Week Two of the Fall Season
Whoo! I need a nap. It’s exhausting trying to watch so much TV. The first couple weeks are always the worst, when I’m checking out almost all the new shows and figuring out which ones I think I’ll be sticking with, and which ones I’ll likely dump after their three-strike period. So much TV. So little time. So little sleep.
How I Met Your Mother is back, and while the season premiere was a typical episode for them nowadays- some funny, some not so funny, some Marshall (which is far below funny, it’s painful)- and as usual, after a lackluster 20 minutes, they throw us 2 minutes that are so wonderful, so amazing, so heartwarming, so sweet, so romantic, that we forgive the previous 20 minutes of drudgery. In this case, it was actually more like 42 minutes of blah and 2 minutes of awesome, since the season kicked off with two back-to-back episodes, but what a great 2 minutes they were. Fans who were afraid we’d meet the mother but get to see none of the wooing can relax, because we got to see the happy couple eat crumbs out of their undergarments, give each other a hard time, and be very much in love. At the same time, those of us who had hoped that the last scene of the show would be Ted meeting the mother can still hold out hope. Cristin Miloti, aka The Mother, had great chemistry with Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigon, and I’m totally making the somebitches cookies sometime! I’m excited to see The Mother meet Robin, though, because while The Mother was bonding with Lily, I thought- this girl seems to girly to be friends with Robin. I get her being friends with Lily, who is herself more girly than Robin, but I don’t see how The Mother and Robin will click. So that’ll be interesting to see.
Sleepy Hollow is 0 for 1 in the strike count. The second episode wasn’t quite as great as the pilot, but gave me a better feel for what the show will look like week to week, and I still super dig it. I still really like the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie, and can’t wait for Abby’s sister to join the team (which should be tonight’s episode!). It still feels a lot like Fringe, particularly early Fringe seasons, which I loved.
Mom has a great cast. I really hope at some point they figure out how to use them correctly. I didn’t really feel for either Christy (Anna Faris) or her mom (Alison Janney)- one is a single mom knowingly having an affair with a married man, the other a pathetic adult-child who sleeps with men half her age, and often, and doesn’t accept an responsibility for the choices she’s made in her life and the damage those choices caused those around her. Which actually can be said for Christy too. For two recovering alcoholics who are supposedly 12-stepping it, they both seem to be failing the accept responsibility/make amends step.
The Blacklist confuses me. Not because of its plotline- oh God no. I got that thing down pat. (Sample of things I said to the TV: You know you’re assisting in the kidnapping, right? You know there’s not really a chemical spill and the little girl is about to get kidnapped, right? You know you’re just ripping off lines from Taken, right?). It confuses me because the “twists” were SO predictable, I’m thinking maybe they were meant to be predictable? That this is the kind of show that want the viewer to feel smart, so they broadcast the plot turns in such a blatant fashion, people like me can sit there saying, “Oh I’m so smart, I knew that was coming.” And that’s a nice ego stroke and all, but makes for a super boring show.
The Hostages is equally predictable, but a little darker in tone. The problem here is that every single character is unlikable, and I am of the mindset that there’s gotta be at least one person I can root for. Everyone is hiding a major secret from their family, to varying degrees, and most of them are cliche ones- pregnant teen girl! teen boy involved in drugs! cheating husband!- so hopefully they lay some nuance up in here eventually. Also, little nitpicky, but I hated how Dylan McDermott Mulroney called his daughter “Soy Soy.” Her name is Sawyer, so I get it, but it’s incredibly annoying. Wouldn’t something like “Soy sauce” or “Soy toy” or “Soy bean” seem like a more realistic and less annoying nickname than Soy Soy?! Maybe you’ve got to hear him say it to be properly annoyed. I don’t think I’m conveying how annoying it was. It was incredibly annoying.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was everything I expected it to be- witty, adventurous, action-y. There were great one-liners, a little bit of Cobie Smulders, and some flying Lola! I like how there were things that if you’re familiar with the recent Marvel movies, or the Marvel lore in general, you’d get a little more excited about than if you were new to this world, but at the same time, not knowing them didn’t detract from the experience at all. I didn’t notice a few of the references at first, and then read them in a recap and went, “Oh yeah, oh that’s cool.” It was definitely a fun watch.
The Goldbergs– ugh, I don’t wanna talk about that one again. It did better in the ratings than I expected, but it was also episode one. We’ll see what happens. The three-strike test begins this week (if I can make it through!). Maybe it’ll prove my initial reaction of “Stop yelling at each other and being selfish dillholes” wrong!
Trophy Wife– still dug it. This week should be the first episode with the new daughter- the daughter was recast after the pilot with a slightly younger actress because they think it opens up the kind of stories they can tell. I’m worried, because I enjoyed the pilot so much. We’ll see.
Lucky 7 was okay. A little boring, which honestly was how I felt about a lot of the new shows this year. It’s not horrible, but it wasn’t great either. I can’t quite place my finger on why I didn’t care for it… And one qualm I have is that there’s only one employee at the gas station who didn’t participate, and he used to, but stopped awhile back to put the money aside as a rainy day fund instead. Are you really telling me that these people, who seem to genuinely care for each other and support each other, wouldn’t do something more for him than consider buying him a car? They could easily give up a million each without even noticing it with the kind of money they won. I like to think if my department won that kind of money, we’d take care of each other. Or at least, that I would, because if you can’t help the people in your life with that kind of money, what’s the point?
