Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Premiere Week... a Few Thoughts

Wow. There is way too much TV. Especially with the Jewish holidays... I am BEHIND in my viewing. Way behind.

A few thoughts, though... not on ratings (since I've largely twittered my impressions), but on the content itself.

House: Haven't watch last night's episode yet so I don't know the extent to which the show is "back to normal," but the premiere was a combination of awesome and troubling. The temporary and new setting was a fun change of pace, and we got to really see how far this show has come from it's highlight lead character but entirely procedural foundations. As all doctors are psychologists on House, even the psychologists, I found the character elements of the premiere fascinating, but the actual story chock full of meh. The character types found in the psych ward were just that... types. Totally seen every single one of them before. But a great piece of Hugh Laurie who, one of these days, might actually win an Emmy.

Big Bang Theory: I thought last night's was funnier than the premiere. The show just puts a smile on my face. It doesn't so much matter to me that it and HIMYM were split up, because DVR make me my own scheduler/programmer.

How I Met Your Mother: Last night's episode showcased exactly what makes this show awesome, and exactly why Ted is the sore thumb. His storyline was almost entirely separate and tangential to the other four characters... and it was the least entertaining part. The rest of the ensemble is interesting. Ted grates. The writers should really have him meet the Mother soon and show us the courtship and be done with it so that we aren't given these awkward little dating stories told from the year 2030 (though, seriously, Bob Saget-Ted, why are you telling your kids about Stripper Lily?) Though we've seen the doppelganger plot on other sitcoms... I really enjoyed the way HIMYM did it.

Grey's Anatomy: Like House, I appreciated the break from formula (though Grey's is certainly less "formula" than House on an episodic basis). The little vignettes were an amalgamation of entertaining, devastating, and uplifting. And I'm really glad the show chose to do with "40 day" thing and get it out of the way so we didn't have to spend the first 10 episodes dealing with mourning stories (though I'm sure we'll still get some). I'm intrigued by the Seattle Grace / Mercy West merger plotline and, boy howdy, Ellen Pompeo's face looked pregnant.

Dollhouse: The premiere wasn't anything special, story-wise. Decent twist with Ballard being Echo's client and now Jamie Bamber's arms dealer. The best part of the episode, as always, was away from Echo, this time with the Topher and Saunders/Whiskey goings-on. Hopefully we'll get more Victor and Sierra in the coming weeks. Though, honestly, I wish the show would just forgot its episodic foundation and hurtle along towards "Epitaph One" territory...

The Amazing Race: God I'm so happy TAR is back. I totally made the mistake of watching it while fasting. Which, if you watched the episode, you know was not a great idea as one of the challenges was a Japanese game show called "Sushi Roulette" (WANT!) which had the contestants standing in front of a giant wheel that spun and you had to eat whatever sushi roll landing in front of you and the only way to move on was, if a wasabi bomb landed in front of you, to eat the wasabi bomb in 2 minutes. I really, really, really wanted a wasabi bomb. I think the producers finally did a bang-up job in casting the contestants this season after a few cycles of non-standouts. Lance is going to make for a great Ugly American villain. Zev, the guy with Asperger's, is hilarious. There are two cute gay brothers. And that female poker player team... MAN, I was happy the first leg was non-elimination so they could stay in the game.

Desperate Housewives: The introduction of Drea de Matteo's character and family was not the smoothest that Housewives has ever done. Still, I'm glad for the "cliffhanger" (which in the "next time" apparently wasn't a murder as Julie is comatose / on life support) to spice the show up. I've ragged on the need for the seasonal mystery arcs in the past, but this episode was pure soap and had, for me, no drive. There was no excitement going into it from the end of last season, which showed in the ratings nosedive.

Thank god I'd already seen all of the pilots so I didn't have to watch them this week (although I did resample Modern Family, Cougar Town, and Flash Forward for the HD awesomeness)... but I definitely will have to find time to view this week. Cougar Town was much improved in reshoots versus the pilot. A lot of unfunny awkward taken out and some funny lines added in.

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