Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fall TV

Here are some thoughts on some of the new and returning shows I’ve sampled so far this fall…

I took advantage of NBC’s free download of this show’s pilot episode and watched it before it hit TV. I enjoyed it – just the right mix of comedy, action and sci-fi. And of course, there is plenty of geek humor. I was walking around for a couple of days with Prince’s “Batdance” in my head. I haven’t seen the second episode yet, but I plan to catch it online.

I’m still waiting for this show to heat back up. I thought the first two episodes were a little blah. It started like this last year and built slowly, but that was ok then because it was new. Now we know all of these characters. So we want to see them actually doing something worthwhile. After a few episodes last year, they were already building on the whole “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” storyline, which reached its crescendo in November. So maybe there will be something big coming soon this year. I’m still waiting for Uhura to show up. And do you really think Hiro’s father is dead? Me neither.

The jury is still out on this one. I thought the pilot was a little interesting. I skipped the second one, but I haven’t given up on the show altogether. I may stick around to see where it’s going.

Dr. Gregory House remains one of the best characters on TV. Although I can’t figure out how they’re going to work Foreman, Chase and Cameron back into the show as regulars. Presumably that’s coming since their names still appear in the opening credits each week. If not handled properly, their return could be a jump-the-shark moment. In the meantime, it’s fun to watch House try to pick a new team. And I welcome the addition of Kal Penn as a series regular.

Law & Order: SVU
A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog wondered how this show had become “especially heinous.” I’ve always enjoyed “SVU” (not to mention original recipe “L&O” – I never got into “L&O: Criminal Intent”), but perhaps EW is on to something. The season premiere, with a phony psycho Cynthia Nixon, was pretty good. But this past week’s show that revolved around a spoof of Second Life was way over the top.

Back to You
Generally I can’t stand movies and TV shows about TV news. They feed into every stereotype about the business and are completely unreal (I’m sure doctors hate “ER” and lawyers probably can’t stand “Boston Legal”). But I like Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton. Also, I read an article where several news anchors from Pittsburgh (where the show takes place) sat down together to watch the pilot and offer their reviews. They didn’t hate it – some actually liked it. So I decided to check it out. I need to trust my gut on these things. This show is AWFUL!

Pushing Daisies
Here’s my most pleasant surprise so far this year. I had heard the title tossed around and heard some people saying it was supposed to be a good show. But I wasn’t really paying attention and had no idea what it was about. Last night I stumbled across it while flipping channels and was hooked! It has a delightful “Tim Burtonish” quality (although the episode was actually directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, who was behind the camera for the “Men In Black” and “Addams Family” movies). It’s possibly one of the most original shows I’ve seen on TV in a while.

Bionic Woman
I mentioned here how I got an early look at this show. I watched the pilot again with Kris when it came on TV. The early version I saw was a little different. Mainly, the character of Becca, Jaime’s kid sister, had been re-cast. In the early version, besides being played by a different actress, Becca was also deaf. I thought that could have been an interesting angle down the road (why can’t she get her ears repaired?), but I guess the powers that be felt like going in a different direction. While the early version moved right along and held my interest, it felt like it was dragging a little with commercials added in. Seeing it for the first time, Kris made two observations. “How long until this chick is selling us Sleep Number beds?” she wondered. Later, when Jaime and fellow bionic babe Sarah Corvus were duking it out in the rain, Kris rolled her eyes declared that the show was so obviously made for men.

I watched the first 10 minutes of the first episode, but it didn’t hold my interest. On Wednesdays at 10 p.m. I’ll probably either be watching “South Park” or going to bed early.

NBC Thursday Night Line-up
I still enjoy “My Name Is Earl.” “The Office” remains the best comedy on television – hands down! I’m anxious for tonight’s premiere of “30 Rock” and the eventual return of “Scrubs.” However, can someone explain to me why I’m still watching “ER?” It remains one of Kris’ favorite shows, but for the last few years I think I’ve just been watching it out of habit. I find very few of the characters to be likable – particularly those played by John Stamos and new addition Stanley Tucci. When they butt heads it’s hard to care since I don’t feel like rooting for either of them. The glory days of George Clooney and Anthony Edwards are long gone. I think the breaking point had to be when they dropped the helicopter on Dr. Romano. The Army tank rolling down the street a few years ago was pretty dumb too.

So there’s my viewing summary so far. What’s caught your interest on TV?


Mike said...

I totally agree with you about Pushing Daisies. Creative, well written, visually impressive. The more the pilot's plot progressed the more engulfing it was. Excellent show.

Other premieres I saw were horrible. I watched Cavemen to witness the train wreck. Production quality was better than I expected but their endless mock-racism humor was not even slightly funny.

Shannon said...

New Shows:

Pushing Daisies
Reaper (run, don't walk to the CW to catch this show - hilarious!)

The Office
Ugly Betty

Tried to Give a Chance to:
Big Shots (Men DON'T talk like that!)
Private Practice (Zzzzz)

There are too many other shows that I want to watch so I have to limit it to those.

Scoop said...

What no Ugly Betty?

Post a Comment