a rich Cuban-American family and their problems
Type of Pilot: Soap
Similar Shows: Dallas (brothers fighting over the family business), Brothers & Sisters (a large family, um, fighting over the family business)
The Inner Light: Family is more than blood.
Strengths: Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, Nestor Carbonell. These three guys are the (only) reason to watch. Elizondo is the head of a rich family, Smits is his adopted son (married to his daughter!) and Carbonell is 'the other son'. Actually there's a third son, too, but he's relegated to a couple of scenes. The show is about the three guys, with all the ensuing father-son dynamics, and brother against brother rivalry, you'd expect.
Weaknesses: There's nothing here we've haven't seen before. It's a standard family-driven soap opera.
Impressive Characters: While the three lead actors are superb, there's nothing much about the characters they play. Or any of the characters really.
Impressive Actors: Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Nestor Carbonell, of course. Jason Beghe had a small supporting role as Smits' cop-friend and Lee Tergesen (one of the best actors out there) appears - briefly - as a business rival. A potential Cliff Barnes figure?
Less-Than-Impressive Characters: All the characters are, to my mind, stock characters. The noble son, willing to get his hands dirty to protect his family. The weaker son, being led astray by a woman, and quick to temper. The cute baseball-obsessed little kid. The hot teen daughter growing up too fast for daddy's comfort. The understanding, but tired, wife. The OTT bad-guy.
Less-Than-Impressive Actors: It's hard to say. The script did no favours to Eddie Matos as the third son of Hector Elizondo. You could effectively edit him from the pilot. The contribution of his plotline is minimal. Same goes for Lina Esco as Jimmy Smits' daughter. She's hot, and growing up too fast, and... That's about it. Maybe future episodes will give the actress a chance to shine. Same goes for Rita Moreno & Paola Turbay who are playing "The Wife" part to the two main guys. The scripts leaves the high and dry. But, it's only an hour long and it has a lot of people to service. In this pilot, the focus is on the big three and they - as a consequence - get a chance to shine.
Other Info: Airs Tuesdays at 10. It follows NCIS and The Unit (which has to be good) but it's up against SVU and Boston Legal (which can't be good). My instinct tells me that this one will be an early cancellation.
Three Things I Really Like About This Pilot:
Three Things I Really Don't Like About This Pilot:
There's nothing here I haven't seen before.
The female cast are badly served by the script.
The female characters are badly served by the script.
I liked this, but I'm not sure I have time to watch it every week. There's nothing compelling enough to draw me back in. We'll see.