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A Television Viewer’s Diary: 9/25-10/1

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WARNING: The free form ramblings continue, be prepared for run-ons, incomplete thoughts, and atrocious punctuations. This is what happens to a mind on TV, it’s not pretty, but kind of fun. Also, beware of potential spoilers for these episodes.

Best show I watched this week: Veronica Mars

Worst show I watched this week: The War at Home

Sunday 9/25.

  • King of the Hill (Fox 7:30). Bobby takes on a paper route, and Peggy starts writing for that same paper. Problems hit when Peggy advises her readers to inadvertently make mustard gas. This prompts everyone to pull themselves together and steal back the papers. Mediocre, still don’t necessarily count me a fan. **.5
  • The Simpsons (Fox 8pm). Maggie has chicken pox, so they decide to throw a pox party to share the love with the rest of the kids. The only problem is Homer has never had the disease. Anyway, Milhouse’s parents may be getting back together, and a plot to split them, ends up splitting Homer and Marge. Better than last week, but still not great. **.5
  • The War at Home (Fox 8:30). I did it, I caved and watched this again, still not getting any better. This is exactly what they were counting on, put it in between two shows a lot of people watch, and the lazy ones will stick around for this junk. 0
  • Family Guy (Fox 9pm). Chris runs away from high school, all the way to South America, where he joins a local tribe and marries the chief’s daughter. Meanwhile, Peter is living life as a drunk after getting a job at the brewery. Some crazy asides, especially with Stewie, who goes after Will Ferrell. Funny as usual! ***
  • American Dad (Fox 9:30). Stan has to get his son ready for the father/son softball game, and struggles with the realization that his son is a geek. Fun stuff as father and son end up at a sci-fi convention. Meanwhile, the resident alien gets a job because he wants to meet people, not a terribly good idea. ***
  • Crossing Jordan (NBC 10pm). Against all odds this series is back. It is also the second premiere to feature a guest spot from Henry Winkler (Arrested Development). It has the return of a foe to bring Macy back into the fold. It also has Woody at the center of possible murder of the guy who shot him, plus an escalating frostiness with Jordan. This series has a mix of the serious and lighthearted, not unlike Las Vegas. ***
  • Technology Screwup of the Season #1. I ended up getting the wrong station and did not get the premieres of Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy.

Monday 9/26.

  • WWE: Raw (Spike 9pm). The final Raw on Spike. Vince comes out to thank Spike and announce the switch, but is censored, this leads to most of the USA mentions getting blanked out. Fun divas match with Trish and Victoria. Next was a comic relief street fight between Big Show and Snitsky. Shelton and Kerwin White put on a pretty good match, they should really be pushing Benjamin. Main event was a tables match pitting HBK and Cena against Carlito and Chris Masters, which saw Bischoff and Angle come down, putting HBK through a table for the finish. Next week: a special 3 hour USA Homecoming show. ***
  • Surface (NBC 8pm). Second episode, better than the first. The story took better shape this time around, even if the pair of kids are a little on the weak side. I found myself interested in the creatures and the conspiracy angles, and less about the characters, which are still a little flat. If the characters build up a bit more, this could be heading into good waters. ***
  • Las Vegas (NBC 9pm). Still fun, scantily clad women, lecherous accountants, fake chips, and a poker table featuring Paul Anka and Dennis Rodman. Can’t beat that. This is a show that is pure escapism, nothing terribly deep, but highly entertaining. Lara Flynn Boyle is making a nice addition to the cast. ***
  • Medium (NBC 10pm). This show continues to rest on the bubble. The stories are interesting on the surface, but sometimes move at a snail’s pace. I liked the bit with the music playing in her head, and the plane crash sequence, plus her interactions with the priest. Still a bit slow. **.5
  • Arrested Development (Fox 8pm). This series is pure genius. The family is threatened so Michael tries to get some info in Wee Britain, and ends up meeting a lovely young woman (guest star Charlize Theron). Meanwhile Gob is planning a new trick, and getting help from Tobias, and Buster finds out his hand has been something he’d rather not know about. ****
  • Kitchen Confidential (Fox 8:30). This one is growing on me, it isn’t exactly genius, but pretty funny nonetheless. It isn’t the standard sitcom, it doesn’t have a laugh track, and the characters are a bit more flawed right off the bat. This episode has Jack has to do with some meat thievery, the return of an old flame, and a spy in the kitchen. Not to mention an $18,000 walk off. ***
  • Prison Break (Fox 9:00). This week ratchets up the tension, a prison riot breaks out. The staging was set to distract the guards while Michael escalates his plan to break out. But things get a little out of control as the inmates start running the asylum. Teddy gets his hands on one of the guards keys and all hell breaks loose. News spreads to to another wing where the prison doctor is put in peril as the inmates look to do bad things. Michael springs into action, only to be continued next week. Good episode, this is picking up. ***.5

Tuesday 9/20.

