Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thoughts on the new TV Season

Ok, I know this is long overdue. I was giving it time to put forward a thoughtful analysis of new and returning shows and how well it was all working for me. Then I got to working on the new book and a short story I’m getting ready for a submission to an anthology project and decided to manufacture the previous excuse for my procrastination, and we got this instead. Anyway, here goes. Night by night, starting with Mondays.

Chuck. No surprise here, we are in love with Chuck. I think the basic premise is a little goofy. I mean, seriously, his value is that he has all the government’s knowledge in his head? How long, given how swiftly things move in geopolitics, is any of it even going to be current? But the charm of the writing and the performances make this easily ignorable. I love the premise, stated elsewhere, that he basically has Jack Bauer and Sidney Bristow working with him. That MUST be intentional. Plus, it’s a Josh Schwartz show, so you know it has good music.

Heroes. No surprise here that I still love this show. It’s meandered and spawled, which is both good and bad. I am actually a little bored with the Hiro in the past storyline at this point and the life/death twins are really doing nothing for me. And the whole Mo-and-Matt as Molly’s two dad’s thing? They’ve GOT to know what that looks like, right? I mean, if they don’t that’s just sad…I don’t really think they’re going there, and it’s just playing with HoYay subtext, but still … it’s pretty funny. And if they ARE going there? Rock on, it’s about time we all just got over it. This show’s writing is still cringeworthy at times, but Noah Bennet is still the best TV Dad of all time, so … I’m still in.

Journeyman. No so much still in on this one. I gave it four episodes. It was good, but that was it. Just good. Not great. And I hated to delete it from the season pass list, but I don’t have time to watch shows I kind of like but don’t love. I Mean Moon Bloodgood is impossibly hot and should be on any producer’s short list to play Wonder Woman (listening, guys?) but this show…meh. This is in spite of the fact that a time-traveling reporter should be the most awesome character ever.

Reaper. This is, basically, Chuck meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love this one. It needs to sharpen up a bit and develop its mythology, but it’s only four episodes in, so it has time. A lot of reviewers have started criticizing the fact that it’s still basically the same show from the pilot, but I think it’s wise to establish the routine early on, and then start tweaking it when everyone’s invested. I haven’t found any episode boring yet. They might need to tweak the Andi character, though. I think she’s ok, but the chemistery with the main character is a little off. I don’t know. Just not feeling it yet … they either need to ring her in on the team as an ally or dump the character altogether.

Pushing Daisies. I was not disappointed. It is incredible. The whole goofy narrated fairy-tale device, which it took me a few episodes to get in the groove of, establishes a perfect tone, and by the time Olive was taking a face plant into the wall in the second episode trying to spy on Ned and Chuck, I was in deep infatuation, and by the time Ned uttered the most romantic words ever (I’m going to go see if I have any shrink wrap) at the end of the third, it was full-on love. Seriously, Emerson knitting rifle-cozies (even this must have been stolen from Brian K. Vaughn)? Priceless.

Bionic Woman. I came for the Sackoff. I stayed for the luscious Ryan. And then was out when I realized that was the only good thing about it. Although Sackoff’s “Shhh….adults are talking” was worth sticking to, at least, the third episode. But then I was out. Another, it’s good, but not great dropped show.

Life. I made it fifteen minutes into the pilot episode. It just wasn’t for me. It’s probably genius, but … I have enough “quirky detectives solving mysteries” in my life with Monk and Psych, thank you.

Survivor: China. I really have nothing to say, which is sad. My wife loves this, so I’m still watching, but … whatever. I think this show has run its course, and needs another great season to rise to the top again. It’s all in the casting, really, and this bunch is just bland. And depressingly whitebread.

Ugly Betty. Still awesome, andgave us the best line so far of the new season: “I’m black, you’re Mexican, let’s not talk around this like a couple of dull white people! Not much else to say, though I’d seen the Santos-twist coming and was prepared for it.

Friday Night Lights. By all rights, this is not a show for me. It is 1) about football and b) a teen drama. But I am so in love with this show that I have forgotten all laws of logic in listing! Seriously – I discovered it online over the summer and foun the most complex love and hate them at the same time characters. That’s its strength. It’s people are messy, and even the character I hate the most (That would be Lyla – smug little princess cheerleader whose world falls apart) make me feel for them. I have also become a serious Landry-Tyra shipper, which … I’m an almost middle aged male. How did this happen? It’s probably become my new Veronica Mars, brilliant, beloved show always on the verge of cancellation. Figures. There’s nothing better than a lost cause, is there?

America’s Most Smartest Model. The greatest unintentional comedy of all time (well, unintentional on the part of its participants. The producers? You are mean, mean people and I love every one of you). If you haven’t seen it, watch it NOW. Mandy Lynne alone is worth it all.