Tag Archives: The Office

fall2010

Fall TV Is Upon Us Once Again

This year I’ve decided to watch less TV. I decide this every year, and somehow end up with roughly 17-20 shows I try to watch anyway. Sure enough when I added up all the ones I want to check out this year, I ended up with seventeen. But I’m pretty serious about cutting back, even if it means leaving behind some things.

Definitely Watching – Returning Shows

These are the shows that I just can’t bring myself to give up.

Fringe

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Possibly my most-anticipated returning show this year. Season Two stepped up to the place something fierce after a rocky first season, and last year’s finale had me salivating to return to the Fringe universe – or should I say universes. Fringe is probably the best sci-fi you’ll see this fall, and is starting to get enough ideas going that it may make it onto the list of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows, if it can keep up S2′s momentum.

Community

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I never would’ve guessed it going into last year, but freshman sitcom Community consistently out-classed its more established siblings on NBC’s Thursday line-up, offering a witty and satirical look at self-absorbed types going back to community college. There’s far more here than meets the eye, and if the writing stays half as strong this year as last, I’m totally in.

Castle

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Usually I start each year with several crime procedurals, because they make me happy. Generally, they fall off my schedule fairly quickly as my time runs short, though. Castle is one that hasn’t, because its combination of mystery/procedural, comedy, and character development hits that sweet spot that most procedurals can only manage for a few episodes at a time before it gets old. Thanks to the actors and snappy writing, so far Castle has stayed fresh, and I look forward to seeing much more Nathan Fillion on my TV.

Chuck

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I very nearly threw Chuck over when it spend way too long waffling on the will-they-won’t-they of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Now it seems they’ve firmly moved on from that and tied it up in a very satisfying way without letting it get boring, plus the setup for this season, with Chuck probably going rogue, looks to take the show in a whole new direction. This is one show that manages to reinvent itself almost every season and make it work. But if they do start waffling on Chuck and Sarah again? I’m probably out.

Sanctuary

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Syfy shows have been doing right by me lately, and I’ve just about caught up S2 so I can start right in on S3 when it starts (S1 and S2 are on Netflix Instant Watch). It’s not a great show, but it’s fun, geeky, B-movie-like, Nicolas Tesla and Jack the Ripper are characters, and with Warehouse 13 finishing up its season next week, I’m going to want something in this wheelhouse around.

(Also Parks & Recreation is a definitely watch when it returns in spring. I’m still a little miffed at NBC for delaying it.)

Trying Out – New Shows

The Walking Dead

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AMC does zombies? Based on a graphic novel series? Seems a little outside their wheelhouse, but so far every original AMC show has been 100% awesome, plus I gotta check out what they do with the zombies. The trailers released so far look pretty darn good.

Undercovers

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J.J. Abrams + spies = I will at least give it a try. It may be nothing more than Alias-lite, and it’s not like we haven’t seen the married spy angle in countless other shows and movies, but from the clips I’ve seen, looks like there’s a nice mix of action and humor here, with good chemistry between the leads. We’ll see how it goes, but I can’t skip a J.J. show.

Nikita

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This one has already started, and I have the episodes recorded but haven’t watched them yet. Not an auspicious beginning of keeping up with TV this year. But so far reactions from people who like TV I like are quite positive, and have increased my interest. I love spy shows, and I don’t have any nostalgic connection to the earlier series (no one seems to be mentioning the Luc Besson film, which I have seen, but didn’t love), so I’ll be coming into it fairly unbiased, aside from my general bias against CW shows.

No Ordinary Family

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Looks like a live-action The Incredibles, with a family suddenly getting superpowers and having to figure out what to do with them. This could really go either way, but with Julie Benz and Michael Chiklis as the parents, it definitely seems worth a shot. The really REALLY bland marketing so far is not encouraging me, though.

Boardwalk Empire

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Martin Scorsese producing an HBO show sounds like a winner right out of the gate, and the period Atlantic City setting is attractive to me, too. Of course, I don’t get HBO, so I may not actually be watching this right away, but if I did, I would be.

On Notice – Returning Shows

These are shows I’m going to probably start watching, but whether I keep watching them will depend greatly on how much time I have and how compelling they end up being for me this year.

Caprica

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We thought this was going to be a mid-season return, but turns out Syfy is starting it later this fall after all. Good thing, because hopefully it can get enough legs this way that they’ll renew it. And hopefully it will deserve renewing. It has been a pretty slow burn, but there’s so much percolating in there that I love that I really hope it comes into its own this year.

