Now that nearly all the shows I was interested in have premiered, and most of them have gotten a couple of episodes out, here’s what I’m liking so far. Pretty much in order of how much I like them. There’s going to spoilers for all of them, just fyi. The few shows that I’m planning to look at but haven’t premiered yet are Women’s Murder Club (which I won’t actually be able to watch unless ABC puts it up on their website, or I obtain it via, um, other means, because of scheduling conflicts) and The Next Great American Band, which is American Idol for bands, and which has one of the Australian Idol judges on it! I was really excited when I saw that in a promo tonight. I might try Cashmere Mafia when it starts in December (I think), because Lucy Liu is in it, but I decided against Christina Applegate’s amnesia sitcom Samantha Who?, because the more commercials I see for it, the stupider it looks.
This show is so close to perfect right now, it’s not even funny. The very first scene of the opener, spoofing telenovelas? Loved. And the way they did Hilda dealing with Santos’ death was so great–they had me fooled, but it was niggling in the back of my mind that if they really had Santos recover from being shot in the chest from a foot away, it would be really bad from a narrative point of view. But what they did worked really well. And America Ferrera, as always, great (she won an Emmy, you know). And Mark, and Amanda, and Christina (apropos of nothing, I just discovered that Ashley Jensen is on HBO’s Extras, which you should totally watch), and Wilhemena…I had no idea how much I had missed the show over the summer. Please, please, watch it if you’re not.
I’m not hugely loving the hour-long format; I think that’s short-lived, though. Some shows are just half-hour shows, and that’s the pacing that works for them, and The Office is one of those shows. The opener was pretty good, but the second ep really hit the stride, as Ryan comes back fresh from his promotion and starts overhauling the business and being generally douchy while Michael complains that the changes represent ageism. Brilliant. And Jim and Pam. SO ADORABLE. Please let them be happy and adorable for a long time without making them angsty. Let others deal with the relationship issues for a while, and just let Jim and Pam be adorable.
First three eps this year were brilliant. House and Wilson getting into a kidnapping war, House bouncing ideas off the janitor, actually interesting cases, the search for the new team members is cracking me up… I honestly don’t mind if they keep Cameron and Chase off House’s team for a while–as long as they’re around somewhere–and some of the new team possibilities interest me. I like the really annoyingly pushy chick, because I can see some entertaining explosions coming out of the fact that she’s just as ruthless and pigheaded as House, and I like the old guy. And I also like the woman who ended up killing the guy this week (ooh, someone died on House! That never ever happens), but I guess the fact that she killed someone may not bode well. We’ll see. But I’m not sure about Foreman getting fired from his new job…that whole subplot wasn’t really well-integrated, and that leaves the door open for Foreman to come back or something, and he was the one of the team that I didn’t mind leaving.
Friday Night Lights
I finished S1 on DVD on Friday one hour before the new season’s premiere. Yay! There’s something so fresh about the show, even though it’s about a small-town high school football coach and his family and his team, which doesn’t seem like a very original, innovative subject. But the writing is really good, the characterization is really good, and the camerawork is uncompromising (though the handheldedness of it can get a little annoying at times). Mr. and Mrs. Coach are the best adult couple on television, no question about it. And if I can fall in love with a show about football, as much as I dislike sports, you can too. So come on. The premiere went a number of interesting directions, a few of which had me screaming at the TV, so really, this season could go anywhere.
There’s only been one episode so far this season, but it left me wanting more immediately. 30 Rock is sort of one of those shows that sneaks up on you with how good it is. I watched it for weeks last year before I realized that I didn’t just casually enjoy it, but I honestly loved it. And I say that about so few sitcoms. Seinfeld-vision is brilliant, like most of 30 Rock‘s other comic indictments of consumerism and mercenary motivations of television execs. And poor Liz Lemon with her wedding dress! And Alec Baldwin is better than he’s been in years.
Okay, so I’m really mad at Grey’s right now. But it still legitimately counts as an obsession, since obsession includes the idea of being unable to let go of something that no longer really lives up to expectations. And I can’t let it go. I still love the characters, even though they’re being stupid, and I still love the music, and I still love the show. And every once in a while there are flashes of goodness, and for an obsessed person, sometimes that’s enough. Plus, Becky and I spent the whole show last week arguing through text messages over whether or not Lexie is annoying enough to merit Meredith’s bitchiness toward her, and anything that provokes logical argumentation has value, right? Right?
More after the jump.