Tuesday, September 08, 2009

At Least It's Tuesday

At Chili's request I planned to do an Autumn TV Roundup. I've left it a bit late and we are almost literally staring down the barrel of premiere time so I'm going to mish mash this up with 10 Things Tuesday. It'll be lists, which is very TTTesque but I can't guarantee that any one list will be 10 things or that all the lists put together will be divisible by 10. I can't be held accountable for things like this, I can't even balance my checkbook. Stay tuned throughout the day for updates.

This first one will be about returning shows which I anticipate with eagerness.

1. Sons of Anarchy's 2nd season premieres tonight at 10pm on Fx. It was created by a gentleman that did some work in the writers' room and in front of the camera for The Shield. If you know The Shield that should tell you all you need to know about the line it walks between quality and sensationalism. The cast is top notch from their leather to their lace so I urge you to watch it on the strength of that alone.

2. How I Met Your Mother comes back at us on (wait for it...) September 21st on CBS. Neil Patrick Harris's triumphant return to television aside this is a beautifully crafted, exquisitely funny and ridiculously easy to watch piece of work. A lot of people call Seinfeld the ultimate NYC sitcom. I was never able to watch it, just really didn't float my cross island ferry. For me HIMYM is all that I love about NYC and all that I know I need to laugh about in a self-deprecating way.

3. In the same vein and on the same channel and even cleverly premiering on the same night we have The Big Bang Theory. If you like smart funny you'll actually have to study up to get all the jokes on this one. Fortunately the untutored among us (I'm looking at me) can enjoy it, too. If you think this just isn't for you I dare you to watch just one episode and if Jim Parsons' Sheldon doesn't win you over then I'll concede you just can't be won.

4. Heroes I'm still excited about. Also September 21 but on NBC. I agree that last season was lackluster and confusing but I'm willing to give it one more shot. If they ever waste a talent like Kristen Bell again, though, we're totally breaking up.

5. Chuck doesn't return until February, it will take over the Heroes slot, I believe. I'm so glad that this heartwarming adventure of a show got a reprieve from the Idiot Axe Masters. I hope you will throw your support behind it, I can't imagine you'll be disappointed. Who doesn't want the nerd to beat James Bond? Chuck will always be first pick for my own personal Geek Squad.

6. Grey's Anatomy is coming back 9/24 and, wow, I struggled about whether or not to put it on this list. We are so close to a break up and all the signs point to something big, bloody and requiring absolute vats of chocolate ice cream in the near future. *SPOILER ALERT* Two characters were on their deathbeds in the season closer last May and they seem to have resurrected the wrong one! It is my understanding that T.R. Knight and his character, George, will not be returning. Yet, his former soul mate will be. Fucking travesty. Fucking fucking ridiculous. Anyway, I remain a respectful and admiring fan of creator, Shonda Rimes, this one great rift notwithstanding so I do plan to stick with the show and see what happens. If I sever ties I will miss, among others, Chandra Wilson most acutely.

7. Bones is back September 17 (raise your hands if you've heard that phrase seventy quajillion times while watching TNT's summer offerings). Emily Deschanel, much like her sister, is a delight to behold. I remain a devoted Angela-Hodgins 'shipper and have high hopes for them this season. Well, in my heart. My head knows better.

8. Fringe is also back on the 17th. If you watched a couple of episodes at the beginning and couldn't get into this...well, if that happened you clearly aren't stalking Josh Jackson as closely as I (and others I won't name) am. Jackson obsession notwithstanding the show seems to have legs. They've figured out how to use both actors' and characters' strengths to their advantages. It remains to be seen whether they will turn the X-Files corner and lose people by making episodes interconnect too deeply to encourage occasional watchers. Just bring on the Josh Jackson and I'll be happy but I will be honest with you about the show as a whole. For now I give it a good recommendation.

9. Medium has moved to CBS and will be holding down the middle child slot on its "Mysteries of the Mind" Friday nights between Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs. Sometimes the weekly plots are farfetched or foolishly simplistic but no better or worse than anything else of that ilk on the tube these days. What keeps me coming back is the Dubois family. Never, I believe, has a family or a marital relationship been so perfectly portrayed on screen. It's real. So real it's sometimes painful. And yet, if I met myself a Joe Dubois I'd marry him in half a heartbeat. You know how I feel about marriage, too. (Miflohny, I know I owe you recaps, working on it!)

10. Southland will come back with a great yawp (we hope) on the 25th as well. It's a dark, gritty LA Cop Drama of the type the NBC is notorious for canceling with little or no reason. I'm with Citizen Rob in my complete amazement at their canceling of Life. I really like Southland and they should count themselves extremely lucky that someone like Regina King is bringing her bat to their ballgame. I hope they don't squander her.

11. Brothers & Sisters is in the Heroes categories. I fought with myself over whether or not to include it in this list. My loyalty to the plethora of strong, older female characters won out. It's a bit scattered and soapy but the pleasure of watching Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths play pretend for me outweighs many of the minor inconsistencies. I also credit the real, beautiful relationship between characters Kevin and Scotty. I put it second only to Medium's Dubois' in terms of TV relationships and far ahead of any other same sex couple on the small screen.

12. High School football drama, Friday Night Lights, was recently bumped from its fall slot to one in the summer. Again NBC looking for a kick right in the vagina (tm. Rescue Me current season finale). Citing low ratings the network farmed out this cult favorite in favor of a new show. Apparently having no proven audience at all is preferable to having a smaller but rabidly loyal one. Thanks NBC, way to reward repeat viewers. It's OK ABC will still always be more callous than you. Please set your TiVOs to catch FNL when it comes around on the guitar. Peter Berg's unflinching writers and rough documentary style will make you wiggly in all the right ways.

Come back in a little bit and I'll go over new shows that have me on the edge of my seat. I'll warn you right now I think it's going to be a short list.

Technical notes: I'm using this grid. I planned to link to all the shows and actors but as I got deep into the writing of today's posts I realized there weren't enough hours in the day. I apologize for the lack but simply couldn't do it.


  1. Sons of Anarchy in the top slot. Yes, indeed!

    I agree 100% with your assessment of Medium. I can't always get behind the stories (and I have to agree with those who complain about the fact that some of the supporting characters, who should know better, should just stop doubting Allison when she tells them something; it's just disingenuous), but the marriage/family portrayal is SPOT ON.

    I regret not getting into How I Met Your Mother.

  2. I think you could step into HIMYM now and not feel too badly about it. You can also easily catch up with it on DVD and I believe Lifetime has the syndicated eps. It's very good.

  3. Miflohny2:52 PM

    So I have to wait until NEXT summer for more Friday Night Lights!?! Well, I guess I should be happy that there will be more, but still...

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on that TV thingamajiggy :-)

  4. Miflohny, yeah that's what I keep telling myself. At least the fuckers didn't cancel it. Sigh.

  5. Oh, Sons of Anarchy. I can't get enough.