September 3, 2008


I fell a little behind, but I didn't want to abandon my mission. Here's Thursday, and then we're getting down to business. Shows are premiering this week already...more to come soon on Gossip Girl, 90210, and the Bones 2-hour premiere tonight.

My Name is Earl: This show has some really great characters, but it never really pulled me in. I know it has a loyal fan base, but I think the premise is getting tired. It would have been a better movie.

Kath & Kim: This newbie is a remake of an Australian comedy. Molly Shannon and Selma Blair play a dysfunctional mother and daughter in middle-class suburbia. I’m skeptical about this "comedy" team, but the outfits alone are worth checking it out.

The Office: I have been having some pretty heated discussions defending this show lately. It seems that people either love it or hate it. Admittedly, both the show and Steve Carell have received tons of attention since it gained momentum, and that’s tiresome for some people. When the show first premiered, no one expected such an offbeat comedy to survive, so the Cinderella story got a lot of attention, which understandably opened the door for harsh criticism. I’ll say two things 1) whether he is overrated or not, Steve Carell and the writers do an amazing job with the character of “Michael” making him equally ridiculous, sympathetic, and completely intolerable; 2) the deep pool of talent in this ensemble cast is unmatched by any other show, and if you work in an office, you work with at least one of these characters.

SNL Election/30 Rock: These two shows are splitting a timeslot. I’m not sure how it works, but I think SNL will be running these Thursday political specials until the elections. Will this get people watching SNL again? I’m holding out hope. 30 Rock has huge fans and lots of awards nods, but the ratings are still pretty dismal. I always think the episodes are funny when I catch one, but I’m not attached enough to any of the characters to come back every week. Sorry, but Tina Fey just doesn’t do it for me.

ER: I remember when this show first came on 30 years ago. It was so edgy. ER? What does that even stand for? Who is that salt & pepper hottie? Remember what a big deal Clooney’s initial Julius Caesar haircut was? We’ve been through a lot with this show. There have literally been 74 main characters. Remember Jeannie? Remember when Mariska Hargitay played Dr. Greene’s pathetic girlfriend? Remember when Dr. Greene died? That was just wrong. The show has experienced a shift from cast focus to patient focus with the weakening main characters and shrinking audience, but it still held on. I’ll tune in to see how it all ends. You know Dr. Carter will be swooping in from Africa to save the day at some point.

Ugly Betty: I sort of think of Ugly Betty as one of the founding fathers of new TV. This was the first in a wave of shows that look and feel different from years of sitcoms and procedural dramas. To be cliché for just a second (or possibly every time I blog), it broke the mold in a way. Ugly girls and trannies? This was unprecedented. The show struggled a bit last season, partially because of the strike. I’d love to see it get back on track, and I think we were getting there in the last episodes. The writing is at it’s best when there’s a balance between the mystery, the funny, and the schmaltz (Ms. Korin, if you’re listening, please confirm the accurate usage of that word). Also, Mark and Amanda. More of them. Please.

Grey's Anatomy: I hate this show. Ok, not really. I was among the obsessed when it first came out, and then it turned into some neurological programming requiring me to watch and hang onto every word each week. I shook that feeling this past season and tried to really look at it objectively. I hate Merideth. I can’t help it. Am I supposed to? Is this all part of the neurological programming? I find real life Katherine Heigl very annoying too. But Shonda Rhimes can write patient stories like no one’s business. I don’t know what else to say…damn this show.

Life On Mars: Here’s another British remake. This newbie features a modern police detective, who wakes from a coma to find himself working as a cop in 1973, and must readjust to life even as he seeks a way back to his future. David E. Kelley is responsible. He is obviously a hitmaker (Doogie Howser, Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal), so it will be interesting to see how this one does.

Gabon: Survivor is still going strong, and the people look scarier and scarier every season in the previews. Feed them!

CSI: Is this the one with David Caruso? He’s weird. I don’t like it.

Eleventh Hour: Thursday seems to be the night of remakes. Here’s another new one from Britain. The premise is a special scientific advisor to the FBI who lends his particular skills to criminal investigations. That doesn’t give us much. The producer says this is a “science fact show, not a science fiction show.” Read: boring. Nothing stands out except Jerry Bruckheimer is involved. And the villain is Noonan from Caddyshack.


Post a Comment