BoobTube: A look at the female-centric shows of the fall

Oct. 7, 2011, 12:59 a.m.

BoobTube: A look at the female-centric shows of the fall
Courtesy of ABC

Charlie’s Angels
Frustratingly self-important, this reboot of the 1970s camp classic is relentlessly dreary–it’s like “Charlie’s Angels” in need of Prozac. Where the original teemed with cheery, gleeful self-awareness, this new one is dull, dark and serious. The actresses, ranging from the nondescript to downright unappealing, lack the charisma needed to sustain this morose storyline–they’re no Farrah Fawcett.

-Mayukh Sen


The Playboy Club
Though NBC cancelled the show this week after three episodes, the style, something of a hybrid between Scorsese and soft porn, could’ve potentially given way to a fascinating weekly format. Amber Heard is one of Hollywood’s more interesting young actresses, and her intelligent, mature presence here was exciting. Though the script’s sensibilities were a bit too contemporary to fall in line with the exquisite period settings, it’s filled with visual opulence that is, at times, arresting.

-Mayukh Sen


New Girl
The cutesy Zooey Deschanel showcase maintains the same level of good-but-not-greatness it debuted at three weeks ago. It’s definitely still smarting from the loss of Damon Wayans Jr.’s Coach though Lamorne Morris’s Winston isn’t entirely unlikeable. Now that the show is officially not going anywhere (at least for this season), the bare minimum it can do is tone down that awful Schmidt character.

-Lauren Wilson


BoobTube: A look at the female-centric shows of the fall
Courtesy of NBC

“Whitney” is a halfhearted NBC series about an annoying boisterous painter (Whitney Cummings) and her attempts to bring her life with boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia) out of a rut after three years together. The show includes a clichéd supporting cast of the thrice-divorced mother, alcoholic best friend (also divorced) and hopelessly romantic and clingy best friend (whipped boyfriend included!). Though “Whitney” has its moments, you may be left wondering if the show wouldn’t benefit from stronger actors and a more inspired plot.

-Andrea Hinton

Prime Suspect
Visibly world-weary, wrinkled and hardened, Maria Bello is astonishingly uninhibited in this remake of the original British smash hit starring Helen Mirren. Though the show seems to take an overly doctrinaire approach to feminism, each episode seems incredibly fascinated with Bello’s character. This sensitivity is incredibly affecting, and Bello, a gifted performer, delivers in spades.

-Mayukh Sen


BoobTube: A look at the female-centric shows of the fall
Courtesy of ABC

Pan Am
Glossy and nostalgic, the show doesn’t apologize for taking a contrarian, overly soigne view of the past. Though the script itself is often overly simplistic in its rendering of female characters, the actresses–particularly Christina Ricci–communicate an intelligence beyond these cardboard caricatures. An enjoyable trifle.

-Mayukh Sen


2 Broke Girls
Kat Dennings’ delivery can wring laughs out of the lamest jokes, and Beth Behrs manages to find the likable side of what could be another ditzy blonde cliché, so why can’t “2 Broke Girls” get its act together? The other Whitney Cummings sitcom of the fall started off funny, nosedived its second week then floated back up to mediocre. Good thing CBS just gave the show a full-season order to figure it all out.

– Lauren Wilson

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