Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Palai Eboulethen's TV Fall Season Review

This may come as a surprise to you, since I have said in the past that my family does not subscribe to cable TV, but I LOVE watching good TV. The adjective in that sentence is the main reason I do not feel "deprived" by not having cable. There are some shows I do enjoy, and they are generally available to watch online now, so I can enjoy what I do want without much of what I do not. (I also hope that online viewings are kept better track of than the antiquated Neilson ratings, so that my actual preferences get some consideration. I could be too optimistic there, though.)

So, to the shows I have seen recently, we'll begin with returning series...Hmm, should I go alphabetically, in order by weekly broadcast, by age, popularity? I know, worst to best in my opinion. Or should I go best to worst?


Smallville- I have loved Smallville for years. I like the Superman mythos, I liked the writing and acting in the show. Our (my husband's and mine) main complaint was too much teen angst, but seeing as it was a WB (and later CW) show, we cut it some slack there. (That would be like complaining about too much sportiness in an ESPN series.) BUT...this season, after one episode I am left with a deep sense of "Why should I care?" followed by "Meh" I'll tune in this week, but if I am not grabbed by the brain and shaken it will be the last time.
Two out of Ten asterisks **........

Heroes- Ditto **........

Bones- Seems to be progressing much as it has in the past. This isn't a bad thing, since it was a great show. They are, however, dallying very close to crossing the Moonlighting line, wherein they relieve the romantic tension and the spark goes out of the show. Things may go differently, I hope they do. Besides all that, I have no complaint about the season so far.
Five out of Ten Asterisks *****.....

The Mentalist- I am glad that Season 1 did not resolve the Red John serial killer plot line, but I am also glad they have backed off a little. The best part of this show is the way Patrick Jane interacts with the witnesses/suspects and the CBI team.
Five out of Ten Asterisks *****.....

Dollhouse- This was one of my most looked-forward-to premiers. That is possibly simply out of the joy that it managed to have a Season 2 premier at all. So far it isn't ruined or changed too badly. I was worried that Joss Whedon, out of trying to answer other people's problems with the show, would change Echo too much, bring out too much Caroline. The problem is, I didn't like Caroline, I liked Echo. If she changes, I want her to evolve forward, not backward. So far, so good this season.
Six out of Ten Asterisks ******....

Ghost Whisperer-
The addition of a child to an established series is often seen as a kiss of doom to an already failing show. Ghost Whisperer may or may not be on it's last legs, but they circumvented the Baby Blues by skipping 5 years in the first episode. I think it was a good move. It remains to be seen whether Aiden will be a benefit to the show or not.
Six out of Ten Asterisks ******....

Numbers- Likewise (see above) moving esptablished characters relationships to other levels. The season premier spent most of its hour without Amita answering Charlie's proposal (we thought.) I think that was a good move, making the answer not as important as other things going on. The show might continue as before. I hope it does. It has been a nice departure from my normal Sci Fi/Smart Comedy TV menu.
Six out of Ten Asterisks ******....

Dexter- Another show that made changes, this one BOTH taking a realtionship to another level and adding a baby. Oddly enough, it seems to have enriched things, at least for the viewer, and at least in the first episode. I still cannot verbalize why I even like this show that I didn't expect to like, but when I gave it a chance, I did; and the marriage and baby hasn't ruined it so far. Keep that up.
Seven out of Ten Asterisks *******...

Fringe- This show has shaken off a lot of my friends' "X-files" clone complaints and really made itself worth watching. I actually like it better than X-files. I have never liked when a show uses amnesia for any reason other than comedic effect, and then they only get to do it once. But, Olivia's amnesia seems to be useful right now, so I'll cut them some slack.
Eight out of Ten Asterisks ********..

Supernatural- Talk about bringing out the BIG GUNS! The show went from hunting ghosts and vampires to demons, then angels got in on the actions and now Lucifer walks and Cas wants to find God. Wow! It does make for some interesting TV. (I can accept fictionalized views of religion if done with respect. So far it has been, as much as can be expected from a battle-hardened warrior who feels put upon by the powers-that-be.) My main concern is, where do they go from here? No matter how this season turns out, really, where can you go after pulling out all the stops like this?
Eight out of Ten Asterisks ********..

Castle- Ah yeah, Baby! This show rocked last season and the first episode in this was just as fabulous. I was a little worried that the Becket's Mom's murder case deal would cloud over the fun with (gasp!) a plot arc, and it still thereatens, but it hasn't interfered too badly so far, and the hilarious team of Castle, Becket, and those other two guys rolls on. This is one of my favorite shows.
Nine out of Ten Asterisks *********.

Next time on Palai Eboulethen's unpronounceable blog...NEW Fall Shows (the ones that at least looked interesting enough to try out.)


Bleeding Heart Barbie is so happy! Now that President Obama runs the car companies, every car can be a hybrid and stop killing the world. Yay!

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