Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Desperate Housewives

This is one of those shows I watch primarily because I'm not the only one in control of what we watch in this house. I have to say. It's not very good. The premier showcased a new character, and also an old Soprano's actress, always an interesting find. That said, the actors (with the possible exception of Felicia Huffman) and the plots are silly. The one thing I can say definitively is that the writers/producers of the show at least know that it's an over dramatic, silly soap opera. Does anyone out there actually enjoy the show? How come?

House -

So in this episode we're stuck dealing with the hospital sans House. He's finally out of the mental hospital, but his therapist successfully convinces him that he needs to leave the hospital behind, because the stress may lead him to fall back onto his old drug habits. As you might expect, House's departure left a vacuum in the diagnostic department at the hospital, which was quickly filled by Foreman.

So what did I think about this episode. Well, it was not what I had expected. Dr. House seems to be opening up to his therapist fairly easily, something that I suppose is to be expected since he already had his "breakthrough" but I'm a bit skeptical about the different ways he explored to distract from his pain. I do appreciate that this "exploration" took only one episode, and he's clearly heading back to the hospital. I also must admit I enjoyed his forays into the kitchen, for what they were worth.

In general the show was a strong showcase for Dr. Foreman, but I'm eager to see House get back into the hospital doing what he does best. How will his emotional changes alter him as a doctor? We'll find out. What'd you think about this week's episode?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Grey's Anatomy

Oh Grey's Anatomy. How torn you make me. I'll be honest in saying that it's unlikely that I'll abandon the show no matter where it goes. Part of that is the fact that I'm not the only one making television watching decisions in this house, but the other part is that I can (apparently) subsist on brilliant moments far after they've stopped happening regularly. Such is the case in this episode.

I thought there were a few excellent moments in this episode. Chandra Wilson, typically brilliant, was overall, somewhat less so. Most of her forced detachment, although it made sense, still felt false. There were a few moments where she seemed to be unleashed somewhat and was able to bring the traditional sense of Bailey to the show. I thought "Izzy" had some good moments as well. Overall however, the show seemed to be more focused on setting things up for the season, as opposed to really revealing very much. This is not necessarily meant to be a criticism (per se) but it is something that I'd like to see evolve relatively soon.

I'll leave it there for now, but I'd love to hear your comments. This season should be interesting, and I do miss T.R. Knight already. We'll see what happens. What do you want to happen next?

Friday, September 25, 2009

America's Next Top Model

So this episode seemed to be all about the bitch. Bitch Ashley and Bitch Lulu started off the show by making Bianca feel even worse about herself, then they criticize Mathematician Brittany's runway walk right before the challenge. Brittany ended up winning the runway challenge and got a photos hoot in Seventeen Magazine. Not once did they congratulate her. And then they criticized Nicole for having a heart to heart with Bianca. They said that Nicole was naive and Bianca was taking advantage of her. Nicole, as it turns out, is not naive and knew exactly what they were doing. And it doesn't stop there. Bitch Ashley and Bitch Lulu basically criticized everyone on the photo shoot saying they had the best pictures. In the end though karma caught up to them. Lulu was sent home. Apparently she did not rock the photo shoot. Well i hope this takes away Ashley's power and she learns to be nice. But more than likely she'll just suck someone else down into that black hole.


This show is like the primetime ripoff of HBO's Nurse Jackie. I'm not going to say much more about that for those of you waiting to watch it when it comes onto DVD. However Mercy does have some unique differences that interest me. And also i really liked Nurse Jackie so this isn't such a bad thing.
Did anybody else think Michelle Trachtenberg's role reminded you a little too much like little Dawn Summers?
Anyway, I like this show, a little disappointed that it'd already been done but i'm going to try and get past that.

Community Episode 2

Alison's Take - What happened to all the funny?

Gavin's Take - This is a somewhat different format than we usually use for reviews/comments, but I felt that with Alison's somewhat abrupt (justified?) comments, it wasn't worth creating a whole new posting just for some additional notes. First let me say I definitely understand where you're coming from. The episode lacked some of the unique punch that a great comedy has, and was sorely lacking for major laugh out loud moments. That said, I didn't completely hate the episode. There was some character development, and while the Spanish teacher is, for the moment, just another caricature in the show, I have hopes that the other characters will develop into more rounded parts, which will allow him (and some other bit players) to serve as comedic backdrop. Where they belong.

