Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's All About the Music

What do "So You Think You Can Dance" and "The Vampire Diaries" have in common? "Gravity" Sara Bareilles.
SYTYCD stand out addiction dance this summer was set to this song and The Vampire Diaries second episode also used it. Linking these two shows puts the whole ending of the V.D. episode into a different perspective. My guess is that episode was shot before SYTYCD, but it is an interesting comparison. Is there an addiction to the love of Katherine, long since gone, that has Stephen stalking Elena attempting to win her affections? Is Elena also trying to fill a lost void with a love/attention addiction? Can either of them win if they are both addicted?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fall Season 09 Line-Up

A friend asked me the other day what I was watching this Fall. I had not yet mapped out my viewing schedule. Actually, I have stopped watching on a schedule much since I now have FiOS with its excellent on demand services. I decided I should figure out my schedule so as not to miss my favs and the exciting new shows coming. Here is my Fall 2009 Line-Up:


8:00 – How I Met Your Mother (CBS Sept. 21), House (Fox Sept. 21), One Tree Hill (CW Sept. 14)

8:30 – Accidentally on Purpose (CBS Sept. 21)*

9:00 – Trauma (NBC Sept 28)*, Lie To Me (Fox Sept. 28), Greek (ABC Family Aug. 31), Gossip Girl (CW Sept. 14)

10:00 – Castle (ABC Sept. 21)


8:00 – 90210 (CW Sept. 8)

9:00 – So You Think You Can Dance (Fox Sept. 9), Melrose (CW Sept. 8)*

10:00 – The Forgotten (ABC Sept. 22)*, The Good Wife (CBS Sept. 22)*


8:00 – So You Think You Can Dance (Fox Sept. 9), Mercy (CBS Sept. 23)*

8:30 – Cougartown (ABC Sept. 23)*

9:00 – Glee (Fox Sept. 9)*, The Modern Family (ABC Sept. 23)*, Top Chef Las Vegas (Bravo Aug. 19), The Beautiful Life (CW Sept. 16)

10:00 – Eastwick (ABC Sept. 23)*


8:00 –Flash Forward (ABC Sept. 24)*, Survivor (CBS Sept. 17), Bones (Fox Sept. 17), The Vampire Diaries (CW Sept. 10)*

9:00 – Grey’s Anatomy (ABC Sept. 24), Fringe (Fox Sept. 17)

9:30 – Community (NBC Sept. 17- Oct. 1)*

10:00 – Private Practice (ABC Oct. 1), The Mentalist (CBS Sept. 24), Project Runway (Lifetime Aug. 20)


9:00 – Ugly Betty (ABC Oct. 9)

10:00 – Psych (USA Aug. 7)




8:00 – The Amazing Race (CBS Sept. 27)

9:00 – Desperate Housewives (ABC Sept. 27), Three Rivers (CBS Oct. 4)*

10:00 – Brothers & Sisters (ABC Sept. 27), Mad Men (AMC Aug. 16), Cold Case (CBS Sept. 27)

I think in total it is 37 hours of watching if it all makes the cut. I am trying out 14 new shows (marked with *). A breakdown by network leaves ABC Clearly in the lead:

ABC - 11, ABC Family - 1, AMC - 1, Bravo - 1, CBS - 9, CW - 6, Lifetime - 1, NBC - 1, USA - 1

I am most excited about the new show "Glee". The premiere was even better than I had hoped. I am a trained singer and was thrilled that the singers were legit and the arrangements were fantastic. Jane Lynch has always been a comedy genius, and I am so glad that her talents are used to enhance this show rather than try to salvage it. If you haven't seen it yet what are you waiting for?!?!?! Check it out at Fancast. The returning show I am most excited for is very surprising to me. Based on one of the best season finale cliffhangers I have ever seen, Private Practice takes the honor this year.

What are you most excited about?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I can't keep up

It is Sunday once again and I find myself with too many shows and not enough time. Despite limiting my sleep schedule, I just can't fit in all the shows I want. I have 5 hours of backlogged shows on my DVR from just this week and those are the ones I can fit in the DVR schedule. There are still another 4 hours of shows that I would watch online if my schedule ever cleared up. Imagine where I would be if there weren't debates the last two weeks to put favorites into repeat mode or if I had movie channels.

So, here is the breakdown before My Own Worst Enemy and Crusoe premiere this week only adding to my dilemna.

Absolutely Can't Miss
Of course, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men, Life, CSI Las Vegas (Last week's premiere was the best episode ever ), Brothers and Sisters, Greek, How I Met Your Mother (Sadly it is on as I DVR two other shows so I have to find an excuse to watch it upstairs (gulp) live. Good thing my hubby doesn't like to watch tv.) The Amazing Race and Survivor.

New favs.
Fringe. I am also really enjoying The Ex List. I didn't expect to but it is perfect Friday night fodder.

Sophomore Season Slump Eluded
Gossip Girl, Dirty Sexy Money, and Lipstick Jungle have managed to evade the sophomore slump. I would agree with the critics who say DSM has gotten better this season.

On the fence
Pushing Daisies and Chuck. I loved the first seasons of both these shows, but haven't seen anything new. The plot on both is getting repetitive (not surprising considering the premise on each).

Still Trying to Fit in the Premiere
Life on Mars, Eleventh Hour

Can't Find Time
ER (Will have to wait until repeats because I will watch the final season, I will.), Samantha Who, Privileged, Valentine, The Mentalist (I'm trying, but it's Psych without the funny), Kath and Kim, SNL Prime Time (though I really want to).

