And here is another one that seems to be getting its buzz essentially from its cast, I'm talking about Parenthood. Here's a little story : on my home desk, I have a pile of about twenty scripts that I'm never going to read (and probably see), because the headline would go like this: "Family tries to deal with problems". Although some of them might get lucky and get made because execs only have "family with problems" in mind this time of year, I'm tired of them, I have a sh*t ton of them and they all look the same. Therefore, I was getting ready to trash this thing hard 20 pages in.
Because the story was too dense, and because I still didn't know who was who and this most of the times means that I couldn't care less about all these characters, I didn't really understand why NBC had put so much faith in it. The writing was above average, just like the dialogues, but the characters and the storylines were weak. When I was half way through, I was asking myself if someone had played a prank on me and replaced Parenthood with the first draft of the Brothers and Sisters script. But one arc and its characters stroke me as interesting, and I even managed to finish this off.
There sure are a lot of problems, as I said before, it is way too dense, the characters are just too conventional (like every next season's TV show), and I had a deja-vu feeling all the way through the script, but the pilot ends up on a rather good opening to the rest of the season (no, the patriarch doesn't die) and uncovers that Parenthood isn't really what it appears to be. The only problem is, I doubt people will make it to the end of the pilot. And it is sad because the show might have some truly compelling arcs to offer and a witty original writing.
Parenthood can make a good show but the pilot needs a lot of work, there is not just yet that spark that made me want to know more about this family that wants to be so special, different but really isn't so much.