Nerd Herders Rejoice!

This week brought a delightful Halloween treat for "Chuck" fans everywhere: not only will NBC be bringing the show back earlier than March, they've also tacked on 6 additional episodes to the original 13-ep order!!

Breaking: NBC ups 'Chuck' order

Kudos to NBC for the wise move. They've made some rather questionable decisions this season: axing "Southland" before it even premiered and giving Jay Leno five nights a week to be unfunny, among others.

In other semi-related Chuck news, the erstwhile Bryce Larkin (Matt Bomer) has his own brand-spanking new show on USA, "White Collar." It also has Willie Garson (Stanford from SATC), Marsha Thomason (Las Vegas), and Kelly Kapowski (I mean, Tiffani 'don't call me Amber' Thiessen). The show pulled in decent numbers for its premiere and the reviews are mostly positive. The pilot was enjoyable, with its fun banter between the two show leads and the charming Bomer. USA Network, I think you've scored another hit!

The upside for NBC this winter is the Olympics, bringing much needed advertising dollars and viewers. Midseason will also see the debut of the buzzed about new drama, "Parenthood" starring Peter Krause (Dirty Sexy Money, Six Feet Under) and the newly cast Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls).



Anyone feeling the new crop of shows?

To be honest, very few of the new shows look good this year. I passed on checking out most of them, but gave about five of them a try. The appraisal so far:

Modern Family - funnier than expected. The entire cast is a hoot. And Edward Norton will be popping up sometime in the near future, so that gives me a good reason to keep watching for awhile.

Cougar Town - better than expected as well. Not as funny as Modern Family but it could get there. It is from Bill Lawrence after all! I'm a little apprehensive about how long they can keep up the funny if it's always centered around Courteney Cox's character being on the prowl for younger men.

Eastwick - my least favorite so far, but it wasn't terrible. The pilot was a little uneven, things felt a bit rushed. The guy playing Darryl Van Horne is a bit annoying. He needs to amp up the charm and mysterious vibe more. All in all, it's worth at least another few episodes.

Flash Forward - my absolute favorite of the newbies! Excellent cast (Penny from Lost!Harold from Harold & Kumar!) and intricate plot. From the looks of the preview for the rest of the season, it just gets better. Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from Lost) shows up around episode 5 or 6 I believe, but that can't come soon enough!

I haven't watched Community's 2nd episode yet, but I'm hopeful that it won't disappoint.

I've decided to pass on anything new offered up by CBS (as always), the CW (that terrible modeling show starring Mischa Barton? Already cancelled!) and Fox (aside from the wonderful Glee - whatup Acafellas!)



Fall TV is here!

The 09-10 TV season is upon us! I know I've been severely slacking in the posting department since.....springtime?! Oops! Summer is always nice because the cable networks put out some high quality programming. But it also makes for a very light schedule for me personally.

"True Blood" has been PHENOMENAL. I can't believe the season finale is this Sunday. I'm squarely on Team Eric. But then again, a tiny part of me is still on Team Bill - is it necessary to choose just one?

"Army Wives" has been a bit of a snoozefest and also seeming like a PSA on health issues lately. "Psych" continues to delight and "Big Brother," which I no longer have any qualms about admitting to watching, has been (as expected) crazier than ever. Almost a shame it'll all be ending soon....

My usual pre-season routine is to watch whatever pilots are available. This year, I've only seen "Community." It's got Joel McHale (of The Soup) and Chevy Chase and a decent amount of potential. The pilot made me laugh out loud a few times (always a good sign), so I'm going to give it a try. I wasn't terribly satisfied with the "30 Rock" series premiere, but I decided to give it a try later on and now it's one of my Top 5 favorite shows! So hopefully "Community" ends up being the next "30 Rock" and NOT the next "Kath & Kim."

For the last few weeks, I've been repeatedly receiving e-mails from various sources telling me to check out an early screening of ABC's new comedy, "Modern Family." And I keep reading that it's hilarious and one of the best new comedy pilots this season, can anyone tell me is it honestly worth the effort? Should I even bother?

When you have at least 22-25 shows on your regular viewing roster, it's hard to justify adding too many more newbies. BUT it's very easy to decide what NOT to try: "Melrose Place," "Vampire Diaries," (or anything new on the CW for that matter)anything on CBS. ABC always ends up with most buzzworthy new lineup, but yet they always end up disappointing me the most. It's hard to get over the premature cancellation of really great shows (Pushing Daisies!! thank goodness for DVDs!). So we'll see how badly ABC will treat its new crop. Cheers for the surprising renewal of "Better Off Ted," but jeers for burning off some excellent episodes in the primetime wasteland of summer.

More to come soon!



Midseason Review

Is it bad that I'm already looking forward to the summer TV season? As they say, it seems that the best shows really ARE on cable. Some are premiering soon, others follow in June: Psych, Burn Notice, Army Wives, In Plain Sight (premieres in April), and My Boys returns on March 31st!

Ratings are dismal for the majority of my favorite shows (of course). Can anyone explain these puzzling facts to me?:

- Dancing with the Stars has more viewers than almost all the shows I watch on Monday COMBINED.

- 2/3 of ABC's fall Wednesday line-up gets canned, yet According to Jim is STILL ON?! What the f#@&?!

- People still watch American Idol.

On the upside, I LOVED LOVED LOVED last Thursday's ER! Amazing that they were able to get Clooney, Margulies, La Salle, and Wyle all back. The way they were weaved into the story didn't feel contrived. Nothing was crazy over-the-top (which ER does quite often). So kudos to the ER crew!


My take on some of the newbie shows this season follows:

* Biggest Surprise (cable) - Leverage (TNT)
Hands down, best new series of the year! It was just, for lack of a better term, fun. I loved seeing how the con would unfold and the team work together. My favorite character is a toss-up between Parker (for all her crazy acrobatics + priceless facial expressions) and Hardison (for his wisecracks + uber-tech-geekiness).

* Biggest Surprise (network) - Life on Mars (ABC)
This one took a little time to really find its footing. It developed quite nicely and really grew on me. Half of me regrets getting invested in yet another show cancelled before its time, but the other half is glad I did. I want to know just why Sam Tyler is stuck in 1973. Shame on ABC for cutting the mystery short, but I guess I should be grateful that they gave the showrunners time to prep a proper ending.

* Biggest Letdown:
Trust Me (TNT)
I tuned in for the first 4 or 5 eps and have since fallen behind. Do I care to catch up? Eh, not really. I thought the show had potential, given its talented cast. Eric McCormack's Mason is just such a Debbie Downer. And not in a funny way. I just don't find it very believable that this guy is supposed to be some advertising genius. He's always stressed and having to find last resort solutions. And he smiled maybe twice in those 4 or 5 eps that I watched. Tom Cavanaugh's slacker/supposedly playboy Connor is only semi-entertaining. Seems like he's trying too hard to be "quirky." But neither is as downright annoying as Monica Potter's character, Sarah Krajicek-Hunter. I think my eye twitched everytime someone said her name. Krajicek-Hunter, doesn't is just sound pretentious? She's high-strung, high-maintenance and the least likable character on the show.

I also caught the pilot episode of "Castle" starring the fabulous Nathan Fillion. More to come on that after the 2nd ep has aired.

As for the sophomore and veteran shows, a lot have left me feeling, eh. Those culprits would be Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters and Gossip Girl (SO over the Dan and Serena drama and all their BLAH-ness).

I'm still puzzled about ABC's scheduling decisions -- moving Samantha Who? to Thursdays for half of Ugly Betty's spot. I still like the show, I just don't love it. Don't get me wrong, Christina Applegate is perfect for the role. All the best lines go to Andrea or Sam's mom. But I just don't find myself laughing out loud too often anymore. I guess you could say some of "Sam's" cutesiness has worn off.

2008/2009 season casualties (so far): Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Lipstick Jungle, Life on Mars. Let's all take a moment to mourn. :(



New Year, Same Resolutions?

It's that time of year again, time for that brain cell-reducing, time-wasting black hole known as American Idol. That means it's time for me to (again) refuse to tune in. My time can be better spent on original and much more creative scripted programming. I beg all of you, fellow quality-TV enthusiasts, to resist the AI temptation!! Please?

The midseason schedule is getting to be a bit difficult to keep track of, what with all the (unofficial) cancellations, premieres, and timeslot switches. Here's a breakdown of the weekly schedule with changes noted:



Merry Christmas to All!

Wishing everyone a safe and joyous Christmas!!

Except for the folks in charge over at ABC. A big bah humbug to those that cancelled Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money. And for all the messy ghost Denny business on Grey's Anatomy.



Gotta Love Freebies!

I opened my mailbox the other day to find this clever little promo item promoting the new TNT show "Leverage."

I have to admit that I knew nothing about the plot or cast (aside from Timothy Hutton). But they certainly grabbed my attention with this. And it helps that they sent a flash drive containing the full pilot episode. Sweet!

Here's the premise breakdown from the official "Leverage" site:

The series follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who act as modern-day Robin Hoods, taking revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.

In LEVERAGE, Hutton plays former insurance investigator Nate Ford, a once-loyal corporate employee who had recovered millions of dollars in stolen goods for his employer. But when that employer denied his son’s insurance claims and allowed the boy to die, he realized he could no longer work for such an entity.

Out of work and descending into alcoholism, Ford is hired by an aeronautics executive to recover airplane designs the executive claims were stolen by a rival company. Helping him are four highly skilled team members: Parker (Beth Riesgraf – Alvin and the Chipmunks), an expert thief; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge – Friday Night Lights),a specialist in Internet and computer fraud; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane – Into the West), a high-octane “retrieval specialist” who can take out a gang of henchmen without breaking a sweat; and Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman – Coupling), a grifter who could win awards for her acting skills during difficult scams. At first the newly formed team is hesitant to trust each other after so many years working alone but being double-crossed changes the dynamic, ultimately forcing them to unite. They emerge from the job realizing they are far better working together than apart. Once they discover they can trust each other the group targets their cons toward the richest, the greediest and the most unjust.

I'll definitely give it a shot. Hey, any show featuring Christian Kane is worth this die-hard "Angel" fan's time.

"Leverage" premieres on Sunday, Dec. 7th @ 10PM EST. New episodes will air on Tuesdays @ 10PM.



Vote for Pushing Daisies!

ABC is the lone network not airing the Obama informercial tonight. So if you're not an undecided voter (or if you've taken advantage of early voting), give "Pushing Daisies" a try!

Please? I'm asking nicely. Don't make me beg. But I will if it comes to that.

Pleeeeease watch Pushing Daisies tonight at 8PM on ABC!!!



Who doesn't love lipsynched '80s songs?

"It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight...."

Cheers to the "Supernatural" crew and the CW for airing this minute and a half of pure cheesy, lipsynched awesomeness!

Last Thursday's episode, "Yellow Fever," was THE funniest episode of "Supernatural" yet.

It is truly one of my top 5 shows this season. And that is a hard-earned title, given that it is awarded by ME (someone who watches one too many shows!). The other shows that I have bestowed that honor upon are: Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and (though it might be premature, given that I've only seen the season premiere) 30 Rock. In my opinion, these shows are thriving creatively, even if their ratings are lacking.

That's the biggest surprise in this early part of the TV season -- that so many good shows are finding themselves on the bubble. Can someone please explain to my why more people would rather watch "Two and Half Men" or "Dancing with the Stars" than Chuck Bartowski and co?

On the positive side, there were a few pleasant surprises last week. Nicole Richie as Sarah's nemesis from high school on "Chuck" was not bad. Was that her first true acting gig? Anyone know?

Katie Holmes did a decent turn (and kick!) on "Eli Stone." She actually made me forget for 45 min. that she's Mrs. Cruise. She was delightfully charming. I wouldn't mind seeing her character return later in the season.

Random complaint: why is Monday the new Thursday? In terms of scheduling I mean. Eight shows in one night takes its toll on my TV-loving brain. I'm mostly reduced to watching the ones I cannot record online. It usually takes me until Friday to catch up on it all. Oy. I'm already exhausted and it's not even November
sweeps yet!!



Supernatural: Holy S&%#!

And I actually mean holy. Dean Winchester plucked from the depths of hell by an angel? Just one of many revelations from the season premiere.

Should this angel Castiel (if we are to believe he is indeed who he says he is) be trusted? Exactly what kind of work does he want to recruit Dean for? Well, whatever it turns out to be, we should really say hallelujah! to him for reuniting the Winchester brothers.

Ruby’s back! And she looks a hell of a lot like
Kris Furillo! Since only Sam and the audience know “Kristy's" real identity, I do wonder if Genevieve Cortese will be sticking around or if Ruby will jump from body to body. Will there be different actresses portraying Ruby throughout the season?

Ruby’s been helping Sam harness his powers, which we haven’t seen much of since the first season. Well it looks like they've been successful, given that scene in which he sends the diner girl demon straight to hell with nothing but his eyes closed and his hand focused on his target. Daaaamn. No wonder Lillith was afraid of him. It’s a good thing Sam kept this secret from Dean...

