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