Monday, December 1, 2008

Fall Television Redux

With sweeps behind us now and most fall television seasons having wrapped up and/or about to wrap up, I figured it was a good time to blog about the Fall '08 TV season. It didn't hurt either that I've been fighting my yearly sinus infection (later than usual this year) since Thanksgiving giving me plenty of time to lay in bed with my Tivo and catch up on House, Heroes, Law & Order, SVU, Family Guy, Fringe, and My Own Worst Enemy. I even tried to watch Chuck, but ya, it sucked. See? Being sick has atleast some upside.

The best new show of the season was most definately Sons of Anarchy on FX. It wrapped up last thursday with a 90 minute episode that was phenomenal. I realize I am hard-selling this show, but it's really that fucking good. Do yourself a favor and get the first season, as it's been picked up for two more seasons already and seems primed to be FX's replacement for the Shield. And I'm still kicking myself for not getting in on The Shield early. There's just something fascinating about the biker gang underworld, and this show totally delivers.

Speaking of biker gangs, I've been catching episodes here and there of Gangland on History. I'm not sure it's season pass worthy, but like Deadliest Catch is nice downtime filler. Being from Dallas I don't see gangs like the folks in NYC, LA, or Chicago I find it to be pretty fascinating programming. Plus it ties in nicely with Sons of Anarchy and The Wire, which I started on Season 1 this week because Jenny won't stop hassling me about it being the greatest show ever made.

Fringe was also a nice breakout show for the Fall season. It's actually gotten progressively more interesting sicne the premier, like a show should but so many fail to do. I'm still not sure it's of the caliber of the X-Files, but it's pretty damn good. The plots can get a little far fetched, but the acting is superb. John Noble makes an excellent Walter, and Anne Tory (Agent Dunham) is strangely attractive and great for her role.

Heroes has come so close to jumping the shark (see photo at top) so many times this season, but keeps avoiding it. I'm not sure how much longer they can, as I'm really not sure how much of a future a show about people with superpowers can have, but they've managed to keep it atleast mildly entertaining as people are switching sides and doublecrossing each other every week. I watched the entire season in one night (that whole sick thing....) and I still couldn't figure out who was on who's side. I'm assuming that confusion is by design. I'm not going to try and sell you on it, were Heroes a stock I'd probably give it a sell rating, but we shall see.....I'm still watching.

Law & Order makes another attempt at replacing the great Detective Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) while also replacing Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin), this time going with Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson). And like with most L&O pairings, it's improving with time. I'm not sure you can ever replace Briscoe and Green, but these two aren't bad. Having McCoy (Sam Waterston) as D.A. while new A.D.A Cutter (Linus Roache) goes rogue straight out of the old Jack McCoy playbook has been an interesting storyline. Meanwhile Law & Order: SVU is trudging along with more subplots involving Stabler's family. Not bad, but not great, it's still SVU.....a nice spin-off of the original classic but not on par with it. And certainly not as bad as Criminal Intent, where Vincent D'Onoffrio made me insane.

House is still awesome. I know some people don't like it, I even admit to it being extremely formulaeic, but Hugh Laurie is simply amazing as the character House, and I like the direction it's going with a potential House/Cuddy romance after the drama with Cut-throat Bitch and Wilson earlier in the season. I also think the writers are doing an excellent job of fleshing out the characters of 13, Taub, and Kumar, making them interesting in the dynamic between House, Cuddy, and Foreman. Thus far this has been the best season since the one with the cop harassing House, season 2 I think.

I watched the first could episodes of My Own Worst Enemy to see if Christian Slater had anything left in the bag. Upon episode three the show was not renewed so I didn't bother with the rest of them. Slater wasn't bad, but the premise was just too ridiculous and the scope too limited, also the cast around Slater was pretty mediocre. Likewise Worst Week was really funny, but completely unsustainable, even with Red from That '70s Show. It would be like making Meet The Parents into a TV series, it's just not feasible.

So there you go, my Fall TV Redux. Cheers!

1 comment:

southwick said...

Fringe is easily my favorite show of the year.

Walter is just about the most interesting character to hit TV since Hugh Laurey (sp?) picked up House.

Sarah Conner Chronicles is easily my favorite HULU show of the year. It comes on Mondays at the same time as Heroes so I haven't watched it when it airs, but have enjoyed Season 2 alot!

Its actually much better than Heroes, so if you enjoy the whole Terminator Universe, I give it 2 thumbs up.

Heroes continues to jump sharks, while riding on skis made of sharks.