Been slowly making my way through the pilot screeners that have been piling up on my desk for the past two weeks. In all good conscience, I won’t violate the sacred not-for-review covenant of not weighing in too heavily on the understanding that these pilots are still works in progress that undoubtedly will be tweaked, nipped, tucked and in some cases, recast, before the fall season starts. But some big-picture observations are starting to come together on what I’ve seen so far.
First off, Jim Parsons is a TV star. He’s way-charming as the off-lead buddy opposite Johnny Galecki in CBS’ Chuck Lorre sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” “Big Bang” is breezy fun, thanks in large part to Parsons (pictured left), even for someone who wasn’t particularly in the mood for a geeky bud-com at the moment that I popped the disc in. But as usual, Lorre delivers the goods, starting with the names of his lead characters, “Sheldon” and “Leonard.” (This town doesn’t pay enough homage to the late producer Sheldon Leonard, a giant of the TV biz who helped birth “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “I Spy” and other gems.)
“Big Bang’s” supporting cast is good too, particularly Simon Helberg as one of Sheldon and Leonard’s geeky friends. Galecki’s character (pictured right) is definitely channeling the J.J. Abrams geek-hip look. But Lorre’s not just poking fun at others. Helberg’s character is fer sure satorially inspired by the Lorre look (Davy Jones moptop hairdo, dark turtleneck sweaters) of the late ’80s.