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PeeDee
03-16-2007, 07:51 PM
(this is spoiler free)


Imagine my surprise and subsequent scoffing when I realized
that Jeff Goldblum had a career still, and a new TV series. He seemed to be all the rage in the mid-to-late 90's, a buzz that I never quite figured out. He wasn't bad, mind you, but I just keep seeing the Celebrity Jeopardy skit on SNL where David Duchovny pretended to be him, and was hilarious at it.

So I expected very little going into Raines, where Jeff Goldblum plays the title character who has a very overactive imagination and sees his victims.

They don't give him any advice or anything useful. They don't know any more than he does, something I applaud the writers for. They're essentially just him, talking to himself. And that's an interesting mechanic.

In this first episode, it's boringly used. The detective story itself is not terribly exciting or original, but in this first episode you're not watching to watch a good detective story, and they aren't always required. You don't watch House for the cases, you watch because Gregory House is a beautiful wreck.

(But that said, a show would do well to follow House and have both fascinating characters AND interesting cases)

The episode plodded for three quarters of the show. It wasn' tuntil the ending, which I won't discuss in detail here, when I became both interested in the series and heartbroken for Jeff Goldblum's character. It was those last ten minutes or so that'll keep me coming back, at least for a little while.

Greg House is hurt, and so he becomes this big prickly monolith that lumbers around the hospital.

Detective Raines is hurt too, but he's small and quiet and shy, and...fragile. And you knew that from the beginning, but it wasn't until the end when it was made readily apparently.

So the writing needs to tighten, but that's okay. MOst pilot episodes stink. It's got potential, and it's got a character who's interesting, and Jeff Goldblum impressed me. That's enough for me.

ChaosTitan
03-16-2007, 08:24 PM
I've always been a fan of Jeff Goldblum, so imagine my surprise when I saw my first preview for his new show. Then my subsequent elation when I found out it was produced by Graham Yost.

I'm one of those rare TV viewers who is also a fan of certain producers (Aaron Sorkin, John Wells, Chris Carter, Morgan and Wong). I'll watching almost anything they do. Graham Yost produced and co-wrote the one-season gem "Boomtown" a few years ago. That series, brief though it was, remains one of my very favorite shows ever. Great cast, great gimmick, great storytelling. And for any "Band of Brothers" fans out there, Yost wrote the fantastic installment "The Breaking Point."

"Raines" did an admirable job. I disagree that most pilots stink, because if they did, no shows would ever be bought. ;) They have to present the entire concept of the new series in forty-two minutes, and often, that episode seems weak compared to later eps. I could name a dozen shows where that is true, but that doesn't mean the pilot stunk.

I don't know about anyone else, but stinky pilot eps have me racing for the hills or changing the channel.

Anyway...I was also impressed with the show's pedigree. Besides Yost, the pilot was directed by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). It was great to see Linda Park ("Enterprise"), Matt Craven (Timeline, among other, better films), and Malik Yoba ("New York: Undercover," another show that needs to come out on DVD) on television again. I was pleasantly surprised by the chemistry between Goldblum and Yoba, even though I called the "Spoiler" about twenty minutes into the episode.

And points for Mykelti Williamson's cameo (he was a regular on "Boomtown").

As I said, I'm a fan of Goldblum's deadpan delivery and this was a good showcase for the actor. Some of his lines were laugh-out-loud funny, and his ability to be both a looming presence and utterly fragile makes for a great character. I hope this one takes off, and I will definitely tune in again next week.

PeeDee
03-16-2007, 08:36 PM
Yeah, I suppose most pilots are weak by comparison to later episodes. I don't know, there are pilots that just fail to hold me, and it isn't until much later that something really rivets my attention.

It may just be me. :)

The pilot for Star Trek: TNG didn't hold my interest very well.

Even Babylon 5's pilot was a strange and weak thing, regardless of comparisons. Comparing it to the show that came afterward, it doesn't hold a candle, but I agree that's hardly fair.


...

There are great pilots. Standoff, a TV series that followed House for awhile on FOX and seems to have vanished (damn it) had a really good pilot and was really enjoyable to watch. Firefly had a killer pilot, whichever episode it was. ;)

(those two shows shared an actress)

...

I thought the pilot and most of season one of Ghost Whisperer was really weak. Like Touched By An Angel, but with dead people. And then, toward the end of the season, the show got menacing and alarming and deeply troubling. And the season one finale was absolutely astonishing, one of the best examples of television writing I've seen. It got my attention.

As of episode 1 of Raines, I'm definitely a fan. I'll come back, because I'm rooting for the show to improve on the bits I didn't like, and I'm very interested in the character of Raines himself.

ChaosTitan
03-16-2007, 08:49 PM
(those two shows shared an actress)


Gina Torres! :hooray:



I need hard trivia. :tongue

PeeDee
03-16-2007, 09:04 PM
That wasn't trivia, that was me too lazy to go look up how to properly spell her name... :) And I felt like a dweeb for calling her "Wash's Wife." :)

maestrowork
03-16-2007, 09:11 PM
A little bit insider tip... and I hope this won't stop you from enjoying the show...

My friend George worked as a sound man on the show. They filmed a few episodes, then the show was canceled midway through the shooting (before it was aired). They paid Goldblum the full salary for the 13 episodes (I guess it was in the contract) but the crew got nothing.

So unless the show picks up at the ratings (and production begins again), don't expect it to go on after they aired the finished episodes. I suppose they figured if they had spent all the money filming those five or six episodes, they might as well air them and get some advertising money out of it, and fill the slot of ER while it's on hiatus.

PeeDee
03-16-2007, 09:13 PM
That sounds terribly typical.

maestrowork
03-16-2007, 09:16 PM
The same thing happened to Vanished, the Fox series last year (my friend Ming-Na was in it). It did poorly in the ratings so Fox pulled the plug -- they told the writers to wrap up the storyline and explained everything as best as they could and killed the show before it even got interesting (all the religious conspiracy plot got wiped out).

The writing was horrible. I was just sad that they didn't give it a chance by changing the writing staff. If they could hire someone from the 24 team, they would have been halfway decent.

PeeDee
03-16-2007, 09:22 PM
I don't expect much more from Fox. They throw shows at the wall and wait to see what sticks. If you're not American Idol or House in ten minutes, then you're pulled and replaced by.....House re-runs.

maestrowork
03-16-2007, 09:28 PM
They all do that now... Networks have such tight budget and short attention spans. The only reason why 30 Rock is still on the air is because of Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels -- they have enough pull to keep the show on. I think it's a good show but it just is not doing well in the ratings. When mid-season rolls around, everyone gets nervous, even though conventional wisdom tells us, most mid-season replacements suck.

I wouldn't want to be in the TV business, at least not on network. Cables such as HBO and Showtime seem to have more patience to nurture and promote a show.

ChaosTitan
03-16-2007, 09:35 PM
They filmed a few episodes, then the show was canceled midway through the shooting (before it was aired). They paid Goldblum the full salary for the 13 episodes (I guess it was in the contract) but the crew got nothing.


Cancelled already??


:rant: :Headbang:

That's it! I am not watching new shows anymore.

*stomps off*

maestrowork
03-16-2007, 09:45 PM
Well, if you and MANY MANY more people keep watching it, they may pick it up again. I think they're looking at the ratings now.

MidnightMuse
03-16-2007, 09:52 PM
This is when TV frustrates me beyond reason. Imagine if you got an agent and a publisher, and your book hit the shelves, but didn't sell 10,000 copies in the first day, so you were pulled.

Not that I caught Raines - I have issues with "I see dead people" stories lately. But still.

JanDarby
03-16-2007, 10:03 PM
I like Jeff Goldblum, when he's properly cast, but I thought Raines was just ghastly, from the writing to the acting (especially when Goldblum was trying to look menacing and in control as they stormed a suspect's house, and he looked awkward and silly). I kept watching to the end, hoping for redemption, but never found it.

I have a theory that the show would work really well as camp, played for the absurdity of it all, but it's just not working as a serious (with light moments) police procedural. Flipping it to light, with serious moments, might have been a better mix for everyone involved.

Makes me really long for a revival of Tenspeed and Brownshoe.

JD

PeeDee
03-17-2007, 01:25 AM
I thought he did look awkward and silly, and that's kind of what endeared me to him. Hence why I called him fragile. I thought it was interesting in a detective show.

Sage
03-17-2007, 07:19 AM
A little bit insider tip... and I hope this won't stop you from enjoying the show...

