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Zero Hour


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58 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:27 PM

...I think they tried to put too much into a 1 hour premier...

Maybe that explains why they didn't have much left in the tank for ep 2.
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#22 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:15 PM

Maybe that explains why they didn't have much left in the tank for ep 2.

Must agree. I'll keep watching it because the 8 o'clock slot is weak.
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#23 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:42 AM

I hate to say it, but we couldn't get through the second episode.

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#24 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

I hate to say it, but we couldn't get through the second episode.


I struggled to. I was tempted more than once to pick up the remote and end it all. One more week for me. If it doesn't get better I'm cancelling it.

#25 OFFLINE   Supramom2000

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

The FBI agent is terrible. Not sure where she even came from as an actress? I don't recognize her.

I like the kids, but she and the actor playing the bad guy don't do it for me.

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#26 OFFLINE   Galaxie6411

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:30 PM

Watched second ep today, just a so so. Another show with annoyingly stupid characters. Lets stand and talk over the guy we just shot and leave our very important clue all by herself. I also get sick of the heroes always taking the bad guy hostage, which ALWAYS bites them in the ass. Just shoot him in the head and be done with it. Guess that would make the writers work a little though.

It has a "The Librarian" feel to it but Anthony Edwards makes an even worse hero than Noah Wyle. Interesting with 2 Californiction actors in it.

#27 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

Yeah the FBI agent is bad...

She had another great line about how...
Spoiler


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#28 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:16 PM

The FBI agent is terrible...

I think her acting is OK; she just doesn't have much to work with. The character seems wishy-washy; like she doesn't even know why she is there. WE sure don't.

Just another indicator that the story-telling ability of the writers/directors/producers is below par; with a high-concept story that is so forcefully driving everything, you need to be able to tell that story in a compelling way. They can't.

National Treasure and The DaVinci Code are examples of this sort of story that were told much better, and kept people entertained and captivated. National Treasure also had a cast that was very likeable, and Zero Ratings, er Hour, has a likeable cast, just not as much. We all know that Tom Hanks is as likeable as it gets, but his character in TDC, with that 70's bad SuperCuts haircut, was pretty weak. But that story was told well.

If I were calling the shots I would have written a 2-hour pilot, and spent the first 45 minutes getting the viewer into the day-to-day of the characters, only hinting at the kidnap to come. As it stands, we don't know enough about these characters to really care; I could not pick his wife out of a lineup. We can't be asked to care if the writers did not give us an opportunity to become invested.

Jumping into the kidnap before the first commercial was a mistake. This is the exact same problem that plagued them when they did The River, and apparently if a writer/producer can't learn from that sort of mistake, that probably indicates they can never learn enough to get any better at writing and producing, which is the definition of "hack". If they had proven that they could write entertaining slice-of-life interplay between the characters as they live their normal lives first, at least if we found the kidnap scenario tiresome, we could hang in during that knowing that the quality in upcoming eps would include good character interplay between characters we then had become accustomed to.

Scandal is a good example of how to do that and still start strong. In the first ep they started the story like they were shot out of a cannon just like Zero Hour did, and while Shonda Rhimes does seem to lean on fast and loose dialog as an artificial way to goose the drama, by the time the story was really underway, we knew who all the characters were and we knew how we felt about them. And we knew because Shonda Rhimes knows how to tell a story in a captivating manner.

By 20 minutes in, we already loved Huck. We were already invested in the back story of Quinn Perkins. We already understood who Olivia and Cyrus were and how formidable and flawed they were. We had context. If you have not watched Scandal, then you don't know what I am talking about when I refer to these characters, because you have not had the opportunity to meet them. You don't have context. We never really got a good opportunity to meet the characters in Zero Hour even when we did watch, which is why we can't really care about their troubles.

Context is everything. No conventional TV show starts with a close-up (unless you are trying to go against the grain for the sake of drama). You start with an establishing wide shot. Only after that do the close-ups even make sense, because by then we understand the larger context. Story telling has to be done the same way. You have to come out of the first eps thinking "I like these people and I find them interesting". You can't come out thinking "who are these people and why should I care about them if I don't even know them?".

Edited by TomCat, 25 February 2013 - 06:47 PM.

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#29 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:49 PM

I think her acting is OK; she just doesn't have much to work with. The character seems wishy-washy; like she doesn't even know why she is there. WE sure don't.


They made it very clear why she was there. She joined the FBI after being in the Peace Corps and her fiance was killed by a bomb built by the villain in the show so that she could track down his killer.

