Fall 2006 TV Season – Early Thoughts

Posted: September 20, 2006 in Uncategorized

New Shows:

I like to give new TV shows a chance, generally I’ll try to catch the premieres and a couple more episodes to see if they can draw me in. Generally I’ll go for anything that has a cast I like, or a concept that seems fresh or interesting. Hopefully they’ll have both but often this is not the case.

Thus far, I’ve tried Vanished, Standoff, Justice, The Class, Studio 60 and Smith. I’m definitely enjoying Vanished, there seems to be a nice plot developing with a complex backstory. I wonder what the longterm prospects are like, though, since I can’t imagine they will keep the same character kidnapped for multiple seasons. I just don’t think it will work for most audiences. Standoff is just OK, the chemistry between the leads is passable but nothing special, and the plotlines feel a bit contrived. A new hostage situation every week? And Berger (sorry I can’t remember his name at the moment) is not looking as hot as he used to, especially in HD. Justice is decent, the gimmick of showing what actually happened is both good and bad. Good in that you don’t get hung up on true innocent/guilty the way The Practice often did. But bad in that it kind of shuts off the longer running stories of clients coming back and keeping you guessing. The Class (aka Friends 2006) premiere was a bit shaky, introducing 8 main characters and a few more side characters in a half hour sitcom is probably a bit too much. The premise was kind of a throwaway, what’s important is whether we liked the characters and want to continue to see them week after week. I’m not sure at the moment but I’ll give it a chance since Friends’ first season was not the best either.

Studio 60 was the first “big” show premiere of the season that I’ve seen. By big I mean the hype has been huge; I’ve seen articles saying this is the show that will save NBC. Sadly, I was not that impressed, and apparently neither were viewers, who apparently showed up in limited numbers and many changed channels midway through. I don’t think anyone can blame the pedigree, the cast, script, production values, etc all looked top notch. It’s great to see Matthew Perry on TV again and I’ve always liked Amanda Peet; Felicity Huffman in a guest appearance was a great touch. But conceptually I have to wonder about a show that’s based around behind-the-scenes action of a show that lost it’s relevancy many years ago. And this is coming from someone who still actually watches SNL!!

Smith likewise has a great cast and clearly spent a lot in production values for a big bang Ocean’s 11-esque premiere. The story/writing was a bit weak and predictable though. The bigger problem? I don’t know if I want to see a weekly show about a bunch of thieves. Are they going to steal something different every week? I love Virginia Madsen, though, plus I enjoy Amy Smart, Jonny Lee Miller and Simon Baker as well. But week after week I just don’t get the sense it will hold my interest.

Returning Shows:

Thus far Prison Break has come back with a nice bang, totally reinventing itself with the prisoners on the run. Love it so far, though I’m hoping they can bring some of the characters back together soon and get back into the intriguing conspiracy plotline that has been put somewhat on the backburner. I’ve watched a couple episodes of Bones this season, it seems to be hitting its stride better than last season. In general it’s not my type of show, though, even though I love Angel. Bones herself is good but I wish they had cast a stronger female lead (like Gillian Anderson). I do like the addition of Tamara Taylor, I hope she stays on. Survivor looks like a lot of fun this season. I love the racial stuff, it makes me laugh. Hopefully they can keep things fresh and interesting throughout the season (apparently ratings are going downhill so they may have just run their course).

That’s about it thus far. Coming tomorrow we’ve got the big Grey’s Anatomy premiere, I’m very excited!

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