WASHINGTON, January 23, 2014–The best way to summarize tonight’s TV viewing can be found in the Dickens quote, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
On the one hand, “the best of times” means we finally get to see the premiere of “Rake,” starring Greg Kinnear.
But four back-to-back episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is ample evidence of “the worst of times,” at least in the world of TV programming.
Almost anything that stars Greg Kinnear falls in “the best of times” category just because he is so easy to like. We loved his portrayal of a gay painter in “As Good As it Gets,” and we were just as quick to like his macho helicopter pilot character in “We Were Soldiers.”
Despite the fact that these two characters are polar opposites, Kinnear was convincing in each role. Not only did Kinnear hold his own while acting alongside Jack Nicholson and Mel Gibson in these films, he managed to steal more than one scene in the process.
Kinnear may never achieve the status of a leading man actor on the big screen, but he is one of the few actors who can be depended on to convincingly and consistently convey the essence of almost any character he is asked to portray.
His character in the new FOX series “Rake” seems almost custom-made for Kinnear.
According to a press release:
“Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Greg Kinnear makes his broadcast television series debut as Keegan Deane, a brilliant criminal defense attorney whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one.”
The formula is predictably familiar; the main character is a talented but self destructive middle-aged man who gets by on fast talk and a dazzling smile. So many shows with a flawed but likable lead character are already on the air that it makes us wonder why FOX would even attempt to create yet another one.
Perhaps the only reason “Rake” got the production green light in the first place is the faith that FOX net-heads have in Kinnear. Expecting a show to succeed based on Kinnear’s ability to take a standard TV role and make it successful by applying his own personal spin to it may sound like a risk to some.
But just like FOX, we are betting Kinnear will make “Rake” a success.
“Rake” airs tonight at 9 p.m. on FOX.
And now for the “the worst of times.” Tonight starting at 8 p.m. TLC will torture the TV audience with four new episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” If watching the “Boo Boo” clan take a trip to the Redneck Games in Georgia sounds entertaining to some people, four consecutive episodes of this ridiculous “reality show” is probably their definition of heaven.
For the rest of us, hell is probably more appealing than watching an episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”