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Fall TV time …

Finally got around to watching the rest of the Fall Pilots. Its a mixed bag as always – but here’s the rundown ..

The only show on ABC to immediately make it into my recurring download queue was Last Resort. It follows the crew of a nuclear submarine who get a little miffed when their own government try to blow em up, and respond by taking over an island and declaring a 200 mile exclusion zone around it. Created by Shawn Ryan (of The Unit and The Shield), this is exactly the sort of high concept fare which always gets my viewership. Unfortunately – much like Flash Foward, Terra Nova etc – it seems the rest of the world doesn’t think like me as it’s currently sticking up the place ratings wise. At its current levels of about a 1.3 (18-49) rating I can’t see it making it to the end of the season … which is a shame.

666 Park Avenue feels a bit like American Horror Story. Following a couple who take up a job as managers of a swanky apartment block .. which just happens to be owned by a demonic dude (Terry Quinn – Lost) …. who isn’t terribly nice. Its ratings are just as shitty as LR above, so don’t get too attached. If it wasn’t for the ratings I’d probably watch it – which I guess is some sort of compliment.

Nashville – follows a pair of duelling country singers. The aging Connie Britton (of FNL and American Horror Story) vs the young Hayden Panettiere (the cheerleader from Heroes). Not my cup of tea, a little too soapy. Though my mother watches it, and I could definitely see it as a program you might feed to your missus. Ratings are fine so far.

Rounding out the new shows on ABC is The Neighbours – their only comedy … following a family who move into a gated community only to learn that all their neighbours are aliens stranded on Earth. Rubbish.

CBS’s only addition to ma download queue is Elementary. Their retelling of Sherlock Holmes starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu – set in New York. If you set aside any actual comparison to anything you might know about Sherlock Holmes (otherwise it’ll just annoy you) – it’s not bad. Essentially a cop procedural I guess. If the likes of Castle or Bones are your thing, you’ll find this an easy addition. Plus it’s doing pretty well ratings wise.

Vegas - Set in 1960′s Vegas – it follows Sherriff Dennis Quaids dealings with bad guy Michael Chiklis (Vic Mackey of the shield) and assorted shens that only the early days of Vegas can provide. On the bubble ratings wise, and was probably a toss up for me as well … but I opted for parking it – though I’ll perhaps revisit it at the end of the season if it survives.

Rounding out the Eyes new shows are Partners and Made in Jersey. The former is a poor comedy which isn’t long for this world, whereas the latter was cancelled after its second episode. Nuff Said.

Over on the CW – Arrow went straight into my download queue before I’d even watched the pilot. Superhero fare following the Green Arrow – I had been expecting a show with a Smallville feel to it – though in truth its a little more srs biz than that. eg  he actually kills people, and there’s a background plot involving all sorts of nefarious shens involving his family etc… which I like. It’s doing a stormer ratings wise – only second to the Vampire Diaries – so it’ll be around for a while. Worth a watch if superheroes are your thing.

Kristen Kreuk (Lana Lang of Smallville) is the eponymous beauty in Beauty & the Beast. She’s a detective obsessed with the murder of her mother years before, and he’s an ex army dude who should have read the bottle for known side effects before letting himself be used as a guinea pig for dodgy drugs, and now has a tendency towards a slight skin issue. If, like me, you’re willing to watch any ould crap just cos its a got a hot girl in it then you’ll be happy. If you require more than that – then perhaps consider it as TV you might be able to watch with your missus. Maybe. It’s a toss up ratings wise.

Emily Owens MD rounds out the new CW fare. Struggling in the ratings, it follows a first year intern at a shiny hospital. Though it may as well be a high school drama. One for the girls …

FOX got no new shows into my download queue. The Mob Doctor is DOA and not worthy of any additional comment. Ben & Kate surprised me my getting a full season pickup. I like my 22 minutes comedies as much as the next guy (probably more), but this struck me as rubbish.

The Mindy Project was the toughest call here. Created by and starring Mindy Kalin (of the The Office), there was a huge amount of buzz around this show before hand. A quirky enough comedy about a single doctor looking for luv yada yada, I could easily be convinced to give it a second chance if anyone else out there says “hey mo – give the mindy project a second chance”. Doing fine ratings wise. (In fact its already got a full season order)

And finally over on NBC, we have a stonking four new shows (of a total of six) which have made of the Mo-Cut. ™.