The last thing I'll say is that while the development of characters took something of a step forward in this episode, albeit a relatively small one, it does remain a bit awkward and forced in the development. The writers need to find their voice if the show is going to take off. For the time being, it's safe based on its time slot, but that won't be true forever. Let's all hope they get it together. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So apparently saying "I'm Sorry" is the cure all for the tension between lead detective Beckett and mystery novelist Castle. That really annoyed me. But I probably hold grudges more that most. I still have it in for that girl in my 7th grade gym class who mocked my last name. But I digress. I suppose the show would be over without the apology. But did he really need to? Sure he violated her trust and snooped into her past. But he had good intentions, right? Or was he just trying to satisfy his own curiosity? Well regardless of whether or not he did wrong, is an apology enough? And does it even count when it's said with selfish intentions?

If anybody else is watching, I'd love your input.

Dancing with the Stars

We have some good dancers this season and some not so good dancers. We have clear fan favorites too. I'd look out for Mark Dacascos (Host of Iron Chef America) and his partner Lacey. Also snowboarder Louis Vito and Chelsea. We have Donny Osmond who can charm the audience and the judges, plus he's not bad. Also we have popper Aaron Carter who took home a first place finish in scores over the men. Ashley Hamilton, son of bronzed George Hamilton, was the first to be eliminated.

Over on the Women's side watch Natalie Coughlin (decorated Olympic swimmer) and singer Mya. But most surprisingly Kelly Osbourne shines in talent and personality, especially considering her father is Ozzy. We also have Melissa Joan Hart, best known as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And Macy Gray was the first woman eliminated from the competition.


I'm pleased with this new chapter, Redemption. So far it looks promising. Peter is desperate to make up for his crimes by saving people. HRG is trying to find his way with this new company, maybe it's time for him to help them instead of bagging and tagging. Clare is just starting college. What annoys me about the former cheerleader is that she just doesn't seem to learn. She's always making a mess for her fathers to clean up. Tracy is back with a vengeance but quickly allies herself with HRG. Nathan/Sylar is going through a crisis, perhaps that's because he isn't actually nathan. Sylar is haunting Matt Parkman, asking to be put back into his body. Hiro and Ando are trying to save the world, and Hiro finds himself on a path of redemption, to right all the wrongs he's done to people in the past. And more interestingly we have new villians, the carnies? But i'm curious, are they actually villians or all they just trying to redeem their life.
More to come throughout the season for sure.
On the negative side, i'm a little disappointed that we don't get to see the fallout from Dankos and Nathans initiative. How did they all go from being enemies of the state to living perfectly normal lives. Especially Matt Parkman who showed up at the white house last season with a bomb strapped to his chest, how is he now detective?

The Modern Family

So this show is hilarious. I'm not just saying that. I was actually laughing out loud. Modern family is just that, a take on the modern family. So we have Married with Children alum Ed O'Neill who plays a newly remarried man and father. His new wife happens to be at least 20 years younger. His two adult children Julie Bowen (Ed) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known as the guy with red hair).

Julie Bowen's family consists on the husband and father who wants to be best friends with his children and thinks he is super cool, the fifteen year old daughter who is snotty and thinks she should be allowed to have a tall dark handsome senior in her room with the door closed, a younger daughter (12ish) who so far has made no impression, and a young boy (probably ten). The family dynamic is crazy and chaotic. Punishment is not normal. The boy shoots his sister with a cap gun and as punishment he must be shot too. Well this turns out to be a problem, and not in the moral way. They just don't have the time, so after a discussion they schedule in the shooting.

And then the third family consists of the red head son and his overly dramatic partner. And amongst all the drama of adopting a baby and not telling his parents is plenty of laughter. If you don't laugh at this show then you are seriously lacking some humor. (Also a little side note, this show is done sort of in the same manor of The Office and Parks and Recreation, that faux interview style, or Mr./Mrs. Smith marriage counseling style.) So any thoughts on this must see show?

The Good Wife

So I wasn't sure I was going to watch this show, but in the end I'm fairly glad I did. It was an overall enjoyable addition to Tuesday night television, which is fairly empty for the time being. I'm not sure it'll bump serious television off my list, and it's not a huge priority at this early juncture, but for a pilot, it was quite good.

For those of you who aren't watching, the show (CBS, 10PM) features Julianna Margulies (formerly of ER) as Alicia Florrick, lawyer and wife of politician Peter Florrick, played by Chris Noth (formerly of Law & Order and Sex And The City). Peter Florrick has been thrown in jail as a result of a recent scandal, and Alicia, who has spent the last thirteen years as a homemaker, is forced back into her life as a defense attorney. As you might imagine, she has a few problems to deal with, including her lack of recent experience, the fact that she's starting at the bottom of the pile (as a junior associate) and the fact that everyone around her is judging her marriage.

