Thursday, October 8, 2009

TV Season 2009-2010: I Can Feel My Brain Eating Itself!

Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life. This is what TV will do to you.Hey there, blog-o-net. Worried that I'd forget you yet again after taking just over a week to write another post? Of course you were. That's only natural. Without your regular Spiral Reverie fix, you might start developing healthy sleeping habits, maybe get around to taking up that new exercise regimen you've been meaning to. We can't have that, can we? No, no we can't. The only muscle you need is the brain (ALSO KNOWN AS THE LOVE MUSCLE), and that too must atrophy.

I finished Project 27 Days' final draft at last just the other day, so you can finally start breathing again. And now that I'm about to begin the agent hunt/publishing process (Hoping to maybe get the book published by sometime next year if fortune's on my side.), I'm giving myself a bit of a break before diving headfirst into my second novel. I'm going to do some research on query letter writing - learning how to write a good one, what agents are looking for and generally want to hear, and how to differentiate my own letters so that they aren't just some cut-and-paste formulaic affair that wouldn't get their attention - and synopsis writing (Gotta make 27 Days sound as intriguing as possible.) and ideally contact at least two or three agents this month to get things started before I dive headfirst into my second novel. And with more time for other things - my Wii disc drive having problems since the end of August and currently being off at a Nintendo office for repairs having freed up even more time for me than usual, stressful as the hardware problems've been - I'm going to be looking for more inspiring material by which to get back to blogging here more often for the fall again. (So those of you waiting for me to get back to this more regularly, look forward to it! I swear, I'm sticking to it this time.) At any rate, I'll be writing more musings on this project milestone and general personal milestone as a writer in my next post in 2 or 3 days.

On to the main focus of this post! While later than the last two years (Hard to believe this blog's been running for 2+ years, isn't it? Especially given that I still get very few hits on a regular basis, hahaha. Yes, this thing needs a general design overhaul.), but hey, it's time to do my yearly look at TV I've deemed noteworthy. BEHOLD MY AMAZING TASTE IN POP CULTURE! (And general personal recommendations for what's entertaining and worth your time.)

Heroes - Mondays at @ 8 PM - Three episodes of season four have aired so far. And so far's still technically watchable. The two-hour season opener introduced the theme of the latest "volume" of the story, REDEMPTION. Yes, this is a theme not unfamiliar to longtime Heroes viewers. In fact, this is a theme the show's already beaten into the ground (Much like GRAY AREAS. We get it, Noah Bennett is a badass, give us something new.), but it doesn't even matter since the characters are all so two-dimensional and inconsistent that it doesn't matter when they change sides YET AGAIN and then search for redemption after their villainy stint. This thematic focus doesn't exactly bode well for the season, especially since Bryan Fuller departed the show again after last season to work on two new pilots.* Despite having a better overall start than season 2, I'm pretty much expecting it to gradually dissolve down to the kinds of lows that at least season 3 plumbed when Fuller wasn't around. They could perhaps try developing tehse characters into people we can care about, given the inconsistent and two-dimensional nature of the entire cast, but that doesn't seem likely. Sendhil Ramamurthy seems to be gone, with no Mohinder Suresh to be seen anymore - not that they had anything left to really do with his character. But the same issue lies in many of the other characters: the question of "why are you still here?" They killed off Ali Larter's original character, Nikki Sanders (And got rid of her relatively useless son and other associated characters from season 2 without explanation.), and brought her back as Tracy Strauss, whose looking exactly like Sanders was never explained, as far as I can recall. But they've never had much real use for Strauss either, and her appearances in season four so far have continued to bring these questions about why she's still around on the show at all. I can't see Hiro's terminal illness storyline going anywhere noteworthy (And they've been confused about what to do with his character and powers since the end of season one as the show basically lost all direction - what little direction they had to begin with.), and all they've done with Ando so far is have him end up engaged to Hiro's sister Kimiko, after Hiro changed the past. Not enough Crimson Arc, superheroics, or even costumes. (And where the hell did the Andocycle go?) With Claire's family seemingly mostly written out now too, it seems even Mr. Muggles' days on the show are over. (And without Mr. Muggles the Pomeranian, where is the show's heart?) It's too soon to make a call about the season's villains, and Sylar's lurking in Parkman's head's been the only interesting part of the season so far. (Claire's beginning college is more or less standard B plot.) But the end of season three twist, using Parkman's powers to brainwash Sylar into morphing into Nathan and thinking he really was Nathan, was probably the stupidest plot twist in the entire show, and the inevitable fallout from that's going to be painful. And apparently Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters is joining the cast sometime this season as a Baltimore detective searching for one of the characters. I'd guess that being on TV's certainly a step up from video games after the recent Ghostbusters game hit this summer, anyway.

* Frankly, Fuller's doing better for all of us by looking to create his own new shows since the travesty that was Pushing Daisies' cancellation. He can do much better than Heroes, with projects where he has much more freedom. Reportedly, he's been wanting to do a new Star Trek series following the success of the recent movie - having started out as a writer on Voyager - but no details on that have surfaced. Instead, he's been confirmed as working on a planned 2012 hour-long dramedy TV series for NBC, Sellevision, based on an Augusten Burroughs work, as well as a comedy set in an animal shelter, No Kill, also for NBC. Hard to say what to think of these until there's more details/actual trailers and confirmations of whether they'll actually be picked up and made into full series, but after failures on Fox and ABC, perhaps NBC'll be a better fit for Fuller, given how badly they've needed shows that bring the ratings. (Granted, Fuller's have a track record of not being promoted well and getting canceled quickly.)

The Office - Thursdays @ 9 PM - We're a few episodes into the sixth season so far, and as of far, while not bad, the show's writing still isn't on the level it was back in the first three seasons. (Several key people behind the American version of the show left after season three, as I recall.) The season opener was pretty good with an amusing Stanley subplot, Jim's seen some upward mobility and become co-manager of the Scranton branch of the Dunder-Mifflin paper company the show centers around, and he and Michael have dealt with a lot of problems since. Later today, they're airing the long-awaited hour long Jim/Pam wedding episode, bringing more of a climax to their long-running relationship aspect of the show. (Which basically stopped being compelling after they finally got together in season four, but at least they didn't try to string us along with more "will they or won't they" plotlines for the rest of the show.) I'll probably have to catch it on Hulu, since I'll likely be elsewhere for at least part of the episode, with Sarah Vowell appearing at a local independent bookstore this evening. Anyway, my overall feelings on the current season of The Office amount to that it's more or less more of season five - which was better than season four, and while not spectacular, still not bad at all. So it's been good so far, and I expect that'll continue.

30 Rock - Thursdays @ 9:30 PM - I've never actually watched it, but I felt like I may as well toss a plug in, since it seems to actually be good, what with all the critical praise. (Plus the fact that Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Tracy Morgan, and Jack McBrayer are all actually funny.)

Parks and Recreation - Thursdays @ 8:30 PM - Back to shows I actually do watch. Sadly, the ratings for the first season weren't great, and season two hasn't had much of an audience so far. There's already been blog speculation that it'll be one of the next shows to get axed this season, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that NBC at least finishes this first full-length 20+ episode season, since the show's only grown on me since its premiere earlier this year. Some of those who'd left The Office are behind Parks, after all, and the season's been off to a fun start. I enjoyed last week's episode's giving Aubrey Plaza more screentime than she normally has on the show, since her character, April, can be one of the funniest, though she's often underused. (Not unlike Nick Offerman, who's similarly really funny when he actually gets screentime.) Comedian Louis C.K.'s had a small guest role in a couple of episodes and seems like he'll be in at least a few more yet this season, too. He fits in well. If NBC does indeed end up axing Parks later this season, I'll definitely miss it.

Community - Thursdays @ 8 PM (Initially 9:30) - I had good expectations of this show when it was initially unveiled and NBC began running promos, some of those behind Arrested Development working on the show. And on top of that, it's had a good critical reception. I've never watched The Soup, though I've heard good things about it, so I was only familiar with Joel McHale from appearances on Conan before, but he makes a good lead for the show. Chevy Chase shows that he's capable of being relevant again (As he did in a several episode stint as a major villain in the latter half of Chuck season two earlier this year.), and Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover (Of the hilarious comedy troupe Derrick Comedy, which has their first movie, Mystery Team, bound for theaters sometime this fall), Ken Jeong, and John Oliver make for a very strong supporting cast. Despite the strong reception, the show's already suffering from sagging ratings - as NBC's Thursdays aren't doing as well as they used to - and like many college shows (Poor Undeclared), it probably won't last beyond a single season, I suspect. A definite shame, since it's actually funny and well written in its absurdity.

