Thursday, March 16, 2006

An Early Impression - The Unit

I had planned to do up a full review of the new CBS series The Unit but after watching my first episode (I taped the pilot but couldn't find the time to watch) last night I just couldn't. There was something about the show that gave me that odd sense of foreboding that I usually get when I push all my chips in with two pair in an online Poker game, the sense that this isn't nearly as good as it really should be but I don't know why. In my Poker games this sense is usually followed by the sound of my cyberchips being pushed into the stack of a guy whose pocket twos had a brother sitting on the board.

I mean this show should be good. It has a solid pedigree. It was written and created by David friggin' Mamet after all - you know Pulitzer Prize winner for Glengarry, Glenn, Ross, guy, with a couple of Oscar nominations and a bunch of other stuff (none of which was Lost no matter what the guys who do the TV Squad APB podcast may think). It has a solid cast: Dennis Haysbert (24 and those insurance commercials), Robert Patrick (The X-Files and some movie about a robot from the future, called Terminator 2), Regina Taylor (The Education of Max Bickford, and I'll Fly Away) and Scott Foley (Felicity, A.U.S.A and recurring roles on Scrubs, and Dawson's Creek). It has good source material in Eric Haney's Inside The Delta Force. And yet for some reason it just doesn't seem "right" and I can't put my finger on why.

I'm not saying that it's bad. The E-Ring is bad and this show is so much better than The E-Ring thank Ghu. The trouble is that in all honesty I can't say that it's good and here's the thing - there's too much good TV out there (and bad TV that somehow gets you to watch to savour the badness) to spend time with a show that's bad or even indifferent. Sometimes people recognise it - I suspect that's why Commander-in-Chief probably won't be with us come September - but people seem to be watching this show to the point where it's holding the audience of NCIS and making ratings for the relocated Amazing Race look bad so in this case there's probably something about this show that I'm not getting, which I guess means that a second viewing is probably in order. I'll do it next week, after I write my newsgroup recap of The Amazing Race.

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