Stargate: Universe

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I enjoy SGU quite a bit and it filled a space-travel-sci-fi-shaped hole last year pretty well, but I’m not going to be too upset if I can’t make time for it this year. I’m going to try, but no promises, unless the writing turns really compelling. It had a couple of really good episodes last year, but tended to meander and backtrack a bit overmuch.

Survivor: Nicaragua

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I’ve had a soft spot for Survivor the last few years, even though I didn’t watch it for the first several seasons. Last season was really good, with the two all-star teams, but I’m afraid it can’t really come up to that again. Survivior is my go-to “I’m too drained to watch anything else tonight” show, but there’s so much on Instant Watch now that I’m likely not to need it for that.

30 Rock

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Oh, 30 Rock. I love you, but the last year or two have been a little lackluster. Both of the two newcomer shows to NBC’s Thursday night outshone even you, and I can’t promise that I’ll keep you if you don’t step it up.

How I Met Your Mother

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This is a comfort show for me. I love the characters, but the storylines haven’t really been grabbing me for a couple of years. These are the kind of cuts that are hard to make, but especially since this isn’t available on hulu, I’m likely to leave it behind.

Family Guy

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Family Guy is one of the few shows that I don’t care about watching in order, or if I miss an episode. So I’ll probably keep it in my hulu queue just for those times when I have 20 minutes and need some quick laughs, but it isn’t something I’ll feel the need to watch every week.

The Office

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*sigh* This one’s hard, but I haven’t really been enjoying it for a couple of years. It’s time to cut the cord. Unless Amy Ryan comes back, which it seems like may happen from last season’s finale. Those episodes I might watch, even though it seems like a rather desperate attempt to recover the one thing that was good about the show the last couple of seasons.

The Amazing Race

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I get a kick out of the whole traveling-around-the-world aspect of the show, but the last couple of years the format has been getting really stale for me, and the contestants more and more annoying. Not really worth it anymore.

Tentatively Checking Out – New Shows

Checking these out, but I’m not totally convinced they’re going to stay on my schedule.

The Event

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Heh, yeah, so this is the only one that ended up down here. I will probably check out an episode or two of this, but the marketing is sooooo earnest and sooooo “this is the next big show” that I’m pretty dubious. My guess is it’ll turn out exactly like FlashForward did last year. In other words, not good.

Fall TV is Upon Us Again

And my DVR begins its protests against abuse and overwork. I’m trying to cut down this year, really I am, but I think what’s going to happen (again) is I start off watching way too much and then shows will fall off as the season goes on. At least this year I already have a color-coded list of which shows are first on the chopping block. YES, color-coded. What? I’m a nerd.

So what’s on everyone else’s schedules? Let me know! I’m going to try to post more about TV this year – if only because I need to get into the habit of posting more, and TV is an easy topic to do.

Definitely Watching

Dollhouse
Dollhouse
I was shocked and pleased when Fox renewed Dollhouse last year; I can’t wait to see where it goes this year. Hopefully far enough that I’ll soon forget the disappointment of the simultaneous (and probably related) demise of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

30 Rock
30 rock
Doesn’t come back until the middle of October! Wah. But then it’s always late, isn’t it? Ah well, Liz Lemon and her crew are worth waiting for, always.

Mad Men
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This one started several weeks ago, actually. And I’m already four or five episodes behind. Way to start the season, there. In my defence, I was finishing up Season 2 on disc. But I really need to marathon it and catch up, because it’s one of the best shows on TV right now.

Fringe
Fringe
I spent all last year deciding whether to keep watching Fringe, because I didn’t feel any connection with Olivia, and had some issues with the narrative. But then the finale had like six WTF moments, and it turned out to be one of my most-anticipated returning shows. That could be because it’s sci-fi and I’m hungry for any sci-fi right now. Or it could be because alternate realities are the BEST EVER. We’ll see if the season bears out the promise of last year’s finale.

V
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I haven’t seen the original series, I’m not going to. It’s sci-fi. I’m watching it, and I’m excited about it. And upset that it doesn’t start until FRAKKING NOVEMBER.

The Office
The Office
Poo-ball! Yeah, that’s what I took away from the season premiere. And also, Jim and Pam are still adorable. I remember being afraid that after a while their adorableness would wear off and the writers would be forced to break them up to keep interest, but I’m more confident now that they won’t do that.

How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother
Three words: Neil Patrick Harris. A few more words: I was such a huge fan of Ted-Robin that I fought Barney-Robin like crazy. But I give in. They’re good. There are so few sitcoms I can watch, and HIMYM keeps popping back near the top of my list.

