TV Week

This is a post I've sort of been dreading writing – not because I don’t want to write it, but because it means summer is officially over and the onslaught of a new TV season is upon us ... It’s been such an enjoyable, free summer away from the pull of the TV set.

Then, why do you let it pull you back in? you ask. … Wish I had a better answer. Other than that some stuff on TV is just so darn entertaining (See below: Glee). And fascinating. And eye-opening.

Ah, but the fall TV season is upon us ...

So let’s get’s started.

* * *

After much thought, I'm giving up on "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters."

Sad I know. They've been our Sunday night mainstays for as long as both have been on the air. In fact, we haven't missed an episode of either show.

Kates insists she’s sticking with “Brothers & Sisters,” but I'm taking a hard line on my drama intake this year. I just can't take it anymore. I'm desperate for lighter, funnier fare. Stuff that leaves me happy and giddy when I go to bed at night and prepare to face another day of my somewhat dramatic work in this crazy tough world we live.

I'm facing it. "Desperate Housewives" will never be as fresh and bold and riveting and colorful as it was in that mind-boggling first season.

And "Brothers and Sisters" has become too predictable; I'm tired of watching the Walker clan spill each other's secrets and the inevitable blowup during another one of the family's classic dinners. It’s a formula for every episode, it seems.

And yet, I’m hanging on to “Grey’s Anatomy,” which like its former Sunday night ABC counterpart will never be as fresh and dreamy as it was that first season of love. But I can’t yet bare to break up with it.

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Speaking of fresh, colorful shows ...

"Glee" is back!

Kates and I had to put it off an extra night because we committed Wednesday night to watching President Obama's healthcare speech (which was wonderful, we thought).

Like just about every one else in America who caught last spring's pilot episode, we've been anxiously awaiting it's return this fall ... And, despite some reviews that suggested otherwise, we thought the new episode was even funnier and entertaining than the pilot. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

It's punchy, snarky humor about a high school glee club -- without the sugar and sweetness of "High School Musical." Wednesday night's episode was loaded with one-liners.

I looooove Emma and the way she stutters and stumbles in the presence of Will. ... I, too, enjoy watching Terri and Quinn, even though they're supposed to be the villains. Quinn's performance of "I Say A Little Prayer" and its visually cool choreography was arguably my favorite musical number of the night.

Remembering Jessalyn Gilsig and Jayma Mays as their more serious characters on "Heroes" also made it fun to see them in comedic roles.

Yes, the show could not have cast a better person for Sue Sylvester than Jane Lynch. And yes, I too was shocked at how raunchy the "Push It" performance was for a network primetime show -- but it was all in the name of comedy.

* * *

Ellen Degeneres as the fourth “American Idol” judge …?

Wha … ?


I’m not sure what to think of this one.

I’m a huge fan of the good ‘ol sunny, bubbly Ellen. (See Jenna Bush’s phone call to her dad.)

But as a judge on “American Idol?” Not seeing it.

My initial reaction was that – while it will be entertaining to see how she contrasts with Simon Cowell – she’s not a music person (A music lover, yes. But she’s not a music industry person). She’s a comedian. And thus the show becomes less about music and more centered on its judges and their distinct personalities and slams on one another.

My initial reaction was that I didn’t like the idea one bit.

Then again, especially since the news of Paula Abdul’s departure, I’ve been on the fence of whether to return to Idol for its ninth season.

With Ellen in the “Idol” house, I’m thinking I’m going to have to return, which proves the powers-that-be are creating a new buzz about the show and they just might know what they’re doing after all.

* * *

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned Kates and I are getting into “Mad Men”

I’m still saying it’s really too bad it took us three years, and now we’re playing catch-up.

But Sunday night’s episode I thought was the best we’ve seen yet … Between Peggy’s search for a roommate and the death of Grandpa Draper – which I totally did not see coming this soon. Then, there was poor Sally Draper, whose emotions EW summed up swimmingly in its review of the episode …

Can someone please give Kiernan Shipka an ice cream sundae The young actress, who plays tortured Sally Draper, certainly earned a special treat with that performance on the front stoop (''no! no! no!'') and later in the kitchen amongst the adults. It was an episode about family, and the fraught tether that binds its members. Parents demand too little or too much, inevitably disappointing in small and large ways. Children crave recognition and approval, even when they're breaking free of legacy. And nobody dealt with their familial pain and longing better than little Sally, who seemed to experience all seven stages of grief in the one hour.

* * *

TV columnist Tom Shales had a good read the other day about the challenge “Saturday Night Live” faces this year after last year’s dynamite season.

I couldn’t agree more with the notion that it’s not looking good.

Kates and I were equally shocked to learn of Michaela Watkins’ dismissal from the show. After her funny turn on “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” we were thrilled to see her cast on SNL, where her Hoda Kotb and a number of other characters were instant goodness. … But I can side with Lorne Michaels’ reported opinion that Watkins deserves her own show. It’s just too bad he thought she deserved it after just one season on SNL.

On the other hand, I won’t be missing Casey Wilson who was also dismissed from SNL. I just didn't think she was funny.

* * *

Here’s some of the new shows Kates and I are eyeing up and looking to try this fall … The keyword is try. If it's anything like previous years, we'll end up holding on to one or two of these ...

a Accidentally on Purpose
a Jay Leno
a Hank
a The Middle
a Modern Family
a Cougar Town
a FlashForward
a Community


Matt and Lynne said...

We just got into Mad Men, too, and we're totally addicted. I didn't see your previous post about it, which is probably good because I would be pestering you with dissections and discussion. I am obessessed. I was getting worried because there was so much set up at the start of the season. The last two episodes were fantastic and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they handle some personal and national events.

On another topic, did you see MJ's speech? That guys is nuts. A great athlete, but not too nice.
A real Draper, in some ways.

Horns! said...

Just looked back at this post. I said we'd hold onto one or two of the new shows, and I was right. "Modern Family" is the only one that held are attention -- or wasn't canceled.