Monday, September 27, 2010

DVR Guide - "Lone Star"

Bob Allen (James Wolk) has a girlfriend he truly loves in Midland. He also happens to have a wife he truly loves in Houston. He also happens to have a father he truly loves who has pushed him into a life of a con man. The three worlds all begin to collide as he nears the biggest take of his life and his wife's family begin to become suspicious of his motives.

I'm a big fan of the con. My love affair with this often attempted, rarely mastered plot line started with "The Sting" and was rekindled with the "Ocean's" movies. If you tell me a movie or show is about a grifter, you can literally see my ears perk up. I just love the con. Add in a Texas setting and I'm definitely in. "Lone Star" is one of those "good enough to keep watching, not good enough to get excited about" shows that take over my DVR year in and year out. The plot, while far from original, moves fast enough to keep me from focusing on the cliche. It tries to trip itself up from time to time with unnecessary melodrama but the pilot was good enough to bring me back again. I'll say three more things about "Lone Star"; two good, one bad.

1. James Wolk does an excellent job of charming both his surrounding characters and the audience while at the same time allowing some space for Allen to become a sympathetic figure. In short, he's extremely likable which is an absolute must for a con man.

2. Jon Voight, who plays Allen's father-in-law, is bordering on becoming completely useless. Everything he does these days is just one giant living and breathing cliche after another. He's a caricature of what he used to be and he needs to give it up.

3. I want to commend the makers of "Lone Star" for (so far) excelling in the music department. I was quite confident, that, seeing as this is a Texas-based program, the pilot would be filled with mindless pop-country or jug blowin' porch band music. (After all, ridin' horses, beatin' women, and playin' country is all we Texans do, isn't it?) Instead, the soundtrack for the pilot sounded more like something out of an episode of "Scrubs" when "Scrubs" actually care about putting a quality program on the screen. Kudos for the decision to skip the Nashville drivel in favor of a catchy, folk-pop sound.

Verdict: Week-to-Week

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