September 21, 2009

The Mondays: The Fall of Television

Ten years ago I was a TV junkie. Then reality shows inundated the networks, and I was left out in the cold. Millions of Canadians and Americans alike may be happy besotting themselves with hours of mindless drivel like The Bachelor and The Hills, but I just can't do it. I cling to the few brain cells that remain in my addled mind.

So, when there's an actual show on television that might be worth sitting down to watch, I'm eager to give it a chance ... provided it airs on a network I can tune in to. No HBO for this buckaroo. This fall there are a couple of shows on my radar to join the lean list of shows I already try to watch.

Flash Forward has my interest peaked. Everyone on the planet passes out for a little over two minutes, during which time they have dreams of their future. Sign me up. It's inspired by a speculative-fiction novel of the same name, by an author whose name I haven't discovered yet. I saw the novel just a few weeks ago--didn't buy it--and the author's name flitted right out of my skull by the time I hit the checkout counter. The show seems to have that "if you miss a single episode you're screwed" vibe to it, so I want to get on the bandwagon early. I only started watching Lost during its third season, and had to go back and watch the previous two by the grace of recap episodes and DVD collections. It's so much easier to follow the story arcs when you walk in on the ground floor.

Defying Gravity has been on for a few weeks and it showed so much promise early on. I've stopped watching it, though. I haven't seen the last two episodes and probably won't bother catching the rest of the season until I hear it has picked up the pace. It felt like an original concept, at least for television, and showed real promise during that first episode. But I find myself referring to it as "Lost in space," and not in a good way. The story seems slow, subplots feel inconsequential and there as filler, and some of the acting is about as bland as a Raman noodle. Someone let me know if this show is better than I'm letting on, or if it becomes watchable again.

The Vampire Diaries is a show I cut off at the knees in record time. I watched the first ten minutes and got dizzy from rolling my eyes so much. I'm not the target audience for this thing, so have fun VD fans. If I ever get the itch to see brooding teens sulking over brooding vampires, I'll rent Twilight for the first time.

Glee is another show that doesn't seem like something I'd be into, but I kind of liked the pilot that aired over the summer. I think the kudos goes to Jane Lynch (Is that her name? The one from Best in Show?) as the antagonistic coach. It has that air of satire towards musicals--a genre I hold a particular distaste. I'll give it a shot this fall and keep my fingers crossed.

The Jay Leno Show - Pass. I never watched The Tonight Show while he hosted, so I see no reason to start giving an hour of my life each night now.

And that's about it for the new shows. Anything else that seems to have potential is on a network I don't have, so I'll just have to wait to see next year if DVD collections come out for them. As for the established shows coming back this fall, I'm all over Supernatural, 30 Rock, The Daily Show, Family Guy, American Dad, Lost, and Fringe. Oh, and Castle and The Mentalist if I can catch them. Hmmm ... that's actually a lot of TV for a guy claiming not to be a TV junkie.

What's on your radar for this fall?


  1. Flash Forward starts here next Monday, can't wait.

  2. Same here, I believe. My turn in the library queue for the book may come in next week, but there's no guarantee. Maybe I'll tape episodes until I get the book in my hands and read it.

  3. I'm a The Big Bang Theory fan. It's in it's third season this year. Geeks + star trek references!

    Otherwise I'm a bit of a PBS fan, I love my british comedy too much to watch some of the newer shows.

  4. I'm a bit of a PBS fan, too. WGBH Boston. I tend to watch Nova and the Mark Twain Awards when they air.