Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Is it just me or is TV better these days? Yes I know that’s a silly question; how could I get any better?

About a year ago I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that stated “Television has traditionally been a writer’s medium and Movies a medium for Directors.” The article went on to describe that the decreased cost of visual effects due to the use of computer imagery has put many TV shows on a par with our favorite Hollywood Blockbusters.

The article went on to site shows like Smallville and CSI as being among the most popular and using the new digital media technologies to tell their story.

This, combined with the fact that Hollywood most movies are remakes these days shows that these effects are nothing without good writing when it comes to movies.

And the timeliness of this post has everything to do with tonight’s premier of Lost. So as a tribute to the most important season premier of the fall, here is my review of highlights of this season so far.

Sunday Night Football
NBC Sundays 8:00
Football returns to NBC with host Bob Costas, and his team of pundits, Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, Sterling Sharpe Peter King and Chris Collinsworth host a high quality, excellently polished football show. Madden and Michaels do the play by play during the game which means you only actually have to listen to Chris Collinsworth during half time. That when you should actually be in the kitchen opening another beer anyway!

Till Death
Fox Plugging all holes in the weekly lineup
Brad Garrett only a year removed from “Raymond” is now leading a series as the disillusioned married man mentoring a newlywed neighbor. There you go; the basis for every episode. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned this show other than the fact that Fox airs this show about 3 times a week just to get you to know that “we got the Raymond’s brother!”

NBC Monday’s 9:00
On the surface, it’s X-Men. And they’re up front about it. They even make references to X-men comics and other science-fiction works. However a good idea is a good idea, and when you add good writing and acting into it you have a very intriguing story and characters you can empathize with. Unlike last season’s Surface NBC seems very intent on promoting this show to success. The show’s Jump-the-shark moment could come if the story-within-a-story plot device comes off as cheesy. So far, so good.

CBS Wedyesdays 8:00
Last season when the networks decided to fling as much science fiction at us as possible due to the success of Lost in 2004 we got a lot of eye candy that didn’t stick around for the whole season. The problem with these shows was that they focused wholly on the science fiction element and not on the gripping human drama that is the heart of Lost. Jericho finds that formula and correctly implements it. Jericho is a small Kansas town that is cut off from the rest of the world when a mushroom cloud is seen in the distance over Denver. With no communication and resources limited, the townspeople must work together to survive post nuclear America. It really is Lost in the Midwest fully taking advantage of an ensemble cast to portray gripping drama. Jumping-the-shark could come when they run out of nuclear-bomb related conflicts. Then again I never thought being stranded on an island without Maryanne and Ginger would never last 3 years!

The other shows premiering this fall:
Ugly Betty: the title just doesn’t appeal
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: I don’t watch shows with Alec Baldwin
30 Rock: This is the show with Alec Baldwin? Aside from the Baldwin factor I really can’t tell the difference.
Friday Night Lights: Why is this on Tuesdays?
Smith: The most common name for a TV show.
Daybreak, Kidnapped, Standoff, Vanished, Runaway: All basically the same show.

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