So You Think You Can Dance
So You Think You Can Dance
In the fall! I’m so excited! My wittle baby summer show gets a fall slot. I love everything about this show, except when people get eliminated. That part I don’t like. I could go on and on about how it kicks American Idol’s ass, but I did that years ago. Nothing has changed.

Family Guy
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Usually this is on my “watch when I have time” list, just because the episodes don’t depend on seeing them all or seeing them in order. But Family Guy gets quoted approximately 8,295,372 times every day at work, so I gotta keep up. Plus, it’s hilarious.

Project Runway
Project Runway
I’m not a fashion person, but Project Runway is some damn fine TV. Just seeing what the designers come up with to meet the requirements of the challenge is fascinating (and often the most outlandish challenges get the most remarkable results, go figure). The season is well underway, and thankfully the switch from Bravo to Lifetime doesn’t seem to have hurt it at all.

Survivor: Samoa
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Yep, I got sucked into Survivor. I resisted for years, but I’m there now. Although so far this year, the one guy who thinks he’s all that is annoying me so much. I hope he gets voted off soonish.

FlashForward
FlashForward
I’m calling this one pseudo-sci-fi until I see more, though most people seem to be considering it a sci-fi show. Personally, I think everyone simultaneously blacking out and seeing a vision of their future is an interesting if somewhat gimmicky premise, but doesn’t guarantee actual sci-fi-ness. But it’s one of the few new shows I’m excited about, and it has Joseph Fiennes. So there you go.

Glee
Glee
I’m a little more skeptical of hyped-up music-infested high school-set shows than some of my friends, but it at least looks to be a good guilty pleasure show. Don’t get me wrong, I love music and musicals, but I’m not really a fan of the music they’ve had on the show so far. Too “High School Musical.” Which is, of course, the obvious comparison.

We’ll See

The Simpsons
Ditto what I said about Family Guy. I haven’t kept up as well with The Simpsons, though, in previous seasons, so I feel less bad if I get behind.

The Amazing Race
Usually TAR is at the top of my reality show list, but I’m starting to get a little bored with its formula. But I’m keeping it on my schedule because a) I like seeing all the places they go and b) honestly, some nights, reality tv is all I have the energy to watch, so I need a few options.

Top Chef
I enjoy Top Chef and always watch in the summer when it starts, but I don’t love it enough to keep it up if I get behind on other stuff. OTOH, the early start means it ends early.

Bones
I actually love Bones a lot, but I got behind on it last year and missed half a season. I watched the season opener last week, and I don’t think picking it back up will be an issue, but we’ll see.

Community
Really only watched this last week because it’s in 30 Rock‘s spot and I figured, why not. We’ll see if it has staying power once the schedule gets crazier and it moves timeslots.

The Cleveland Show
I’m going to start out watching this because a) Family Guy spin-off and b) I know the head animator. But the previews I’ve seen have not been promising. We’ll see.

Will Probably Drop

House
I love House, really, but I missed half of last season, and I was starting to get a little bored with House’s schtick anyway. I’m gonna try a couple of eps once they show up on hulu, but in a time crunch, I’ve got to say goodbye to the good doctor.

The Mentalist
Got behind on this one last year, too, but I enjoyed the episodes I saw. I’m going to try to pick it up again, but procedurals are usually the first to drop when I start running out of time.

Numb3rs
Procedural. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but the last year or so hasn’t kept me as interested.

NCIS
I missed a lot of this one last year, too. I think there’s something going on with Ziva that I know NOTHING about, so I’m not sure I can pick it back up without seeing the episodes I missed. Not sure I want to, either…I have one recorded and I’ll check it out, but I’ll probably drop it soon.

NCIS: Los Angeles
I gotta give any show set in LA a chance, but even the billboards look stupid, so no high hopes.

Criminal Minds
I love the cases on Criminal Minds, some of the more fascinating ones in any of the procedurals, but again, procedural. And I really didn’t watch it at all until last season, so I don’t have a lot invested in it.

Ugly Betty
This one kills me. I *love* Ugly Betty, but I missed so much of it last year. I don’t think I want to start it up again without watching the ones I missed, so I may put this down as a “watch on DVD later.”

Not Watching

Grey’s Anatomy
Big fan for years, even against my will at times, but I lost track last year (wow, last year sucked for me and TV, huh?), and I’d already fallen into a love-hate relationship with the show. I’ll probably be a happier person without it.

Desperate Housewives
My love-hate relationship with DH fell way more into hate last year, so I’m not really even half-way considering trying to pick it back up. Sorry, guys, you lost me somewhere around the time you stopped lampooning soaps and became one.

