Monday, March 15, 2010

TV 2010: The Good, The Bad, and the Surprising

The dawn of 2010 brought with it a slew of new TV shows, returning series (some who've been gone for far too long) and the promise of favorites who have yet to return. Won't you join me on a walk down the TV landscape...


LOST - Since the extreme close up of Jack's eyelid popping open in the first episode, LOST has been one of the most captivating, thought provoking, twisty shows on television. The powers that be wisely decided to choose when the story would end, so this season is the last season. Not only are we learning bits and pieces of what makes the island go round, we're getting to see showcases of some incredible actors. Tomorrow's episode should be particularly good... Sawyer's back!

Flash Forward - This is another mind bending, sci-fi-ish series. Everybody in the world (except for one dude) blacked out at exactly the same time and they all saw flashes of one specific day and time in the future. By trying to piece it together, are they making the future happen, or would it have happened anyway? Those kind of questions along with some great actors make this one of my must-watch shows. Ooo, and James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) joins the cast when it returns on March 18th!

V - I still don't understand the reasoning behind showing four episodes - back in, what was it... October? - and then putting it on hold until the end of this month. But I'm a fan and I can't wait for it to come back. We may have lost Elizabeth Mitchell on LOST, but she's about ready to kick some Visitor butt!

Glee - Why is it taking so long to bring this show back? I've played my Glee soundtracks to death. I need new songs! April 13th can't come soon enough.


24 - I explained why I stopped watching 24 in a previous post, but it boils down to this: the writers screwed up by starting the season off with Happy Grandpa Jack. I don't want to watch anyone hurt Grandpa Jack. Period.

American Idol - It might be the loss of Paula. It might be the addition of Ellen. It might be that Simon doesn't care as much since this is his last season. It might be that the judging panel often acts like overly hormonal pre-teens. It might be because half the contestants sing off tune and the other half seem unattractively smug of their deservedness to be on the stage. For whatever reason, AI is surprisingly boring this season.

The Academy Awards - Some of this year's telecast was great: the opening number by Neil Patrick Harris, UP winning best animated picture, Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech, Kathryn Bigelow holding both her Oscars like a pair of golden dumbbells... But there were also some huge gaffs. Like the costumer who started out her speech, "Well, I've got two of these now.") Gee, I know some folks who would be happy to take one off your hands.) There were some awful camera shots: a wide shot of James Taylor at the beginning of the tribute section rather than a close up of who was on the screen, making us nearly miss Patrick Swayze; during the John Hughes tribute, there was a wide shot of the audience rather than the actors coming on stage to talk about John; and for some reason, the camera did NOT capture the moment when Kathryn Bigelow beat out ex-hubby James Cameron as best director. Didn't you want to see THAT reaction? I know I did. And I would like to request that interpretive dance numbers be banned from the show. Please bring back the performance of best song nominees and dance during those. It makes so much more sense.


Survivor - This season is another "best of" round up. Called Heroes Vs. Villains, it brings back folks who have all played the game before, some of them multiple times. That being the case, I was ready for it to be a little bit boring, with a been-there-done-that feel. I'm delighted to say I was wrong. The dynamic between these contestants is really interesting. I'm particularly enjoying watching Russell Hantz scramble to retain his self-given title as best Survivor ever. He is SO going to be voted out before long... if the Heroes ever win immunity, that is.

The Marriage Ref - I thought this was going to be another overwrought reality show, but it's more comedy than anything else. Yes, real couples are on the show, but only in brief clips sharing the issue they need a call on. They're usually silly things, like should hubby be allowed to keep his dead-and-now-stuffed dog in the house? Is it right that wifey declares the formal dining room off limits to everyone except at Thanksgiving? The majority of the show is a panel of three celebs (who change each week) and host Tom Papa discussing the issue in a lively, often hilarious, debate.

Undercover Boss - I realize that the very act of putting a camera in the room is going to change things. As a rule, people will be more careful about what they say and be on their best behavior. Still, I find this show - where CEOs of major corporations go undercover and enter their own work force - to be enlightening, interesting, and touching.

How about you? What's caught your attention this season?

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