Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Week in TV #1

The 2011-2012 network TV season kicked off last week, which means its time to fire up the "Last Week in TV" posts. For new readers, this is a weekly post I write looking back on the previous week in TV. It should appear every Monday (morning-ish) and discusses whatever shows I've watched that warrant discussion (the list of shows can change from week to week, depending on how timely I watch things and how motivated I am to write about a particular show in a given week; but if there's a show we both watch that you'd like me to write about consistently, let me know in the comments).

Anyways, I still haven't settled on a single format I like best, so expect the usual hodgepodge of quick thoughts and humorous quotes alongside longer, rambling analyses. And I promise it will probably never be as long as this one (this was a big week of TV, and there's still stuff I haven't watched yet, like all of SNL and Pan Am).

This season, there's a bunch of new new sitcoms I'm trying out until they either get canceled or turn out to be stinkers. I probably won't write about all of these all the time, but they're worth a few initial words.

Up All Night: Pilot (series premiere)/Cool Neighbors


I liked the second episode more than the first, which is always a good sign for a new show. Clearly, the show's strengths lie in the scenes at home between Chris and Reagan, while the writers haven't quite figured out what to do with Maya Rudolph's Ava yet. As much as I enjoy Rudolph in general and anything that mocks Oprah in particular, all of the energy seems to leave the show whenever Rudolph shows up. Definitely a show that hasn't elicited tons of laughs from me, but the ones it gets are big (in the first episode, I loved Chris' frantic search for the "regular cheese" and his horror towards the old lady (I have a pet peeve about people thinking babies are an open invitation to talk to the parents and touch the baby, and I don't even have a kid) and in the second episode, though horribly contrived, the payoff of Chris' cell phone playing "Soul Sister" as the cops called him back was a hilarious payoff to several setups throughout the episode).

Free Agents: Pilot (season premiere)/What I Did For Work


Like Up All Night, I liked the second episode better than the first, where the leads seemed less pathetic and their relationship more interesting and which made better use of the supporting cast (primarily the ball-busting secretary).  But honestly, any show with a filthy Giles talking about "flying Dutchman" gets my seal of approval. I could do without the (so far) stock Douchey Guy and Unhip Nerd characters, but there's a lot to like here, and Azaria and Hahn are strong leads. Unfortunately, it sounds like this show is an early contender to be the first show to get canceled, as it debuted to weak numbers and then lost even more the second time around, with poor ratings in the demo (Up All Night, conversely, is turning in slightly better numbers, but is attracting the 18-49 demo much better). 

2 Broke Girls: Pilot (series premiere) 


It's not a perfect episode, but this was probably my favorite pilot of the bunch, and despite it's faults (it skewed a bit broad at times, and seemed obsessed with trying to appear hip), it's the one with the most potential. I'll freely admit that Kat Dennings in a miniskirt and knee high boats goes a long way, but I liked this. There's something classically sitcom-y about a show set in a diner with a sassy waitress I find appealing, and the interplay between the two central characters was strong.  

The New Girl: Pilot (series premiere)

As dozens of critics have already said, your enjoyment of this show depends on whether or not you're pro- (or indifferent to) or anti-Zooey Deschanel. Personally, I border on indifferent and like (she is adorable, and I've liked her in most everything I've seen her in, but I don't go out of my way to keep up with her projects). Most of the best jokes in the pilot we've all heard dozens of times on commercials, and it remains to be seen how the re-casting of Daman Wayons Jr. will effect the chemistry of the cast, but I'll stick around for a bit. Plus, I loved how the seeming omnipresence of the douchey guy supporting character on TV is undercut on this show by the Douche Jar. I hope it sticks around.

But I did have to wonder, through all the scenes of Jess crying whilst watching Dirty Dancing, why the guys didn't just put the TV in her room...