For the time being it appears that Chris Noth's character is going to play a relatively minor role, although there's potential for that to change in the future. Overall, Julianna Margulies performs admirably in the role, and while she doesn't blow me away, it's possible that it's because she's had little to work with so far. It's not usually fair to judge a show based solely on the pilot, so you can be sure that I'll be watching next week to see if the show gets better, stagnates, or gets worse. Will you be watching?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This episode was... atypical. First of all, with the exception of one phone call to Dr. Wilson, none of the typical cast were in the show in anything other than flashbacks. We were introduced to a new crew of, crazy people. Of course that would make sense since House spent the entire episode in the mental hospital... Anyway, despite being somewhat unusual for House (no medical mystery, no easily formulaic show pattern), it was an excellent premier for a show that has become (remains?) one of the best shows on television. If nothing else, the show is a tour de force for Hugh Laurie and his portrayal of Dr. House.

A couple thoughts on the episode:

- I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda. For those who aren't aware, he's also the writer/star of the Tony Award Winning In The Heights, and has been the "it" guy on Broadway over the past two years or so. He was fantastic, and I'm somewhat disappointed that we won't be seeing him any more over the next episodes.
- I'm curious to see how much House "changes" after his mental hospital visit. There's no questions he'll have to change at least a bit, since it would be unrealistic for everything to go back precisely the same. I'm hoping the writers continue to give Hugh Laurie and House something to work with, and don't just imagine the entire mental breakdown didn't happen.
- Despite the impressive premier, I'm also looking forward to getting back into the medicine. I like the mysteries, and I do enjoy the cast. In short, I'm definitely looking forward to this season of House MD.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I thought this show would be funny. And it is. It's laugh out loud funny. This show is about a successful lawyer whose law degree was not exactly from Columbia. Facing disbarment, Joel McHale's character, goes to community college and tries to con his way through that degree. He might be a slimy, fast talking liar but he is or was good at his job. In one scene his character creates strife amongst a variety of community college students, and in the next he relates them all to one another in a brilliant speech which proves that this show has excellent writers. Also it proves that this show will fit right in with The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock.

However, this show is not without flaws. First, the characters are very stereotypical, which is probably the point. Not only is it obvious that they are stereotypes but the writers feel the need to tell you, as if you couldn't figure it out yourself. Also the end of the episode is predictable. Joel McHale's character tries to screw over the dean, screw over his Spanish study group, and in the end gets screwed over himself. And what happens next, his study group comes to the rescue.
Community is a good show. It has the potential to be a great show. And i am looking forward to see where it goes. Anyone else in for the ride? Thoughts? Criticisms?

Glee - In Review

So I was tempering my excitement for Glee when it came on this season. I thought it was an excellent idea. The time seemed right in popular culture, with American Idol, SYTYCD and other such shows becoming huge, and even movies like HSM bringing in absurd amounts of money. Add to all of that the fact that FOX apparently spent their entire marketing budget on spots for Glee. These damn kids were EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME.

So anyway, I know Kevin McHale (wheelchair kid) pretty well from an old job, so I was definitely rooting for him and the show, but overall I've been underwhelmed. The songs are... ok. The plot is weak and with few exceptions the characters are WAY cliche. Talk about stereotypes... I realize that to some extent that's the goal, a la Breakfast Club, to create identifiable characters that everyone can identify. Hey look, there's the football player, and the cheerleader. There's the dork, and the closeted gay guy. Oh and there's the soulful black chick. I get it, but c'mon. These characters could have SOME depth, couldn't they? I feel like these characters are about as complex as the characters in a play I wrote when I was in high school. And to dispel any notion of my talent as a playwright, it wasn't a good play.

Regarding the plot elements, I have some issues. Much like the characters, the plot is very cliche, and really doesn't seem to be trying to be anything different. Not to mention, of course kids in high school may talk about things like abstinence, sex, etc, but I can say definitely that they do NOT talk about them the same way these kids to. Even things as simple as the word choice that the kids use are phony and impossible to accept. Hell, I know graduate students (a lot of them) that don't use language like these underclassmen in high school. Please. It just rings false in most every way.

