May 27, 2009

upfront thoughts: fox

Oh Fox. We have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes your reality show attempts make me crazy. Like this ridiculousness. But I have to hand it to you, the stuff usually sells. And I do love my Idol. This summer, I'm also hoping to get into So You Think You Can Dance, which will also be a featured on the fall lineup for the first time this year.

So far, I've heard wondrous things about the new show Glee - a sneak preview of which aired after Idol earlier this month, but the show won't run until the fall. I'll try to catch it online and write a preliminary review in the next few weeks. I am expecting a love affair.

I've never gotten into the longstanding animated comedies - the legend that is The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. But I don't live in a hole, so I know how popular they are.

On the drama end of the spectrum, I was a late bloomer on House and Bones - only started in on these two seasons ago, but caught up on DVD and now I'm a diehard fan of both. I also ended up loving Fringe this year, so glad it will be back. Watch online if you can.

I've dabbled in 24 and Prison Break - both great shows that I intend to watch in full, but just got pushed to the back burner. I've heard mixed things about Dollhouse and Lie to Me - two mideason newbies picked up for next year - so I'll try to check them out this summer.

Overall, glad to see my favorites staying and the network branching out a little with Glee, but nothing too groundbreaking coming up for the fall.

What's Staying
24 (midseason)
Lie To Me
So You Think You Can Dance
Bones (renewed for two seasons!)
Fringe (moved to Thursday after Bones)
'Til Death (seriously?)
American Idol
American Dad
Family Guy
Hell's Kitchen
Kitchen Nightmares
The Simpsons

What's Going
Do Not Disturb
Hole in the Wall
Osbournes: Reloaded
Prison Break
Secret Millionaire
Sit Down, Shut Up
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

What's New
Glee: An hour-long comedy following an optimistic high school teacher who attempts to restore McKinley High's fading glee club to its former glory, while helping a group of underdogs realize their full potential. Ads for the series have been hilarious. Check out the pilot on hulu. Notables include: Jane Lynch (from 40 Year Old Virgin, Role Models and many other hilarious films) and a bunch of young theatre imports. Expect great guest stars this fall, including Kristin Chenowith and Victor Garber.

Brothers: Half-hour comedy about a former NFL hot shot who winds up back home in Houston living with his mother. Notables include Michael Staham from Fox's NFL Sunday and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell (Ed and Veronica's Closet) - who will play the NFL star and his brother.
The Cleveland Show: Family Guy spinoff featuring neighbor Cleveland Brown, who moves with his son back to his hometown in Virginia and settles down with his high school sweetheart and her unruly kids.

Human Target (midseason): This drama is based on a DC Comics graphic novel and comic book about a private contractor/security guard hired to protect clients by integrating himself into their lives to become the human target. Notables include: star Mark Valley (Fringe, Days of Our Lives), the great Chi McBride (Boston Public, Pushing Daisies), and Jackie Earle Haley who played creapy, annoying Rorschach in Watchmen.

Past Life (midseason): Inspired by a novel called "The Reincarnationist" by M.J. Rose - a drama about an unlikely pair of past-life detectives who investigate whether what is happening to you today is the result of who you were before. The "team" is played by Kelli Giddish and Nicholas Bishop, who are familiar, but not immediately recognizable. BUT the man Richard Schiff (Toby! Toby! Toby!) will play the team's mentor who is a legend in the field of cognitive research. I may just check this one out.

Sons of Tucson (midseason): Half hour comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when the real one goes to prison. Dad-for-hire is Ron Snuffkin, who was in Reaper but I recognize him from Breaker High - yup, I said it.

The Wanda Sykes Show: Looks like this is the working title for a new one-hour comedy talk show hosted by Wanda Sykes (I'm a genius). The description is a "biting commentary on topical issues and heated panel discussions with recurring personalities". Chelsea Handler meets Bill Maher?

A couple summer premieres worth (or not worth) mentioning:

More to Love: Another lovely from the Fox reality factory. A dating competition series follows a single, average guy with a "big waist and even bigger heart" as he romances several "confident and secure plus-size women". I'll stop there. The term "husky hunk" is used.

Mental: This drama premiered last night, but I forgot to watch. Dr. Jack Gallagher is an unorthodox psychiatrist named the director of Mental Health Services as an LA hospital. Seems like House for mental health. Stars Chris Vance (Prison Break) and Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos).


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