Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 and the New TV Season

Of course, I believe everyone should be watching what I watch. Intellectually, I know that's not possible, but I still like to believe it. For instance, you could have overheard me on Monday saying to one of my co-workers "So what did you think of the Big Love premiere? Awesome, huh?" Only to be met with a confused and slightly annoyed look.

But you'll indulge me (right?).

Let's start light, with the comedies. This past Monday brought the return of How I Met Your Mother. I'm fairly new to this show but am fascinated by it. It's the most interesting premise for a sitcom I've ever seen and the characters are all hilarious in their own right, all brought together with some truly original writing. This was How I Met's 100th episode and ended with a great musical number via the amazing Neil Patrick Harris. Although I couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if the whole episode was a musical. (Musical number below)

Monday also brought a new Big Bang Theory, another show I promised myself I would watch consistently this season (while catching up on the early seasons). This is such a great nerd show. The casual references to everything from the Green Lantern, to Firefly, to Halo touches a sensitive part of my nerd heart. It's also got damn funny people in it with Sheldon, a cross between Urkel and Kramer, being the superstar.

Thursday returns with the laugh riot on NBC. The fledgling Community is still a little rocky in its first season. I think the show would improve dramatically if they stop trying to give every character a story every episode. Focus on the big funny and let the minor characters evolve slowly. Learn from The Office.

Six words: Will Arnett on Parks and Rec. (Almost) 'nuff said. Parks and Rec has been the funniest half hour on TV this season, which is all the more amazing after the lackluster first season. In an era where shows barely get a chance to grow, NBC gave this mid-season replacement a second shot and they did an incredible job of sharpening the comedic knife. (Image above from the severely underrated Blades of Glory.)

(FYI: No new Office this week. sad face.) But the ridiculously hilarious 30 Rock is all new with Agent 420... I mean, James Franco. 30 Rock has been consistently great this year (as always), I worry though, that some of the stories are getting repetitive. My solution? More Hornberger!

Now, onto more serious stuff...

This week will also see the return after a seemingly long hiatus of Fringe, a show that you should definitely be watching. This show, from the LOST creator and Star Trek writers, constantly surprises and intrigues. The arc for this season, involving an alternate universe and an army of shapeshifters from that universe who are waging war on us, is some of the most fascinating stuff I've ever seen on TV. The show has a lot of dark themes, with a lot of murder and death and disgusting inner body stuff, YET it's really witty and has truly great action sequences. The lead actors are wonderful, especially the Should Win An Emmy performance by John Noble as Walter Bishop.

Probably the biggest deal in TV right now and something I am very anxiously waiting for is the beginning of the last season of LOST. Anybody who watches the show knows it ended on a spectacular cliffhanger so I know we're all waiting to see what happens next, but before we go headfirst into the final chapter, I recommend (if there's time!) to watch some older episodes of the series to appreciate just how much planning and preparation the producers put in before this last piece of the story. I did a Rewatch over the summer (not the whole series, but most of it) and it was an amazing thing to behold.

Unlike a lot of other shows that seem to make it up as they go along (*cough*Battlestar Galactica*cough*), LOST really does progress in a very deliberate way, both from an overall story arc to a character level. All the time travel stuff from last season really does have roots in the early season stories and will be very important for the series climax (Can you say Egyptian?). And the characters arcs are novelesque in their scope, my favorites being Sawyer and Ben and what they did with them last season. February second can't come soon enough!

This month will see the beginning of the Next Big Thing (in my opinion) in Science Fiction TV: Caprica. Most of us have already seen the pilot episode (released onto DVD to coincide with the finale of Galactica) and I, personally, was blown away by the deep and dark story of this show. The actors are amazing, the premise is smart and complex, the settings are gorgeous, and the team behind it has a proven track record. All signs point to Awesome.

Here's a great scene from Episode 2 of Caprica (major spoilers!!) :

Lastly, the aforementioned Dollhouse has two more episodes left in the series. The revelations in last week's "Getting Closer" was not as over-the-top "WOW" as I would have hoped, but the overall episode was very strong. They are definitely in "End of Series" mode with characters randomly getting shot and alliances in flux. It should be very interesting to see how it all wraps up!

And don't think I'm not going to talk about Big Love, one of my favorite shows HBO has ever done (saying a lot). I'm going to wait till we get a few episodes in and then do a post devoted to just that show!


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Shawn said...

I don't know what that anonymous comment is saying...

Anyway - agree on all comedies! HIMYM is awesomeness! looking forward to going back (ha!) and watching the old episodes we haven't seen.

Big Love is so creepy lately (but I still like it)! I am looking forward to seeing what happens but I need to find my happy place so I don't have nightmares about creepy polygamists (aka Nikki's ex husband).