Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Season: Tuesday

Tuesdays are usually a lighter load/catchup day in terms of programming. Since I generally don't get home much before 10pm on Mondays and have to be at work at 10am on Tuesdays, I can't watch all that gets recorded. But there is still new stuff added and here it is:


I started watching House last season and was surprised by how quickly I got hooked. I'm usually not into medical dramas, but this one is so wonderfully written and Hugh Laurie is brilliant. The search for the new fellows story arc was rather engaging, though I'm still not won over by Taub (dude, chill), Kutner (dude, stop setting patients on fire) or Thirteen (dude...just dude). The season finale was incredibly good, though I think I will miss Amber/Cut Throat Bitch.

However, this has now set up a story line where House and Wilson have essentially broken up. We're two episodes into the season (counting tonight's episode) and I still don't know how I feel about this development. Although it is organic in terms of the characters' histories, the House/Wilson relationship moved from subtext to text which takes out some of the fun. The show is usually pretty good about reaching satisfactory resolutions, but I'm still a little leery.

Dancing with the Stars: Results

3 minutes of content (6 if there's a group number) in 60 minutes of program. After 8 years of reality television you would think that ratio would have gotten less oppressive.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Season: Monday

Tonight is the official start of the 2008-2009 TV season, and my TiVo is filled to the gills with season passes. It's rather sad in a wonderful, wonderful way. As I was loading season passes last night during the god-awful Emmy awards, I kept getting warnings that shows weren't going to record due to lack of space. Granted, said Emmys were taking up 4 hours of real estate (they were promptly evicted), there's just a lot of anticipation for this week. Let's see how many of these shows survive.


Last season was extremely problematic. A number of new characters were either dull (Peter's Irish lass) or incredibly irritating (Maya, of "ALEJANDRO!!!!!!!!" lame, er fame). Oddly, this is one of those shows that I think may have greatly benefited from last year's writers' strike. Before things really started flying off the tracks, Kring and company needed to buttonhole things quickly. Some stories may have been rushed, but at least the really irksome ones (Maya/Sylar, Claire/West, Feudal Hiro) are pretty much done. That and the 8 months since the last episode may have caused people to forget all the bad juju the sophomore slump created.

If there's still bad juju, this show may be in trouble.

Dancing with the Stars

First: Shut up. American Idol doesn't swing back around until January so this show fills the void. I'm not a huge fan of the show, but I do like a number of the individual elements. I like Tom Bergeron, I like the application of ballroom to some unlikely songs, and the cast usually has 1 or 2 folks that I already like and someone I will eventually grow to like (who will get voted off soon after). I don't like Samantha Harris, but I like making fun of her. The band and the singers are TERRIBLE, but their choices are easy to make fun of as well.

For me, this season is about Lance Bass. There has been speculation for a number of seasons that he would be on the show and the question about who his partner will be has been the center of the discussion. Specifically, will the partner be male or female? Although my people would have loved to see some guy-on-guy rumba or salsa action (admit it, you would too), Bass would actually be at a significant disadvantage. I'm not talking about people not voting for him -- I'm talking about executing the dance. All of the other male dancers will be dancing as the male in the couple. In fairness, Bass should also have to dance as the male. Therefore, his professional male partner would have to dance as the female. This presents problems for both teacher and student that none of the other couples would encounter.

That's not to say that he won't already have issues. His partner is Lacey Schwimmer, who came in 4th on So You Think You Can Dance in 2007. I hated Lacey. Hopefully she has become less insufferable in the last 15 months, because I would like Lance to do well.

Again, shut up.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh "Brother"

I've been toying with the idea of adding a semi-regular feature to this blog where I write about why I TiVo what I TiVo. Hey, not much is going on right now and we might be watching the same shows. I wasn't sure where to start, but after skimming this morning's TV news I found my first topic. So, without further ado I bring you: Why I TiVo: Big Brother 10.

I used to be a fan of Big Brother. I watched the dismally dull first season off and on and was surprised that it was picked up for a season two. They revamped the show the second time around and it was WAY more fun. That season had more interesting characters (Evil Dr. Will, Monica) and the players took care of eliminations instead of the viewers. The third season was also realllly entertaining, with contestants who were even more batshit crazy.

Then the show took a turn. It became about the twists and most of them made things unbearable rather than tantalizing. Season four featured ex-boyfriends/girlfriends ("X-Factor"). Five was "Project DNA" which featured identical twins switching in and out of the game (awesome) and reuniting long-lost half-siblings (not as awesome). Season six, the "Summer of Secrets" (these are not my titles, by the way) featured people playing in pairs. At first they were secret, but the houseguests soon figured it out. Of these three seasons, six was certainly the best one. The show then did an All-Star season for seven, which almost always is a bad idea. As with The Amazing Race and the first All-Star season of Survivor, all the characters you liked before end up becoming realllllly unlikeable.

Last summer was season 8 and a new executive producer, Allison Grodner, took the helm. She champions all the twists and soul-and-relationship crushing brought on by the show. At first the cast was fun but then the house sociopath (and eventual winner, as is usually the case with the house sociopath) Dick systematically alienated and violated the other contestants. The worst instance was when he BURNED ANOTHER CONTESTANT WITH A CIGARETTE. That was one of the most nauseating things I have ever seen. As a result, I decided not to watch any of this past winter's Season 9.

I was going to pass on this summer's edition as well, but today they released the identities of the new contestants. I skimmed the article and got down to the bullet point list and started looking at where people were from. Here is a transcript:

"...southerner...southerner...souther--hey! Dearborn!...OH MY GOD!"

Dan Gheesling, 24, Dearborn, MI. I went to Sunday school with the guy. We were sorta buddies, but then he changed churches in 4th grade and we didn't cross paths again until middle school. Although we got along at Sunday school, he was kind of a jerk 6th-8th grade. He was part of the "pretty people" crowd, a phrase that still causes anxiety and my blood pressure to rise. Of course, it isn't really fair to hold middle school against people, so I was curious to see if maybe he turned out alright.

To quote Julie Chen during the cast reveal video segment: "Dan is going to have a problem with a lot of the women in the house." I don't think right-wing nutjob is the fairest assessment but, well, take a look at his bio. Oh, and he was the only person that Julie said anything remotely negative about.

I have a feeling the only change in opinion I will have will be to something more unfavorable, but I'll just have to wait and see. My guess: he will either be the first out or around for a LONG time.

Big Brother 10: Tuesdays at 9p, Wednesdays and Sundays at 8p. Starts July 13. All times Eastern.