thoughts on pop culture

2009 Fall Preview – Thursday

courtesy FX Network

courtesy FX Network


Much like Wednesdays, my Thursday schedule is packed full, with 12.5 hours of programming. Unlike Wednesday, I don’t expect many of Thursday’s shows to wither on the vine.

ABCGrey’s Anatomy and Private Practice stay in the same slots as last year, with Grey’s premiering tonight and Practice joining on October 1st. The new entry from the alphabet network is an apparent attempt to give us Lost fans something to care about until the final season premieres in January. Based on Robert J. Sawyer’s novel, FlashForward’s premise is certainly interesting–a shared vision of the future causes people to question the concept of destiny and whether or not they can change their paths. I’m mostly intrigued by the talented cast, which includes Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order), Dominic Monaghan (Lost), Sonya Walger (Lost), and John Cho (Harold & Kumar), to name a few. I’ve heard the show doesn’t delve quite deep enough for some early critics, but I think that means the show has a much better chance at winning a large audience than Lost ever did, with its complex mythology. Look for an in-depth review of the premiere episode that aired tonight once I get a chance to watch it this weekend.

CBS – A seriously awesome trio of returning series cover the CBS Thursday lineup including the 19th edition of Survivor, this time in Samoa. CSI keeps its standard spot on the schedule, and now The Mentalist joins in for its sophomore season. At first, I was pissed that they moved Jane and the gang to such a crowded night, but now I see the genius. Private Practice is no match for The Mentalist, FOX doesn’t play in the 10/9 time slot, and Leno doesn’t stand a chance. I can see the CBS press releases now, celebrating their huge ratings victory.

Comedy Central – My love of Tosh.0 is no secret. I’m thrilled Comedy Central ordered more episodes, and I’m confident that Daniel Tosh will continue to bring the funny. There certainly is no shortage of moronic web video to fill his show. New episodes begin on October 8th.

CWI hated Twilight. The only reason I watched the entire movie is so no one could accuse me of giving up before “the best part”. As far as I’m concerned, the best part would have been if vampire guy had let the girl get crushed in the school parking lot 20 minutes in. When I first read the synopsis for The Vampire Diaries, I thought it would probably just be Twilight: The Series, but I’m thrilled to see these vamps don’t sparkle or play baseball in the rain. The series premiered on September 10th, but it’s not too complicated to join midstream.

FX – What’s the funniest current show on television? That’s a tough question to answer, but for me I think the answer is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has now entered its fifth season. Based on the premiere last week, it’s lost none of its edge.  FX attempts to round out the rest of the hour starting October 29th, when The League premieres. I’m not sure what the title implies for you, but I was surprised to find out this show focuses not on superheroes or villains, but a group of guys and their fantasy football league. It certainly sounds more believable than last year’s Testees, and I have faith that FX wouldn’t buy into just any old sitcom.

FOXFringe baby! The first season left us wanting so much more, so I was thrilled when FOX had the brains to renew this kickass trip through the multiverse. If you’re interested in all kinds of details on the show, I recommend a trip to, While you’re there, be sure to keep an eye out for Adam Morgan’s weekly episode recaps, which are great for catching up if your DVR screwed you and you missed one.

LifetimeProject Runway premiered back in August, and continues airing its nearly-lost season on its new network. There are some seriously talented designers this year, and I would definitely recommend tuning in, especially now that some of the really shitty folks are gone. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next season, which will be able to air on time now that Lifetime is through with all the legal battles it took to win the show.

NBC – Joel McHale stars in Community, the only new show being added to NBC’s Thursday lineup–filling the hole left by last year’s dreadful Kath & Kim. The show premiered last week and my full review can be found here. Returning series include SNL Weekend Update Thursday, Parks & Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock. Everything premiered last week, with the exception of 30 Rock, which joins the schedule on October 15th after SNL transitions off the schedule.

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Banished, Comedy, Drama, Internet, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Thursday

T.R. Knight Released by ABC

T.R. Knight

You can read the full story over at The Ausiello Files, but I had to take a moment to share my opinion.


Seattle Grace has been over-staffed for the last year or more, so it’s about time they started cutting headcount. I wish Knight the best in his career, but I’m thrilled my interpretation of the season finale (that George was dead) was correct. George’s story has been terrible ever since he married Callie, so I can’t say I’ll miss him at all. I mean seriously, who marries someone who secretly lives in the basement of their workplace? That’s some serial killer shit.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Drama, News, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on T.R. Knight Released by ABC

An Open Letter to Grey’s Anatomy

Dear Grey’s Anatomy,

Do you remember premiere night in September 2006?  When our hopes for the new season were high and it felt like anything could happen?  I miss those days.

My wife and I did not start watching Grey’s until the summer of 2006.  Up to that point, I had heard about you, but hadn’t paid much attention due to my old bias against shows that premiered at mid-season.  Once the summer tv doldrums arrived, I decided to check out this show I’d heard so much buzz about.  We were hooked after one episode, and we couldn’t watch the first two seasons fast enough.  In fact, after watching the first 36 episodes marathon style, it really sucked waiting for season three to begin.

If only I could feel that way about you again.  Starting with all the off-screen drama around Isaac Washington and T.R. Knight, it seemed that less and less attention was being paid to making the on-screen drama worth watching each week.  I realize now I should have seen the end in sight when your sister show Private Practice was announced in Spring 2007.  But like an abused spouse, I just kept convincing myself that everything would be okay, you really cared about me, and we would recapture the magic we once had.

I was wrong.  It just got worse as Private Practice struggled and got more attention from your creator than it deserved.  There were a few sweet moments, and I decided to cut you some slack due to the writer’s strike.  That slack seemed to payoff when you rewarded me and other faithful viewers with a run of episodes to end season four that culminated in a classic two part finale–in fact I think they were the best two episodes since Denny died.

I can hardly bring myself to talk about season five–I mean did you seriously think I would be entertained by Izzie fucking Denny’s ghost?  I cannot believe that the high point of season five looks like it will be Mark Sloan’s broken dick.  Although, maybe at this point it’s appropriate that I would associate you with that kind of pain.

Ultimately I’m just disappointed in you, and that’s why I felt compelled to write this letter.  I used to watch you ‘on the night’, the highest honor for television shows in my house.  Now you’re lucky if I’ve watched your latest installment before the weekend is over.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I’m going to demote you to the other DVR that isn’t even attached to the big screen television.

The only way I can think to end is with a final question for you: What is it like to be on the downward slope of television greatness?

March 15, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on An Open Letter to Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy Jumps the Shark

I’m lame enough that I will keep watching, but after tonight I don’t think there is any doubt that Grey’s has officially jumped the shark.  


I loved the Izzie/Denny storyline as much as anyone back when it was airing.  But I’d like to extend a hearty FUCK YOU to Shonda Rhimes and whoever agreed with her that having Izzie stay home to fuck Denny’s ghost was a great idea.  And while we’re at it, if anyone believes that interns could perform a rogue surgery and ever practice medicine again, then you deserve to be on the receiving end of a serious cockpunch.

As I said, I’ll keep watching because I’m already hooked, but my days of recommending the show to others are OVER.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grey’s Anatomy Jumps the Shark

Grey’s Anatomy – Out with Hahn, in with Roslin

So Grey’s Anatomy has fired Brooke Smith, meaning Erica Hahn will be leaving the show, ending the budding lesbian relationship with Callie Torres.  I can’t say I’m sad.  Call me strange, but all I can think of every time Smith is on screen is her role in Silence of the Lambs.  (Think: “Hey mister, I got your dog!”)

I had a feeling this was coming when I read this update about Mary McDonnell joining the show as a new cardio surgeon.  It’s not like a network medical show to have two docs with the same specialty.  My tip for McDonnell’s new character, Dr. Dixon?  Whatever you do, don’t stop in a dark parking lot to help a strange looking disabled man with a speech impediment load furniture into his windowless van.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Grey’s Anatomy – Out with Hahn, in with Roslin