Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tellybox catchup

I've been catching up on some telly over the last few days - old favourites and some interesting new shows. I'm finding that a lot of shows I enjoy aren't coming back with particularly strong episodes at the moment– My Name is Earl returned for its third season and was, well, OK (though I hope it will pick up in the coming weeks), while Supernatural hasn't exactly been firing on all cylinders this season (though it's always enjoyable at the very least). Oh, and don't get me started on the craptacular Bionic Woman. I wonder whether the now-ended writer's strike had anything to do with the lack of quality? Were producers rushing scripts through before the strike began last year?

Anyway, there have been a few new shows that have grabbed my attention recently. Let's review!

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

A show that I always want to call Derminator: Da Saiwa Konner Kwhronikals in an Arnie-stylee. This was a show that I thought would most probably suck monkey balls, but it's actually turned out to be an enjoyable, if relentlessy-grim series (seriously, I can't ever see them doing a Buffy-style musical episode, or something with a little humour). It's got some woman who is not Linda Hamilton starring as Sarah Connor (damn! there goes any hope of reigniting my childhood crush), some dude who appeared in Heroes for a while as John Connor (who is inexplicably now a tad emo), and the slightly-special looking gal from Firefly as a sexy lady Terminator. There are also a variety of guest star Terminators who all look a little bit like Arnie, but are not actually Arnie. Oh, and it sometimes looks a little bit like it was shot on a shoestring budget, which probably helps them afford to do intense visual effects when they need to (like the one I just watched that had flashbacks, um, maybe flash-forwards, to the future).

OK, so the first episode screws around with Terminator continuity a bit, but that actually helps the writers side-step the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines which we'll let them off for. Weirdly, I sometimes find that I don't actually look forward to watching this show, but when it begins I find myself thoroughly enjoying it. And bearing in mind the first season is only nine episodes long and it's still up in the air as to whether it'll get a second season, I suppose I should enjoy it while I can.

Oh, and it's nice to see that T'Pol's wig is still getting work.

Cheer up, emo!

Gossip Girl

OK, so I've actually only seen the pilot episode of this, so it's possible I might change my opinion of it in the future, but I'm kinda not liking Gossip Girl that much. Which is a surprise, as it's being overseen by the producers of The OC, one of my all-time favourite shows. I think my problems with it (thus far) stem from one main source:

Spoilt posh rich people are hard to sympathise with. And yes, I know there's a not-so-well-off family who are supposed to be our guide into the debauched world of the rich, but they live in an awesome apartment and the dad runs an art gallery while also fronting a band, so I hate them for that. At least in The OC Ryan had had a pretty shitty life, and the Cohens were slightly kooky outsiders in Newport.

If Gossip Girl is just going to be all about rich people having expensive parties and wearing nice clothes, I think I might have to stop watching it. Admittedly The OC started out all serious like this (and I almost stopped watching that after the first two episodes), so I'm going to give Gossip Girl a couple of weeks to see how it develops*. I can't see any of the main characters ending up writing comic books, though. 

I am troubled, though, by the fact that one of the girls (Blair?) looks uncomfortably like a slightly uglier version of Summer from The OC, and the first episode ended with the slightly poorer kid decking someone in a Ryan Atwood-stylee.

Anyway, even if things don't work out for me and Gossip Girl, I've always got Josh Schwartz's other new show to fall back on: Chuck starts on April 7th, and that looks a bit more like my sorta thang.

Set expectations to 'raised.'

*My patented three episode trial period - like I did with Jericho. Although I stopped watching that after two episodes because it was badly acted and shitty.


Dinah said...

I am so very excited that shows are now starting to come back post-writer's strike, like 30 Rock. I don't watch either of these shows, or Chuck, but I have heard that Gossip Girl turns into a delightfully bitchy guilty pleasure. And Chuck has had really good reviews too, so I hope you'll like that.

I love TV.

T-Bird said...

Jericho is not good at all. For a show with such a great idea behind it, it sucked reaaaal bad.

Out of all the shows mentioned, Chuck is my hands down favourite. Not only is the theme song the one that goes "I want girl with a short skirt and a loooong jacket!", it's really, really good stuff. Clever, quirky, funny.

Tara said...

I saw the end of one episode of "Supernatural" when Linda Blair guest starred, but that's the only episode I've watched. Weird, because I usually like that kind of thing.

"Reaper" has had a few new episodes, but they announced that the other new episodes would come out later in April. I have to wait till July for new episodes of "The Closer"! Ah! Too long.

Tim said...

Dinah - I'm hoping that Gossip Girl finds its feet and stops being so po-faced. A bitchy guilty pleasure? Might be worth hanging around for…

T-Bird - I'm so looking forward to seeing Chuck; it looks like it carries forth The OC's sense of humour, and looks a bit more Schwartzian than Gossip Girl. I hope my expectations won't be dashed!

Tara - I remember that episode! That was quite a good one, and I hoped Linda Blair would show up again, but she hasn't … yet!

As for Reaper - yeah, we're having to wait for new episodes here as well, which is unusual as Britland telly usually waits for a series to be complete so they can show it in one long run. Damn us for catching up with the US schedule!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Hmmm... Little Miss Terminator looks like she's taking style tips from the Borg Queen.

CyberPete said...

The O.C...

can you be more gay?

I never liked Supernatural, maybe it's because of the long haired guy. He was so whiney on Gilmore Girls and seriously needs a haircut.

Jensen Ackles on the other hand RAWR!

Tim said...

Inexplicable Device - It is a little bit of a rip-off, huh? Still, it's a nice image. Would've been even better if she was flashing a bit of nipplage.

Cyberpete - Yep, I'm a fully paid up OC fan! And if that's gay, then throw me mah hotpants and pop on that Kylie CD!*

*Please note this is not a legally-binding contract.

skillz said...

As a huge Terminator fan (bar #3) I was apprehensive about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Show, but so far I've liked it. I love the introduction of Reese's brother, and the bit with the burnt photo/ attack on the resistance hideout ties in very well with that dream sequence from Terminator 1.

And Summer Glau is HOT DE LA!!!

*does the hot de la dance*

Tim said...

I thought 3 was OK in a big dumb action flick way, although I had an awesome idea to make it better … am nervous about the forthcoming McG-helmed 4 though … I think my awesome idea to improve 3 would also work in subsequent sequels, however.

Yeah, I'm enjoying the series, and hope it gets renewed for a second season!

CyberPete said...

You just be happy IDV wasn't at the ready..