Monday, August 31, 2009

21 Hours of TV Fall Preview (Monday)...

Welcome to the 3rd annual 21 hours of TV Fall preview. Everyday this week we will look at the current day of the week and what will be on that night (Friday, we will look at the weekend). It's my self imposed task every year to limit my TV viewing each week to 21 hours (14 without commercials, just so you understand I'm not as addicted as you think.). In going through the daily schedules I will rate each show red, blue, or green. Green means I will be watching (at least initially), blue that I won't but I won't hold it against you if you do, and red that I refuse to believe anyone of sound mind could be interested. At the end of the week I will add my total hours up and cut what I need to get down to the required 21, which this year appears as if it might be an incredibly easy feat with Mr. Leno's completely unappealing endeavor taking up a full hour each night.


Once again this year I will be one of the few who just isn't interested in "Dancing with the people you might or might not have heard of at one point." The show is completely unappealing to me as I like my reality competitions to eventually have some actual talent on them. The other programming that I won't be partaking in, that many of you will, is the Monday night CBS comedy block. I've heard really good things about "Big Bang Theory" but I gave up laugh track sit coms a few years ago, and I don't plan on ever going back. Can you imagine a drama putting in GASPS or SIGHS in the audio to cue us into when we are supposed to be scared or relieved? Filming in front of an audience should be completely reserved for sketch shows and sports, and I'm too insulted by the practice to wade through the canned response to find real humor. I did, however, manage to find four hours of TV on Monday nights that I will once again lock into my DVR, all returning shows. "House" and "Lie to Me" are absolute musts, and "Heroes" and "CSI: Miami" remain pleasant distractions despite thier many flaws. CSI:Miami might be the one show on TV where a laugh track might be helpful, just so I know the writers and producers are in on the fact that this show has become much more of a comedy than a drama. The only other show that I might revist if I've got hours to spare is "Castle". It looks fun and I've been rooting for Nathan Fillion since "Firefly" was so badly mishandled.

The color coded breakdown:


ABC - Dancing with the Stars
CBS - How I Met Your Mother
CW - One Tree Hill
Fox - House
NBC - Heroes


CBS - Accidentally on Purpose


CBS - Two and a Half Men
CW - Gossip Girl
Fox - Lie to Me
NBC - Trauma


CBS - Big Bang Theory


ABC - Castle
CBS - CSI: Miami
NBC - Jay Leno

Monday's total: Four 1 hour dramas, zero comedies, zero reality = 4 hours today, 4 hours total.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Wii Sports Resort

Nintendo's follow up to the best selling Wii game of all time. Can it live up to the original?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Queue Tips: Mamma Hancock Torino

A few movies that might be worthy of a trip to the top of your Netflix list.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nothing says Fall like the 3 Ep Test...

Sure for some fall has arrived when the colors change, when the kids go back to school, or when the Detroit Lions blow their first game, but for me it's all about fresh new TV. I love filtering through the new offerings that the networks throw at us and picking a few to try on for size. I call it the 3 ep test and it's based on the theory that any new show can be fully embraced or dismissed by watching the first 3 episodes, no more, no less. Last year (linky link) of the 8 shows I vetted 3 failed (Life on Mars, Hole in the Wall, and Crusoe, all of which have disappeared since), 2 passed but were still cancelled (the so-so America's Toughest Jobs, and the under appreciated My Own Worst Enemy) and 3 passed with flying colors (Dollhouse, Fringe, and the brilliant Mentalist). This year I'm planning on giving the triple dip to these 6 shows, listed in order of anticipation from least to most.

Modern Family
Wednesday, ABC, 9 (Sept. 23rd)

It takes a lot for a comedy to get me interested, too much probably. Other than The Office or Arrested Development, there really hasn't been a recent example of a show that blipped my radar from the get go. I'm so done with the "sit-com" thing that I often dismiss shows out of hand that might actually end up being hilarious. I'm still kicking myself a bit about missing the boat on "Big Bang Theory" which I hear is great, but I just can't bring myself to start watching. All of this to say that "Modern Family" is only on this list because I felt like I needed to give more sitcoms a chance and it seemed like the most interesting.

Wednesday, FOX, 9 (Sept. 16th)

Glee is already one episode into the 3 ep test and I just can't figure out where I'll land on this show. Sure, I hated just about everything in the debut episode that wasn't a musical number, but when those musical numbers hit this show was pure magic. If they can just find a way to increase the quality of the rest of this show by even the slightest bit, I may just have to stick with it.

The Forgotten
Tuesday, ABC, 10 (Sept. 22nd)

My annual pick for show I will fall in love with that gets cancelled. I'm not sure why I would think that, considering it's not every year that a major network pulls together a high concept drama staring Christian Slater. I mean there's no way that could fail, right?

Shark Tank
Tuesday, ABC, 8 (Sept. 29th)

This is the second show on the list that I've already had a chance to partake of and it's probably not fair to consider it "anticipated" as I'm already on record as saying it's the best new reality show I've seen since The Biggest Loser debuted five years ago. There are no gimmicks here, just real business people, with real money, looking for real investments. Each "shark" has his or her own distinct engaging personality and watching them devour these prospective entrepreneurs is both entertaining and educational.

Thursday, NBC, 9:30 (Sept. 17th)

The only new comedy of the season that I am genuinely geeked for. The promo spots are clever, endearing, and best of all FUNNY! The cast looks stellar and I can't wait to see if the writing each week can live up to the promise of these first few pieces.

Flash Forward
Thursday, ABC, 8 (Sept. 24th)

ABC has stationed Flash Forward to snag momentum from LOST's final season and become the new serialized water cooler drama that everyone is trying to figure out. They even cast one of every one's favorite losties, Dominic Monaghan, to put the cherry on top. They've got quite a lot to live up to to maintain LOST's voracious fan base, but if they can figure out how to balance the questions with the answers and move toward a conclusion they just might have something here. One things for sure, I'm geeked to see it and I'll be on board, well, for at least 3 episodes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: Expelled

Ben Stein tries on Michael Moore's clothes for size. Do they fit?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Avatar and uh... Avatar

I can't decide which Avatar movie I'm more excited for, but James Cameron sure does know how to play the hype card.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Queue Tips: Doubting the Frost in NY.

I've seen about 70 movies on DVD this summer, here are three you might want to check out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rollin' Return and Shark Tank Thoughts

Some thoughts on what's to come at Rollin' as well as a quick look at TV's Shark Tank.