Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New School Year! (And by school, I mean TV)

I'm trying not to reflect too heavily on the sad realization that the new TV season is the most exciting thing going on in my life right now. Oh, I started writing a new book, too.

But back to the exciting stuff -- fall TV. Sure I have my summer reality TV favs that I indulge in like comfort food, sprinkled with some high quality cable dramas for flavour. But generally summer is a pretty bleak time for TV. Not that there's anything wrong with that; summer's for outdoor things.

But I do get embarrassingly and inappropriately excited when the new fall shows premiere and the new seasons for old shows start. Actually, I want to amend that statement. Really, my anxious anticipation is almost exclusively reserved for the new seasons of my old favs. I'm basically too lazy to try new shows when they start. The networks are so freakin' fickle that I don't see the point of making any kind of commitment or forming an attachment to a show, just to have it yanked off the schedule. Similarly, if a show becomes a hit, the networks generally repeat the first few episodes during one of their ever predictable breaks in the new programming.

So, what I'm looking forward to: Old shows...

Heros for sure. I finally saw the entire first season on DVD. This is one I didn't discover until it became a hit and never did see the first 7 or 8 episodes. I watched the entire thing over the past couple of weeks and noticed a lot of things I'd missed the first time around -- connections and details and emotional impacts I'd missed, since I hadn't seen it from the start. The premiere episode didn't disappoint. It answered a few of the cliffhanger questions (but not all) and asked a whole bunch of new ones. Looking forward to this show.

Prison Break. I am still a total sucker for this show, but if they don't get out of that Panamanian prison soon, they're likely losing me as a viewer.

Lost. Enough said.

The Office. Enough said.

Battlestar Galactica. But I still haven't seen season 3 and need to rent that first.

Dexter for sure. Can't wait until that starts again. This weekend!!!!

Friday Night Lights. I've only watched the first 4 or so episodes of last season but hoped to get caught up before the new season starts. I finally cried uncle and conceded that I should always trust Molly's judgement where TV goes, as I have found myself hooked on the quiet but compelling character driven drama of this show. Definitely my style of TV drama, in spite of the fact that the entire setting and centre of all the drama is based in a culture totally alien and bizarre and warped in my opinion. (Making celebrities out of young boys like that has so many things wrong with it in my mind I don't even want to get started. I've probably already offended all my small town American friends. Sorry.) But the show itself highlights the negative side of this kind of idolization of kids too young to know what to do with it. Never have I been more sure that Canadian Universities are right to prohibit sports scholarships then when watching this show. The lure of those scholarships and professional careers after college, puts pressure on these high school kids for all the wrong reasons. Surely there are better ways to get deserving kids who can't afford it into universities. (Sorry, getting off the digression soap box now.)

Ugly Betty. Another one I didn't start watching until the last season was almost over, but City TV here in Toronto repeated every episode over the summer so I'm all caught up. What fabulously fun characters, writing and acting on this show. I particularly love Mark and Amanda. I'm so impressed with how deliciously evil yet sympathetic these characters are. Not to mention hilarious. Both actors are so well cast it's crazy.

House... I think I'm over this show. Actually, the premiere episode is playing as I type this and I'm bored (hence my blogging.) I agree with Cuddy. He needs his team back. Who cares if his patient is dying. The audience is dying of boredom! Is the old cast really gone? I know they all quit but I assumed they'd include some plot contrivance to get them all back. Anyone know? Haven't been paying attention. Perhaps all the interesting storylines for those 3 characters had already been played out...

Grey's Anatomy. I'm still a sucker for these characters and the great writing on this show... But I am a bit over the Derek and Meredith soap opera. Time to bust those two up for good--or take the in an unexpected direction. And I'm worried this who will go down hill if Shandra puts all her efforts into the new show... (And as I said above, I refuse to get attached to it until it's proved to have legs. I watched the first season of Grey's Anatomy on DVD, too.)

On the reality TV front....

I'm starting to get over my serious love for the ANTM. Don't know if I'll be willing to give up the 40 or so minutes a week this fall to watch this season. I probably won't be able to resist the Survivor, though, in spite of my insistence every year since this show started that I won't watch it. Somehow, I always get hooked. Reality TV is the devil.

What's everyone else looking forward to?


Unknown said...

I just discovered House this summer and watched the first three seasons in a short period of time. I'm hook to be honest.

Yes, the old team will be coming back, but I'm not sure how. All their names are still in the opening credits if that means anything. :)

I'm looking forward to The Bionic Woman tonight and CSI tomorrow. I also really enjoyed Journeyman on Monday night. Very Quantum Leap ish with a twist.

Marcy said...

Desperate Houswives on Sunday!!!! Can't wait!


Molly O'Keefe said...

I am interested in Journeyman too -- I thought it looked great. Watched part of K-Ville because I love Cole whathisname - not so good.

Prison Break --- man I go between pissed off and impressed. When does Friday Night Lights start - and Maureen - welcome.

Anonymous said...