Family Guy - Sundays @ 9 PM - Two episodes have aired so far, getting the season off to a solid start. The premiere was a Brian and Stewie episode - you can generally count on quality from those - and possibly the most out-there one yet, focusing on the duo jumping between alternate dimensions, including Robot Chicken-style stop-motion animation, Disney animation, and even a split second in the real world, portrayed by an actual dog and baby. The second episode brought an appearance by Max Weinstein (Who hadn't been seen since the controversial, banned episode from the '90s, "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," for its focus on stereotypical Jewish jokes in general. By today's standards especially, very tame for a banned episode. And yes, I'm fully aware of how nerdy pointing all this out makes me.) as Lois learned of her own Jewish ancestry. Not a bad start overall, though in general these days, Family Guy's been trending downward in quality - like The Simpsons, Family Guy has effectively peaked, and it's gradually on its way down in quality, with some particularly lazy episodes here and there. (Like last season's "I Dream of Jesus" focusing mostly on "Surfin' Bird" jokes, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast guest star episode mostly wasting their presence and focusing on atheist victimization - the message and intentions behind the episode weren't bad, but it wasn't executed well at all, and I say this as an atheist myself.) In the least, it's off to a funny start.

American Dad - Sundays @ 9:30 PM - Not too much to say about American Dad. It's the least popular of MacFarlane's three Sunday night shows now, at least for the moment. (It's hard to say if The Cleveland Show'll sustain its popularity in the long run.) But it's also the smartest and funniest of MacFarlane's shows, easily the best of the three, and the two episodes aired so far this season were a lot of fun.

The Cleveland Show - Sundays @ 8:30 PM - This one's an odd duck. When the spinoff was announced, the internet was baffled and wondered why they were doing this. The Cleveland Show is, at its roots, a Family Guy spinoff that nobody really wanted or asked for, and Family Guys are pretty split on liking Cleveland, let alone enough for him to star in his own show. (And by MacFarlane's own admission, this spinoff was the result of a process of elimination, determining that giving Joe the cop a spinoff would have been too weird, and that a Quagmire spinoff - obviously - could not have been aired on network TV for the simple fact of how much over the top sex there'd have to be. However you look at it, there's no real sense in or demand for spinoffs for any of the characters in Peter's circle of friends.) That said, the pilot was mostly weak, with few standout jokes. Only two episodes have aired so far, and the second episode was notably better than the pilot, so while I'm guarded in my take on this unnecessary show, it's not entirely without humor or the potential to continue improving. So with two seasons (Over 30 episodes altogether, I believe) already ordered, I'm going to give the show a fair shot like I did with American Dad before deciding whether or not it's really worth one's time. Given time, American Dad did shape up into something really funny, after all.

King of the Hill - The final season of the show officially wrapped up back in the spring, but I felt that King of the Hill was worth mentioning one last time as one of the only shows left keeping from Fox's Sunday night animation lineup from becoming pure Seth MacFarlane projects. The actual series finale also aired back in mid-September, formally bringing the show to an end with the series' cast coming together for a barbecue in the Hills' backyard, following an going plot about Bobby getting involved in competitive meat judging. A pretty strange way to wrap the series up, but not unbefitting for the conservative Texan satire. It lasted longer and fared better than Mike Judge's short-lived The Goode Family on ABC this past summer - I didn't even manage to keep up with The Goode Family myself - and was certainly worth noting for bringing a different kind of humor to Fox's Sunday nights than Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane. It took King of the Hill some time to grow on me - and I was never a huge Beavis and Butthead fan to begin with, though I can enjoy that too - but in the end, that show had a lot of memorable and fun episodes, and at least deserves a nod for having been worthwhile.

