Spring TV Roundup, Week 8

Allegedly it's Spring. Here in Colorado, we've had snow since Friday. But it's supposed to be Spring. And the new shows keep coming. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Monday Nights:
Hunters, Mondays at 10 p.m. on SyFy (Premiered April 11)
About: This series is based on a novel and is about hunting aliens. I thought the pilot was boring and confusing. Worst of all, it lacked anything approaching compelling characters or story. The second episode attempted to bring more depth to the characters and plot. I still didn't find it compelling, but there is an argument to be made that it was slightly better. For fans of the book upon which this is based, or hardcore fans of the genre, this might be worth a watch each week. But I didn't think it was good, and I found it difficult to care about any of the characters or story. It feels like a low-budget miss.
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: D

Tuesday Nights:
The Night Manager, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on AMC (Premiers April 19)
About: This mini-series is based on a John le Carre novel. It's a six-part series that aired earlier in England and now is coming to AMC. It has a strong cast, headlined by Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston, and a classic spy story. I've seen the first four episodes already, since the series aired across the pond, and I found it a strongly produced, fascinating plot. I thought the performances were strong and it delivered what you'd expect from this kind of story. The plot centers on an arms dealer (Laurie) and the simple Night Manager at a hotel (Hiddleston) that gets drawn into his orbit, then works with the authorities to bring him to justice. The series also features Olivia Coleman, who is great in "Broadchurch." For those who are fans of the genre and looking for something engaging and different this Spring.
Pilot Grade: B-
Second Episode: B-

Wednesday Nights:
The Last Panthers, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Sundance (Premiered April 13)
About: This latest series is a heist caper, of sorts. It's an international co-production about a group of jewel thieves and the cops — and private investigators — hunting them down. It's got a strong cast — which includes Samantha Morton and John Hurt — and a ripped from the headlines sort of plot. But I thought the pilot was dry and, at times, difficult to follow. I wasn't drawn into the story or characters. I've read reviews that indicate the show gets better and continues to build. We'll see what the second episode holds. But for now, I'm skeptical.
Pilot Grade: C-

Thursday Nights:
Game of Silence, Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC (Premiered April 12)
About: "Game of Silence" is the latest NBC drama to try and find an audience at 10 p.m. on Thursdays. It's about a group of friends brought back together to avenge a wrong done decades earlier. One of those friends (David Lyons) is now a successful attorney, and this threatens to undo all the hard work he's done to get to where he is. The show premiered behind "The Voice" on Tuesday before sliding into its regular home. Both of the first two episodes were a chore to watch and not very engaging. I read one critic who called the show a "punishing" watch. That about sums it up. It feels like this is the kind of story that's been told before in movies like "Sleepers." I wasn't drawn into the characters, or the performances. And I can't imagine watching this for 13 episodes, let alone multiple seasons.
Pilot Grade: C-
Second Episode: D

Sunday Nights:
Dice, Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on Showtime (Premiered April 10)
About: Ugh, this show is awful. I've never been a fan of the "comedy" of Andrew Dice Clay, so that is probably a big part of the problem here. But this is a chore to watch that is completely light on jokes and intellect. I'm not sure why it's on the air, but you'd be well advised to forget that it is and skip this train wreck all together.
Pilot Grade: D
Second Episode: F


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