Tag Archives: TV shows

Fall 2008 DVR Losers

Back at the start of the Fall 2008 TV season, I wrote two posts about the shows that I had programmed into my nifty little DVR (you can read Part One here, and Part Two here).  For the most part, a lot of my returning favorites–House, NCIS, Big Bang Theory, Bones–have held up their end of the bargain.  I’ve also discovered Crusoe, a fun little romp (which I’ve christened “bamboo-punk”) that slipped under my pre-season radar.  And, of course, the Great Office Experiment has cleary been very, very successful.

Unfortunately, you can’t have winners without a few losers (this ain’t Little League, after all).  Some of these losers brought it on themselves, others have had the status of “Loser” tattooed on them by The Powers That Be.

Knight Rider

I really, really, really wanted to like this updated version of a beloved show from my childhood.  I enjoyed the two-hour movie that served as a backdoor pilot last spring.  I didn’t have any problems with the cast (Will Arnett would have been hilarious as KITT, but Kilmer did a pretty good job).  So, imagine my surprise when I couldn’t even make it through the first episode of the series.  When I couldn’t make it through the second episode, it was deleted.

Life on Mars

I gave this a shot.  It wasn’t what I would call “bad”, but eventually I realized that I just didn’t care about the characters.  I don’t care why Detective Mars (yes, I know his name is Tyler) has travelled back in time.  Is he in a coma back in his present?  Don’t care.  Sorry.

My Own Worst Enemy

I kinda dug this show.  It was a fun way to unwind my brain after Heroes.  But, NBC has decided that no one watches it, so I have to bid adieu to Christian Slater’s split-personality secret agent.

Pushing Daisies

Another show that the network suits have decided no one watches.  I’ll admit that it was never a priority for me.  Usually, it was something that I’d watch on a weekend morning while I was having my coffee.  But, the characters were cute (sure, sometimes too cute) and the murders were usually a fun combination of C.S.I.‘s gory bloodbaths and the lighter crimes from shows like Monk and Psych.  Maybe it would have fared better with an internal mythology that was a little less complex.

The Mentalist

I know I kind of gave this show shit about being a Psych rip-off.  I know it really isn’t exactly like the wacky adventures of Shawn and Gus.  And, to be honest, I wanted to check it out.  But, unfortunately, I already record a bunch of stuff on Tuesday nights, so this one had to take a hit for the team.

Time to Fire Up the DVR–Part 2

In which we learn that, even in the 21st Century, network executives are still capable of totally jerking us around.  Three seemingly worthwhile shows slated for Wednesdays at 8pm, one slated for 9pm, and nothing at 10?  Really??  You still got it, network-weasels.  You still got it.


Bones: Part gruesome procedural drama.  Part goofy workplace sitcom.  All fun.  It’s nice to see David Boreanaz getting to play a character with an actual personality for a change.  But, I’m still waiting to see how this new season deals with the fallout from last season’s storyline.

Knight Rider: Y’know what…I kinda liked the two-hour backdoor pilot NBC aired earlier this year.  It wasn’t perfect, but they were trying to give us something that was (shudder) entertaining.  Sure, Will Arnett would have been a HY-larious KITT, but Kilmer isn’t half bad.

Pushing Daisies: I wasn’t sure about this show when it premiered last season.  But, it won me over with an awesome cast (including guest stars) and an aesthetic that is just this side of a Tim Burton movie.  It doesn’t hurt that female lead Anna Friel is downright Deschanel-esque.

Criminal Minds: I wasn’t sure this was going to survive the sudden departure of singing maniac Mandy Patinkin’s Jason Gideon, but the producers done good by (a) casting Joe Mantegna and (2) making his character more than a place-holding Gideon clone.  Now, let’s just see which characters didn’t survive last season’s (ahem) explosive finale.


CSI: Unlike Criminal Minds, I seriously doubt this is going to survive Grissom’s departure.  Why?  Well, there’s been way too much house-cleaning in the last season or two.  Sara: gone.  Warrick: dead.  And, now Grissom is jumping ship.  Sure, the rest of the cast is capable, and Lawrence Fishburne (as Grissom’s replacement) is always awesome, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.

The Office: I was a huge fan of the BBC version of The Office, but it’s taken me a while to get into the swing of things with the American version.  I will admit that it has grown on me significantly.

30 Rock: When I was growing up, NBC was the king of the sitcom.  Then came a long string of Seinfeld and Friends clones, and the crown not only slipped, it rolled across the floor, out the door, down the street, and came to a stop at the feet of Neil Patrick Harris.  But, with 30 Rock, NBC has started to reclaim its former sitcom glory.  Anyone who doesn’t think Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy is one of the funniest sons-of-bitches on TV just isn’t paying attention.

Life on Mars: Another transplant from the UK.  I’ve heard amazing things about the original BBC version of this show about a modern-day cop who somehow ends up in the 70s, so I’m willing to check out the American version.  Although, after what happened with Journeyman last season, I wonder how well this is going to do.

Eleventh Hour: The guys behind CSI tackle X-Files-esque stories about cryogenics, cloning, and experimental brain surgery.  It’ll either be really good or complete crap.


Let’s be honest, until Doctor Who, Monk, and Psych come back, there really isn’t much going on TV-wise on Friday nights.  But, I guess I’ll give the second season of Life a shot, if for no other reason than Damian Lewis is awesome.




The Simpsons: The fact that The Simpsons have been on for 20 years means that there is an entire generation of people who have never lived in a non-Simpsons world.  It also means that the show’s been able to cycle through a bit of a slump a few seasons back and come out pretty close to the height of its former glory.

Family Guy: Either you like Family Guy or you think anyone who watches it should be forced to watch their own genitals being removed with rusty pliers.  Guess which group I’m in.

Cold Case: Not only is this a show about people doing their jobs, but it’s a show about people whose job is to investigate crimes that are sometimes decades old.  That means really cool music and goofy flashback effects.

Time to Fire Up the DVR–Part 1

The new Fall TV season is more or less upon us, and a lot of folks are putting together lists of shows that they’re excited to (a) see returning or (2) check out for the first time.  Most of these people are “professional” TV watchers and critics.  But, some (like my pal Erin and myself) are simply talented civilians who retain their amateur status so they can watch TV in the Olympics.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I can be a bit indiscriminate with my viewing habits.  What can I say?  I like TV.  Actually, let me be a little more specific: I like FAKE TV.  Reality TV?  I don’t get it.  I live in reality.  I face reality for about 14 hours every day.  Why would I want to watch more reality on television.  In fact, I’m pretty sure TV was invented to provide an escape from reality.  So, asking TV to air “reality shows” goes against the very nature of the beast.  It would be like asking a cow to lay an egg, which we can all agree is just plain silly.  In addition to being fake, I also prefer my TV to involve people who obsessively do their jobs (I don’t really even care what those jobs are, just have one and contribute to society, ya long-haired hippie freak!)–which is why I tend to love me some procedural drama, while I take a break from the sitcoms whenever the pendulum swings away from workplace comedies.

There aren’t too many new shows that I’m all that excited about, but through the magic of DVR, I can record a bunch of episodes and find out if I like them later.


The Big Bang Theory: I found this show by accident last season because it was on between How I Met Your Mother and Heroes.  Wasn’t sure about the whole “Awkward geek falls in love with hot chick across the hall” premise, but it seems to work.

How I Met Your Mother: Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, and those other two…what’s not to love?  There’s a reason this is one of the few sitcoms I watch (along with TBBT and 30 Rock).

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Take two of the best sci-fi movies ever made, add Summer Glau (wheeee!) and Garret Dillahunt, and throw in the last few minutes of the season premiere (which had the first “Oh shit” moment of the 2008/09 season).  Now, if this doesn’t terminate that god-awful Chuck show, nothing will.

Heroes: Yes, last season was not that good.  But, the creators admitted it and tried to fix things.  That, coupled with just how awesome the first season was, gets Heroes a second chance.

My Own Worse Enemy: Christian Slater is a nice guy and his dangerous spy look-a-like?  Or are they supposed to be same guy?  Okay, I don’t know anything about this show, but I’ll give Slater a shot.


House: My ultimate goal is to be so irreplaceable that I can do and say whatever I want and know I’ll never get fired.  Until then, I’ll just watch House and live vicariously through Hugh Laurie.

NCIS: Both my dad and my sister watched this show for years.  I didn’t start until last season, but dang if it ain’t awesome.  Luckily, I’ve been catching the older episodes on USA (which seems to run a marathon every other week!).

Fringe: I really couldn’t have cared less about this show, until I watched the premiere.  It wasn’t bad.  It had Pacey, Lance Reddick, and a cow.  If J.J. Abrams can keep this show a light, freak-o-the-week romp and not suckify it with an unnecessarily complicated and labyrinthine mythology–like he did with Alias and LOST–we may be onto something here, kids.  Did I mention the cow?

The Mentalist: A fake psychic uses his “people reading” skills to help the authorities solve crimes.  Um…guys…haaaaave ya met Psych?  But, to be fair, I thought Angel was going to be like Forever Knight.

Without a Trace: C’mon, you know you love hearing Anthony LaPaglia tell someone he’s a cop as much as I do.  Plus, this is new cast member Steven Weber’s 297th attempt at having a show since Wings went off the air, so consider watching it an act of charity.*  Also, it co-stars a woman named Poppy.  Go on, treat yourself.

* DISCLAIMER: I actually really dig ol’ Steven Weber, so no disrespect was intended.  But, dude, Studio 60?  You had to know that was a bad idea.