Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Television

First, an announcement. As if I didn't have enough to do, I've started a cooking blog. I've been doing a lot of exploring in the kitchen, and my summer poll found that there wasn't widespread interest for cooking talk here, so I thought I'd give it its own blog. After all, I might as well see if I could get any promo mileage out of something I was doing anyway. It was also a way for me to start playing with WordPress. So, if you're interested in the adventures of the Mildly Adventurous Cook, you can find the chronicles here. And tell anyone you think might be interested. So far, I've posted about the project in general and about my fun with zucchini.

Around here, when the leaves have barely started turning colors before Thanksgiving, one of the sure signs of fall is the start of the new TV season. The start for most of my shows seems to be next week. I have to say that I'm not very excited about any of the new series. The ones that intrigue me even a little still fall onto my "maybe I'll check them out OnDemand" list.

Monday, there's the return of Chuck (yay!) and House. I tape House to watch after Chuck, and these days, that also allows me to fast-forward through it. What started as such a great show has really hit the skids as it's devolved into a sub-par soap opera. And yet, I hang on, hoping maybe they'll be able to rescue it. I am so close, though, to giving up on it entirely. The new version of Hawaii Five-O looks like it could be fun, but as Monday is a good working night for me and it's on CBS, which means it will likely be available OnDemand, I suspect it will get relegated to weekends. I think The Event is also on Mondays, but I can't find myself caring. I don't want to get bogged down in a heavily serialized show whose concept is apparently so murky they can't even tell us what the show's about without spoiling it. I may give it a shot OnDemand.

Tuesday is a difficult night for me because I'm never home and yet they cram a lot into the night. This week will be a real challenge because there's still one more episode of Warehouse 13. I'll likely tape NCIS and Glee, watch NCIS after ballet, then this week catch the late repeat of Warehouse 13, watch Glee on Wednesday after choir, then watch NCIS LA OnDemand later in the week. I must say that I'm close to giving up on Glee. The music became less interesting later in the season, and I find myself pretty much hating all the characters. Then they're threatening us with Britney Spears. Yikes.

I'm not bothering with Wednesday nights because I have choir. Undercovers looks like it could be fun, but it should be available OnDemand for weekend viewing. Thursday, there's The Office, and that's about it (maybe that's when some OnDemand viewing will take place). On Friday, I really enjoyed Human Target earlier in the year, and then that's where they moved Supernatural, so I may get my science fiction/action Friday from a source other than the Sci Fi Channel, which apparently is going to be showing wrestling, of all things, on Fridays. Shudder. I think there's some stuff on CBS that night, but I may or may not bother. I used to pull writing marathons on Friday nights, so after Supernatural, maybe I'll hit the computer. Sunday there's whatever is on Masterpiece, if it's something that interests me. Otherwise, I can't think of anything there. That'll be a good OnDemand night.

Meanwhile, is there some kind of law that to cover network television as a "journalist" (and I use the term loosely), you have to be an utter moron? The other night, I was doing something else when the news ended and didn't get around to turning off the TV when Entertainment Tonight came on. They were teasing a sneak peek at the new season of some show, and that turned out to consist of the reporter asking one of the actors how the season-ending cliffhanger would be resolved. Did they really think they'd get an answer other than "I can't tell you that" or "You'll have to watch to find out"? Why waste time on the question when they could have used that time to maybe talk about general themes for the upcoming season, guest stars who might be interesting, what's in store for the actor's character, or something else that the actor could have answered? It would have served them right if the actor had said, "Well, it's not actually that big a deal because the character who was shot was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and the whole thing turns out to have been a set-up. The rest of the team was hiding and will immediately jump out and catch the bad guy." And then the viewers who didn't want to be spoiled would be angry and quit watching Entertainment Tonight, their ratings would tank, and the reporter would lose her job.

Then again, it's probably for the best that they focus on questions that can't be answered because the other questions they'd ask would only be about the romance, anyway. It seems that all these moronic TV "journalists" are secretly twelve-year-old girls who write their columns on pink laptops with "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" stickers on them because about the only thing that gets them excited is talk of relationships. I let my subscription to TV Guide lapse because that got to be all they covered -- who was going to get together with whom, and they were cheerleaders for all these relationships. Even when there was barely a hint of anything resembling anything more than subtle sexual tension on a show, the only articles on the show would be about when or if the two characters would ever get together. Never mind saving the free world, catching serial killers or fighting off alien invasions. The really important thing is who's going to get together! OMG Squeeee! The television coverage in Entertainment Weekly is just as bad. In their fall preview, they mentioned a new character for one show, and the only discussion was about who he might get together with romantically, not what he'd actually be doing. The response from the producers to the question about potential pairings was a vague, "I guess we'll see how the fans respond," to which the reporter wrote, "Please, please, please!!!!" And this wasn't even a romantic show. I'm sorry, but I refuse to take someone's critical opinions seriously when they refer to couples by the cutesy Internet mash-up names. That should never see print in a legitimate publication. And I really don't like to see reporters or critics being cheerleaders for romantic pairings that don't even exist. Discuss what's actually happening on the screen, not the subject for your secret fanfic.

And now to go get ready for FenCon.

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