Thursday, September 27

my Thursdays - Fall 2007

Thursday nights are in disarray for the first few weeks of the season - what with my half-hour comedy shows all having hour-long special episodes, my favorite show of the summer still finishing up its season, and another favorite comedy of mine just starting their oddly-paced season - so i honestly have no idea what my Thursdays will end up being.

however, these are shows that i watch that are on Thursdays... right now.

Mad Men
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The Office
My Name is Earl
30 Rock

- Mad Men -

my favorite show of the summer is wrapping up the latter third of its season and it's still one helluva show. ad men in the 60s, bringing to light issues today by showing them in the past? come on, you remember it. i'll do a longer post when it's all done.

- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia -

the first season of this show was comic genius. it was made up of the kind of stuff that comedians write and rewrite for years and years and finally someone with enough gumption comes along to finance it. it was their baby, the best of them.

season 2 suffered from the sophomore slump. the laughs were cut almost in half, the episodes weren't all as tightly written, and the shock jokes that worked in season 1 were just there for the shock in season 2. that said, it was still funnier than a lot of "comedies" out there.

needless to say, i had hoped the crew would be able to get over their sophomore jinx and go back to the drawing board with season 3.

SO FAR... it's been more of season 2. it's like season 2 part 2.

the show is funny, but i'm starting to wonder if it'll ever reach that level of comedic genius that it started on way back in season 1.

verdict? watching these idiotic friends do idiotic things with/to each other is still FUNNY, so i'll stick around. it just hurts knowing it could be so much better.

- The Office -

now entering its fourth season, the American version of The Office has managed to squeeze somewhere around 50 episodes out of a series that only lasted 14... well, that's not completely fair. our The Office found its own footing somewhere in the second season and became it's own beast. now, however, the series is starting to feel tired again - not from rehashing the British series, but from rehashing itself.

tonight's hour-long premiere was good, but not great. i still laughed out loud heartily at many of the jokes, but looking beyond that... i could feel that it's a little played, that the formula is wearing thin.

so, i'll just try to appreciate it "in the now" as i watch and laugh my ass off, not worrying about its shelf life - not for America (they love it), but for me - and hope that they can keep it rolling another season or two (again, for me, not America).

verdict? i've loved this series since it found its own, and i'll be around until they decide to call it quits (which i believe, and hope, will be at the end of season 5).

- My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, Scrubs -

nothing much to say about these shows because i really only watch them when i've got the time and/or when i'm waiting for The Office to start... though i did see Seinfeld is going to be on 30 Rock's premiere next week. might have to check that out.

- kawitchate

my Wednesdays - Fall 2007

South Park at 7pm (starting next week)
Bionic Woman at 8
Life at 9

- Bionic Woman -

you know, when i first heard they were doing a remake of an old 70s show i laughed. then three things happened. 1) i saw some of the previews, and they looked good. 2) i heard some of the people involved with it are also involved with the new Battlestar Galactica. 3) i realized there was nothing else to watch on Wednesdays.

so, i decided to give it a shot, even started getting a little excited to check it out. and i've got to say... i'm pleasantly surprised.

the show is a mix of Dark Angel and the new Battlestar i guess. i'd put it under the category of dramatic action, but it looks like next episode (when she starts to help people out), it might delve into light-hearted fun a bit - which is fine, as long as they keep up the drama and action.

some parts of the story were a bit cheesy, some of the pacing was off, and some of the acting was just ok... but they've weaved enough rich characters and backstory into it that i can see it going for years - which is like the opposite of Journeyman, which i'm worried will run out of stories to tell - and her awakening to her powers and dealing with it on a personal level looks to be another cool focus of the show as well.

verdict? it's doing more things right than wrong, so i'm on board. i mean come on - what else am i going to watch?

- Life -

if i was surprised by how much i liked Bionic Woman, i was SLAPPED IN THE FACE with how much i ended up liking Life.

low expectations for the win?

every new year brings a new show or two about quirky detectives. these shows are usually quickly canned because it's a tired formula that wraps up everything neat by the end of each episode and has a lack of supporting characters. the last show i attempted to watch like this was Raines last year (same network as Life), and, while i liked it, i know why it got canceled.

whereas every new quirky detective show gets it wrong, Life somehow managed to get it right.

the guy is quirky, yes, but it's more than that. he's hiding things to the point where we the audience don't even know 1) what exactly he's up to, 2) if he's really that good a guy anymore, and 3) if he's even sane (well, i'm pretty sure he is, but he sure skates the edge from time to time).

throw in a partner with an interesting history and a self-destructive nature that she keeps bottled up, a lawyer friend that wants to be more with the main character (again, seemed like there's a deep history there), an accountant that's living out of the guy's garage (he's the comedic sidekick), and a lieutenant that has something up her sleeve and you've got yourself a supporting cast!

i'm not saying the show doesn't have its flaws... the "quirky" nature of the main character isn't always that funny, or even necessary... and the main actor takes some warming up to... but damn if this didn't have good writing (i mean the scene with his partner and her lieutenant in her office talking about past things without having to spell it out to the audience - i.e. not writing to the lowest common denominator?!? awesome!), a great supporting cast with lots of history, HUMOR sprinkled in somehow, and overarching stories that don't need to be tied up nicely at the end of an episode (although it had a story that was self-contained, and it sorta sucked... but we'll let that slide for now).

like Bionic Woman, i was surprised by the quality of Life (haha). and, like Bionic Woman, it isn't without its flaws. however, the good outweighs the bad.

verdict? you don't have me for "life," but i'll stick around, see how things turn out. or until you're canceled (which i'm sure will happen first).

- kawitchate

Tuesday, September 25

my Tuesdays - Fall 2007

House at 8pm
Law and Order SVU at 9
*Damages at 10

*show from the summer that is still going - looks to have at least 2 more episodes to go, but that's what i've been thinking for the past few weeks, so what do i know? maybe it's running until mid-season.

- House -

i've always only been a casual viewer of House, catching it on reruns, a few first-run episodes here and there, and on friends DVDs. last season i decided to tune in for the last several first-run episodes because nothing else was on and when it got to the season finale, i knew i had to return this season.

sure House has a formula (i've seen a few parodies by various comedy troupes, all spot-on and hilarious), but if you can get past that, i really like the character of Dr. House... he's an interesting guy - especially his relationship with Wilson and Cutty (Cuddy? i have no idea).

what made things even MORE interesting was when his staff left him at the end of last season. that's right - House, which had a main cast of 6 for three seasons, had half its cast depart.

ballsy move.

now, did they go back on that move like most shows would have done? i'm happy to report that no, they have not. not yet at least.

this first episode had House trying to deal with life without his team. it had no cameos from those that are supposedly gone, and no hints that they might be coming back - in fact at the end of the episode House looks like he's recruiting for a new team.

i love it.

even if they DO bring back the team (and i'm pretty sure they will eventually), kudos for those behind the show to actually be going in this direction - i mean think of Friends without Ross, Joey, and Monica... or Seinfeld without Elaine and George. the creators are showing us that this is a show about HOUSE - a tragically flawed brilliant doctor that cares about the case but not the patient.

verdict? you've got yourself a new fan - until you pull some stunt like that cop that investigated House last season, or the rich guy that bought the hospital the season before.

- Law and Order SVU -

first thought? wow the cast looks old and tired... which can be a good thing for the show, don't get me wrong. it's showing what this line of work can do to people. it was kinda cool.

the story was pretty average, but then again most of the stories the past year or two have been pretty average at best. what i'm hoping they stay away from this year is all the personal drama - last year they had WAY too much of it. i'm fine when we get to see bits and pieces, but i don't want episodes upon episodes based on their personal lives - make it about the case. that's what Law and Order has always been about.

verdict? you know you already have a fan for life, but please don't let me down.

- Damages -

i'll probably write a longer post on this series when its over, but let's just say that i'm still enjoying it quite immensely. it does suffer a little from TOO many twists, and there are episodes where you know you've been taken on a ride but when its done you've moved like 5 feet... but it's still a great ride.

but perhaps the best part is the incredible acting.

verdict? i'm with you 'til the end, but i do hope the end is near... as it's seemed like the end has been quite near for a few weeks now.

tomorrow night: Bionic Woman and Life

because there's nothing else on.

- kawitchate

Monday, September 24

my Mondays - Fall 2007

the REAL start of the Fall 2007 TV season has arrived, and thankfully it's a bang and not a whimper (like last week's unofficial start).

Prison Break at 7pm
Heroes at 8
Journeyman at 9

this will be my Monday nights for the next few months (barring any cancellations). funny enough, that just so happens to be my level of excitement for each show after this week - starting with luke-warm (Prison Break) and ending with HOLY SHIT (Journeyman).

- Prison Break -

after last week's shaky start that seemed to be both a restart to the series and a rehashing of the first season (he's back in prison after all), things were much better this week. maybe i've just accepted the new digs, new cast, and new plot - i dunno. it just felt better.

i do feel that it's moving way too fast and that they'll run out of things to do by episode 10 of the season, but i've always felt that way while watching Prison Break and they manage to find something new (and sometimes surprising) to do.

however, this season might still be my last, as the next logical step after another prison break would be to go on the lamb again/take revenge on those that were controlling you - and that's basically what the second season did. so it would be another rehash.

verdict? i'll stick around, and i'm mildly excited about doing so.

- Heroes -

ah, the show i was probably looking forward to the most this fall has had its first episode of its sophomore season. what did i think? overall i liked it just about as much as normal, but here are some random notes:

- what disease spreading through the 'heroes' population was Suresh talking about at the start, and why was it just kinda thrown out there (he mentioned it right away, then later in the episode, but that was it - no explanation). bad writing for something that's probably going to be a major plot point this season.

- i am not going to like Claire having a boyfriend, especially him. he practically stalked her at school and knew all the right things to say (maybe just bad writing). AND he's got powers too? come on, what are the chances? unless he turns out to be evil or something, i'm not going to like this part of the story.

- REALLY didn't like how they pulled the "4 months later" crap. i wanted to see the immediate aftermath of Peter exploding, of them all coming together. hell, i was really wishing that, once together, more of them would decide to STAY together. as it is, it's going to be the same setup this season as last - everybody is spread across the globe trying to get to one place all at one time and they'll finally come together again in the end. REHASH. all that said, at least the cop, Suresh, and Claire's dad are still working together to bring down the company. THAT'S cool.

- didn't like the sloppy "explanatory" writing of the cop suddenly being divorced and living in NY with Suresh and Molly. and come on - isn't it a little creepy nowadays for a grown man like that to divorce his wife and then immediately turn to living with a little girl? it's just weird.

- don't like that they're already starting with killing off characters, albeit secondary ones. that's one of the ways shows like 24 and Prison Break went stale so fast.

- REALLY am not going to like Peter not knowing who he is. come on, memory loss? that's the best you've got?!? and yeah, maybe it'd be cool with the right story to go along with it, but to take a tale as stupid as guys using him as the ultimate weapon, constantly dangling the carrot of "don't you want to know who you really are?" in front of his face? PLAYED OUT. stall tactics at its worst.

it sounds like i really hated the show, but i didn't - honest. i really like Hiro in the past (and how it looks like he himself is going to be his own childhood hero - weird), Nathan the drunk (which is cool because it's a total 180 degrees for his character), Suresh, the cop, and Claire's dad infiltrating the company, hearing about "the nine" heroes of old (and what might be going on with them that one of their own is killing the others off), Molly's dream of the coming shadow, the 2 new brother and sister heroes, and the Bennet family trying to start over and lead a normal life.

i guess that's one theme i kinda liked that ran throughout - the heroes are trying to fit in again, to be normal. i like that Claire doesn't want to fit in anymore now that she knows who she is and who she ought to be.

even though i like the theme of them trying to lay low, i can't wait until the heroes come out and play again, when they stop trying to fit in... and maybe a bit of my disappointment comes from the fact that i thought this season we would see that - a formation of a team or something. i guess that would be moving too fast. oh well.

verdict? i'm hooked, just like last season.

