Two Weeks into the Season

A force four cold arrived sometime on Sunday, turning me into a functioning vegetable for a few days but just as quickly as it arrived, it passed. Odd.

Anyway, we’ve actually seen some of the new season and I figured it’s time to comment.

Gilmore Girls remains strong in both writing and performance. The tension and hurt feelings between mother and daughter is palpable as both cope with their new realities. Rory clearly is not happy with the twists in her life but also seems somewhat lost while Lorelei can’t seem to take pleasure in her engagement since she can’t share it with her daughter. And poor Luke is stuck in the middle but at least is pointing that out rather than letting it fester.

I do note the cast has sprawled to the point where we can’t see everyone and their storylines get short shrift. Lane hasn’t turned up at all and Sookie is barely there. If I were the producers, I’d pare things down a bit and given my druthers, I’d start with Luke’s sister and her husband since they are a little too broadly played, especially Michael Deluise.

House had a another good outing this week. The medical procedure scenes were a little too much for me. It’s odd, I enjoy medical series but when things get graphic, I squirm. Also, from a timing standpoint, House’s clinic visit and great comical reaction, probably should have been a little later in the story. We’re seeing interesting glimpses of the characters especially the reactions everyone had when Chase admitted to kissing the nine year old.

Lost certainly delivered on the promise to show us what was inside the hatch but then spoiled some of the drama by telegraphing who it was via the flashbacks. On one of my mailing lists, it was pointed out the car accident victim shared Shannon’s last name and was likely her father, yet another indication of how their lives were being drawn together over time. I’m sorry the rest of the cast didn’t have much to do but I guess they wanted to focus on Jack and Locke and keep things moving. Not their best hour, certainly not their worst and I’m ready for more.

I recently bitched about how disappointingly unreal the characters in Reunion were. I had hoped for a sharply written series to take advantage of the great premise. To be fair, I sampled the second episode last night and have to say, the characters continue to be weak. Very weak. Also, they are heaping more dire twists onto their young lives than most teenagers ever endure, going from dramatic to unbelievable. It’s not enough Sam gives her baby up for adoption, but then she learns she can’t have more children and the parents who adopted her child have vanished. Sheesh. We’re also given very little to go on with what happened to at least two of the characters in the year between episodes. Again, I also complain that the writers do nothing to ground the characters to their era. The music and costuming have to carry the load. Good thing there will be other shows to watch on Thursday nights.

A few weeks back, NBC bound a CD-Rom into issues of Entertainment Weekly so I could sample their new series. As a result, I knew I could skip them all. Which disappointed me because I thought E-Ring had promise. And I knew Fathom was going to be NBC’s equivalent of their 1980s smash hit Manimal and the reviews bear that out.

In fact, there are few of the new series that I find compelling enough to try. I’ve taped the first ep of How I Met Your Mother because the buzz was good and I’ll see just about anything with Alyson Hannigan. I can skip Threshold despite Carla Gugino and Brent Spiner because, after all, it’s a Brannon Braga production. The others seem potentially interesting but not demanding enough to get me to find the time. And the clips and buzz on The Night Stalker disappoint me no end (which is a shame since a buddy’s got family working on the show and you never want to see people lose their jobs).

Speaking of losing their jobs, I’m surprised to see the first cancellation already. After a mere two outings, Fox has pulled Head Cases. It didn’t get great reviews and anything opposite Lost was going to suffer. But apparently, the numbers this week were so poor the network felt it had little choice. We’ll see how many of the other time slot battles work out over the next few weeks.

4 comments

  • Scavenger

    Gee..I hadn’t realized Head Cases had even started yet.

    I got through 3 minutes of Just Legal, before the plush beagle on the counch figured out the entire dramatic structure of the show and we went on to Iron Chef repeats or something.

    Bones is so far, not bad. Fox’s plans for it has it as this year’s House (on for a bit, small hiatus, then return in House’s time slot when American Idol returns, with House moving to Monday to boost the returning 24). The plots have been a bit run of the mill, but the characters are likeable.

    I saw all of Invasion! following Lost…well at least all of it that I’ll watch. Just not good.

    I missed E-Ring, but have it on download, so I’ll give it a try. If nothing else, it has Kelly Rutherford in it..and she was Brisco County’s girlfriend!

    Fathom is no good? Well, gee, I’m shocked…first Top Cow makes it change it’s name, then it gets a bad review…tch.

  • David S.

    So that’s why they changed the name! I thought they were trying to emphasize that the aliens were trying to get out of the water to eat us all! Good thing I didn’t get to watch it then.

    I was going to watch Threshold because of the “good buzz” that it received and the hype that it could be The Next X-Files, but, you’re right, Brandon Braga will probably ruin it like he did the Trek franchise.

    I’ve only seen bits and pieces of House due to evening classes I’m taking and my habit of forgetting to tape it, but I’m very intrigued with the addition of Sela Ward to the cast besides the obvious “aesthetic” reasons. Cameron deciding to hate House because he loves someone else weakens the character IMHO but it could strengthen the DRAMATIC TENSION in the long run, if the writers don’t mess it up with forced melodrama, as other shows have done and continue to do.

    I’ll have to thumb through my EW back-issues to find NBC’s promo DVD, but I looked at the “Everybody Hates Chris” pilot that they inserted. If they keep up the quality of the writing and they resist the “cloying family values” angle that most family shows feel the need to exhibit(Chris Rock and the producers are trying to justify his “angry black comic” style with this show, after all), Fox may just have another hit on their hands!

    Thanksgiving’s just around the corner, so we’ll see what the Networks will be serving THIS year.

  • In an odd flash of cultural zeitgeist, this post was the first time I came across a reference to the show “Manimal” today.

    This is the second time.

    Is the Ultimate Complete Series DVD coming out soon or something?

  • Manimal was so cool! That was before they had computer-generated morphing, so they went through an intricate makeup process whenever the hero turned into an animal. Very well done.

    The plots on the other hand…I don’t remember any of the plots. 🙂