  • My Name is Earl (NBC 9pm). Second episode, just as good as the first. Earl is working his way through the list, but has trouble picking what to work on next. So, he is given a little urging down the path. He is making it up to someone who went to jail instead of him, someone who has a set of the best crazy eyes I’ve seen. I just hope we don’t get in a formula rut. Potential is here. ***.5
  • The Office (NBC 9:30). Another winner. Anyone who has ever worked in an office can find something in this series to identify with. This time around they have to deal with some sexual harassment. ***.5
  • Bones (Fox 8pm). This show is starting to catch it’s pace. The cases have been interesting, but better is the interaction between the characters, particularly Boreanaz and Deschanel. This episode has them investigating the potential murder of a Venezuelan ambassador’s son at an exclusive prep school. I like where this is going. ***
  • House (Fox 9pm). Hugh Laurie continues to forge new paths with one of the best new characters of recent memory. House has conflicts with all of the women in his life as he is tries to figure out what is causing a young man’s hand to rot. The barbs are traded fast and furious. If you aren’t watching, you should. ***.5
  • Nip/Tuck (F/X 10pm). I think this will be the last episode I watch of this show. I know a lot of people like it, but I just cannot get into it, I’ve tried a few times and can’t do it. And does anyone else think that kid looks like Michael Jackson?
  • Supernatural (WB 9pm). Agents Ford and Hamill, gotta love it. Plus, an appearance by Amy Acker, definitely not a bad thing. While their father search continues, they come across a lake which has something alive in it, something that has plans for those living on it’s shores, or within reach of the pipes. This show is a genuine surprise, I actually look forward to it each week. ***.5
  • Law & Order: SVU (NBC 10pm). A suicidal pregnant woman turns out to be a scam artist in cahoots with her mother. Interesting case which bleeds over to L&O tomorrow night. I like the guest spot from Julian Sands, haven’t seen him in awhile, not to mention Lynda Carter. ***

Wednesday 9/21.

  • Lost (ABC 9pm). The slow burn continues. This week the story opens up a bit in that we find out what happened to those who were on the boat, or what’s left of it. The flashbacks this week are of Mike and his son during the custody battle. We get a different perspective on the hatch, Kate gets locked in a food closet, the mysterious numbers are used to reset some sort of timer, and we see “others.” This show is intriguing, addicting, and maddeningly slow at revealing anything. ****
  • Criminal Minds (CBS 9pm). Outside of Mandy Patinkin, there isn’t much to really like here. This episode has them chasing an arsonist on a college campus, while the team also tries to figure out what causes a stutter. The show is a bit dry. **
  • Invasion (ABC 10pm). In the aftermath of the hurricane, strange things are happening. People are acting out of character, things smell funny, then there is the skeleton that disappeared. Intriguing show, but it is moving slowly, perhaps too slowly. I am surprised that I am liking Surface better. Still…. ***
  • Veronica Mars (UPN 9pm). I was really looking forward to see this show return, to see what direction it would go in, since the season one mystery was solved, not to mention who was at the door. We open with a drug scandal with the school’s athletes, but bigger than that is what happened during the summer, one of Weevil’s crew was killed and Logan was the suspect who got off. Now we have a rich vs poor situation with Veronica skating in the middle. Great start, plus the stunning Buffy and Angel alum, Charisma Carpenter. ****
  • Over There (F/X 10pm). Still good! This week has Bo still dealing with the loss of his leg and Dim with the loss of his wife. The team as a whole is in the midst of a hostage situation with an Iraqi demanding medical attention for his son’s severely broken leg. This puts them under a lot of pressure to save the boy, while also dealing with certain people’s prejudices. ***.5
  • Law & Order (NBC 10pm). The fight against the con artists continues over from SVU. I liked the first half better. Dennis Farina isn’t really doing much for me on the show, I much prefer the late Jerry Orbach. **.5

Thursday 9/22.