The New Normal is a comedy about a young mother who moves to LA to become a surrogate for a gay couple (and to escape the influence of the awesome Ellen Barkin). I’ve only watched two of them, but it strikes me a being better than average fare. As an aside, the NBC affiliate in Utah refused to carry the show …. cos having The Gays on tv was apparently not appropriate during a family hour of tv!

Featuring in the same comedy block as TNN is Go On – following Matthew Perry’s sports radio dude trying to get over the loss of his wife by attending a support group. The eccletic bunch of characters gives the show a Community feel (without any of the pop culture riffs). I like it.

Revolution is post-apocalyptic fare set 15 years after the lights went out. Initially it had me thinking of the Hunger Games, but that was mostly just because the lead is a girl, and little else. But there is more to the show, with subplots around how to turn the lights back on, and some nasty militia types who well …. aren’t very nice. As I said before, high concept shows always work for me. The only difference with this one, is that it’s doing a storm in the ratings. In fact it’s the most watched thing on NBC.

The only NBC show which got a Mo-Pickup, but has a question mark over its future is Chicago Fire. Think ER but in a fire station rather than a hospital and you won’t be far away. An easy enough watch.

The two remaining shows over at the peacock are Animal Practice and Guys with Kids. Both are comedies, with the former being canned already, and latter a dead show walking. And even if it wasn’t, it’s shit.

And that’s pretty much it.

Code Monkey

I went to see Jonathan Coulton play in Dublin last June, and he was AWESOME!

I recently heard this song again (thank you last.fm), and remembered how much I loved it.

Other favorites include

You can check out all his music @ www.jonathancoulton.com

Must be the Music …

Two standouts from the final 15 of Sky One’s Must be the Music

Dance Clubs et al

Run this Raid

For andras’s et al everywhere …

World Cup Rules

Extremely important advice and recommendations to be passed on to wives, girlfriends, fiancés, mothers, sisters, daughters, etc.(to all women in general) These rules are to be communicated prior to the World Cup in June/July this year…

LIST OF RULES

1. You should read the sports section of the newspaper so that you are aware of what is going on regarding the World Cup, and that way you will be able to join in the conversations. If you fail to do this, then you will be looked at in a bad way, or you will be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

2. During the World Cup, the television is mine, at all times, without any exceptions. If you even take a glimpse of the remote control, you will lose it (your eye).

3. If you have to pass by in front of the TV during a game, I don’t mind, as long as you do it crawling on the floor and without distracting me. If you decide to stand nude in front of the TV, make sure you put clothes on right after because if you catch a cold, I wont have time to take you to the doctor or look after you during the World Cup month.

4. During the games I will be blind, deaf and mute, unless I require a refill of my drink or something to eat. You are out of your mind if you expect me to listen to you, open the door, answer the telephone, or pick up the baby that just fell from the second floor… it wont happen.

5. It would be a good idea for you to keep at least 2 six packs in the fridge at all times, as well as plenty of things to nibble on, and please do not make any funny faces to my friends when they come over to watch the games. In return, you will be allowed to use the TV between 12am and 6am, unless they replay a good game that I missed during the day.

6. Please, please, please!! if you see me upset because one of my teams is losing, DO NOT say “get over it, its only a game”, or “don’t worry, they’ll win next time”. If you say these things, you will only make me angrier and I will love you less. Remember, you will never ever know more about football than me and your so called “words of encouragement” will only lead to a break up or divorce.

7. You are welcome to sit with me to watch one game and you can talk to me during halftime but only when the commercials are on, and only if the halftime score is pleasing me. In addition, please note I am saying “one” game, hence do not use the World Cup as a nice cheesy excuse to “spend time together”.

8. The replays of the goals are very important. I don’t care if I have seen them or I haven’t seen them, I want to see them again. Many times.

9. Tell your friends NOT to have any babies, or any other child related parties or gatherings that requires my attendance because:
1) I will not go,
2) I will not go, and
3) I will not go.
But, if a friend of mine invites us to his house on a Sunday to watch a game, we will be there in a flash.

