Sunday, September 28, 2014

Returning Fall Shows - the first week

Several favorites returned this week. We had eagerly awaited the return of The Big Bang Theory and Scandal.  Let's see how they all did.

The Good Wife
While it was difficult at times to watch, the storyline was the most surprising.  Carey's arrest came out of nowhere.  I'm always amazed how these people avoid spoilers.  My prediction is that Carey will stay in lockup for a couple more episodes so Alicia and Diane can merge the firms leaving him even angrier when he is free that he wasn't in on the decisions.  I think that when Will's murderer comes up for trial, Carey will want to represent him having experienced what it is like to be in jail and knowing how the kid could snap.  Maybe Alicia will be State's Attorney by then and prosecute the case herself.

Big Bang Theory
Hilarious as always.  A great double header.  This show continues to do a 'bang up' job incorporating their growing cast and developing their characters.

The Middle
There is nothing really new here this year but it is still funny.  Eden Sher is so unrewarded by the acting community for the fantastic performances she gives year after year.  Maybe this year and Emmy or at the very least a nomination.  If only all the nominations weren't gobbled up by...

Modern Family
While still funny, this show is getting to the most predictable and at times tedious of all.  I hate to say that because it was so fantastic early on.  The problem is that the same characters interact week after week and you can easily see how they are going to behave.  Cameron goes overboard on the romance and Mitchell is embarrassed by it.  How many times have we seen this?  Bring on some new characters and shake things up!

Ok, this was also predictable but I still enjoyed it.  I knew Juliette would be pregnant.  They set this up last season and Hayden Panitierre is pregnant IRL so they had to go there.  I knew Rayna would not pick Deacon else the show would be over for her character.  I knew Scarlett would return mainly because there were no spoilers than the actress was leaving.  I still laughed at the road trip. I was still happy for Juliette who got the part in the movie.  I even still wondered just for a minute if Rayna would choose Deacon.  It is a good ensemble and the music is always great.

The best storyline is Will's and little happened here but I'm sure more will be coming along on this.  It is unprecedented for Country Music as far as I know and I tune in to see how they are going to deal with his sexuality.

Grey's Anatomy
Is there a technician's strike in Hollywood that I don't know about?  Otherwise how do you explain the horrible - dial back to the 1970's - special effects???  Grey's is better than that.

I also thought that the fighting between Meredith and the sister she doesn't know she is related to was forced.  I'd have like to see more on the fight over the board seat.  Alex is my favorite character so I'm glad Meredith and he are developing an even closer friendship but he needs his own storylines and life apart from her.  And Bailey hardly got a word in the entire show.

I was disppointed in that this is my first season watching them realtime.  Watchable but they have done better.

Fantastic premiere!  It is like they hit the reset button and we saw all the players move back into position except Abby.  No one was where I expected at the beginning except Liv being on an island.   There was a little teaser about that. I like the development of Quinn from the little mouse into the one person who brought everyone back together for Harrison's funeral.

I also applaud Shonda Rhimes for taking care of business.  She doesn't let her actors off with bad behavior.  The NFL and the NBA could learn from her.

Mellie is such fun to watch.  She is going through an awful time yet she makes it entertaining to watch and she is completely in control of her breakdown.  She isn't going to jump off the Truman balcony but if she keeps hanging over the edge someone is bound to notice.   I never noticed until this episode how much she and Abby sound alike.  I think they need to be related.

Best of all we had a case of the week.  Let's keep those coming.  You can do that and still have the overarching story.

So a good start to the season.  Tonight Revenge returns for hopefully the final season.  And if CBS will get their act together we can get Mom, the Millers and Mike and Molly back.  Oh and Elementary - that is sometime in late October I think.  That is a show I like more and more.

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Fall 2014 TV

With almost all my shows being renewed, I really don't need to pick up a lot for the fall of 2014.  Still, I'm tempted to try a few new shows.  Here is what I've tried and what I think of them so far:

Forever (ABC)
Since I rarely care for science fiction or the supernatural in any form with the occasional exception such as Early Edition, I had not planned to watch Forever at all. The built-in gimmick overrode the really hot guy.  Then I heard last week that the pilot was on-line.  So why not?  Not much else to watch.

