MCF's Fall Couch Time

I'm not sure what I would have done if there was no Writer's Strike this season. Between returning old shows and a crop of new ones that proved too good not to add to my viewing habits, many conflicts kept my VCR whirring and my eyes blurring. But then the strike hit, and I had all this time to catch up on movies. In a few short months I've watched nearly 8 full seasons of Stargate SG-1. Somehow I maintained a balance between vegetating and exercise, taking advantage of increasingly warm days to walk as much as possible on my lunch hour at work. Oh, I still have a stack of DVDs on loan from B13 that remain untouched(sorry, Boy Eats Girl), not to mention a DVD set of From the Earth to the Moon that was a Christmas present from my cousin, but I'll get to those in good time. Most of the shows that returned after the strike have concluded, and once Reaper and Lost air their respective finales, I'm pretty much done with television for a few months. Now's the time to put a dent in my DVD stack, because television is going to be returning with a vengeance, if The Futon Critic is any indication.


Of the new shows which debuted during this turbulent season, New Amsterdam is the only casualty on my list of must-see shows. I'm surprised FOX only took out one new show that I liked, but next year they'll have at least two opportunities to grab me then cut me loose. We'll get to that shortly. I watched every episode of the now canceled Bionic Woman update, and I can't say I'll miss it. I forced myself through one episode apiece of Cavemen and Carpoolers, and my only real surprise was that those shows lasted beyond one episode. Somehow I blinked and missed Miss Guided, a shame as I've been a fan of Judy Greer since The Specials. I suspect I would have enjoyed Journeyman as well, but I was watching way too much on Monday nights already. I never saw Jericho, but I do feel bad for the fans. The only thing worse than having your favorite show get canceled is having it get canceled and saving it through heroic efforts only to have it get canceled again. Ouch.


I'm glad these old favorites will still be around:

The Simpsons
Family Guy
How I Met Your Mother
Prison Break
The Office
30 Rock
My Name is Earl

I'm glad Scrubs will be getting a proper finale and if I've stuck with Smallville this long, I can make it through their final season as well, even if their strongest actors, Rosenbaum and Glover, have left the show and Doomsday is going to be showing up way too soon. The kid, now in his 20s, still can't fly, hasn't gone to college or left his farm, but his enemy next season is the guy that killed him in the comics? And yet, I'm still going to watch every episode. Earl was a little uneven after the strike with a drawn-out coma/sitcom fantasy subplot, but the finale set things up nicely for next season to get back to normal. I'd say Heroes, Lost, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother and The Office are the strongest shows in this list, and I have high hopes for Prison Break and 30 Rock to continue to deliver as well. I also hope I can get back into 24 after what feels like two years.


The Freshman shows didn't have much time to prove themselves, but I'm glad all of these will have a chance at being Sophomores, either in the Fall or midseason:

Pushing Daisies
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

If Supernatural was my new X-Files, then Reaper is my new Buffy. The show's really evolved and developed all of the characters and their relationships, moving beyond a “monster of the week” formula toward wider story arcs about the trials and tribulations of a boy whose parents sold his soul to the devil. Pushing Daisies was so charming, quirky, and unique, that I'm pleasantly surprised it's still around. Chuck fell on Mondays, and I really watched enough that night as it was, but with enough convincing from Rey I had to check it out and was subsequently hooked by the story of a geek caught up in government intrigue. And it's soon to be a comic as well! Chuck cast member Adam Baldwin is a great actor with a horrible track record of canceled series, so I'm glad both he and Chuck are sticking around. Baldwin's former Firefly costar Summer Glau kicked serious badass in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, even working her ballet skills into the mix, and I'm hoping a little thing like a massive explosion isn't enough to put a dent in her character's futuristic robotic frame.


It almost seems unnecessary to bring in new shows next year as we barely got a taste of the new ones this year. I'm sure I'll be adding to this list as I learn more about the new shows, but a few have piqued my curiosity thus far. Dollhouse is a new Joss Whedon project that stars Eliza Dushku, Amy Acker, and Tahmoh Penikett, and those names are all I need to know to tune in. Fringe is a new J.J. Abrams joint, and that too is enough information for me to check it out. The Knight Rider TV Movie was decent enough for me to try the ongoing series, even if it does turn out as bad as 2007's Bionic Woman. At the very least its failure might pave the way for a proper feature film. Do we really need a Prison Break spinoff, a Family Guy spinoff, and an Office spinoff? I love the originals but wonder if this slew of spinoffs won't dilute what makes them good. I'll definitely find out of course, but I'll probably avoid the next generation of 90210. And SNL Thursday Night Live? Really? Does that even make sense if you spell out that particular acronym? One wonders if the TV folks are running out of ideas with all these remakes(and all the reality shows and game shows I don't watch). Then I read that Robocop and Red Dawn are both being considered for remakes, and I realize some people in the movie business have the same problem.


If anyone needs me, I'll be getting phat on the couch...


Blogger b13 said...

I caught a glimpse of a commercial for Fringe tonight during House. Can't wait to hear more.

5/20/2008 12:34 AM  
Blogger b13 said...

Just remembered that what stood out was Lance Reddick from LOST.

5/20/2008 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely a shame about Bionic Woman. Never really got to see Jericho, though I did want to.

Still, as for the 'to come' shows, you forgot a big key one (not that it will necessarily hit in September): Caprica. Though the big depressing thing for me is that due to the writer's strike, we're going to have to wait a good while (rumour has it until 2009) to see the second half of season 4.

Webisodes to tide us over :S

5/20/2008 2:05 AM  
Anonymous MCF said...

I always forget about BSG when I do these TV posts, probably because I'm focusing on networks. I also left off animation, but I'm down to just Spec Spidey right now and I don't know if that will be renewed when KidsWB goes away(though it should; it's been excellent).

You scared me for a second with that 2009 bit and I had to check an episode guide to see how many BSG episodes have aired so far(9 plus the 2 that comprise Razor). It looks like at least 3 more should air before they need to take a hiatus? Or are they saving those? Was that a cliffhanger last week? If so...frak.

5/20/2008 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

I really enjoyed Journeyman. It'll be missed (a little). Medium is my current can't miss. When Heroes is back on that will be too. I'm struggling to catch up on Lost and really need to watch BSG. Since both are limited runs I will eventually see them all.

American TV needs to take a hint from BBC. Run short seasons and make the TV absolutely fantastic! This whole, "Let's run something into the ground!!!!! And then let's make a spinoff in a different city!!!!" mentality I don't get. I'm looking at you CSI/L&O:Whatever.

5/20/2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger Rhodester said...

WHERE do you get the time to compose mile-long posts AND work full time AND watch all of that? Seriously..

5/20/2008 12:53 PM  
Blogger Lyndon said...

It still perplexes me on how a show like Cavemen even gets made. So many better shows never even get a chance.

5/20/2008 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where the line is. We have a week off (id est nothing this Friday, but one new one next Friday). I know they shot 13 before the strike, but where they'll stop I haven't been able to figure out. Yet.

Frak frak frak. One more for sure though.

5/20/2008 8:15 PM  

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