Monday, September 22, 2008

National What?!?!

ABC is promoting its National Stay at Home, Sit Lazily on the Couch, Eat all the Snacks You Want, all as long as You Have the TV on and are Tuned to ABC Week.  Ok, that isn't the offical title, but I don't see how this week is any different than any other week for me since I seem to do all those things with or without premieres.  Hopefully, this week will provide more enjoyable viewing than June, July, August and for that matter with the strike most of last season.  

What this week really means is that I need to start making choices.  My DVR can only handle two shows at a time.  I have to figure out what I am watching while it happens, recording to watch in the future, going to have to go online for, and most importantly what gets cut.  

On the top of my cut list Do Not Disturb. While I found myself laughing a few times during the two shows I watched, I feel no connection to any character on the show.  Nor do I have any desire to tune in again.  A successful 30-minute comedy needs both funny and attachment or it is gone. 

How I Met You Mother has successful found that middle ground.  Both shows have a womanizing suited up male in the lead role, but Neil Patrick Harris has developed Barney Stinson into a perfect blend of crass and vulnerable.  Whereas Jerry O'Connell's Neil Danner is still a flat one-dimensional character.  I think the biggest difference is HIMYM is a relational comedy about friendships with a really great down to earth guy as the lead who is friends with Barney.  There must be a reason Ted would like Barney and that makes him intriguing.  They aren't exactly opposites, so what is it that makes them similar enough to be friends. Whereas DND is a situational comedy with no one to even out Neil.  Colleagues are not on the same level as friends.  Being paid to work with someone and choosing to be friends with someone place those relationships on different levels thus making the positives of the people they interact with at different weights with the viewer.  Besides the workplace there are no obvious common threads.  This doesn't mean that it is impossible to make a 30-minute situational comedy work.  The Office and 30-Rock have both proven it is more than possible.  It just means that it is more work on the writers, directors, and actors to create a reason to connect which is easier in a relational comedy. 

I definitely find myself drawn to relational comedies.  NewsRadio is the biggest exception to the rule for me.  

So, that leads to my newest set of questions - What have been your favorite 30-minute comedies, were they situational or relational, why did you like them?

Monday, September 15, 2008

SNL Funny Again, Sort of

Of course, it took a guest appearance from Tina Fey, but the opening of Saturday Night Live was hilarious this past Saturday. Michael Phelps came on and not only was painfully not funny, but seemed to suck the funny from the whole show. These are the times I am especially grateful for online video. For those of you who missed it, or need a daily infusion of funny here you go:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Don't Watch for Reality

Fringe premiered this week. My DVR once again conspired against me, this time a little more cruelly. It decided to record only half of the 2 hour premiere. I found the rest through Fancast that streamed through Hulu. Let me start by saying that I am highly impressed with the streaming through Hulu. It was seamless. I watched for an hour without any streaming issues. I have watched a fair amount of online shows and have never had it stream so well.

Now, on to Fringe. I loved it. I am chomping at the bit for the next installment. JJ Abrams created a $10 million movie of a premiere and it was amazing. It combined the excitement of Alias, the sarcasm and relationship development of Felicity, with a little Lost back story and intrigue. I was reading a completely unrelated article on Popular Mechanics (but one you should check out and digg all the same) this week that had a link to an article exploring the validity of any of what happened on this show actually being able to occur. I clicked the link, started reading, and realized I didn't care. In fact, I hope none of what was depicted on the show can happen.

What I realized was I don't tune into television for reality, not even the "Reality" shows I watch are reality. I sit on my sofa, turn on the television, and expect to escape. If I wanted reality I would watch the news, which I intentionally avoid. I don't tune into the History channel either. Television to me is a transport into world's that are not my own. I enjoy being a voyeur into other people's dysfunctional relationships, envisioning what the world might be some day, and choosing a competitor to cheer on for completely arbitrary reasons I couldn't judge others on in my own world.

Why do you tune in?

Friday, September 5, 2008


Week one of premiere month and all I have to say is the CW is bringing back some of the WB and redeeming itself in the process. After Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars were canceled I didn't know if I could watch any "new" shows on the CW. Then Gossip Girl came along last season and I realized one day a week I could tune in.

Fast forward a year and this Monday not only did Gossip Girl deliver a stellar opening to its sophomore season (minus the cougar storyline), but then One Tree Hill started with not only a Coldplay led soundtrack, but also the right girl was at the airport (I am looking over the creepy Dan storyline that I will have to fast forward through).

The "new" 90210 premiered Tuesday and I was surprised to find myself spending the first two days of premiere month glued to the CW. Familiar faces and even more familiar names, enough extravagance to make me want to date again (but only hot guys with their own jets and don't kiss on the first date), and new characters and story lines that keep close enough to the original not to alienate those of us die hards who not only watched every episode the first time, second time, and third time, but still tune in to SOAPnet for more. Plus a little mystery.... whose child is that blonde curly mopped child Kelly introduced as her son?

So, right not it looks like the CW is going to win 1/3rd of my viewing week. How did it happen? A departure from the reality shows and a return to hour long multi-generational dramadies. All three shows I watch have solid story lines for high schoolers and their parents. It seems that other networks have abandoned shows that will appeal to high school aged viewers and left that programming to the CW and MTV. Even Fox which made its name on the original 90210 has left that aspect of broadcasting behind. When they got big enough, they rid themselves of what set them apart... and the WB and eventually the CW stepped in. Let's hope the CW doesn't outgrow its fans too.