Daily Archives: September 19, 2010

ABC fall preview: I got nothin’

Apparently ABC has decided to build its entire fall lineup around Dancing with the Stars. No, seriously. It’s on eight nights a week. Ooooor just Monday and Tuesday.

Also, I sometimes (read: often) confuse ABC and FOX and the CW. It’s not entirely clear to me why, just that I lump everything on (network) TV into three categories: channel 4 (CBS, or just about everything I make it a point to watch), channel 5 (NBC, or the strongest channel on the antenna) and Everything Else. When I’m trying to find a show, I generally just flip between the other three channels until I find it. It usually takes me a half-hour, tops.

Here we go!

Aw, that Nathan Fillion. Look at him having a show! And that chick with the eh haircut! I think her name is Kate. Yeah, that’s right. Beckett. Kate Beckett – a name torn straight from the Directory of Strong Names. No, really, I’m not being sarcastic. Oh, you’re asking about the show itself? It’s entertaining, though I didn’t “follow” it this season and have no idea “where we left off.” But ol’ Nate plays a very believable author. I don’t know.
Yup. That’s it for Monday.

No Ordinary Family
: Starring The Commish – I mean, Vic Mackey – I mean, The Commish and Dexter’s Annoying, But Now Dead, Wife. They gots two kids and they all accidentally eat some uranium-baked potatoes on vacation or something and BAM! Super powers for all! Nice premise for primetime network TV, no? Might be worth checking out, y’all.
Detroit 1-8-7: Why do I get the feeling that most of the folks who’ll actually watch this show only recognize “187” as the title of a Samuel L. Jackson movie or from a line in that Sublime song? “But you like cop shows, Julie! That’s basically the only thing I’ve gleaned from your last two posts!” you’re saying. Well, I do. And thanks for noticing. But this one is supposedly documentary-style, I think, and that particular plot device is losing its appeal for me. This one’s gotta be good – and I mean good – for me to be sold.

The Middle
: Gail Pennington, the only TV critic I actually read, loves this show. At least, I think that’s what I read that one time. I’ve watched The Middle, too, but wasn’t immediately sold. I think I just couldn’t get past the kid named Brick. Or Janitor and Debra Barone being married.
Better with you: Stars include Jennifer Finnigan, who is only familiar to me because she is married to Jonathan Silverman, who I recently IMDB’d because I was convinced he was gay and I wanted to see who his life partner was. Oops. My bad. Oh, you want to know what this one’s about, do you? Your guess is as good as mine. There’s, like, five or six people in it. I guess they all hook up with each other and exchange witty banter. But I’m just spitballing here.
Modern Family: Man, I really resisted this one at first. The damn documentary thing just really turned me off. But then I accidentally watched about ten minutes of it one evening, and proceeded to laugh my tushie off. it really is quite clever – much more so than even the wittiest of ads can relate. I encourage you to check it out (Season 1 now available on DVD, fwiw).
Cougar Town: Oh, girl. Don’t get me started on this one. Like Modern Family and Big Bang Theory, I just completely missed this one until, perhaps because my remote control was broken or the antenna wasn’t picking up CBS, I caved and gave it a go. It’s sweet without being sappy and funny without being stupid. Andy and Ellie are one of my favorite fake couples.
The Whole Truth: Man, I might just have to wade through this lawyer mumbo-jumbo and power through, because I do loves me some Rob Morrow. Maura Tierney’s pretty nifty, too. I think it’s one of those things where they show both sides of a case, maybe? So one’s a prosecutor, one’s a defender? I could be wrong.

My Generation:
So this is ANOTHER freakin’ documentary-ish thing that’s following up on a group of graduates from the class of 2000, which happens to be my high school class, which makes me not want to watch the fake people in their fake successful lives doing all kinds of fake things I’ve not even dreamed of yet doing. Uh, but maybe that’s just me.
Grey’s Anatomy: Did I watch the agonizingly long, impossibility-laden season finale? Yes. But did I still end up weeping like a small sick infant (even whilst thinking “seriously? what the fuck?”)? Well, I think that goes without saying. Since they managed to kill off all of my least-favorite characters (except for April, grrr), I’m hopeful for this season (last season was starting to rub me the wrong way). I am, though, starting to get a teensy bit tired of all the mate-swapping and breaking up/getting back together again a gabrillion times.
But I’ll still watch it, along with countless others, while Shonda Rhimes sits among piles of currency in an eleven-story vault, quietly counting her riches.
Private Practice: Fond memories of watching DVR’d episodes with my sister wife Gennie made coming back to the show once I moved away kind of… sad. So it sort of dropped off my radar. I don’t know who’s knocking boots with who anymore, and I don’t even know what happened in the season finale. But as long as Tim Daly’s back, I’ll probably pick it up every once in awhile. Sigh.

Secret Millionaire:
Body of Proof: I think maybe they picked out the show’s title before they figured out what it would be about, or someone originally wrote it as a screenplay but couldn’t sell it to a studio. I don’t know. That’s just what I think about when I hear the show’s title. Aaaaaaand Dana Delany’s back – again! Can’t keep this one down! Even if they should!

Desperate Housewives:
Okay, for someone who doesn’t watch this show, I somehow have picked up enough info that I feel like I’ve been watching it. The season finale was apparently (as always) a real nail-biter. Edgy and dark, I can see why Housewives has so many fans.
Brothers and Sisters: THEY FUCKING KILLED OFF ROBERT! What the hell?! And Saul’s next too? Geez-o-Pete! The Walkers can’t catch a break! But that is why we love them and love to watch them, even if Kevin is the most whiny, annoying, miserable character on television today (a title that he recently won from Dexter’s Annoying, But Now Dead, Wife).

That’s all folks! No, just kidding! There’s two more networks to go! Yippee!

NBC fall lineup: why am I still doing this?

Hey, remember when NBC was, like, the complete and total shit? And when I say “shit,” I mean it in that casual, sounds-like-a-mean-spirited-insult-but-is-actually-a-compliment-of-the-highest-caliber kind of way. In recent years, some folks have said this network was on a downslide: the (anti-)climax being the Jay Leno disaster of last year. Truthfully, I don’t think that I’ve watched anything regularly on this network (not counting Jeopardy!) since ER, and I quit watching that after about the twenty-fifth season or so.

But I got myself into this critique-ing mess, and I’ll just have to type my way out of it.

Part of me wonders if this tradition of will-they-renew-it? / wont-they-renew-it? at the end of the past two seasons isn’t some kind of publicity stunt. Apparently fans “saved” it the first time (I think? I could very well be making that up) with some sort of pleas to NBC. As for myself, I don’t watch it but it seems likeable enough and I bet there was some kind of juicy cliffhanger for this season. And spies are fun to watch, right?
The Event: The hype-o-meter is going crazy with this one, folks. I’ve never been a loyal follower of these sorts of LOST-esque epics that are created to hook you early and keep you guessing all season (even though it’s a clever premise, I think), and I’ll probably not make an exception here. Yes, the mystery-building and secrecy of it all (what IS “the event”?) is kind of an interesting idea, but I have a feeling it won’t live up to this (mostly deliberately created) buzz.
Chase: Man, they’re really banking on these hour-long shows this season! Also, NBC has spent all of its marketing budget on The Event and Undercovers so I’m not actually sure what this one’s schtick is, exactly. I think – and don’t quote me here unless I get royalties – it’s about US Marshals (okay, I cheated and looked it up) and the… wait, this might not be half bad (remember: soft spot for cop shows, even softer spot for cop shows where things blow up).

: I don’t know. I like my television to be (mostly) fast and slightly stupid (see above!). This is some kind of smart, bittersweet-ish, hour-long family drama (dramedy?), and the few times I’ve tried to watch it I lost patience. This is a reflection of my (sometimes poor) taste, and not the program itself. Probably worth checking out, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Oh, and that’s it for Tuesday, except for Biggest Loser.

: In case you’ve been living under a rock, this is a JJ Abrams product. And it’s on NBC. And it’s flashy. And sexy. And things go boom. Also, new word: “sexpionage” (sp?). Aw, isn’t that clever? Also-also: features the most awesomely named costars: Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Law & Order: SVU: Despite my distaste for the “lawyer show,”  I usually stick with this program even after the dun-dun takes us into the courtroom. The subject matter, overall, is horrible – sometimes I think it’s remarkable that this is meant to be entertainment, even if it’s “fiction.” But this particular L&O delves more deeply into the actual characters, which is what I prefer, even if it’s been pretty uneven the past few seasons.
Law & Order: Los Angeles: Not to be confused with Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit or Law & Order: Criminal Intent, or – hell! – with NCIS: Los Angeles, which is not to be confused with CSI. My brain hurts already. I assume if you liked the good ol original L&O, this might appeal to you, too. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. Whatever.

Community: Sillier (in a good way) than I thought it’d be, but not as funny ha-ha as I hoped. It started slow (to critics, at least) but gained steam and well, I guess it’s good enough for another season.
30 Rock: Critics call this one uneven, too, but forget them! As long as there’s Tracy Morgan, I will pee my pants with laughter. It’s zany as ever, and this season promises even more looniness.
The Office: This is apparently Steve Carell’s last season on this show, which makes me hope that, unless something completely unexpectedly awesome happens this year, this is also the show’s last. It just wouldn’t be the Office without Michael Scott, ya know? Or would it?
How can this show not be offensive? It’s based on a movie, apparently, and I bet the movie was probably at least kinda funny. But to take this small, thin premise – American dude goes to Mumbai to manage a call center – and spread it out over an entire television series seems pretty foolish. There’s got to be more to it… right?

: Oops, looks like this already premiered last week (to incredible buzz, apparently! Or was their plan to just bury this show, too?) But what a novel premise, particularly nowadays: dude quits good job in order to do something for the greater good. Wow! Why didn’t we think of that before?! Good for you, rapidly-aging Jimmy Smits (oh how I miss you, Bobby Simone). Let me just put this Good Guy of the Year trophy next to my award for Excellence in Sarcasm.

Oh, good gravy, how many more networks are there?