Looks like they have the budget to make a good show, but the story is mostly about personal drama and romance among the FBI recruits. WAY too soap opera for my taste. I was hoping to see what happens in a tough academy, with lots of action and more realism about how the FBI operates. Having a cast with more normal-looking would make it more believable.
I've worked in a lot of businesses with much less at stake than the FBI, and in general, the people are much more professional than these recruits and instructors. Basically, the dialog and script are pretty lame and silly.
It was completely unrealistic, and laughably silly when it was going for drama. I couldn't find anything right with it. How the actors read their lines without laughing (or walking out), I'll never know. The storyline is one contrived drama after another, and the lead actor never stops overacting. In one scene, she tells a nurse to stop a prescription looking like she was going over the edge rather than changing a protocol. I watched the first episode and will watch no more. The script feels like it was written in an afternoon by an amateur. Having known several bipolar people quite well, I don't find the portrayal to be authentic. This show is a stinker!
I stuck it out to the end, but this show is awful. It describes itself as "a little bit of science, a dash of con-artistry, plus a smattering of Jedi Mind Tricks " Ah no. It's two brothers, one played by Christian Slater (who I normally like) and the other by Steve Zahn who along with a couple other "team" members mainly just tell big stupid and very risky lies to manipulate a situation. Anyone with zero ethics could do the same thing. The Zahn character is bipolar and is so manic and out-of-control that the very idea that he would be a viable team member is insane. Plus he is exhausting and annoying to watch. I kept hoping he'd be killed off. He brings nothing to the table but CRAZY. I enjoy a clever ruse, but the fact that these "encounters" were successful is really not believable, nor is it clever. In one case I felt it was flat out wrong and hoped they'd fail. If you liked Leverage or Psych for their clever trickery, you probably won't like this. I didn't care for any of the characters even a little bit, whereas the Leverage and Psych characters were all enjoyable in their own well-developed ways.
The stereotypical gay couple is tiresome. The single mom with a heart of gold is tiresome. The bigoted grandparent is tiresome. The quirky (but lovable) odd-ball kid is tiresome. They've all been done To Death. Combining them into one sitcom and then using the word "New" in the title is misleading. The problem with this show is that it's not new at all. A newer normal might be a gay person or couple with - surprise - additional attributes that could contribute to the humor of the show. The Luke character on Modern Family is a fantastic development of a kid; his perception is dead-on kid-like. Seeing the modern world through his eyes is fascinating. They've got to give this little girl something besides a crazy hat. I can't imagine what can carry this show – the pilot burned through all the gags several times.
I've purchased the first five episodes from iTunes, but it's just not funny. At all. Five chances, no laughs. The biggest problem is the writing. Without the laugh track, it would be hard to know what's supposed to be funny. The second biggest problem is the choice of new actors. I have no idea if Ashton Kutcher can be funny, but he's got nothing to work with here. I sure understand why Charlie Sheen was replaced... but he WAS funny. Courtney Thorne-Smith completely loses me as Jon Cryer's girlfriend, she is so bland, I want to fast forward through her scenes. Those two have nothing in common and she could (and would in real life) do better. Conchata Ferrell and Jon Cryer need better lines, The boy who plays Jake grew up and just isn't the funny little kid he was, and unfortunately didn't grow into a funny teen. I feel like the show tried to buy known actors to get out of the slump and it hasn't worked. There are a lot of problems, which makes me doubtful this show can be fixed. I have ideas, however. Call me CBS.
I watched the British version with Helen Mirren which was a fantastic series. This new series with Maria Bello is a bit lighter and she is of course, younger -- although not young. Actually, I appreciate that someone 23 wasn't cast in the role with perfect hair, clothes and nails. Jane sometimes looks like an unmade bed. She is a tough character and I like the way she can both take and dish it out. She lives in the real world where life is harsh and she just accepts it. She's in her stride at her job and does it well, if not aways by the book. Well written, well directed, and fun to watch. Maria Bello is excellent in the role. Part of what makes it good is her restraint. The men detectives can be jerks, but is it just culture? They are becoming aware of Jane's strengths. That realization is fun to watch as they are hit in the face with Jane's abilities that they assumed couldn't possibly be there.
The whole family thing has the wrong feel for the situation. It's like they just moved there from Orange County. The teens are petulant babies. I doubt that would be the case if they had really just left an overpopulated, dangerously polluted world run by a harshly militaristic government. Why can't there be some original thinking about how people might behave in such a precarious situation with an uncertain future, dinosaur threats, and a competing population. Maybe this is a world where teens use their capable brains in new and interesting ways, rather than as trite selfish brats who need babysitting. I doubt that teens would act like that if they were in this situation. Yes, it's good to have varying levels of behavior; not everyone has to be brilliant or saintly. But behavior is influenced by situation and it should bring unique fears, force some creativity, plus there is an obvious ability to have impact in such a small population. What are the relevant issues in this world and how do they impact the inhabitants?
I enjoyed looking at it. The costume and set people did a good job. But, the storyline is weak and confusing. I was unable to latch onto anything in any of the characters that interested me. I can't tell what the writers are trying to achieve. Is the goofy pilot is supposed to be goofy? If so, why was he chosen to fly this fabulous new plane? He does not seem like a suave competent pilot of the time, but more of a sophomoric present-day jock. The show is extremely self-glorifying in that it doesn't have the restraint to avoid reveling it's own retro-cool look. Remember, writers, in 1963, the characters can't know how they'll be viewed 50 years in the future... so no smirking.
There is plenty of opportunity to do something with a show about Pan Am, and if it were well done it would be fun to watch. Can it be fixed? Probably not with this crew of writers and actors. They should watch Mad Men more carefully and learn. It's not all about props.
There is NO WAY that canned laughter was from a live audience. This show may be the worst thing I've ever watched. It felt like something from the 70s in the dated subject matter and stupidity with how these two utter morons go through their tragically idiotic days. It's so bad it made me angry that I downloaded it from iTunes and watched in disbelief that NBC would even look at this concept much less put it in their fall lineup. I found Whitney unbearably unappealing in every conceivable way, and the dork she lives with is more boring and dimwitted than day-old oatmeal. As the sitcom progressed, I began to hope it was actually a crime show and these two would be the victims. Shut it down.