Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall TV Review

So far I've seen:
K-Ville: As a strong advocate for raising awareness for Katrina, this show does a service to that cause, but the cop characters are seriously cliched, and the references to Katrina are really forced upon the script. It might also be possible that Anthony Anderson is overrated.

Back to You: Maybe Kelsey Grammar is destined to be Frasier Crane forever, because I have to admit it's hard to see him as anything else. I love shows that take place at TV stations and am even a sucker for mediocre copy-offs of that form like the 2-season long Good Morning, Miami, but this falls a little flat. I think too much screentime goes to Kelsey Grammar when there are a lot more interesting characters like Fred Willard that I'd like to see more of. It has the potential to get better.

Kid Nation: It's not that bad or inhumane at all. I found it kind of cute. And I kind of like reality shows where there's no elimination.

Chuck: First off, I've already seen this show when it was called "Jake 2.0." That show, about a computer programmer at the NSA who gets involved in one of those toxin/nanoprobe accidents that has been used as a convinient superhero-creating plot device since the origin of comic book heroes. In this case it turns geeky Jake into a human computer. The show ran approximately five years ago for a single season but it's rerun quite frequently enough on the sci-fi channel that a casual viewer like me can get familiarized with the series and subsequently feel weary of Chuck for it's lack of originality.

Granted, there are a few differences: Chuck isn't superhuman, he just knows secrets, but when they use the word "human computer" to refer to Chuck, I just think this is trying too hard to be Jake 2.0. But all in all, it's an entertaining show so far. I like the cast of characters: The cool brother-in-law, the caring-but-overbearing sister, the geeky sidekick are all great additions and Zach Levi is an affable lead. It's funny, because I've seen the show Less than Perfect, but can't remember him in it for the life of me. The efforts to keep the sexual tension in place between Chuck and the female CIA agent seems a bit forced, however. The way she turns from mouthwateringly flirtatious mode to this-is-business mode indicates she couldn't care less about him, so I'd perfer the show stay consistent with that tone and make it so that Chuck is just trying to see something in her where nothing really exists.

On another note, I didn't really believe a lot of the show. Although, it's supposed to be light-hearted fun, even the most pessimistic view of our current administration doesn't hold that CIA and NSA regularly go around killing American citizens over bueracratic turf wars without the directors of one or both agencies getting fired in a public scandal (which, by the way, is a good thing I think).

Journeyman-It sounded cool but it didn't really hold my attention, unfortunately.

Bing Bang Theory-I really find it entertaining and even though it packs massive cliches into each of its characters, the whole nerd-hottie dynamic is something quite original to see for a TV show. Besides, nerdiness can make for great humor as evidenced by the character of Sheldon: the protagonist's snarky roommate who for all his great intelligence doesn't know when to keep his mouth shot. Sadly, I don't think it has too good of a chance of surviving because laugh-track sitcoms are an uphill battle.

Pushing Daisies-Pleasantly quirky. I would have said that there's no more room for another murder mystery on TV, but then again reviving the dead and putting them back to sleep has never been done before. Kristin Chenowith is a pleasant addition to any cast, Chi McBride plays his usual Mr. Grumpy character, the main character doesn't particularly look star like but he holds up ok, and Anna Friel is easy to fall in love with as the girl-next-door type. And on the subject of naming Anna Friel's character Chuck: why is it suddenly hip and sexy to give your female characters guy's names?

Big Shots-Not worth even watching the pilot to see if you like it or not.