Then, when it's all over, when we can finally leave work and roll out into darkness and make our way home and relax in front of the television, there's just too much to watch. Thursday has always been guilty of this, but while four hours of shows await me on that day, Monday edges it out with an extra half hour. Four-and-a-half hours. Five shows. Three networks. Likely spoilers:
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: I love how after new shows survive a short first season, they start fleshing out their characters' history. Summer Glau was phenomenal this week. She played a cold robot, the human her model replaces, a confused robot who thinks she's the human, and finally a robot who knows who she is but still mimics human behavior like lying. Although an origin story can sometimes feel like filler, this one underscored the high risk of keeping a Terminator around. It's a lot like playing with fire, and I love it.
Prison Break: I love how they reinvent the concept every year to expand what could have been a single season saga. Unlikely that the idea would last four years, it does so and does it well. I'm loving this Ocean's 11 vibe with the ex-cons pulling off “capers” each week, and I think Sara was definitely channeling a little Alias this week. It's a fun ride. Even Gretchen, who was kind of a bland, annoying character in season 3 got more interesting this week as we got a glimpse of her past, and her path crossed with the show's best villain. I can't wait to see where that goes.
Chuck: You know, I really didn't want to add another show last season, but Rey kept point out how “me” the series was, so I finally caved and I'm glad I did. This week brought new viewers up to speed in like the first two minutes, without slowing down. A genuinely awesome premiere best summed up with a list of what made it great: Michael Clarke Duncan. The obligatory running joke about staying in the car. “You never stay in the car!”/”You know what? It's never safe in the car!” Adam Baldwin. Yvonne Strahovski. Yogurt montage. Getting Ready for Date Underwear Montage. “I was going for imposing.” Adam Baldwin portraying emotional conflict over his assignment to kill Chuck as Casey has grudgingly come to like Chuck. “Did someone order drive thru?” followed by the meta commentary on that line a few minutes later. The Nerd Herd Thunderdome. “I catch you when you fall.” The return of “Charles Carmichael”. If I had one minor complaint it would be the apparent demise of Candyman, though he went out in a spectacular fashion that will keep the concept alive. And did I mention not one but two Huey Lewis songs?
Heroes: This show is back in a big way, and I have a feeling the pacing will be insane each week to address fan complaints about season two. I seriously can't believe that all happened in one hour. I can't believe two of the season's villains are down before we really got to know them. I can't believe the company is working with Sylar or that Mrs. Petrelli is his mother. She's so playing him, which underscores how dangerous she is. Still, he'll go along with them if it keeps leading him to fresh brains and new abilities. Most of all, I can't believe they might make Ali Larter's story more interesting. Niki might be gone along with her “Jessica” and “Gina” identities, but this “Tracy” that's walking around has led a different life as a separate person, who coincidentally was born in the same hospital. And when she visits the doctor who delivered them both, he calls her by yet another name before explaining, “I created you.” The curiosity? It is piqued.
I really watch too much television. If you'll excuse me, it's after midnight and I still have to watch How I Met Your Mother online...