Week One

So, the first week of the new fall TV season has come and gone.  Here are my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.

Hawaii Five-O:  It certainly started off with a bang.  The budget for the pilot was big, with helicopters and hummers and lots of explosions.  I would prefer less violence, but that’s pretty much always the case, and maybe I’m watching shows like this for the wrong reasons!  Alex O’Loughlin looks great, although for a guy living in Hawaii he needs to get more sun on that awesome chest of his. Oh, that’s right, his character just came back to Hawaii, so maybe they’ll let us watch him get that suntan.  Scott Caan is funny, but I want him to shave.  I like Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, too.  Now that the show has gotten our attention, let’s hope they settle down into some character development and good ensemble teamwork.

Lone Star:  I really want to like this show.  The cast is excellent, and it has a lot going for it.  Unfortunately, it caused me acute anxiety to watch this fellow trying to juggle two separate lives.  I don’t find anxiety a fun emotion.  Besides, as sincere as the fellow is about being in love with two different women, he’s still cheating on both of them.  The show got really bad ratings, and there is already a campaign on zap2it to save it.  I wish the show luck, but I don’t think I can continue watching.

NCIS:  This favorite came through in a big way.  I was dismayed at the cliffhanger last spring, when Gibbs’ father was confronted by the woman seeking revenge, but I underestimated the man.  He held his own in true Gibbs family fashion.  The rest of the hour was tightly paced, and they wrapped up the revenge storyline swiftly and to my satisfaction.  Everybody was in top form, and I’m looking forward to more.

NCIS: Los Angeles:  I keep watching this show, hoping it will settle and find its footing.  It’s still marinating, though.  This NCIS spin-off just doesn’t have the same balance of humor, ensemble rapport, and character appeal as the original.  I suppose I shouldn’t expect it to be the same, but it hasn’t yet carved out its own niche, either.  The new cast member is kind of cool, but again, I want him to shave.  I know it seems like I want to shave all the guys (yeah, you too, Chris O’Donnell) but I just don’t think facial scruff is attractive.

Criminal Minds:  I was worried that Tim Curry would be too creepy.  And he was.  Oh, my.  As the show bids goodbye to A.J. Cook, the writers are giving her some great material, and the fact that she’s performing it so well is a direct indictment of their decision to dump her.  I’ve said it before—I watch this show for the ensemble of good actors, especially Matthew Gray Gubler.  Recently the focus has shifted away from the group to center on Morgan, Shemar Moore’s character, and I hope that doesn’t continue.  The premiere did not inspire my confidence.

The Big Bang Theory:  It was a great season premiere, but the writers and producers are going to have to pay closer attention to the fact that the show is on now at 8:00pm instead of 9:30pm.  When Howard got a robotic hand stuck around his…privates, it was hysterically funny, but the watchdog groups may have a fit.

The Event: There’s no doubt the last few minutes of the pilot were amazing, and unexpected, but getting there was kind of confusing.  The story was going back and forth between several different timelines, or multiple flashbacks, and I suppose it will continue to do so.  Whether I will care enough to keep watching is less certain.

Chase: This is a show about a female US marshal named Annie Frost, who runs really fast, much faster than her male partners, so she catches up with the fugitives first, and they fight, and she overwhelms them and cuffs them just as the guys are arriving on the scene.  It would be more convincing if Ms Frost wasn’t as scrawny as a fashion model.  It would also be more satisfying to see her using her brains more than her arguable brawn.  And wasn’t it cooperative of the first fugitive to wear a bright red sweat jacket, so you could always spot him running through the crowds?  I don’t know, I suspect that this nod to female empowerment is quite possibly just male fantasy fulfillment.

I attempted to watch Blue Bloods, The Good Guys, The Mentalist, The Defenders, and CSI, but I’ve fallen out of the habit of watching three straight hours of television every night, and my attention wandered.  I’m not giving up on these shows, and I’m not criticizing them either.  I just have to try watching them again.

So, what are your thoughts?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on September 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Good overview of what you watched UB! Since I only watched Hawaii Five-O from the shows you watched I’ll comment there.

    Hawaii five-O: Needs more Grace Park, preferably without clothes. Seriously, I was waiting to see her because frankly, I was somewhat bored til then. I want more Jean Smart too. She’s awesome and I loved her on 24.

    I found Alex O and Scott Caan’s chem as partners a little forced. I love DDK from Lost, not used to him speaking English though. I think the show has potential but I want some story to carry though the whole season, I don’t love shows that have closed cases every week. it becomes boring, fast no matter how many explosions their are.

    Lonestar sounds like my type of show lol but too bad it’ll be cancelled before I watch it on Hulu lol.

    Thanks UB for this. Great Tv Critic.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Katelyn on September 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I need to add most of these shows to my already way too long list of tv shows to watch. One of the guys I work with is really into The Event and he keeps talking about it at the office. He said it reminds him of Lost and 24. And I still need to watch the premiere of The Big Bang Theory, I’ve seen a few episodes after you recommended it to me and it’s so funny. Of course, now that they moved it to Thursdays it conflicts with the other 800 shows I watch that night. Great reviews as always!

    Reply

  3. I quite enjoyed Hawaii Five-O. Looking forward to more.

    Reply

  4. I watched The Event and I was quite blown away. Looking forward to more. Big Bang was great as usual. Enjoyed the Brothers and Sisters premiere, as well as Grey’s and Private Practice. Watched Running Wilde and was underwhelmed but I love Keri Russell so I will continue watching. Mike & Molly was really cute and funny.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Rebecca on September 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I’m interested in the thing you describe as “male fantasy fulfillment” in Chase. I don’t think I want to watch Chase, based on what you say, and my sparse tv habits, but The Girl With/Who books are part of the same phenomenon, and maybe the Bloody Jack YA novels. I like all of those, so maybe the fantasy fulfillment is more “broad” than that. But we should keep track of whether they’re all scrawny dames… The Girl Who is, and Jacky Faber is as well….

    Reply

    • Ah, a challenge! I was pretty certain somebody would call me out on that “male fantasy” comment, because I knew it was vague. I find tough, strong women empowering as long as they are realistic and believable, whether they are onscreen or in books. This is why I enjoyed the early Jacky Faber/Bloody Jack books but lost faith in the later books, because Jacky became less real to me. The author began to focus almost exclusively on her boy-crazy flirtatiousness.

      In the show Chase, it’s not just that Annie Frost is scrawny. In the fights she has with the big, brawny fugitives, she’s getting beaten pretty thoroughly until she gets the upper hand. It’s nice, if not realistic, that she wins in the end, but it’s the pounding that comes before that I’m suspicious of.

      Here’s a link to an interesting paper on the subject: http://www.sociology.vt.edu/pubs/WhatsaMeanWoman.pdf

      Reply

      • Posted by Rebecca on October 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm

        I tried to read that paper, but it was too scary for me. I may think of something cogent when I’m not down with a headcold…….but, I don’t think Jackie Faber is flirtatiously boy-crazy at all!

        Reply

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