Sunday, September 27, 2009

Season so far

So we're a week or so into the new TV season. Let's see what I think of the shows I've caught so far, both old and new.

House - It was a pretty good season premiere, but certainly having an actor of the calibre of Andre Braugher to work with helps. I'm disappointed that he doesn't appear to be an occasional guest star for the rest of the season. I hope that changes, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

The thing is, House has done "changes" before and they never seem to stick. They manage to find a way to bring it back to the status quo. Well, I'm hoping this does stick. House is off drugs, his pain seems to be under control and he acknowledges that he's tired of being miserable and wants to be happy. The show ought to change from this. And it needs to, especially given how bad the last half of Season 5 was. So here's hoping, because my patience for the show is running a little thin.

Castle - All right, I have to admit it, I have a bit of a man crush on Nathan Fillion. I wish he was still working on Firefly, but that's not happening. Castle is as light as air, but it always makes me smile. The chemistry between Castle and Beckett is also holding up nicely.

NCIS: Los Angeles - I'm sure it'll be fine, but much like I can only watch one CSI at a time. Besides, when your big character development is that one of the leads doesn't know his first name because he was abandoned as a kid, it just screams of the writers trying too hard.

The Good Wife - Look I will grant you that Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth can act and the premise of the show, a woman going back to practicing law to provide for their family after the husband gets caught in a sex scandal, is intriguing. But God, I just don't know if I have it in me to watch that week in and week out. It's a TV movie, maybe. But a full year or even years of that? No thanks.

The Forgotten - I'd comment on the show except A. I watched 10 minutes of it and was bored and B. Christian Slater looks like he's bored and C. I fully expect it to be cancelled in a few weeks. Is Slater that hard up for cash that he keeps doing this crap?

Mercy - I actually caught the rebroadcast on Saturday night. Again, the idea of a nurse who served in the Iraq War coming back to the US and trying to work in a New York hospital even though she's pretty messed up is intriguing. But the first episode was unpleasant people being unpleasant to people and thinking they're being funny while masking their inner pain. Again, if you want to be entertained for an hour, why would you watch something this unpleasant?

The Beautiful Life - I never watched the show. Odds are you never watched the show. And you will never watch the show, as it has been cancelled after two episodes. So it wins the award for first show of the new season cancelled. Although really, they ought to amend that to "First Show of the New Season Cancelled on a Network Other than the CW."

Can someone explain to me why the CW still exists when "fringe" cable networks like TNT and AMC can produce shows like The Closer, Leverage, Mad Men and Breaking Bad which all draw more people than anything the CW has on the air?

Glee - When I don't want to punch it in the head for its "Very Special Moments", I'm laughing at its dark humour (a coach cutting off a pair of cheerleaders from tanning privileges for the semester after failing to sabotage Glee Club) or, God help me, really enjoying a cover of a Bell Biv Devoe song. I'm going to have a love/hate relationship with this show, but so far the love is winning.

Eastwick - Sticking close to the Witches of Eastwick movie with Paul Gross filling in as the Devil. It's pretty much going to be Desperate Housewives means Charmed, so if you like that sort of thing, go crazy. I like Gross from his time on Due South, so it's the only reason the show got a look. It likely won't get a second.

Cougar Town - God help me, I laughed several times when I caught the rebroadcast on Saturday. It felt deeply wrong. The show feels like a What if Chandler realized Monica was nuts and dumped her, she moved out south and magically acquired an easily humiliated 16 year old. Courtney Cox is essentially playing Monica again, but I laughed. There's funny bits in there. I may have to watch this again just to see if it can keep the momentum going.

Bones - Seemingly bouncing back from one of the most awful season finales I've ever seen. Cathy loves this more than I do. I'm finding the formula a bit repetitive at this point. I get the feeling if it lasts, Castle is going to look something like this in five years time. How long can they keep the "will they/won't they" between the two of them going? It doesn't appear to be ending any time soon.

Fringe - The new season had me hooked the instant a shape changing assassin walks into a special room with nothing but a typewriter and a mirror. He types, it's reflected in the mirror. Then an answer is typed on his keyboard from....somewhere.

Fringe is pretty much deeply accepting its inner X-Files this season, what with the second episode about a doctor who performed genetic experiment on his unborn son years ago using scorpions so the baby could survive even though his wife had lupus. So we have Scorpion Boy digging around in rural Pennsylvania killing people. Oh yes, bring it on, you glorious weirdos. Give me more.

FlashForward - You know exactly what you're getting a few minutes in when the show's creators stick a sign up for Oceanic Airlines in the background of a scene. Yes, if you liked Lost, you'll like this. The thing is, Lost lost me in the second season, when it just started getting ridiculous. And I fear FlashForward could be another one of these silly and needlessly complicated shows. And my brain only has room for so much of that.

It's a great premiere, don't get me wrong. The confusion and chaos works well. How people handle their visions of the future is intriguing. So we'll see if I can catch it, but with it being up against Bones, unless it's a rebroadcast, I suspect the show is going to slip out of my grasp pretty quick.

The Mentalist - My problem with the show is the lead is interesting as a damaged man, but the rest of the cast is as exciting as watching paint dry. And really, there's only so many geniuses who are so far ahead of their colleagues shows you can watch at once.

Numb3rs Ah, good old reliable Numb3rs. I can go months without watching it, step back in and know pretty much only a little has changed, that math will somehow save the day and the characters are shallow, but still entertaining. It's the perfect show to watch when there's nothing else on.

And there you go...the season so far. The Amazing Race is this evening, and I'm looking forward to that. I'll update if any other show catches my eye as the season goes on.

Last Five
1. You can call me Al - Paul Simon
2. Lawyers in love - Joe Jackson
3. C'mon - Blue Rodeo
4. Vow - Garbage*
5. Down among the wine and spirits - Elvis Costello

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