...who apparently thinks it’s a wise idea to keep his memories of his time in hell all to himself. You know it’s going to come back and bite him in the ass (not literally though, like those hellhounds tearing up his innards yuck). Poor guy. Of course, nothing stops Dean from shooting off his trademark wiseguy one-liners. My favorite exchange of the night came when Dean was reunited with his true love, his Chevy Impala

Dean: “What the hell is THAT?”
Sam: “That’s an iPod jack.”
Dean: “You were supposed to take care of her, not douche her up!”



Fringe: Two Thumbs Up!

Is it just me or did the opening shot instantly bring to mind, Alias? I guess that shouldn't be too surprising, given that this is a JJ Abrams creation. The mystery case of the episode was both engrossing and well, just plain gross. An airborne toxin that causes the flesh to melt completely off your body. Ick.

The show has been described as Alias meets Lost meets the X-Files. It has many of the elements that made those shows cult hits: a kick-ass female lead, a smart-ass leading man (who of course has mad chemistry with said female, which will lead to all sorts of romantic tension and the will-they-or-won't-they debate, resulting in either happy or frustrated viewers), an eccentric genius, a mysterious boss who recruits the female lead into a secret organization, and lots of interesting, yet admittedly convulted mysteries. It also shares something directly with both Alias and Lost: musical scoring by Michael Giacchino. Mr. Giacchino's beautiful work adds to the scenes rather than distracts and really punctuates the tension.

While the pilot started a tad bit slow, it really picked up once Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) entered the picture. Oh Pacey, you've been away from my television MUCH too long!

Dr. Walter Bishop, sprung from the mental institution, proves to be instrumental in solving the case and saving the day. He also serves up some much needed comic relief.

"Oh! I just pissed myself. Just a squirt"

"Excellent. Let's make some

(chuckes)"This is a show for children? Suprisingly profound for
narrative about a sponge."

Anna Torv is an engaging lead - JJ sure knows how to pick 'em! I'm interested to see how her character develops over the season and I enjoy her exchanges with Joshua Jackson. We'll see how she measures up to Sydney Bristow.

Overall, the pilot was good enough to grab my undivided attention and earn a spot on my TV roster.

I give it:
- Set your season pass, beyotches!



Week One Premieres: The Surprising and the Not-So-Surprising

Is it odd that I found Prison Break to be the best of the Monday night premieres? I'm happy they're no longer shackled down by the in-prison scenery; the plot seems to move at a much more rapid pace. I mean hell, how many characters did they kill off in the first hour alone?

I have a surprisingly positive outlook on this new season for the PB-ers. And T-Bag is just as creepy as ever. I can't wait until he's back to torturing the rest of the gang.

Gossip Girl was entertaining as always. I loved the twist with Blair's seemingly bland, fake-boyfriend. He's a British Lord! I'll admit: I'm a sucker for cute accents.

The only storyline I had issue with was Nate's little Cougar affair. 1) I'm sick of the 'cougar' term [anyone else? show of hands??] 2) this plot device has been overly used and 3) I'm sure there are MANY other ideas they could have come up with that would be much more original, instead of following a TV trend.

Bones returned on Tuesday with a two-hour premiere which found Booth & Brennan in jolly old England! I missed the squints, but I'm still annoyed at the show for what they did to Zack. I've read that he will re-appear throughout the season, but it's just not the same. :(

Finally, with much reluctance, I watched the new 90210. I even held off, by DVR-ing it when it re-aired on Thursday. I was never a big fan of the original (I barely admitted to watching even a few episodes back in the day), but it had a certain cheesy, over-the-top, guilty-pleasure quality to it that was just too hard to ignore.

So what to say about this new incarnation? Weeeeell......it wasn't 'horrible' per se. It wasn't great. The positives: Jessica Walter (who will forever be Lucille Bluth in my mind) stole every scene she was in and was the only character to make me laugh and the old-school BH-ers, Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty. Call it wishful thinking, but I was half-expecting a little bitch-slap action. C'mon girls, just humor us a bit.

Will I be watching next week? Since House won't premiere until the following week, maybe. Then again, there's the 2-hour premiere of Fringe and any project created by J.J. Abrams automatically gets a slot on my Watch Live list! And it's got Pacey in it. I am so there.



It's September? How did THAT happen?

Does anyone else feel like August just whipped by at warp speed? In just a few weeks, fall will be upon us. FALL! But you know what the best part about that is don't you? New TV!! wooooooooooo!

