Review: TV Season Fall 2009

A bit early, I know. I just finished with my backlog of Lost, Heroes and 24, finishing just in time for a bit of summer TV (Weeds, Monk, Psych, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), which usually overlaps the season or series openers for this fall. And I didn’t see that many new shows yet, but because I tend to forget stuff a lot, I might as well start now (starting with some summer releases).

Better Off Ted (ABC) – A sit-com, what can I say. Haven’t like sit-com since forever, but this one had its funny moments, but couldn’t really pull me back to having a favorite again (like the times of Friends and Mad About You). I wouldn’t let one tear out if this show got canceled.

Kings (NBC) – A nicely serialized show that didn’t get enough attention (including a bad Saturday time slot) and hence was soon-after canceled. Creator Michael Green (Heroes) prepared a full season story arch that took as on a religious trip that’s both engaging and thought provoking. It had clear characters that stood out, but each had still had some surprises up their sleeves. On NBC, their most surprising shows don’t live that long, with none upcoming as well, as Jay Leno takes 5 spots away already.

Dark Blue (aired on TNT, from the big shot, Jerry Bruckheimer) – A darker even more episodic undercover cop show, starring Dylan McDermott (The Practice) and a few newbies. Doesn’t get into the characters that much, and the reset button is almost a deal breaker here. Drama seems okay, but you need to leave your disbelief at the door steps, as every week shows another undercover job (with another agent deep inside the bad guys’ organization, which in normal time would’ve taken a few months at least). Mildly enjoyable during the summer low season, but it wouldn’t hold up during the Fall sweeps.

Defying Gravity (ABC) – Full blown sci-fi (with space scenes !) that makes you pretty nostalgic (set in the future, so both making you remember one of the best sci-fi show ever, Star Trek:TNG, while still it grounded enough to keep it well within budget, as in normal buildings, clothing and keeping smaller sets, etc). Drama was there, the pretty faces were there (Laura Harris:smile:), and even a mystery arch. Too bad horrible timing and an evenly horrible timeslot shot this one straight out of the air without ever entering orbit.

Hung (HBO) – A topic that would only find a home on HBO, it’s about a school teacher/coach, who needs to be a man-whore to earn enough money to get by in life. It was many funny and dramatic aspects, and Thomas Jane performs quite adequately (who would’ve thought, after his silent performance as The Punisher).

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien (NBC) – With the new launch, I actually went back to a regular schedule (previously watching Conan and Jay only to kill time or if there was an interesting guest on) missing almost no show. Conan is as sharp as ever, even in a toned down version of his Late Night show. Skits are between hysterically funny to cheesy, but Conan himself is always there to spice things up if it gets too boring. His quick quips keeps this show alive, and his self-mockery during the monologue and guest interviews keeps everything fresh and everyone on their toes. While not a solid ratings winner (while having the demographics, David Letterman still wins on total viewers), this is clearly the talk show to keep watching.

The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – Bringing his previous Tonight Show into the prime-time grid is clearly just a cost-cutting measure, the show itself looks almost exactly the same. It feels a bit old and stale, so stick to Conan if you know what daily comedy is good for ya.

Flash Forward (ABC) – Every year you have that special wow-moment when a new show wakes you up (previously, Lost, 24, Heroes, etc). For this year, it’s almost instantly clear that for this year it’s Flash Forward (created by David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga). The pilot has excellent directing (David S. Goyer himself), intense acting (Joseph Fiennes), brain spinning synopsis, a pounding rhythm, adrenaline pumping story line and a sharp story arch. Production value drops your jaw to the ground, with world wide devastation coming through in abundance on your small TV screen. While reviewers call this show promising, I say, it’s a definite winner.

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