Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Thursday Night Premieres (9/24/15)

Grey's Anatomy
How To Get Away With Murder
Heroes Reborn

What do these shows have in common? They all premiered last Thursday,  9/24/15.

The first three are all on ABC and all written under the Shonda Rimes umbrella. I'm not sure what I think about that umbrella. And still... I can't stop watching. I'm not sure what that says about ME.

Let's tackle them one at a time.

We've seen so many main characters leave this show. Each time, I think to myself, "Well, this is gonna be bad." And it is. It always IS. I remain firm in my opinion that this show was best in its first three seasons. In fact, I think it was stellar in its first three seasons. After that... it's had stellar moments. When Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) decided he wanted out of his contract last season, and the show decided to kill off his character (as opposed to... well, anything else), I just wasn't sure that this show would survive his loss (in a long string of losses). And my jury is still out. I'm not convinced that we can resuscitate this show with that sort of hit. The opener hinted at what made Grey's great (IMO it was the bizarre medical cases that came through the ER/hospital... and the ways those cases impacted or intersected the lives of our favorite characters) with two girls who were hit by a train. Yes, I said a train. And then it took a turn for the PC and I felt an agenda slammed down my throat. I'm really tired of that. I just want good story. So, I give it a C.

SCANDAL (9:00pm, ABC)
This show has been guilty of slamming agenda since Day One. I mostly watch it to see what TPTB want me to think about things so I can take a hard turn in the other direction. That... and this show has Scott Foley on it. I'll put up with a lot to watch Scott Foley. Just sayin'. There was very little Scott Foley in the premiere. I give it a D+. I know you can do better people.

I like this one least of all. Last season it was all confusing with flashbacks. I think Viola Davis consistently gives an amazing performance... but everyone else... meh. This season they are really bringing out the "cray cray" (that would be Crazy) in all of the characters. If the goal here is to convince America that lawyers are all whacko, they are succeeding. I give it a solid D.

I was really looking forward to this one. Before I can address what I saw on Thursday night, I must say just a few words about this show's predecessor, Heroes. Heroes had an amazing first season. Really Phenom. After that, it went into a steady decline that became a train wreck in Season 4 (and led to cancellation). I really hope that Tim Kring has written beyond Season One this time. That said, I think I went into this one with unrealistic expectations. Based on the trailers, I was expecting more familiar faces. Turns out, it ain't so. Ergo, I would've liked it better if I wasn't misled with the trailer. Now that I've readjusted my expectations, I think I'll like this better. I was very disappointed right after (probably earning this one a "D" a few days ago). Now, I give it a B, with crossed fingers... because it could go either way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Wednesday, 9/23, Premieres

Wednesday was a slow note at my house... in terms of TV.  So, if you watched things I didn't, please dish.

I really like this show. It's been fun watching the kids grow up on TV. I also like that all of the kids are such good actors. The season opener focused primarily on the Haley/Andy relationship. I laughed all the way through. Good for you, Modern Family, for actually being a funny show:)

Nashville began its fourth season. Wow. Time flies. What I like most about this show is that it's soapy with a wonderful blend of music. In some ways, the music feels like a character on this show. It's that important. The show begins with almost all of the couples in crisis. (I said it was soapy.) Ironically, Deacon and Rayna are the most solid... and that is saying something, because they've been on a roller coaster since this thing started! Let the games and the music begin!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tuesday, 9/22, Season Premieres

I'm slowly clearing out my DVR... watching all of the shows that premiered last week.

Let's take a look at Tuesday, 9/22, and I'll give you the break down on what I think. If you watched something on Tuesday night that I didn't... share it in the comments. If you also watched any of these shows and have something you want to share... do it!

NCIS (8:00, CBS)
Last season ended with a cliffhanger. Our MC, Jethro Gibbs, was shot. Jon Cryer guest starred as a surgeon (well done, Mr. Cryer) and saved Gibbs' life (I know, shocking!). However, the
Gibbs post-shooting is not the same as Gibbs pre-shooting, which I suspect will change the tone of the show for a while. That's good. NCIS has been on a long time. It needed a bit of shaking up. The original show remains my favorite in the NCIS line-up. Looking good for Season 13. Can you believe that???? This has been an "A" show since the beginning.

NCIS: New Orleans (9:00, CBS)
This one is growing on me. I wasn't all that crazy about this spin-off last year (season one) in the beginning. Scott Bakula's southern accent comes and goes. But, I like Scott Bakula as Pride. I felt like we didn't really get to know anything about the team (LaSalle and Brody) until the end of the season. And that's when I began to really enjoy the show. I had hopes that the recurring character of Abigail Borin might become a full-time cast member. Alas, no. But the show did add an FBI agent that was recurring last season. And their computer guy looks like he's gone full-time this season. Sometimes it takes a while for a cast to come together. Not going to grade this one yet. I think it's about to come up from the C of last year to something better.