The Big Bang Theory
I’ve never been a Big Bang Theory watcher, but I’ve told people I would try it. I tried it. It’s not that funny, guys. Not against NBCs sitcoms and HIMYM. And the laugh track kills whatever jokes might’ve been funny.

Heroes
There’s not really any question with Heroes. I gave up middle of last season when it did not improve after the debacle of the previous season, and despite the fact that Bryan Fuller is back, I refuse to be pulled back into it again. This is probably the only show I’ve ever watched that I literally dreaded watching off the DVR every week.

The Season So Far…

Now that most shows have had a few weeks to get going, let’s see how the must-watch lists are playing out. Spoilers for all aired episodes are likely.

Obsessing/Loving

These are the shows that a) get watched almost immediately, b) I anticipate every week, c) I whole-heartedly love every episode whether it deserves it or not.

Chuck
I am pretty much loving Chuck more than anything else right now. It’s one of the few shows I MUST WATCH the night it airs. I’m enjoying the slow progress in Chuck and Sarah’s relationship; sure, they’re stalling it with the whole “agent-asset no-dating” policy, but it’s working for me. They’re also making good use of Morgan this season – last year he got incredibly annoying for me, but this year they’ve got him on enough to bring the extra funny but not enough to be overkill. (I think giving him a girlfriend was the key.) And can we just talk about Casey? I’ve been an Adam Baldwin fan since Firefly, but he’s nearly as awesome here. Everything is awesome. Although, the Sarah vs. Nicole Richie fight in the last episode? Cool on one level, but in the locker room? With the showers on? Obviously written by men. ;)

How I Met Your Mother
The last episode made me really happy. Not that I have anything against Stella; I like her a lot. But any time I can grab any hope of Robin and Ted getting back together, even temporarily, raises my spirits. They’re my ‘ship, y’all. You can’t compete with that. Ooh, and Alyson Hannigan is apparently expecting a child with hubby Alexis Denisof – wonder if they’ll write that into the show?

Grey’s Anatomy
I know, I know. Grey’s was on probation at the beginning of the season. And would I say it’s really gotten a ton better? Some, maybe, but not a ton. But when I started watching the first episode this year, I went a little melty inside. Because they’re my people. And they are acting more in character than they have for a couple of years, so I’ll give them that. And Callie isn’t messing with George any more. (I was never a fan of that relationship, let’s just be frank. I don’t much care about her or Erica, so they can go do whatever and I can just largely ignore them. Keep them both away from my core group.) I can’t explain the comfort I feel just having Meredith, George, Izzie and Cristina on my screen, because it isn’t rational. That, more than any other reason, is why the show’s in the “obsessing” category.

30 Rock
In case you didn’t catch it, the premiere’s up on hulu now. Yay! It’s hard to say much about the season only one episode in, but Megan Mulally as a guest star is a great start. And the writing remains typically high quality, and Fey and Baldwin continue to play off each other perfectly (and if you didn’t see the cold open on SNL last week with Sarah Palin, and Fey and Baldwin, you should look that up on hulu too). Oh, I’ve missed you, 30 Rock! Please don’t stay away so long again.

Pushing Daisies
I’m still a little worried about how they’re going to continue the coy Ned-Chuck relationship, but when the show started up this season, I just fell in love with it all over again. The clown episode was pretty weak, but the others have all been interesting and well-balanced between monster-of-the-week and relationshippy stuff. So I’m glad I don’t write for it, but I’m more than willing to go along for the ride and go “aw” every ten minutes.

Enjoying

These are the shows that I consistently enjoy watching, often love, but for whatever reason aren’t grabbing me as much as the shows in the above category. Roughly in “most enjoying” to “least enjoying” order, but I’ve moved them around so many times I can’t guarantee that.

Ugly Betty
Betty‘s coming along nicely this year, I think. I like moving her down to the city (though her totally hot, guitar-playing next-door neighbor needs to make another appearance, stat), I like the arc with Daniel’s son (though I guess that’s over now), it’s good to see Gio back, and I even liked the stint at the other magazine. Not that I would’ve wanted Daniel and Betty to stay there, but it was a nice contrast to Mode. Bummer that I guess Alexis is out for a while (I suppose this is how they’re dealing with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’s pregnancy). Suggestion – do more with Mark and Amanda!

The Office
I miss Pam. :( I mean, I know she’s around, but the lack of Jim-Pam interaction is getting me a little down. On the other hand, Michael + Holly? FULL OF WIN. Every time I see Holly, it’s hard for me to believe that it’s the same Amy Ryan that played the neglectful low-class mother in Gone Baby Gone. Maybe I should reevaluate my meh impression of her performance in the film. Anyway. I’m a little bored with the Dwight-Angela-Andy triangle, so I wish they’d finish that arc out somehow. And bring Pam back.

The Mentalist
I wasn’t even fully planning to watch this show, but I did, and it’s one of my favorite new ones of the season. It’s a procedural, and the main character has powers of observation and mental deduction that border on psychic power. But aren’t. Anyway, he’s also a really likeable character, and his partner is played by the girl who played Veronica on Prison Break (who I really liked before I stopped watching it). So it’s kinda like Psych, but less goofy, and doesn’t make me want to hit the main character half the time.

Crusoe
Honestly, I expected Crusoe to crash and burn (a primetime network series set in the 18th century?), but I just watched the 2-hour pilot and was really impressed. It’s like Swiss Family Robinson meets Pirates of the Caribbean, and I enjoyed pretty much every second – especially those seconds that had Friday in them, because Friday is awesome. If they can keep the interest level as high in future episodes as it was in the pilot, and figure out how to get people to watch a period piece, even a swashbuckling one, on Friday nights, I’m in for a while.

Survivor
I need help, people. I’ve been railing against reality TV, led by Survivor, for years. And I decided I’d never actually watched Survivor and I should, just to say I had. And now I can’t stop. Reality TV is like a contagious disease, and now I’m infected with Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Last Comic Standing, etc. HELP ME. Or don’t. Just let me go.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles
I’m actually a few weeks behind on this, because it’s up against Chuck and How I Met Your Mother (see above) and I haven’t been keeping up online as quickly as I should. But every episode I do watch I really enjoy. I think it’s found a good stride, I’m fascinated by the things going on with Cameron, and I like John’s newly found rebellious streak. Thankfully it did get picked up for the rest of the season; now if I can just sit myself down long enough to catch up.

House
Oh, House. It’s getting in a bit of a rut – it feels like they’re starting plot points that just sort of peter out or get unsatisfying resolutions. I’m not sure exactly what to do to really fix it, but the good news is that it’s not all the way broken, because it somehow remains enjoyable. I want them to make something good of the Thirteen storyline, but they need to give her more depth as a character. I’m kind of done with the House-Wilson feud, but I think maybe they are, too. Anyway, it’s not appointment TV anymore, but it’s still good next-day DVR viewing.

The Amazing Race
See above re: Survivor. Although I actually feel less bad about liking The Amazing Race because, hello, traveling around the world. I’d like to be ON The Amazing Race. It’s lower on the list this year, though, because honestly, the people racing this year are pretty boring. I like the mom and son team (they’re nice and know that being nice to other people tends to result in good karma for them) and the brother and sister team (um, because they’re pretty? And a strong team). I want the divorcees gone now, because they annoy me. Frat boys ditto. But really, the biggest drama these people can come up with is “OMG, she pushed my sports bra off the ledge!” Where’s Rob and Amber when you need them?

The Unit
I’ve never watched The Unit before; only started because my pastor keeps mentioning it (it’s filmed near where he lives). So I’m still jumping into learning about the characters and what all they’re doing. Honestly, right now, the sections dealing with the unit wives interests me more than the shenanigans the unit itself gets into. However, I do find all the characters interesting, and I expect once I’ve spent more time with them I’ll be a lot more into the show, which is pretty solid.

Dirty Sexy Money
I’m not sure where they’re going with this season (and I miss Juliet like whoa; she needs to come back stat), but then you pretty much watch Dirty Sexy Money just to go along for the ride. Narrative arc? What? :) It’s kind of like I don’t feel a driving need to start watching each episode (I do because my DVR fills up otherwise), but once I start, I always enjoy watching, just to see what crazy things will happen. And I really like pretty much all of the characters. I tell you what though, if Nick doesn’t start treating Lisa better, I’m going to smack him. Plus, I don’t know how much longer they can drag out the Lisa-vs-the-Darlings tension (which has been going on since the beginning of S1) before it gets REALLY OLD.

Desperate Housewives
Jumping ahead by five years actually seems to be working out. I’m enjoying Lynette’s dealing with her now-teenage twins, Bree’s new business, and Susan’s new boyfriend (yeah, I liked Mike a lot, but new guy is pretty hot, too). Not loving Gaby’s storyline, but neither is she, so maybe that works out. The big season mystery could turn out pretty interesting too – certainly Edie’s new husband is an intriguing character. It’s not first off the DVR anymore, but I’m still into it.

Bones
I’m not disliking this season, but I’m not hugely in love with it, either. It’s not even the lack of Zack that’s got me down. It’s nothing, really, except that I’m probably watching too many shows and the procedurals, as much as I enjoy them, are taking the worst of it. Plus it’s been on hiatus for the past few weeks (baseball? I don’t know) and so it’s not fresh in my head as I write this.

