TELEVISION! T.V. in 2011 is going to be awesome! And I'm not just saying that because T.V. is my fourth most favorite vice. The truth is, the Fall lineup in 2010 was jam packed and freakishly weak. You have to blame that in part on the strength of returning shows (ie. HOUSE) which have been absolute beasts in their time slots, and also on a mixture of stale and unoriginal programming choices. Every other show felt like something I had seen before and didn't like much the first time around (OUTLAW, I'm lookin' at you). But there's also plenty to look forward to! So I figured my inaugural blog post would be about some of the shows that have caught my attention, good or bad, and take a look at where we're headed over the course of the next year!
Let us begin, if only for convenience sake, with the shows we saw heading for the scrap heap before the title sequence was over!
Lone Star: My Dear Sweet Lord In Heaven! Two episodes and it was gone! What god-forsaken focus group even brought this show to air in the first place? The idea wasn't, in and of itself, horrible... but, it did strike me as the setup for a campy 80's movie starring Michael J. Fox (see : Secret of My Succe$s) more than a serious drama. Seriously, con man decides to go straight and really do his job for a multi-million dollar oil company, much to the chagrin of his con man father, not to mention his other wife! I am curious to see how far the writers really thought they could take that concept.
My Generation: Again, this one just succumbed to a failure in concept. A show about kids in High School and how their lives panned out ten years later. I assume, because I didn't catch either of this shows two episode run, that their lives didn't turn out the way they expected. I'm still inside that ten year window myself and, evidenced by the fact that I'm up at 3 in the morning writing a blog post that nobody's ever going to read, I can safely say that nobody wants to watch a show that reminds them of how crappy their lives are compared to how awesome they thought things would be when they were 18.
OUTLAW: It had legitimately good buzz going into the premiere...on Wednesday night...the next week they moved it to Friday night...and then a couple times it aired on Saturday night...we can all see the problem here, right? Friday is the bastion of sci-fi shows and other geek-centric fare, precisely because normal people like to go out on Friday and Saturday nights while the geeks stay at home and watch t.v./play video games and D&D (or WoW, for the modern "mountain dew and blacklight" set). Putting a legal drama on Friday night is like asking for a quick count in Wrestling, even if it does have Jimmy Smits. Besides, there's a whole glut of "Law&Order"s out there cornering the market on legal dramas. Hell, they even have Law&Order: UK now...I'm not kidding!
Now, there are some shows, which, despite a very adamant fan base, just couldn't generate sufficient numbers amongst the (oft thought mythical) Nielsen families. I shall dub these unfortunate bastards "Fireflies" in honor of the greatest such television show, Joss Whedon's FIREFLY!
Terriers: I admit, I didn't see it, but I probably would have watched it in re-runs over the summer and fallen in love with it. I do that a lot! All the talk about this one was positive...and I do mean ALL the talk. But apparently it didn't get the numbers it needed to stay on FX. FX!? Really!? With the kind of niche market slop that "annoying little brother" of a network has been putting out since The Shield ended, I would've thought they'd be willing to take a chance on something by now! Even without seeing it I can confidently say "It had to be better than Lone Star."
Two real Fireflies (bona fide sci-fi pedigrees here) also bit the dust before the end of 2010.
Stargate Universe (SGU): The decidedly darker take on the almost irreverent Stargate franchise couldn't garner an audience. For me, I liked the show and the fact that it was a bit of a departure from its predecessors' blueprint. I enjoy well executed character dramas, no matter what the backdrop is (The West Wing comes to mind). And, they were moving in a really interesting direction with the show that I was really looking forward to seeing where it went! David Blue as Eli, really kept me hooked into the show, and seeing Ming Na on a weekly basis didn't hurt either!
Caprica: I'm going to call this the tragedy of the year for the SyFy network! I absolutely fell in love with Alessandra Torresani as "Mama Cylon". I even learned how to spell her frakkin name! Again, great character drama which, it would appear, didn't have enough "Blowing stuff up in space" to carry enough of the rebooted BSG audience with it. Also, I blame (at least partially) the near interminable wait between the first and second halves of the season! It's hard to keep an audience when you go away for that long and then try to come back in the midst of the shit-storm that was the Fall lineup! And worst of all <sarcasm> Now I'll never know what happened with the robots or those crazy Adamas </sarcasm>. In all seriousness, I wanna know what happens to Zoe Graystone!
It's not all bad though! While some shows (i.e. Chase) are still on the bubble for now, I'll lament them when their times come, other shows are going strong and are making the new year awfully bright for me! CASTLE continues its third season, and I see no reason why Nathan Fillion shouldn't be on television forever. I also dig the very "meta" publishing of Richard Castle's bestsellers Heat Wave and Naked Heat (both great reads by the by). CHUCK has been looking good...hopefully it won't require the aid of yet another fan campaign for NBC execs to recognize that it should come back again next Fall. FRINGE should be bringing some awesomeness in spite of (or possibly because of) its move to Friday night! HOUSE, COMMUNITY, THE OFFICE (depending on future casting issues), BONES, The "McFarlane Trio" and almost everything on CBS look like safe bets to return not just this Spring but next season too. And lest we forget...SPARTACUS returns with a prequel series and brings Season 2 to STARZ this summer! The purity of Sex and Violence that our decaying society craves! AWESOME!
For my fellow Anglophiles, DOCTOR WHO starts it's new Spring/Fall schedule this year! and some great 11th Doctor-ness is sure to come! Also, TOP GEAR (the original, although the US version did serve as a sufficient stop-gap for me) is back, and in rare form! If you haven't seen the show ever, I suggest hunting down the latest Christmas Special, absolute genius! Oh, and don't forget to look up "Stig Introductions" on youtube for some reference material! And, in possibly the best news to come out of England since 1784, TORCHWOOD returns! I don't know how you all feel about an omni-sexual lead character (if you know Capt. Jack Harkness, you know what I mean), but the new "more international" version of the show, airing on STARZ should be absolutely fabulous!
As for what I haven't seen, that I'm excited about, PERFECT COUPLES is going to be a show I watch, if for no other reason than "I love Olivia Munn". Can't stress it enough, I love her. Now I have actually seen the first episode on HULU... and it might not last unless they do something wonderful before their mid-season replacement run ends. I would refer you to COMMUNITY's Paint Ball episode, without which the season would've been funny but not nearly as awesome and probably is what locked it in for a second season.
THE CAPE is the other thing I'm really looking forward to this Spring. Hopefully this show is good enough to keep Summer Glau on my t.v. screen for a while! (OH HOW I MISS TSCC!). Now, I promise I won't make this a habit (unless I do...addictive personality and all) but this video shows you exactly how I feel right now! "Ooh La La" Indeed!
If I had to choose between Olivia Munn, and Summer Glau, or die in some horrible fashion...I would Captain Kirk my way into the best night I could never describe in a public forum such as this!
And that, boys and girls, is how I conclude my inaugural blog post! WELCOME!