The fall TV season is upon us...sort of. Once upon a time, September rolled around, and the summer re-runs ended and new shows began and old ones returned and all was right with the world. Now, the fall "season" really is a full season, the winter of our discontent, with some shows not coming online (how's that for tech speak?) until October 30th (thank you very much, 30 Rock!) and others not appearing until January or later (I'm looking at you, 24, Lost, Battlestar Galactica). It makes disucussing the current crop of offerings a long, disjointed process. So I'm not even going to try for coherence but talk about those shows I've seen so far and address the others as they arrive. I like to watch the first episodes of lots of shows and then discard those that aren't worth my time. It's really very efficient, trust me.
Bones: the premiere was two hours (nice) in London (dumb), giving Booth a chance to sound ridiculously and stereotypically American (annoying) and Bones the chance to flirt with a smart British dude and later investigate his murder (overdone and way too pat). But the second episode found them back at home and back in the swing of snappy banter, gross bodies in various states of decay, and some funny new characters, at least one of whom is definitely not sticking around, my gut tells me. So far, so good.
ANTM (and if you don't know that stands for America's Next Top Model, you can just skip this paragraph): The whole "futuristic" selection process with a glamazon "Tyrabot" was inane, but the crop of would be models they picked is certainly diverse. There's the girl from Alaska who grew up without electricity and running water! There's the predatory bisexual girl! There's the ultimate fighter chick! There's the pre-op transgendered woman named Isis! There's the blond, sporty racist from Pawley's Island, SC (we're very proud). There are three girls named Brittany! It's a jamboree!
Fringe: This new Fox show keeps trying to bill itself as not the X-Files but close. So far, the most X-File-ish part of the show are the special effects (they do not shy away from the gruesome, folks). Fringe refers to fringe science, as in telekinesis, ESP, advanced bionics, reanimation (oh yes, you read that right), and some global conspiracy involving a "pattern" that the FBI woman and the crazy scientist and his reluctantly involved genius son are now on a quest to identify. And there was a cow in a lab in the first episode. In other words, it's complicated. Perhaps too much so. Perhaps not. We shall see.
Prison Break: So I stopped watching this after the first season when they, you know, broke out of prison and the whole thing seemed, well, done. But I was sucked in because they premiered early and were broadcast on Hulu.com, my new favorite mode of watching television. And now no one is in prison and they are fighting to stay that way by doing some covert government op. And Michael probably has a brain tumor. And Sarah, who was beheaded last season apparently, now has a head again (ha ha, it was a joke, you see). And I'm over it once again.