Whitney: Pilot (series premiere)


Mrs. Teebore was more interested in watching this one than I was (I probably would have skipped it entirely). It was...not terribly good. It is (cheekily) filmed before a live studio audience, and it's been so long since I watched a show like that it took some getting used to, and the kind of broad jokes shows like that requires to titillate the live audience mostly fell flat for me (if 2 Broke Girls is stand-up comedienne and would-be It Girl Whitney Cummings' callback to classic diner/sassy waitress sitcoms, this one is a throwback to the era when stand-ups transitioned their acts into sitcom persona's; in this case, I much prefer the former). The supporting cast was pretty one-note and forgettable (Whitney's friends are, at this point, just "Not Kristen Johnson" and "Not Kathy Griffin", and this is yet another sitcom to feature a douchey guy in the supporting cast) though I was intrigued by Jane Kaczmarek as her mom, and her boyfriend has a laid back charm that made him the most amusing character of the episode. If Mrs. Teebore said, "enough of this" I wouldn't object, but I'll give it my standard three-episode look before telling her she's flying solo on this one.


Fox Animation
The Simpsons: The Falcon and the D'OHman


A weak Simpsons episode kicks off a disappoint Sunday night animation block. More than anything, this episode felt lazy. The whole "Nedna" thing (remember that? Me neither.) was causally dismissed with a hand wave and a wink, we got another "Homer is desperate to befriend someone who doesn't like him" plot, the guy he's befriending is a parody of Jack Bauer (because he's voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) years after 24 went off the air (and years after The Simpsons already parodied the show, complete with Kiefer Sutherland, in an episode that was actually pretty clever and funny), and the whole Top Chef reference/Tom Colicchio guest appearance amounted to a random 30 second plot for Marge. All of which would have been okay if the episode was funnier than it was, but aside from a few random bits (the Taiwanese animation, mashed potatoes coming out of their ears), it really wasn't.

The Cleveland Show: BFFs
A poorer-than-average episode, meaning it had even fewer random laughs amongst the boring, meandering plot, and I blame the near-absence of Cleveland Jr. The two lines that made me chuckle (both involving a character from another show, and there's probably something worth discussing there, but Cleveland Show isn't really worth the time) were Cleveland referring to Peter as "Animation Domination's Peter Griffin" and this:

Cleveland: How did you know we were here? 
Peter: Well, I felt bad after you left Quahog, so I called your house. Your wife said you were doing a friendship thing in the woods, and I immediately thought, well, "this is gonna end in hillybill rape", so I tracked you down.

Family Guy: Lottery Fever 


In a recurring theme, another pretty lazy episode, featuring a standard sitcom plot/morality tale (getting money makes things worse!) that Family Guy has already tackled (when they moved into Lois' aunt's mansion) without enough solid gags to shore up the weak plot (which is usually how Family Guy gets by). Not surprisingly, the biggest laugh of the night came from the DuckTales cutaway with Peter diving into his gold only to discover its not like a liquid at all. I also enjoyed "ungroomed Brian", though nails that are so long they get curly freak me the hell out.

American Dad: Hot Water
Usually American Dad is the saving grace of an otherwise weak Sunday night lineup, and it managed it again this week (though just barely) with an episode that was more bizarre than funny. I mean, I get that it was a loose parody of Little Shop of Horrors, but the best humor was in the margins of that parody (though I did like that Stan died just as he found the can of Spa Down that was obviously setup as the tool for defeating the hot tub earlier in the episode), and it suffered from an absence of the supporting cast (Steve and Roger were barely in it (and their 90s-style music video was probably the episode's highlight), while Haley was missing entirely).

Maybe I'm just not enough of a Cee-Lo Green fan?  

Francine: You think that every single day of my life I don't want to do coke? But I can't! I have PTA tomorrow!


How I Met Your Mother: The Best Man/The Naked Truth 


The first episode was primarily concerned with setting up the main plots of the season: Marshall and Lily's pregnancy, the Robin/Barney/Nora triangle, and Ted's decision to get back on the "looking for a wife" horse. As a result, the genuine laugh-out-loud moments were fewer (though there were still a few). The second episode was much funnier, thanks in large part to Beercules, though Ted's nerdy enthusiasm, both for the Architects' Ball and his pro/con list, was also funny.

Other Notes
Though love triangles tend to bug the piss out of me, but I've always liked the idea of Robin and Barney (and the actors have great chemistry together) and felt the writers botched it the first time around. So I'm in favor of giving it another go, so long as they handle it better this time.

It would have been nice to see more of Punchy's terrible wedding, instead of just hearing about all the crazy stuff that happened after Marshall kicked off the fight.

That green screening behind Martin Short was awful. Like, when the-effect-when-the-Arcadian-blew-up-last-season awful.

Hey, Victoria's back! That's kinda cool. It'll be interesting to see where things go with her, especially since she's was one of the few non-Mother relationships of Ted's (other than Robin) that was fun enough to watch that it didn't matter that she wasn't the Mother.

In "The Best Man", Ted mentions to Barney at his wedding that the "tie" Barney picked was better than the Duckie tie, and in "The Naked Truth" after another of Marshall's sweeping declarations, there's a flashforward to Marshall and Barney in Atlantic City. In that scene, Barney is wearing a duckie tie, something I completely missed (but which Donna Bowman of the Onion AV Club did not).


Glee: The Purple Piano Project (season premiere)


After a relatively strong finish to a wildly uneven second season, and a tumultuous offseason ("There's going to be a spinoff!"/"No, there's not!" "Finn, Rachel and Kurt are leaving the show!"/"No, they're not!" "Sam is leaving the show!"/"Uh, yes, he is...") Glee is back with a season premiere that, while not awful, is pretty ho-hum. The seniors are thinking about life after high school, New Directions' colossal failure at Nationals has them at the bottom of the pecking order once again, they need new members, and Will is shacking up with Emma. Oh, and Sue really is running for Congress, on an anti-arts funding platform.

While I still don't understand the show's need to cast Sue as an antagonist (instead of someone who doesn't like but reluctantly tolerates the glee club, which is where the show maneuvers her once or twice a season before reverting her to mustache-twirling super-villain), at least her run for Congress is a different way for her to be anti-glee club, without making it entirely personal (Macaroni Hair hate aside). And I live in a state where someone as batshit insane as Sue isn't just a congresswoman, but a presidential candidate, so I can buy that she would indeed appeal to the great unwashed masses, and that the kind of anti-funding platform she's using could elevate her in the polls beyond "that rapist running from prison", and "'I don't care. Please don't call me during dinner'". But I still have to wonder why she's back to coaching the Cheerios (is "tried to kill a student" an offense that gets wiped clean with the start of a new school year?).

Of the new balls the premiere put into the air, the one I like best is Rachel and Kurt's newfound/rebuilt friendship. Glee works best when it lives in that intersection between childhood dreams and adult reality, and their realization that being big fish in a small pond isn't enough to carry them to superstardom was the best scene of the night, and their struggle with that realization and their reaction to it is something that I hope continues to be a thread running throughout the season.

I'm also intrigued by Quinn's newfound rebellion and pink hair (we know she'll be back, but I'm curious to find out why), I hope Lauren isn't gone for good, and I still could care less about Will (why, oh why, did he start talking about his sex life in front of Sue and Figgins whilst trying to argue in favor of arts funding?!?).

Other Notes
Coach Bieste continues to rock. That is all.

So in the old handbooks to the Marvel Universe, in the section where characters' powers get explained, the go-to pseudo-scientific explanation for stuff like "where does Giant-Man's extra mass come from when he grows?" or "why doesn't Cyclops blow off his head everytime he shoots something with his optic blast?" always involved mass or energy coming from or going to an unknown extradimensional location. I have decided that in the world of Glee, the various band members that pop up out of nowhere to accompany the singers whenever a big musical number starts up come and go from that same dimension.

Favorite Song: Probably the "Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" mash-up, which was wildly energetic, or "It's Not Unusual", just because I've had a soft spot for Tom Jones ever since Mr. Burns kidnapped him.

