Ben and Kate B
Neighbors is probably too weird for most people, but not us. It's sort of the flip side of Third Rock From The Sun: A "normal" family winds up in a suburban enclave where everyone else is an alien. And not just any ol' aliens, no sirree. Incompetent, regimenting in a pyramid shape when called, child-loving, sports star-named aliens who have been on Earth for ten years waiting for their planet to call and tell them what to do.
The new family finds out fairly quickly just what their neighbors are, and decides to stay. Sure, what the heck. Carole and I thought it was hilarious. But then, we grew up on My Favorite Martian and our suspension of disbelief can withstand gale force winds.
I suspect this show will get the ax fairly quickly, but who knows. In any event, we liked it.
Ben and Kate was recommended by various people after the show had aired, so I saw it on the network's web site a few days later. I wasn't nearly as impressed as some. The characters aren't aliens so disbelief for the utterly unbelievable was harder to achieve.
Ben is the older brother of Kate. She has a daughter, and he's a completely irresponsible child-man with a black friend who decides to come home and stay with his sister. The best parts of the show were the five-year-old and Ben's friend. The pilot was stupid, but at least got them together.
This may be another show I dismiss early but gets the ratings and sticks around. Still: On the bubble.
Elementary is yet another "reboot" that I would like a lot better if they didn't pretend it was a reboot and just made a series. In fact, they did, called Perception, an almost identical show that's a lot more believable.
Perception is sort of a cross between A Beautiful Mind and Numbers. A brilliant psychologist who suffers from schizophrenia and sees people who aren't there is finally released from therapy to teach at a college as long as he has a handler. He's so brilliant the police ask him to help, which he does even after the case has been "solved". It often works despite the premise, and we look forward to watching the show even though it hasn't really cracked our A list.
Elementary features Sherlock Holmes, scion of a rich man who pays to have a handler accompany him after his release from therapy. This Sherlock Holmes is closer to the perceptive but annoying Shawn in Psych than the more directly derivative Gregory House. He was helping out Scotland Yard after 9/11, then started taking drugs and landing in a closed facility. On the day he was scheduled to be released, Holmes escapes because he was bored.
Lucy Liu is very quiet (at least in the pilot) as Dr. Joan Watson, a former surgeon who is now a nanny to drug rehab patients. They live in NYC, land of polyglot accents, clever amoral murderers and bumbling police.
I was hoping Elementary would try to be an updated They Might Be Giants, which was great, or even something more akin to the PBS series. But alas. If I can get past it not being much like the A. Conan Doyle detective stories, I can probably stand to see another show or two. At least until the new season of Perception.
All three of these shows have aired one episode only, so these are just first impressions. We shall see.