Fall Premiers – The 2008 TV Season (Part 1)

Well, the dirge of crap that has come through the boob tube all summer is finally over and the “real” shows are now starting, or re-starting. There are a few coming back and a few new ones, figured I’d run through my TV schedule this month, give some ratings and see what is going to stay and what will last only a few episodes before being ghosted by the studios.

The Shield
The problem with a lot of these shows is it feels like more time has passed, and I had completely forgotten all the nuances of plot that were around the characters in this. In the start I was a bit worried that it’d just be a spaghetti of plotlines that I’d have to trudge through. Most of them simplified themselves out and Michael Chiklis was back to causing shit, lying to people left right and center, and doing what he has always done.
My rating (with only one show so far) is 4/5 stars for quality, 4/5 chance of keeping on watching (note that the bad quality of a show doesn’t mean I won’t watch it… I’m a media whore).
Prison Break
*sigh* Another season, another contrived plot to have the same characters doing pretty much the same thing with some slight twist to make it reasonable to call it a plot for the next season. IE: season 1, get out of prison, season 2, be on the run after escaping from prison and be on the run from the “good” guys, season 3, escape from a different season, but this time some of the “good” guys from season 1 are in there as well. So now we have season 4.
In this seaons plot so far, all the loose ends were tied up and the seeds of this seasons “mission” were set up by the end of the first hour of the two hour premier. This season’s plot, which is to take down the evil corporation that was behind being put in jail in the first season, with people who knew the characters father who was also trying to take down the…. no, forget it, it doesn’t matter really, each episode will end on a cliffhanger, the plot will progress just enough to keep you from realizing what they’re doing to you, and in the end they’ll set up a dramatic ending and get you set up for season 5. At least this one isn’t people breaking out of prison (at least yet).
Rating 2.5/5, chances of watching, 4/5.
America’s Next Top Model
Same crap, new season. Same batch of interchangeable, overly emoting, overly hyper attention-whore girls. Same critique, same judges, same challenges. The only new and potentially interesting (but not really) aspect this season is the inclusion of a transvestite in the contestants. Ironically enough (not really) the one girl most vocal about how s(he) didn’t belong was the first to be sent home. They had said before how a “top” model can look like a tranny, seems they wanted to test the theory. My prediction is that s(he) will stick around a while, cause lots of controversy, be involved in at least one nude photo shoot, and then be voted out mid-season amid accolades of how s(he) helped further awareness and the cause of transgendered people everywhere. Then s(he) and all the contestants and winners return to obscurity after becoming the 10th (or is it 11th) “top” model. Seriously, has anyone seen any of the previous winners anywhere after the show? Anyone?
Last season they made a big deal because a contestant had aspergers, this I figure is just upping the ante a bit. The next season I’m expecting an all-midget lineup.
Rating 3/5, chances of watching 5/5 (but only for the photography aspect you understand?).
Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles
Premiering tonight, just before episode 2 of Prison Break. Taking up exactly where season 1 left off this at least doesn’t do the “clean up loose ends right away and start a new tact” thing. Kinda. Actually no, they did pretty much exactly that and (spoiler alert, select to un-hide) completely reversed Summer Glau’s role in the first 30 minutes from protecting terminator to attacking terminator… at least for some of the episode.
I wasn’t hugely into this show for season 1 to be honest, it always felt like a really low budget terminator movie that some film school student had done. Different actors, lower budget, etc. Still not terrible, but it never seemed to escape feeling like a cheap knock off from the movie.
Rating 3.5/5, chances of watching 3.5/5.
Beverly Hills 90210 2.0
No. Freakin. Way.
Actually I did record this as I remember enjoying the first one in the throws of teen angst back in the 90s. Luckily for me the PVR was on the fritz and it recorded without sound. I flipped through it a few minutes at a time just to see what it looked like and decided “never” based on that alone. Maybe the current generation will appreciate it though.

Tomorrow is the premier of the first new show of the season, Fringe which sounds like a bit of a different version of the X-Files. We’ll see how that goes. Survivor, Heroes, The Office, and Knight Rider, and Dexter are all upcoming in the next weeks.