Friday, 30 October 2009

TV Round-up

Just a quick intermission from horror posts, made further intermittent by reviews tomorrow, to do a quick check in on the roster of TV shows I'm watching right now. Some are missing, either I've only seen one or two so far this year or they come back in January. The cable shows are all borderline mid-season, whilst network shows are still relatively near the beginning. Anyway, this is how things are coming along. With proper reviews to come at the end of a show's season.


Dexter Season 4: After a close to painful third season, things are slightly better this time around. But only because of the inspired casting of John Lithgow as the new season long guest star, the same inherent problems remain with the show. With weak supporting cast, inane subplots and often weak writing This show remains kind of average whenever Michael C Hall or Lithgow aren't on screen. Rating so far (but could get better if they give Lithgow more screen-time), 6/10.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7: Given the nature of the show, its impressive it has lasted this long and 7 years is nothing to sneer at. This year has a renewed verve on account of the season arc of a faux-seinfeld reunion. The plots can be a bit of a mess sometimes, but its never not funny and Larry David remains somewhat ironically one of the funniest characters on television. Rating so far: 7/10

Mad Men Season 3: This is a show I watch perhaps with less regularity then I should given how critically adored it is, but I just can never get into it. I'm sure that's my issue rather then the shows, and if you liked it before you'll only like it more now. Rating so far: 8/10


How I met Your Mother Season 5: There are signs of this show becoming slightly tired, but the one thing it has going for it is that its never lazy. Going for everything full tilt means sometimes jokes don't land, but there's been at least 3 stellar episodes so far, the best of which was the truly awesome ' Robin 101', and only one out and out dud. So I'm remaining positive. Rating so far: 7/10

The Big Bang Theory Season 3: Its funny, but with the exception of maybe House, no other show relies on a single performance quite to the extent TBBT has come to rely on Jim Parsons. Its an enjoyably unique performance though, so until the shtick gets old, which it undoubtedly will, I'm giving it a pass. Rating so far: 6/10

House M.D Season 6: After a season opener that broke from the long since static status quo, it has quite quickly returned to the same that it ever was. Which is the Hugh Laurie show, basically. Which is still greatly entertaining. Rating: 6/10

Lie To Me Season 2: The addition of The Shield Show-runner Shawn Ryan, has made little difference to what is at its core a relatively formulaic procedural. Tim Roth is great to be sure, but he's not good enough to justify this show's existence for much longer unless it starts to be a little more interesting: Rating: 5/10

Heroes Season 4: Ignore the people who tell you this show has gotten good again. It hasn't.It may not be as bad as season three, but that was one of the worst season of TV in recent memory, so that's not difficult.It retains a mess ran by people who neither understand basic story or character. There are no particularly good performances and it remains as erratic and frustrating as ever. Robert Knepper is a good addition, but at its core this show is crap, and there's nothing really to be done about that. Rating so far: 4/10


Sons Of Anarchy Season 2: The worst day for TV contains this at least. I have to say that at first a show about a motorcycle gang was not that appealing, but this season has been the bomb so far. A relentlessly shocking and consistently well put together and well acted show. Rating so far: 8/10


Modern Family Season 1: This critically raved over show is not the next Arrested Development as some have said by any means, but its funny and engaging if not mind-blowing. An interesting cast though and its early in life and has great potential. Rating so far: 7/10

Cougar Town Season 1: I only watched this truly abysmally titled show, because it comes from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. But so far its certainly a step down for the man. Courteney Cox is too OTT so far, and its a performance that may end up toppling the show, but it has a reasonably solid supporting cast, with Bobby Van Holt the most consistently funny thing in it as yet. But on the whole a misfire. Rating so far: 5/10


Flash-Forward Season 1: The new Lost like hell. So far dull, led by the increasingly damp squib Joseph Fiennes in the lead. His performance sums up what the whole show is so far. An undeniable disappointment that never came close to living up to its potential. The under-rated John Cho is doing a good job so far, but other-wise average in every sense of the word. Rating so far: 5/10

Supernatural Season 5: Its hard to really hate this show, because while it is bad, it tries so hard to be a show worth your time. Its relentlessly inventive, never sitting on its laurels and while it will never be the Wire, Good intentions have lead to a couple of moments this year in which the show has gloriously risen above its station. Particularly the Ben Edlund scripted 'The End' (The man responsible for the Angel episode 'Smile Time', one of the most enjoyable episodes of TV ever made.) Rating so far: 6/10

Parks and Recreation Season 2: The first season of this comedy by the creators of the Office, was a slight letdown, but its second year has been consistently funny, with everyone relaxing into their characters and containing without doubt the funniest line delivery of any show his year. He was born ready. Rating so far: 8/10

The Office Season 6: This probably has been the best comedy on the air for two years or so, and this year has kept up the good work. Featuring an expansive cast in which close to everyone is hilarious, for me this has close to surpassed its source material. Rating so far: 8/10

Community Season 1: After a hilarious pilot, probably my favorite of all the new shows,things kind of dragged along for a while, with a couple of consecutive misfires. The most recent episode 'Introduction to Statistics' however has renewed my confidence, and this is a smart, creative comedy with several great performances, most notably from Joel McHale who plays the most awesome TV douche I've seen in a while. Rating so far: 8/10

Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 5: I love this show. It gets ignored by critics, by award shows and by viewers. But week to week I laugh more at this than I do anything else, and its been that way for a while. This year may not be quite as good as the third and fourth years, but it remains none the less a hilarious show that you should be watching. Rating so far: 7/10

Burn Notice Season 3: On half-season hiatus now, but its a relentlessly entertaining, deceptively clever and well-plotted action show that is just a joy to watch. When it tries to get serious sometimes things get a bit iffy, but who cares when its this fun right. Rating so far 7/10


Dollhouse Season 2: This show gets in my face. It has potential to be such a great show, but it keeps playing to the common denominator. The mis-conceived season premiere pretty much sealed this show's fate as far as this being the last season, but the recent 'Belonging' indicates things are on track and maybe we'll get one or two great episodes before this show vanishes into the ether. Rating so far 6/10

No comments: