Sweet, Succulent Fall TV (Part the 1st)

We’re digging into the fall TV season with both hands. So many excellent returning shows! So many new possibilities! Sadly, due to conflicting work schedules, we haven’t been able to tackle as much as we’d like. The TiVo is getting quite full. But here’s what I’ve been able to watch so far:

Survivor: Looks good so far, though we’ve only watched one episode. I don’t know about Ozzy returning, since he wasn’t one of my favorites. Apparently the rest of the viewers disagree; they love him to pieces. Also, I wish Russell’s nephew had made up a “Hantz is a common last name” lie about his tattoos, instead of always wearing his shirt. Because I’d be totally suspicious of his weird cover-up obsession, but I’d likely buy a not-related-to-Russell lie.

America’s Next Top Model: It’s all-stars, although a few of them I don’t really remember. Also, some of them are over 30. And appear to have worse skin than I. Still, they put a boatload of drama queens in the same house, so it’s kind of a hoot. If only they wouldn’t use their stupid shorthand names for things. (Ty-overs instead of makeovers, guys!)

Archer: Only 3 episodes, and we’re already down 2. Then we’ll have to wait until 2012 for the rest. And the show remains the best animated thing (and one of the few half-hours I watch) on TV. Sick, twisted, and hilarious.

Castle: The first episode back got weepy and moody and maudlin, but with last night’s episode we’re back into much of the fun dynamic that I love. Hopefully they’ll shelve the Beckett’s mom storyline for a half-season or so, and let us wallow in the witty banter and flirting.

The Biggest Loser: Oh, how I wish they would shorten the episodes. But an interesting cast so far (although I’m ho-hum about the new trainers). And they totally got rid of the right person in the first elimination. Second episode is on tonight, so it’s not too late to dig in.

New Girl: (Apparently it’s not THE New Girl, at least according to TiVo.) An interesting premise, and good chemistry between the cast so far. I’m just weirdly put out by the fact that the geeky, awkward girl is also gorgeous. You’d think she wouldn’t have that perfectly coiffed hair, for instance. It just doesn’t quite seem to jibe with every other geeky, awkward girl I’ve ever been or known. At any rate, it’s only a half-hour, so it’s like a Jell-O show.

X Factor: I’m only picking up one of these a week, because whenever else it’s on, it’s behind two other programs on the priority list. So far, it’s like American Idol — easy to fast-forward through, with a few snippets of good. Also, I’ve learned that I don’t care for singing groups. Hmm.

Prime Suspect: I wish I’d see the original. In this, an over-the-top stereotype of a hard-nosed bitch battles against some over-the-top stereotype boys-club chauvinists in their police workplace. I mean, really — it’s as realistic as the constant assaults that happen for laughs in Glee. Most of those guys would have been taken to HR way before it got as bad as they portray. Still, I’ll give it a try and hope they soften everyone up just a little. Also, I kept looking at the chief and thinking, That guy’s like an older, bloated Aidan Quinn-type. It would appear that Aidan Quinn has REALLY let himself go.

Unforgettable: Wasn’t on my to-try list, but I dropped Ringer at the last minute because I heard it was terrible. And I’m glad I added this season pass — another police procedural, but with an interesting twist and a much more likeable cast than Prime Suspect. Definitely worth continuing.

Fringe: OH, how I’ve missed you! Welcome home, weirdness. Can’t wait to see where they go with Peter (or as Scott called him, Tyler Durden) and with new agent Lincoln Lee. Whatever they do, wherever they go, I’m on board for the ride.

The Amazing Race: Another welcome old friend. I’m glad they got the Emmy back; this truly is one of the best reality shows on TV. I had to remember to set it to record an additional hour afterward; here on the east coast, sometimes the football games go long beforehand.

We still have a number of items waiting on the TiVo: the return of Body of Proof, as well as the first episodes of Person of Interest, Pan-Am, and Terra Nova.

Also coming up in October: House returns! As does Bravo’s quirky Work of Art. New to Bravo is Mad Fashion, featuring former Project Runway contestant (and all-around fascinating person) Chris March. We’re also going to try out Around the World in 80 Ways, co-hosted by Boston Rob Mariano. And later in the month, the fairy tale/fantasy doubleheader of Grimm and Once Upon a Time.

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  1. Ooooh Person of Interest was excellent! It’s staying on our DVR list. We’ve yet to watch Terra Nova. Maybe tonight? But you were right to drop the Ringer like a bad habit. It’s awful. Really awful. One question though–do you watch The Walking Dead? It’s at the very top of my television list right now.

    missy Reply:

    Oh my goodness, how could I forget The Walking Dead? What a fantastic show. I just had to check when it’s back — looks like October 16th. We’ll be there! (Although I’m nervous, since Frank Darabont turned over the reins to someone else for this 2nd season, and there were rumors of budget cuts.)

  2. The original Prime Suspect is available on dvd, isn’t it? I know the first three ‘miniseries’ or movie compilations or whatever they are called were available a few years ago; I’ve got the first one. Do try to track them down, starting, of course, with the first one. The pacing is a bit different than American tv, obviously, but the stories were very clever overall and keep one thinking throughout.

    The ads for the American version looked exactly as you described: over the top. I suspect that it won’t change much, to keep it more ‘edgy’ for American audiences. (Ooh, let’s make the main character more bitchy. And let’s make the men more jerky. And let’s up the tension level, to keep things intense.) Meh. I won’t be watching it, but then I really don’t watch too much tv anymore, anyway.

    missy Reply:

    I’m pretty sure the British Prime Suspect is on DVD — but I’d have to buy it, since we dropped Netflix Qwickster delivery service. If only they’d stream it!

    CR Reply:

    A different alternative is to try checking it out through your local public library… if they don’t have it in stock, perhaps they could use inter-library loan (or whatever it’s called in Florida). You may have to wait a few days, but at least it’s free! Might be worth all the trouble just to do a comparison of the British version to the US. Just a thought, in case you have tons and tons of free time…

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