Monday, November 05, 2007

The State of the Fall TV Season - Part One

I have been sneaking in little gripes here and there over the last few months about the sorry state of TV this fall, but now the time has come for me to officially judge some of the shows I've been watching. As I feel that there is so much crap on the small screen lately, I've actually tried out several new shows in search of something to help me mellow out before bedtime. Therefore, I'll be spreading my analysis over two or three posts because there's a lot to cover.

Here's the first round... and if you didn't read my post on the premieres of these shows, you may want to refresh your memory as I will allude to my thoughts from September in this follow-up of sorts.

Dirty Sexy Money

I had vowed that I would watch at least four episodes of DSM, and I did... and I'm still watching it. I'm not quite sure why, however. I continue to find the bulk of the characters extremely annoying, but Tripp (Donald Sutherland) and Nick (Peter Krause) keep me coming back. It's good "fluff" TV that doesn't take too much brain power--yet at the same time I'm not embarrassed that I'm watching it because it is by no means awful. My least favorite character remains Juliet (who went into rehab in real life for undisclosed reasons), and since I was complaining about the transvestite affair involving William Baldwin's character in the premiere episode, I'm certainly not happy that it's still an ongoing story line. Jeremy, the hard-partying twin brother of Juliet, is growing on me, as is Brian, the cranky priest who finds out he has a young son from a past affair. Everyone else I could take or leave. I have read that the writers do intend to wrap up the "who killed Nick's father?" story line, and I am very curious to learn 1) who actually did kill Dutch and 2) if the show will still be watchable after that major mystery is solved. Right now my intention is to keep watching the show until Lost comes back on and then determine if I still want to make time for it after that. I have been reading fairly good reviews of DSM in recent entertainment magazines, so I have a feeling it will be around for a while.

Big Shots

I had the same plan for this show as I did for DSM--watch four episodes and then make a call. Big Shots didn't fare quite as well in my test as DSM did--I have stopped watching it. It's kind of sad because I really did like seeing Michael Vartan on a weekly basis. But what's even sadder is that I did NOT like watching Dylan McDermott, who was my main reason for deciding to try out the show in the first place. He will just always be Bobby Donnell to me, what can I say? The story lines of Big Shots were way too out there for me, and the dialogue was embarrassingly bad and repetitive. At least once every episode there was some mention of how "women are the new men" which accompanied a conversation between the four main characters that always sounded too mid-life-crisis-ish to me. I'll be interested to see if this show makes it past its first season. In the last few weeks that I haven't been watching it, I haven't missed it!

The Office

I had been extremely worried about one of my favorite shows, The Office, after its season premiere... Michael was acting wackier than ever, Pam and Jim were together and seemed to have high annoyingness potential, and Dwight was turning me off by his insistence that it was OK to kill Angela's cat. Thankfully, I feel the show has gotten back on track since then. While Michael remains my least favorite character of the show and is still over-the-top, it's not as bad as it once was. Pam and Jim's story line has hit a comfortable stride and I think the writers could actually keep their relationship going with no adverse consequences--they haven't devolved into two googly-eyed lovey-dovey versions of their former snarky selves. While there's still not as much Creed as I'd like there to be, there is a lot more of Andy, and I'm trying to decide whether or not I can deal with that. I do think his attempts to win over Angela much to Dwight's silent horror are pretty entertaining--it's just that he can come off as a bit too eager and cocky, in an unfunny way. By far, the best scene of the season thus far goes to someone who isn't even a main character: Mose, Dwight's apparently Amish brother, who scares the crap out of Jim and Pam as he runs alongside their car as they pull into the driveway of Schrute Farms (yes, there is actually a page for it, just like on the show).

On that note, I have to hand it to NBC for really upping the ante with The Office's incredible web site. I find it too annoying to actually create a log-in account for Dunder Mifflin Infinity, but it doesn't really matter because the "normal" web site for the show is good enough anyway. You can find Dwight's blog, Creed's blog, "motivational" poster spoofs, deleted scenes and a lot more.

In the coming days I will post my reviews of: Reaper, The Hills, Survivor: China, The Amazing Race, Best Week Ever, Saturday Night Live and The Next Great American Band.

Until then,
- e


Anonymous said...

I, for one, am disappointed with the new (and old) fall programming. I feel like I barely watch tv anymore! Project Runway's about to start again, though, so there's hope. -anna

Anonymous said...

Thank God The Office is good again! I think the hour-long episodes were the problem; as much as I love the show, it seemed to drag and lose its edge during the longer shows. The 30-minute format is for a comedy, NBC, you money-hungry bastards!

Okay, I'm done. I just don't want NBC to ruin one of the only good shows on t.v. right now. :)

--Another e