Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall 2008 TV Season

It may not be fall by astronomical standards, but it's fall on FOX, as the new TV season is off on an early start. I suppose a number of CW shows have also premiered, but I haven't gotten hooked into any of them, so I don't much care. I do, however, have two FOX shows on my schedule, and I watched their premieres the last two nights.

I watched the first season of Sarah Connor Chronicles in the spring and got hooked. I mean, it's Summer Glau, and she's awesome. The funny thing is that I have somehow never seen any of the Terminator movies. I mean, obviously I like that genre, and they're famous enough that even people who don't particularly like the genre have seen them, so I don't know how I've managed to unintentionally avoid them, but I have. Anyway, while I may miss certain nods to the movies, like the "Come with me if you want to live" line and all, it's not like the TV show doesn't make sense without the movies, so I still enjoy the show. It has yet to prove itself to be particularly intelligent or profound--I guess there's already a brilliant show that explores the condition of synthetic being--and any story with people traveling back in time starts creating confusing paradoxes, but it is a lot of fun.

Last night I saw the Fringe series premiere. I'll have to get used to Joshua Jackson. Even though it's been years and I never even watched Dawson's Creek on a regular basis, I still see him as Pacey. And then of course there's Dr. Denethor. John Noble seems to have cornered the market on bad-fathers-gone-insane. Anyway, I liked the show. The premise is cool, the characters are fun, the action is entertaining, the mystery potentially intriguing... I'll definitely tune in next week. J.J. Abrams, who created the show but who I understand didn't have much to do with the making of the pilot because he was busy with Star Trek, said that the episodes following the pilot are better than the pilot, so that certainly sounds promising.

And there is much more to come, including some frustrating time conflicts. Thank goodness for online shows (I don't have DVR). Anyway, here are the premieres of the shows I'm planning on tuning in for - my personal fall schedule:

Monday, Sept. 8
8pm - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX)
Sarah Connor protects her son John, destined to lead mankind's resistance against a future robot takeover, from robots sent from the future to kill him.

Tuesday, Sept. 9
8pm premiere, 9pm regular time slot - Fringe (FOX)
FBI agent Olivia Dunham is tapped for a special division that investigates crimes, disasters, and other phenomena related to the fringe sciences.

Monday, Sept. 22
8pm - Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
BBT: Nerds Leonard and Sheldon and their new "normal girl" neighbor Penny learn that they can learn from each other. Hilarity ensues.
HIMYM: Ted tells his two kids the long, meandering story of how he met their mother. Legendary hilarity ensues.
I've seen only one episode of BBT--twice (funny how you always manage to tune in to the same rerun over and over--don't they ever show a different rerun?)--but I thought it was pretty funny, so I'd give it a shot. My brother is a huge HIMYM fan, and the dozen or so episodes I've seen were hilarious. I don't know if I can come in after missing so many seasons, though; it's not a serial, but it does refer to itself a lot, so I wouldn't get as much out of it as someone who has been following it all along. I may not actually watch any of these shows, since the time slot is already crowded.

9pm - Heroes (NBC)
If you don't know what this one is about, get out of your box.
Last season was a little disappointing, since the first had been so good (except for the relatively weak first season finale). Let's hope this one picks it back up again.

Tuesday, Sept. 23
9pm - The Mentalist (CBS)
Patrick Jane, an abnormally observational, intuitive man who previously passed himself off as a psychic, works as a consultant to the California Bureau of Investigation.
Not sure about this one, but I'll give it a shot and see how it is. It does conflict with Fringe, so this would probably be the one I'd catch online.

Sunday, Sept. 28
9pm - Desperate Housewives (ABC)
The housewives of Wisteria Lane struggle through their stressful, scandalous, tragic, sensational, hectic, quirky lives with differing grace, clumsiness, tenacity, grief, joy, and humor.
Even if Nathan Fillion isn't on it anymore (I'm not sure actually if he will be returning for his guest role), I thought last season was pretty funny. I'll give this season a try (what else do I do on Sunday nights?), but with the season finale "five years later..." cliffhanger (kind of like the BSG season 2 finale, but not quite) it seems there have been some major changes on Wisteria Lane. Hopefully, they'll be good changes, or at least entertaining ones.

