thoughts on pop culture

The Amazing Race Deserves HD

In a world filled with low-concept garbage reality shows, one 11-time Emmy winner stands head and shoulders above the rest. Yet, for some reason, that show has big black bars on the left and right sides of my screen.

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October 1, 2009 Posted by | HD, News, Reality, Renewed, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Amazing Race Deserves HD

2009 Fall Preview – Wednesday


The 9/8c time slot is the busiest on my grid this year. In fact, I’m glad I upgraded to a third HDDVR at the beginning of this month since it’s the one time of the week when I’m recording six shows simultaneously. I’m sure the full slate won’t survive through October, but at least I’m prepared.

ABC – It appears ABC is making an attempt at assembling a sort of “Super New Wednesday” with a full slate of new shows. I certainly hope it doesn’t meet the same fate as the schedule from a couple years ago when we got hooked on Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money, only to have the writer’s strike kill their freshman seasons, a fate they never recovered from.

Kelsey Grammer makes another attempt at his triumphant return to network television in a sitcom with a premise that sounds almost exactly like his FOX failure from two years ago, Back to You. Successful guy loses success and has to learn to live with a family he has ignored. My love of Frasier means I’ll check out at least a couple episodes, but I doubt this one will last. In an odd coincidence, Grammer’s Back to You co-star Patricia Heaton stars in The Middle, another traditional sitcom that also marks an attempt to show us that network television understands what it’s like to be affected by our current recession. Both shows premiere September 30th.

A less traditional hour of programming follows, starting with Modern Family, a show that follows three families in a documentary style (think The Office) and features an exceptional cast including Ed O’Neill (Married with Children) and Julie Bowen (Boston Legal). As many of you know, I’m a big fan of comedies sans laughtrack, so I have high hopes for this one. Following Modern Family, Courtney Cox returns to network television with Cougar Town. I haven’t learned much about the show, but it was created by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) so I think it has a much better shot at success than say….Joey. These two shows premiere September 23rd.

Rounding out the night, we have Eastwick, a re-imagining of the 1987 movie The Witches of Eastwick and the John Updike novel of the same name. Be careful when setting this one on the DVR, I would hate for you to end up with a late night showing of 2005’s The Witches of Breastwick.

CBSCriminal Minds returns in its normal slot for a fifth season on September 23rd. Minds has quietly become a very consistent performer for CBS, which surprises me considering how little support it got when it started. If you haven’t watched this at all before, I would recommend checking out an episode–each week is pretty self-contained so it isn’t hard to jump on.

Comedy Central – The boys are back October 7th for the second half of South Park Season 13, and plenty of ultra-topical shenanigans will be there. Following South Park is a new live-action show called Secret Girlfriend. The show is basically about a group of guys partying and attempting to get laid. I have no idea if it will be good, but the network only ordered six episodes so I’ll check it out.

DirecTV 101 – Continuing their partnership with NBC from last season, DirecTV gets the exclusive premiere of Friday Night Lights season four, starting October 28th. Dillon is in for some big changes with Coach Taylor headed to the newly re-opened East Dillon High School to lead the Lions. Taylor “Gambit” Kitsch and Zach Gilford return, although Gilford will likely make a mid-season exit a la Smash and Street before him. For those who haven’t figured it out yet, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as Eric and Tami Taylor are the best couple on television. Also, have no fear FNL fans, DirecTV and NBC have already inked a deal that ensures 13 episodes for this season and another 13 next year. Game on.

DiscoveryMythbusters picks up for the second half of season seven on October 7th. From the look of this story, they busted a few windows making the episode in March of this year.

FOX – Are you watching Glee yet? If you aren’t, I’m not sure you’ll need me to tell you to. FOX has declared a media war on anyone who thinks this is just another lame attempt at a tv musical. If creator Ryan Murphy’s name isn’t enough to get you on board, I don’t know what will work. Murphy’s nip/tuck helped start the cable drama revolution a few years ago and now that he’s done with it, he’s decided to do something kids can watch too. In addition to normal promotion, The songs will be taking over iTunes each week, and two albums are already scheduled, with the first one dropping in November. Glee premiered September 9th.

FX – As I posted last week, nip/tuck returns October 14th for its second-to-last season. I would have said penultimate season, but I’m tired of people saying penultimate.

MTVReal World Road Rules Challenge is back again to meet our need for some sweet guilty pleasure tv. My advice is to DVR it, fast forward through the manufactured drama bullshit, and just watch the challenges. The show premieres September 30th.

NBCMercy is yet another new medical show, and normally I wouldn’t give it the time of day. However, it has James Tupper from the ill-fated Men in Trees, so I can’t help but tune in. Apparently, nurse shows are the new surgeon shows–what a super original idea!

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Game Shows, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

2009 Fall Preview – Tuesdays

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed


ABC – What’s the executive producer of CSI to do when he can’t think of another city to base a spinoff in? No worries, Jerry Bruckheimer has decided to call his new show The Forgotten instead of CSI:John Doe, although the latter is probably more appropriate. The new show centers around cases with unidentified victims, so I’m sure we’ll get lots of fun computer modeling and clay molds of skulls to keep us entertained. Oh I almost forgot, we’ll also get Christian Slater in the lead role. I’ll be watching the first couple episodes at least, but I have zero expectations for this show, likely due to the egg Slater laid with last year’s My Own Worst Enemy. The Forgotten premieres on September 22nd. Later this fall, we’ll be treated to a reimagining of the sci-fi classic V, where rodent-devouring aliens come to Earth with less than peaceful intentions. V premieres November 3rd.

CBS – Tuesday nights have proved to be so thin, I’m actually going to check out NCIS: Los Angeles, the spinoff starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. I’ve never watched the original, mainly because my in-laws talk about how fantastic it is, and I think Mark Harmon belongs on tv in the 80’s, not today. I’m interested to see how this one shakes out, hopefully better than O’Donnell’s last few efforts. The show premieres September 22nd.

CW – This is the spot where I was planning to tell you about Melrose Place. I didn’t watch the original, but I thought the revival had a shot at being entertaining. After seeing the premiere, I’m willing to admit I was wrong.

Discovery – Mike Rowe brings us another insightful season of Dirty Jobs, premiering October 6th. I have no idea what kind of nasty shit Mike and the crew will be up to their elbows in this season, but I know it will be entertaining.

September 20, 2009 Posted by | Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Tuesdays

Dirty Jobs Marathon and Season 6 Premiere Date

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed

Image Courtesy of Ben Lindahl - Creative Commons Licensed

Mike Rowe stars in a salute to hard work when Discovery airs 18 hours of classic Dirty Jobs episodes, starting at 8am Central on Labor Day. That should keep us satisfied until Season 6 of Dirty Jobs premiers on October 6th. The new season will return to it’s normal time slot of 9/8c on Tuesdays.

Full press release at

September 3, 2009 Posted by | News, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dirty Jobs Marathon and Season 6 Premiere Date

Mythbusters Season 7 Returns Oct 7th

Adam Savage

If you’re like me, following @donttrythis on Twitter hasn’t been enough to keep your mythbusting jones at bay since season seven was paused back in June. Never fear!  Mythbusters returns on October 7th with at least nine new episodes that are scheduled to air  before the end of the year.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Renewed, Science, Technology, Television | , , , , , | Comments Off on Mythbusters Season 7 Returns Oct 7th