Emma: Kent State has a wonderful musical theater program and a macabre backstory!

Sue:  Oh, Becky. Your twisted genius excites me.

Brittany: Wait, are you working on a time machine too?


Community: Biology 101 (season premiere)

 
A surprisingly plot heavy episode that did a lot to set the table (see what I did there?) for season 3 (biology is the new group class, Greendale is in the midst of a financial crisis, the Vice Dean will be exerting his influence, Chang is now a security guard) while still managing to pack in plenty of laughs, including a musical number, the hilariously-British Cougarton Abbey (the British inspiration for Cougartown) and the ensuing commentary on the nature of American TV production vs. British TV production, a monkey gas attack, and a 2001: Space Odyssey homage with the study group's table standing in for the monolith. Not too shabby for a 22 minute episode. 

Abed: We're registered at Linens N' Things
Troy: We have plenty of linens. We mainly want the things

Troy: I named him Annie’s Boobs. After Annie’s boobs.

Troy (about Britta): You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world's mouth. You are the opposite of Batman.

Dean Pelton: I just came by to tell everyone this year isn’t gonna be that different, with the notable exception we won’t really have any money.


Parks and Recreation: "I'm Leslie Knope" (season premiere) 


Last season ended with Leslie poised to run for office, and the cliffhanger of how that would affect her relationship with Ben. This season picks up within minutes of the last, and while Leslie's decision to end her relationship with Ben so she can run without a scandal looming over head wasn't surprising at all, the speed with which the cliffhanger was resolved was (I figured it would get dragged out a few more episodes). Instead, we got the touching scene where Ben, fully aware of Leslie's intentions ("there was a man in your Woman's Yacht Club meeting"), ends the relationship for her, fully supporting her decision. The twist, of course, being that it just goes to show how right the two are for each other (and the fact their month or so of dating while he was her boss still has the potential to turn into a scandal).

Other Notes: 
Love the idea of Andy as Leslie's new assistant, and the mingled look of excitement and awe he gave April when he realized her vow to find him a new job within a year was completed in less than a day. Also loved April slowly assuming Ron's authority and mannerisms in his absence.

But the comedic highlight had to be Ron's frantic race through the hallways in the cold open, efficiently retrieving an emergency back hidden in the vents and telling Leslie he's using his accrued 228 personal days to hide from his first ex-wife (and later in the episode, when Leslie tracks him down roughly a day later, and he has already regrown a magnificent beard).  

Perd Hapley: There you have it…where it is the thing Leslie Knope just said…about this situation.

Joe from Sewage: There's an old saying in our department: 'If you have a nice drain pipe, you sure as hell better show it off.


Person of Interest: Pilot (series premiere)


At least at the outset, Person of Interest is clearly more akin to the police procedurals polluting CBS' airwaves than JJ Abrams last dense, mythology-driven show (or any of the wannabes that sprang up in its wake), but maybe that's a good thing. For one, it'll probably help keep the show on the air longer, an for another, well, we all know how that other show ended, and how all of its clones disappointingly petered out.

Then again, there is enough little tidbits of backstory and a larger mythology in the pilot to suggest there may be a little more depth and backstory to the show than the average CSI, with both Jesus and Michael Emerson's characters alluding to past events that, I assume, will be fleshed out in due time (Jesus' dissatisfaction with his government work, the presumed death of his girlfriend, Emerson's "the world thinks I'm dead" comment and what made him start looking at the irrelevant list, etc.). Critics have taken issue with Jesus' performance ("sleepwalking" is the word I've heard used the most) but I thought he was fine (for a pilot; if his character remains this coolly detached indefinitely, it might get grating). Michael Emerson could read the phone book and make it sound ominous and important, so no complaints there.

The main conceit of the premise, that Michael Emerson built a super computer that can predict crime and he's using a backdoor into it to help the people slipping through the cracks is, like radioactive spider bites (and, in many ways, this feels like a superhero show without the costumes), the kind of setup that requires an initial suspension of disbelief but, once you've gotten past that, isn't too problematic (the key will be not focusing too much on how exactly it works). The success of this show will depend on how well that setup pays off in terms of individual, crime-of-the-week stories, as well as how well the show handles deepening its mythology along the way (it could, continuing the superhero parallel, really use a recurring villain of some kind; perhaps William Sadler's, an actor bigger than his thirty second scene in the pilot). So far, there is potential, and while this episode wasn't terrific, it wasn't awful either. That (and Michael Emerson) is enough to keep me around for awhile. 

20 comments:

  1. baroness van bitzenhoferSeptember 26, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    We haven't watched all of these but we're getting around to it. I would say so far Broke Girls was also my favorite pilot of the bunch so far (especially for the new shows). They set up the season nicely and I liked the supporting characters in the diner, along with both lead characters.
    Zooey Deschanel didn't annoy me as much as I was prepared for her to in New Girl. I found her to be kind of obnoxious in the previews, but since those clips were spread throughout the ep and I felt sympathy for her with the cheating boyfriend/getting stood up stuff, I found her character at least tolerable.
    I didn't read what you wrote about Person of Interest because we haven't watched it yet, but I'm definitely intrigued. We're also looking forward to American Horror Story on FX which starts this week. I don't remember the last time I actually wanted to watch so many new fall shows, crazy...

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  2. @Baroness: I found her to be kind of obnoxious in the previews

    Yeah, Fox's marketing campaign didn't do it any favors (or, maybe it did, since it debuted to strong numbers...), as I more or less liked it in spite of all the commercials.

    We're also looking forward to American Horror Story on FX which starts this week.

    I think I'm going to skip that one, unless I hear awesome things about it. No way Mrs. Teebore can watch it, and I'm not enough of a horror guy to make the time to watch it solo.

    I don't remember the last time I actually wanted to watch so many new fall shows, crazy...

    Ditto. Though if it's any consolation, I'm sure at least some of them will prove to suck or get canceled (I haven't started Playboy Club yet cuz it seems likely to get the ax soon).

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  3. this years fall season is awesome. I hope we can pick up 1-2 great shows that will stick around.

    I didn't think FG was funny at all. You were right in that the best gag of the night was jumping into the money. It was also frustrating because damn i want a lot of money and i wouldn't eff around with it.

    I enjoyed AD a lot. There were quite a few parts where we laughed, especially at the end when Cee Lo popped in with his "Oh Damn!" during the climax. And i thought Stan dying at the end was hilarious. OH! And the
    Principal: "Don't blame me, Stan, i was texting"
    Text message: "Ima crash into you!"

    I liked Person Of Interest. I know you don't watch Fringe (which i believe is a huge mistake because it's clearly the best show on TV currently) but it took Fringe almost half a season for it to find its feet. Anne and Pat had stopped watching it by then, but i brought them back in when it started to get good, and since then it's been on fire. I have a feeling POI may follow the same path, so i'll give it all the time it needs if it turns into a show anywhere near as awesome as Fringe

    Glee was no big deal. Still can't stand Will and anything to do with him. Still have problems with the magical land they appear to live in. We were excited because the main chick in the "Anything goes" song was a chick from Glee Project and was a horrid bitch on the show, but we were still excited to see her because at the least, she could sing really well. I'm mostly just irritated by Quinn's crap because you know it won't last so what's the point? And yeah, i hope Lauren's still around even if she's not in Glee.

    I only caught like 10 min of new girl, so most of the jokes went over my head. Though Douchey Guy was in Veronica Mars so that automatically endeared him to me.

    I'm excited to chat about Terra Nova next week and do you know when Bob's Burger's starts? Because you've totally hooked us on that show.

    Finally, i got super excited to see this post and i'm glad for their yearly return. They definitely figure in my top 3 favorite types of posts for your blog

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  4. I thought FG was hilarious, but I love Seth MacFarlane. I hate the Cleveland show, on the other hand and refuse to watch it anymore. AD was funny at times. I was kind of annoyed by the singing, except for the Roger and Steve part. LOL!

