Watching the New Season

Well, we’re a week into the new season and we’ve welcomed back older favorites and sampled some of the new shows, with others yet to debut.

Among the new shows, we really liked Flash Forward. It barely resembles Robert J. Sawyer’s novel (which is a fun read) but dramatically demonstrates the global chaos the 2:17 blackout causes. The cast is appealing but could benefit from a little more variety which I hope happens when Dominic Monaghan and others join in the coming weeks. I also have a quibble that the Los Angeles office of the FBI is suddenly empowered to take center stage in researching the mysterious event considering such a world wide phenomenon should have created in international intelligence task force to study the global threat.

We also liked Modern Family even though these days we rarely find sitcoms worth our attention (except The Big Bang Theory which remains hysterical). The mock documentary style may grow as tedious as the dad’s attempts at being cool but we’ll stick with it for now.

Mercy has some interesting characters and casting but wasn’t overly compelling. Last year taught us a new appreciation for the care and effort nurses make on their patients’ behalf and we hope some of that carries over here over and above the soap opera stuff. We’ll see how this one develops.

The Good Wife, though, is off to a stronger start and it certainly is approaching a legal show from a fresh angle. With luck it won’t be entirely somber but it sure is nice to see Julianne Margulies and Josh Charles back at work.

Of the returning shows, Heroes was okay. I think the biggest problem with the show right now is that they keep the focus entirely on the core characters and won’t let them change. As a result, Sylar is the biggest drag on the show (regardless of how popular Zachary Quinto has become). Once he was defeated in volume one, he should have remained gone for good or at least 2-3 seasons. Instead, he’s a player in every story taking the focus off the real threats. There haven’t been any permanent additions to the heroic team since season one as the producers introduce and discard other powerful folk. As writers are often told, “kill your darlings”. The ratings drop shows this may be too late to fix.

House’s 2-hour rehab episode was diverting but didn’t really feel like the series but at least it returns him to the team different and how that affects his relationships will be thrust of the series, one I’m eager to see.

We welcomed Castle back with open arms, happy to see the show evolve a little and still maintain a lighter tone.

The changes to the status quo in Fringe were necessary now that the Earth-2 threat has become clear. Still, when Broyles faced Congress, he should have been ticking off their season one accomplishments and the revelation of the parallel world threat.  It’s also a shame Charlie has become a threat since his relationship with Olivia was nice. We’re looking forward to see how this all unfolds.

George’s death at Seattle Grace set the tone for the first two hours of Grey’s Anatomy and they hit all the right notes which was nice. The hospital merger is also a nice new wrinkle and how everyone from Richard on done to Lexi handles the new pressure could make for some nice drama.

The strongest return this past week, though, was Dollhouse, which recapped things from season one nice then deepened everyone’s character and relationships in a single hour. While fun to see Jamie Bamber use his natural accent, it was better to learn more about those working within the Dollhouse. Kudos to Joss Whedon for writing and directing a strong outing. Okay, the ratings are off, but it’s only week one, let’s see if word of mouth will help this series.

Still on the DVR are the season premiers for Smallville, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters.

Any new series out there you guys recommend?

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