My top shows to look forward to this year:
1. Dexter (is it wrong to have a serious crush on a serial killer?)
2. Lost (I cannot BELIEVE it won't be on till like January or something)
3. America's Next Top Model (for some reason this show has become a staple for family viewing (okay, so I have a dysfunctional family) - even my 8 year old son picks his favourite model.
4. House (because I can skip some episodes and not be confused about what happens. But they must be seriously running out of bizarre illnesses by now. And I still have a crush on for Hugh Laurie)

New shows I want to see:
The Reaper. Seriously it looks funny and has gotten great reviews.

Shows from last year I wish I'd spent the summer catching up on:
Heroes. I may have to do a marathon viewing weekend. Who needs clean clothes anyway?
The Office - I've missed way too many episodes. Steve Carell is a genius.

Shows I'm embarrassed to be seen watching yet still do:
1. Beauty and the Geek.
Don't ask.

Um, I think I'll stop now. I'm supposed to find time to write. And cook for the family.
Congrats on starting a new book, Maureen!

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I watched Journeyman, too. Acutally right after I posted that blog. (I'd recorded it on Monday night.)

Yes. Very well done. Interesting. Hard to say whether or not figuring out who he's supposed to help and how will be interesting enough over the long term... But his lack of control over the entire thing adds some edge. (and I love that actor. His American accent attempt was distracting for the first little while, but I stopped noticing.)

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, and Nelsa. Who am I kidding. I'll be watching ANTM too.

Anonymous said...

I seriously have to lose some shows... I want to add Life and Bionic woman to my current schedule, which means losing something..
That might be House..

Saw Reaper and it's cute, as is Chuck.. not sure if they are long term shows.. but love Chuck just for Adam Baldwin.

K J Gillenwater said...

How funny! My husband and I were remarking last night how good "House" was without the sidekick doctor team! I love the screwed up relationship House has with Cuddy and cancer doctor. You could really throw any old young doctor team in there, and I would be happy.

Canada has no sports scholarships? That's terrible! Yes, there is the competition...however, the REAL problem is the amount of money college sports brings in for schools, not the fact that there are scholarships.

Why does someone only have to have fantastic grades to get a scholarship? I think atheltic ability and commitment should be rewarded as well. And without scholarships very few athletes would continue their sport beyond high school. Supporting sports through scholarships is more positive than negative, IMHO.

By the way, my high school was NOT this nuts over any sport. So take the show with a grain of salt, please.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I liked House too -- I thought the actual "case" and what happened was really exciting and heartbreaking -- HOW BAD WAS BIONIC WOMAN????? OH my god - that was terrible!!!

I agree with Kristin - sports scholarships are an important way to get kids to school who might not have a chance -- it's the perversion of all the things that make high school and college sports so character-building and exciting that have destroyed the purity of sports. My brother is a division three wrestling coach - no money there for anyone no one is ever going to go pro - and I've never seen anything half so moving as the national tournament at that level. Anyway - Bionic Woman -- very bad.

Anonymous said...

Bionic woman was truly awful.. apparently there was serious network interference, but I'm not even sure that was a big enough excuse..
The actual bionic woman is so bland, although I do love Katee Sackhoff, bad bionic woman.. who is amazing on Battlestar..

The rest - awful.

Maureen McGowan said...

I watched after Sinead reminded me it was on, and bad bionic woman was the only interesting thing for sure. I'm not big on shows where the fights to character development ratio is so skewed toward the fights. I don't care about any of the characters yet. Not her, not the doctor guy. They're just kinda bland.

And Molly and Kristen... We're just going to have to disagree on the sports scholarships. If scholarships are given for anything beyond academic or economic need, why not for other after school activities, too? Why only sports? Why single these kids out above all others? I know how ingrained it is into the system now... how college sports have become like a business for the universities such that it can never change... I just think the priorities are all messed up. I mean, isn't university supposed to be about learning? And it just further reinforces the idea that the only worthwhile non-scholastic activity to participate in is sports. Or does it assume that if you participate in a more nerdy after-school hobby you're smarter and therefore have a chance at an athletic scholarship? That's a messed up assumption, too.

Oh, and about House. You guys are probably right. I was blogging and viewing at the same time and didn't give my full attention to the show. Perhaps if I had, I'd have liked it too. I just want House to surprise me again... I used to laugh out loud at least once per episode (out of shock) and find I'm not doing that anymore.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I totally agree with you on other non-sports extracurriculars getting money too -- I think some do - ie chorus and theater. But I know debate didn't get any and neither did speech. But maybe if kids in band got some money to go to school kids wouldn't pin every hope on improving their three pointers.

That scholarships for football and basketball and baseball so outweigh the money given for women's diving or for track and field is part of the problem --

it is so expensive to go to university now and chess players need help too!!!!

I don't disagree with you MAureen! It's not fair at all but some kids get to go to school and actually get an education thanks to some of those scholarships--

See what a good show Friday Night Lights is??? Prompting such discussions!!!

Maureen McGowan said...

It is a great show... And I'm still only about 5 episodes in! I totally let my bias against the whole football culture keep me from watching this show at first. Shame on me.

MJFredrick said...

I'm with you on Friday Night Lights - discovered it when they showed the last three episodes a few weeks back, and went and bought the DVDs. I LOVE it!

Grey's is NOT helping itself, IMO. I HATE George/Izzie, and now wimpy Alex. Cristina and Burke were my favorite, now that's over.

I'm looking forward to seeing Supernatural this week!!!

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