The new season is here! The new season is here!

A quick programming note:

The schedule this week is going to be screwy, there’s nothing I can do about that. I have jury duty tomorrow, and I had to work a night last night, so we’re on a Tuesday-Thursday-Friday schedule. I hope.

But today I’ve got four reviews of new network pilots premiering this week, hope to have at least five more for Thursday, and I’ll try to fit in a couple more. I couldn’t fit anymore today because for good reasons or bad, the four shows I’m including today — The Event and Lone Star that premiered last night, No Ordinary Family premiering next week and My Generation showing on Thursday — were interesting to write about and got a little long. Thursday’s guarantees will be the Glee season premiere, Running Wilde, Raising Hope and the ABC Wednesday comedy blocks. Gonna try to squeeze in Hawaii Fiddy (my new new for it, 10 p.m. Mondays, CBS) and possibly The Defenders (10 p.m. Wednesdays, CBS). We’ll see how that goes.

And sooner or later, we’ll go back to straight links, but there’s just too much TV right now. Mild to major spoilers coming up in all of these, be warned:

wait, no one told me james franco was in the event

wait, no one told me james franco was in the event

THE EVENT (9 p.m. Mondays, NBC): For about 10 years I was in a very involved and intense computer-simulated fantasy baseball league. Just about every major leaguer ended up on some one’s team, and each of the 24 teams in the league included a 15-player minor league system of players not on major league rosters. I’m a baseball geek, but I’m not enough of a geek that I can memorize the careers of 360 minor leaguers, foreign players or draft prospects, but we had people in the league who were. Two of them, my buddies Big and Nate, did this thing I hated at every draft. In the really late rounds of the minor league draft, when someone would invariably say, “Man, there’s no one left!” those two would start in with comments like “Well what about the #3 pitcher from the Wilmington Blue Rocks, he’s out there” or “I still have my guy from the Tri-City Dust Devils, he’s been on my radar for a couple months now.” Then the other one would say, “Yeah, I know who you’re talking about, I’m hoping he still makes it down to me.” When I told them to knock it the eff off, they would snicker and find another secret player to discuss. I called it Talking in Code, and I hated it. That’s how I felt watching The Event last night. Everyone was talking in code, and they were all in on a secret me and the rest of the audience can’t know. You could almost hear the writers snickering and pointing. That’s how the show is designed, I get that. But when the 15th veiled reference to something we have no clue why we’re supposed to care about comes along, the tone goes beyond “mysterious” and trudges into “annoying” territory. Bunny Mather/Dr. Weaver ends the show with “Mr. President, I haven’t told you everything.” Well no sh!t Sherlock! It was painfully obvious you spent the last hour going out of your way not to tell us everything! I have no idea what the answers to the myriad questions brought up last night will be, but I know what the structure is going to be. For the next couple months, we’re going to fill in the details of the 13 months starting with the president’s trip to Alaska, and the fall finale for November sweeps will be some kind of explanation for the X-Files-like twist ending, which I won’t even bother trying to explain in case you haven’t seen it yet. And because I have no explanation. All that being said, I’m cautiously in on this. Maybe it’s the lack of good, action-packed network serials this year with the loss of 24, but I want to like this show. I almost feel like I need to watch this show. I’m just not going to tolerate all the Talking in Code for more than a month or so before I get angry and bail. GRADE: C+. KEEP WATCHING?: It deserves extra viewings.

the answer is yes, that's tyra from friday night lights as a brunette

the answer is yes, that's tyra from friday night lights as a brunette

LONE STAR (9 p.m. Mondays, Fox): When I watch a show or movie with British accents, it always takes me a couple minutes to adjust. so if something major happens in the first five minutes of Being Human and my wife goes, “Ooooooo” I always have to ask, “What did she say, what did she say?!?!?!” I thought it only pertained to British accents, but apparently it pertains to show about con men too. I don’t know the con game, and I’m certainly not smart or charming enough to run one, so it’s a world that’s foreign to me. That’s one of the things that sucked me into the idea of Lone Star in the first place, the allure of a world I know nothing about. It just takes me a couple seconds to get up to speed. Like in the show’s pilot, when the con dad shows the con son the parking lot and says “These are your wells” and all I see is the empty parking lot. I didn’t get it until after the scene was already over and it dawned on me, “Oooohhhhhhh, they’re selling nothing. OK, got it, let’s move on.” And so it went, me trying to digest individual scenes to see how they all fit together individually and within the scope of the show. About 15 minutes after it ended and I finally was able to construct what was going on, I decided the show is pretty good. At least I think so. It’s replete with stereotypes — the evil brother-in-law might as well just have his eyebrow surgically furrowed, because he’ll never be directed to raise it — but it’s interesting enough to keep watching for a while. That is as long as that lead guy, newcomer James Wolk, stops doing a Jason Street impersonation. I’ll watch, but right now I’m not moving heaven and earth to see it. The critical love it’s getting seems to be more of a result of nothing else of substance jumping out this year. GRADE: B-. KEEP WATCHING?: For now.

la la la, everything is great, la la la!

la la la, everything is great, la la la!