All of this is bad, but if the main premise was carried off effectively, all could be (would be?) forgiven. However, what's the biggest offense? The musical numbers. The very backbone of the show is music, with some dance, and in general they fail on every account. I thought it was a brilliant premise. People like music, people like pop music, people like dancing, and people like seeing kids their age putting on a show. I also realize that there is no way to realistically have the actors perform the songs live. The quality would be weak, and in general it would fail. However, there are a few things they need to get together in short order:

First, FIX THE LIP SYNCING. Damn, this seems like the most obvious thing they could accomplish. If they are going to lip sync, I'm fine with that. In fact, most professional pop singers lip sync most of their concerts, but they also practice the lip syncing, so it doesn't look fake. For a show based around music, one would think the cast might practice lip syncing. Either they are practicing, and are just terrible at it, or they are not practicing, in which case... it's embarrassing. It's not a hard fix, but it's an important one, and it needs to get better soon.

Second, stop over producing everything. Some of the songs I'm fine with. When the songs are really internal monologues, (Take a Bow in "Showmance" and Bust Your Windows in "Acafellas") I don't mind them sounding over produced. I can buy "that's how it sounds in their head." Fine. But the actual performances, like "Push It" or "Gold Digger" are obnoxiously overproduced. If you want to showcase talented performers, and the cast is filled with talented performers, LET THEM PERFORM. These songs are more overproduced than the original songs they are copying. If your "glee club" singing along with a single keyboardist sings "Gold Digger" and it sounds MORE produced than Kanye freaking West, you've got an issue. Step back, and don't force it down our throats. Good music + Good performers = Entertainment. No need to do anymore.

This show could be (will be?) huge for FOX. They got 7.3 million viewers for the premier this year, a solid second behind "America's Got Talent" (really? who watches that crap?). There's a lot of money to be made in iTunes sales, karaoke sales, soundtracks, and god only knows what else, but they need to get their show in order quick, or I'm over it. I doubt I'm the only one, do you have any thoughts? Am I crazy? Anything to add?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week Overview

That's it for the week! Obviously we've got a good amount of television to cover, and we'll do our best to cover the shows we discussed here (as well as potentially some others as the mood strikes us) If you've got comments on what we should be watching, or opinions on the shows, feel free to chime in with the comments. The more conversation we've got going on, the more entertaining the site is for everyone. Thanks, and hopefully you'll enjoy television this season as much as we do!

Friday Night Preview

Southland (NBC) 9:00PM Premier 10/23
Gavin's Take - Honestly I'm not sure I'll even watch this season. Last season the show was overproduced and not terribly interesting. The best thing I can say about the show is that it clearly is trying. It may even be trying too hard, because for now I have no interest in any of the characters, any of the story lines, or frankly even the premise. Who needs another "gritty" cop show? This one is set in LA, and it's not quite as procedural as L&O and similar incarnations, but I'm going to need it to develop, and fast if it wants to keep me hooked. I will say the fact that it's on Friday makes it more likely I'll check it out at some point during the weekend.

Psych (USA) 10:00PM Now Playing
Gavin's Take - Maybe the best show not on a major network or premium cable. Psych is an absolute guilty pleasure, since nobody would ever argue that the show is worth much in the objective sense. Nonetheless, the characters amuse me, the meta-comedy (including poking fun at network knockoffs like The Mentalist) and the entertaining storylines make it a show I definitely enjoy. I wouldn't consider it to be must-see television, but it's definitely a good show and worth a look.

Dollhouse (FOX) 9:00PM Premier 9/25
Alison's Take - I started watching this on the off season because Joss Whedon knows how to make a show. This present day, yet futuristic, show invites us into a world where your mind can be erased and you can take on different personalities to serve the paying client. Now this show isn’t that great. And since the characters are always changing it’s hard to form an attachment. But surprisingly you can. Watch this show and you might be surprised by how entertaining it is. And maybe it’ll make you feel paranoid. Who’s to say this technology doesn’t exist right now?

Thursday Night Preview

Grey's Anatomy (ABC) 9:00PM Premier 9/24
Gavin's Take - Yes I still watch it. Has it gone downhill? Yes, although I will admit the dramatic reveal that George was the victim who ultimately was killed in the finale was a very enjoyable piece of television. I'm hoping that Grey's Anatomy will recapture some of the magic of the first two seasons, but I'm afraid they're going to have a very difficult time doing so. This is one of the shows I'm likely to have a decent amount to talk about, but hopefully it won't all be negative!
Alison's Take - This show is on my last nerve. I remember when this show first premiered, it was something new, refreshing, catchy and well written. What happened? The characters grew up and stopped being interns, that’s what. The writing staff took some huge cuts and brought in chimpanzees. Not only is the dialogue wavering but the undertones and themes of this show are as well. I think last season, the writers wanted to focus on the doctors and god complex. And instead of letting the show do the talking they had Derek say it three or four times. Ugh. I hope this show took this down time to review previous seasons and have decided to take a turn towards being a respectable show.

