Thursday, September 28, 2006

TV: The New Fall Lineup--My Lineup!

Because of my DVR, I have been able to watch a pretty decent amount of new shows this fall. Of course, I can't wait for Lost, Scrubs, Medium, 24, Sopranos and Big Love to come back. There are too many shows: the Fall season has just started and I'm already on overload. This DVR thing is like crack - I look at my queue sometimes and I don't even remember picking some of these shows. But I have finally watched them all and I have a pretty good idea where I think some of these shows are going.


THE GOOD

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

So far this has been the best new show on TV. Of course it helps to love creator Aaron Sorkin and it helps even more if you loved the West Wing. Instead of a behind the scenes look at politics, this time Sorkin goes behind the cameras of a Saturday Night Live-esque show and the writers who bring the funny. It stars Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley, Nate Corddry, Timothy Busfield and Sarah Paulson. I've seen two episodes and I already know that this show is going places. Sorkin's sharp and rhythmic dialogue is back and funnier than ever. We get to go behind the scenes of a network and all the politics that come with it. Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry have great chemistry and they are the primary reason this show works. Amanda Peet is great as a studio suit who is more interested in quality rather than greenbacks - yeah, unfortunately this is fiction. In the first episode Judd Hirsch's character gets booted from Sudio 60 for his Network-esque rant about the state of TV today. Hopefully we'll see more of Hirsch's character as the season progresses.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip airs: Monday nights at 10PM on NBC

Smith
Ray Liotta has decided to venture into TV full time - I guess he enjoyed himself during his guest stint on E.R. This definitely has the potential to be a great show, plus it's got a great cast: Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Johnny Lee Miller, Simon Baker, Franky G and Amy Smart. It got off to a bit of a slow start for the pilot, but this week's episode packed a bit more punch. It's kind of like the Sopranos except that they're thieves. It also reminded me a bit of the movie Heat.

Smith airs: Tuesday nights at 10PM on CBS

Six Degrees

Creator J.J. Abrams likes to stay busy, as he has created another show for ABC. I hope they are paying this guy a lot of money - every time I look around he's creating a new show. For me he has done no wrong after Alias and Lost so let’s see if he can keep the streak going. (I never saw What About Brian.) On Lost, one of the focal points of the show is the connectivity between the characters. Obviously Abrams liked that concept enough to make it the main premise of this show. Six Degrees takes place in New York and revolves around six strangers whose lives interconnect with one other's at various places in the pilot. Sometimes they walk past each other in a scene, again very much like in Lost. The cast is great and the pilot episode was interesting enough. My wife made a good point to me, that the show could be better if everyone in it weren't so good looking and seem so well off in New York. We live in New York, damnit, and we want to see more shows about people barely able to pay the rent. Anyway, the stars of this show are: Erika Christensen, Hope Davis, Jay Hernandez, Dorian Missick, Bridget Moynahan and Campbell Scott.

Six Degrees airs: Thursday nights at 10PM on ABC

THE OKAY

Standoff

I came by this show completely by accident. I had just finished watching Office Space on Fox for some reason and afterwards they showed the ad for this show. I really like Ron Livingston (Office Space and Band of Brothers) so I thought I'd give this one a chance. It does not seem episodic; it falls more in line with C.S.I or Law and Order except that the main characters are dating each other. This show is about two F.B.I negotiators, Matt (Ron Livingston) and Emily (Rosemarie DeWitt), who not only partner together - they also sleep together. It's kind of like The Honeymooners meets C.S.I. . So far it's kind of fun - not a lot to think about, but not everything we watch needs to feed the brain. Also I like to see the beautiful Gina Torres working again. She's been fun to watch on Firefly and Alias.

Standoff airs: Tuesday nights at 8PM on FOX

THE IN-BETWEEN

Heroes

So this one was okay. I gotta tell you I was not enthralled; it is a pretty big rip off of X-Men and Lost. You have six principles that may or may not have strange X-Men-like powers: One can fly like the Angel, another can teleport like Nightcrawler and one has a healing factor like Wolverine. The other two are a little different: one guy paints disasters before they happen, which causes him to flip out screaming about the devil and that his hands are evil or something. Then there is the troubled single mom who may or may not have a split personality. I'm not quite sure what her power is but maybe they'll explain it next week. I like the idea of the show but the writing is very cheesy and already I'm annoyed with some of the characters. The kid who thinks he can fly is aggravating, as well as the cheerleader who mutilates herself. We get it: you heal very quickly, move on. The best part was the Japanese guy trying to teleport himself. He's hilarious and the fact that the scene was subtitled is even funnier. Next week Greg Grunberg makes his debut as one of the heroes - hopefully they won't throw him to the side like they did on Alias. He's funny and he deserves a good part. We'll see what happens with this show; personally, I don't think it will make it past Christmas.

Heroes airs: Monday nights at 8PM on NBC

There are a few other shows that I am curious to see but I may wait until they come out on Netflix next year. If you guys have any new shows that you like or don't like, let me know. 'Cause I can't seem to turn off the damn TV, so you might as well give me another excuse to keep watching.

1 comment:

jodi said...

couldn't agree with you more on "Studio 60".... I love that show. SO happy to have Aaron Sorkin dialogue back on television. Ditto the Bradley Whitford/Matthew Perry duo.

I liked "Heroes" a lot better than "Six Degrees"-- I found the 6 degrees pilot really tedious (haven't watched the second ep.) And I agree with your wife-- the "Six Degrees" New York is even MORE egregious and wealthy than the "Sex and the City" New York (Sex and the City folks may have been technically wealthier, but the show at least had the FEEL of the city-- more great on location shots). I just thought a lot of the stuff in 6 Degrees got cliched or cheesy REALLY fast. The only character I really felt for was the widow (she was AMAZING).

Yes, "Heroes" is a TOTAL X-Men rip, but i found the dialogue entertaining and liked the bright colors. I, too, loved Japanese Teleporter Dude. I think it has promise.

gee, I watch more tv than I should :-) DVRs ARE crack. Since "Desperate Houswives" sucks now, "Stargate" is on a break, and I haven't closely followed most shows from the last few seasons, i guess it's ok...