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 V.25 No.38 | September 22 - 28, 2016 

Idiot Box

Snap Judgements

Five shows to skip this fall

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“Lethal Weapon” (FOX, Sept. 21)

It’s been almost 20 years since the last Lethal Weapon film rolled off the assembly line. Back in 1987 the first Lethal Weapon was the perfect Hollywood franchise starter, a buddy cop comedy about two mismatched crimefighters who argue a lot but get the job done in the end. In the decades since, this has become the generic description for a lazy action movie. Maybe back in the ‘90s you could have had a successful “Lethal Weapon” series. But in 2016? No way. Did FOX learn nothing from the crash-and-burn of CBS’ “Rush Hour” spin-off? Evidently not. They’ve replaced Danny Glover and Mel Gibson with Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford (who?).

“Notorious” (ABC, Sept. 22)

What’s the most overdone genre on TV? How about legal dramas? Daniel Sunjata (“Graceland”) and Piper Perabo (recently freed from USA’s “Covert Affairs”) star in this courtroom series loosely based on the “murky relationship” between real-life criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and “Larry King Live” news producer Wendy Walker. I mean, who doesn’t love the celebrity attorney who defended Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Scott Peterson and Gary Condit? ABC really wants to create a new “Scandal,” as evidenced by the fact that this is taking over the Thursday night timeslot for “Scandal” while star Kerry Washington is off being pregnant. But this sex-filled soap isn’t fit to polish Shonda Rhimes’ Louboutins.

“American Housewife” (ABC, Oct. 11)

Katy Mixon, who was an occasional standout on CBS’ generic sitcom “Mike & Molly” gets her own TV show. She plays a housewife. It’s called “American Housewife.” The main character is unpleasant, and everything around her is forgettable. You could watch the entire season in one sitting and never remember you’d seen it. This one’s ripe for the canceling.

“Man With a Plan” (CBS, Oct. 24)

When he’s got a decent character and situation to play with, Matt LeBlanc can deliver a punchline. Here, he plays a laid-off construction worker whose wife goes back to work after 13 years. Suddenly, hubby—horror of horrors—has to raise the kids and take care of the household. What is he, some kind of househusband? How would that even work? I mean, he’s a guy! ... C’mon, CBS, this kind of retrograde tomfoolery might have flown back in 1983 with Mr. Mom. But it’s 2016. Plus, CBS is already doing the same thing with “Kevin Can Wait.” And Kevin James is a shameless hack. Showtime’s “Episodes” proved that LeBlanc has got talent.

“Pure Genius” (CBS, Oct. 27)

If only there were somewhere people could go on TV to watch brilliant, rebellious doctors using unconventional methods to treat impossible medical situations. Seriously, aren’t we all completely sick of medical dramas at this point? This ridiculous entry into the genre features a Silicon Valley genius who uses his billions to build an impossibly high-tech hospital. So basically, this is the emergency room version of “Bones,” in which characters get to wiggle their way out of every situation using magical computers that can solve any problem (and have flashy, 3D, holograms to boot!).



She Sings to the Stars at Jean Cocteau Cinema

A woman's grandson becomes stranded on her farm with an aging magician.


Todos Santos, La Fiesta de las Almas at National Hispanic Cultural Center


Fright Night at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

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