Monday, Sept. 29
8 pm - Chuck (NBC)
Having accidentally downloaded all of the FBI, NSA, and CIA's secrets into his brain before the computer containing these secrets crashed, Buy More sales employee Chuck is a valued government commodity who must help the agencies while maintaining the appearance of his normal life.
This will be my major time conflict as Adam Baldwin goes head-to-head with Summer Glau. With Chuck's first season cut short by the writer's strike and Sarah Connor Chronicles premiering mid-season, I didn't have this scheduling conflict last year. But I'm hooked on both. Which I watch on TV will depend on which I find to be more reliable online. But I love Chuck, and I'm interested to see where they'll take it this next season.

10pm - Life (NBC)
Released after serving years of a life sentence for a crime he didn't commit, LAPD detective Charlie Crews returns to the job with a new partner and a new view on life.
I did not watch Life last season, but my dad did and he seemed to really like it. I may give it a shot. Whether I stick with it will depend on how much I like the characters.

Wednesday, Oct. 1
8pm - Pushing Daisies (ABC)
With a single touch, Ned can bring the dead back to life, but there are two caveats: 1) a second touch will kill the revived--permanently and 2) if he does not re-kill the revived with a second touch within one minute of the revival, another roughly equivalent being (a flower for a strawberry, a squirrel for a dog, a human for a human) will die in its place. Emerson Cod, a PI with a penchant for knitting, teams with Ned to solve murder cases by heading down to the morgue, bringing the victim back for a 60-second interview and then returning him or her to death. Complications arise when Ned finds himself "interviewing" his recently murdered childhood sweetheart, whom he cannot bring himself to allow to die again.
My favorite new show last year, I'm definitely looking forward to the new season. I can't believe they've made us wait since last December for new episodes. Hopefully they'll be able to get right back into the groove and keep up the delightful tone, quirky plots, charming characters, and outrageous situations that made the first season so utterly delectable. And there should be more spontaneous singing. Get on that, Kristin.

9pm - Private Practice (ABC)
Having left Seattle Grace hospital (of Grey's Anatomy), Dr. Addison Montgomery practices her neonatal surgery at a small private practice in sunshiny L.A. amidst much drama.
Okay, give me a break. It was there. It was on after Pushing Daisies, and it's so cheery and goes down easy. I'm not a Grey's fan or anything, so I don't really know why I started watching this show. I just remember getting totally choked up and teary watching one of the early episodes where at the end the mothers have to switch the babies they've been raising as their own. *Sniffle.* Anyway, I somehow got hooked. Not really my normal fare, but neither is Desperate Housewives, and I am a girl, after all.

Monday, Oct. 13
10pm - My Own Worst Enemy (NBC)
Family man Henry Spivey is blissfully unaware of his super spy alter ego Edward Albright, thanks to a brain implant. But when the implant malfunctions, Henry starts cluing in on his dangerous double life.
I saw the promos during the Olympics but wasn't interested. But after reading an article about it in Entertainment Weekly, I'm at least willing to give it a go.

Tuesday, Oct. 14
10pm - Eli Stone (ABC)
Hotshot lawyer Eli Stone starts having vivid hallucinations, gets a brain scan and finds he has a basically inoperable brain aneurysm. But these hallucinations (which are usually in the form of a flashy song and dance number, sometimes starring George Michael) seem to be sending him messages, guiding him towards important cases and clients in need. While these visions wreak havoc on his personal and professional life, he's starting to think he may be doing significant good in the world.
Oh, Eli. I don't really watch many legal dramas, but this one's so adorable. And then there's the singing. I love musicals, so every time the characters burst into choreographed numbers in Eli's head, I fall in love with this show all over again.

Well, that's about it for this fall. I'll have to wait for mid-season for Lost, Dollhouse, Reaper, and Castle. But these should be enough to occupy me for the time being. Happy TV Fall!

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