One Well Rested DVR Ready For Some 2010 Winter/Spring Action!!!

It is just before Christmas, & I am sure most people are focused on last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, what/how to cook the big dinner, & recovering (or bracing) themselves for the colossal chaos that is "going to see Santa." Most people.

I've resolved long ago that I am not like most people. Me, I'm all about trying as many Holiday Winter Seasonal brews as I can before they disappear, and priming the DVR for Winter mid-season premieres (thanks to the awesome folks at the Futon Critic for staying on top of day by day changes the networks keep throwing out).

Unlike the Fall 2009 season (where the majority of shows I enjoyed were clustered on Thursdays & Fridays), this Winter/Spring they are more spread out throughout the week...whew. There are a few shows I've been counting down the days for awhile now (most notably Lost), & a couple new ones (Caprica & Human Target) I hope are not only great , but score well w/ the Nielsens. What I will be avoiding (if I can help it) are the ever increasing number of cooking contest shows...soon they will outnumber all the crime of the week shows syndicated on cable.

W/o further ado; I'm aiming my DVR cross-hairs at:

On Sundays
Not much going on this day. I might or might not resubscribe to Showtime in order to catch the 4th (& final) season of the Tudors (Showtime, returns 4/11). Then again, DVDs are much cheaper.

Amazing Race (CBS, returns 2/14) is one of the few reality shows I enjoy...to watch, never ever to enter. TV is at its best when the racers get all cranky w/ one another.

For me, it's all about the boardroom w/ The Apprentice (NBC, returns 3/14). I get a good 30-40 minutes of reading done during the other parts. If you ever find yourself on this show, here's the secret to surviving: keep your trap shut. Let the perceived slighted fueled emotional outbursts of your opponents get themselves canned.

On Mondays
Castle (ABC, returns 1/11) is a stand out amongst the crime of the week shows. Actually, they generally make fun of them...& just about everything else for that matter (including Nathan Fillion's Firefly days). The stick w/ this show is they focus more on the mystery (& twists that make mystery novels interesting) surrounding the crime, as opposed to the melodrama of those involved in solving the crime. A fun & entertaining hour.

CHUCK!!! (NBC, returns 1/10 & 1/11) Chuck knows Kung-Fu, 'nuff said.

My foremost thought on mid-season of Heroes (NBC, returns 1/4) is, WTF is NBC thinking?! They pull it in December, just to air only 6 episodes in January?! So far this season has maintained a consistency not seen since season 1. I am looking forward to the scraps of episodes that NBC so graciously is tossing us.

Gregory House might be clean & sober, but he's still an ass...& really the personal Hell he puts his co-workers/"friends" through make for great stories week after week. Another thing I love about House (Fox, returns 1/25) is they are not afraid to push boundaries, and take it in unexpected directions. It is this creative daring which keeps me tuning in week after week.

Secret Live of a Call Girl (Showtime, returns 1/25) A fun show (even if Billie Piper was pregnant throughout last season). Again I find myself debating to pick up Showtime or wait for the DVDs.

On Tuesdays
LOST!!! (ABC, returns 2/2) A bitter-sweet return. Looking forward to its return, & simultaneously bummed it is the last season. I've been avoiding any literature regarding this season, so I'm not sure what direction they're going to take. Just the way I want it.

ABC has been sharing crack w/ NBC & Fox. Otherwise, why would they just air 4 eps of V (ABC, returns 3/30) in November, then put it on an almost 4 month hiatus. A freshman show even. So far, better than I expected. Not to mention we have yet to see a full-blown Lizard...that should be really cool.

Since Farscape was canceled, I have been in this bad habit of underestimating SyFy's original programming. Didn't think too much of Warehouse 13 (SyFy, returns tbd)...case of the week but w/ relics...before it premiered. Surprisingly, I found myself really impressed w/ the creative slants they give the stories. I have no doubt the upcoming season will also be full of fun twists. Worth checking out.

On Wednesdays
I am simultaneously excited & very wary of Fox's latest incarnation of the Human Target (Fox, premieres 1/17 & 1/20). Excited 'cuz my impression/hope is the TV show is inspired by the Vertigo comic. Wary 'cuz it's on Fox. Still, they are pairing it w/ American Idol, a good sign the suits at Fox seem to like it.

Stoked to finally watch new episodes of LEVERAGE!!! (TNT, returns 1/13). What makes this debut even better is Jeri Ryan (7-of-9 from ST: Voyager) is a new regular. Her "interview" episode from the mid-season's finale was one of the best eps of the series. It will be interesting to see how she mixes w/ the others...especially Parker (who, if you've seen the show, doesn't adjust very well to change, or people in general for that matter).

I will admit for the 1st 3 seasons I paid little to no attention to Psyche (USA, returns 1/27). It was on after Monk, and I generally took the opportunity to bring the dog out & get the kids ready for bed. The 4th season, however, seems to be more scathing w/ their humor. What hooked me was when they made fun of the Mentalist, blatantly called it a rip-off. I laughed so hard, I cried.

On Thursdays
When Flash Forward (ABC, returns 3/4) premiered last fall, I was wary of the changes they made to Robert J. Sawyer's book (a great read, btw). Then, as the series progressed, I found myself liking it, a lot. They kept all Sawyer's key plot points, and added some great elements of their own. Now ABC is "retooling" it. Say what?! This March, I find myself again apprehensive, and petrified that ABC will destroy the soul of the show like they did when they "retooled" Six Degrees.

