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2009 Fall Preview – Mondays

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Monday

ABCCastle is the only show on my grid from the alphabet network on Monday nights. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have dynamite chemistry and it makes for a great hour of television. In a world of stale procedurals, pairing a Patterson-esque author with a high-powered detective was an inspired choice. The show is far better than the now-cancelled direct adaptation from 2007-08, Women’s Murder Club. I realize some might note the similarity in formula with The Mentalist (Detectives + Quirky Outsider = Mystery Solving Goodness), but I have room for both shows on my DVR. Castle returns for a second season on September 21st.

CBS – Over the last few years, CBS has built a seriously hilarious two-hour block of comedy on Monday night. How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men all return for more laughs, with freshman Accidentally On Purpose filling in the extra slot. The new entry stars Jenna Elfman, Grant Show, and several fresh faces, with a plot that sounds like a kind of tamed version of Knocked Up. I’m going to give the show a chance, but it will be on a short leash. My main concern is that it appears to be shot in a very traditional way, which means it could be too much like an old-school sitcom for my taste. We’ll see how Accidentally stacks up with the Monday night all-stars when the CBS comedy block premieres on September 21st.

ESPN – Just like Sundays, I always leave room on my grid for Monday Night Football. I’m not a fan of the way they add 30-45 minutes of bullshit to a game to milk the advertising dollars, but I can’t argue with some of the great matchups that are scheduled this season. September 28th we get to see Carolina at Dallas, marking the Monday night debut of the new Texas Stadium (and it’s low-hanging scoreboard). October 5th gives us Brett Favre’s first team visiting his current team, and for me there is the November 16th game with Baltimore at Cleveland. Here’s hoping my Browns don’t get humiliated again like they have in their last few MNF appearances. Check out the full season schedule for all of the matchups.

FOXHouse returns on September 21st with a two-hour season premiere that takes us inside the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital where Wilson dropped the good doctor off at the end of the season finale. If you can’t wait until then, there’s a great behind the scenes video available here that will take you inside the process of building the Mayfield set. In the post-House timeslot, we get a second season of Lie to Me starting September 28th. As of right now, I’ve only watched one episode of the first season, but that’s enough for me to know I’ll be watching season two as well. I didn’t watch the episodes the first time around in the spring because I thought the show sounded like a ripoff of The Mentalist, but Tim Roth and company take this one in a totally different direction.

NBC – Peter Berg has proven he knows how to make great television with Friday Night Lights, so I’m willing to come along for the ride when his new show Trauma premieres on September 28th. Trauma takes place in San Francisco and is being billed as taking place “exclusively in the field, where the real action is.” I just hope this isn’t an attempt at a Rescue Me clone, because I think we all know that won’t work on network television. Also on Mondays, we have an entry in the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ category. Heroes is back for a fourth season, but I would very seriously discourage anyone from watching it at this point. Seasons two and three were both disappointing, and I have no legitimate reason to think season four will be any different. The only reason I’m still going to watch is because I want networks to continue to make shows that are different, and admittedly, I want to see what kind of goofy shit they’re going to try to salvage the show this year. I recommend finding something else to watch when Heroes premieres on September 21st.

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Football, New Series, Premiere, Renewed, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2009 Fall Preview – Mondays

Fringe Episode 17: Bad Dreams

After an ill-timed hiatus and a so-so return episode last week, Fringe is back on the tracks with this week’s Bad Dreams.

No need for a full recap here, though if you’re looking for that I would recommend a trip to fringetelevision.com for everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about the show.  Plus cool posts like this clip of The Observer at a Yankees game.

Overall, I think this was a return to the kind of episode that got me hooked on Fringe to begin with.  We had a real life-and-death mystery that was directly related to Olivia, and while we got some answers by the end of the episode, we were ultimately left wanting to know more.  The same thing happened with Walter this week–We got to see Walter get way too excited about the prospect of seeing Pippin on Broadway, and we also learned that he was directly involved with the experiments that were done on Olivia (Olive) as a child.

I understand that FOX decided to bench their best new show for two months so they could give us two hours of American Idol on Tuesdays, but I think it was a mistake.  I mean, at what point do you start to reduce the amount of time devoted to your flagging juggernaut in favor of an up and coming show with more promise than anything you’ve premiered since House in 2004?  At this point, I hope FOX doesn’t make a big mistake and cancel the show.  We’ll find out for sure when they host their upfronts on May 18, and I’m optimistic considering the list of shows with worse ratings that have already been renewed at FOX (Hell’s Kitchen, Family Guy, The Simpsons) and other networks (Heroes, Private Practice, The Office).  

Either way, I’m not too worried. If the show is cancelled, I think J.J. Abrams will find another way to reveal the truth of The Pattern to the fans.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Science, Scifi, Technology, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Heroes Season 3 Episode 1: The Second Coming

A few answers and a shitload of new questions.  So far I like it very much.  I really think the ratings slide and the extra-long hiatus has helped them recapture what made the first season so great.  Here’s hoping they can maintain it.

September 22, 2008 Posted by | Premiere, Scifi, Television | , | Comments Off on Heroes Season 3 Episode 1: The Second Coming