Fall TV Preview: Thursday

Titles in blue are new this season; each * means one Quibbling Sibling will be tuning in; links to previous days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

THURSDAY... otherwise known as The Night That Almost Broke E’s DVR

8:00PM

FlashForward*** (ABC, September 24th)

M: I am so looking forward to this that I have been trying to hunt down people at ABC that will give me an advanced copy. Because, you know, I have a blog! So far no luck, but I’m not giving up hope. I haven’t been looking forward to a new show this much since, well, I’m not really sure when. Very excited!

C: A cast including Joseph Fiennes of Shakespeare in Love fame, Jack Davenport, John Cho, Sonya Walger and Courtney B. Vance would get my attention even without the awesome premise, but the concept — the whole world blacks out for two minutes and sees a vision of their lives six months in the future — is almost enough in itself to guarantee a first season worth watching. One wonders where the series will go once they catch up with their visions in time, but if the show gets into the source of the collective psychic experience instead of just exploring how the individuals deal with what they saw, there’s a potential there for an overarching plot that could keep things exciting.

E: Those previews have us riveted. I can’t wait!

Survivor: Samoa (CBS, September 17th)

E: I’ve watched this show before, but I’m so much more interested in shows where the chief skills contestants showcase aren’t lying and manipulation.

The Vampire Diaries (CW, September 10th)

E: My DVR only records two shows at a time, so I’ve been really hoping that this show sucks. I’ve read conflicting reviews — one good, one bad — but now that I’ve seen the pilot, I’d say you have some decent acting in an incredibly cliched plot. It’s a bit of a Twilight/Roswell mash up, in some ways, and doesn’t feature anything you haven’t seen a million times before. (C: Heck, Twilight is a clear Roswell knock-off, though more famous than its source.) Even the mildly compelling female lead bears more than a passing resemblance to Alyssa Milano. We’ve seen it all before. C has always said that Twilight would make a better TV show than film (C: because it doesn’t have a plot), and obviously someone agreed — you really can draw out high school drama forever. My tepid endorsement is that the show doesn’t suck, even if it’s not remotely original.

C: To be fair, the show’s based on a book series that actually predates Twilight by a dozen years. But there’s a reason it’s being made into a series now, for sure.

E: I think if this show were on, say, Monday night or Friday night when there wasn’t anything of interest to me on, I might watch it casually. But as it is…

C: Penny from Lost or Boone from Lost? Decision, decisions… oh wait, FlashForward actually looks fresh and interesting.

E: It’s very different to see Boone as the Big Bad, though. Very confident and manly. Different.

C: Well, maybe I’ll check out an episode at some point.

Bones * (FOX, September 17th)

E: I’m so happy I won’t have to give up Bones in order to pick up The Vampire Diaries. Bones is a reliable trifle, with crackling chemistry between the whole cast, even if I haven’t forgiven them for turning Zach into a serial killer.

SNL Weekend Update Thursday (NBC, September 17th)

E: Eh.

C: How many people are going to watch this without the election? Meh. Not me.

M: I’m not sure I even understand why they are trying this. A half hour of weekend update? Not one a weekend? Who thought this was a good idea? Oh wait, it’s the network that’s putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 every night.

E: That’s right! It’s a weird combo of thinking outside the box and not actually having imagination.

8:30PM

Parks and Recreation (NBC, September 17th)

M: I heard a rumor that in the last couple episodes this show didn’t suck quite as much as it looked like it was going to from all the horrible commercials NBC kept pounding into our skulls repeatedly. Any confirmation?

E: Sitcom. Sooooooo uninterested.

C: I have more respect for half-hour comedies with no laugh track, and I used to be into The Office before the writing got so perfunctory and drama-based, but I’ve neither seen or heard anything to turn me onto this.

E: A shame, because Amy Poehler can be crazy funny.

M: That’s debatable.

9:00PM

Supernatural (CW, September 10th)

C: This season, see the Winchester brothers battle Satan with salt-loaded rifles! This used to a reliable spine-chill-a-week show, but since they’ve gone crazy with the Dan-Brown-esque plotting it’s lost most of its interest for me.