  • Smallville (WB 8pm). Picking up where last season ended, Clark and Chloe discover the Fortress of Solitude, while another Kryptonian ship is wreaking havoc. It has two passengers, one male and one female searching for Kal-El. Lex is trying to learn more, Chloe reveals she knows his secret, and the two baddies are sent to the neutral zone, after speaking of Zod. Who appears at the end? Angel alum James Marsters as, presumably, Zod. ***.5
  • Alias (ABC 8pm). The show returns at the start of the season rather the middle, like last year. It is a good start too. We learn a little more about who Vaughn is, based on last seasons revelations, we also learn about Sydney’s impending bundle. We see some new characters, learn that Sloane’s daughter is alive. Then there is the big surprise with Vaughn meeting some bullets on the business end. ***.5
  • CSI (CBS 9pm). The interesting story part this week is a triple murder involving Laotian immigrants, and their boss who has something to hide. The episode was a little straight forward. It was good, up unspectacular. ***
  • ER (NBC 10pm). Greg’s Dad shows up at the ER, Sam is looking for a new place to live, and the new interns aren’t the brightest bunch of recruits. The big medical case is a surrogate mother who was in an accident and is having a breach birth and is refusing a C-section, while the genetic parents are demanding it. The series is still interesting after all these years, maybe it has lost a little luster, but it is still decent. ***
  • Everybody Hates Chris (UPN 8pm). A bright spot does exist among new sitcoms. This is clever, funny, and has good performances. This time Chris learns about restraining orders, mistaken identity and unrequited love. This show has a bright future if it can survive the busy time slot. ***.5
  • Reunion (Fox 9pm). I love the concept, but the story is bordering the melodramatic teen angst. It is not playing out the way I was expecting, but for some reason I still feel compelled to watch it. This week we get some questions from Father Malloy, and also about the family Sam’s baby is with. Plus a lush mother and a movie premiere. **.5

Friday 9/23.

  • Ghost Whisperer (CBS 8pm). The Friday feel good show, and I find it strangely alluring, for more than the obvious presence of Jennifer Love Hewitt. This time the ghost of a young boy looking for his mother appears to Melinda and another local boy. She has to help the boy as well as deal with her new mother in law, while deflecting any inquiries into her side project. ***
  • Threshold (CBS 9pm). The most compelling of the new alien shows, with credit to the more experienced cast. A mental patient who has had the glass forest nightmare gets out of his cell, while one of the infected is looking for an activated artifact. Turns out the guy wasn’t crazy, he knows exactly what kind of a threat exists. ***.5
  • Bernie Mac (Fox 8pm). Haven’t watched this in a long time. It was decent, but doesn’t have the magic that it had earlier on. Bernie deals with the kids and the quitting topic, especially with himself when a charity event comes up. **.5
  • Malcolm in the Middle (Fox 8:30). This episode was better than any of the last season. It follows them as they go to Burning Man, where Lois gets right into the spirit, as does Reese. Malcolm is chewed up and spat out, and Hal is the focus of a new level of performance art. This episode also shows how underrated Bryan Cranston has been for this series. ***
  • Killer Instinct (Fox 9pm). A new partner is brought in to help liven up the show, but it doesn’t help. This is a dull serial killer show that uses gruesomeness in place of genuine drama. Attempts at making the characters interesting through their flaws isn’t working either. **

Saturday 9/24.

  • WWE: Smackdown (UPN 8pm). Last week for this to be pre-empted from it’s new night, Friday. This was a decent show, it opened with JBL “endearing” himself to the Latino community of Laredo. That gave way to a tag match pitting JBL and Mr. Kennedy against Rey Mysterio and Hardcore Holly. There was a diva match with Christy taking on Malena following an altercation outside the arena. Bob Orton had a match with Undertaker, but it was a trap with Randy coming out, but Taker prevailed hitting a tombstone on Bob. Newcomer Bobby Lashley took on some nobody, before Simon Dean came out to announce a match with Bobby. To determine a contender for the US title, Orlando Jordan, Christian, and Booker T faced each other with Jordan getting the surprising win, Benoit then announced a fatal 4 way with the three of them. The Main event had Batista and Eddie Guerrero facing LOD for the tag titles, with LOD retaining via DQ. **.5

To be dropped from the “To Watch” list:

  • The War at Home. still
  • Joey. The time slot is way to crowded, this didn’t make the cut.
  • Criminal Minds

Shows on the bubble:

  • Medium
  • The Simpsons
  • Killer Instinct

Seasons Casualties:

  • Head Cases. Canceled, the first casualty.

That is all.

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About Draven99

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Wow, good stuff, Chris :)

    You watched a lot of TV this week, bro. I’m envious. Keep it up.

    The baseball playoffs are gonna mess with my TV watching big-time since I’m gonna have to flip back and forth and tape stuff I normally watch as well as not taping shows I normally tape so I can tape the ones I normally watch.

    That is all.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Thanks, Bob.

    The playoffs are actually going to help, a lot of shows I watch are on Fox and are being pushed out til November.