The 2010-2011 Midseason

This post is long overdue.  I intended to write a blurb about what was coming up in the midseason and what I would be checking out, but now the midseason has begun so I can also include my thoughts on what I have seen so far.

Shows that premiere in the midseason are historically not very good and nothing really struck my interest, which is why I was not inspired to post.

The Cape seemed mildly interesting (in an early Heroes-ish kind of way.)  I wasn’t planning to watch but recorded it and decided to check it out.  The first 10 minutes sucked me in more than I expected it too so I actually watched about 45 minutes of the 2 hour premiere, but then there was a lot of chasing and fighting and I lost interest and started multitasking and not paying attention.  This show is out.

I watched the new Showtime series’ Shameless and EpisodesShameless (A comedy with William H Macey as an alcoholic father of 9 kids.  Yes, a comedy) got a not so great reviews from Entertainment Weekly, but I kind of liked it.   

Episodes is a comedy about the making of a comedy show and it was also kind of funny.  I am not a huge fan of  British humor (the show they are making, on the show,  is an American version of a British show) but I might stick with it.  This one got good reviews.

Oh, yeah.  I accidentally turned on Off The Map the new Shonda Rhimes show (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) about doctors working in a clinic in the tropical forest.  I thought I might be able to get a sticker on Get Glue if I checked in so I watched it for a little bit.  The old me would watch it.  The new me, has better things to do.

Very excited for the return (and final season) of Big Love.  Curious to see what happens with American Idol and the new judges and return of producer Nigel Lythgoe (who I love from So You Think You can Dance.)

I will definitely be checking out Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry’s new show although I have not heard much about it so it is probably not great. (premiere’s Feb 9th on ABC).

I just read that Being Human (premiering on SyFy tonight 1/17 at 9pm) might be good.  A vampire, a ghost and a werewolf are roommates who join forces to live a normal life.  My kind of show, embarrassingly.

I really don’t have time to add much to the schedule so I do have to be careful here.

Click here to see the full 2010-2011 midseason premiere schedule posted by TV By The Numbers.

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I Will Not Live To Dance

After less than 30 minutes, here is why I will not be watching Paula Abdul’s Live to Dance:

  • Within the first minute, I noticed that the host was wearing a suit that did not fit him properly and he looked like he could not raise his arms.  It was weird and a bad sign.
  • The set they are using for auditions is horrendous and tacky.  I could hardly stand to look at the large silver stars behind the performers and the weird bubble lights behind the judges.

  • One of the judges (the founder of the Pussy Cat Dolls, apparently a world-renowned dancer..I think not) has the worst hair I have ever seen.  I do not think the asymmetrical half head look is in these days.  Or maybe I am WAY out of it.
  • It seemed like the worst of every dancing/singing/talent show out there all mixed together.

Unbearable.  I did only give it 25  minutes, but I do not think I will be eating my words.  Middle America may end up loving it, but this TVaholic gives it a huge thumbs down.

Breaking Bad Gets a Second Chance

I don’t know exactly what my problem was the first time I tried Breaking Bad.  I don’t think I watched more than one episode. Maybe I just could not get past seeing Walter in his tighty whiteys? (which is how he spends about 1/4 of the pilot and is illustrated on the right)

Since the show has been touted as one of the best shows on TV for the past three years, and they are reshowing it from the beginning on AMC, this TVAholic decided it was worth another shot.

I am now four episodes in.  It’s awesome.  The main character, Walter, a high school chemistry teacher, finds out he has lung cancer and decides to start cooking crystal meth so he can leave money for his family. He is a really good, geeky, guy who has been delt a bad hand and fights back against the world’s injustices.   It is kind of “Dexterish” in that he is doing bad stuff but you are totally rooting him on.

The acting and character development is superb.  Every choice he makes is believable.  For example, he made a pro con list and shed many tears while deciding whether or not to kill a drug dealer he has locked up in a basement and is feeding sandwiches to.

The supporting cast also rocks.  His former student side kick/meth partner (see left), is a hilarious, endearing f*&$-up.  His pregnant wife is kind of annoying.  Not enough so that you can’t believe he really loves her, but you are psyched when he uncharacteristically tells her to crawl out from up his a&^.  His brother in law is a racist, obnoxious DEA agent (but also kind of a good guy), which adds some additional plot complexity, and is also how Walter learned about this new line of work.

I don’t want to give away too much (because you should all really watch), but the scene where Walter and his partner are cleaning up a dissolved human being off the floor, truly rivals The Walking Dead guts scene.

There are shows that people LOVE that I just don’t get in to (i.e. Entourage and Dancing with the Stars) but this one I clearly misjudged.  Now I have to figure out what will come off the list as I add catching up on Breaking Bad to my repertoire (which I realize is a totally inappropriate use of that word, but if Sarah Palin can make up her own words, I can use words in new ways, right?)

The Walking Dead and In Treatment

The only thing these two shows have in common is that they have both been added to my TV watching repertoire.  I have actually lost interest in a lot of shows and I fell way behind on vacation.  This is all good news for my TVaholic recovery.  But, now I have two new shows that I like, so lets discuss.

