You’ve seen the commercials. You’ve heard the hype. Now there’s only one thing you want to know: Which of the new fall shows are worth watching and which should be avoided at all costs? In this continuing series, we give you the scoop on some of the most highly-anticipated shows of the season. Up next, we shine the spotlight deep in the heart of Texas by offering up our first look at FOX’s LONESTAR.
The Boilerplate: Since these pilot presentations may go through numerous rewrites and casting changes prior to premiere, this by no means should be considered an official review. Rather a preview of what one can expect come Fall.
The Elevator Pitch: DALLAS: THE NEXT GENERATION.
The Plot: Robert/Bob Allen gets around. In Houston, he’s known as “Bob,” a man happily married to Cat (Adrianne Palicki) who is the beautiful daughter of Clint (Jon Voight), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naive girlfriend Lindsay (Eloise Mumford). In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. Will Robert/Bob be able to hold his two lives together while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, all the while keeping his two separate relationships afloat? Stay tuned.
The Snap Judgment: Starring relative newcomer James Wolk as a charismatic and brilliant con man whose love for two different woman leads to a crisis of conscience, LONESTAR is FOX’s latest attempt to re-imagine the primetime soap. But don’t let the aesthetically pleasing cast (including FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS alum Adrianne Palicki), and multiple subplots involving overbearing fathers, scheming brothers, and mysteriously missing uncles fool you — this ain’t your mother’s soap. Written by Kyle Killen (whose sole credit to his name is the upcoming Mel Gibson/Jodie Foster project The Beaver), directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer,) and executive produced by Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (PARTY OF FIVE), LONESTAR, in the grand tradition of FOX, is unlike anything currently seen on Network television (Note to nervous Network executives: As evidence by the success of GLEE, that’s a good thing). So much so that, complete with a sprawling ensemble, gorgeous Texas backdrop, and a deliciously addictive central conceit that will keep you on the edge of your seat as Wolk’s Robert/Bob Allen attempts to — as his disapproving father so accurately put it — keep “this house of cards” he’s carefully constructed from falling down — we’re already putting LONESTAR at the top of our Fall TV must-see list.
The Verdict: In TiVo terms, we can best sum it up in three words: Instant. Season Pass.