    I did not think New Girl was funny. I chuckled mildly over the douche jar, which was by far the best joke. I will probably not watch anymore.

    I think POI has potential and Jim Caviezel, so I will keep watching.

    I didn't hate Glee, but I'm never blown away. I am usually cleaning the kitchen or cooking while watching it.

    I agree with Sarah that Fringe is one of the best shows on TV right now. Also, SPN but neither one of you are watching this season. Suck. It's so so awesome.

    Did you watch Ringer yet?? I'm getting less and less intrigued. Last weeks episode was...not good and The CW has horrible previews for it.

    I feel like I watched another new show...hmmm, I'll get back to you.

    Also, SPAM!!

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  5. I think American Dad forgot that in order for a parody episode to be funny it needs to have humor...

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  6. @Sarah: Principal: "Don't blame me, Stan, i was texting"
    Text message: "Ima crash into you!"


    Ha! Yeah, I did like that too.

    I know you don't watch Fringe (which i believe is a huge mistake because it's clearly the best show on TV currently)

    I only don't watch Fringe because I don't have the time to go back to watch it from the beginning, and I'm anal retentive like that, not as a slight on it quality. I'm sure I'll watch it some day.

    I'm mostly just irritated by Quinn's crap because you know it won't last so what's the point?

    Yeah, it's very clear no one on the writing staff has known what to do with her since she had the baby, which is a shame, because I think there's a lot of unexplored potential in the character.

    do you know when Bob's Burger's starts? Because you've totally hooked us on that show.

    Good, I'm glad. Unfortunately it won't be back until midseason. It got picked up for an additional 13 episodes, so it'll replace American Dad after the holiday break, because apparently Fox is determined to ensure that the two best Animation Domination shows never air together just to piss me off.

    Finally, i got super excited to see this post and i'm glad for their yearly return. They definitely figure in my top 3 favorite types of posts for your blog

    Thanks, good to hear. Comments like that are a good guarantee I'll keep writing them (even though some weeks I find these posts to be something of a chore).

    What are your other favorite types?

    @Hannah: I love Seth MacFarlane. I hate the Cleveland show, on the other hand and refuse to watch it anymore.

    But...if you lov Seth MacFarlane, how come you don't watch Cleveland Show?

    I did not think New Girl was funny.

    That doesn't surprise me, considering your odd disdain for the Deschanel sisters (whereas I remain similarly confused by your dain for Jim Cavaziel).

    Did you watch Ringer yet?? I'm getting less and less intrigued.

    We just watched the first ep last night. I may or may not write about it in the next post. In short, it didn't do much for me. SMG was fine, but I couldn't care less about any of the other characters. And it requires A LOT of suspension of disbelief, even for me. Plus, I've become a huge HD snob and we don't get CW in HD, so it just looks bad compared to the other shows...

    Also, SPAM!!

    Seriously. These guys are getting persistent.

    @Dr. Bitz:
    I think American Dad forgot that in order for a parody episode to be funny it needs to have humor...


    Zing! It's funny cuz it's true.

    That something the MacFarlane shows seems to have issues with occasionally: they sometimes seem too in love with whatever they're parodying that they don't want to deviate from the source in order to be funny.

    I mean, there are chunks of all three FG Star Wars spoofs where there are few laughs and they're clearly just trying to loving recreate certain scenes/shots.

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  7. I like Zoe. I just don't think the show is funny. At. All. Maybe because they wasted all the jokes in the previews...it's on Demand so maybe I'll put it on when I'm cleaning or something. No promises though.

    Because the Cleveland show sucks. That's why.

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  8. we've never watched the Cleveland show. And our love For JC comes from that fact that he's smoking hot and stars in one of our combined favorite movies, Count of Monte Cristo.
    I really enjoy to better know a hero/villain especially when they're socially relevant at the time. I also really enjoy the xmen recaps, especially now that we're getting into some good shit.
    A close 4th would be anything written by Bitz, but that's more of a random treat now, since he's busy and junk.

