This TV Season
October 5, 2006

Courtesy Lyle comes good news: Eureka will be back in six months!

Just in case you want some reasons to think bad things about my taste, here’s my list of what I’m interested in enough to keep following this season:

Studio 60 — I’m not surprised it’s not keeping the high premiere numbers, because it strikes me as an acquired taste with a little room for improvement, but I’m enjoying it more than I ever did West Wing.
CSI: Miami — Purely for cheese factor. We like to make fun of David Caruso’s wooden and predictable acting.
Boston Legal — I’m replacing Desperate Housewives with this, because it makes me laugh. (Another cool thing about Tivo: if you find yourself picking other things instead of a certain show, then you should rethink whether you really want to watch that show. That’s what happened to me with DH.) BL is so completely over the top, with midgets and sex crimes and lawyers that have absolutely no discretion and should be committed, it’s hilarious.
Gilmore Girls — Although it’s on a very short string, since the creator is no longer with the show.
I used to watch House, but I decided it was too formulaic and repetitive.
Bones — I liked it a bit more last year, because I’m not thrilled with this year’s new boss and the greater emphasis on the former Angel’s sleeping around, but I’m still enjoying the team camaraderie and the lead’s lack of the finer social graces. Sometimes I’m amazed that (a) they’re showing this gross dead body stuff at 8 PM and (b) no one is yet starting a protest movement, and then I remember that it’s only SEX that we have to protect the kiddies from.
While baseball’s on, I’m filling the gap with guilty secret Dancing with the Stars. It reminds me of when I danced ballroom, plus it gives me something to talk about at work with some of the girls.
I know I’m a grownup now, because I’m glad that the busy TV nights come right before the weekend, so I have something to watch while I’m relaxing. To My Name Is Earl, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI (Grissom was better with the beard), we’ve added Ugly Betty.
Yet another procedural, Numb3rs, and surprisingly good wacky Men in Trees. I love the bartender!

Let’s see, that’s one Fox, one CW (still a silly name), two NBC (my, how they’ve fallen), three near-interchangeable CBS (and I may pick up CSI: NY after the Holly Golightly ep), and five ABC.

And then there are my cable series: Mythbusters, Alton Brown’s Good Eats, and the wonderful new Doctor Who. I wonder why I don’t get more reviewing done!

23 Responses  
david brothers writes:  

I don’t do a lot of network TV watching, but I have a few core shows that I catch each week… actually, just two. Wow.

Veronica Mars and Lost are two shows that I make it a point to watch as soon as I can get them. The Shield comes back on air in January and that is by far my favorite TV show. The ending to season five was completely ridiculous, in a “How are they going to top that?!” way.

I don’t know if you’re curious about Veronica Mars or not, but the first season is only twenty bucks at bestbuy.com and is usually available for in-store pickup. That’s a good thirty dollars less than what it retails for normally. It’s an online-only price, but valid for pickups.

I picked up the first season of Grey’s Anatomy from Best Buy today, ’cause I’ve heard that that’s good, and I’ve also got the first season of The Wire to watch. I should also probably get around to finishing Rome and starting Deadwood season one pretty soon, too.

Smallville got the ax last season after Milton Fine/Brainiac left, and the recent premiere did nothing to impress me, either. I will say that that is the best Lex Luthor going, I think I like him even more than Spacey. He’s also a great Flash on JL/JLU.

Heroes gets a three episode run before I make my decision. The first episode was so dry that I found myself zoning out.

kenaustin writes:  

What? No Legion of Super Heroes for Saturdays? :)
Only three shows for me. Heroes on Mondays, Lost on Wednesdays, and the aforementioned Legion show on Saturdays. Although I do like Eureka, Good Eats, and The Secret Life of…, I don’t try to catch them on a regular basis.

Barry writes:  

Studio 60 I’m on the fence over, but after watching seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, I’m completely hooked on Veronica Mars.

Randy Lander writes:  

I’m another person surprised you don’t watch Veronica Mars, Johanna. If you haven’t given it a chance, you might consider checking it out. Of course, you may have already checked it out and found it not for you, in which case… nevermind. :)

James Schee writes:  

Since I have Direct TV and live in an area where they don’t offer local channels I don’t watch much network TV. Since I have to use an antenna and physically tune it to pick up the various channels.

On Mondays I try to tune into:

2 and a Half Men – I thought it hit a bit of a lull last year in places, but still fun overall.

I wanted to watch Studio 60 after being very impressed by the premiere I watched on a DVD from Netflix but forgot it so will wait for DVD. It reminded me of Sportsnight in places which is good.

I’m trying Heroes when it’s replayed on other channels during the week.

Tuesdays and Wed. –

I need to find something here with both Eureka and Life on Mars (which I used to watch together when I got in from work)

Guilty pleasure is South Park I guess.

Thursdays it is the new Dr. Who which amazes me in how it seems to get better each time. Even the new Doctor is better than the last, who was the first one I actually liked.

I wish I could find my Grey’s Anatomy first season DVD set, it got lost sometime last year around the time Hurricane Rita caused so many problems.

I’d watch some of the shows on CW, but can’t get it and oddly even if I had the local Time Warner cable I couldn’t get it as they are refusing to carry it after it changed over to CW.

Veronica Mars was interesting in places watching the DVDs, but I found myself disliking the characters after a while.

Gilmore Girls I’d like to catch up on, I stopped watching it in Season 3 because the dad reminded me too much of my dad (in how he looked, acted, etc) during the year he passed away.

Johanna writes:  

I tried watching Veronica Mars at the beginning of the second season. I think I made it through 5 or 6 episodes before I realized that I just didn’t care enough to pay attention. People told me that if I watched the first, I’d love it, but I just haven’t been interested enough to do so.

David, Heroes also sounded dry to me, and I think this long serialization trend is a bad idea. If I sign up for a drama, I want humor and suspense and satisfying single episodes, which is why I stuck with Grey’s.

KC watches Lost, but at this point, I’m hearing so much backlash that I don’t want to try it.

Ken, thanks for the Legion reminder! Yes, and Legion, although I hope that this next episode is more like the first than the second.

Don MacPherson writes:  

Johanna, the bartender on Men in Trees is Abraham Benrubi, best known as Jerry the desk guy on ER. Side note: he’s a comic book fan.

Rob S. writes:  

There was a moment on last night’s My Name is Earl involving Crab Man and Joy’s lawyer that may be the funniest thing I’ve seen in years. I laughed until I was coughing and wheezing. I won’t say anymore to respect the TiVo.

John writes:  

I’ve previously stated that I am enjoying Heroes, but after the second episode, I am now afraid that it may go the way of Lost.

I just do not enjoy being strung along for an entire season with so many mysteries that never get revealed. The premier of Lost Season 3 was just awful, and I fear that the viewers are more lost than the characters.

I’m all for a good mystery, but decent writing should give a viewer or reader an actual chance at figuring out what’s going on. With Lost, I feel like I’m reading a book with pages torn out of it, and I hope that Heroes doesn’t follow suit.

Cheers, JOHN :0)

~chris writes:  

In keeping with my current policy of watching very few shows (last year’s list: 24, How I Met Your Mother, Justice League Unlimited, Lost, Simpsons, and South Park), I have added only one “new” show– Veronica Mars. I’d seen a couple of episodes, and this season’s upgrade of Tina Majorino’s from recurring to cast regular put it on my list. I’m not a big fan of the title character, though. What can I say, sidekicks are usually more interesting!

I’ve seen several episodes of Gilmore Girls at my brother’s house (my niece is a huge fan) and really enjoy it, but I plan to borrow the DVDs in the future, not become a regular viewer of the current season.

Typical Hollywood: put glasses and braces on a gorgeous actress like America Ferrera, and that makes her “Ugly Betty!” *rolleyes*

John writes:  

Oh yeah, I’m loving Doctor Who, as well!

My Wife thinks it’s a bit… over the top, shall we say, but I keep telling her that that is part of the charm. Like the music and sound effects, the characters and acting are paying homage to the show’s humble beginnings.

I loved Christopher Eccleston’s take on the character, but have to admit that the new guy is doing a decent job.

Cheers again, JOHN :0)

Lyle writes:  

Have you checked out Everybody Hates Chris, Johanna? I find it’s got a similar balance between hartwarming and cynical as Earl.

~chris, to some degree, I think, for once that’s the point of Ugly Betty. She’s unstylish, not ugly but surrounded by the perfect dolls at the fashion magazine, she’s seen as ugly in comparison. That theme kinda got telegraphed in the second episode with a subplot about digitally retouching photos.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, yeah, How I Met Your Mother! That one is terrific, mostly because of Barney.

I haven’t tried Everybody Hates Chris, because out of all the press and ads last year, none of it made me laugh.

With Ugly Betty, I’m really curious to see how it continues. It’s so close to Devil Wears Prada, and it mentioning that film in the most recent episode doesn’t excuse it. It comes really close to trad sitcom when it could be more.

Alan Coil writes:  

“We like to make fun of David Caruso’s wooden and predictable acting.”

You mean…?

Caruso standing, with fingertips on boney hips, looking pensive.
Caruso standing, with fingertips on boney hips, looking troubled.
Caruso standing, with fingertips on boney hips, looking confused.
Caruso standing, with fingertips on boney hips, looking completely lost since he left NYPD Blue.

James writes:  

No Battlestar Galactica? The third season premiered last night, and it was amazing! They are replaying it a few times over the weekend, try and catch it. Some of the best writing I’ve seen in a long time.

Johanna writes:  

It’s not original to me, but I love the idea that Caruso is this generation’s Adam West.

I have absolutely no interest in BG, although I’m glad it hits the right buttons for so many of my friends. I just don’t want to watch the interstellar war stuff.

jabolo writes:  

My Name is Earl, but not the Office?

The poorly acted, stupid Bones, but not the much better executed House?

To each his own… :)

George writes:  

As a relatively recent convert to both Veronica Mars and BSG, I’ll just plug them to you yet again with these points: Veronica fulfills my “Buffy” jones better than anything else has, despite all the differences in tone and genre, and BSG’s “interstellar war” stuff is actually kept to a very low level–the concentrations are on space opera character developments, ethical and philosophical questions of survival, and (God bless them!) pointed commentary on contemporary politics that manage to raise all the right amount of outrage while at the same time refusing to pretend the show’s writers have all the answers, either.

It’s good, truly. And Kara “Starbuck” Thrace deserves your attention as one of the best female characters on TV, in or out of the genre. (End plug.)

Scott writes:  

Why replace “Desperate Housewives” with “Boston Legal”? They are on different nights and all (and you do have Tivo).

I will admit that DH isn’t quite what it has been… but that seems like they are still in set-up mode for the rest of the season.

Actually, BL has been a bit lackluster in its opening episodes, too.

Hmmm… maybe I’m just getting old.

Johanna writes:  

George, I still have Buffy episodes I’ve never seen, so if I get a Buffy jones, I’ll watch Buffy. :)

Scott, it’s a replacement because I’m not looking to increase the amount of time I spend watching TV… I’d like to cut back, actually (which is the silver lining for me when shows I watch get cancelled). And there’s only so much over-the-top “they did what?!?” drama I need in my brain.

Lyle writes:  

over-the-top “they did what?!?” drama

I think Desperate Housewives has become more of a “they did that again?!?” drama, I’m leaning towards giving up on the show because the characters keep making the same mistakes. It’s feeling less like a witty soap opera and more like a sitcom with multi-episode story arcs.

Scott writes:  

Both Johanna (don’t need to watch more TV… especially if you don’t enjoy it) and Lyle (seems like we’ve been there and done that with Deperate Housewives) make excellent points.

I usually follow no more than two shows a season, and DH is on probation this year since character growth seems a bit lacking.

Boston Legal needs to pick it up a bit as well, but I’ll always give William Shatner the nostalgic benefit of the doubt.

Bill writes:  

Just had to give a bit of love to my current favorite Criminal Minds.

Favorite active show that is; my overall fav is the syndicated Candian show Da Vinci’s Inquest.


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