Fall 2009 TV Round Up: Friday! and Beyond!
This is the big one, folks. Although Friday isn’t nearly as fun as Thursday, it does have lots of science fiction in it, and just so we’re all clear, I will watch almost anything that is labeled “science fiction.” It is by far the most underrated TV genre and I am batshit crazy sick of it being ignored. I am this close to exploding people.
Also contained in this very large post is your guide to: Sunday TV (which I don’t really watch), mid-season replacement pilots, shows returning sometime in 2010, shows already in progress, and some helpful Fall TV SPS related links (should you find all five of my posts inadequate). I suppose this concludes the premiere week of Big Damn Heroes. I thank you all for coming, and hope you stick around (and tell all your friends.)
SYFY, 9:00 EST/6:00 PST
I believe that I have covered this in detail over the past few months, but here’s a small run-down. In the third installment of the Stargate franchise, a team of scientists, government officials, and military personnel becomes stranded on an Ancient warship with no foreseeable way back to Earth. Think Stargate SG-1 meets Star Trek: Deep Space 9 meets Battlestar Galactica, with a little bit of Firefly and Babylon 5 thrown in for good measure. At least, that’s what the creators/writers are going for, and I admire them very much for the effort. However, after a year’s worth of almost nothing but Stargate, I feel that I know these writers, and while I know that I’ll enjoy the show, I definitely predict some struggles for them in the future as they try to break out of their writerly molds into the world of the big boys. Relationships! Sex! Continuity! Aliens! Gays! With lavish special effects, of course. (Premieres 10/2/09)
SYFY, 10:00 EST/7:00 PST
Creepy crawly types take refuge with Helen Magnus, the 157 year old teratologist, in a castle-like structure called The Sanctuary, along with her band of misfits which includes: her daughter, her protege, Bigfoot, a werewolf named Henry, and her lover, Jack the Ripper (reformed). And maybe the second season will actually live up to the excitement of that premise. Fingers crossed. (Premieres 10/9/09)
FOX, 9/8 Central
Thank heaven for small — er, large — favors. I think that it came as a shock to everyone when this show was renewed. Most of you are aware that ever since the premature and idiotic cancellation of Firefly in 2002, Whedonites and other appreciators of fine television have had it out for FOX (the cancellation of Terminator: TSCC certainly didn’t help matters). FOX likes money and ratings, and Dollhouse was producing neither (in part the fault of the network for tying Whedon’s hands, and in part the result of simple growing pains that come with a new show finding its voice), despite a really promising second half of its freshman season. Everyone was preparing for the worst, including Whedon & Co, whose “Epitaph One” — the fabled 13th episode — never aired on TV and was presumably originally meant as a kind of “epitaph” for the show. As a result, this episode took risks the show might otherwise never have taken — and with the surprise of a second season — now it has to live with the consequences. (Not that that’s a bad thing.) Frankly, “Epitaph One” is probably the ballsiest hour of television I’ve ever seen (a spot previously held by Lost‘s “Through the Looking Glass”), precisely because it was never meant to air on the network. You’ll have to trust me because I don’t want to spoil you, but this show has officially arrived, and it is ready to punch you in the nutsack. If you haven’t seen any of the episodes yet, don’t worry. There were only thirteen! There’s still time for you to catch up. If you rent it on DVD, you might not even want to bother with the first five episodes. Just watch the unaired pilot and skip to episode six and you’ll be golden. That’s only eight episodes! That’s nothing! And I’m so glad the show is finally working, because I love that feeling, you know? That it’s a Whedon world, and we just live in it. (Premieres 9/25/09)
I Don’t Watch These, But You Might: Supernanny, Ghost Whisperer, Brothers, Law & Order, Ugly Betty, Medium, Southland, Numb3rs.
Stay Away From: Smallville, ‘Til Death.
I Don’t Watch These, But You Might: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Amazing Race, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Desperate Housewives, Family Guy, American Dad, Cold Case.
Stay Away From: Three Rivers, Brothers & Sisters.
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Shows Already in Progress
Mondays on A&E
9:00 EST/6:00 PST
It is not an exaggeration to say that I gag every fifteen minutes while watching this show, but it’s so fascinating that I can’t stop watching it. From Wikipedia: “Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding) is the acquisition of, and failure to use or discard, such a large number of seemingly useless possessions that it causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as mobility, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping.” It is sick and twisted and half the people are CRAZY, but it’s also sad and heartwarming and frustrating. People actually live like this.
