Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Season Grades (in which I sabotage myself by speaking ill of shows I'd kill to be writing on)

Well, we've only had a few weeks to digest this new season of television, but that's more than enough time for me to be opinionated about it. Here are my thoughts so far, show by show. In no particular order...

1. Chuck - Like the cast, like the dialogue and the tone...it's a good show. But not great. After an entertaining premise pilot set things up nicely, this past week we were saddled with an episode that felt like it was treading water a bit. Someone more intelligent than me basically said "the premise of this show is that people who don't know if they can trust each other have to work together to save the world." Very true. We learn this in the pilot. So why did we need an entire episode devoted to whether or not Chuck could trust Sarah or Casey? This easily could have been (and should be) an ongoing arc throughout the season/series, but should not be the main plot of the episode. Still, they handled everything well, so...B+

2. Reaper - I actually enjoyed the Reaper pilot even more than Chuck - unfortunately I thought the second episode was an even bigger step down. It practically felt like a second pilot, with the main character refusing to accept his role as Satan's reaper until halfway through the episode. Which would be fine, except that he already accepted this responsibility last week. Why the step back? Still funny, still very well written dialogue (and Ray Wise makes every scene he's in crackle), but I have no interest in watching Sam whine and avoid his job again. B-

3. Gossip Girl - Who ever thought that Kristen Bell would be the worst part of any show? Well, technically it's not so much her as it is the hammy voiceover. I know this is a longshot, writers, but is there any chance of dumping the Gossip Girl parts of Gossip Girl? B

4. K-ville - To be fair, I only watched the pilot, but I thought it was pretty ridiculous. Juliana watched the second episode and said it was better, but basically just a standard procedural. What is this, CBS? No thanks. C

5. Heroes - I've said this for a while, but Heroes is probably the worst show that I enjoy watching. Nothing this season has changed my opinion on that. B-

6. Journeyman - I really, really want to like this show, and I have hopes that it will someday meet my expectations, but right now it's got a long way to go. Like, for example, making me care about the characters. C-

7. The Office - I like The Office. It's never quite been something I have to watch every week, but I always like it when I do. Could it work week-to-week as an hourlong? Hmmm. B+

8. Bionic Woman - Another show I really want to be good. The first two episodes were retooled, but I'd love to know what they thought they were improving. I can say having seen the pilot at Comic-Con that the parts they changed were definitely not the parts that needed changing. Prove me wrong, but...C+

9. Moonlight - Read the reviews. D

10. Big Shots - Wants to be a male-oriented Desperate Housewives. It isn't. C

11. Life - The pilot was really, really good. Far better and more interesting than I expected. A-

12. Grey's Anatomy - Shonda, why are you shitting all over your female characters? Seriously. The only one who doesn't seem to be getting the shaft and being blamed as the "problem" is Bailey. Bailey rules. B-

13. Private Practice - I hated the faux-pilot from last year, but was surprisingly okay with the real pilot. Who knew? Haven't seen this week's episode yet, but...B

14. Dexter - I like Dexter. A lot. And we're writing a spec, so I'm probably judging things a little differently as I watch it, but the season premiere did nothing to dissuade me from the belief that this is one of the best shows on television. A

15. Desperate Housewives - They resolved the Edie story in a way that actually made sense, and I like me some Fillion, but please, give him something more interesting to do. B

16. Dirty Sexy Money - One of my bosses called this an unfunny Arrested Development. He's not wrong, but I've still enjoyed both episodes so far. Great cast, and so far an interesting character study for what is essentially a soap. B+

17. Ugly Betty - I loves me some Betty, but there was one really bad line this past week from Wilhelmina: "I'm black and you're hispanic, so let's not dance around the subject like a couple of white people." Come on, Betty, you're better than that. A-

18. 30 Rock - Much like Betty had one horrible line, 30 Rock had one brilliant line: "Tell her she needs to lose 30 pounds or gain 60 - there's no place for anything in between on television." Hilarity. B+

19. Cane - S'okay. I felt like I could see the big Jim Smits I-will-do-anything-to-protect-my-family moment coming from a mile away, but otherwise it's a fine if unremarkable show. B

20. Pushing Daisies - I'm still waiting to see how this one continues the storyline in future episodes, but it's by far my favorite show of the new season. If the next few weeks maintain the quality of the pilot, I'll add a plus on the end of this letter. A

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Haha, love your title. I feel the same way...who am I to be ripping on all the shows that actually made it to the air (probably something mine will never do)? Oh well. I basically agree with all of your assessments...though I thought the 2nd episode of Private Practice was dumb, yet the 2nd episode of Grey's made me think it's too soon to write the show off as beyond repair. But yeah. Life and Pushing Daisies. That's where it's at.