What I’m Watching
Castle — My favorite new show. It’s not challenging or deep and doesn’t say anything significant about human nature (although I could make an argument it’s one of the strongest portrayals of solid family interaction on prime time) but it’s consistently enjoyable. I fear that they’ve bought into the Moonlighting fallacy too much, with teasing and separating the leads, but their flirting is fun. Nathan Fillon is gorgeous as best-selling man-about-town Rick Castle, while Stana Katic is a cop to admire in putting up with him.
Chuck — I’m still surprised this was in the Comedy Emmy categories, but at least it was nominated. All-around entertaining, with something for everyone: action, romance, workplace humor, buddy bonding. Has learned the lesson that you can put leads into a relationship and still have plenty to write about, as Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) will be fully partnering this year.
How I Met Your Mother — I wish they’d kept Big Bang Theory on Monday, because we enjoyed the sitcom block, but now, this may be the only one I stick with. Two and a Half Men was never great, but it’s getting increasingly creepy with the aging kid and Sheen’s real-life sleaze bleeding in. Mike and Molly has potential, and good actors, but I’m hearing that they make fun of the leads too much instead of laughing with them. Fat jokes are the last bastion of intolerant comedy. Anyway, HIMYM is funny and touching in its portrayal of young urban adults learning to grow up.
Glee — They’re promising a Rocky Horror episode! I can’t say anything that will win you over to this musical comedy if you’re not already a fan, given how much good press it gets, but I enjoy it and often wind up singing along.
Cougar Town — I think it’s funny, and I like the cast. That’s all I ask from a sitcom. The rest of ABC’s night, I’m not as interested in, perhaps because they’re so aggressively middlebrow in their family focus.
Hellcats — Surprisingly good. I’ve come to a new appreciation for cheerleader shows because they show such strong athletic women of all different types, and it’s still rare to see that anywhere else. That this one doesn’t descend to stereotypes and shows some serious relationship questions is a plus. Most surprising thing about it: it’s executive produced by Smallville‘s Tom Welling.
Bones — Fans seem to be very upset that the leads aren’t together, but I’ve never approached this show as a fan. I enjoy watching each episode, but then I never need to see them again. That’s the only show that works that way for me, weird. I like the supporting squints best these days, anyway, and I admire David Boreanaz for finding a great role beyond Buffy.
The Good Guys — I really love this action comedy, but I don’t want to get too attached, since it’s on Fox Friday night. But it’s really entertaining, and I wish more people would give it a try. They’re promising more character interaction, which should make the show even better.
These are the shows that I have on for background while doing something else.
Dancing With the Stars — Only because my mom watches it, so it’s something we can talk about together, and we have a second TiVo with space. Otherwise, the much stronger Monday night offerings would win over it.
Gossip Girl — It seems like this show has been on forever, what with all the plot twists they’ve gone through. It’s lost a lot of its charm for us now that the kids are in college, because we subconsciously expect them to start acting more adult. But that would ruin things.
No Ordinary Family — I have to try it, given the “everyday people become superheroes” angle, but I fear that it may be boring to those of us who already know the cliches, and it’s going to be tough to beat The Incredibles at this game. Especially since they’re hinting at a continuing backstory mystery, which is more of a turnoff for me at this point.
Undercovers — I’m hearing it’s pretty but shallow, which makes it a good candidate for guilty pleasure. And the leads (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Boris Kodjoe) are very pretty.
Human Target — Glad to see a woman join the cast … and it’s Indira Varma, who died on the first episode of Torchwood. They’re promising a lighter touch, which would be nice. I’d also like more Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), please.
Hawaii Five-O — The scenery’s lovely, and I like the supporting cast, but I don’t have time for another procedural, especially one where the lead (Alex O’Loughlin) is so uncharismatic and stiff. Plus, the sheer weight of all the promo they’re doing has already made me tired of it. Yes, it’s neat hearing the theme song again, but 30 seconds of great music does not qualify a show for a spot on my TiVo.
The Event — Couldn’t care less. With Lost done and Heroes dead (plus all kinds of interchangeable, forgettable clone attempts not even completed), why would anyone try launching another expensive mystery show? Large star-studded casts just make me wish I could see them in something more enjoyable.
Lone Star — This show about a Texas con man is getting good press, but I’m not looking to add new shows to my list, and I’m not particularly interested in seeing a guy regularly cheat on good women as a premise. There’s enough male wish fulfillment on TV already.
Life Unexpected — After enjoying last season, I’ve already cut this one off my watch list. It got much too stupidly dramatic, due to network demands, making drastic changes ham-handedly.
Nikita — Lord, no. The ads, featuring what looked like bathing suits, stripper heels, and weapons were a total turn-off, although I’m sure they reached their core audience of immature men.
My Generation — Didn’t we see this a few years ago, only it was a murder mystery that never got solved?
S#*! My Dad Says — Why bother, when you can’t even print your title? I love the Shatner, but this seems lame. What works on Twitter doesn’t work in extended filmed form.
How about you? What new shows are you trying, or old favorites you wish more people watched?