Glee - Wednesdays @ 9 PM - I wasn't sure what to make of this when it was first unveiled, not being a big musical fan to begin with. (But open minded enough to at least give the genre a shot, and I'll admit I have enjoyed some musicals before - like Sweeney Todd and Dancer in the Dark. The Reefer Madness movie musical with Kristen Bell and Alan Cumming was pretty funny, too.) The presence of Jane Lynch, part of Christopher Guest's inner circle of talented hilarious people, was an encouraging sign, too. So after missing the pilot in May and its early-September reair, I watched it on Hulu before the season premiere, and I've caught every episode since. The show features Broadway talent including Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele in lead roles (Pushing Daisies' wonderful Kristen Chenoweth guest starred in an early episode as well), as well as several former Heroes supporting cast members who've gone on to something better in this show (Jayma Mays, Jessalyn Gilsig, and Stephen Tobolowsky). The writing is pretty consistently funny and mostly manages to capture the magic of stage musicals during the characters' performances on the show - though that varies some depending on the specific context of the performance. The musical offerings so far have included Journey, Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Beyonce, Heart, and numerous others. The only concern I have about this glee club dramedy - focusing on teachers and high school students in equal measure - is the breakneck pace at which the plot seems to be moving forward at times. It's hard to tell if they'll be able to maintain this kind of plot pacing while continuing to come up with new material. I also hope that it continues to do well enough on top of that to merit multiple seasons, so long as they can maintain this standard of writing quality. For me, Glee is definitely an out-of-left-field surprise favorite of the season, and certainly a fresh piece of television, so I heartily recommend checking it out.

Dollhouse - Fridays @ 9 PM - Two episodes have aired so far now, too. After debuting back in February as a mid-season show, Dollhouse got a surprising renewal for a full-length second season. For once, with Eliza Dushku at the show's helm, Joss Whedon's avoided a relapse of the 9 PM Friday time slot that killed Firefly, his much beloved post-Buffy cult hit, and Bryan Fuller's Wonderfalls (Which was pulled from the air far faster than Firefly). Dollhouse, with its prostitution and human trafficking themes and overall dark atmosphere (Seriously lacking the humor Whedon's shows are known for.) - on top of its excessive sexualization of female characters early on - got the show off on the wrong foot and made a lot of Whedon fans angry. The episodic roots of the show, focusing on the "actives" being hired and programmed with one personality or another, turned a lot of people off, too. But halfway through the show, when Fox executives started to take more of a backseat in show involvement, the quality shot sharply upward, Whedon's trademark humor started working its way into the dialogue (From one of the most morally questionable characters in the cast, no less, who they're making likable and sympathetic as the show's awkward smartass nerdy guy, much to the chagrin of many.), and a more cohesive central plot began to come together beneath the surface-level job plots. The first season came to a strong close with the on-screen debut at last of Alpha (Played by Firefly's much-beloved Alan Tudyk, from playing a hilarious pilot to a psychotic killer), the series' main antagonist, an escaped doll who'd constructed his own personality-imprinting technology. Paul Ballard changed sides and begrudgingly joined the Dollhouse in exchange for November's release from service as an active, and became Echo's new handler as Boyd was promoted to head of Dollhouse security. Major shakeups, which led into season 2's focus on the change of cast and story dynamic beneath the weekly jobs and programmings. Now Echo's aware that she's being made into many different people, but that all of these experiences are real, and with Ballard, she's planning on bringing the Dollhouse down from the inside. Season two so far has focused largely on these changing dynamics with Ballard and Echo, as well as foreshadowing Dr. Claire Saunders/former active Whiskey's new found self-awareness and impending departure from the show. More Battlestar Galactica cast members are turning up this season too, with Helo playing Paul Ballard and Romo Lampkin having shown up a few times in season one. Jamie Bamber, who played Lee "Apollo" Adama in BSG turned up in the season two premiere, and Michael Hogan, who played Col. Tigh on BSG, will be guest-starring later in the season. Season two's off to a strong start, and I highly recommend giving season one a look now that it's out on DVD. The earlier, slower episodes are worth sitting through to get to the season's midpoint and the upswing of writing following that. I'm looking forward to seeing what Echo and Ballard's scheming amounts to, what happens with Whiskey and Topher, and just how many times Alpha returns to wreak havoc. (I'm also curious as to what they'll do with Sierra and Victor this season as well - they both had major roles last season, but they've hardly had any screentime so far in season two.) Sadly, I have a feeling it's unlikely Fox'll give the show a third season (But I'd be all for it if they can keep the quality up as they have been.), and if they don't, I do hope they manage to wrap things up in a way that works.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Thursdays @ 10 PM - The first few episodes to air so far have focused on the Paddy's Pub gang seeking to exploit the mortgage crisis, cashing in on people's woes, and then attempting to go on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Naturally, these things went completely awry, and last week's episode focused on efforts to exploit the recession and make money on human suffering, which, in turn, also went awry. There's been some controversy about the episode, asking if they'd sold out over the sheer amount of Dave & Buster's product promotion that occurred within the episode. I don't think it's too much to be concerned about at this point though, as even when they included the essential adult Chuck-e-Cheese in the show, they basically portrayed it as the white trash playground it is - which fits the show and characters like a glove - rather than explicitly painting it as someplace everyone should be dying to go. If product promotion can help the show - at least from a budgetary perspective - without outright disrupting the humor (As Subway promotion at times disrupted Chuck for a few seconds here and there in season two, but served a greater purpose for the show in the long run.), I can live with it. But when you get down to it, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is pretty much the last show that could sell anybody on anything, given its very nature and style of humor. So far, season five's been enjoyable. And it's also had hands-down the best promo of any show this season: seriously, try some Kitten Mittens.


