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Saturday, September 22, 2007

This "Television" Is Have Being the Greatest Invention of All Time

The new season of good TV finally begins this week, which means that I'm going to have a really tough time keeping up with all of my procrastination. Here's what I'll be watching this season.

Mondays:

Chuck,The Big Bang Theory:



Chuck begins at 8PM, while The Big Bang Theory starts at 8:30, which means I'm either going to have to be content with missing the ending of every episode of Chuck, or one show is gonna get cancelled this year. Sorry, Chuck, but I do like The Big Bang Theory more than I like the representatives of the "Nerd Herd." I blogged about the Chuck pilot here, but I've nary uttered a peep about its conflicting program, The Big Bang Theory, which I enjoyed immensely, if only because I am those guys. Well, not all fo tehm. Out of four "geeks" introduced, I loved the Sheldon character (played superbly by Jim Parsons) and all of his eccentricities. He reminded the most of what geeks actually are, as I and the friends I had in high school were: judgmental social outcasts who think you're an idiot if you don't know what we know.

The "teaser" opener for the first episode of Big Bang features Sheldon and Leonard (our protagonists) at a sperm bank, when Sheldon undergoes an "ethical dilemma" over the fact that he can't guarantee that his sperm would produce a child that was a genius. When Leonard responds that his mother would probably still love him despite not knowing whether to use an integral or a differential to solve for the area under a curve, Sheldon counters: "I wouldn't." That, my friends, is my variety of geek.

The only downside is that, in order to make the show funny in a "mainstream" way, they've had to "dumb down" some of the jokes, relying on cliches instead of the humor that arises naturally out of geeky awkwardness.

Heroes:

(9 PM)

When we last left our group of emerging heroes, Matt Parkman was "shot" a whole bunch of times; Peter and Nathan Petrelli were, supposedly, blown to smithereens; and Hiro found himself in feudal Japan. Oh, and there's talk about another "hero" (what do we call the super-powered in heroes? Metahumans? Mutants? Maybe we just call them "people..." hmmm...) who's even more dangerous than Sylar, who, if you'll remember, could use the powers of his mind to cut open peoples' skulls and eat their brains. If you're not watching this, I'm not talking to you anymore.

Journeyman:



(10 PM)

Another new show for this season makes Monday night even more crowded, and, unfortunately, I call this show at getting the axe quickest. Don't get me wrong: it wouldn't be on my "watch" list if I didn't like it. There's the time-travel thing, there's interesting character developments (exactly how did Vasser end up with his current-wife, who looked like she used to be his brother's girlfriend? Why is he travelling in time in short-spurts instead of controlled periods? What connection does "Livia," his supposedly-dead fiance, have with his situation?), and there was the clever bit at the end (SPOILER: Vasser takes his wife's ring from the present and buries it in the house's yard in the past, digging it up when he returns so that his wife will believe he's actually a time traveller, and not just on drugs) that made it good TV. I just can't see this show providing many reasons to keep watching: you can only do clever time-tricks so many times before they get mind-numbingly obvious, and the "saving lives to make the future a better place" rings of "Quantum Leap," as well as bringing up many uncomfortable questions: for instance, if there's someone else who's controlling his "leaps" through time, why don't they allow him to prevent WWII? What about paradoxes? What does the existence of time travel do to the concept of morality (if a person is a criminal in the present, do you treat him as a criminal in the past, before he commits his crime? The pilot sneakily avoided this by having its "bad guy" be hit by a bus, but Vasser is going to have to encounter this crisis eventually)? There are just too many places for this show to falter.

Oh, and did I mention that Vasser's dead fiance is totally hot?



Tuesdays:

Reaper, House




(9PM)

Another day, another conflict. You know I've gotta go with House on this one, CW, so why do you schedule Reaper in the same timeslot? House ended with almost all of the regular cast resigned or fired, and that leaves some very interesting possibilities on the horizon for this show. I mean, there's no question that Cameron, Chase, and Foreman will return, but the interesting question to ask is going to be: How? How can they just come back to the hospital after all that was said and done? How have their characters changed since they've been gone? House isn't one to apologize, forget, or even let go of the past, so it'll be fascinating to watch how they're going to get through this.

Sorry, Reaper: all you can offer me is a fat guy with no social etiquette and a man who's gotta capture demons in a vacuum cleaner.

Wednesdays:

Bionic Woman (haha! No, no, I'm just fuckin' with you - Bionic Woman really is a terrible, terrible program. Don't watch it.)

Mythbusters:

Alright, this really shouldn't be here, since Discovery airs new episodes of Mythbusters approximately "whenever they feel like it," but it does come on in the fall (sometimes), and I like it, damn it!

Thursdays:

Smallville:




Smallville is one of those shows that should serve as an example to networks: the first few seasons of this show were real stinkers, but, starting with the addition of Lois Lane, subsequent seasons proved to be stellar examples of great television. Instead of the early "freak of the week" episodes (similar to early episodes of The X-Files), the show's writers started delving into that rich mythology of the Superman universe, introducing characters like The Flash, Green Arrow, and even Aquaman. Season 7 looks like it can only get better, with the season premiere featuring Bizarro, Lex Luthor contemplating going straight again, and the arrival of "Supergirl." Actually, to be completely honest with you, the addition of Supergirl has me on edge a bit, but the show-runners have proven that they can write engaging stories with even the most unrealistic characters (The Martian Manhunter, for one), so I'm optimistic.

Plus, JIMMY!

Fridays:

Stargate Atlantis:



(10PM)

The Season 3 finale saw the City of Atlantis powering up its hyperdrive in order to leave the planet and escape from an Asuran beam weapon. Unfortunately, the city was grazed in the process, resulting in the injury of Weir, as well as forcing Atlantis to drop out of hyperspace earlier than it should have, stranding them in the middle of nowhere.

I've seen the first two episodes of Season 4 (albeit in a format which lacked music and sound effects, unless you call being able to hear the director yell "bang!" an effect), and I've gotta tell ya: this season looks like it may be the best yet for Atlantis. Shepperd was given something meaningful to do, there was more conflict, and Weir had more to do in the second episode than she ever had in all of the first three seasons. Sure, Teyla got short-changed, and Ronon was left playing the muscle (including an hilarious scene where he plays "tough guy" and tries to intimidate one of the doctors into removing a large shard of glass from his shoulder), but you can only focus on so many characters at once, one of the weakness of having as large a regular cast as Atlantis does.


Saturdays:

Robin Hood (Oct. 6 premiere in the UK, apparently)

As tiring as this show was last year (Robin Hood has a plan, someone gets captured when the plan goes to shit, Robin Hood saves them with a big fight scene with the same music that they've used in every single other episode), I still enjoyed it immensely. They delineated between who Robin was was indeed robbin': instead of taking from the ambiguous "rich" and giving to the equally ambiguous "poor," Robin keeps his actions limited to robbing from the sheriff, taking back the tax money that was stolen from the citizens. Other Robin Hoods would merely target anyone who had more money than others, which would have created a problem once Robin had succeeded in defeating the sheriff - when the poor become the rich, and the rich are now poor, do you change tactics? This Robin Hood doesn't have to think about that, because he's clear on his principles: he's going to stop the sheriff from taking away the rights of the citizenry.

The "modernisation" may have gotten a bit ridiculous at times ("I shot the sheriff," "No, you shot the deputy"), and Guy of Gisborne needed to lighten the fuck up a little, but if you just want to watch a true hero go and kick some unjust ass, Robin Hood's your show.

(I know, I don't live in the UK, but I don't have to be in order to watch it, now do I? Thanks, INTERWEB!)

And that's my life for the next few months. Being unemployed rocks.

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