Fall TV: My Reviews
Fall TV for 2013
Okay, now that most of the premiere's have happened (there's a couple more next Friday that are on my radar, but I'll suspend the point of views on those until they've happened) I would now like to give my impression of the shows I've waited for and watched. I'll do my very best to be brief, but I make no promises.
Let's Begin with the Good!
- The Blacklist (NBC, Monday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): Hallelujah! A cool bad-good guy at last. I am into this show. It's not everyday that I move an old favorite to the DVR list because I don't want to wait to see a new show, but this one is a winner in my book. It's intrigue, it's action, it's darkly humorous, it's everything the other shows are not. I originally discounted this show because I thought it was a competitive rival to another bad-man plays at being good: Hannibal, but I stand corrected! Two very different premises, and both worth the watching time!
- Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Monday, 9:00EST/8:00CST): This show won me over with history, then hooked me with the British babe, Tom Mison! I could listen to him say his lines over and over! And they've kept the writing clean, not a lot of campy "he's-traveled-through-time-and-he's-never-heard-of-the-Kardashians" stuff. When they do let him be surprised by something, he's intellectual and savvy about it. He's a soldier, after all. And the biblical aspect of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is just enough recognizably creepy for people with faith or fear that you want to see what happens next. It's not without flaws, though. I mean, bodies that leave the morgue on their own steam should raise a flag somewhere, am I right?
- Boardwalk Empire (HBO, Sunday, 9:00EST/8:00CST): As usual, I love this gritty, seedy show. I love the birth of the gumshoe crime novel-style story. I love anything that deals with history in as near-accurate way as possible. Even if they bend a rule or change a detail here and there, if they stick to the events as near as possible, then I'm usually on board. Besides, I love Steve Buscemi and the love-em-but-kill-em Italians of the early Mafia.
- Castle (ABC, Monday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): Even though I have relegated this to DVR status, I still love Beckett and Castle! I like the way they keep humor nearby even in the tense, action scenes. And Nathan Fillion ... well, if ever I wanted to create a love child with anyone out of wedlock, it'd be a guy like he always plays. He's got an excellent sense of character, comic timing and heartfelt emotions on screen. I'd watch him reciting the phone book because even then I'm sure he'd make it hilarious.
- 2 Broke Girls (CBS, Monday, Its time slot is fluid right now-though it is usually in a first or second hour prime time slot): The writing in this show is excellent. Just enough to make it naughty-suggestive without going over the line (well, maybe a toe now and then). I have to suspend a lot of disbelief with this one, but it's good fun either way.
- Person of Interest (CBS, Tuesday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): I like the dog, Jim Caveizel and the new gal they've got playing his nearest equal with a little more of a business-like evil in her "let's get this done" attitude. I'm only unhappy about the Root storyline. I wish they'd just end that already. To me, it detracts from the parts of the story I like. But that's just me.
- Big Bang Theory (CBS, Thursday, 8:00EST/7:00CST): If I am ever reincarnated, I want to come back as one of the writers on this show. Or I want to be Ms. Bialik's personal assistant. Or Mr. Parson's. Or any of them, really. I like the way the show's characters work together. And Cuoco has a great frustrated face and a realistic "pretty-girl loves a geek" character. I never miss this show mostly because I wouldn't want to miss a Sheldonism.
- The Crazy Ones (CBS, Thursday, 9:00EST/8:00CST): This show was one I had the most hope for going into the season (Hello? It's Robin Williams!). But what I got was not exactly the homerun hit I hoped for. It seems forced, as if the writing is too awkward to make the actors feel their characters. Soften up a little, slow down the dialogue so we can hear and get the jokes. Then I'll be impressed. And let the man have a little time to be subtly funny, not vomiting the canned humor all over the place. Come on, CBS! He's a professional! Let him work!
- NCIS Los Angeles (CBS, Tuesday, 9:00EST/8:00CST): Still like this show. I'm waiting for the cute blonde and the girl with the weird eyeball to do it already. That's the only reason I keep watching. And I know NCIS is good, but I think Ziva's leaving and the way they're playing it up just hurts too much to watch. Besides, the next show is on anyway at that time slot.
- Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Tuesday, 8:00EST/7:00CST): This show tries hard, and I give them an A for effort. But it's too predictable and the credibility is damaged by the mole-like Skye. As for the rest of the characters, I want to know how the stories will unfold, but I expected more superheros and less super political/espionage junk plots. Maybe if they held to a more definitive standard order of operations, I could get into the show. For now, I'll just watch in the hope of seeing some Avengers references.
- Elementary (CBS, Thursday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): I only watch this show to hear Johnny Lee Miller's voice (and any other foriegn friends and frenemies he might drum up).
- Criminal Minds (CBS, Wednesday, 9:00EST/8:00CST): This show is tired and not as exciting as it was in its heyday. It needs a kickstart. But for the suggestion that A.J. Cook's character J.J. and the new director may have a "thing" going on, I'm very disappointed. That's not where I'd have gone. Let Vangness's Garcia character have a little fun with a steamy relationship for once. Leave the happily marrieds out of infidelity, please. Maybe make her thing with Shemar Moore's character Morgan a real love triangle with a scary threat in the mix. Or better yet, let Grey Gubler's Dr. Reid get someone to have an open relationship with at last. Even if it's that older woman Tripplehorn is playing as Agent Blake, the one he's always challenging or tryting to impress on the team!
Favorite this Fall!
What is your favorite prime-time television network this fall?
Now for the Bad.
So far, the bad shows (even though I watch a few now and then if my housework is caught up) are mostly blah sitcoms. Normally, I like a good sitcom. These flubs however are not doing it for me very well. I'll list them with a little about why I don't enjoy them.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS, Monday, 8:00EST/7:00CST): Used to love this show. It had good writing and a great sense of comraderie. Now it's like one of those couples you see that you know they should break up, but they're hanging in to the bitter, messy end because the sex is still okay or they are waiting for the right "next-best-thing" to tempt them astray. I say, get on with it already, writers! I didn't cancel you and make this the final season, so don't torture me (and everyone else). If this is truly the last season, go out with dignity! Don't wait until the last episode to meet THE MOTHER. Let us see a little of the development of the relationship. The show got close already (showing a flash-forward that made me get all bubbly with excitement) but then it pulled back and left me hanging in the tired-storyline breeze.
- Mom (CBS, Monday, 9:30EST/8:30CST): Nothing much to interest or to entertain. Tired, campy cheese.
- We Are Men (CBS, Monday, 8:30EST/7:30CST): Has a little potential with the date-the-daughter angle, but otherwise it's tiresome to watch and the plot drags.
- Back in the Game (ABC, Wednesday, 8:30EST/7:30CST): For me, this show is too silly. The characters are too sharp and angular, and the protagonist/antagonist relationships are too bullying and openly mean to be realistic. Bullies are not always open; they're like snakes. They come in subtly and strike fast, and then they leave their victims bleeding, paralyzed or hemorhaging without a care. But that wouldn't be a very good sitcom. I think this show would work better as a dramedy. The comedy just isn't working here.
- Reign (CW, Thursday 9:00EST/8:00CST): PULEASE! I know this show was billed as Marie Antoinette meets Gossip Girl or some such nonsense, but the two worlds should never collide. The Sophia Coppola movie used subtle hints and the right mixture of music-over-montage to show the young Marie Antionette as the dauphine and future doomed Queen of France. I never watched Gossip Girl, which is probably why this show does not work for me. The devil-may-care use of incorrect footwear and attire, the messy timelines and details gone awry take too much away from what could be a sexy, historical drama. Instead they've made it a show that looks like people in some sort of immersion experience.
Here's how I picture the characters when the cameras aren't rolling: "Let's pretend I'm a future Queen Consort of France who's going to be a widow in less than two years of marriage. Then I'll become a plotting, crazy, future mother of a king who never sees him crowned because I'm beheaded and die. And you be Catherine de Medici who hates my guts and would rather see me drowned. You'll try to have me made a slut in the eyes of court, but after many attempts at seduction plots go awry you'll be rid of me when your son (super hot, but volatile toward our "love") dies and I move back to Scotland to marry an ambitious cousin whom I later see killed in a tricky plot twist."
CW, really, try a little harder and maybe I'll revisit.
Now, the Naughty (and for the record, I like the Naughty list, but they're not shows I'll DVR or try my hardest to see if it's not convenient).
- American Horror Story-Coven (FX, Wednesday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): I am into this changeling show, but it has some pretty wicked things to show for itself. But I watch because the stories are so "out there" for me. I can't give it up.
- Master's of Sex (Showtime, Sunday, 10:00EST/9:00CST): Frustration, deliberation, and sex. This is a saucy, naughty little treasure I would DVR but I wouldn't want the kids to accidently run across it and watch it. It's got a realistic portrayal (according to the NPR reviews and my own research into Masters and Johnson's work-because hey, I wanted to know if it was realistic or not) and the sexy quailty of the main characters is just enough to make you anticipate the moment of, in Sheldon Cooper's terminology, coitus. I'm in it until the end.
- Grey's Anatomy (ABC, Thursday 9:00EST/8:00CST): This show is one I've loved, hated and loved again. I have a mixed bag of feelings about this season, though. I liked episode two a lot. But there is too much drama and not enough comraderie like the early seasons. We'll see how it goes. But I like the naughty-vibe it has. Disappointing that we didn't get to see Karev's love scene with the intern (one he might actually have a good thing with at last). And stop twisting the plot so much. Makes it too hard to care when there are too many threads tangled together.
In Closing: That's Not Everything!
Alright. That's my take on TV for this season. You'll notice I left out a few. Hart of Dixie (CW) is on my DVR, but it's not a big favorite of mine because they make us look a little ridiculous sometimes on there. And if it really was a small town, people wouldn't be so reserved with their opinions and behaviors. Believe me.
Awkward (MTV) is missing, but that's because it hasn't premiered yet. But I've got my doubts on that one. And the Carrie Diarie's (CW) will be next Friday. I'm hoping to be caught up on my Sex in the City episodes eventaully so this show will mean more to me. It's cute and I love the 1980's exposure, but I don't cry if I miss this one. And Dracula (NBC) is coming next Friday (just in time for Halloween!) and I'll have a front row seat for the first episode at least. Jonathan Rhys Meyers! Enough said.