If you missed part 1 of the PopRox Fall Tv Preview, check it out here. It also includes the guidelines of how this preview works, so go ahead and stop by if you need a quick primer.
Watching live: Vampire Diaries (8 p.m., the CW, starting 10/11), The Office (9 p.m., NBC, starting 9/20), Parks and Recreation (9:30 p.m., NBC, starting 10/20), Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10 p.m., FX, starting 10/11)
DVR-ing: Last Resort (8 p.m., ABC, starting 9/27), Glee (9 p.m., Fox, starting Thursday)
OnDemand: 30 Rock (8 p.m., NBC, starting 10/4)
Mike Sadowski TV rule #761 – when Andre Braugher is in a new TV show, you watch. YOU WATCH!!! Not quite sure how Last Resort can squeeze its premise into a full season (or more) by combining Lost and The Hunt for Red October, and right now, I don’t give a fudge. What I do know is Andre Braugher is back on TV. I ask no more questions.
This is a big year for me and Vampire Diaries, I came close to tuning out last year. Really, really close, I think I even erased some middle episodes from the DVR to make room. There are just too many characters jetting in and out of the story and the ones that stick around keep doing the same exact things and making the same exact mistakes. Excuse me waiter, I thought I ordered some character growth with my show? And when they aren’t doing the same things, they’re doing ridiculously implausible things like growing a psychopathic alter ego or raising yet another person from the dead. I can very easily see this dropping off my radar, especially since my wife did, in fact, tune out. As telegraphed as last season’s finale was, it got me back in, at least temporarily. It’s a good thing Elena is so hot, otherwise I’d be leading the charge to have her removed from the show. Then I’d be watching every week, but watching her whine her way through yet another hour of my life is like watching Ross Gellar on whiny steroids or something.
Actually, maybe this is just the night of shows that need a shot of creative juices or something. I’m a Glee defender, but even I know it’s gotten a little stale. 30 Rock was stale two years ago – sooooo over Tracy Jordan and his stinkin’ EGOT. The Office … what do you say, really? It’s still funny. It’s just not Office funny.
It’s sad to just sit by and watch NBC’s Thursday night comedy slate just wither and die. Community has been banished to Fridays, 30 Rock and The Office are going into their last seasons and Up All Night just can’t hold my interest. That leaves poor Parks and Recreation, probably the funniest network show on TV right now, sitting out there in limbo, exposed to the ratings whims of crazy network people. You can just see it getting moved to Wednesdays after Guys with Kids or something in one final piece of idiotic programming. It’s so frustrating to know that for four straight years (including this one), NBC could have been rolling out one of the funniest comedy lineups ever, but didn’t have the balls to let it grow and now it’s about to be destroyed for good when the solutions were pretty easy (stick with it!!!). I feel like Will Hunting when he burns that impossible math problem thingee. “And I’m sorry you can’t do this, I really am, because I wouldn’t have to effin’ sit here and watch you fumble around and eff it up all the time.” I didn’t make those shows, but I gotta imagine that’s how Greg Daniels feels since he created The Office and Parks and Rec. Like Will Hunting burning his own math problem to save himself the aggravation of watching NBC eff it up all the time.
Watching live: Community (8:30 p.m., NBC, starting 10/19), Fringe (9 p.m., Fox, starting 9/28)
OnDemand: Touch (8 p.m., Fox, starting 10/26)
I liked Touch last year. I just don’t think I liked it enough, and it was eventually sucked into the netherworld of my OnDemand catch-ups. I think my biggest pet peeve was how many times Jack Bauer yelled, “Jake! JAKE! JAKE!!!” I think every person on the planet named Jake has now answered him.
Fringe is almost too off the rails for me. It’s only 13 episodes left, so I’m watching no matter what. But the news that they’re doing these final 13 episodes in the future just isn’t very promising since I really didn’t like it that much and found myself continually checking the time to see how much longer the episode was. I’m going to have to watch the finale again, because I just read a quick catch-up thing, and I remember about 10 percent of it. I know I remember being a little bored by all the Observer stuff. The trailer seems a little too Peter-dramatic for my tastes. “This is the reason we were created!” But on the bright side, maybe they won’t get bogged down in the Fringe-event-of-the-week procedural.
Which brings us to Community. Ooooohhhh, Community. I don’t even know where to start, so I’m not going to even bother going into detail. About five people watch the show, yet trillions of people were enamored with the Chevy Chase-Dan Harmon pissing contest last year and Harmon’s subsequent sacking. I’m not even sure how that makes sense. Does it? Wait, lemme read that again … nope, it doesn’t. But that’s what happened. It’s the one show I have absolutely no opinion on which way it’s going to go this year. Funny? Awful? Played-out? Fresh? It really can go anywhere. One thing apparently isn’t changing – it’s still keeping its pop culture-heavy theme intact with a season premiere inspired by The Hunger Games.
Happy DVR catch-up night, everyone!
Watching live: Once Upon a Time (8 p.m., ABC, starting 9/30), Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC, starting 10/14)
DVR-ing: The Good Wife (9 p.m., CBS, starting 9/30)
OnDemand: Simpsons (8 p.m., Fox, starting 9/30), Family Guy (9 p.m., Fox, Sept. 30)
I should be a little more broken up that this is where I stand with Simpsons. There has never been another show that has defined my tastes in comedy like it, yet I’m totally cool leaving it hang out in the catch-it-when-I-can file. I don’t know how this happened, and it’s not new. I still laugh like crazy when I do watch it, it’s one of the few guaranteed laughs on TV. Over the crappy TV summer, I watched a good amount of both Simpsons and Family Guy OnDemand. And you know what I found? That’s how I like watching it. When I’m just kicking back with nothing to watch, and there they are, the two old reliables just hanging out, not even pushing themselves on me. But as I scroll through the OnDemand menu wondering if I should actually give a Russell Brand late-night show a chance, or give Hell on Wheels another chance, you can almost hear Simpsons and Family Guy sitting there saying, “Don’t forget about us, we’re still here.” So I check them out and laugh approximately 567 times more than I would have watching anything else. That’s comforting. That’s where I am with Simpsons and Family Guy now. I know they’ll always be there for me when I need them.
Not that I wavered that much, since I am one of the few people that thought Walking Dead was just fine last year with the new Scooby Gang stuck on the farm. But the comic book fans say this is where things really get good, at The Prison. I’ll have to believe them, but isn’t this the same thing everyone complained about last year? That they’re stuck in one place and not going anywhere and not doing anything? Looking forward to seeing this Governor guy.
Once Upon a Time really dragged in the middle of its season, but I’m invested enough to see how Regina gets herself out of this. And to see if they ever give a decent explanation as to why those people in the hospital weren’t immediately beating the living crap out of her when the curse was broken. I’m not holding my breath on that one.
The Good Wife is kinda in the Simpsons class. It’s a great show, but I know it’s not going anywhere, so I can easily catch up on three episodes on some random Friday or Saturday night when I’ve cleaned everything else out of the DVR. But I’m going to try and keep up with it from the get-go, because it really is an enjoyable show to watch. The news that Maura Tierney is joining the cast doesn’t do anything but help the show’s cause.