Private Practice (ABC) 10:00PM
Premier 10/1
Gavin's Take - I watch this one too, although like Desperate Housewives, it's not entirely my choice. I find that I don't care about the characters. Any of them. I don't care if the business fails, I don't care if they have relationship trouble, I just don't care. What makes me sad is that I like Taye Diggs and Audra McDonald, and would love this show to be a success, I can't honestly root for it fully. That being said, obviously I've been outvoted by the public, because it's been quite a success, so good for them. And heck, I'll end up watching anyway.

Community (NBC) 8:00PM Premier 9/17
Gavin's Take - Who knows with these new shows. It looks amusing, but also looks like it could be very, very grating. Is this a new version of Kath & Kim? Hopefully not, but it's difficult to say from the trailers and "previews" they've leaked so far. If you recall, Kath & Kim also had some pretty funny moments, but they were few and far between and ultimately couldn't save the doomed show. Will Community suffer the same fate? My prediction is that we'll know within two episodes if it's going to be renewed for another season (or two).
Alison's Take - This looks hilarious. I’ve watched Joel McHale on E!’s The Soup for awhile now. Because of that I’m giving this show a chance.

Parks & Recreation (NBC) 8:30PM Premier 9/17
Gavin's Take - Parks & Recreation is a show that I have mixed feelings on. Will I watch it? Probably, it's sandwiched between other shows that I watch. It's one of the few comedies on television that I enjoy (although there are others debuting this season which MIGHT be of a high quality). It really seems like the kind of show that needs to find its voice. The deliberately kooky Leslie Knope is entertaining but somewhat one-note, and the surrounding characters have their moments. We'll see if the show grows into a show that can't be missed. I have my doubts, but for now I'll still follow.

The Office (NBC) 9:00PM
Premier 9/17
Gavin's Take - Perhaps my favorite comedy on television right now. Other shows are close, and several shows make me laugh out loud, but really this is one of those rare shows that I can watch over and over again. I almost never delete Office episodes off my TiVo, because I love watching old episodes, especially when there's nothing else on. As other commentators have said, I love when the Office incorporates all the characters, but when they do it's one of the more purely entertaining things on television.

30 Rock (NBC) 9:30PM Premier 10/15
Gavin's Take - Yes! The only thing I'm disappointed about regarding this premier is that it doesn't happen until October! What the heck NBC, are you trying to drive me nuts? Seriously, I don't understand the goal in pushing the premier back, but I suppose as long as it comes back at all I'm a happy camper. The perfect end to a great Thursday night of television.
Alison's Take - What no Liz Lemon until October? I’m not sure I can handle that. Quick must go to Hulu and feed my addiction. Ah, that’s better.

Project Runway (Lifetime) 10:00PM Now Playing
Gavin's Take - I watch Project Runway, but probably won't have too much to say about it. The characters are (sometimes) entertaining, but by and large the editing drives me a little nuts. I enjoy some of the outfits that are created, but I'm almost always in disagreement with the judges. Clearly I know nothing about high fashion. Although I suppose that's something that was pretty well known in advance...

Other shows I may/may not watch:
Flash Forward (ABC) 8:00PM Premier 9/24
The Mentalist (CBS) 10:00PM Premier 9/24

Wednesday Night Preview

So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 8:00PM Now Playing
Gavin's Take - I've faithfully watched the show every year in the summer, and now it's crowding into our fall season! What the heck?! Oh well, I'll make time for the show, although I'm completely uninterested in the SIX WEEKS of auditions and Vegas week. Who cares? Get to the competition and I'll start paying closer attention. In the meantime, don't worry I'll be watching (on both days) when it's on, and I'm already annoyed at most of the auditioners. If Evan's brother makes the show... god help me. He will not be spared my wrath.
Alison's Take - The better of the two dancing shows I watch. The contestants are real dancers with real talent. It’s no wonder that past contestants on this show go on to be the professionals on DWTS. These dancers have real dreams. When they dance, it’s not just to win money, it’s because they love to do this. But this show is not without its flaws. The dancers are tested on all sorts of styles of dance, which is pretty interesting, but it’s hard to ask a ballroom dancer to dance krunk or vice versa. This is also a fan voting show, so it’s not really about talent. It’s about whose personality the voters liked the most, or the choreography or the music. The variables involved in choosing a favorite dancer are too wide. Talent tends to have very little pull in the voting circle. Sometimes this is good. Often times it’s not. Seeing ballerina Melissa go home last season was heartbreaking.

Glee (FOX) 9:00PM Now Playing
Gavin's Take - Lots of potential, lots of missed. That's how I'd sum up this show. A unique concept with an interesting story premise, coupled with characters that at the moment are somewhat uni-dimensional and mediocre musical performances makes this a hit or miss show. My guess is that after all the money pumped into the promos, there is no way FOX lets this show get the axe. I'm just hoping the show gets better, and fast. I'll have more to say when we review the 1st episode shortly.
Alison's Take - So this is the most talked about show all summer. All summer I heard that this is the one show that everybody must watch. I like it. I really do. Musicals are awesome. And this show can pull it off, provided they get the dubbing right. In last week’s episode the dubbing was off and for me it seriously diminished the whole show. I understand that the actors are actually singing it, but in a studio. However to have the dubbing on the vocals off is not going to keep this show going. I hope the editing team does a better job this week or this show is not going to last much longer. That being said, Jane Lynch, the cheerleading coach, is comedic gold. If you don’t like high school shows, watch it for her snappy lines. She’s sure to make you laugh out loud.

Mercy (NBC) 8:00PM Premier 9/23
Gavin's Take - I suppose if Trauma fails to replace the phenomenon that was ER, NBC will turn to Mercy? Or was the thinking more, "If one medical show is a hit, two will be twice the hit!" Although the formula seems to work for formulaic crime shows (CSI, NCIS, L&O, and all the iterations of each), I would be SHOCKED if both of these shows made it until the end of the season. Unless NBC has either nothing to replace it, or the creators have blackmail on the NBC execs, I'm betting it'll be this one.
Alison's Take - Not really sure about this show. The idea of a nurse just back from a tour in Iraq sounds unique. That fact is one of the elements I believe will set it apart from all the other medical drama’s out there. Another is that it focuses on a nurse, not a doctor. And this nurse is sure to come with a wheelbarrow full of baggage. Hope this one survives sweeps, or until sweeps. If not, less to watch.

America's Next Top Model (CW) 8:00PM Now Playing
Alison's Take - It's a guilty pleasure. Not really sure it’s worth talking about. This season features models 5 feet 7 inches and under. All those short people hoping they can make it in a tall world. Plus Tyra is crazy. Enough said.

Modern Family (ABC) 9:00PM Premier 9/23
Alison's Take - Why not? This show features three families, all related, and focuses on their little quirks. It’s about time someone did a show on the modern family in these modern times. And nobody has a perfect family. So why not?

Other shows I may/may not watch:
The Middle (ABC) 8:30PM Premier 9/30
Modern Family (ABC) 9:00PM Premier 9/23
Cougar Town (ABC) 9:30PM Premier 9/23
Eastwick (ABC) 10:00PM Premier 9/23
Law and Order: SVU (NBC) 9:00PM Premier 9/23
Top Chef: Las Vegas (Bravo) 10:00PM Now Playing
South Park (Comedy Central) 10:00PM Premier 10/7
King of the Crown (TLC) 9:00PM Premier 9/30

Tuesday Night Preview

Honestly, neither of us are watching much on Tuesday. It's entirely possible that something may fill this spot in the future, and we'll happily cover it. In the meantime, we're both planning on catching up on some shows from the first couple days of the week.

Other shows I may/may not watch:
Shark Tank (ABC) 8:00PM Premier 9/29
The Forgotten (ABC) 10:00PM Premier 9/22
The Good Wife (CBS) 10:00PM Premier 9/22
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 8:00PM Now Playing
Flipping Out (Bravo) 10:00PM Now Playing
Chopped Champions (Food Network) 10:00PM Now Playing
Hell's Kitchen (FOX) 8:00PM Now Playing
Dragon's Den (BBC America) 9:00PM Premier 10/6

Any preferences? What should we be watching on this day? Any of these have staying power?

Monday Night Preview

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 8:00PM Premier 9/21
Gavin's Take - Other than The Amazing Race, I have for a long time been very much uninterested in the shows on CBS. They are generally boring, formulaic and uninteresting. Until How I Met Your Mother came along. The show is unique in format, creative in writing and generally hilarious. Although Neil Patrick Harris steals pretty much every episode, the entire cast is delightful. I'm excited to see the humanity of Barney develop with his crush on Robin. I'm very excited to see this one come back!