Watching

These are the shows I’m continuing to watch, but I’m not heavily invested in. I probably won’t cut any of them, but they’re weekend filler.

Numb3rs
Numb3rs is usually weekend filler, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I like Numb3rs a lot, but if I missed an episode, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire it before the next week.

NCIS
NCIS is another one, like Numb3rs, that is good weekend show. My enjoyment of the episodes largely depends on how much Abby there is (and Ziva, and their interactions with Tony and McGee). Looks like next week’s is going to be an Abby-in-danger episode, which pretty much guarantees I’ll be watching it sooner than usual.

Criminal Minds
I just started watching this after people told me I couldn’t claim to like procedurals and not watch Criminal Minds. And yes, it is good. I’d like to see some of the earlier seasons sometime. But having just started, I’m not invested in the characters enough yet, and two or three of the plots so far this year seem rather derivative of other things I’ve seen. (I can’t remember which other show did a polygamous cult episode a while back, but there was one, and the latest episode seemed pretty much like Vacancy or [insert other backwoods hotel torture-porn horror film here].)

Family Guy
As I said in my TV preview post, Family Guy is highly enjoyable filler. I don’t have to watch every episode and there’s no overall arc to get into, which is why it’s down here so low. Doesn’t mean I don’t LOL a lot while I watch it. (I’m also watching The Simpsons and King of the Hill this year, because hey, why not, but I’d pretty much say the same exact thing about them as I did about Family Guy, so I didn’t separate them out.)

Without a Trace
I watched the first season of Without a Trace on DVD and LOVED IT. Then the rest of the seasons took forever to come out on DVD, and I decided this year I’d just start where it was and see if I could catch up. It’s a good show, but I’m seriously thinking of dropping it and picking up with the DVDs again. I haven’t gotten the thread of the characters back yet. Plus I gotta say, looking at all these procedurals down here is mostly just making me want to finish watching The Shield (I’ve seen about half of the first season, but need to get back into it).

Fringe
I’m “this close” to dropping Fringe. It’s trying to be X-Files, but not quite making it. The backstory isn’t clear (probably purposefully, but it’s unclear in such a way as to be offputting rather than intriguing), the characters aren’t that likable (except for Walter, and crazy old man likable can only go so far), and it just doesn’t hang together that well. But I somehow keep hoping it will get better. And I like seeing Joshua Jackson, because he is pretty.

Quitting

Heroes
This was hard. It is so hard for me to give up on a show, especially after two years of persevering with it. See Grey’s Anatomy as an example. But I gave Heroes plenty of time to stop sucking and it didn’t come through. Instead, it brought in even more characters for me to not care about and added even further plot complications for me to not untangle. And really, when you have two characters who can do ANYTHING? (And I hear now one character who can stop anyone from doing anything…) You have multiple deus ex machinas running around, which just makes the whole thing pointless.

Private Practice
I never really started watching Private Practice this year, so it doesn’t really count as “quitting.” Its time-slot is overcrowded, and I don’t care enough about it to seek it out online. Bye, Addison. Come back and guest on Grey’s when you get the chance.

Knight Rider
Honestly, I didn’t hate the pilot of this, as I think most other people did (at least, people who write blogs about TV shows seem to universally hate it), and if it weren’t up against Pushing Daisies and Bones, I might’ve kept watching it. But obviously I didn’t like it enough, because even though I initially meant to, I never went and watched it online. Oh well.

Kath and Kim
I made it through fifteen minutes of the pilot. Pretty much up to the point where Molly Shannon’s boyfriend showed up and annoyed the heck out of me within ten seconds. Before that, I thought there might be some potential in Shannon and Blair, but not enough for me to put up with the show as a whole.

It’s That Season Again…

The new season of Bones premieres tonight, marking the beginning of this year’s TV season for me. Yay! My DVR is bigger than the one I had last year, which is a good thing. Here’s a little preview of everything I’m going to try to watch. Until I inevitably can’t keep up and have to drop some. Let me know what all you’re excited about!

There may be spoilers for previous seasons throughout this post.

Must-Watches

The Office

The Office

How long has it been since a half-hour comedy topped my must-watch list? It’s probably never happened. But The Office manages to be funny, real, fake, and heartwarming all at the same time. Going for three months in the summer without Jim and Pam and Michael and the rest of the crew is…not fun. I’m not sure what I want to happen this year – they kept the Jim-Pam storyline from getting too stale last season by having lots of other stuff going on, but I’m not sure how much longer they can do that. On the other hand, we’ve got the Dwight-Amanda-Andy triangle getting more convoluted all the time, not to mention Jan’s pregnancy. So we’re chock full of drama. Which will be handled most comedically, I’m sure.

