Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall TV Season 2015

So far I've watched only 4 new fall shows - Quantico, Life in Pieces, Blood and Oil and Dr. Ken.

Of these, the only one I'm continuing is Quantico and I'm not really that invested in it.  Part of the problem is the insistence of every network to push some of their best stuff to Sunday night.  I no longer have to get up early on Monday's most weeks but really?  Don't most people have to start their week off early and don't really want to stay up late on Sunday night to watch a show that may keep them wired well past midnight.

Fortunately, many of the returning shows are putting out better work than they have in years so I'm not missing much with the lackluster crop of new contenders.

Let's start with the news ones tried and rejected.

Life in Pieces follows the Big Bang Theory. It is shown in vignettes and has been widely compared unfavorably to Modern Family.  These are two very different shows with the only thing in common is that all the characters are related.  Modern Family is hardly the first or the last show to focus on a big family.  What makes Modern different is that it is truly funny - though somewhat less so in recent years.  Life in Pieces just isn't that funny particularly anything to do with the one single woman who dumps one guy for another.  It is a wonder we didn't switch it off right after their vignette.  Sex seems to be the main topic and this is always a bad sign.  If you can't find anything funny without sex, your show is empty and typically of very poor quality.  Colin Hanks deserves better.

We watched Blood and Oil because nothing else was on on the Sunday night it happened to premiere.  I didn't expect it to be as good as the first season of Revenge which is what they are setting this up to rival.  It might be as good as the subsequent seasons of Revenge but that is such a low bar that it should just be cancelled right now and move Quantico to 9 p.m.

Of course the Good Wife is supposed to come on at 9 but CBS stubbornly insists on leaving this show following football with its unpredictable end times.  Let me say this one more time - THESE ARE TWO DIFFERENT AUDIENCES!  You lose Good Wife viewers who don't want to have to keep tuning in to figure out when the show will be on.  And with all the buzz, Quantico gets, you will soon lose these loyal viewers to ABC.  Move the Good Wife to Tuesday where absolutely nothing good is on.

Why is Quantico getting so much hype?  Honestly it is because it is the best of a very, very poor crop.   Not that it is a bad show.  There is an ongoing mystery and plenty of subplots. So far I just haven't developed that much love for our heroine and possible heroes.  I get why they all have to be young to handle the physical riggers of the FBI.  What I don't get is why they all have to be so beautiful.   You could argue that every show does this but Quantico seems to have particularly done their casting from photographs of Hollywoods most beautiful.   I'm behind on watching but don't really care.  I'll catch up in the next few weeks.

Finally I tried out Dr. Ken.  It's slightly humorous.  He and particularly his wife last seen on the much missed but title-already-forgotten Matthew Perry NBC show get some good lines.   The little boy is far less annoying in this outing that when he sank ABC's Trophy Wife.   I know he got great reviews but his acting was the sole reason I stopped watching Bradley Whitford and company.  He got on my nerves.

As for returning shows, several have started off the season with the best wrting in years.  Most notably in this category are Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and the Good Wife.  Scandal has pitted many former friends against one another and it is a treat to watch every week. You would think that I and Fitz would learn what to expect from Mellie and Cyrus but they keep surprising us.  OK, I knew Fitz was going to pay for taking Olivia out on a date.  His wife told him that she wouldn't hurt him if he didn't hurt her. Did he not think parading the first mistress in public would hurt her?  Go Mellie!

Grey's has lightened the mood for many of their main characters but balanced the show with plenty of medical drama.  Meredith is truly building relationships with other women and I don't think Cristina's name has been mentioned once.  Not that she should forget her friend, but it was time to move on.  Derek is not missed at all.  Actually it is a relief to not have to wonder how they would going to sustain their marriage and keep it from being boring.  Bailey is the chief!  Yeah!  The only downside is April.  I don't believe anyone ever loved her character much and it is time to write her out.  They even have the perfect place for her to go.  Jackson needs to be on the market.

The Good Wife has set themselves up for quite a challenge this year.  They are running Peter in the democratic primary naming real contenders in their dialogue. I hope they can reshoot on a moments notice because who knows what will really happen.  Part of this challenge is election fatigue. We have plenty of other drama going on. The only issue I have is why Diane is so anti-Alicia.  I've truly forgotten what their tiff is about. I'm delighted with Alicia's new detective.  He was delicious on Grey's a few years ago and looks deliciously dangerous here.  More, please!  Eli and Grace are getting wonderful scenes too this season.  It is just a completely revitalized show.

I hate to say it but Big Bang Theory and Modern Family are aging and it shows.  They just aren't as funny because we know these characters. We know what they are going to do.  There aren't many surprises left. One suggested to BBT - get rid of Stewart.  They refuse to change him and so he has become stale.  Give Raj more airtime.  Also move more quickly along with Raj's girlfriend. Do we like her?  Not yet?  Should we or is she secretly a serial killer?  We just don't know and it is time to flush this out.  Modern is introducing some new characters and that helps.  I want Haley to dump Dillon and go back to the "Manny" - Joe's nanny who I think is now working for Phil who never seems to be working.  Their romance and development of their own little family would really revitalize this show.

The sophomore seasons of Madam Secretary and How To Get Away with Murder are coming along.  Good starts. We will just have to see how these go.

The one show that truly needs to go at the end of this year is Nashville.  I was pleasantly surprised when it was renewed; however, I mostly wanted it for the music and so far there hasn't been much on that front.  Please put Hayden Panitierre on stage with some new music.  I don't care for Deacon's anger at Scarlett.  He is being completely unreasonable.  Will's story which was always the most inventive has been once again dropped.  Let's wrap this one up and call it a day.

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