Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Fall 2008 Television Season: Rants and Reviews, Part I

The new television season is in full swing and, thankfully, running strong thanks to no SAG strike. Hopefully it stays that way.

On to the shows:

Entourage - somehow, this show just keeps getting better and better. Of course, that's probably because it's a show pertaining to Hollywood itself, and the writers no doubt have an infinite number of personal experiences to draw upon. This season Vincent is struggling to clear his name following last season's Medellin debacle. It's fucking great.

Fringe -
this new Fox show from J.J. Abrams started out with a bang. Quite simply, its series premiere was excellent. So excellent, in fact, that Joshua Jackson's bland self didn't even have a chance of ruining it. And then the series kept going. The second episode was horrible, and the third was only marginally better. Something better happen quick, or viewers are going to abandon this exploration of fringe science.

Heroes -
talk about a boring season premiere. The only part of it worth watching was the last five minutes (the Syler twist), but now even that seems old and overdone. Watch as he becomes a mere foil, rather than the arch-villain. And did anyone else notice how the premiere completely made the first season's plot ("save the cheerleader, save the world") irrelevant?

Kitchen Nightmares -
Gordon Ramsay, you rock. But the American version of your beloved BBC's Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares sucks. There's no insight into the restaurant industry... it's just another family-fighting reality show.

Primeval -
this one's on BBC America, probably the best cable channel in the United States. After a great first season, a wanton second series attitude of "bigger and badder" is tearing the show apart. Hopefully they get back to the subtle nature of things. And quick.

Prison Break
- this is an aberration. I despise the moments prior to my actually watching it, because for some reason I feel the show is boring. But I only feel that way when I'm not watching it. When I am watching it, I absolutely love it. They're not breaking out of another prison this season, but the government conspiracy they're trying to crack is actually one that doesn't make you roll your eyes.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - decent first season, even though it suffered from a near-immediate continuity error (a metal Terminator head coming through the time warp). The second season? So far, garbage. Apt, considering the casting of the lead singer of Garbage. She almost single-handedly ruins the show. Another crap episode and this one's off the DVR to do list.

True Blood -
Hollywood seems irrationally attracted to vampires as of late, but this new HBO series provides just enough of a twist to stay interesting. Still finding its feet, I'm liking where it's heading. Certainly better than that Moonlight crap we had to suffer through last season.

Other shows on my DVR list include House, Dexter, Californication, Chuck, and Life. I haven't gotten to those yet, so those will be ranted and reviewed in part II.

Bring back JLU!


  1. Moonlight stunk. Not only was it poorly written with a pretty bad supporting cast, it was a direct ripoff of a previous bad vampire series about a human-turned-vampire-private investigator-living in Los Angeles: Angel.

    So nyah.

    Posted by JeffScape on September 30, 2008 - Tuesday - 7:26 PM

  2. and you seriously forgot to mention "Californication." I swear that made that show after us.

    Posted by LISA on September 30, 2008 - Tuesday - 4:14 PM

  3. DO NOT talk trash about Moonlight...Mick St.John is my lover.

    Posted by LISA on September 30, 2008 - Tuesday - 4:14 PM

  4. Uh, no. The entire purpose of the first season was to prevent Claire's power from falling into the hands of Sylar. Oops. The only way they can explain that one is to muddle the progression of the timeline, which is what they're doing... but that's lame.

    Posted by JeffScape on October 9, 2008 - Thursday - 11:21 PM

  5. You think everything is cliche'. New Nikki is no real surprise, but I like the concept now. Brother Sylar did throw me for a bit of a loop, but it makes total sense. OK, not total sense, but it's interesting.

    And the whole theme of the first season is the most relevant thing in this season - Save the Cheerleader, Save the World... She still needs saving.

    Posted by Jessica Lynn on October 9, 2008 - Thursday - 8:47 PM

  6. Fringe is inconsistently written, and we're only in the third episode. Never mind that the entire mystery of the second episode could have been solved using the exact same method that was used to solve the mystery in the pilot. But I guess they weren't thinking, eh? Josh Jackson held is own in the premiere, probably due to limited screen time, but the attempts at developing his character are only serving to accent his flat acting.

    Heroes' premiere was pretty bad. Completely cliche (a new Nikki, c'mon... Sylar is my brother, c'mon...) and totally made the events of the first season irrelevant.

    Both series are examples of shows struggling to find direction. And, as of the moment, both are still lost. Fringe, at least, has an excuse.

    Posted by JeffScape on October 2, 2008 - Thursday - 7:38 AM

  7. I don't get HBO or Showtime, so I guess I'll have to just rip your other choices...

    Heroes and Fringe rock. You have a weird definition of "boring" and "horrible." The only thing "horrible" about Fringe is that girl. I crave the moments in that show when she is not in the shot. ::sigh:: If only she weren't a main character. She's like the ice-woman commeth. And his name is SylAr. Dummy.

    I was, as you know, an avid Prison Break watcher, but it got too contrived, and I needed a guilty pleasure, so Gossip Girl got the Prison Break slot. Gossip Girl rocks. GG, Heroes, Life - Mondays rock! I sure hope My Own Worst Enemy is worth losing Life to Fridays.

    Fringe and SVU make my Tuesdays palatable. Wednesdays used to be fun, but now they suck. ANTM is its only savior, and I'm ashamed to admit that I watch it - or at least ashamed to admit that I LOVE to watch it.

    Thursdays are OK - Grey's is good. Why doesn't Meredith's whining bother me? Life on Mars better be good. I don't want to watch the last season of ER. I was over that show 3 seasons ago. And as much as I like Kat Von D, I don't want to watch LA Ink either.

    And now, I have to hope Life can survive on Fridays. Why, NBC, why? Why would you move such an awesome show to the timeslot of death in TV?

    So, there. There's my take.

  8. I did mention Californication. In the "haven't gotten to those yet" list. Probably because I'm not allowed to watch it until someone else is here. Hmm... yeah, that's it.


    Posted by JeffScape on September 30, 2008 - Tuesday - 7:28 PM