Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Season Partial Review

I'm trying to take account of which shows whose fall seasons have premiered, and I have yet to write about. There are some shows which haven't aired yet (30 Rock, Flashforward, Modern Family, Dexter), but which I intend to watch, and as for Bones, I want to watch, but only if my TiVo remembers to suggest it for me, as I prefer that show à la Law & Order: SVU, which is, whenever I realize it's on, instead of following the whole season. The shows I have seen...

Bored to Death (Sundays at 9:30 on HBO)
Underwhelming. There wasn't much that appealed about this show except for the adorable Jason Schwartzman, and there wasn't a whole lot else I liked other than him once I watched it. I do hope they'll use Zach Galifianakis to his full potential, and Ted Danson carries no interest for me, but I'll try a couple more episodes to see what happens when Schwartzman's character starts taking on more cases.

How I Met Your Mother (Mondays at 8pm on CBS)
The show's latest season premiered last night, and it was a mild, if welcome episode in the vein of some of the series' less experimental episodes. The Robin/Barney relationship took a satisfying step towards a "real relationship," and we were once more tantalized with the reveal of the Mother (though I've heard that will be held for the series finale). Ted as a hapless first-time architecture professor was enjoyable to watch, but I hope for more from Marshall and Lily as the season goes on.

House (Mondays at 8pm on Fox)
Last night's eagerly-anticipated two hour season premiere was really all it was cracked up to be. After last season's hallucinations and Dr. House's Vicodin addiction reaching a fever pitch, the episode opened with him drying out and then followed him through his inpatient stay at a mental hospital. The episode boasted a wonderful guest starring role for Franka Potente, some of the finest camera work the show has had, and an excellent performance from Hugh Laurie. It was very cinematic, and certainly a diversion from the typical House formula, so I am eager to see how next week's episode will transition our antihero back into the world of Princeton-Plainsboro.

Gossip Girl (Mondays at 9pm on The CW)
Somewhere along the way last season, this show lost me. By the end of season 1, it was my obsession, my religion. I relished the ridiculousness of it, but season 2 seemed to drag on and hardly ever got interesting. It's now my "save it on TiVo and catch it at the end of the week show," as high school shows that go to college are hardly that exciting thereafter. I snoozed through most of the season premiere and haven't watched last night's episode, but I'll let you know if it gets good.

The Biggest Loser (Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC)
This here is a guilty-pleasure "game show" (if you can call it that) for me. What can I say? I love being heartwarmed! My interest in inspirational sports movies has proven this. The season's second episode will air tonight, and I look forward to seeing the contestants after they've made some progress, and after one of them has returned from the hospital. My parents and I all cried last week when one of the contestants shared her story about losing her husband and two young children in a car accident, and yet none of the other contestants' sob stories were at all devalued. This show fulfills for me what Extreme Home Makeover used to back when it was new.

America's Next Top Model (Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW)
Another show that my interest in is waning rapidly. I actually considered auditioning for this season, wherein the girls are all 5'7" or shorter, but I now think that if I ever had to be in a room with Tyra I would lose my mind and start fighting people or something. This season has almost no drama, except for a few disaffected girls for whom life is always difficult, but I got rid of my Season Pass last night. Maybe I'll catch a marathon on Oxygen some day.

Parks and Recreation (Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC)
Another show that I record and then watch when I have the time. The first season was lackluster most of the time (I simply do not get the Aziz Ansari fervor of all of my friends), which was disappointing, but given Greg Daniels' history, it seems smart to continue to pay attention this season, as The Office started out even more disappointing. This season's premiere, in which Leslie Knope accidentally becomes Pawnee's gay icon when she marries two male penguins in a fake ceremony at the zoo, was smarter than a lot of what the show has given us before, and I am hoping the show becomes more than just quirky characters plus a thin premise, because those characters would be well-served by some more substance in the stories.

(Thursdays at 9:30 on NBC)
While I am a fan of Joel McHale, host of The Soup (Fridays at 10 on E!), and frequent guest of the Adam Carolla show/podcast, I was certainly expecting more from the pilot of his new sitcom, co-starring Chevy Chase. I think it suffered in the way that a lot of smart sitcom pilots suffered, trying overly hard to establish character, mood, and situation, in 22 minutes, and falling flat on most counts. But I will definitely continue to tune in as it does seem like it could end up a more rewarding sitcom than most.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Thursdays at 10 on FX)
I don't need to say anything about this show. If you get it, you love it, and if you don't, you probably hate it. The season premiered last week, and I will continue to try to get as much of this show as possible. "Wildcard, bitches!" (Note: that is not a line from the latest episode, but is still one of my favorites.)

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