Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Made in Jersey and Staying There

Fall Television is officially here!  With all of the new TV programs airing this fall, Amber West and I have a ton of homework to do.  This week, we tuned in and watched two brand new shows with female leads for our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews—ABC’s Nashville and CBS’s Made in Jersey.

What do you get when you cross a high-powered New York law firm with street-smarts from New Jersey?  The perfect attorney for the job—Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery, from Human Target and Entourage).

Of course, that doesn’t mean the other members of her firm won’t doubt Ms. Garretti’s abilities—after all, most of her colleagues have Ivy League educations.  Plus, with a traditional Italian family back at home, we can expect Martina to be pulled in many different directions.  Despite all of the naysayers and interruptions, will she successfully balance her family life with a high-powered legal career?

The series also stars: Kyle Maclachlan (Twin Peaks, Desperate Housewives) as firm founder, Donovan Stark; Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer) as Nolan Adams; Stephanie March (Law & Order: SVU) and a few other familiar faces.

A few weeks ago, I previewed Made in Jersey on my Tele-Tuesday series.  Granted, I wasn’t very excited about this new show.  Heck, I even rated it at the bottom along with Mob Doctor when I ranked the week’s previews in order of which ones I was most excited about.  But, I still watched it…

I went in with very low expectations, but the series fell in-between two of my Friday favorites—CSI: New York and Blue Bloods—so I gave it a whirl.  First, the lead character (Ms. Garretti) is very likable; viewers can’t help but yell for her as she works with some really snooty people who think she’s many rungs in the social and educational ladders beneath them.  While she may appear confident on the outside, she’s still a tiny bit insecure and her job and co-workers make her very nervous.  But, Ms. Garretti has worked hard to get where she is and she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way of upholding the law, of defending her clients, or of her future.

I won’t lie; I was pleasantly surprised with Made in Jersey.

After watching the first episode, I hung in there for the second.   It appears that the series will feature a new legal procedural each week and not an ongoing in-depth storyline that we all have to work hard to follow.  In other words, if we miss an episode, we can pick right back up where we left off without worrying too much about what we’ve missed.  After all, Friday night is a tough night for watching television…

Usually when I review a new television program, I can’t help but award it with the SSTV rating; but not today.  That’s right—I’m not awarding Made in Jersey with any rating!  Why?  Because CBS has already cancelled the show and removed it from the television schedule.  Made in Jersey is the first to suffer the axe so far this season.

This is upsetting… not because Made in Jersey was my new favorite show, but because of how, in essence, the network treated this series.

Back to my Friday night comment above…

Friday night is our night to unwind from the week’s events.  Friday night is the start to our weekend.  Friday night is not typically a night we’re sitting in front of the television just waiting for our shows.  Therefore, on more than one occasion, Friday night has proven fatal to many TV programs.

So why is it that the networks are so quick to judge?  Knowing that Friday nights can be fatal for television shows, why schedule a new series on the toughest night of the week?  Even when sandwiched between two network favorites and Friday night success stories, a freshman series can still struggle, so why not give it a chance?  Why not air more than two episodes, or move it to another night or time slot?  Or why not at least air the episodes already “in the can” instead of hastily removing it from the TV schedule?

Networks, please stop playing with viewers.  Give us a chance to fall in love with new shows.  Dropping a bomb on a freshman series like this does not make us, particularly me, want to give the new shows on your network a chance until they’ve established themselves… and by then, it could be too late.

Did you watch Made in Jersey?  Are you surprised with the early cancellation?  Do you think the networks should give the new shows more of a chance or just cut ‘em when they’re not working?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about ABC’s Nashville.

Come back next week when Amber and I take on the CW and review Arrow and Beauty and the Beast!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

12 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Made in Jersey and Staying There”

  1. There is so much to watch they don’t give shows the chance to generate any “water cooler talk” – I’m not a TV hound so I’m the perfect example of someone who isn’t going to watch everything CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, FX, AMC, TNT, Showtime, HBO, TBS – and so on – puts out. I’m going to watch what interests me then jump in on some based on “the water cooler buzz” – example – Modern Family is one of my favorite shows, when they first premiered it I thought it looked cheesy so I didn’t watch. Two seasons later I jumped in because so many people told me they loved it. And there are several other shows that I don’t get in on from the start but get in on based on recommendations – but no the networks are cowards now – and they are pumping out so many shows like a factory mill – waiting for each one to PREMIERE as a hit – hello – SEINFELD – abmismal ratings at first – took off after season 2 – no lessons learned from the network though.


  2. There are SO many shows that don’t premiere well – sometimes because they don’t get enough advertising love leading in, and sometimes because it just takes some time for them to get into the groove of things. Parks and Rec was a show that I didn’t love the first few eps and now I can rewatch the seasons over and over. Imagine if they had killed that after only a few episodes?

    And Friday nights?? Fridays are generally the firing squad for any show that isn’t family-style (remember the days of Full House and Family Matters). Why premiere a show on that night that is supposed to appeal to a crowd that likely spends their Friday nights out?


  3. I absolutely loved MADE IN JERSEY, and I was angry and disappointed when CBS pulled the plug on it after its second episode! How the hell do networks expect new shows to find an audience after only two episodes?! I found Janet Montgomery totally engaging, skillfully juggling her first year as an attorney and her raucous but loving Italian-American family (I’m from just such a family, so I can relate)? Montgomery had nice chemistry with Kyle McLachlan, Donna Murphy, and Kristoffer Polaha. Heck, I could imagine their sleuthing partnership warming into a romance if CBS had only let the show continue! Sheesh, why can’t networks give shows TIME to grow and endear themselves to viewers? Your loss, CBS! I hope Montgomery and Polaha will return to the small screen soon in a more successful show, and I hope CBS and other network give new shows a fighting chance for a change!

  4. Hmmm…. I hadn’t heard of this show. Sounds like it would’ve been interesting. Can’t wait to see your review of Beauty and the Beast. I watched all the seasons of the original TV show with Ron Pearlman and Linda Hamilton.

  5. I hadn’t heard of this show, either — and based on the description, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have loved it. Sounds like a cross between Judging Amy (which I did like) and something by David Kelley that typically makes legal work laughable. I don’t like shows where all the lawyers look like idiots, jerks, incompetents, fools, or worse. We lawyers have a hard enough time as it is without the ridicule!

  6. I agree with your take completely, Tiffany. I remember reading how Seinfeld was really a midlist show when it aired…nothing amazing. But it grew and grew and grew. I’m also ticked how some shows get ridiculous advertising and support and others get barely a whimper. I just don’t understand how all of that works. Anyway…

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