Bored to Death - Sundays @ 9 PM - Following the cancellation of Pushing Daisies, ABC's "forensic fairy tale," HBO steps up to the plate to satisfy viewers' hunger for detective comedy with what they're calling a "noir-rotic comedy." Created by author Jonathan Ames and starring the awesome Jason Schwartzman as - yes - Jonathan Ames. The show's incarnation of Ames is a struggling author and general loser who turns to illegally moonlighting as a detective for hire on Craigslist. He's read a ton of detective books, how hard can it be? The show basically follows Schwartzman as Ames and his friends - played by Ted Danson and the hilarious Zach Galifianakis, who's really starting to get big these days - attempt to solve various crimes he's hired to investigate while getting into all sorts of absurd situations. The pilot's said to be less than stellar, but critics have said the show only gets better with each successive episode and becomes something special and hilarious. As my most anticipated premium cable show since Flight of the Conchords (Which is also hilarious and highly recommended - both seasons), it really makes me wish we got HBO on our satellite network.

No Reservations - Travel Channel - The second half of this year's season of Tony Bourdain's travel show wrapped up earlier in September, but it airs in regular syndication several times a week on the Travel Channel, so there's much to enjoy there.

Midseason Returns/Replacements
Chuck - NBC - Schedule details haven't been announced for exactly when Chuck will return for its final third half-season in the spring yet. Word's been that it'll be returning to air in March 2010 for these final 13 episodes - hopefully properly wrapping the series up and giving the characters a good sendoff - with a reduced budget. Hard to say where exactly they'll put it in the schedule, since Heroes took its old time slot, moving back an hour on Mondays. Initially, it was announced that a couple of characters and aspects of the show would have to be cut due to the sharply reduced budget of this final season - which it's frankly a pleasant surprise that we're getting at all - but Subway since stepped up after fan campaigning and contributed additional funding, ensuring that we won't be losing any of the characters. Though it'll probably also mean more in-show Subway advertising. But them's the breaks. I'm looking forward to seeing how things turn out in the spring.

Louie - FX - Following the cancellation of his acclaimed one-season HBO sitcom, Lucky Louie, comedian Louis C.K.'s back with a new comedy show coming to FX in 2010. He's always been a hilarious comic - and yes, he's the one Dane Cook has an established track record of outright stealing from - and as such, Louie should be worth keeping an eye out for, featuring a mix of stand-up and sketch comedy. Here's hoping he has better luck at FX than HBO. (And you can also catch him in Ricky Gervais's movie currently in theaters, The Invention of Lying!)