This show is based on the movie by the same name. I'm operating at a bit of a disadvantage, because I didn't see the movie. However, I loved the TV show. I had big hopes for the pilot, and it didn't disappoint. I'm totally hooked. I give it an A.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Rest of Monday Night

You know what happens when you take an idea that is really just half cocked and publish it on your blog? You forget stuff. Yep. Forget stuff.

On my previous post, I told you what I thought about the Monday night premieres. I forgot ABC. Oops.

DANCING WITH THE STARS didn't actually premiere last Monday, but the Monday before that. Because they have 13 couples this season (rather than 12) they had double elimination this past week. That meant all the couples had to learn two dances this week. One for Monday night (followed by an elimination) and one for Tuesday night (followed by an elimination). I must say this season there are some really good dancers. More than there have been in past seasons. Usually I can pick out the Top Four pretty quickly. This season there are actually six, and possibly seven, that are contenders. That is pretty darn fantastic. If you like dancing, this is shaping up to be a great season. I give it an A.

CASTLE (10:00, ABC)
Castle just kicked off Season 8. I don't know if you were wondering, but I was thinking, "What else can they do? I mean, really, they've done it all. They even got married last season." Well, they found something fresh and exciting. I'm not gonna spoil it for you, but the first episode of the season was ZOOM. Action. Action. Action. I'm thinking season 8 won't be dull... at all. I give it an A.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monday Night Kick-Off Review (this is NOT a Football post)

I haven't posted here for a while... not since a few months ago... and my largely unread series on JJ Abrams.

 However, we've just entered into a new fall season of TV. I'm going to try and help you be more aware of what's on (and how the things I watch are faring... in my humble opinion).

So, let's look at Monday's night of programming. I'm only going to address the things I watched, so if you watched something else and have an opinion about it, please share in the comments:)

This is a new sitcom. It kinda reminded me of Modern Family in that the show explores all the branches of one family. It was different in that it segmented into four separate stories. The first three featured each kid (who are all adults, some with their own families). The last segment featured the family coming together for the father's (very bizarre) birthday party. It was funny, and I laughed plenty. So, the jury is still out on this one, but it shows promise.

SCORPION (9:00pm, CBS)
I think Scorpion was the best new show of last season. I was really looking forward to this season and am well pleased with the first episode. For those of you unaware of this show, it's based on the real life of Walter O'Brien. The guy is a genius and leads a team of other geniuses to solve problems. In this episode, the government knocked a Chinese satellite out of orbit (quite deliberately) but then had a bigger problem when it's trajectory would cause it to land in CA. Since the satellite had nuclear material on it, that would have taken out a big chunk of CA. So, the team is called in to solve what the government cannot... how to change the trajectory so that it lands in the ocean. Not going to spoil it for you, but I'm still loving this show. I give it an A.

I'm not sure what season we are in... four? five? I confess that there are some things I really like about this show and some things I don't. I really like the characters and their interpersonal dynamic. I don't like that it's usually addressing international concerns. However, that's the show. Last season ended with Callan learning more about his biological father (in Russia), but still left plenty of mystery to be unraveled this season (and beyond). This season opened with Callan trying to get back the man who is the last link to his dad, who was shot at the end of last season and left in Russia. It was all a bit confusing for me. I give it a C.

GOTHAM (8:00pm, Fox)
This show just launched its second season. Season One was really well done. The show revolves around Detective Jim Gordon. He is a rookie detective with the Gotham Police Department. Bruce Wayne is a kid who just lost his parents. All of the Batman villains that we know and love (to hate) are in various stages of their development into "villains." Many are still children. Frankly, I love these shows that explore the unwritten background of very familiar stories. This season they've added the tagline "Rise of the Villains." We've met many of them, but I suspect we'll meet more. The first episode didn't disappoint. I give it an A.

This is another new show. It's premise is a bit difficult to follow. My mom opted out after ten minutes of trying to watch it. It takes place in the future (and has a ton of futuristic gadgetry). That confused mom. Aside from that, the main character is a young man who can see bits and pieces of the future (murders that are about to happen is the focus). He has a twin brother and a sister. When the government discovered their ability, they attached them to machines so that could prevent crime before it happened (yeah, people were locked up BEFORE they committed the crime). These kids lost a decade of their lives hooked up to the machine. Now they're free, but our MC is haunted by the murders and his inability to prevent them. He teams up with a detective in the pilot and the race is now on. The jury is out for me on this one. It has potential to be really good or really terrible.