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 9:30PM
Premier 9/21
Gavin's Take - On this one I'm a victim of classic television marketing. They paired this with How I Met Your Mother in hopes of capturing some of the same audience. It worked. I saw a couple episodes of The Big Bang Theory and I was hooked. I especially love the smart humor, since there are usually two levels in every scene. Some jokes are for everyone and are hilarious, but the real gems are the smaller, subtle jabs that are clearly intended for a specific audience. I'm looking forward to seeing how the trip to Antarctica ended up!

House (FOX) 8:00PM
Premier 9/21
Gavin's Take - Hugh Laurie is a genius. I'm pretty well convinced that I'll watch just about anything featuring his amazing ability, and House is no different. Is it fairly easy to predict? Usually, especially the medical parts of the show (Is this the right diagnosis? Well it's only 30 minutes in, so I'm going to say... no). But overall it's a great television show. I'm excited at the rumor that the original cast is going to take a bigger role this year with House in the asylum for at least the first few episodes. I may be the only one, but I missed Chase and Cameron and the dynamic of the original cast. They never left, but they obviously played a smaller role the last few seasons. Something I'm ready to see remedied.
Alison's Take - Arguably the best show on TV. Hugh Laurie is a genius. But is that because House is a genius? House, for those of you living under a rock, is a medical drama. A medical comedy. Take a grumpy diagnostician, a female dean of medicine, and several small fry doctors and you have the funniest medical drama on TV. House, unlike other medical shows, never wavers, never takes a dip into the unrealistic. It always stays true to what it is.

Heroes (NBC) 8:00PM Premier 9/21
Alison's Take - So this is my sci-fi show for the season, and has been for awhile. When I first started watching Heroes I got lost in the unknowns. This show took a lot of patience at first. But now, several seasons into this show it is fast paced and easy to get sucked into. Ordinary people become extraordinary. This is the everyday Joe’s dream, to make a difference. But Heroes is not a light drama, focusing on the good. More often than not it asks questions about altruism. Can you truly do something for the sole purpose of doing good? It also asks the classic good vs. evil question. What makes a villain? What makes a hero? What sets them apart? Stay tuned this season.

Trauma (NBC) 9:00PM Premier 9/28
Gavin's Take - Clearly trying to be ER set in the field. Will it have the same quality? I doubt it. I'd imagine it'll be more closely related to the ill-fated Third Watch as opposed to the epic success that was ER. Only time will tell if they've got the character development and scenarios that keep us all entertained. One thing is certain, they WILL focus on the big earth-shattering disasters on a regular basis. It could get tiring, and much like ER (and to a lesser extent Grey's Anatomy) it could quickly get to the point where they have to stretch to completely unrealistic scenarios. We'll see.

Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 8:00PM Premier 9/21
Alison's Take - I admit that this is not the best reality show. It’s not even the best reality dance competition show. But it does entertain me. It’s always fascinating to see football players do the jive and Actors attempt the waltz. But I argue that the popularity of this show has nothing to do with the stars, but instead with the professional dancers. It’s not always about the ability to dance. The choreography and the music is what makes the show. I’m always looking forward to Cheryl Burke’s choreography or Louis van Amstel classic waltz. But beware this show has a horrible tendency to screw up your TiVo with a three night premiere.

Castle (ABC) 10:00PM Premier 9/21
Alison's Take - I started watching this show on the off season and it was mildly entertaining. It’s not the best show out there, and when it came out it was horribly predictable and a little cheesy but I stuck with it because I saw potential. I believe this show just has to find its place on TV. It’s not a classic detective show and it’s not a drama or comedy. So what is it? I hope that question is answered in this season. And I seriously hope that Fillion and Katic (Castle and Beckett) have developed a natural chemistry instead of a forced on screen attraction.

Other shows I may/may not watch:
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) 8:30PM Premier 9/21
Lie to Me (FOX) 9:00PM Premier 9/28
Little People, Big World (TLC) 8:00PM Premier 10/12

Sunday Night Preview

The Simpons (FOX) 8:00PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - The first season I plan on watching fairly regularly on a week to week basis. Although not the first animated television show to be nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Comedy Series, (that honor goes to Family Guy this year), there is no question that it set the standard, and has been consistently one of the better shows on television for over 20 years now.