What I'm curious to know is that the main villain's sole aim is to find these clocks, so what did bombing and airplane have to do with that. I wonder if the writers even thought about that.

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#30 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

They made it very clear why she was there. She joined the FBI after being in the Peace Corps and her fiance was killed by a bomb built by the villain in the show so that she could track down his killer.

What I'm curious to know is that the main villain's sole aim is to find these clocks, so what did bombing and airplane have to do with that. I wonder if the writers even thought about that.

- Merg

Well, there's clear, and then there's clear. Stating something and then not following through on supporting it unclarifies what should be clear, and then it no longer is. You buy the premise; you buy the bit, but not if the bit does not support the premise.

And your confusion regarding the clocks, the bombing, etc. is probably universal.

And yes, they did delineate that back story, but again, in a way that makes you go "huh?" instead of "OK, I get it". If that were real life, she would be the last person that would be assigned to that task, because the FBI, just like every other law-enforcement agency, can't take the chance of being seen as having a vendetta or personal ax to grind, which heightens the temptation to break the rules (which stalls the boss's upward mobilty in management), and which also legally sets the groundwork for an automatic reversal on appeal. I can suspend disbelief, but not to that degree.

That is almost the same old dramatic trick found in every Dirty Harry movie; Harry is too close to the case, is told not to do X, defies the suits and does X anyway, gets suspended, eventually catches the crook in spite of that and saves the day. That works. But the difference here is we are supposed to believe that she caught the case or lobbied to be on the case because she has an agenda, and the bosses simply caved and went along with it. Nuh-uh.

But for the sake of argument let's accept that she has this strong motivation. If she were that motivated, you would expect a clear plan of attack, some sort of dogged pursuit, some sort of Moby Dick drive. I don't see that; I see a confused and ineffectual agent who is not up to the task, and who can't figure out what to do next.

She may think she knows why she is there, but you couldn't prove it by the way her character is written. The drama and execution has to match and support the back story, and in this case it seems that she doesn't know why she's there or what she's doing, regardless of what the back story tells us. That character is a dramatic element there to create dialog between her and the lead that serves as exposition to let the viewer know what's going on, and to cause dramatic tension as a foil to give the lead an establishment-face to deal with and to go against. It's not enough, and it's an opportunity wasted.

Her character would be better written as a strong ally to the lead character, as a tool he can use to help rescue his beloved wife, even if they don't always agree on methods. What made Starsky and Hutch work was a team targeting the same goals but each with slightly different methods contrasting their personalities and styles, which allowed them to have dramatic tension between them and still get the job done. Maybe that is what they are trying to do here. If so, epic fail so far from my POV.
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#31 OFFLINE   Supramom2000

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:39 PM

The minute my husband (both an ex Army MP and ex State Trooper) heard her little Peace Corps story, he said "she'd never make it into the FBI."

I can't pin it down the way you do TomCat, but she is not believable as an agent. And the bombing back story doesn't wash and she would never be allowed near the case even if she magically made it into the FBI.

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#32 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

I struggled to. I was tempted more than once to pick up the remote and end it all. One more week for me. If it doesn't get better I'm cancelling it.


Pretty much my opinion. Anthony Edwards is a better actor than the script offers him. The FBI agent is just all wrong -- a nod to those who feel the need for a cute young woman in a major role. The second episode had me feeling that things are going downhill fast.

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#33 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:28 PM

Yanked from the schedule.
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#34 OFFLINE   longrider

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:31 PM

I am still watching but I dont see how it will make a second season. Once they have found all the clocks what is the story line??
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#35 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:48 PM

I am still watching but I dont see how it will make a second season.


It won't make a first season.

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#36 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:23 PM

It may not make a 4th episode, unless they continue this summer.
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#37 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:05 AM

Entertainment Weekly let us know:

ABC is pulling the ambitious global conspiracy Nazi clone kidnapping Da Vinci clock drama-thing from its schedule.

...ABC confirmed. Repeats of Shark Tank will take over the slot for the next two weeks, then the regular non-celebrity version of Wife Swap will return starting March 21. The remaining Zero Hour episodes might air during the summer.


"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
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My AV Setup
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#38 OFFLINE   pablo

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 05:14 AM

Shame. I was enjoying it.

#39 OFFLINE   Henry

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:00 AM

Shame. I was enjoying it.


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#40 OFFLINE   Supramom2000

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:40 AM

I liked the conspiracy plot, and I liked Anthony Edwards, the two reporter kids and the priest. I intensely disliked the FBI agent and somewhat disliked the bad guy.

But I was watching.

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