Fall 2009 TV Round Up: Thursday!

ashleyI promised you that I would complain about Thursday, but honestly I’m tired. I don’t have it in me to be angry. Instead, I’m going to weave you an awkward metaphor involving TV shows representing manly wrestlers in their underpants.

Thursday night is a battleground. It hasn’t been this intense in years, and even then, it’s a different kind of intense than Must See TV from back in the day, when Friends and ER and Seinfeld ruled the night. That mostly entailed those three shows kicking the shit out of every other show that dared pop its head into the ring. (Blood everywhere.) Friends, ER, and Seinfeld (and Cheers and Frasier to a lesser extent) made other shows soil their undergarments. Nowadays what Thursday’s got going for it is more like eight mostly evenly matched opponents with about the same muscle strength and they’re probably all equally furry and grunty in their silly underpanties — and while none of them will really get the shit kicked out of them by any of the others — what’s going to happen is that all eight super hairy wrestler TV shows are going to crash through your TV screen and brain you with their fists, the bastards. Have I taken this metaphor too far? If I haven’t, I can keep going. I could go all night long (“That’s what she said,” in honor of The Office). Maybe I should let the schedule speak for itself, if you’re not already aware. So please, read on.

How to EPIC FAIL at TV Programming:

Showdown #1, 7:00 PM — Bones v. Flash Forward (v. Community and Parks and Recreation)

FOX, 8/7 Central

Look at all these shows I watch — look at how many! — so to say that Bones is the one I am most looking forward to is probably to say it’s my favorite, even though I despise choosing favorites in any medium. Either that, or it’s love, and you can’t help who you love. I love this show like I love eating, like I love the color red. I am addicted to it; it makes me happy. If someone were to tell me that it was canceled I would probably punch them in the face. The fact that this premieres during Can’t Stop the Serenity makes me hurt inside. And yes, I will be blogging recaps (or NarfCaps as some people like to call them) for this show again. Somebody has to represent the awesome. (Premieres 9/17/09)

Flash Forward
ABC, 8/7 Central

Everyone in the entire world blacks out for like two minutes, and during their blackouts they get visions of themselves in a not too distant future. That is literally all I know about the show, but it turns out all they needed to do in order to sell me was to say these things (which they did): Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger, Dominic Monaghan, and “like Lost.” (Premieres 9/24/09)

VERDICT: Watch Bones live, DVR Flash Forward, and watch Community and Parks and Recreation online.

SHOWDOWN #2, 8:00 PM — Fringe v. The Office and 30 Rock v. Grey’s Anatomy

FOX, 9/8 Central

This show took about half a season to hook me last year, but it did happen eventually, and it was worth it. Halfway through the season was when I stopped seeing an Alias/X-Files rip-off every week and started seeing Fringe instead. The mythology of the show has a nice balance. It’s well thought out, mysterious, and organic to the story (unlike, say the alien conspiracy in The X-Files, which the writers changed on a weekly basis to suit their whims). It’s also — with its basis in alternate realities (“There is more than one of everything.”) and inter-dimensional war — completely fascinating. With a little more character development and interaction between the team members, this could soon be must-see TV for me. The only thing is that I really wish FOX hadn’t moved it to Thursday, the idiots. It would totally kick Tuesday’s face in if it were still there, Bones lead-in aside. (Premieres 9/17/09)

The Office
NBC, 9/8 Central

If you’re not watching The Office by now, then you are an idiot (thank you, Dwight). The great thing about this show is that it seems to be getting better with age. Instead of falling into the sitcom trap of having the characters become caricatures of themselves, constantly repeating the same behaviors over and over again, the Office writers know that it’s okay for things to change. The Michael Scott Paper Company arc from last season is just one example. The Jim/Pam relationship is another. Those two got together two years ago and the show is still going strong, Moonlighting curse be damned. Just do yourself a favor and listen to Dwight: don’t be an idiot. (Premieres 9/17/09)

30 Rock
NBC, 9:30/8:30 Central

When I think about Tracy Jordan, my soul feels like a bubble. Let me just quote from last season’s “Larry King:” “What everyone needs to do is calm down, take a deep breath, and prepare their bodies for the Thunderdome. That is the new law.” “I cursed for three hours straight just to get it out of my system, you dumb bitch.” “I’m saying the Disneyfication of New York is over, everyone. At the stroke of midnight, your Lexus is going to turn back into a hot pile of rats fighting over a human finger.” “I was supposed to be in that movie, Rush Hour, but two weeks in I was replaced by Jackie Chan.” “Look. I grew up here, Larry, in the days before Starbuck. And if Wall Street crashes, it’ll be the 1970’s all over again. People will get mean. The streets won’t be safe. It’ll be graffiti everywhere. And the movies will only cost three dollars!” Oh, and this. And this! BAH! (Premieres 10/15/09)

