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Lonestar!

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Sometimes social media metrics analysis site Klout.com partners with companies to offer Klout Perks(tm). In this case FOX wanted folks with “entertainment blogs” and a social media presence to preview their new fall television Lonestar. To facilitate this viewing they send out a screener DVD and a whole bunch of things with Lonestar printed on them:Movie All Is Lost (2013)

 

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Well there was nothing to it but to have folks over, make waffles (or have waffles made for you) and watch this disc with a bunch of elitist theatre folks because FOX lumped a theatre blog/SM Media presence together with general entertainment blogging presence.

 

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This is orange juice, corporate bacon (bacon prepared on the microwave tray so it comes out perfect and straight every time) and waffles prepared by Ms. Amanda scraped with a touch of Nutella, a sprinkle of cayenne, a sprinkle of cardamom and a dash of cinnamon then o’er topped with syrup. This is what happens when you accept dares from rampaging producing directors with no counter offer… I ate these waffles and he didn’t have to pay in any way. Thankfully they were surprisingly tasty.

 

Honestly the mood in the room was pretty pessimistic that Lonestar was going to be any good… none of the ads instilled confidence and it was a pretty jaded viewing group. I think that we ended up being right.

 

There are spoilers for the pilot… if such a thing exists.

There were NO surprises in this episode except for how cute Eloise Mumford is and how good the music in the episode was. There were bits of dialogue in the end that were being anticipated (OUT LOUD) …. never a good sign… I’ll stop reviewing for the room and stick to what I know for sure…

 

The pilot has been positively reviewed for the most part and most of those positive reviews rest on the shoulders of James Wolk who is the lead, Bobby Allen. They bought Mr. Wolk’s charm where I thought he came off as the strange love-child of George Clooney and Ethan Embry

 

He has plenty of charm, but none of it is the smooth adult charm of an Oceans 11 George Clooney who understands the game – it’s the charm of a young man who’s never lost a game. I never felt for a second that he was in complete control of a situation he was simply playing a game where no one else was. Which is sort of the base problem with shows of this type – I have to believe that this man is good enough at the con game to make it – not simply a quick-on-his-feet liar who’s honestly a little too boy scout in this episode to be sexy.

 

The premise is solid, a con man who wants to go straight without giving up any of the benefits of the con game could be really fun – but the show’s dialogue and pacing are flat and the show itself lacks a clear style. There is no differentiation between Plain Folks in Midland and The Rich Folks in Houston, or the limbo in Truth Land with his Happily Conning After All These Years Dad

 

But let’s talk about the REAL danger sign. No no, not the wooden dialogue, imperfect lead  or slap dash characters in the pilot, but the real problem? There are three or four STRAIGHT exposition scenes characters stand and deliver pages of back story in what is intended to be a show about suspense. We’re pretty bright. Give us a reason to tune in next week. Everything except for how it all falls apart is resolved at the end of this episode. No, really. The cliffhanger is the total SERIES cliffhanger: how does it all fall apart. Nothing smaller.

 

No Gun on the mantle that needs to go off, no threads unraveling….

 

If you’re telling us a mystery and you intend for it to be good mystery, we either need to know everything or nothing, we either need to be aware of things Bobby isn’t or we need to know nothing, so eliminate the elaborate BORING exposition scenes.

 

To sum it all up let me just say this: There is a 15% chance of this show being good by midseason. This could be a pilot to a show that is better once they knew they were picked up and could tell a longer form story. But as it stands I would give it a pass.

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