Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fall TV Season

Summer's been zipping by, which is a bit sad. I'm not looking forward to cold weather and being away from New York. But, it does mean an increase in quality art, both at the cinema and with the new season of TV. This year, I'll be watching more shows than ever before, largely because I watched so much stuff on DVD. After watching a bunch of early seasons on DVD, I'm now ready to watch the new stuff live. Here's the show by show preview of what I'll be watching.

Gilmore Girls

I watched the first five seasons of Gilmore Girls on DVD last year and then caught season six on TV as it aired. If you were reading the blog then, you probably recall the many posts about the series. A lot of people had issues with the dark direction of that season, but I thought it was fantastic, resulting in the show's second best season, behind five. I respect the fact that they took the show in such a challenging direction, forcing the show's main character to confront her lingering issues in the same way that Buffy had to in her show's sixth season. This season will be different because it's the first without show auteurs Amy and Dan Palladino. Will this result in a major tonal change? I'd imagine so, regardless of how good it is, the show is a bit tainted from the fact that it's no longer fulfilling the creator's original vision. It's like fanfic, just with the real cast. However, I'm still psyched to see where things go and I think last season's finale leaves plenty of issues for the new team to deal with.

Battlestar Galactica

I had a lot of issues with season two, but it closed out with the series' best episode (Downloaded)
and a season finale that leaves the show in a great place for the next season. I feel like they had pretty much exhausted the premise by the end of year two, so the jump forward in time is the perfect way to reinvigorate the series. Now, Alias is a show that did the exact same thing, and that was pretty much a freefall in quality after the time jump. However, that's largely because they had lost the show's best character, Irina. Here, the time jump allows for the show's best characters, the cylons, to be better integrated into the general narrative. I don't care about the military stuff, so I'm hoping that we get more focus on Batlar, Six and Sharon. The season three trailer looks fantastic, hopefully the show will live up to it.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

I loved the first few seasons of The West Wing, particularly 'Two Cathedrals,' the season two finale, still one of the best TV episodes ever. The "Brothers in Arms" part at the end is just unbelievable. Anyway, Sorkin may have some repetitive tendencies, but the premise of this show is great and the cast even better. Sorkin's one of those TV auteurs who's been good enough that anything he writes is worth checking out.

Veronica Mars

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be grabbing season two on Tuesday, so I'll be caught up for the new season. The Gilmore Girls/Veronica Mars back to back two hours is going to be quite a night of TV. I'm hoping the show gets a boost from the timeslot and CW, since its previous ratings were ridiculously bad. Because the show is based around standalones, it might play better week to week than in DVD viewing.


Weeds is a show that's actually already started. I watched the first season, expecting a lot because it starred one of my favorite actresses, Mary Louise Parker. It was a bit too sitcommy at first, but grew on me and I was liking the show by the end of the season. It's an entertaining half hour with a fantastic cast and some nice moments of actual drama.


I really liked the first season of Nip/Tuck, but the past two have had diminishing returns as they try to up the level of ridiculous outrageousness, losing sight of any sort of character reality. However, they always bring out something to make it worth watching. This season is supposedly a 'return to the core concepts,' which usually means the beginning of the end. We shall see. I might not make it to the end of the season with this show.


This is the wild card show. I don't know much about the people who created it, but the premise, basically superheroes start cropping up in the real world is something I'm always interested in. Unbreakable is one of my favorite movies, and if this has a similar approach to the subject matter, it could be great. The premise more specifically reminds me of the comic series Rising Stars, which was great. So, this could be a new favorite, or it could be bad, but I'll give it a couple of episodes regardless.

So, seven shows. That's good because I'm running out of series to go through on DVD. Some of these shows will end in the Fall, but in 2007 I've got the new season of 24 and the final season of The Sopranos coming in to replace them. Of all this stuff, I'm looking forward to The Sopranos the most. The most recent season went off in a really odd direction and I'm curious to see if Chase was just saving the big payoffs for the ending chunk, or if he's really just going to let things glide towards an unconcluisve ending.

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