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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

House Season 5 Episode 24: Both Sides Now

I am a colossal fool.

I actually bought into last week’s episode and the House-Cuddy hookup that wrapped it up. I can’t believe I didn’t even see this coming.

I’ve said it about a million times–we know that the patients on House always parallel what’s going on outside the exam room. Tonight the patient had ‘alien hand syndrome’ as a result of a procedure to split his brain in two. Oddly, I wasn’t even tipped off to the outcome of the episode when Thirteen made a totally obvious comment about the question of identity raised by their patient. My suspended disbelief even stayed intact as the episode got more and more ridiculous–with House announcing his Cuddy hookup to the entire staff after being encouraged by Wilson to be a bigger asshole than normal! Ultimately, the big reveal showed us that House quitting vicodin cold turkey was just a bunch of shit and that everything since his conversation with Cuddy last week was just a vision.

Despite my disappointment with the reveal, I enjoyed a couple parts of the episode immensely. House treating Cuddy’s potential feelings like an illness to be diagnosed was both funny and true to his character, although ultimately this led to the climax and my disappointment. Better still was the appearance of Carl Reiner as clinic patient Eugene Schwartz. At first I thought this was just an excuse for Reiner to cut up and give House/Cuddy something to fight about. I wasn’t prepared for the heartbreaking revelation that Eugene really had pancreatic cancer all along.

The good lines were spread around tonight:

  • House – “It’s like locking the barn door after the horse got out and it’s had its face between your breasts for an hour and a half.”
  • Wilson, responding to House’s update about getting busy with Cuddy – “Wow. You were sober AND SHE was sober?”
  • Thirteen to Taub about Chase/Cameron – “It’s always a sad thing when sperm comes between people.”
  • House – “Great advice, you pretend I’m gonna do that.”
  • Cuddy to House about his announcement to the staff – “What you did is beyond asshood!”

Another thing sticks with me about this episode. When House retrieved Wilson to assist with the patient in the MRI lab, he told Wilson he needed his special skills. Wilson came and talked the patient in a way that kept him preoccupied while the team could look for the underlying problem. I was left with the impression that even House realizes that Wilson has a talent for interacting with people who have mental problems.

The following are the three notes I wrote, in the order I wrote them, during the big climax scene in Cuddy’s office.

  1. What is going on with House?
  2. Is this whole thing a hallucination?
  3. Are you fucking kidding me?

As I watched the closing montage, I found myself unfulfilled by the Chase/Cameron wedding, even though I wanted them to be together. More importantly, I was shocked to see House actually allowing himself to be taken to rehab. At least I thought it was rehab until I saw the sign over the door that said Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital. Was House actually committing himself? I guess we’ll find out for sure in a few months, but he made it pretty clear last week that vicodin-induced hallucinations would be easier to overcome than being a wacko–at least from a career perspective. This makes me think it really is rehab, and that it just happens to be a very serious program that actually takes place at a mental institution.

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments