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.
Chuck: 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).
Parenthood: 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.
Undercovers: 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?
Outsourced: 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?
Outlaw: 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?