My husband and I watched it together and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I loved Elana De La Garza on Law and Order.  Judd Hirsh plays the ah, well, I won't tell you since it would spoil the story.  He is in the sidekick role and there is a real kick to his character's placement in Henry's (the lead's) life.  The pace is just right and the characters are not just likeable, but people you want to get to know - something sorely missing from so many shows. The pilot did an excellent job it seemed of setting us up for the 2nd episode though they really seemed to skip all that when the 2nd episode rolled around.  The overarching story is engaging and it is a good procedural. Some people hate procedurals but I miss them. Shows like Scandals started with a story of the week and then completely abandoned the concept so much you can't figure out how these people could possibly stay in business.

The only issue I have is Henry's gimmick of dying and then popping up in water naked.  Doesn't sound like that would be a problem to watch but it is a gimmick and any gimmick overused will kill a show or at least my desire to watch it.

Another show I had no plans to watch was Blackish.  The previews just didn't make it seem funny.  I was persuaded by the excellent reviews.  Should have listened to my instincts.  This show may have some important social commentary.  I don't really know.  What I know is it is a comedy and I only laughed - lightly - once.  Why can't ABC find something to follow Modern Family and give Nashville a decent lead in?

A to Z
Another pilot I watched on-line.  I like the main characters.  Didn't like the supporting cast at all.  Plus it is on NBC and I watch nothing else on NBC, a network that can actually manage to screw up a Michael J. Fox show, so why bother?

After watching the on-line pilot, I thought I might tune into this.  I enjoyed it more than expected.  It is better than its previews.  The problem with it is they told the entire story in the pilot.  I'm not expecting this one to hang around too long.

Madam Secretary (CBS)
I love shows about the presidency.  This one on Sundays prior to the Good Wife showed promise in the previews.  My husband labeled in predictable after we watched the first episode.  I agree though there were one or two unique takes.  It is watchable and a good time slot as The Good Wife is often late so having something to watch earlier is nice.  I'll just wait and see if the episodes get more engaging.  I do like all of the cast except for the two silly young assistants.

Scorpion (CBS)
Another show I had no intention of watching based on the previews.  My husband wanted to watch it and for some reason CBS has it slotted at 9:00 p.m. on Monday.  That alone is enough to really irritate me.  The Good Wife desperately needs to be rescued from its slot post football, 60 Minutes, Madam Secretary that can range anywhere from 9 p.m to a 10:30 start.  Why not put it on Monday at 9 if you suddenly want to air a drama at 9 p.m.  Or what about Elementary that has been put off until late October thanks once again to football?  The most logical thing would have been to bring on some of the regular comedies - the good ones like The Millers and Mike and Molly (though this needs some fine tuning to get back to what it once was but that is another issue).

So Scorpion is taking up much needed airtime and for what?  The most ridiculous story I've ever seen in something supposedly based on real life events.  Tell me did an amateur driver really go 200 mph down a runway with someone popping out of their sunroof to plug a cable into a plane buzzing above.  Just land the plane!!! I've read that 'the runway was too short.'  Well geniuses, you are at LAX, find a longer runway!  This program was completely absurd.

Now I know the only thing I've liked so far is a show about a guy who can't die.  In that case though and in other science fiction, you know what you are getting going in. What I don't like about Scorpion is they want us to swallow this nonsense as possible even reasonable.  No, I will not be watching this again.

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
The one show I truly wanted to add to my viewing for the fall is the new Shonda Rhimes show following Scandal.  Actually it was developed by someone else.  It definitely did not disappoint!

An overarching mystery - really two of them - that is promised to be solved by the end of the short season, a case of the week, a very complex female lead, and loads of mystery ensure that this drama will be around for the season.  We were talking about it first thing this morning with theories on who did what.  That is the sign of a good show for sure.

I haven't decided if I like these characters yet but I'm definitely interested.  There are plenty of layers to reveal.

So I have one definite watch in How to Get Away with Murder and two maybes in Forever and Madam Secretary.