As Survivor: Samoa progressed, I kept getting more and more concerned about upcoming season. Russell turned out to be the ultimate reality show anti-hero. The fact that he made it to the final three was astonishing, making for one of the best seasons ever. What can they possibly come up with to followup such a fantastic season? Answer: Survivor: Heroes vs. Villians (CBS, returns 2/11). It promises to be either totally an explosive season, or disappointingly anti-climatic. I'm banking on the former, there's some awesome Survivor all stars coming back.

If you needed any more proof that Fox & NBC exec's are sharing crack, Fox is also throwing out meager scraps of a favorite show of mine. Only unlike NBC, we only get 5 new episodes of Fringe (Fox, returns 1/11 & 1/14). Come on Fox, first you move it away from lead out of House (where it got great ratings, btw), then you give us a mere month of eps?! What gives?

Oh yes, I am bitter that Past Lives (Fox, premieres 2/11) is taking Fringe's spot, but I am simultaneously fascinated by the concept of a past life affecting the present concept, & very, very curious to see how/if they pull it off.

You are not reading this. How can Vampire Diaries (CW, returns 1/21) be a guilty pleasure when it is not listed here? You blinked and assume you misread. Move along.

Frist the Winchesters inadvertantly unleash an army of demons...d'OH! Then, at the end of last season, they are tricked (by the bad-ass Angels no less) into breaking the last seal & releasing Satan. Oh yeah, & at some point this season they're going to catch up w/ God. If you're at all familiar w/ Supernatural (CW, returns 1/21), you know this meeting is not going to be what you expect, and w/ their twisted sense of humor added into the mix.

Project Runway (Lifetime, returns 1/14) I have to. I'm married & it is part of the compromise. I get to record Supernatural & Fringe on both TVs, while we watch the 6pm recording (gotta love satellite!!) of Project Runway. A heavy price, but so worth it.

Except for the last few episodes, my thoughts the 1st half of Burn Notice's (USA, returns 1/21) 3rd season is: meh. It went from this kick-ass, fun show to formulated fluff. I'll record them to start with, but won't watch if the creativity & originality are still MIA.

On Fridays
Does NBC realize what they gave up w/ Medium (CBS, returns 1/8)? I've said it before, Medium is one of the best written shows currently on the air. They seemlessly blend Allison's psychic life, DA crime solving life, & her family life every week. To be honest, it is really the only CBS show we watch on Fridays.

Is it just me, or has Dollhouse (Fox, ends 1/22) significantly improved in overall quality & intensity since Fox relinquished the creative reigns of the show. So far all the 2 hour episodes have kicked my ass. I just don't understand why networks insist on the boring old formula when dealing w/ established production teams w/ a history of critically & publicly acclaimed series under their belts.

I shocked even myself when I found myself enjoying last season's Smallville (CW, returns 1/22). I found the dominate early season episodes focusing on the freak of the week & cheesy, farfetched uses of kryptonite were replaced w/ a strong serialized plot. Again, the first half of this season kicked my ass & didn't bother taking my name. Needless to say, the Zod storyline is amazing! With a couple exceptions, each episode was better than the previous. Add the unexpected mid-season cliffhanger twist to the mix, this old warhorse still has a lot of life in it.

You know I got the pilot DVD of CAPRICA!!! (SyFy, premieres 1/22). Though a very different beast than Battlestar Galactica, one thing is for sure, the creators behind Caprica are staying true to their uncanny ability to take a story in an original & unpredictable direction. It has been a looooooong wait since watching the DVD. Actually feel I would have been better off not seeing it, 'cuz I've been going stir crazy waiting over the past 5 months w/ anticipation.

Sanctuary (SyFy, thru 1/15) is another SyFy show which is not what you would might expect. It is a safe house for paranormals (aka monsters), giving them plenty of opportunities to add a creative slant to established lore. It is also a show not afraid to take creative risks (such as killing off one of the core characters earlier this season). With reoccuring appreances by Jack the Ripper & Dr. Tesla, how can you not enjoy this show?

Probably the biggest surprise this 2009-2010 season is SG-U (SyFy, returns tbd). What I thought would be just another Stargate spinoff turned out to be so much more. It comes off as an actual show which just happens to have a Stargate in it. If that makes sense? Some of the plot twists they pull are really truly twisted...I'm thinking of that seen when Young spent the day w/ his wife here. If you've gotten bored w/ the Stargate franchise over the years, I highly recommend you check out SG-U. You'll find yourself pleasantly surprised with what you see. (updated 12/29 - I have learned that the 1st season was the 10 episodes aired...DVD drops 2-9-10!!! So it is not likely we'll see new episodes until next fall...summer if we're lucky. d'OH!)

On Saturday
Legend of the Seeker (Syndicated) This Sam Raimi produced series is what syndicated television is all about. Based on the Sword of Truth fantasy novel series, it is great entertainment...if you don't mind your shows w/ a bit of cheese.

Demons (BBCA, premieres 1/2) The premise is based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Looks really interesting. Just hope BBCA can air the series in order.

That is all I could dig up, but I'm sure I missed a few (like I did w/ Defying Gravity last summer). Please feel free to share your favorites.

As far as the Holiday activities go, I'm not a Scrooge. Dinner will be a buffet of apitizers, the shopping and wrapping are pretty much done, & we've survived the long 3hr wait to see Santa...thank goodness the kids are older now.

Happy Holidays,
& Happy Watching.


1 comment:

  1. I dig Vampire Diaries and am not ashamed. Also just watched Human Target, having never read the comic, which I was completely unaware of until I read about the show... I enjoyed it.