My friend George worked as a sound man on the show. They filmed a few episodes, then the show was canceled midway through the shooting (before it was aired). They paid Goldblum the full salary for the 13 episodes (I guess it was in the contract) but the crew got nothing.

So unless the show picks up at the ratings (and production begins again), don't expect it to go on after they aired the finished episodes. I suppose they figured if they had spent all the money filming those five or six episodes, they might as well air them and get some advertising money out of it, and fill the slot of ER while it's on hiatus.
OMG, I so called this!

Sage
03-17-2007, 07:25 AM
The same thing happened to Vanished, the Fox series last year (my friend Ming-Na was in it). Are you really friends with Ming-Na, Ray? I'm very jealous.

Rolling Thunder
03-17-2007, 07:30 AM
I caught a few minutes of Raines tonight. Why does Jeff Goldblum look like Felix Unger? :ROFL:

alaskamatt17
03-17-2007, 12:35 PM
Did anyone notice? The pilot episode was directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. I hear those are good movies ...

maestrowork
03-17-2007, 07:34 PM
Are you really friends with Ming-Na, Ray? I'm very jealous.

Yes. Not really, really close friends, but a friend, yes. I spent an afternoon with her on the set of ER and met some of the other stars. That was really fun.

Rolling Thunder
03-17-2007, 07:56 PM
They did nice work on your jowls. Very smiley, for a pig.

MattW
03-17-2007, 08:59 PM
Cables such as HBO and Showtime seem to have more patience to nurture and promote a show.I'm not so sure they are different. Whatever is happening with the last season of Deadwood and the slow end of Sopranos tells me HBO is both too knee-jerk and too patient.

And still, The War at Home lingers on Fox.

PeeDee
03-17-2007, 09:41 PM
And let's not forget that HBO canceled Carnivale too. I haven't forgiven them for that.

Ardellis
03-18-2007, 06:26 PM
And let's not forget that HBO canceled Carnivale too. I haven't forgiven them for that.

Neither have I, Pete. I doubt I ever will, either.

I think Raines shows promise. For me, it's all about character, and I find Michael Raines appealing, largely because he is, as you said, fragile. Characters who manage to continue functioning, even when they've been knocked about this badly, really do catch my attention.

Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds has an element of that, too.

PeeDee
03-18-2007, 08:12 PM
Though between Mal and Raines, there's no contest. Mal was a more interesting character. I think Raines could have been, given a season or two to hit his stride.

ChaosTitan
03-18-2007, 08:48 PM
Well, Raines has only had one episode so far to grow on us. Chances are good that he'll hit his stride. ;)

At least I hope so. I want this to get picked up again, because I'm tired of shows I like getting cancelled. (Are you listening, FOX????)

rhymegirl
03-18-2007, 09:38 PM
I liked the show and I love Jeff Goldblum. He's not your typical good-looking actor but he has a certain something.

maestrowork
03-18-2007, 10:39 PM
Well, I hope NBC picks it up again and I hope they will rehire my friend.

Cassiopeia
03-19-2007, 12:43 PM
Jeff Goldblum has only gotten sexier with age. He has an edge to his acting that he didn't in his younger years. I haven't seen the show yet. I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me PeeDee :D

rhymegirl
03-23-2007, 10:53 PM
Watched the second installment last night. Good show!

He throws out some zingers kinda like Greg House on "House" when he talks to some of the cops.

I hope people will watch it.

BottomlessCup
03-26-2007, 04:41 AM
I'm not so sure they are different. Whatever is happening with the last season of Deadwood and the slow end of Sopranos tells me HBO is both too knee-jerk and too patient.

And still, The War at Home lingers on Fox.

David Milch is the one killing Deadwood. He doesn't want to beat it into the ground and wants to move on to other projects. HBO had to beg him just to get the two pseudo-movies they're doing to tie up the stories.



As for Raines, it's probably the most derivative concept I've ever seen. If they're not even going to try, I'm certainly not going to watch their mailed-in garbage, regardless of Goldblum's deadpan talent.

ChaosTitan
03-30-2007, 01:31 AM
Not good. "Raines" isn't airing tonight, only two weeks out of the gate. They are airing repeats of "The Office" instead.

Damn.

Ardellis
03-31-2007, 02:22 PM
They've moved it into the "death slot" at 9pm on Fridays. The third episode was on last night.

ChaosTitan
03-31-2007, 07:35 PM
It's where good shows go to die.

Crap. :(