Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Amsterdam (6): Joss Whedon Did This Before.

Chiseled features, solving crime, looking for love in all the wrong places, immortal. You have no idea how much I wish I were talking about Angel. Alas, I am not. I am talking about John Amsterdam, the main character of New Amsterdam, a show that began airing on Fox three Mondays ago.

Now, I wonder if I would be as under-whelmed by this show if I did not love Angel as much as I still do. There is nothing wrong, per se, with New Amsterdam. The premise is ridiculous, but entertaining enough. John (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was one of the early Dutch colonists to the New World, and he was stabbed through the heart saving the life of a Native American woman during a battle. Out of, I guess, gratitude the woman and her friends bring him back to life (who knew herbal healing could resurrect the dead). He will not die until he finds “the one” with whom his soul will be united. So, he has been living on the Manhattan Island for almost 400 years, waiting for this girl. And twenty minutes after we the viewer meet him, he thinks he meets her; Dr Sara Dillane (Alexie Gilmore) who tries to save his life when he has a heart attack because of chasing a murder suspect.

I am not trying to be a brat, but I would put down even money that the lady doc is not his one and only, but rather it is his feisty and enigmatic new female partner Det. Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson), who he also met just before said heart attack. But here is an example of what I mean by being under-whelmed. I feel like I have already figured out the show, because it is so closely related to a show I have seen in its entirety and love very much.

I am not opposed to New Amsterdam. I will probably continue watching until Gossip Girl starts up again. There are some elements of this show, that if properly pursued could establish some individuality. John has a friend named Omar (Stephen Henderson), a sixty three year old African American man. In the second episode we find out that Omar is John’s son. Interesting concept; he will outlive his children because they age beyond him. Also, John is a recovering alcoholic. He has been in AA since the 1960s. Furthermore, in each episode so far, the present story resonates for John as a comparison for an experience in one of his past “lives.” Despite some seriously hokey facial hair, it is kind of neat to think about how one would understand the modern world in light of living through, say, the Civil War.

New Amsterdam is still in its “potential” phase: with proper planning and attention to character development it could become an engaging and rewarding (lighter-) drama; resting on premise and prettiness it will peter out in a few more episodes and be relegated to cancellation obscurity.

The TV Girl

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