30 Rock

30 Rock

How long has it been since TWO half-hour comedies topped my must-watch list? But I honestly look forward to 30 Rock every week at least as much as any other show. Sometimes even more than The Office, I’ll admit. The continuing adventures of Liz Lemon, producer of an SNL-like sketch comedy show, her boss Jack Donaghy, Jack’s assistant Kenneth, and others manages to stay fresh, funny, and wonderfully self-referential. (My favorite moment last year? After taking a conversation about a cellphone to an obvious extreme of product placement, Tina Fey turns to the camera and asks if they can have their money now.) My #1 request for this year: Give Jane Krakowski more to do.

Pushing Daisies 

Pushing Daisies

The most enchanting new show last year made it through the network’s quirk-factor gatekeepers and somehow got renewed. And we all breathed a sigh of relief that it’s on ABC, not FOX, because I doubt FOX would’ve been so generous. Ned is a humble piemaker with a special gift – he can bring dead things back to life with a touch. But a second touch returns them to death forever; and if he lets them live for longer than one minute, someone else dies. Pretty much a catch-22, especially when he brings back Chuck, the girl who lived next door and who he now loves. As cutesy as the concept is, it’s also the only show on TV that continually greets me with a sense of wonder. Plus, the art direction and cinematography is delectable. My fear for Season Two is that it won’t be able to figure out how to keep the “they love each other but they can’t touch” premise from getting old.

The Amazing Race 

Yeah, I’m putting a reality show fourth on my list of twenty shows I want to watch. You wanna make something of it? I love, love, love The Amazing Race. Why it took me until, like, Season 7 to figure this out, I couldn’t tell you. Seriously, racing around the world, to awesome places, doing awesome things (and some not-so-awesome things)…I’d do that even without a potential million dollars at the end of it. And watching it is the next best thing.

Chuck 

Another sophomore show, Chuck blends the things I like best in TV shows all together: geeks, spies, kick-ass women, action, comedy, awkward romances, etc. And it does it well. I almost literally can’t wait for it to come back. Will Chuck and Sarah move from fake dating to real romance? (I honestly can’t remember if they sort of did last year, or not…anyone remember?) And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Julie Cooper in previews. Er, that is, Melinda Clarke – she played Julie Cooper on The O.C. (and became pretty much my sole reason for watching the show near the end, before I quit watching completely). So that’s very exciting.

How I Met Your Mother 

How I Met Your Mother

What’s this? ANOTHER half-hour comedy? That’s right. And if Arrested Development were still on, we could have a nice set of comedy tennis doubles. But it’s not. Boo. Anyway, How I Met Your Mother isn’t quite as innovative as The Office and 30 Rock, but it makes up for it by having characters I love to pieces. If Ted were real, I’d marry him in a heartbeat. And if Robin were real, well, I’d be her. In my dreams. And Alyson Hannigan. And Jason Segal (who I like much better on TV than in Judd Apatow films). And of course, Neil Patrick Harris, who is GOLD. What about this year, though? I miss Ted-Robin as a couple, but I’m starting to be curious as to who the mother is – the last few episodes of last season seemed to be moving closer and closer to revealing her, or at least dropping strong hints about her. On the other hand, the premise of the show sort of dictates that once Ted meets her, show’s over, right? And I’m fairly sure it isn’t Stella, as much as I like having Sarah Chalke on the show. And I’m not at all sure about Barney-Robin. But that could just be because I’m still, two years later, so attached to Ted-Robin. We’ll see.

Ugly Betty

Ugly Betty

Oh, Betty. I don’t care for the world of fashion (oh, right, except for Project Runway), and you keep dragging me back in. When a show has so many characters you love to hate, or hate to love, or love to love, how can you resist? Mark and Amanda are easily among my favorite supporting characters ever, even when I spend entire shows wanting to smack some sense into them. And there’s plenty of drama to go around…Wilhemina’s blackmail baby, Christina’s involvement in that, Gio vs. Henry…suddenly hoping all that didn’t get resolved last season and I forgot. What with the writers strike and trying to graduate, I got a little lost even on some of my favorite shows.

House 

House

House and Wilson are on the outs because of a little thing like House killing Wilson’s girlfriend, Heinous Bitch. Gotta admit, though, Heinous Bitch did bring a lot of interest to the show last year, so I think it’s going to miss her. But House seems to be able to come up with something (like the American Idol approach to hospital hiring) to keep me involved, so I’m trusting them. I wish Thirteen were a little less Cameron2. Even though I like Cameron. Oh, and Felicia Day, of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Guild and BtVS S7, and general all-around acting/internet/tech cool person, is going to be in episode 2, so watch for that.

