A TV Review by Tim Riley


The one caveat to apply to any preview information about the fall season on any major network is simply that everything is subject to change or delay even though production of television shows is resuming with new guidelines and protocols being followed.Notwithstanding possibilities to move forward shooting new episodes, networks are not able to identify firm dates for premieres, but let’s hope that returning series and new shows get back on track before we run out of streaming options.The ABC network is initially launching three new series, including a drama from productive writer and producer David E. Kelley (most recently, HBO’s “Big Little Lies”), a new sitcom and the revival of a game show. Visionary storyteller Kelley comes up with “Big Sky,” a thriller in which private detectives decide to partner with a former police officer to pursue a serial kidnapper.

The detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) join forces with Cody’s estranged wife and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, a race against the clock ensues to stop the killer before another woman is taken. Until then, the highways of Montana are not safe.Reaching back to more than five decades ago, ABC is reviving the classic “Supermarket Sweep” game show that first aired on the network in 1965, only to be rebooted years later on Lifetime and PAX TV.

The fast-paced series follows three teams of two as they battle it out using their grocery shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise to win big prizes. Always looking for bargains, this writer would probably not do well in this type of contest. Arriving during the midseason, “Call Your Mother” is a comedy that follows an empty-nester mother (Kyra Sedgwick) who wonders how she ended up alone while her children live their best lives thousands of miles away. Mom decides her place is with family and as she reinserts herself into their lives, her children realize they might actually need her more than they thought. Guess the kids will be calling their mother in this aptly-titled series.




According to Rotten Tomatoes, the critic reviews of “The Last Days of American Crime,” a Netflix original TV movie, are so negative that it rates a 0% score and fares little better with a 25% rating with audience reviews. Something this potentially awful almost begs for a look, if only to discover whether a contrarian position should be considered or merited to spark a conversation about the banality of an exercise in futuristic crimefighting. The basic premise of “The Last Days of American Crime,” as implied in the titular conceit, is that criminal behavior would be eliminated by an Orwellian exercise of mind control in a system called the American Peace Initiative, or API for those who love acronyms.

The government is on the verge of launching the API system that will impede one’s desire to commit a crime. Countdown clocks to liftoff are everywhere, as if everyone is anxiously awaiting the strike of midnight for a Happy New Year.That the end is near for criminal enterprise has turned the urban core into a hellish landscape of street violence, looting, dumpsters on fire, and topless women dancing on top of cars. Graham Bricke (Edgar Ramirez) is seeking revenge for the death of his brother in prison. At a bar, he gets seduced by femme fatale Shelby (Anna Brewster) for a quickie in a restroom. Shelby is engaged to Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), the son of the local crime lord (Patrick Bergen). An unhinged sociopath, Cash wants to enlist Bricke’s help for one last big heist before the API launch.

The target is $1 billion stored in a vault near the Canadian border. The heist game plan is explained in the simplest of terms as, “Take the money. Drive to Canada. Die rich.” What brilliant mind could outline such a bold scheme? Before the actual heist occurs, there are many action scenes so inane as to dull the brain to a state of abject indifference or disbelief. One criminal gets tortured while bound to a chair in a trailer that is set on fire, and he still manages to escape.

A well-planned heist can be fascinating to watch, but when that time rolls around it turns out to be about as thrilling as waiting in line for a dinner reservation.The Last Days of American Crime” could have developed a compelling heist amidst chaotic dehumanizing turmoil but instead the result is mostly bereft of a coherent story, rational dialogue and consequential character development. Wasting two-and-a-half hours watching this dystopian nightmare of violence and mayhem so lamely delivered it may cause one to contemplate a chip implant that wards off making bad decisions on entertainment choices.