more returning fall tv

So in addition to the fall favorites there are some other shows that tend to hit my tivo:

  • 2 1/2 Men – (CBS, Mon 9/24, 9:00) This sitcom sometimes errs on the crass side of comedy but for the most part they’ve made these somewhat stereotypical characters pretty funny, think Felix and Oscar as brothers only Oscar has a crude, lazy, maybe stupid kid.
  • 30 Rock – (NBC, Thurs 10/4, 8:30) A ‘comedic’ look at behind the scenes of a SNL type show, the characters and stories started to get a good groove toward the end of the season.
  • America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) – (CW, Wed 9/19, 8:00) Ok I admit it, this show is super cheesy, but it’s a pretty good mix of actual challenges and model judging with that unbelievable stupid crazy that reality shows (and probably reality) tend to find.
  • Bones – (Fox, Tues 9/25, 8:00) So maybe I tuned into this just because I would watch anything Angel moved on to, but he and his not yet romantic partner both have good characters and chemistry as she, a forensic anthropologist, and her team, help out the FBI.
  • Brothers and Sisters – (ABC, Thurs 9/30, 10:00) I still don’t love Calista, but again I found myself looking forward to this show. This soapy mess of a family deals with business and personal drama that they mostly create themselves, though much was initially triggered by secrets hidden by the recently deceased patriarch of the family.
  • House – (Fox, Tues 9/25, 9:00) I watch it, but I find the fact that since they are always dealing with a difficult disease in a short amount of time they basically look like they try a bunch of stuff that isn’t working for an hour until they land on the right thing mostly just in time. Also though the House character is too over the top, Hugh Laurie does do a great job.
  • My Name is Earl – (NBC, Thurs 9/27, 8:00) I just sort of like Jason Lee as the bumbling white trash small time crook trying to right his wrongs, with the crazy cast of supporting characters.
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine – (CBS, Midseason) Julia Louis-Dreyfus finally found a good vehicle to do her own brand of self deprecating and physical comedy while she deals with trying to reenter the dating world, among other things, with support from her family and friends.
  • Numb3rs – (CBS, Fri 9/28, 10:00) A relatively formulaic crime show, I guess I like the way they use math to solve the crimes, explaining complex algorithms with silly metaphors, and the family dynamic with math wiz, fbi guy, and normal guy dad.
  • The Office – (NBC, Thurs 9/27, 9:00) I was pained at first by watching annoying people in an office, I mean don’t we all get enough of that at our own offices, but this US version seems to have hit it’s stride with some added subtlety to the comic folks.
  • Scrubs – (NBC, Thurs 10/25, 8:30) This hospital comedy has a pretty good dose of ridiculous characters and scenarios but I think it works.

I do tend to hold some procedurals ’til summer reruns: L&O, L&O: SVU, and Criminal Minds with the occasional dash of CSI.

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returning fall favorites

Ok the clock is counting down and although I’m always excited about new shows there’s nothing quite like a returning favorite, and here are a few of my most anticipated:

  • Heroes – (NBC, Mon 9/24, 9:00) A random group of folks suddenly realize they have special abilities, from time travel to reading minds to who knows what. They have to navigate their own lives and of course a big conspiracy plot and of course more people with special abilities. I wasn’t sold on first watch but I found myself looking forward to it each week as it grew nicely into its ensemble and its story arcs. I still think it has some uneven parts and characters but I like the fact that the characters are flawed and at different stages of struggling with their newfound powers and that good and evil are often not all that clean cut. Oh and did I mention Veronica Mar’s very own Kristin Bell is joining the ensemble for at least a little while?
  • Lost – (winter/spring) After Gilligan’s Island no one really thought the deserted island thing would fly, but when the plane crashed the survivors had more than cracking coconuts to deal with. They’re uncovering the mysteries of the island, it’s previous and current ‘Others’, as well as dealing with each other. The heavy use of backstories is a great tool to keep character development fresh and give us some time in the real world. I am of course as frustrated as the next person that they seem drop in more mysterious happenings without really ever explaining much, I mean what’s up with the smoke monster? New viewers would be confused, but then again so are the rest of us, but I stilll can’t resist it.
  • Grey’s Anatomy – (ABC, Thurs 9/27, 9:00) So surgical intern Meredith Grey starts in a Seattle hospital and we follow her, and her fellow interns, and other medical staff, through the traumas of medical care, but more importantly the dramas of their personal lives. And yes its all overdone enough to be unrealistic so you just have to give it a dose of soapy suspended reality. I still have a slightly Ally McBeale-esque visceral disdain for the title character, but the ensemble really ended up working.
  • How I Met Your Mother – (CBS, Mon 9/24, 8:00) This show made me laugh out loud last season more than any other. The episode with Robin as Canadian popstar and the slap bets alone raised the bar on this series. What started as a schmaltzy unrequited crush show turned into a great use of an excellent ensemble. Though I still can’t help but wondering if it would be better without the whole How I Met Your Mother premise.
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me and tv

Well there are some things that I have to go on the record about if I’m going to share anything I have to say about television. I only have basic cable. There I said it. And I don’t mean everything but HBO, I mean the shows you should get with an antenna but don’t, with a few extras thrown in for good measure. TVland, Food Network, Verses, WGN, and Discovery Channel are the major hightlights. I can’t bring myself to throw down for a greater cable expense and the only reason I buckled on this much was because I could no longer get good reception on NBC. Oh and I thought it would be easier with Tivo.

I heart my Tivo! But I have the old one where you can only record one show at a time. I am tempted to pony up for a new box but I have a lifetime membership which isn’t transferable from my current box. And well clearly I’m cheap. My friend keeps trying to get me to get rid of my vcr but I need it as backup. Little does he know that I have a second vcr that’s not even hooked up to the cable in case of emergencies like the start of the fall season before you settle into shows or shows settle into their final timeslots.

So what’s my tv history? I like a mix of dramas, dramedies and sitcoms. To give you some examples from days of yore, Buffy the Vampire Slayer holds a high bar for strong and sassy leads, but I also hold a dear spot in my heart for Alias, Veronica Mars, and Gillmore Girls (particularly the early years). Of course Buffy lead me into anything by Joss Whedon, and I dug Angel and Firefly (while they let me). I’ve done the whole must see Thursday night TV with Friends and Seinfeld, and always had hopes to be amused by anything else they threw in the lineup. I like the faux smart television of West Wing (also the early years). And I can’t help but love a little cheesy soap, think 90210 and the OC, though they always outlive their best times.

I’m not a huge watcher of reality shows. I got hooked on the early years of Survivor, American Idol, and America’s Next Top Model among others. But I find that they are easier to drop from season to season since there’s no ongoing story or characters to follow, and some of them just became to repititive after awhile. While I accept there are some good ones out there, and that even the bad can often be entertaining, I decided that was where I would draw the line. Did I mention I still can’t stop watching America’s Next Top Model? Well there I said that too.

I like a general crime procedural show but I tend to pick those up during summer reruns. I stay away from gameshows, traditional sports, and generally stay away from daytime tv. Though I’m guilty of the occasional glimpse at The View or Ellen or Oprah on a sick day.

Yes though I’ve really only touched on shows of yesteryear, stay tuned for what I’m most looking forward to returning in this fall season.

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