Grey’s Anatomy* (ABC, September 24th)

E: Even though I’m alone in loving this show, I do love it. I like getting the romantic and the weepy all in one place. Even though I don’t love all of their recent plotlines, and I’m really upset over losing so many of the original cast members, I’m still going back to Seattle Grace. I’d go for Chandra Wilson alone!

C: And then the hot doctor slept with the other hot doctor and everyone got a Scottish nickname. Yawn.

M: When my wife used to watch this show religiously, I would vacate the house for the hour. When I came back I’d ask “did anyone do anything even remotely moral this week”? Once I got a “well, maybe this one thing”. Soooo not interested.

CSI (CBS, September 24th)

E: We used to watch this show. Loved their clever sci fi convention murder from last year, with the Battlestar Galactica references,but that was the first time I’d tuned in in years.

C: Why is it that “procedural” so often means “perfunctory”? Even if I weren’t actively turned off by their obsession with fetishizing violence against women, these shows are so repetitive I have trouble paying attention.

Fringe** (FOX, September 17th)

M: Okay, so I mentioned Fringe in my Bucket List In Bed post, and the first season of it was fantastic. It started off very slowly (losing both E and C in the process, though I successfully got them back to it) but man oh man did it pick up steam, and ended with a HUGE bang! Just great. Love the characters, love the writing, the pacing, the dialog, the secondary and tertiary characters, and the weekly mysteries and overarching mythology. We’re going to do a roundtable on it, so I’ll stop gushing now.

C: Not starting this now, but I’ll probably tune in when I finally catch up with S1.

M: Hurry up already! Seriously, go watch! Now!

The Office (NBC, September 17th)

M: Jim and Pam may be pregnant. Jim peed on a stick, it wasn’t conclusive. Need I say more?

E: Well, if you said the Steve Carell wasn’t on the program anymore, I might watch it. Of course, it’s a sitcom, so even being rid of the constant humiliation of his character, it’d still be a hard sell.

C: You’re such a hater! TV can’t possibly be good if it comes in half-hour segments??

M: Or Robot Chicken-esqe 15 minute segments!

E: It can if it’s 30 minutes of Ace of Cakes! So, fine, I have been exaggerating the sitcom hate a little tiny bit. I probably would watch that show if I didn’t have to cringe over Carell embarrassing himself every other second. I just can’t handle that.

9:30PM

Community* (NBC, September 17th – but moves to 8 on October 8th)

M: The only new comedy that I’m even the slightest bit interested in checking out. The cast looks great, from The Soup‘s hilarious Joel McHale, to Chuck’s (hee hee) Chevy Chase, to The Hangover‘s Ken Jeong.

E: That does actually look interesting. For a sitcom.

M: Seriously, the sitcom hatred needs to be remedied.

E: I’d check it out if my schedule wasn’t already loaded, honestly.

10:00PM
Private Practice (ABC, October 1st)

E: Way too soapy for me. Love creator Shonda Rimes, love Kate Walsh, love Taye Diggs (Rent!), like Chris Lowell from Veronica Mars, was pleasantly creeped out by Paul Adelstein in the first season of Prison Break, like our Gram’s favorite Amy Brenneman, and love Tim Daly from Wings and The Nine, but no. Even if they hadn’t booted Francie from Alias, the show would still not do it for me.

The Mentalist* (CBS, September 24th)

M: The surprise smash hit of last year, which turned into a show that I started out thinking had the worst title in the history of TV, and ended up DVR’ing every week. We, as a family, have liked Simon Baker since his minor role in family fave L.A. Confidential, and I’m glad to see him successful in a good ensemble show.

E: Exactly. It’s like Bones – light, frothy fun with dead bodies.

The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

E: Like we said before, blah.

M: I don’t know, I think the every day thing is starting to wear me down. SEMICOLON, RIGHT PARENTHESIS! WINKY EMOTICON!

And don’t forget Project Runway is still airing on Lifetime at 10! (E’s DVR is saved – two hour long shows every hour, but only two shows. Phew! I still wish the stuff that interested me was a little more spread out during the week, though.)