I liked the season opener for Law & Order: SVU, but I didn’t love it. It was AS good or AS creepy as I think they could’ve made it, considering how creepy William Lewis was in the finale last year. I almost would’ve liked to see Liv get tortured a little more- I know that sounds wrong, but I think they shied away from the really dark, really psychologically intriguing stuff. Unless we’ll get more glimpses of it as time goes on and she tries to heal.
I watched Nashville and remembered why I had stopped watching it last year. Again, it’s not a bad show, it’s just not a great show. It’s too busy. They need to cut some of the extraneous cast members- like, get rid of Gunnar and his roommate, and either ditch Avery or really step up his story and make him a real character instead of such a background player. And stop introducing even more people- that’s the last thing this show needs! I liked Deacon’s anger- it was hot, and hilarious at times. I liked Juliette’s conniving way of using Rayna’s coma to get attention for herself and her album. But overall, it just fell flat.
Parks and Recreation started out awesome- an impromptu (but unsurprising based on an interview with the show’s creator I read over the summer) wedding for Ron Swanson and his newly knocked up sweetie, Diane. I like them and their low key, low drama relationship, so I welcome their utilitarian approach to their wedding. And Leslie literally frozen in shock was awesome. The rest of the episode felt a little off, as did many of the later episodes of last season. Maybe it’s intentional, though- Leslie’s dream came true but the reality of it isn’t living up to her expectations, so she’s a little off, so maybe that’s why the show has felt a little off? I dunno. The ending conversation between her and Ben about seeing the world a bit more left me intrigued. What exactly are they setting up?
I can describe The Crazy Ones and The Michael J. Fox Show in the same paragraph- that’s exciting (just know the first bracket will refer to Crazy and the second to Fox.) (Yes, that over there <– in the last parantheses was intentional. I’m clever that way.) This show is fine. It’s not horrible. Some people may even come to love it. Based on the first impression, I won’t be one of them. It feels a little dated, and the chemistry between the various actors is a bit lacking at times. While there are some standouts, particularly <Amanda Setton as the receptionist><Wendell Pierce as Mike’s former producer>, the big draw name left me wanting more. I think the show relies too heavily on <Robin Williams’ hyperactive ADD shtick><Fox’s Parkinsons>. Not the worst TV ever created, not the best.
Grey’s Anatomy once again spoiled itself in promos, since we saw Mousy hit her head, and those in the know knew Tina Majorino is going to be on a TNT show so she was leaving Grey’s. And we all know how Shonda likes to kill off the actors who dare to leave her web (bye, George! Miss you!). Though, I did think for a second we were being faked out, because the intern Leah mentioned being tired and all this kind of stuff early on in the episode, so I thought she’d drop dead of an aneurysm or something! I do like how Mousy’s death is causing this batch of interns to become each other’s people like the original interns were. PS: I hope Jackson stays firm and doesn’t get back with April, and that Matthew trusts his gut and realizes she’s just not that into him, because she’s THE WORST, and I hope Owen and Cristina seriously stay broken up this time, because that’s played out.
I think I love Parenthood. I saw I think, because when I think about the show, I get really annoyed. I don’t like Sarah, so I don’t like when the focus on her, and I don’t like when they bring in super annoying love interests for her, and then keep them around way too long (yeah, looking at you, Ray Romano!). I don’t like Adam and Kristina too much, though the cancer storyline was well done. But as people (granted fictional people, but people nonetheless), I don’t like them. They’re yuppy, and self-centered, and kinda bad parents. Their kids are very spoiled and rude. So, I don’t love focusing on them too much. I don’t care for Julia much. I like Joel, just not Julia. I find her to be yuppy, self-centered and kinda a bad parent. So I don’t love focusing on Julia too much. I do like Crosby and Jasmine, I love Zeek and Camille and think they’ve been woefully underused as of late, and I love, love, love Amber, especially since meeting Ryan. I think she’s the most adult of everyone on the show. I’m just worried, based on the premiere, that this season is going to focus too much on the characters I don’t like, and too little on the ones I do.
The Good Wife was amazing, as usual. That show- for me, I wasn’t too into it to begin with, but it’s a show that gets stronger and stronger each season. The writing is just amazing, and the performances- a simple look shows 1,000 emotions all at once. Seriously. Great show.
Homeland -glad to see Dana Brody is still making sound decisions. Ha! Abstractly, the premiere was good, because Quinn accidentally killing that kid that he’d intentionally avoided killing earlier set up a pretty good arc/theme to the season, I think. Hopefully. If it plays out that way I’d like it too. BTW, my theory on the CIA bombing from last season: I think the bomb we saw Quinn putting together at the start of the episode wasn’t the bomb he used later on in the episode; I think it was the bomb behind the CIA bombing, and that it was actually a flashback. We’ll see, I could easily be wrong, but I think that’d be pretty cool. But the premiere was a little too slow and a little confusing, honestly. I think I would’ve liked more to see the immediate aftermath of the bombing rather than two months removed. Eh.
Seriously. So much TV. So. Much. TV.