well, I gave it a try. What was I thinking? Of all the new shows on all the networks I picked this one to watch?

Here’s how bad it is: before the opening credits roll one of the bunnies is assaulted by a patron. She kicks him in the neck with her heel, cuts open a vein or artery and kills him. Oh, and he’s the head of one of Chicago’s crime families!

It gets worse from there. This is just standard adult soap opera and I haven’t watched one of those since “Dallas.” I didn’t even watch “Dallas,” I just looked up from whatever comic I was reading when JR was on screen.

None of the characters here are likable, just varying degrees of unlikable. Everyone has their own drama which I care nothing about. It’s a slick-looking show but I need more than style over substance to come back week after week.

But the worst part of the show is the horribly pretentious opening and closing narration by Hef: “The world was changing and we were the ones’ changing it – one bunny at a time.”

Really, Hef? Really? I’m no Gloria Steinheim but even I doubt that the road to female empowerment ran through the Playboy Mansion.

Person of Interest

Now this is much better. Homeless Batman teams up with Benjamin Linus and his supercomputer to stop crime before it happens. That’s a premise.

James Caviezel stars as John Reese, one of those strong, silent types who has lost his way and just wants to be left alone and you’d better leave him alone because he has Elite Military Training and will take you and your friends down in seconds if you cross him. Oh Rambo, what have you wrought?

Michael Emerson stars as Mr. Finch — or as Reese calls him, Finch — a mysterious millionaire scientist who has built a computer that can pick out people who are about to be involved in a world of trouble. Finch enlists Reese in his new purpose in life: use the computer to help those in need, stop those causing trouble.

The pilot episode showed promise. Emerson is still playing the creepy know-it-all type he played so well on “Lost.” ¬†Caviezel is good as the burned-out elite agent who can still get the job done. The story was fairly standard stuff — was anyone really surprised when the supposed victim turned out to be the villain?

Still, I like the leads well enough to stick around for a bit and see where it’s headed.

Coming Up: Charlie’s Angels, Revenge


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