Catching up with Television

So, being at home has allowed ourselves to get back on track with household chores and more importantly back to the gym. It was a sore but refreshing session on Sunday, to hopefully be repeated tomorrow.

Meantime, another thing we’re doing now is catching up on our prime time viewing. Deb and I sat there, reviewing what we had stored on the DVR. She looked at the list and said, “I think I’m done with Cane.” I had to agree. When we had nothing new from the usual roster, we settled for this, hoping that the show would find its footing. It never did and I can see why CBS won’t be bringing it back. A terrific cast was entirely wasted on all too predictable character arcs and storylines. Not a single thing surprised us and just about every dramatic turn was telegraphed.

We also decided to give up on 30 Rock after a handful of episodes. In the fall we agreed to try it given the buzz and the Emmy awards. However, despite the bravura performance by Alec Baldwin, the characters are basically morons and stereotypes and we can do without it. We just didn’t find the humor and must be missing something. (Yes, I actually think I prefer Studio 60 to this.)

The three of us have now seen all of The Sarah Connor Chronicles and we were entertained. Deb and Robbie liked it better than they expected and since I had no expectations, I was fine with what I saw. The show is dark but not overly so and the FBI agent, Ellison, has been an unnecessary element. Summer Glau is a delight but the Brian Austen Green character, Reese, is way too one-note and strident. He finally displayed some depth in the final hour but by then it felt too little too late. If anything, I think the show went for stories that did everything they could to further the franchise at the expense of any real sense of connection between the trio – Sarah, John and Cameron. The ratings haven’t been stellar and it may not make it to the fall, which is a shame since I think it has potential.

Meantime, I’m still trying to decide on tonight’s debut of New Amsterdamm, a shameless rip-off of Pete Hamill’s wonderful Forever (something no single review has noted). The reviews have been mixed to positive so we might give it a go. I’m a lot more ambivalent about Canterbury’s Law the legal show with Julianne Margulies. The promos that ran last night were stylish without telling me enough about the show to make it worth sampling.

Anything we should be trying?

8 comments

  • We’ll be recording New Amsterdam tonight to see how it is.

    In a few weeks, the new Sherman-Palladino show, Return of Jezebel James, will be debuting.

  • Deb

    Actually, the NY Times review this morning did note the, shall we say, similarity between the show and the book.

  • Bob Ahrens

    Bob & Deb and Robbie

    Of course, see “Galactica : RAZOR” if you haven’t already, and “Daisies” is wonderful, but now I understand they won’t be bringing it back until fall. I enjoyed “Sarah Connor ” too, but Julie doesn’t see what I like about it.( Summer Glau, of course). I’d like to see some of the “new season” but I feel I’ve been left behind on a lot of it. I missed “Heroes” and I’m totally lost on “Lost”…. It’s “Twin Peaks” all over again.

    Bob

  • Paul Balze

    I watched New Amsterdam last night (and, by the way every review I read prior to it airing mentioned Forever) and I liked it enough that I’ll watch coming episodes.

    Of course, it is a show with fantasy elements and it’s on Fox, so it may be circling the drain already. Ditto for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I liked it, but the ratings apparently have been less than stellar and it’s SF on FOX, so I’m prepared to say goodbye to that one. It was fun watching Summer Glau kick ass for a few weeks, though.

  • I commented on the similarity the minute I heard about New Amsterdam. Haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on the TiVo. (As, by the way, is about a half-dozen Journeymans.)

    The thing about Forever was that it was like Hamill wrote the first half of the book, and then got distracted, and then figured he’d write 9/11 into it to solve it. I liked it well enough, but I don’t think I’d go far enough to say it was wonderful.

    Also sad that you don’t like 30 Rock. We cackle hysterically. Of course, all our favorite shows keep getting canceled… Andy Richter last sitcom with him as the accountant/detective; Knights of Prosperity; there are more, but too much of it just flies by now.

    As opposed to shows that should be canceled to put us out of our misery, like Smallville and Monk.

  • I commented on the similarity the minute I heard about New Amsterdam. Haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on the TiVo. (As, by the way, is about a half-dozen Journeymans.)

    The thing about Forever was that it was like Hamill wrote the first half of the book, and then got distracted, and then figured he’d write 9/11 into it to solve it. I liked it well enough, but I don’t think I’d go far enough to say it was wonderful.

    Also sad that you don’t like 30 Rock. We cackle hysterically. Of course, all our favorite shows keep getting canceled… Andy Richter last sitcom with him as the accountant/detective; Knights of Prosperity; there are more, but too much of it just flies by now.

    As opposed to shows that should be canceled to put us out of our misery, like Smallville and Monk.

  • Mike, Pete Hamill actually finished the first draft of Forever on September 10, 2001. Then 9/11 happened, and he realized that he was going to have to incorporate it into the novel somehow.

  • Allen Marks

    Bob – I do have something for you to try – a good book. There’s nothing on TV that can compare. Here are four that I recommend:

    The Time Traveler’s Wife (Neffinegger) – very interesting and right up your alley with it’s element of time travel. A movie this year I think.

    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Foer) – he is an amazing new writer. This story is incredible.

    Life of Pi (Martel) – I picked it up in the bookstore 15 times before buying it. Glad I did.

    A Tale of Two Cities (you know who) – if you haven’t read it, you should. This is what great writing is.