Paul (The Therapist)

In Treatment is an old favorite, now in season three.  I have been in therapy myself forever and I am super interested in how people feel and what they think, so this show is right up my alley.  It is not realistic of course. (My therapist hates it.)  In reality it takes years and years to get to the stuff they get to in 30 minutes but that would be REALLY boring to watch.  I find Paul, the therapist, annoying, but that is realistic. It’s impossible not to find your therapist annoying because all they want to talk about is the stuff you don’t want to deal with.  This season I am hanging out with Paul (even though his is annoying), Sunil (a sad man who had to leave India after his wife died and move in with his son and American/bitch daughter-in-law), Frances (Debra Winger playing an actress who’s dying sister who used to be Paul’s patient), Jesse (a gay adopted promiscuous teenager with a variety of issues), and Paul’s new awesome super smart therapist Adele.  They are quite a messed up bunch and by week two I was fully committed to sticking around to see how they all end up.

So after a couple of hours being inside a bunch of sad people’s brains, I am ready for The Walking Dead.  This show is fun.  It is creepy and suspenseful and requires pretty much no thought.  There are a lot of unanswered questions though. Like how did most of the world turn in to zombies while the lead character (“Officer Friendly”) was in a coma.  And what the heck is a zombie?  They are dead but constantly walking around and desperately want to eat people and animals.  If I were dead, I am pretty sure would want to just chill.   I like my Sci Fi, but I need SOME explanation.  Fringe always has some made up scientific mumbo jumbo that I can buy in to.  No Ordinary Family fell in some magical water in Brazil, good enough for me!  The people on The Event came from outer space, so of course they have special powers.  Just give me some explanation, I will buy it.  Clearly, leaving us hanging is part of the plan and they are keeping us well entertained while we wait.  This week we got to see Officer Friendly and his new little side kick cover themselves in zombie guts to walk among the zombies undetected to find transportation.  Now, how is Officer Friendly smart enough to think of that disgusting plan but NOT be aware that his wife was (and still is) sleeping with his partner?  He is going to need a couple of sessions with Paul when he finds out about those two!

Will Rubicon be Saved?

Will we ever find out if and how Truxton Spangler takes his own life as the four leaf clover bodes?  We are pretty sure Katherine Rhumer won’t be back, unless the supposedly lethal  injection was more like what the airplane passengers got on The Event (FYI – they came back to life.)  It Tanya really going to quit and write another book?  Will Miles have a  nervous breakdown and then live happily ever after with the new chick who speaks Urdu?

I was not surprised at all that Will’s new artsy lover (with the fabulous shower curtain) was really undercover protecting him, but who hired her?  Arliss?  So many unknowns..but what would happen next season?  Will Will (ha ha will will) keep trying to take down Atlas McDowell?  Will he find happiness so he can have more than just that one perplexed expression on his face.

I was not as impressed with the Rubicon finale as I was with the Mad Men finale, but I am definitely up for another season.   I am too tired from fighting with Power Point all day to elaborate more or make a great case for James Badge Dale and his crew but my friend Maureen Ryan at TV Squad (she is not really my friend) wrote this great article called “Six Reasons to Save Rubicon“…read it and support the cause.

I Have to Wait 8 Months for More Mad Men?

Season finale, unreal.  Don Draper never fails to surprise me.  The smartest, seemingly most together woman in his life who he genuinely cares about on Thursday, tells him he might feel better if he deals with his “stuff” so he runs off to Disneyland and gets engaged to a woman on Monday because she doesn’t cry over a spilled milk shake,  his kids love her, and she makes him feel good about himself.  I guess I should not be that surprised.  But I always expect more from Don.

The whole thing seemed like a dream sequence but that is the beauty of Mad Men.  He wanted his life to feel like a fairy tale but WE had to all be able to see that it was ridiculous and it worked.  We kept waiting for someone to wake up and tell us it was a dream.  No one woke up.  Mad Men is genius.  I can’t believe we have to wait 8 more months to see how this mess turns out.

Betty is a time bomb that I can not wait to see really explode.  Kudos to Peggy who rocks creative.  She better get a Clio next season!  I love it when Peggy and Joan are friends.  I hope Joan does not turn out to be a mom like Betty!   These poor tortured people on Madison Avenue in the 60’s.   The piece de resistance….the finale ended with Sonny & Cher.  Awesome.  (I have loved Cher since probably before I was born)

The only show that come close to Mad Men in my opinion is Rubicon which I have fallen in love with it.  I can’t lose two shows in one night so I am holding off until tomorrow for the Rubicon season finale… (how awesome I found an image of Don and  James Badge Dale!)

Inital Thoughts: The Whole Truth

As you can probably tell from my Weekly TV list, I am not a huge fan of procedurals (a genre of programs in which a problem is introduced, investigated and solved all within the same episode.)  What’s cool and different about The Whole Truth is that you are genuinely seeing things from two perspectives AND rooting for both sides.   You have you have two awesome leads, one defending (Rob Morrow), one prosecuting (Maura Tierney) and there is no assigned good guy and bad guy.  You go back and forth the whole hour wondering who is right and who is wrong.   This definitely gave the show a fresh perspective for me.   They are also friends (of course) which helps keep the whole thing neutral, but don’t fret, it looks like the obligatory sexual tension will come in to play (of course).   What was not so cool was Maura Tierney’s hair so I am really looking forward to it growing back (but probably not as much as she is!)   I am very glad she is well and back in my living room and I plan to keep watching and see if this show continues to peak my interest.  Entertainment Weekly described it as “not horrible/not great” which is right on.  Don’t want to oversell it, but I am not scratching it off the list yet.

This is the last of the new shows I recommended and felt obliged to comment on in my first “Initial Thoughts” series.  Now I can just write when I am inspired.  Right now, I am REALLY glad my job is not to write about shows all day long.  What if you just don’t feel like it? (because you have a pounding sinus headache, and you are hungry, and you can’t wait to catch up on the Sunday night shows on your TiVo???)