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8 comments on “Fall TV Preview: Thursday

  1. flashforwardabc says:

    Hey!!

    If you like Flash Forward check this out (it’s really cool!) http://bit.ly/80Q5w

    Also, you can join their Facebook page to hear the latest about the actors, the show, promos, etc.
    http://bit.ly/4vneT4

    Have fun!

  2. Pam says:

    RE: fFlash forward… we’ve tried to support all these time travel shows, but they always either use their cool tricks ahead of time, make stupid anachronistic mistakes, or just plain get cancelled… it’s not worth me giving up my beloved sitcoms — yes, sitcoms, E — on Thursday… Why, b/c they’re clever and amusing. I’m reading after seeing the Thurs shows — and they all delivered. SNL on Thurs – yes it’s cheap and was great during the e3lection. they just want to hold the place until new 30 Rock season.. however, they should have kept EARL. great ensemble cast, good feel-good stuff, but also funny and irrereverent and not too schmaltzy.

    and, C, I think the Office has gotten better with all the cast being more of characters than just Michael’s awkwardness being the plot each week… it’s well fleshed out and better than early seasons.

    Community was good. It has potential to be extremely funny in places, it has a mix of satire, references to stuff we all know and love, and good casting. (read this after the pilot)

    M, Fringe lost me early on too. too bad because I would have watched it on its original night of Tuesday if still good.

    Parks & Rec is fun, slow at points but more pratfall stuff than the Office, and good support cast to Amy Poehler’s clueless government employee.

    Good line on the Mentalist – Bones light… yes. it’s good but if I miss a week, I don’t miss too much of Simon Baker’s character development (there is a good back story) but can still pick up… that’s why Law & Order lasted so long, no need to go too far into character’s lives if you have a good mystery/crime to solve each week.

    • E says:

      So true of Mentalist – there’s a backstory, but not too much.

      Fringe has some seriously cool stuff going on. I think Greg’d really like all the science background, you should give it another shot.

  3. Matt H says:

    I have to think about Flash Forward. It reminds me of something, something that treated me badly and lost me… Heroes, maybe? I’m also not sure I can do another show that I have to make a commitment to. I also am addicted to Survivor. But we’ll see.

    I’m all set with vampires for the next, oh, 70 years or so.

    Bones, E? Really? Those two characters somehow manage to both annoy and bore me via just the commercials alone.

    I can’t handle any of those Thursday night sitcoms. I don’t get any of them. The Office is so unfunny, I cry. Parks & Rec, I tried the first couple of episodes, and I cannot believe it wasn’t cancelled. I’d heard it got funnier at the end of the year, too, M, but still. I have better shows to watch, I think. (Of course… it took a Bravo rainy-Saturday-afternoon marathon for me to warm up to 30 Rock, so who knows, maybe I’m missing out.)

    And E, you and your Grey’s Anatomy. C’s comment has it McPerfect.
    I’ll take Fringe at 9pm. I actually watched some of last season, but apparently caught the free-standing episodes, because only after I was slightly confused by the season premiere last week did I realize there was a running plot. The premiere was… eh. But, like with Mad Men, I like a show that’s not afraid to work up to things patiently.

    Boooo, Jay Leno!

    • E says:

      Boo indeed.

      I think it’s entirely possible that if I too watched a marathon of 30 Rock, I might get into it. I dunno, though. Jack McBrayer seems awfully sitcommy. Then again, could he be more sitcommy than Michael Urie? So who knows.

      I can see why you’d be nervous about Flashforward – it’s definitely something you need to see every week. But that’s why we have DVRs! And also network websites. πŸ™‚

  4. Chris Naaden says:

    Pfft. You should watch Leno tonight. I think it’s Limbaugh that’s on. πŸ™‚

  5. Another M says:

    All I have to say is I can’t watch Fringe Cause I can’t get past my Days of watching Dawson’s Creek. Yes I’m admitting watching Dawson’s but let’s be serious I was still a teen when it came out.

    • M says:

      We’re doing up a whole post on fringe, but to let you know, even though I never watched Dawson’s Creek I was skeptical of Jackson because of it, but he’s turned out to really be quite good on this. Very surprising to me.

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