thoughts on pop culture

2009 Fall Preview – Sundays

Image courtesy

Zach Galifianakis will appear in HBO's Bored to Death, premiering September 20th. Image courtesy

Attention Fellow recliner jockeys: Put a fresh set of batteries in your remote and break open that new pack of adult diapers, because the fall premiere season is upon us!


ABC – Nothing new on Sunday nights from ABC, but I’ll be tuning in for new seasons of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters starting September 27th. At this point, I actually wouldn’t recommend any new viewers tune into Brothers & Sisters. The show has already aired its best episodes, but at this point I’m hooked until it’s done for good. Desperate Housewives on the other hand, had an awesome season last year that refreshed the series and returned it to the kind of well-thought-out storytelling we enjoyed during the first two seasons. Admittedly, Neal McDonough was a big reason why I enjoyed last year so much, so I’m disappointed he won’t be back on Wisteria Lane this season. However, I have heard that Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos, Joey) will be joining the cast in a role designed to fill the Edie void, which should make for some interesting developments.

AMC – As I write this post, I’m finishing final episodes of the second season of Mad Men, so I realize I’m behind, but it only took a few episodes of the first season for me to realize this is a great show. I know this isn’t news to most people, but if you haven’t seen the first two seasons yet, now is the time to get on board this outstanding dramatic freight train before it arrives at the Emmys to load up on trophies. Season three premiered on August 16th, but since AMC is like most cable channels, you can catch repeats with ease.

CBS – We’ll get a fresh season of the best reality show on tv when The Amazing Race premieres its 15th season on September 27th. The big news this time is that they will finally be in HD! My big screen has been ready to show these breathtaking destinations in high def for years. On October 4th, the eye brings us a new drama series, Three Rivers, featuring Alex O’Loughlin (the short-lived Moonlight), as the head of a transplant team making miracles happen in Pittsburgh of all places. I’m always interested in new medical dramas, so I look forward to seeing what they do with this. On the surface, I would think there’s only so much you can do with transplants, but I’m prepared to be wrong. Also, kudos to the creators for setting the show somewhere other than New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

FOX – Animation Explosion (or whatever they call it) continues this year, with The Simpsons and Family Guy returning to their regular slots. I don’t watch American Dad, but it’s back as well if you’re interested. On a new note, our favorite African-American from Quahog is getting his own show–that’s right The Cleveland Show will be taking the slot between the two animation powerhouses. I find Cleveland’s voice alone to be hilarious, so my hopes for this one are pretty high. The whole lineup premieres on September 27th.

HBOBored to Death premieres on September 20th. All I needed to see to put this one on my list was one name–Zach Galifianakis.  That’s right, the man who stole this year’s biggest surprise hit movie, The Hangover, will be co-starring on this new series. Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) handles the lead role. There are only eight episodes, but I’m willing to bet they will leave us wanting more.

NBC – Sunday Night Football takes up all of primetime as NBC strives to fill its 2009 schedule with anything other than new scripted programming. I may not talk about sports much, but well-produced sports are some of the best reasons to invest in HD that I have seen. I won’t watch every week, but you’re guaranteed to see some great match-ups on Sunday nights as we get closer to the end of the season.

SHOWTIME – Dexter returns on September 27th, and I can’t wait. I’ve been excited about this one ever since I wrote about John Lithgow joining the cast when the story broke back in May. Can Dexter be a dad and go up against a new serial killer nemesis at the same time? Another great plus is that Keith Carradine will be returning as FBI agent Frank Lundy, last seen during the show’s second season.

August 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Football, Game Shows, kingoftv, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Sundays

Desperate Housewives Season 5 Episode 18: A Spark. To Pierce the Dark.

I don’t normally post about Desperate Housewives, but while catching up on the last couple episodes, I felt compelled to call bullshit on a lame plot device they used.  Spoilers ahead.

So we found out that Crazy Dave (played brilliantly by Neal McDonough) has been nursing a serious grudge against Mike for killing his wife and daughter.  Now we learn that he plans to get his revenge not by killing Mike, but by killing Katherine, the new love of Mike’s life.  Lucky for them Edie has been doing some digging and is about to get a fax with a newspaper clipping revealing that Mike was driver of the other car in the accident that destroyed Dave’s life.  Cue the bullshit.

As Dave, Mike, and Katherine are on the road heading toward the cabin for their camping trip, Edie receives a fax, but Oh No!  She’s out of paper!  Good thing modern multifunction printers like Edie’s Brother MFC-790CW can print on regular paper and don’t require anything special for faxes.  Despite this simple obstacle, the plot relies upon Edie thinking she needs special “fax” paper to refill the machine.  Even after she buys the special “Plain Fax Paper”, she decides to leave it on the counter next to the machine and hang out with Mrs. McCluskey, despite the incessant beeping and message that there is one fax waiting.  All of these delays serve just one purpose, to postpone her text message to Dave until the last possible second, so the alert sound can cause him to just barely miss the kill shot intended for Katherine.

Let’s put aside all of the ridiculous disregard for current technology in this plot and remember something practical.  Edie is a cutthroat real estate agent.  Does anyone really believe she would let a fax wait in the queue for an entire day when it could be an offer with a short deadline in the midst of a shitty real estate market?  At least she died for being so stupid–I hope.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Desperate Housewives Season 5 Episode 18: A Spark. To Pierce the Dark.

Desperate Housewives Season 5 Episode 1: You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow

So I didn’t spend all summer thinking about what happened during the five year leap forward that Desperate Housewives pulled at the end of the fourth season.  In fact, it really felt like a lame, gimmicky way to end the strike shortened season.  It was as if the writers were sitting around and someone said, “Hey, I know, since we didn’t get to play out the story arcs we originally planned, we should totally blow this shit out of the water in the last five minutes of the season by skipping ahead in time and messing with EVERYTHING!”

That said, one episode in, I actually like where this is headed.  Neal McDonough is a great addition to the cast, and the leap forward in time could end up being exactly what the series needed to move in a new direction.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I was getting tired of watching Gaby think of no one but herself, Lynette raise her kids with hardly any help from Tom, Bree never getting her comeuppance, and Susan as nothing more than a series of pratfalls and sight gags.  I just hope the creators don’t squander these new possibilities.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Desperate Housewives Season 5 Episode 1: You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow