Friday, October 2, 2009

TV: Premiere Season is here

The kids are back in school, so you know what that means... new TV season! A LOT of old favorites are back, some unexpectedly (like Dollhouse), some predictably (Fringe, Lie to Me, Supernatural), and some regrettably (what the HECK has happened to Smallville for pete's sake? Tom Welling is cute, but give me a break! Time Travel? Guh!)

There are also some new shows that caught my eye that I've been enjoying tremendously.

Warehouse 13: This was a summer-run show that recently had their season finale. I caught up with the early episodes through Amazon's Video on Demand service (now sent directly to my new TiVo, thank you very much!) and caught the last five or six episodes from "live" TV, or as live as TiVo gets. It's an interesting blend of "Friday the 13th: The series", steampunk, and "Eureka". I find both the lead agents appealing actors, and have always enjoyed Saul Rubinek's work, even though he doesn't often play a very appealing character.

Defying Gravity: Unfortunately on hiatus with a shaky status, this glimpse into the future of corporate space programs with a sci-fi alien twist was just starting to get good when it was unceremoniously dumped from the airing schedule.

The Vampire Diaries: I would have accused this show of trying to ride on the coattails of "Twilight" and its popularity, had the books not been published a good long while ago. It's a vampire tale set in High School, with mostly unknown actors, the exception being Ian Somerhalder (Boone on "LOST") as the vicious older brother to the main male character. It's very "CW" (ie lots of very pretty, very young people running around, full of angst) but I'm giving it a decent shot to mature. After all, my number one show "Supernatural" is also a CW show, and it's matured nicely into a very engaging show.

Now a short recap of the season premieres of old favorites, and my impressions.

Supernatural: The Brothers Winchester screwed up last season and broke the last seal heralding the start of Armageddon. Now we've got angels and demons running amok, and one renegade angel looking for where God might be on earth. When Castiel first showed up, and those wings unfurled, I was like "Heck yeah!" but now I'm to the point where I'd just rather get back to the Chupacabra-esque stories, and drop the whole "good vs. evil" stuff. And two brothers from the same family as vessels for the main players of light and dark? Don't really buy it. I don't believe someone is considered the ultimate evil because of something DONE to them. Sam's truly evil and started down that path because he was fed demon blood as an infant? Nuh-uh. Still, the line-by-line writing, production values, and acting on this show keep me coming back every week.

Fringe: I was a little confused by the premiere of Fringe this season. I didn't have time to re-watch the first season before the premiere, but from what I remembered and what happened in the premiere, it seemed that we were supposed to know or have seen things that I just don't recall happening.

Castle: Smart-alec Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion... YUM-o) is still with the precinct, following Beckett around. The whole flavor of the show, very liberally sprinkled with cheesey novel titles and grammatical nit-picking is a fun romp of a detective show with the right balance of realism and humor. Lord knows I'd watch Mr. Fillion read a phone book, but his impish behavior really makes the show.

Dollhouse: Joss Whedon. It seems the renewal of the show surprised him, along with the rest of us. I'm still not 100% behind Eliza Dushku as Echo, but at this point I suppose there's not much to be done about that. The rest of the cast has been top-notch, and the writing is stellar. The scene between Whisky/Dr. Saunders and Topher was especially poignant. I'm sad to see Amy Acker leave for another show, but there's always a chance for a return.

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