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  9. @Hannah: Maybe because they wasted all the jokes in the previews...

    Yeah, they really screwed the pooch with all those commercials. I barely watch commercials and I still couldn't avoid them.

    @Sarah: A close 4th would be anything written by Bitz, but that's more of a random treat now, since he's busy and junk.

    Well, let's be clear here: it's because he's busy and LAZY and junk.

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  10. I'm not lazy, I'm VERY lazy. But, actually, my recent drought of posts is because I've been unusually busy.

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  11. and that's why i gave you the benefit of the doubt

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  12. Tee hee! You said "knee high boats"! Love it, I will forever think of this now when I see her :D

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  13. @Joan: Tee hee! You said "knee high boats"!

    What can I say? I like my ladies nautical.

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  14. #1? So is this a hard reboot or a soft one? How much of the last series of posts is still in continuity? 8^)

    I've been pretty consistently almost a week behind since the start of the season, due to baseball, the High Holy Days, other priorities, the sheer number of shows that I want to watch, and the fact that since my DVR situation is screwy I mostly have to wait until stuff is available online. The good news is that I finally have a laptop with proper high-speed Internet, so I can watch stuff that way.

    Much to my surprise I'm now watching more sitcoms than I have since I was a kid and my TV viewing was not particularly discriminating.

    Up All Night isn't one of them, but if it survives I might check it out in reruns. Same with Whitney. Free Agents is apparently gone without me ever having checked it out; I totally forgot that Tony Head was on it, which makes at least sampling it on Hulu (if it's there) tempting.

    I think that come this week I'm giving up on 2 Broke Girls, leaving How I Met Your Mother (a longtime fave) the only multi-camera, laugh-tracked sitcom I watch; 30 Rock (coming mid-season), Community, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, and New Girl are all of the new school.

    Yknow, I kept reading in reviews that we'd all seen the New Girl pilot ad nauseum thanks to commercials, but I'm not sure I was tuned to Fox once all summer and so hadn't seen a spot of it (in either sense of the word).

    I actually sampled the season premiere of Two and Half Men because everyone would be talking about it. Other than the creative-team crossover with CSI from a few years back, it's the only episode of the show I've seen and I don't revisiting it.

    I still don't watch any of the Fox animated shows, out of lack of habit and too much else on my plate. Someday I'll get into The Simpsons...

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  15. The greenscreen behind Martin Short on HIMYM was so bad that I expected the submarine from Lost to surface from the river he was standing in. And the cuts to Short by himself were so painfully removed from the main action that I almost expected to see a neon sign reading "Scenes filmed separately when convenient for Marty!"

    I was very surprised to see Victoria, and happily so. Her relationship with Ted has been my favorite so far — I actually rewound the scene where he tracked her down at her bakery more than once, it was so genuinely sweet — and I've always hated not only that it ended but that it ended with one of those lame spoiler voiceovers when she flew overseas.

    Teebore: I have decided that in the world of Glee, the various band members that pop up out of nowhere to accompany the singers whenever a big musical number starts up come and go from that same dimension.

    Ha! I get it and I'm with you.

    Teebore: the comedic highlight had to be Ron's frantic race through the hallways in the cold open

    I'm with you here, too, right down to the beard.

    A few weeks into the season, with Last Week in TV #3 having just gone up, I still haven't seen Terra Nova or Pan Am, the first of which especially I'd totally intended to watch. Ringer was my first casualty of the season among shows I'd already sampled; I dropped it during the third episode when I realized there was other stuff on the DVR I wanted to watch while I could. The same thing happened during only the second episode of Person of Interest, because Fringe was more important to see ASAP and, frankly, Michael Emerson's character on POI was so close to a possible version of Ben Linus that I just couldn't stomach it. Also, I can't wrap my brain around how POI's system works; I realize that we're talking about science fiction here, but it makes no sense to me that a program with that level of input can't determine whether the "person of interest" is the victim or the perpetrator.

