Premiering last Monday, FOX’s latest drama only drew in 4.1 million viewers for the network, causing people to believe the show would soon be canceled. Luckily, the network is still giving “Lone Star” one more chance to survive.
Mondays at 9 p.m.
The premise of the show is pretty unprecedented, combining two over-the-top ideas into one fascinating plot line. Bob Allen (James Wolk, “You Again”) is a hate-to-love con man who lives two separate lives: one working for his oil tycoon father-in-law (Jon Voight, “National Treasure”) in Houston and the other as a simple oil well salesman in a small Texan town. Not only does he have two jobs, but he’s also in love with two different women from his separate lives. In addition, he has an evil father (David Keith, “Heartbreak Hotel”) who has been conning his way through life longer than Bob. “Lone Star” pretty much combines all the drama viewers loved about “Dallas” with the poignancy of a man searching for what he wants in life.
Unlike similar shows that cross the line into tackiness, “Lone Star” never even reaches the line. The dialogue is smart and convincing, even when it’s in an unbelievable situation. Actors like Voight and Keith play alarmingly convincing fathers on different ends of the crazy spectrum, both going after their money in opposite ways. The plot is suspense-driven and shocking when it needs to be. Many of the elements are in place to lead “Lone Star” to a successful season.
Nonetheless, the show does have some major flaws. The biggest mistake is the strange casting of the lead character. While Wolk is a convincing actor, he just seems too nice-looking for the part. The backdrop of the show makes you think of a Texan-born con man with a big belt buckle and cowboy boots to match. Wolk, on the other hand, seems to be portraying someone who could be from anywhere in the country. He lacks a Texan accent and his bland personality makes the character just seem like an average nice guy. The result is a Bob who doesn’t look like he knows crap about oil and wouldn’t know how to con his way out of a speeding ticket, let alone oil tycoons out of millions of dollars.
Also, Bob’s defects as a character don’t leave anyone feeling too sorry for him, especially after the stupid move he makes at the end of the first episode. Bob is kind of a twerp who just needs to make up his mind. He’s got two amazing lives to choose from, both with big money and beautiful women. So why can’t he just pick one? Nobody deserves to have two of everything, especially if you’re just going to eff it up.
“Lone Star” does have its imperfections, but what show doesn’t? It doesn’t deserve the awful ratings it received on its premiere night and certainly should be enjoyed more — and by more people — than some of the other crappy network shows out there.