Bones 

Bones

Zach!!! I’m still angry about that. I didn’t believe it, I didn’t like it, and I don’t like that Zach won’t be on the show as much this year. Yet I’ll still be watching, because I need my Boreanaz-Deschanel-fake forensics fix.

Dirty Sexy Money 

My favorite guilty pleasure show of last year. I honestly don’t remember much about the plot part, and I could really care less about the overarching thing with Peter Krause’s father. I’m all about the twins and whatever shenanigans they’re getting up to.

NCIS and Numb3rs 

NCISNumb3rs

 

These both fall into my “episodic procedurals that I love to watch but don’t obsess over.” They usually stick around on my DVR until I’ve watched everything else, or when I need something comforting to watch. Yeah, I find procedurals about murders comforting. I’m weird like that.

Will Watch

These shows I’m still interested in (or am checking out for the first time and expecting to be good), but I’m not wholly invested in anymore. Some of these may be surprising to those of you who’ve known me over multiple TV seasons.

Fringe 

Fringe

I’m actually pretty excited about this one; it’s only down here because it’s new and hence an unknown quantity. Even being from JJ Abrams – I fear he’s spreading himself a little thin, what with this new show, and Lost (which I guess isn’t coming back until spring?), and the Star Trek movie, and I think there’s another movie he’s working on, too. But the concept sounds cool, and I’m hoping it’ll be awesome.

Grey’s Anatomy 

Grey\'s Anatomy

Two years ago I was a huge Grey’s addict. Then the debacle of S3 happened, and S4 didn’t pick up the pieces quite enough. So I’m there out of loyalty (although I don’t think I ever actually watched the post-strike episodes last year, so I’m a little out of the loop), but I don’t have the same blind hope that I did last year. Unless they turn it around quickly, I may have to regretfully let it go.

Desperate Housewives 

Desperate Housewives

I think I missed the last episode of this, too, because I thought they stopped at the tornado one, but then I later heard they aired the next episode (where you find out that Tom and the kids aren’t dead, I guess). Anyway, this year they’re apparently jumping several years ahead, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I guess they wanted something of a fresh start for the show, which admittedly stagnated a bit last year. We’ll see how it works out.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles 

Sarah Connor Chronicles

I want to move this into the top section, but it never grabbed me last year as much as it did some people. Honestly, I think being busy with school and thrown by having a show start right when all the others were ending (off-season shows really throw me for a loop, unless they’re reality shows) might’ve contributed. But again, I’m always up for kick-ass women shows, and if Summer Glau is involved, even better, so my hopes are high that this will soon become a must-watch.

Heroes 

Heroes

What…even happened last year? I really don’t remember. I remember thinking what a blessing it was that the season was cut short by the strike. Not a great sign, honestly. And from what I’ve seen, I’m not alone in my ambivalence toward S2, so hopefully the writers will find some new direction that will be awesome. If not…

Family Guy 

Family Guy

I actually love Family Guy and have no beef with it. I just tend not to care whether I catch every episode or not, so it’ll get saved up on the DVR or I’ll watch it on hulu.com when I feel in the mood.

Private Practice 

Private Practice

Addison was one of my favorite Grey’s characters, but I never got beyond casual like for her spin-off. I’ll keep it on the DVR for now, but it’s probably one of the first to go if I start getting behind. Unless it suddenly becomes awesome. But my hopes aren’t particularly high.

Tentatively Trying

Knight Rider 

Knight Rider

This could be pretty cool, or it could CRASH AND BURN. Chances about 30-70. Plus, it’s against two other shows I’m not missing (Pushing Daisies and Bones), so it’ll have to be really darn good for me to expend the effort to find and watch it.

Crusoe

(I can’t even find a promo pic for this; that doesn’t bode well)

An 18th-century period piece on primetime network TV? When has that ever happened and been successful? Don’t get me wrong, it’d be cool if it does work and does well, but I’m not scheduling my life around it just yet.

Kath & Kim 

Kath & Kim

I wanna give this a shot because a) it’s Australian, b) Molly Shannon, and c) Selma Blair. But if the tone in the ads is actually indicative of the tone of the show, I might not be able to take it for long.

Fall TV – Two Weeks In

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.

LOVE/ADDICTED/OBSESSED

Ugly Betty
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.

The Office
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.

House
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.

30 Rock
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.

Grey’s Anatomy
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.

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