Wednesdays on BRAVO
10:00 EST/7:00 PST
FOOD. YUMMY YUMMY FOOD. (Drama.) FOOD. That is all you need to know. Oh, wait. Except that it’s fun to give nicknames to the contestants. Already this season I have: Ears, Beardie, and Peter Pan. (Beardie, aka Kevin, is my favorite, BTW.)
Sundays on AMC
10:00 EST/6:00 PST
I have only made it through the first season of Mad Men. It is an extremely smart show, beautifully shot, and it has some amazing acting in it. The only problem I have with Mad Men is that it is SO SERIOUS. I like a little humor in my drama, so while I never regret watching an episode of this show, it’s always a little hard to get going with it. It’s a slow show, so stay away if that isn’t your thing, but it’s also an important show, I think. There’s a reason the Emmys and the Golden Globes and all the critics are obsessed with it. Plus, Jon Hamm is DREAMY.
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NBC, March 2010
When Chuck premiered in 2007, I watched the first three episodes and got bored. (I know, I know, don’t yell at me!) To be fair, I would have stuck with it if Mondays weren’t already stuffed full, and this was before most shows had online viewings, plus also I didn’t have a DVR. There was also something about the sci-fi part of it that struck me as false, but I wasn’t viewing it through the right lens. This show is a comedy, of course the science isn’t plausible. Actually, I say it’s a comedy, but I don’t think Chuck really has a specific genre, which is why NBC is having such a hard time with it. I think that a lot of people would fall in love with it if they knew it existed, or if they knew what it was really about. Chuck isn’t just a comedy, it’s a dramedy-spy-fi-action-thriller-romance, and how does one advertise that? Obviously the corporate heads at NBC have no idea, because the show has almost gone belly-up twice now, and the only thing that saved it last time was a smart fan-campaign involving Subway and an extremely fortuitous run-in with the show’s lead, Zachary Levi (who is voicing the prince in Disney’s upcoming Rapunzel). Basically what you need to know is that this show is charming, funny, and lovable, just like it’s characters. Plus also, you should know that all three of your bloggers here at Big Damn Heroes love this show, and this one time Abigail met Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski. So, be jealous of her. Also: watch Chuck, so that next year I won’t be whining and bitching about another of my shows being canceled due to lack of viewers, which is the lamest reason of all.
ABC, January 2010
I am in denial that this will be the last season of Lost. Hopefully Flash Forward is good so I can fill my quota of mind-fuckery type TV shows (Although: Dollhouse is getting kind of mind-fuckery, now that I think about it). I would also like to take a moment to beg you to rent the first five seasons of Lost on DVD. If you catch up, then you too can be a part of the historical and epic last season. This is a TV event, people. Get on it.
FOX, January 2010
The only THE ONLY reason I am watching 24 come January is because my girlfriend Katee Sackhoff has joined the cast. And I would follow her anywhere. Because I am a stalker.
Mid-Season Pilot Watch:
- Human Target — Mark Valley and Chi McBride, based off a graphic novel of the same name. (FOX, 2010)
- Happy Town — I literally know nothing more about this than Amy Acker is part of the cast. (ABC, 2010)
- Caprica — Showrunner Jane Espenson (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13) leads this BSG spin-off featuring Bill Adama’s dad and the dude who invented the Cylons. The pilot that was released on DVD last April was good, but I can’t say that I’m really all that excited for it. Mob and family dramas aren’t really my thing. We’ll see. (SYFY, January 2010)
- Big Love — Who doesn’t love a good Mormon polygamist TV show? No one, that’s who. (HBO, January 2010)
- Party Down — Even though Jane Lynch has abandoned it for Glee-ful pastures, I’m sticking with it, because it is HILARIOUS. (STARZ, 2010)
- Better Off Ted — I’ve heard good things about the show’s first season, which I plan on watching sometime before the second season premieres next year. (ABC, 2010)
- Dexter — Season four of the serial-killer-who-only-kills-serial-killers drama. (SHOWTIME, 2009)
- The United States of Tara — Mom has multiple personalities, led by Juno‘s Diablo Cody. Love it or hate it. (SHOWTIME, 2010)
- The Closer — Kyra Sedwick has a southern accent. (TNT, 2010)
- Friday Night Lights — Haven’t seen it. Heard it’s good. Hated the movie. (DirecTV, 2010)
- American Idol — Because Ellen is replacing crazy Paula, I’m going to try and watch, but there is just so much of it! I don’t have time! (FOX, January 2010)
Other Helpful Links