NO ORDINARY FAMILY (8 p.m. Tuesdays, ABC, premieres next week, saw a screener of it early): If no one ever got killed on Heroes and all of the people with special powers were related, what would you have? You’d have No Ordinary Family, a show about a dad, mom, brother and sister — awwwwwwww — whose vacation charter plane goes down into a SouthAmerican river. They all survive, but the river was filled with glowing toxic goo that gave them super powers. At some point, we’ll probably find out it was some government conspiracy, but for now, we’re sticking to the basics. Family. Plane. Goo. Super. Unfortunately, the show just seems about seven years too late. If this came out in 2003, right after X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk and Daredevil were hitting at the box office, we’d be salivating over a show like this — just like geeks were salivating over Heroes in 2006. In 2010? Seems a little played out. We already saw the destruction a show like Heroes could succumb to, and we’re far enough down the comics roster that even Jonah Hex seemed like a good idea. So it’s safe to say people aren’t exactly pining for a show about regular people with super powers. If they are, they probably aren’t looking for a feel-good PTC-approved love fest of family fun like No Ordinary Family unapologetically strives to be. We like our super heroes dark, saying things like, “It wasn’t supposed to happen this way … not for me” right before they stop a B-12 bomber from crashing in Central Park. When they start saying things like, “How come you didn’t take out the garbage?” we tend to lose interest pretty quickly. At least I do. But it’s clean family camp with a heart, so if your 10-year-old is a comic book freak, this show can be a great show to watch as a family. If you’re looking for something people your own age will be talking about at work the next day, you might want to stick with Glee. GRADE: C+. KEEP WATCHING?: Something tells me you’re not missing much if you miss a week or two. And it surely isn’t beating out glee on my DVR battle.

i'm usually down for anything jaime king related. just not this time.

i'm usually down for anything jaime king related. just not this time.

MY GENERATION (8 p.m. Thursdays, ABC, saw an early screener): Go ahead. Try and watch this without thinking about The Breakfast Club. I dare you. I triple dog dare you. In My Generation, nine high-school stereotyped kids from the Class of 2000, part of a documentary production about high school lives back then, are being filmed again 10 years later to see how their lives have changed. So it’s like if Bender was running for mayor or something. But when you’re watching this and thinking about The Breakfast Club, remember those Brat Packers were thrust together on a random Saturday in detention. There’s a good reason for that — because at no high school in America is there any social link whatsoever between a jock, a rich kid, a homecoming queen, a wallflower, a nerd, etc., etc. Except for this one, where they’re linked in some kind of Kevin Bacon-like degree of separation deal. Even better, they’re all friends, which makes absolutely no sense. Then again, maybe there are high schools someplace where jocks, nerds, rich kids, prom queens and stoners all live together in perfect harmony. It’s probably the same place where magical rain drops of single-malt scotch fall from the sky. So try not too hard to laugh at that premise, if you can even keep everyone straight. John Hughes knew five is a good number for high-school stereotypes. Nine? Not so much. If Hughes decided to squeeze in Matthew Broderick as a prom king and Lea Thompson as a punk rocker, Breakfast Club wouldn’t have worked for a second. If he added two more past that, it wouldn’t have made it past the first week in theaters and it certainly wouldn’t be on Encore every other day now. Just when you think you’ve seen everyone a half-hour into the My Generation pilot, you forget that you haven’t heard from the punk rock girl, now married to the jock, who is best friends withthe rich kid, who dated the class brain, who still meets for coffee withthe rebel, who is still buds withthe over-achiever, whose one-night fling with the wallflower … forget it. My head hurts just thinking about this all over again. So not only am I apparently forgetting what high school was like, I’m forgetting what post-high school is like too. Apparently everyone stays together, calls and sees each other all the time and still pines for their high school lives. Isn’t that why Facebook was invented, so I don’t have to hang out withmy high school friends to keep track of their lives? Say you’re at the bar and an aquaintance from high school shows up. You talk for about 10 minutes to catch up, and once you realize that’s all you needed, you go back to the friends you came with. If you get the vibe that person was a little too into high school, you head for the hills to make sure you never talked to him again. It’s like if you saw Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite out at Sarah Street or something. So if we run from those people in real life, why is ABC expecting we want to spend an hour a week with them? Don’t know, and I no longer care. This is my vote for first show of the season to be canceled, I don’t see how it could possibly resonate with the public. GRADE: D. KEEP WATCHING?: Nope.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fblr_y3fuQ8

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