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. :(