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Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall TV 2010: My likes and dislikes

I kept track of the labels I used most in my initial 300 blog posts on this here blog. I have been counting down the top 25 labels thereof since then. Today we are bubbling under the top 10 with # 11: Television.

Even though I am unable/unwilling to watch broadcast television in its traditional venue on a television, that is not to say I do not watch television. Thanks to DVD sets I borrow from our library system and websites such as Hulu, I consume many television programs. I then in turn blog about some of them here. Many of my television posts are about the phenomenon that is Chuck. So much so that it has its own label in the top 25. Today's post will not be about my favorite nerd herder/super spy. Today's post will be about an over 30 year passion of mine.

I love the new television season. Even in the years that I consumed no television at all in any venue, I have followed the television season with much anticipation. The new television season reminds me of a new season in professional sports. You will have some winners and losers; you just can't be 100% sure of who they are going to be.

Something I have noticed over the years is that the t.v. programs often change a little after the initial or pilot episode. Sometimes it takes a show a little while to find it's way. This has taught me to give a show a second or third look even if I wasn't too thrilled initially. There are some shows however, when one look is one too many.

Thanks to Hulu and CBS.COM I have been able to watch many of the new t.v. programs for this year. In today's post I will give a quick review of each show I have so far consumed. There are some shows I have not watched yet like The Event and some shows like No Ordinary Family and Law and Order Los Angeles that have not yet premiered. Here is what I've seen so far:

Hawaii 5-0 CBS - I don't remember ever watching a full episode of the original 5-0 back when I was a kid. I of course knew the characters and the taglines and the theme song. I did watch a number of episodes from Season 2 of the original to get ready for the new one. One thing I noticed is that my 4 year old really enjoyed watching these old shows with me. I enjoyed them alright but nowhere to the point that I thought I misspent my youth or anything like that.

The new show wants to put a 21st century spin on the franchise. Here's a hint: if you want to put a 21st century spin on a show, don't hire anyone from Designing Women to play the Governor of Hawaii. It is not Smart (pun intended) casting. The first episode had some merit. I wasn't all that wowed with the plot, or action but there is a good deal of chemistry between Dan-o and McGarrett and I could imagine being there next week, aloha.

Running Wilde - Fox. I haven't been a regular viewer of a Fox comedy since Duet in the network's inaugural year. Running Wilde will not be next. While the first episode didn't exactly impress me, I did not loathe it either. The romantic coupling of an egocentric and a save the world girl is not a new thing. It has been done many times and often better than this. There is some quirky humor and it is possible I might watch it again, although highly doubtful.

Undercovers - NBC. I like spy action shows and I also like romantic comedies. So I gave this a shot. Aside from the comic relief of an assistant spy, there was not much I liked about this show. Chuck, Covert Affairs, Burn Notice and Human Target all do this genre much much better. I will give it another chance but if it continues to be Hart to Hart with action sequences, I will pass.

Chase - NBC. This is 2 shows in a row where NBC is throwing out shows that are currently being done much better. I did like Chase, but isn't this show an awful lot like In Plain Sight? One Marshall chases criminals the other relocates witnesses. The difference is that In Plain Sight so far does it with more pathos, humor and originality. I certainly will watch this one again, but I am not going to hunt it down every week.

Outlaw - NBC. A new show with Jimmy Smits definitely got my attention. I like law shows and this one showed a lot of promise, until I watched the first episode. There is just too much sex and innuendo in this show and not enough law. I decided that I would not watch a second episode but my wife said that the 2nd episode had more merit than the first. She was right. She also said something very telling: she said all the people on Smits' staff add nothing to the show. She was right about that as well.

My Generation - ABC. There are so many t.v. shows these days that are fake documentaries that it is difficult to keep track of all of them. This one stands out. in that it is a drama rather than a comedy. I didn't think that much else stood out about this show that catches up with a bunch of Austin, TX high school students from the class of 2000, 10 years later. It's an okay idea, but so far not very intriguing.

Detroit 1-8-7 - ABC. Of all the new shows I have seen,this is far and away the best. It takes the cop genre to a new level. The show had good writing, believable characters, humor and some innovative ways of telling a story. I thought I knew how the pilot would end. I pride myself on being able to figure how loose ends will be tied up in a 1 hour episode. I knew the episode would end with a certain ring tone. It was the minute before the ring tone that blew me away. I am looking forward to watching this groundbreaking show again and again.

Next time: Apple Picktures

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