Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall TV Update

This may have been a close-to-perfect weekend. Friday I went for lunch with my friends to a Lebanese Food Festival at a nearby Lebanese church, and it was the perfect day for sitting under the trees and eating. Saturday morning it was one of those days when it was warm enough to be summer elsewhere but not too hot, so I walked to the library, taking the long way. When I got back, my neighbor was out walking her puppy, so I got my recommended allowance of puppy kisses and cuddles. Since it was nice outside, I finished cutting down the evil alien vines on my patio. I hadn't tackled them to that extent since I've lived here, and I'm not sure they've been cut out since the house was built, as I found all kinds of things up under them. Fortunately, there were no snake skins (that's always fun to find in the shrubbery), but I did find a couple of things that were either long-rotted tennis balls or dragon eggs. I guess I'll find out when/if the dragons hatch. Soon after I finished the gardening, it suddenly got cool and rainy, so it was good writing weather. Sunday would have been the perfect day for curling up with a book and a pot of tea, but I had a choir rehearsal. However, we're doing Messiah for Christmas, and that's always fun to sing (and that's what the rehearsal was for). Then when I got home, I got more puppy kisses and cuddles (once this dog decides she likes you, you really feel loved) and I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking tea and reading Edgar Allan Poe (my town is doing one of those "one city, one book" things, and it's the stories and poems of Poe, so I thought I'd play along).

Today it's still cool and gray, so I anticipate a productive writing day.

Now, an update on fall TV.

I caught the premiere of Stargate: Universe, and I'm not entirely sold. It kind of struck me as Battlestar Stargate Voyager, and someone really needs to remind TV writers that flashbacks are not the same as characterization. I'm really wary of the geeky computer boy, who seems to have wandered in from one of those "frat pack" so-called "romantic" comedies. That character strikes me as the result of the network or creators being cynical about their audience, like they think we couldn't possibly identify with the highly-trained or educated military and scientific types, so we need someone like us to identify with and relate to, and their image of their audience is a slobby guy who lives with his mother and plays computer games while having delusions about being a secret instinctive genius who can outthink people who have dedicated their lives to studying something. He's giving me major Wesley Crusher vibes, in that he's elevated to his position in a way that bypasses the hard way that everyone else had to take and in that I anticipate that half the episodes will involve him saving the ship in some way that all the experts didn't think of, while the other half will involve him endangering the ship out of doing something stupid.

I guess we'll have to see what the regular episodes are like. My guess, based on the set-up at the end of the pilot is that each week the ship will drop out of hyperspace and dial a gate, an away team will go to investigate and will have adventures that put them up against the deadline of the countdown clock before the ship goes back into hyperspace. So, basically, it's original SG-1, but starting on a ship instead of Earth, and with a stopwatch, but without a sense of humor. It's not like there's much else on, so I'll give it a shot, but it's not really the kind of thing I can get too excited about. On the up side, it is nice to have a show with an actual spaceship in it back on the Sci Fi Channel.

I've been catching the NCIS spin-off OnDemand, as it turns out to be the perfect thing to watch while I eat lunch and read the newspaper after church on Sundays, and that seems to be about right for the show. I adore Linda Hunt and would watch a show just about that character, but in general the premise of the show makes little sense and they seem to be trying way too hard to create the kind of chemistry that just happened on the original show. So, not must-see, but fun to watch.

My other OnDemand show is something that became a kind of guilty pleasure over the summer, CSI: New York. I started watching some of the TNT reruns when I'd watched the NCIS reruns on USA to death, and then started watching the new episodes when they came up OnDemand. I mostly watch it as an unintentional comedy, and it's good for a few laughs. It's funny how the most dangerous place in New York City seems to be an exclusive nightclub, and you'd better be careful around supermodels because people associated with them seem to die a lot. Then you can guess the bad guy based on the casting (the most famous guest star is almost always the killer). Gary Sinise is always a fascinating actor to watch, even when he's slumming mightily (I guess this is easier than a bake sale to fund his theater company), and it's interesting to see that the designated inappropriately young boy toy for 30-something women in 1990s sitcoms has grown up and become a detective (who doesn't get to do much other than be at the crime scene at the beginning before the lab techs take over the entire case). I think I've figured out why there's a backlog for testing in the real crime lab: the lab techs are all too busy interviewing suspects and running around the city with guns.

I may have had my first casualty of the season. I had a splitting headache on Thursday night and didn't think I could deal with FlashForward, so I figured I'd watch it Friday night when they repeated it, and instead watched a TNT CSI:NY episode (see above). Then Friday night I still didn't feel like watching it and taped it while watching CSI:NY, and I still haven't gotten around to watching the tape. I think that's a sign that I'm watching it out of a sense of obligation rather than because there's anything about it that catches my attention. I figure if I haven't watched that tape before the next episode, then I'll consider that a wash.

And now I have to readjust my mental clock, now that I've adjusted my computer clock. Any clock that's around me a lot seems to gain time, and my computer clock was approaching 15 minutes fast, so I set it back to real time, but I'm so used to thinking of the computer clock as being ahead that it's throwing me off. The nice thing about my cable box having a clock on it now is that the time comes from the cable company and doesn't seem to be affected by my rapid time field, but if the entire cable company starts moving forward in time, you'll know I've somehow managed to feed back into the entire system.

No comments: