Tuesday, November 28, 2006

TV premiering tonight: Big Day

Okay, admittedly I saw this pilot way back in August when it was scheduled to premiere as part of ABC's initial fall lineup, so my memory is a little fuzzy, but everything I remember about it is bad. We're far enough into the season now that so many of these serialized dramas have failed to hold people's interest, and the prevailing theory now is that viewers just aren't dedicated enough to commit themselves to more than one or two of these types of shows. Now we get a leftover from when serialized storytelling was the hottest thing going, and on top of that it's a serialized sitcom, which is a genre that's barely hanging on. Not that the plot - which follows one couple's wedding day basically in real time over the course of the season - is going to be as complicated as Lost or 24, but it's still structured in a way that people will assume they have to start at the beginning and watch every week.

But this is a perfect example of the kind of story you should not tell this way, as the first episode already exhausts nearly every cliche of the wedding movie/TV show: both the bride and groom get cold feet; the bride's dad disapproves of her choice in husbands; the bride's sister and the groom's best friend sleep together; and so on. And given that this is real time, that means all these things happen before 9 a.m. on the wedding day. I don't see how this show can last even a few episodes, let alone a whole season or more, and even if the plotting were better, the jokes are tired and unfunny and the characters almost universally unlikeable. I doubt that producers will have to worry about how to keep things going, though, as this looks tailor-made for cancellation in about a month. ABC, Tuesdays, 9 p.m.

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