10. The daily World Cup highlights show on TV every night is just as important as the games themselves. Do not even think about saying “but you have already seen this…why don’t you change the channel to something we can all watch??”, the reply will be: “Refer to Rule #2 of this list”.

11. And finally, please save your expressions such as “Thank God the World Cup is only every 4 years”. I am immune to these words, because after this comes the Champions League, Premier League, Italian League, Spanish League, etc etc.

Thank you for your co-operation.
The Men of the World

The CW Upfronts.

Returning : 90210, GG, OTH, Life Unexpected, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Smallville (for whats confirmed as being the last season).

Cancelled/Finished : Melrose Place.

New Shows : Hellcats : about a college cheerleading squad. mhmmmm .. cheerleaders! Nikita : Starring Maggie Q as the assasin who goes rogue.

VHI Ad

For the benefit of those who have yet to see it (likely those who refuse to own a TV) – here for posterity (and for the general annoyance value its likely to cause) … is Elaine’s 15 minutes of fame! :P

TV – The week in review

The Week that Was … Well if that wasn’t a jam packed weekend of TV I dunno what it was. With the return of the vast majority of outstanding shows, including a raft more pilots it almost made it hard to keep up. Here’s my quick week in review …

Monday saw the return of Heroes, House, HIMYM, Castle, CSI Miami and TBBT joining forces with GG and Greek who returned during the previous weeks. New to Mondays is Accidentally on Purpose, a half hour comedy starring Jenna Elfman about a thirty-something movie critic who finds herself knocked up as the result of a one night stand with a younger man. Heroes continued in a similar vein to last season (for good or bad), whilst HIMYM continues to be one of the best half hourlies around.

Tuesday saw the return of NCIS (served up alongside 90210, Melrose and Sons of A. from previous). New to Tuesdays are The forgotten, The Good Wife and the new NCIS spin-off NCIS Los Angeles. NCIS LA was poor enough fare and will have to pick up the pace to hold up to NCIS. TGW is a new Legal drama starring Julianna Margulies (of ER fame), whilst The Forgotten is a new Bruckheimer produced procedurette (with Christian Slater) about a civilian group who investigate John/Jane Doe cases after the police have given up.

Wednesday saw the return of Criminal Minds, CSI NY and Gary Unmarried (served up alongside GLEE and TBL from previous weeks). New to Wednesdays are Mercy, Eastwick, Modern Family and Cougar Town. I thought CM started pretty strong after last seasons cliff-hanger. GLEE had its strongest episode since the pilot whilst MF and CT set themselves up as the new comedies to keep an eye on. Meanwhile Mercy is a Greyesque medical drama, and Eastwick is as you can imagine about three witches who well .. do stuff.

Thursday saw the return of CSI, Greys and The Mentalist (served up alongside Bones, Vampire Diaries, P&R, Office, Supernatural, Fringe, Community and It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia from previous weeks). New to Thursdays is Flash Forward .. but more on that later. Community is a another half hour comedy .. which may or may not be long for this world. TVD continues in its inimitable Twilight meets Smallville vein. I keep pressing play on P&R just for Amy Poehler I think, whilst the mentalist returns with its typically simple case-of-the-week stylings with the merest respect paid to its wafer thin red john arc. PS : Sunny is something which I’ve only got into recently, but its actually just entering its fifth season. I’m still midway season 3, but its one which I strongly recommend as a half-hourly-comedy.

Friday saw the return of Dollhouse, Smallville, Flashpoint, Ghost Whisperer and Medium (being served up alongside Psych and season two of Crash from previous). The only new show to Fridays is Brothers, another half-hour comedy .. and which has the honour of being the only new show to air, which I haven’t watched yet. Dollhouse was enjoyable enough though I can’t help but watch it and worry, whilst Smallville purports to present a season of Clark maturing into a bona fide superhero. (will he/won’t he fly??).

HBO/Sundays Last Sunday saw the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm to HBO. I’ve never been a huge fan, but its worth mentioning for any Seinfeld fans out there that the gang are all due to be back together on season 7 of CYE. HBO also piloted a new half hourly called Bored to Death. Billed as a ‘Noir-otic’ Comedy its about a new york writer who decides to start hiring himself out as an unlicensed PI. It co-stars Ted Danson. Having heard nothing of it before sitting down to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised. Defying Gravity continues to make its way onto the torrents courtesy of its continued airing in Canada, despite having been pulled in the US.

