Boob Tube Has Us In September...
to get my TiVo trained, and I’m exercising my thumb
a little bit more. That’s because the new fall season
is getting started, and I get the feeling I’m going
to be watching a hell of a lot more TV this coming season,
as we’ve got a lovely slew of shiny program newness
headed our way, and there seems to be a lot of good stuff
coming out. I managed to see bits and pieces earlier in
the summer (i.e. Comic Con), and I thought I’d share
some of the notes I took on few of this fall’s freshman
crop, along with my opinion.
ABC, Wednesdays 10pm, premieres September 21st
Shaun Cassidy called this “a family drama”,
but it’s still Sci-Fi, according to what I saw. Invasion’s
premise seems to be that there’s something out there,
underwater, and it might be responsible for more than we
think. The show opens with a mighty hurricane bearing down
on a small Florida town, and a large (and mildly dysfunctional)
family prepping for the worst. The youngest daughter runs
off as the worst of the storm begins, to find the family
cat, and instead sees strange lights shimmering in the water,
unaffected by the mighty storm. After the storm blows though,
people are missing and the strange lights aren’t the
only thing the characters need to worry about.
what I saw, you get a format that is very similar to that
of Lost, where the viewers and characters learn
the situation and encompassing details at the same time.
We get caught up in the drama of a young father, his two
children and new wife, plus his ex-wife and her new boyfriend,
so when the creepy lights shows up, it’s completely
unexpected, and brings a nice anticipation with it, without
losing the true-to-life feeling of the story.
opening episode might be a bit disturbing for some to watch
at this point, since a powerful hurricane is central to
the plot, and the filming and wrecked sets were done incredibly
well. It’s very real, and, so close to the aftermath
of Katrina, mildly disturbing. 24 got some editing
when it premiered right after 9/11, Invasion might get some
too, though with the hurricane being such a major part of
the plot, they might even delay the premiere until things
settle a bit.
the point: Worth giving a try, but it’s a
wait and see.
Fox, Tuesdays 8pm, premieres September 13th
fangs to Bones...
Inspired by actual forensic anthropologist and novelist
Kathy Reichs, Bones is the latest in the CSI
inspired crime procedural dramas, though this takes the
turn of the cases being old, and/or nothing being left of
the victims except, yup, you guessed it, bones.
main character is Dr. Temperence Brennan, a forensic anthropologist
and sometimes mystery novelist with a knack for reading
the clues left on the bones of victims. She’s got
a crack team, including a bawdy computer programmer, a brainy
lab tech, and an insect expert with a penchant for conspiracy.
Dr. Brennan is often and unwillingly called out to assist
the FBI, who has its own issues with her, and ends up working
with Special Agent Seeley Booth to solve murders where the
bodies are so destroyed, only someone who can read bones
has any chance of finding out who, what, and how.
the truth, the premiere episode of Bones was pretty
uninspiring. It’s a crime drama, which is a genre
whose freshness date has long past. It sticks to the science,
as far as the inexperienced eye can tell, but there are
some farfetched tech toys employed, that made me wonder
if this was going start becoming a science fiction series.
The murder itself was pretty basic; find the body, collect
evidence, talk to suspects, get clues, find out truth. The
main characters are at least interesting, with Emily Deschanel’s
Dr. Brennan smart, impatient, and charging headlong into
things waaaaay out of her field. David Boreanez has dropped
the vampiric angst for Seeley Booth (who names these people?),
but is comical occasionally as the suffering Booth, following
Brennan around and trying to keep her in line. Their sniping
of each other earns some chuckles, and they have a good
character , however, is the programmer, the rowdy, slightly
raunchy Michaela Conlin, played by Angela Montenegro. She’s
not your stereotypical engineer, and she’s a delight
because of it, often speaking her mind, and she’s
not afraid to use what God gave her to get what she wants.
the Point: Another crime drama, another day. Kind
of fluffy, but nothing to get excited about.
Stalker, ABC, Thursdays 9pm, premieres September
Based on the cult classic television show, Night Stalker
revolves around reporter Carl Kolchak and his obsession with
strange murders. He starts a new job at a newspaper, and ends
up being partnered with Perri Reed, an up and coming hot reporter
who starts off resenting Kolchak’s interference with
her stories, but then realizes he may have more insight than
he’s letting on.
what I saw, Night Stalker is starting out dark,
and while there might be more humor later on (at least that’s
what the Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union promised at
the panel), it’s still seems like it’s going
to be based in horror. What I saw was very straightforward:
two reporters working the same case, a violent murder under
unusual circumstances, and Kolchak seems to be able to find
clues that Perri can’t or isn’t seeing. And
while they’re still working out their working relationship,
we’re seeing parts of suspenseful and terrifying murders.
very underdeveloped, as if everything was thrown together
last minute, and they didn’t have time to settle into
the writing, or the directing, or into their roles. The
mystery and horror aspects seem very interesting though,
and I think with a few episodes to develop a stronger theme,
it’s going to be a pretty good show to watch. I didn’t
recognize Stuart Townsend at first, but he’s definitely
got the ability to do the mysterious stranger role, as well
as some light humor, and Gabrielle Union is good as the
tough, determined young reporter.
the Point: Needs some work, but worth keeping an
So, from what
I’ve seen so far, the season is shaping up to be a
lot of fun. There isn’t too much that’s crying
out “WATCH ME”, but there enough interesting
stuff to keep us glued to our TV sets like the good couch
potatoes we are.