The Cleveland Show (FOX) 8:30PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - Honestly? No idea. Could be good, could be awful. I'm not sure I saw a spin-off from Family Guy as a safe bet, but I suppose it's inevitable. With the success of American Dad, Family Guy and Simpsons (long ago established) it was a foregone conclusion that FOX would try something to capitalize. We'll see if this is worth wasting time on after a week or two. Methinks it will end up being something to have on in the background while performing menial tasks, but little more. Then again, I was wrong about American Dad, so who knows.

The Amazing Race 15 (CBS) 8:00PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - Are you as excited as I am? I love The Amazing Race. The worst part about it is that I love it for some unknown reasons. I almost always hate all the racers, the challenges are silly at best, and the production is sometimes annoyingly cut together. Despite all these factors, I can't get enough. Who knows if I'll find a team to root for, but chances are I will not. I'll enjoy rooting against everyone indiscriminately and enjoying my schadenfreude with the rest of them. Plus the vicarious traveling is quite a thrill.
Alison's Take - This show is pretty amazing as the title alludes. Traveling across the globe for the chance to win a million dollars, sign me up! This is by far the best reality TV show on right now, which is why I watch it. I crave the cultural infusion and the fantastic sites every week. I can relate to real life people and form invisible relationships with them. I can irrationally hate someone from a distance and since I have TiVo I can fast forward through the annoying couple fights.

Family Guy (FOX) 9:00PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - It's hard to argue (though possible, I suppose) that at the moment this is not the best animated show on television. Even if you were to make an argument, I must say, the show still makes me laugh out loud on a weekly basis. On of the few shows that actually makes me laugh out loud, and I'm not about to take that for granted. Looking forward to seeing what Peter, Brian, Stewie and the rest have in store this season (not to mention what they apparently had in store in previous years, which we'll only see this season via flashback...)

American Dad (FOX) 9:30PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - Good television. Sometimes this show even rivals Family Guy, and I especially enjoy the delicious political comedy that is somewhat less overt in the Family Guy. An interview with the creator Seth McFarlane even had him disclose that the show emerged out of his frustration and anger at the Bush administration. While I'm not making commentary on specific policies, the political comedy is something that is otherwise lacking in prime-time television, especially on the basic cable channels.

Desperate Housewives (ABC) 9:00PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - The last season left us with the end of Dave, the potential affair of Bree, and the pregnancy for Lynette. I'm not terribly interested in any of the plot lines, but in all likelihood will still be watching. To be fair, that's mostly because other people sharing the same television are very interested in the show and I'll end up watching it more by accident than anything. Would I pick the show up this year if that wasn't the case? Probably not, since I've got plenty of other things to deal with on Sunday, and even if I didn't it's not a bad idea to rest up to prepare for the week of television!

Brothers & Sisters (ABC) 10:00PM Premier 9/27
Gavin's Take - Don't care about Ryan Lafferty. Other than that, I'm excited to have the Walkers back on Sunday nights. The show is engaging and entertaining, and yes, Sally Field is awesome. If you recall, Tommy is still in Mexico on the lamb, and may not be inclined to come back, even if he can. I'm guessing this is a casting decision, since rumor has it that he's unhappy in the role and wanted off the show. Perfect, I never liked him much anyway, and abandoning his wife and daughter doesn't make me like him more!

Mad Men (AMC) 10:00PM Now Playing
Gavin's Take - Mad Men is consistently one of the most interesting, complicated, and entertaining shows from week-to-week. Is Don going to reform his wandering ways? Will Betty strike out on her own? Which characters are likely to be caught up in the upcoming Hippie revolution? As the show struggles with some of the societal issues that plagued the US in the 1960's (and indeed continue to plague our society), the show provides an interesting perspective. On top of all else, it's one of the few shows that watching can feel distinctly like watching a movie. As somebody just getting into The Soprano's (Season 3 now), I can say even great shows like that rarely capture the feel of a film quite like Mad Men.

The Next Iron Chef (Food Network) 9:00PM
Premier 10/4
Gavin's Take - Another guilty pleasure. Will it be good? I doubt it. Will the food be tasty? Well it's certainly more likely than on Hell's Kitchen, or The Next Food Network Star... I dig Alton Brown, and I'm curious what chef is able to make it to the top and add their culinary perspective to an already formidable (minus Cat Cora) collection of Iron Chefs. I am hoping it'll be a woman, since having only Cat Cora to represent is... well... sad.
As you can tell, I (Gavin) have a bit more to do on Sunday night. Let's hope the schedule evens out over the rest of the week!