Friday, September 27, 2013

Premiere Week TV Report, Parts 3 & 4

(I didn't do one yesterday for obvious reasons.)

:: Like I said, I like Modern Family, but I don't love it. I enjoyed the premiere episodes for the most part. It's hard to describe. My theory for why the show is so popular is that it portrays our changing definition of family as inclusive and positive; I think it makes a lot of people feel good. That's one of the things I like about the show--it doesn't throw in a lot of the fakey drama just to make us wonder if marriages will break up or someone's going to die just to fuck with us. It just is what it is, and what it is is nice and funny and a little bit of a cartoon but it's not so big and dire and overly ambitious. I guess the worst I can say about it is that it's just a solidly-produced, entertaining sitcom. Not a lot to say about it, but pleasant to watch.

:: Happy that Nashville's back, with Hayden looking sexy as hell and my darling Clare Bowen sort of dominating a lot of the storyline. Some of the plot turns for this season look like they're going to be hilariously soapy, which is exactly what I want. I love a show that's willing to revel in what it is.

:: The finale of Broadchurch was hugely emotional and satisfying. I had an inkling of what the reveal would entail, and it's interesting all of the parallels the show drew and how they came together. Gosh, what a wonderful, involving show that was. Only 8 episodes, but probably my second favorite show all year.

:: The premiere of South Park I was ambivalent about. It got boring quickly. A few good quips here and there, but, shit, you had 10 months of things happening in the news to work with, and the best you could come up with was a shot at the NSA that felt more than a bit stale and some thing about the DMV which went exactly nowhere. Lots of wasted opportunity on that one, but at least we got pop culture's nth rant about how stupid Twitter is. Look, Trey and Matt obviously don't give a shit about the show anymore, so why not just let it die? It's not like you ever hear anyone talking about that insightful thing South Park did last night anymore.

:: I thought the Parks & Recreation premiere was great, especially Ron's whole journey. Nice to see an hour-long sitcom premiere this season that felt like an actual hour-long episode instead of two episodes back-to-back that were just aired together without a break in the middle. I hope this development of Andy staying in London for a while means we get to see more of Peter Serafinowicz rather than Chris Pratt just disappearing for a few episodes or more (I don't know if it coincided with filming on Guardians of the Galaxy or something, but I figure really they're just giving him time for that, which kind of sucks, because his presence on the show is something integral about it to me). Henry Winkler was fun. Always nice to see Jenny Slate. The show's still working for me.

:: I have mixed feelings about The Michael J. Fox Show; I think it just hasn't found its tone yet. Really liked the first episode, didn't care for the second, but I've liked Fox since I was 8 years old, and I just want to watch him. I love the guy. It seems like it could be a nice show if they let it find its tone and don't go overboard trying to turn it into another 30 Rock. For a single-camera sitcom with confessional moments, it feels kind of nicely like an old-fashioned sitcom (someone compared it to The Danny Thomas Show, which seemed apt to me, and I like the way the show is trying to do a similar premise--dad's a celebrity but his family doesn't adore him the way strangers do--without being mean or too cartoonish about it). I have hope for it and I'd like to continue watching it, but I do hope it gels together a little more completely. (Also, regarding the second episode: when was Tracy Pollan ever so hot? Damn.)

:: The Big Bang Theory continues to be The Big Bang Theory, the show not bad enough to give up on, but not good enough to get really excited and talk about. Still, as long as Melissa Peterman keeps showing up, I will, too.

:: I forgot that Parenthood was premiering last night. I watched the first four seasons back in June and really fell in love with the show. It's interesting how the show takes place in real time: it's been nine months since the show's been on, so we're catching up with the Bravermans nine months later, so a lot of the episode was sort of spent just explaining what's happened to everyone for the audience's benefit, so hopefully next week we'll just be back into their stories and I'll be enjoying that.

:: Regarding my other current project, The Office. I've got the season 9 DVDs from the library and made it through about half the season. Ed Helms was making a movie, I guess, and even though he did some good stuff on the first few episodes, I haven't missed him at all for the last several where he hasn't been around. Dude just grates on me. I'm very glad to see Catherine Tate still around, and toned down significantly from last season.

I can do without this ongoing "Pam and the sound guy" thread, where we have to watch Jim and Pam's relationship go through some kind of drama because we really love and care about them so much and whatever inorganic interference they want to throw in there. I see they're doing the same thing with Andy and Erin, a pairing I will never accept as the other Jim and Pam no matter how much the show has demanded that I do, even though the previous season was all about the big, stupid things Andy did to win Erin back. Get it together, show.

:: I probably won't be doing a part 5, because the only things on tonight are Shark Tank (and who wants to talk about that?) and this bizarre news MasterChef Juniors, which probably won't be as big a weird disaster as I'm hoping it will.

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