Caprica - SciFi - Following Battlestar Galactica's epic conclusion this past spring and the subsequent DVD release of the feature-length Caprica pilot episode (Which basically pushed what boundaries it could with violence and frontal nudity of the lady variety that they certainly won't be able to get away with in the main show itself), Caprica will be making its debut in the mid-season on the SciFi channel (I will NOT call it Syfy - what an embarrassing name change.) this next spring. The pilot was met with mixed reactions, as the unusual and groundbreaking show it is, being a grounded character drama - which television certainly has no shortage of - set entirely within a well-established science fiction setting, drawing us into the world of the 13 colonies - Caprica in particular, obviously - decades prior to the original Cylon war, and roughly fifty prior to the beginning of Battlestar Galactica itself. We get to see how decadent and in many ways sick and detached from their own humanity that humanity had become in this era of prosperity, as well as the twisted origins of the development of Cylons - as the pilot begins to get into - and the question of what it is that divides humans from machines. A question Galactica asked repeatedly throughout, with its now-humanlike Cylons. The established narrative of the rivalry between the Graystone family - behind the creation of the Cylons - and the Adama family (Including Galactica's Admiral Adama's father as a main character, and many issues of ethnic conflicts between the colonies - the different ethnicities and cultures of which being something largely underexplored in Galactica.) seeking to oppose their methods.

Dead To Me

The CW Network - Several years after the merger that brought WB and UPN together, what have we ended up with? A network fixated largely on painful teen dramas about how difficult it is to be a pretty white teen. (Also rich, can't forget rich. Sure is hard to be rich.) They axed Veronica Mars after pushing some changes for the worse in its final season, and Reaper wasn't treated particularly fairly either before its cancellation. Given their focus on rather worthless shows and '90s reboots with a fixation on being "controversial" (Again, teenagers having sex is NOTHING NEW and NOTHING CONTROVERSIAL. IT SHOCKS NOBODY.), I don't expect there to be anything worthwhile for me on CW anytime soon.

ABC - Treating Pushing Daisies as poorly as they did and then rushing to cancel it halfway through the season last year was a major respect killer. On top of that, Ugly Betty's days are reportedly numbered, too. I haven't even gotten around to watching season one of that yet, though. I have heard it's good. And after Scrubs ended properly this past spring with an excellent finale, they're forcing another season through. Most of the regulars are gone - the only returning regulars being John C. McGinley, Donald Faizon, and Eliza Coupe. Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke will be there the first 6 episodes, then gone. And they're dropping Sacred Heart for a medical college or something like that. Bill Lawrence has given them his blessing to do whatever they want with it, since his show's effectively over. But suffice to say, this is not what Scrubs deserves, and considering the hit Spin City took after Lawrence left and they tried to continue it without him or Michael J. Fox, I suspect Scrubs "season nine" will lead to the series' cancellation after it airs in next spring. Fail, ABC. Let it rest.

Comedy Central - This time because they have no worthwhile new shows this fall. South Park hasn't been worth noting in a long time, Parker and Stone having run out of funny much earlier this decade, and resorted far more to lazy shocks and terrible libertarian strawman proselytizing. (And this is what gets them awards. Terrible, stupid arguments frequently from awful sides of issues, episodes proudly written in a slapdash manner at the last minute, and relying so heavily on what's going on at the moment that they don't age well at all. It's like critics don't actually watch the show, but simply feel compelled to praise it because a lot of idiots think of it as the conservative cutting edge and it comments on current events at all. There's no taking into account the actual quality and intelligence of said commentary. If you want quality and intelligence on Comedy Central on current issues, you pretty much just have the Daily Show and Colbert Report, which frankly do better than most "real" news shows in their commentary.) Daniel Tosh is funny, but he can do better than just making fun of internet videos on Tosh.0. The Jeff Dunham Show strikes me as a terrible idea - his shtick with those puppets is tired and overexposed enough on that network, the last thing we need is a regular show on top of four or five specials that get reaired an insane amount every year. While not an unwatchable comedian and seemingly a nice enough guy, he doesn't stand out as a remarkable one in any way, let alone one deserving this kind of almost constant exposure. (Hell, characters like his dead terrorist puppet are so stereotypical it's painful.) And just earlier tonight, they premiered their latest show - Secret Girlfriend. This trainwreck - which I'd been hoping might actually be fresh - was embarrassing to watch. The core concept is the creation of a first person show where the viewer is an unnamed silent male protagonist who for some reason hangs out with a couple of unfunny and largely irritating losers who make viral comedy videos for Atom Films (And frankly, this is Atom's worst on-air production, as their older show - Jump Cuts, which eventually evolved into the current Atom TV, which airs at 2:30 AM on Mondays - and its current incarnation showcasing a variety of comedy videos from the site are consistently far funnier than Secret Girlfriend has it in itself to be. On top of the failures of comedy, the viewer-protagonist is somehow a complete Casanova, somehow inexplicably attracting every attractive woman on the show with lines and leering at all the others. There's no actual comedy there so much as outright embarrassing wish-fulfillment writing targeting an audience of men who don't know how to relate to women as fellow human beings, and copious amounts of forced scantily clad moments on account of this silent viewer-protagonist's inexplicable irresistibility. One of the stupidest shows I've forced myself to sit through in some time, and one of Comedy Central's worst originals hows in recent years. Krod Mandoon was at least watchable this past spring, and Michael & Michael Have Issues was hilarious this past summer, though I'm betting it'll be cancelled as quickly as Stella was. At this point, aside from the Daily Show and Colbert Report, the only good I say speak of Comedy Central is that at least they renewed Important Things with Demetri Martin for another season early next year and Futurama's new season will be hitting the channel next summer, I believe. So that's two things to actually look forward to on there next year. As for this year, you're better off just sticking to the Daily Show and Colbert Report, on top of reruns of funnier older shows and stand-up comedy.

So there you have it. The always-necessary new TV season ramble that I bring you every fall. Will anybody read all of this? Probably not. But hey, some shows to consider taking into account by my own personal standards, anyway. Look forward to a more substantive post in 2-3 days!


CrazyCris said...

That was quite a mouthful! From what i can recall (I'm too zoned out to skim back through it), the only show we both watch is Dollhouse! Well, and Heroes, but I haven't been able to motivate myself enough to watch it yet... saving it up for a rainy day.

As for the CW, you should give The Vampire Diaries a try... not half bad and I'm quite curious to see where they're heading with it!


PS: have you been cheating with the dates on your blog? All 4 of these appeared on my Blogger "blogs I follow" feed at the same time!!! :p

Benjamin Fennell said...

Ah indeed, indeed. Dollhouse has been great so far this season. And as for Heroes... well, it has actually been better than my grim predictions so far. It's had some cringeworthy moments here and there, but for the mos part, it actually hasn't been bad, so I'm happy with that. You've got much to look forward to. (Even though it still needs more Mr. Muggles.)

Hrm, I've avoided that, mostly because of the "Twilight" vibe it gives off - I'm not exactly in the target demographic for that. ;) I did watch True Blood season one on DVD over the summer though, and found that to be more watchable than I expected.

I've started a number of these posts in advance, but I've posted them all on the same day the dates say. So this is strange. Maybe there's been some kind of blogger following update bug lately or something. I'd been wondering why I wasn't getting any more comments lately - a little worried that I'd hit a whole new level of boring and unreadable or something. :P

CrazyCris said...

nah, must be a Blogger thing! ;o)

The Vampire Diaries doesn't at all have the Twilight vibe! These vampires have got a decent pair of teeth on them! (well, at least one of them does) :p

I'm way too busy now to keep up with most of the shows I enjoy, so I'm leaving Heroes to catch up with over the Christmas holiday when there's nothing else to watch...

Benjamin Fennell said...

Whew. Good to know I'm still readable, at least, haha.

And yet... they aren't murdering people left and right, from what I've heard. And the sun doesn't seem to kill them either. WHAT MADNESS IS THIS!?

Sounds good. Heroes has continued to be a lot of fun so far. I'm really pleasantly surprised by how much this season hasn't been the massive trainwreck I was expecting so far. Though sadly, Dollhouse looks like it's on its way to the chopping block. Fox isn't airing it at all in November (The big sweeps month), which is a real shame, considering how stellar the last episode they aired was - the Sierra-centric one. It's being widely speculated now that it'll probably be axed after the 13 episodes ordered so far, instead of getting a full season order.

Funnily enough, after all its ratings failures this season, NBC looks like they'll be bringing Chuck back in January instead of March as previously announced, and may be ordering another 6+ additional episodes due to fan demand. Apparently after how badly their new shows have failed this fall, Chuck's ratings started to look like they weren't so bad after all.

I just hope Community and Parks and Recreation make it beyond this season - both of those've managed to get full 22 episode season orders through the spring, and I'm really enjoying them. TV can always use more good comedy. (As opposed to how much bad comedy is so popular.)