Fall TV 2009 Impressions

Watching TV this season, I’m really not crazy about any particular show. At the start of the season, I have no “must see” show and if there is a show that I really, really need to watch I have a plethora of options. The silly idea of appointment television is on its last legs. Do you plan your life around your television viewing habits? Well, you certainly don’t have to.

I thought Monday was going to be hell with many shows I’ve watched in the past (Heroes, House, One Tree Hill and How I Met Your Mother) all on at the same time. However, I found it actually pretty painless. First, I stopped watching Heroes and have not missed it at all. I might catch up online, but, you know, probably not. I Tivo One Tree Hill, which is the only teen angsty drama I watch – No Gossip Girl or 90210 for me. If I feel like it, I can catch House on Hulu. I like House a lot, but I’m not tied to the show like I once was. Although Olivia Wild is still worth a look. Regarding HIMYM, I was with this show from day one and still find it funny. I’m especially interested in the episodes this season featuring Rachel Bilson, whom I will go on the record saying is very likely the mother in the title. Watching a half hour sitcom without commercials is a joy and I’ve moved to that particular format for HIMYM instead of watching it live like I had been doing.

I have nothing for Tuesday since I’ve avoided the 90210/Melrose Place schlock fest. I guess I’ll try the reimagined of V, but I’m not holding out hope for it lasting long. The four week trial and then splitting it up until March 2010 seems odd, but I’ve lived with that crap with Battlestar Galactica, The Shield and others before. This is the day I usually watch House on Hulu or my Tivo’d OTH.

On Wednesday’s I’m pretty much counting the days until Lost comes back which is the only show I’m truly excited about this season. Of course, there’s Nip/Tuck, but this show jumped the shark a long, long time ago (The Carver anyone?). Still, I hold out hope for some inspired bit of writing to tie up all the loose strings at McNamara/Troy. The mid-season replacement show The Human Target looks amusing enough that I might take a shot, but I’m leaning toward no.

FlashForward received all the positive accolades early in the season. It was supposed to be the successor to Lost for ABC and while it certainly did its level best to steal as much as possible from that show (including Charlie!) it kind of falls flat. It’s like a bad mash-up of Lost and every police procedural show. I admit I’m a little behind on my viewings, but it still seems like a logical mess with writing not quite up to par. Here’s hoping some of the Lost staff head over there next season. My other Thursday show is Fringe – a show I essentially gave up on after a few viewings last season. Big mistake on my part. I’m a huge sucker for parallel worlds and I’m digging what the writers have been doing. I’m playing catch-up, but its fun and mysterious and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

Everyone pretty much needs to come to the realization that Dollhouse was unbelievably lucky to get a second season and that’s gonna be the run. I’ve got the eps on my Tivo, but I’m undecided if I’m going to keep them and just watch the show online. It never really grew on me and I think the creepy premise turned too many people off.

As for the weekend, I usually watch cartoons. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that quaint. A middle-age man who watches cartoons. I bet you never get laid.” I’m a big Star Wars fan, especially when someone else is writing the universe that Uncle George dreamed up and the Clone Wars cartoon has moved into its sophomore season darker and less kid-oriented which is a good thing. Batman Brave and the Bold is a nice kitschy take on the Adam West Batman. I love the “I live in the shadows” Batman as much as the next comic book nerd, but there’s something to the way Dietrich Balder delivers lines like “Justice never sleeps” that sound fantastic. I also like the Spider-Man the Animated Series, but I’m not sure of the status of that show or when it’s on. Of course, Family Guy still makes me laugh. It used to be never miss programming, but I’ve realized I’ve gone two or three weeks without watching it and finally noticing it on my Tivo.

The bottom line is as much as I love the medium of television, there just isn’t anything compelling on right now. That will change with Lost and if FlashForward pushes it’s premise or Fringe gets even freakier. There’s so much amazing television I haven’t watched or watched in small doses – The Wire, Mad Men, The Mentalist to name just a few that I feel I will always have something new and exciting to watch.

And I get laid all the time.