Watch and Drop, Fall TV 2009
It’s time to confess just how much of a quitter I am. TV Pilot Season (also known as Season Premiere Season, SPS) for me is like being given an all access pass to some sort of giant chain store and told that I can have as much as I can carry. I go a little nuts. I watch everything. And I’ve been waiting until I had V under my belt to write this post. I’ve seen it all now, folks, and it was exhausting.
All in all, I tried out ten new shows, and kept up with thirteen others. That’s a total of twenty-three episodes per week. It’s no wonder I had to drop some, if only for my own sanity. If TV watching were my full-time job, I probably wouldn’t have dropped a single one, but alas, I don’t watch TV for a living. I do all this crap for free, so you better appreciate it. Anyway, out of the nine pilots I watched, I have kept only half of them, and dropped the other five. Also, since I’m making confessions, I’m on the verge of dropping a show I’ve watched almost religiously for three seasons now. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I don’t want to be talked out of this, but suffice it to say that this show is always the very last one that I watch, and that it has been stressing me out so hard core of late that I’m not even enjoying it. TV should not be stressful, friends. It should be happy and bouncy and full of love.
- The Good Wife, Wednesdays, 10/9 Central, CBS — I thought this show looked boring at first, but I’ve been enjoying it and never once had the urge to stop watching. It’s been pretty slow going at first, but the legal cases are interesting, the acting is top notch, and I like where the overall story is heading. I’m in for now. (Picked up by CBS for a full season order.)
- Glee, Wednesdays, 9/8 Central, FOX — There are some significant creative bumps in the road for this show, but I don’t really care about that. I’m not one of those people who watch for the storylines or character development. I watch for the musical numbers, plain and simple. And when it’s at top form, as it was this week with the episode “Wheels,” that’s just icing on the cake for me. Creator Ryan Murphy has said that the tone of “Wheels” is how he would like the show to feel tone-wise from now on, and that’s a good thing, but I think that guy is kind of on crack. I mean, have you seen Nip/Tuck? Point of interest: Joss Whedon is set to direct an episode in the back nine. Get excited! (Picked up by FOX for a full season order.)
- Modern Family, Wednesdays, 9:30/8:30 Central, ABC — This show — along with the surprisingly hilarious Parks and Recreation — is one of the top two funniest sitcoms on TV right now. I always get a belly laugh. (This is not to say that I don’t love How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and The Office, but those have turned into a different kind of love, one in which I love spending time with the characters, but I don’t particularly laugh out loud very often. The Office has been sadly lacking belly laughs this season.) (Picked up by ABC for a full season order.)
- Community, Thursdays, 8/7 Central, NBC — This show is on crack, but I’m getting attached to it. You really have to pay attention when you’re watching, otherwise the jokes aren’t funny, and some of it is ho-hum for me, but when it’s on, it’s ON. (Picked up by NBC for a full season order.)
- Stargate Universe, Fridays, 9:00 EST/7:00 PST, SyFy — I’m a fan of these guys, despite their major flaws, so I’m sticking with this little experiment, but there’s been some major hoo-ha goin’ down on the internet in regards to this show. As I predicted, a lot of traditional Stargate fans are not happy with the new direction. They complain about the sex and the violence and the characters being unlikeable. This was to be expected, when you try to give a crowd who’s used to fluffy bunnies rabid wolves. But there’s also backlash on the other side. People who are used to more sophisticated television are giving the show a hard time, saying it’s weak and poorly plotted, and most interesting (and I don’t think I agree) sexist. The show is stuck in the middle, and I’m willing to give it time to find it’s way out, even if others on both sides have written it out. (Full season already filmed.)
- Accidentally on Purpose, Mondays, 8:30/7:30 Central, CBS — If I’m being honest, even though this show was completely trashed by critics, I kind of enjoyed it. But I’ll watch anything about babies and pregnancy, so I’m not really the best person to trust in the matter. Anyway, I only stopped watching because of time issues. I didn’t love it, so it went. The ratings have been solid, but not spectacular, and CBS recently ordered five more episodes, which leaves it four episodes shy of a full twenty-two episode season.
- Eastwick, Wednesdays, 10/9 Central, ABC — Watched the pilot, wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t sure what was going on, really. The tone was all over the place, it was kind of cliched in lots of places, and I just felt all BLAH afterwards. It didn’t help that the show was filmed on the old Stars Hollow Gilmore Girls set. I just kept thinking, why aren’t I watching that show? Viewers and ABC agreed with me. More episodes will not be produced after the first thirteen, effectively canceling it. Ugly Betty will probably move from Friday to fill its spot.
- Cougar Town, Wednesdays, 8:30/7:30 Central, ABC — I kind of liked the pilot, but it was so manic and weird that I just didn’t feel like watching more. I think I might be Courtney Coxed out. Doesn’t matter, though, ABC picked it up for a full season order almost immediately.
- Mercy, Wednesdays, 8/7 Central, NBC — This was the most god-awful episode of television I have sat through in at least five years. NBC has not picked it up past the original thirteen episodes ordered. Goodbye, Mercy! But meanwhile, its cancellation leaves room open for Chuck to come back in January instead of March, so hurrah!
- FlashForward, Thursdays, 8/7 Central, ABC — You know what? This actually wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. I just have too much TV on Thursdays, and something had to go. When it comes to mindfuck TV, Lost did it first, Lost did it best. Just go watch Lost, is my advice. If FlashForward is still around in two seasons, I’ll catch up. Meanwhile, no thank you, even though NBC has picked it up for a full season.
Updates on other shows:
- The Big Bang Theory is raking in it’s highest ratings ever, mostly due to word of mouth and Jim Parsons’ well-deserved Emmy nomination.
- V‘s pilot was engaging, but its second episode left much to be desired. It’s best when making remakes of cheesy 80s TV shows to go the route of Battlestar Galactica, not just remake what went before. This might change with the advent of it’s third showrunner, Scott Rosenbaum — formerly of Chuck — but for now, V is kind of being cheesy and cliched instead of edgy and mind-blowing.
- Fringe is in trouble in the ratings (as is The Jay Leno Show). JJ Abrams has gone on record, telling fans not to worry just yet, but the show is kind of drowning on the clusterfuck that is Thursday night TV.
- Sanctuary‘s second season has been a refreshing change of pace. It’s first season was stunted and predictable, with a lot of wooden acting and stupid storylines. It still needs work, but it’s so much improved that I’m not really thinking about its flaws very much. Bravo, show.
- Dollhouse, to no one’s surprise, has been canceled. FOX will burn off the remaining episodes in double airings on December 4, 11, and 18, with the final three airing on January 8, 15, and 22 (the series finale). I think it was a daring show that asked questions audiences didn’t want to hear, and I’m glad it had a chance at a second season. Now hopefully Joss Whedon will finally move to cable where he belongs.
- NBC recently ordered six more episodes of Chuck, lending fuel to the idea that the show is being set for January now instead of March. This will make the third season only shy of a full season order by three episodes.
- When the fuck is Lost coming back?
- Jane Lynch will offically be back as Constance Carmell for several episodes of the wonderful Starz comedy, Party Down. Wahooo!
What about you guys? What shows did you drop? Surprising shows that you like? Ones that you’re tired of? I want you to tell me, right now.