Grey’s Anatomy
ABC, 9/8 Central

Controversy aside — and there always seems to be a lot of it, not sure who to blame for that — this show is always entertaining, and I think there’s something to be said for the sheer pleasure (torture/agony/choose your adjective) of melodrama done well. It’s like those people who list fucking Jodi Picoult as their favorite author, or Nicholas Sparks or Lurlene McDaniel. “Ohhhhh, it’s just so luxuuuurrrious to have emoooootions. I’m going to go and crrrryyy in the corner for all the saaaaaad children . . . and then I’m going to turn off my TV and forget about it” — except a lot of the time it’s funny and sometimes stuff blows up, and I despise all those authors, so it’s actually not a very good comparison. Like that time last season when Meredith watched Eric Stolz get executed and she wouldn’t stop crying so Cristina had to get in the car with her because they’re BFF!!!! Oh, and George is dead, which is dumb because he’s cool, and I wish Izzy was dead because seriously what is up, Katherine Heigl? And I really suck at writing about this show. (Premieres 9/24/09)

VERDICT: When roommates are home: Watch The Office and 30 Rock live, DVR Fringe, watch Grey’s Anatomy online. When roommates are NOT home: Watch Fringe live, DVR The Office and 30 Rock, watch Grey’s Anatomy online. Private Practice, thank goodness, is not battling anyone (unless you count The Mentalist, but they have two very different audiences), because methinks it would lose. Will be watching that one online as well.

Pilot Watch:

  • Community — Joel McHale is funny and there’s something going on about a Chevy Chase comeback or whatever. I have hopes, but not high ones. (NBC, 8/7 Central)

I Don’t Watch These, But You Might: Survivor, SNL Weekend Update, CSI, Supernatural, The Mentalist.
Stay Away From: The Vampire Diaries, because we have officially hit vampire saturation point in pop culture as of like, last freaking year. And, if we’re really being honest here, Private Practice.

12 Responses to “Fall 2009 TV Round Up: Thursday!”
  1. Trevor says:

    I was going to get FRINGE on DVD and catch-up and watch it this season, but as soon as I saw it was opposite THE OFFICE/30 ROCK and SUPERNATURAL… well I figure I can catch up on two seasons of FRINGE next year.

  2. Jennie says:

    I’m sort of afraid to watch Flash Forward because it seems like a show I will get all obsessed with LIKE LOST and I can’t do that to myself until Lost is over.

  3. sarah g says:

    I DVR Supernatural, cause Dean is my boyfriend.

  4. Emily says:

    I’m wary of any show that calls itself Flash Forward, yet doesn’t have Becca or Tucker in the character list.

  5. Abigail says:

    I have so many comments to make!

    Bones: I really think I need to watch this, but I haven’t watched any of the other seasons. Should I just start now and worry about the DVDs later?

    Fringe: See Bones comment.

    The Office: This starts TONIGHT??? GAH! For some reason I thought it started next week. I won’t be near a TV tonight! HELP!

    30 Rock: Tracy makes my soul feel like a bubble, too. Ahhh. I can’t believe how long we have to wait.

    Grey’s: I quit at some point near the beginning of last season because there was Too Much TV (Some of us are still mortal). But you’re right, it’s funny and the patient stories are pretty bad-ass. Maybe I’ll try again this season.

    PP: Oh dear. I used to love this show and then I forgot to keep loving it (kind of like the sad emotions). Taye Diggs though. Mmmmmmmm.

  6. myoctober says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stuff on Grey’s. That’s sorta how I feel. I’m horribly annoyed at it and yet I JUST CAN’T STOP.

    Stupid TV.

  7. Sabs says:

    I am horrified to think about what your DVR set-up/scheduled recordings looks like.

  8. Jen says:

    Thursday is my Kryptonite. But it is actually OK, since I watch everything online a couple of days later anyway.

    Jodi Picoult – not nearly as bad as Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read a lot by her, but I have to space it out to avoid getting overloaded with all the sadness. But what’s wrong with feeling sad every once in a while? It’s cathartic for me personally.

    Flash Forward – this always makes me think of the TV show with Jewel Staite that I used to watch as a kid. I kinda wish they had named it something else. It sounds almost 4400-ish which started out as a pretty good show so I hope Flash Forward doesn’t get caught in the same traps.

    Grey’s – I am so sucked in, I will never be able to stop watching. I just have to know that everyone will be happy in the end, since they are so unhappy most of the time. I dislike Izzy. She is supposed to be “the nice one” but she really isn’t. I think she’s one of the meanest.

    If someone told me I had to pick one show Thursday nights and never watch anything else, of course it would be Bones. I love it so much :)

  9. heatherannehogan says:

    God, I love Thursday night TV so much.

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