So it's been pointed out to me that some of my tiny but loyal readership is missing my heretofore ever-present flurry of television commentary, so I've decided to go back to being frivolous for a post and comment on the fall schedule as I see it.
The "as I see it" clause is more important than you might think because I have bitten the bullet, gone off the reservation, put my hat in my hand, insert relevant cliche here and NOT renewed our cable contract. GASP!!! I know, everyone just take a moment to reassess his or her life and ponder the earth-shattering ramifications of my decision. The reasons are myriad, not the least of which is cost. Frankly, the mortgage scares the crap out of me, so I am cutting costs where ever possible and cable was an easy cut, particularly since we pay almost as much for internet access.
Which is how I am watching tv these days. And so far, it's been pretty successful, so no worries, America, I still have things to say about the new season:
The real news is that Friday Night Lights continues to be such quality television that I can't turn away, even when two of the teens accidentally kill a would-be rapist and now are slowly self-destructing in a way that's almost too painful to watch. But watching the terrible realism of the coach's wife's realization that having a new baby and a long-distance marriage was a very, very bad idea is utterly gripping. Are you watching yet???
Private Practice, the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, is beautiful to look at but not a lot of substance. Audra McDonald's talents are wasted on her character, a pathetic and not well-adjusted divorce, as are Amy Brenneman's talents on her character, a pathetic and not well-adjusted divorce. The pediatrician's character is probably my favorite, but I can't look at the actor playing him without seeing him as the cruel, insensate shady FBI or CIA agent he played on Prison Break up until this season, a shift that takes me a few minutes every single episode. And wait, isn't Addison Montgomery, the star of the show Kate Walsh, also playing a pathetic and not well-adjusted divorce? What the heck is going on here??
Heroes feels like it's spinning its wheels in its sophomore season, trying to decide what to do next. I have some suggestions: less Claire and her bland boy toy; bring Hiro back from the past, for crying out loud; get to the point with the Honduran twins already; and get Kristen Bell to the set, STAT! The second season is hard, but repetition, plodding development, and inchoate plots are not helping.
House (which FOX finally made available online, so they are no longer fascists) is funny but disjointed as he searches for his new team of newbies. And there's a random Mormon character who decides after two seconds to drink tequila as part of a control group while explaining his faith to House. Umm, whatever. Thankfully, Wilson, oh Captain, my Captain (Robert Sean Leonard), has finally come into his funny own, so he is a bright spot.
And then there is the long list of "okay but nothing specials" such as Desperate Housewives (a gay couple and a new obsessive housewife do not a rejuvenation make), Brothers and Sisters (everyone is still falling apart--whiners all) or America's Next Top Model (the "green" season has been remarkably indistinguishable from the others, Asperger's sufferer notwithstanding).
And finally, I love Bones! I love the (unspoken) love between the leads, I love the quirky characters, I love the unforgivingly unbelievable cases, the snappy banter, the neat special effects, the strange side dramas, the upbeat tone, the whole shebang. LOVE it!