September 19, 2005

A Television Viewer's Diary: 9/11-9/17

WARNING: The free form ramblings continue, be prepared for run-ons, incomplete thoughts, and atrocious punctuations. This is what happens to a mind on TV, it's not pretty, but kind of fun.

Fox gets a head start on the new season, having started rolling out many of it's new offerings this past week. Among them are the good the bad and the ugly. Read on my faithful viewer.

Sunday 9/11.

  • The Simpsons. The family is back, too bad I can't say I'm glad for it. This series has been on a slide for a number of years and I feel that it probably should have been canceled. The season opener has Homer screwing up again with some football bets, to repay he has to let an adult film be shot in his home, which ticks off Marge, who runs off and joins up with a rugged man helping manatees. Can Homer win back his love? Who cares, we know how this ends. Not funny. *
  • The War at Home. Michael Rapaport must be hurting for a paycheck to be in this junk. This was so not funny. It's trying to be clever and just falls flat on it's face. uninteresting characters, too many problems crammed into one family. Man it is just an absolute mess. *
  • Family Guy. Finally something funny. Not one of the better episodes, but still the best of the evening so far. This time out Brian starts dating one of Meg's teachers and leads a crusade to change the school's name from James Woods to Martin Luther King. Peter shows up with James Woods just in time to stop that from happening. Peter and James become quick friends, which leaves Brian out in the cold. We need more Stewie, maybe next week. ***
  • American Dad. Falling somewhere in the middle of the evening's comedies, we have this dysfunctional CIA family. We do get a goofy guest star in Patrick Stewart (who's Cptn. Picard was spoofed in Family Guy) as the director of the CIA, who starts dating Stan's daughter. This sets Stan off into a rage, leading to knockdown drag out fight to the finish, while the German fish narrates it all. **.5
  • Wanted. This was a decent watch, it sort of held my attention. The team has to track down an escaped Hispanic gang member who may end up being the trigger to a large scale race war in LA. But instead of just tracking him, they decide to use him to take down a high powered white assassin at the same time, that is until a young boy gets caught in the middle. I like the character's, but the show is a bit too episodic at times. Next week is the season finale. ***

Monday 9/12.

  • WWE: Raw. Nothing terribly exciting from what I remember. Wrestling and my fandom are a strange beast. As soon as the show ends I pretty much forget everything that happened. That fallacy of mine struck again, although I remember liking it. I also doubt that most of you read this column for wrestling results.
  • Prison Break. This episode had a great opening, a nightmare of Lincoln on his way to the electric chair. This show is clawing its way towards the must see zone, it's not quite there yet. The interplay between the inmates and the intricate maneuverings are quite entertaining. I just want the characters to become more complex in addition to being colorful. ***

Tuesday 9/13.

  • Bones. Since the success of CSI a couple of years back, we have been building towards this moment. Not necessarily this show, but the eventual saturation of TV with crime procedurals. I really want to like this show, it has a couple of things going for it, Boreanaz and Deschanel are likable leads, and the sets are wonderful, but at the end it feels like just another procedural. ***
  • House, MD. A wonderful start to the new season. House takes on the case of a death row inmate, played by LL Cool J in a bit of stunt casting, who is dying too soon. The wonderful cast interactions combined with the bizarre illnesses haven't lost a beat. This show is reinvigorating the medical drama. ***.5
  • Rescue Me. The wonderful second season comes to a close. Tommy is in the grip of depression over the death of his son. He contemplates turning back to alcohol. Janet realizes the marriage is disintegrating. Sean questions the existence of God after talking to Tommy's daughter and Jerry leaves his wife at a home. This season was fantastic, this is definitely a show to keep an eye on. ****
  • Supernatural. The WB is trying it's hand at a new spooky show, and the premiere holds some promise. It features two twenty something brothers on a search for their father and taking on ghosts and specters along the way. The do a good setup of the past as well as the present. The writing and acing were pretty good. I am actually looking forward to see how well this develops. ***.5
  • Miami Ink. Continuing the trend of interesting ink work, I am still entertained by this show. They bring in another artist, as one of the regulars broke his arm. We get to see some interesting designs, including an old style pin up girl and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Looking forward to what they design next. ***

Wednesday 9/14.

  • Head Cases. The goofy premise actually works well upon it's initial execution. Chris O'Donnell (where's he been?) suffers from panic attacks, which cost him his family and his job and put him in a mental hospital for a few months. Upon release he is paired up with Adam Goldberg, who suffers explosive disorder, and somehow they have to make it work as ex-mental patients and lawyers. The premiere was entertaining, and not as over the top as I expected. ***
  • Over There. Still a must see show, for me anyway. This episode follows Mrs. B on her AWOL trip, where she hits rock bottom. The group in Iraq is charged with erecting a new building for an Iraqi town. That proves to be a difficult assignment as dissension arises in the town about what to build. This may not be the most realistic portrayal of the war, but it does make a good show. ***.5

Thursday 9/15.

  • Starved. Sam starts a new philosophy where earth matter is not needed, so he starts going to a tanning salon for his "meals." Another guy has his jaw wired shut following a heart attack. Whacky over the top show. **.5
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The title of the episode says it all "Charlie was Molested." A dark past is revealed, or is it? It does lead to an amusing intervention. **.5

Friday 9/16.

  • Threshold. CBS's new alien suspense series shows a lot of promise. The 2 hour premiere does a good job at establishing our setting and introducing our intrepid band of alien hunters. Our team is lead by Carla Gugino, and includes Peter Dinklage and Brent Spiner. This could prove to be a surprise hit. I am already anticipating what is going to happen next. ***.5
  • Stargate SG-1. The two hour summer season finale (actually mid-season break) gives us some of the best work of the season. They discover what appears to be a genetically engineered person, but actually incorporates Annubis genetics. This opens up SG Command to some serious problems. The encounter with the son of Annubis leads to a possible way of fighting the Priors. It ends when it is discovered that one of the Jaffa leaders has joined the Priors. ***
  • Battlestar Galactica. Best science fiction on TV and based off of one of the cheesiest. This episode has them discovering a Cylon virus is starting to control the ship. While searching for a solution, hundreds of Cylon raiders show up. They are forced to enlist Sharon to find a cure. Meanwhile, Chief sets up to build a new ship. This description does not do it justice, just watch it, next week is the season finale. ****

Saturday 9/17.

  • WWE: Smackdown. This was a decent show. It was headlined by Undertaker and Randy Orton, with the appearance of a coffin. But like Raw, as soon as the show ended, my mind was a clean slate, but perhaps that is the end result of watching wrestling? The world may never know. ***
  • Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness. What a goofy movie. This Sci-FI Original stars none other than new DTV king Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, and Coolio. In the future the latest Van Helsing is captain of a transport ship. They uncover a ship filled with coffins, turns out that it was heading for the distant Carpathian system and the planet Transylvania (good grief). It wasn't bad per say, but it was so bad it was entertaining. It was kind of fun, especially Coolio's crazy vampire. ***

End. Transmission.


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