Doh The Beautiful Life, the new Ashton Kutcher produced drama following the lives of a group of ridiculously good looking models in new york … wait for it … GOT THE AXE!… after just two episodes. After managing to pull just over 1M viewers this week execs at The CW decided to call time, and for the moment anyways, are filling the slot with Melrose repeats. Guess I won’t be watching episode 3 so.

Interest Piqued With only a handful of new episodes having aired for most of the new shows (only one in many cases), its hard to say much about them, but that’s no reason not to try …. so here’s the ones which I’d have reasonable hopes for ..

The Forgotten : The premise doesn’t exactly stand a huge amount of scrutiny I’ll confess, but I’m a Christian Slater fan at the best of times and add to the mix the usual Bruckheimer shininess, and I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself coming back to this sooner rather than later. Its like your typically cop procedural, but different .. given they’re not cops. Slaters last outing (the spy drama My Own worst Enemy) only made it to about episode seven, lets hope this does a little better.

Modern Family and Cougar town. : ABC’s new Wednesday night hour of comedy came with some good advance word. And both were pretty damn good. Whilst Modern Family seemed to score better in the online reviews, I can’t help but prefer the Cougar pilot. It stars Courtney Cox as a forty something single mom (her son is the kid from Aliens in America), getting back on the dating scene. The tag-line made me want to not like this … but I just couldn’t help myself, it was just damn funny.

Pick of the Week There was one standout for me this week, and that was … Flash Forward.

The pilot felt like the start of a movie. And I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching the first episode of what should be a great season of TV. Co created by Brannon Braga (of N Star Trek Series’) and David S Goyer (who wrote the Blade movies, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight amongst others) the challenge here will definitely be to walk that line between questions unanswered and ‘confusing the fvck outa people’. This is being billed as event TV ala early Lost, lets hope it learns from some of its mistakes.

If you think you’re definitely gonna give this a try, then don’t watch this trailer as it gives a little too much away from the pilot imo. But if you’re on the edge, it might be enough to persuade ya.

Ratings A quick look at the ratings stateside reveals no huge surprises. Staples such as NCIS (20M), Greys (17M), House (16M), Criminal Minds (15M) and CSI * 3 (14 – 16M) continue to dominate. NCIS LA (18M) managed to hold most of the 20M leadin given to it by NCIS, so is likely to stick around regardless of quality. The Good Wife managed 13.71M viewers making it one of the winners on Tuesday night, whilst The Forgotten only held onto about 10M of its 16M leadin from DWTS. Wednesday night winners were the comedy duo of Modern Family and Cougar Town who both managed about 12M viewers, which bodes well for em. Glee managed 6.1M for Fox, which whilst an ok Fox number (according to them anyways), belies my previous thoughts that it was gonna be a monster. Flash Forward (12.5M) was the first show to beat out Survivor in its timeslot in yonks.

On the bubble Friday Night was a mixed bag for a couple of Mo. Favs. Dollhouse averaged 2.5M viewers which was 1M down on its season 1 average, but about the same as what the season 1 finale got. Meanwhile Smallville (2.5M) posted its smallest viewership ever for an original episode, but as the CW were quick to point out, it was actually their highest viewing number in that slot (lets not forget that Clark & Co. are on in the Friday night death slot this year) since Smackdown used to be there. It’s noteworthy that both these shows got spanked by ABC’s repeats of FF, CT and MF. (which in turn all got spanked by the mediocre Ghost Whisperer and Medium). And finally, the ratings continue to be ugly for Heroes. Its season opener managed just 6.1M viewers for NBC, which for an expensive show doesn’t bode well.

And that’s about it. Most of everything else I watched seemed to blur together this week. stoopid overload. Hopefully in a few more weeks time, and with a few more episodes under their belts, I’ll be better placed to separate the wheat from the chaff. -Mo.

Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

Sons was, without a doubt, one of my favorite new shows of 2008, and so I was delighted to see its return for season 2 this week. Check out my thoughts on the season premiere after the jump …(spoilers ahoy)

Continue reading ‘Sons of Anarchy’