Things kick off with tonight's season premieres of Gossip Girl, Prison Break and One Tree Hill.

I'm a little iffy on Prison Break. While I'm certainly joyful that Michael will have Dr. Sara Tancredi back (complete with her head on!) [and mainly because that man deserves to have something go his way], I think they really could have ended this show a LONG time ago. If the season doesn't end with Linc and Michael (finally) taking down The Company and having their happy ending, I'll be quite perturbed.

Those spoiled, over-sexed, drama queens of Gossip Girl are also back and I must admit, I'm a little giddy. The premiere kicks off in the Hamptons - which equals a whole lotta debauchery and guilty fun!

And One Tree Hill returns......we'll find out the identity of the mystery woman on the other end of Lucas's call. Whoopee. Can you sense my 'excitement?' Why, oh why do I still watch this show? Actually I do know - that adorable little kid who plays Haley and Nathan's son. He's gotta be the cutest little child actor on TV. Want proof?



And So My Summer Spiral of Shame Begins...

Just what did I find myself watching on Sunday night? None other than the "Big Brother" season premiere. What kick-started as a TV show swap deal with my friend, Reality Queen [I would watch a non-scripted show that she selected (BB) and she would catch up on a scripted show I selected (My Boys)] has now claimed a spot on my viewing schedule. I reluctantly watched BB season 8 last summer - all THREE weekly airings - and got completely sucked into it. I managed to avoid it during the strike-affected late fall/winter season, but somehow my unhealthy curiosity has drawn me to the BB housemates once more. Oy.

And the shame spiral does not end there folks. Alas, what did I follow up that hour with? "I Love Money" Yes, that I Love Money. The one with all the rejects from Flavor of Love, Rock of Love and I Love New York. What is wrong with me?

Although I've ranted on and on about how I hate reality shows, for some oddball reason, I'm ok with them if they're on cable. I've even found myself landing on The Next Design Star (HGTV), the Next Food Network Star, and What Not to Wear (TLC) while channel-surfing. Then again, I'll watch just about anything on the Food Network (who doesn't love Unwrapped or Ace of Cakes?)



Lazy Hazy Days

I blame my lack of posting on the combo of 90 degree days and crazy torrential rain. Or just plain laziness on my part. It's odd to only have three shows in my viewing rotation (until tomorrow that is, when the highly-anticipated second season of "Burn Notice" premieres).

I've been very pleased with this season of "Army Wives" thus far. I have no idea why, but every other episode causes me to get a bit teary-eyed; although in my defense, killing off Amanda the way they did should make anyone cry. At least a little. Unless you're a robot.

"My Boys" on the other hand, has been a bit underwhelming. The premiere was quite anticlimactic -- were we really supposed to be believe that PJ had a thing for Bobby again?! She moved on (and so did this viewer). Personally, I think those two kids are better off as friends. I'm also not quite sure what to think of the whole Bobby and the hot nanny relationship. Partly because I remember the chick from her guest spot last season on "Chuck" (she was a rival of Sarah's who tried to stir up trouble between the two lovebirds). I think I mentioned it back then as well, does she remind anyone else of an anorexic Cameron from "House?"

I still heart "My Boys," especially anytime the always hilarious Jim Gaffigan (Andy) is in a scene. And Mike's creepily spot-on 'McConaughey' had me rolling. Lastly, what's up with Kenny gettin all the chicks?

"In Plain Sight" has managed to earn a spot on my DVR series recording list. I struggled to make it through the pilot -- I swear that Mary was either taking off or putting on her jacket every five minutes! Thankfully, the show has improved as the season has progressed. It always helps to bring in Dave Foley for a guest spot. A comically-evil Dave Foley. I almost felt bad when he was outsmarted by the marshals in the end. Almost.

I love Mary's partner, Marshall (Marshall the marshal - can you tell I'm easily amused?). If it wasn't for his comedic relief, I probably would've stopped watching after episode two.

What I don't like so much are Mary's mother and sister. They really add nothing to the plot. Can't we just have them go all Thelma & Louise and drive off a cliff together? Would anyone really miss them? It seems to me that Lesley Ann Warren keeps getting typecast. Her floozy, boozy unemployed mom character is pretty much the exact same one she played on "Desperate Housewives." Mary's good-for-nothing sister is equally as annoying. Although I have to say, at least the writers are attempting to humanize her (with the whole taking-care-of-Mary's-kinda-boyfriend bit).