“Television – teacher, mother, secret lover!”

The summer TV Wasteland is almost over, sure I had Dr. Who, and the Jekyll mini-series, and Eureka to keep me busy for the summer, but lets be honest its just not the same as fall TV…So I am happy that this week heralds the return of the coveted and oft anticipated Fall Television Schedule.A lot of shows are popping up all over the ‘Verse, and a few of them look good. No more then 7 years ago, if a show is well written, well acted, and generally an original idea we will usually see it go the way of the Dodo**ahem** Firefly **cough**. However within the last 4-5 years we have seen a dramatic change in the Television landscape.

Shows like Lost & Heroes, which both are two mainstream network shows (ABC & NBC) that have helped to buck the trend. In 2000 they would have been shit canned before the 6th episode of either aired. So what perpetrated this amazing change? Why Gabriel Shear (John Travolta’s character in the 2001 movie Swordfish) said it best; “You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit!”

The Major Motion Picture houses continue to churn out remakes, franchise pictures, 60’s TV Shows turned into Movies, and barely any original ideas seem to filter through to the big screen. So we turn to Television, with all our hopes of quality entertainment. The Big Screen no longer wows us…The small screen has become our salvation.

So what do we have to look forward too this year from the TV big wigs? Well the returning network shows that I care about are as follows: Heroes, Bones, House, Smallville, CSI: Vegas, and Family Guy.

From the smaller cable network this fall were going to see: South Park, Venture Bros. , Metalocalypse, The Shield (late 2007 or early 2008), Avatar: The Last Airbender, Stargate: Atlantis. Lost and the last season of Battlestar Galactica air in early 2008. All those shows are on my TiVo season pass list and ones that I watch with fervor akin to religion. Weather or not you actually like the shows I’ve listed doesn’t really matter. Just letting you know that they are the ones I watch.So this then leads me to this falls new offerings: Journeyman, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Pushing Daisies, Chuck, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Flash Gordon. Each of these have what I would call a slight Sci-Fi/Fantasy bent that puts them in my crosshairs to watch and see if they are worth the coveted season pass.

So which of these new shows have I seen so far?

Journeyman: Kinda like last years Daybreak meets Quantum Leap. It stars Kevin McKidd (Lucius Vorenus in HBO’s Rome) as a man being pulled through time. The thing is that he jumps back and fourth with out any warning, and his trips don’t at first seem to have any rhyme or reason. He thinks he is just going crazy or has a very odd sleep disorder. Then things begin to fall into place, as he saves a man about to commit suicide by getting hit by a bus. He finds that he keeps crossing paths with this man at different turning points in his life. However his life in the present day begins to suffer greatly, his wife and friends think that he is abusing drugs, and his job security seems in peril as well. However he keeps jumping, it also looks like he might have a chance to save the woman he once loved, but instead he finds that it seems to be his job to help others in need as there lives are in jeopardy. All in all, the entire first episode was good TV, it gave us a glimpse of what the series could shape up to, and introduced us to a strong supporting cast and a very interesting twists. I am going to keep watching this one for now, besides it beats watch then acting train wreck that is CSI: Miami.

Chuck: Well the premise is very Jake 2.0’ish, except that it revolves around a regular guy named Chuck (Zachary Levi), who leads a very normal if not very boring life as the head of the “Nerd Herd” a knock off of Best Buys Geek Squad. Then his life gets turned upside down when his ex-college room mate a now rogue super spy send him all of the NSA/CIA secrets in a e-mail. They are downloaded into his brain through a series of images many of which seem to be from the 40’s. Then he is pursued by a CIA operative (a very pretty Yvonne Strzechowski) and a NSA Agent (Adam “Jayne” Baldwin), but because of all the info in his head he winds up saving the day. Okay…well first off McG, whom I loathe with a ever burning fiery passion, (and really what kind of ego driven pompous ass calls himself that honestly) directed and produces the show. It wasn’t all bad just mostly. However the ending alone gave me reason to watch at least the next episode…god I love Adam Baldwin. I digress…the show is mostly poop…and will remain as such I believe and will be renewed for 5 seasons…cause god hates me.

Flash Gordon: I had such high hopes for this show…only to have my hopes and my brains dashed against the rocks. Sci Fi takes the cake, they cancel Farscape a few years back and now SG1 and we get Flash Gordon. Now I am a huge fan of the ultra camp fest movie from 1980, and was really hoping for a show that had some of the campy charm of the movie…what I got was…well its not even campy…it just super-poo. Now I like cast for the most part…Eric Johnson fits well into the role, but the largest travesty is the casting of Ming…somethings if they aren’t broke please don’t fix them. So now if they could get some writers and directors that can take the poo-poo platter we’ve been handed they might be able to salvage the show into more then what it is.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: This show rocked. It was very well cast and honestly the 45 minutes of the show were better then T3: Rise of the Machines. It looks like we won’t get to see the show until early 2008 however which is a shame. The story seems to fit just a few years after T2, and follows Sarah (Lena Headey) and John (Thomas Dekker) as they try to rebuild their lives the best they can. However Skynet has other plans and a new Terminator is sent to track down and end John Connor’s life. This time however they are saved by a new Terminator in the form of lithe and sexy Summer Glau (better remembered as River on “Firefly”). I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it honestly makes me really want to see the show. That said it means that 3 perhaps 4 episodes will air and the show will be canned. It is being produced and aired on Fox after all.

Just looking at the schedule I am happy to see a lot of promise in TV this season. What sucks is that three-quarters of these shows won’t make it to Christmas. So what is the sole reason for this? One very simple fact of life, that while they are the ones entertaining the masses…TV Executives suck. I mean they more then suck they just flat out are an evil group of tired and unimaginative folk that are a killjoy to the world in which I live. Of course I am referring to the several shows that were and will be killed long before they had a chance to really shine as good Geeky Television.

So much good programming has been sacrificed upon the altar that we call Reality Television. And I know many many more are going to get their hearts ripped out as well. However TV has been way more fun then spending $10 bucks on Spider-Man 3 and the other crappy movies that have come and gone this last year. I am still holding out hope that it will be different…just not holding my breath is all.

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~ by lyoncage on September 26, 2007.

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