IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
My Favorite Video Blogs
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Look at these
New on My
Support liberty and justice for all
Cost of the War in Iraq
THE NEW SEASON
28 September 2006
For an admitted TV junkie, September can be more exciting than Christmas. All the old shows are coming back (Grey's Anatomy! Lost! Desperate Housewives! The Amazing Race!); all the networks are trotting out their new shows, and it's time to figure out what goes on the DVR and what will get ignored. (Very frustrating when there are three shows on at the same time that you want to watch, when you can only record/watch two.)
This appears to be a good season. I find that my interest in sit coms has waned significantly. I thought Ted Danson's new show might have promise, but I found it horrible. I haven't watched any other new sit coms that have premiered this season. I haven't really even been able to get into The Office, though I feel I'm missing something.
I do watch Two and a Half Men and now The New Adventures of Old Christine, which follows it and isn't bad, but I believe that's 'it' for me for sit coms.
Of the new shows that are coming along, Studio 60 is by far my favorite. It's not surprising, since I was a big fan of The West Wing. Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme seem to have found the magic that made West Wing work in the first place, and the pairing of Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry is wonderful. The two have a great chemistry, playing producer and writer. Naturally, I absolutely loved last night's show, where the first opening number of their new show was a Gilbert & Sullivan parody. Brilliant! (Check "Look at these Videos" for an excerpt, if you missed it.)
Brothers and Sisters, with its all star cast (Sally Field, Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, Patricia Wettig--all from very successful previous shows) has promise. I'm sorry they killed off Tom Skeritt in the first episode, as I've always enjoyed him. Calista Flockhart is the daughter of a liberal family who is a conservative talk show host. If I can stomach her viewpoint as the show progresses, I may become a regular.
Jericho is more iffy. I watched the premiere episode. It has a bit of a Lost feeling to it, where a bunch of people are trapped in a town and don't know what has happened, but it appears that there has been a nuclear (or nucular, if you are the Man in the White House) explosion and they are cut off from everything. I don't know how this is going to play out. Apparently in the next episode they all move to a fallout shelter before the fallout wave hits the town. If the entire season is going to be played in a fallout shelter, I may lose interest very quickly!
Kidnapped seems to be 24 without White House oversight. A renegade people finder (Jeremy Sisto, as "Knapp") who will go to any lengths to get the kidnapped person back, even if it means running afoul of the law. "The series focuses on the elaborate, triangulated game between the kidnappers, FBI and law enforcement, and the private negotiating team contracted by this perhaps not-so-picture-perfect family," explains the promo. Again, whether I stick with this one is uncertain yet. I enjoyed the premiere episode.
I'm not big on superhero shows, but Heroes looks interesting. I watched the opening episode and liked it. Normal people suddenly finding they have super powers and a mysterious death in India of a guy who was doing research on people with super powers. "What this disparate group doesn't know is that they're all connected -- and their destiny is to save the planet," says the promo. We'll give it another week or two and see in what direction it seems to be headed.
Smith is also an interesting show. Ray Liotta is salesman, husband and father by day, criminal mastermind, who shoots people indiscriminately, by night. Like all "older" people, he's considering retirement! His group's invasion of the Tate museum was reminiscent of movies like Topkapi, with bullets. I have episode #2 on DVR but haven't watched it yet. I actually wouldn't have watched it at all, except that Steve said it looked promising, so I caught Episode #1 in rerun. We'll see whether it continues to grab me.
And in the realm of reality shows, it's not new, but I've gotten hooked on Dancing with the Stars this time around, thanks to my group of CompuServe friends, so that is also on my list of must watch shows, as is Project Runway. And really, who could pass up the opportunity to see Tucker Carlson and Jerry Springer dance (not with each other)?
And if it weren't enough to be addicted to all these network shows, I've also discovered Growing Up on Animal Planet. Oh my goodness. Terminal cuteness. I've seen Growing up Orangutan, ...Polar Bear, ...Clouded Leopard, and ...Gorilla. I see that there are lots more in the series. I may have to lay in a supply of insulin.
Plus Inside the Actors' Studio, of course. A weekly classy show that makes even difficult interviews like Robert DeNiro look easy. James Lipton is easy to parody (somebody does him on Saturday Night Live, but I don't watch that show Yes, friends, there is a show that I don't watch! so I don't know who it is), but he sure gets candid interviews out of his subjects.
And I now understand I have to watch Nip/Tuck because Rosie O'Donnell is going to do a guest shot for a couple of episodes, which will include a nude sex scene--and I can't possibly miss that. I've never seen Nip/Tuck before, so I hope I get up to speed before Rosie's segment.
Then there is Rachael Ray's new afternoon show, which I really, really didn't want to like. Her indomitable perkiness exhausts me (someone who interviewed her said she'd never seen anyone who drank as much coffee as Rachael does--which may explain a lot), but the show is actually good. Best to stick it on DVR and skip through the parts that don't interest me.
I won't even mention the new nighttime Food Network shows which I have yet to check out.
I know there are good-deed doers out there who are busy doing good deeds, and people who are accomplishing important things and saving the world, but I have no time for that now. I have a DVR to clear! Pity me, my friends. A TV-junkie's lot is not an happy one. But it sure is busy!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is Journal entry #2373