While November sweeps are over and Fox prepares for a big January 2010 with the BCS football games as well as the return of 24 and American Idol, they will offset their greatness with two regrettable shows. The first is titled Our Little Genius while the other is Human Target. I know, the first is ridiculous. But if you’ve seen previews for the latter on Fox, then you know that it will probably have a short shelf life. As much as I’d like to give Fox credit for coming up with good shows, these are gonna be duds.
Our Little Genius puts young geniuses’ knowledge to the test by answering difficult questions. And these aren’t your “what year was the Civil War?” questions. They’re more like “who lead such-and-such brigade on June 1862 in South Carolina to victory” type of questions. What’s even worse is that the parents of the kids are in control of this game. The more questions the kids answer, the more money they make. It’s the same scheme as Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The only reputable thing about the show is that it is created by Mark Burnett of Survivor fame. The parents can stop the game at any time and walk away with the money that they’ve won (more like the kid has won for them!). To top it off, parents will enlist the advice of adult experts to see when they should throw in the towel. So, instead of exploiting your kid’s singing or dancing ability, we’ll now watch as a society a ten year old showcase his/her knowledge of organic chemisty and English history.
Human Target is a more “traditional” drama based on a comic book character of the same title. While Fox has the show slated for 13 episodes, we’ll see how long it actually lasts. This isn’t the first go-around for the comic book-turned television show. The series was first shown in 1992 on ABC but only lasted five episodes. The premise is focused on Christopher Chance, a contractor/security guard hired to protect a variety of clients. But his role is different than a normal body guard. His role is to actually draw fire towards him and away from the original target. The show tries hard with legit actors like Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley co-starring but the series is doomed for failure. The comic book fad is wearing thin and a show like this cannot survive purely on a cult following.
I guess in everything good there are a couple of bad apples along the way and these two shows are sure to be in that bad bunch. Will I watch, probably not. I don’t even think I’ll dignify them with a subscription in my Hulu account. But there are a lot of worse shows out there than these two. Why not just show reruns of House or even do another So You Think You Can Dance. At least in that capacity we have the opportunity to be entertained and get smarter. But you never know, I have been wrong before.
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