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  16. I still cannot believe that you're not watching Fringe — or Supernatural, but that one may be even harder to jump into and get an emotional connection to the characters at this point. Although I do get why you're not watching it/them, wanting to see a show (especially a show with evolving mythology) from the start. I highly recommend blowing through both on DVD when you can.

    Teebore: whereas I remain similarly confused by your dain for Jim Cavaziel

    I thought that "dain" was surely a typo for almost half a minute before I got it.

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  17. @Blam: #1? So is this a hard reboot or a soft one? How much of the last series of posts is still in continuity? 8^)

    Ha! I actually went back and forth on that. Ultimately, I decided to start over with number #1, but you'll notice a "2011-2012 TV Season" tag on the post; that's how I'm going to differentiate between the various #1s, #2s, etc. moving forward.

    So a soft reboot. Just a new volume. ;)

    I've been pretty consistently almost a week behind since the start of the season

    Then you and I are right in sync...

    Much to my surprise I'm now watching more sitcoms than I have since I was a kid and my TV viewing was not particularly discriminating.

    Ditto. I guess it really is the "Year of the Comedy", as some have been touting...

    I totally forgot that Tony Head was on it, which makes at least sampling it on Hulu (if it's there) tempting.

    He was, sadly, under used, though frankly, I'd probably say the same thing unless he was the out-and-out lead of the show.

    I think that come this week I'm giving up on 2 Broke Girls

    If you haven't given up already, stick around for the third episode; it's a marked improvement on the second, and I still have hope it could grow it into a neat little retro style sitcom.

    I'm not sure I was tuned to Fox once all summer and so hadn't seen a spot of it (in either sense of the word).

    Then you sir, are lucky. :)

    The greenscreen behind Martin Short on HIMYM was so bad that I expected the submarine from Lost to surface from the river he was standing in.

    Haha!

    Ringer was my first casualty of the season among shows I'd already sampled; I dropped it during the third episode when I realized there was other stuff on the DVR I wanted to watch while I could.

    Yeah, we've watched the first ep, but it didn't grab me enough to move it up the watching order from other things. I guess I'm still technically hanging in there with it, but we'll see...

    it makes no sense to me that a program with that level of input can't determine whether the "person of interest" is the victim or the perpetrator.

    For what it's worth, my understanding is that the machine knows that, but since Michael Emerson's backdoor only allows him to receive the SSN's of the people of interest, he doesn't know whether they be victim or perpetrator.

    I highly recommend blowing through both on DVD when you can.

    Fringe moreso than Supernatural (though you and Hannah are both wearing me down on that), but yeah, I would like to blow through them on DVD at some point.

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  18. I gave 2 Broke Girls another try and, sure enough, have indeed been enjoying its throwback groove for what it is. What you're allowed to say on TV now, though... 8^ *

    Me: ... it makes no sense to me that a program with that level of input can't determine whether the "person of interest" is the victim or the perpetrator.

    Teebore: For what it's worth, my understanding is that the machine knows that, but since Michael Emerson's backdoor only allows him to receive the SSN's of the people of interest, he doesn't know whether they be victim or perpetrator.

    Wow! You've completely taken care of my problem with that aspect of the show. Now all I need to do is find time to catch up on it and see if I can enjoy it on its own merits without getting the Lost blues — which won't be easy, thanks to more even more series that I want to watch (Chuck, The Walking Dead) or at least sample (Grimm, Once Upon a Time) starting up.

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  19. @Blam: I gave 2 Broke Girls another try and, sure enough, have indeed been enjoying its throwback groove for what it is.

    Yay, good to hear! (Though I haven't watched the most recent eps yet, so I don't know if the improvement has stuck around. Maybe it's not yay that you gave it another chance...).

    see if I can enjoy it on its own merits without getting the Lost blues

    Yeah, I'm in that same boat with it right now, too.

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