- Journeyman -

i'm going to preface this by saying maybe i like this show a little more than i should simply for the fact that it's got time travel and an interesting web of characters. that said, the show really is basically Quantum Leap, but instead of never returning home, our hero goes home quite often - and he's got a wife and kid waiting for him.

this episode was all about setting up the backstory of the characters, and it did a good job while weaving in his first time travel experiences. what i liked is that they didn't try to explain the time travel itself at all... that would have been too much. he time travels, he comes to accept it - even embrace it at the end.

this episode got out of the way the whole "where have you been? are you on drugs? are you crazy? we're worried about you!" thing with his friends and family and after struggling with trying to convince his wife he's time traveling he finally figures out a way to do it. while it would have been cool for the hero to be estranged from his wife for longer than just an episode, i'm glad he's got at least someone on his side.

besides, the whole "dead/not dead fiance" thing throws enough possibilities in for estrangement from his wife for future episodes.

what do i think is limiting in this show that might lead to cancellation?

- why he's time traveling will have to eventually be revealed (based on a strange hint we were given this episode at least), and then there goes that mystery.

- while the web of characters is intricate, it's rather small. now Quantum Leap managed to pull it off with just Sam and Al, but there was no "web of characters" in that show. each episode was a new story. something tells me this show is going to dip into that tangled web of characters quite often - probably more often than it should - and not let each episode tell a story itself.

- Quantum Leap had the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s to play with, and each of those decades were VASTLY different from one another, leading to tons of rich stories. from what i can tell, it looks like this show won't be going any further back in time than the 70s, which is too bad since the 80s, 90s, and 00s are all rather similar when compared to the 50s-80s.

- Quantum Leap had Sam leaping all across the country. from what i can tell Journeyman will have the hero leaping back just in his home town of San Francisco, which will get old after a while.

until this show is canceled, they've got a fan in me. the pilot met and even exceeded my expectations.

verdict? i'm looking forward to this show just a little more than Heroes.

at least for this week. we'll see what next week brings.

tomorrow night: House and Law & Order SVU.

- kawitchate

Monday, September 17

the fall 2007 TV season has arrived

i'm coming off perhaps my busiest work week EVER - 10+ hour days, 2-3 hours of work when i got home at night, and 6-8 hours of work this past weekend - so i REALLY needed something to relax to this week.

lucky for me, the fall season has arrived.

now, the majority of the shows don't start until next week, but this week Fox decided to start early and premiere Prison Break Season 3 and a new show called K-Ville. you can look at an earlier post i wrote to get my thoughts on these series, but let's just say i was pretty excited to see them.

how do i feel now?

well, both shows were a bit of a letdown. let's start with Prison Break.

Season 1 was all about the escape. Season 2 was them on the run. Season 3... well, it looks to be a grittier rehash of Season 1... and i'm fine with that if the writing were any good. there was just something missing in this first episode.

first off, there was NO recap for new viewers - me being an old viewer, i was even hoping for one, since i couldn't remember exactly what happened 4 months ago.

then, everyone just seemed to be going through the paces... not the actors, but maybe the writer. i don't know, it was weird.

also, there's a lot less friendly faces - like where the hell is Sarah? we got a shot of her back, and then the previews mentioned her but didn't show her face... could they not get the actress back for this season? that would be a real bummer, as she was important to the show.

i was worried about the show last season when i learned that they had broken out (i mean for gods sake, the name of the show is Prison Break and you've had them escape?) but them on the lamb managed to make for some good episodes. now that we're back to square 1 but with less friendly faces? i don't know.

it's sort of had the same thing happen to it as 24 - they kill off way too many characters, try to go way too quick, then run out of new stories to tell and start to rely on the formula too much. 24 is still a good show, but not a great show. Prison Break was never really a "great" show (maybe a "really good" show at its best), so this season it might just be so-so. i'll continue to watch, since there's nothing else in the time slot on, but i'm not holding out TOO high a hopes.

now, on to K-Ville.

when i first heard about the series i wasn't sure if it was bordering on exploitation of the damage the hurricane left behind or trying to bring it to light through a gritty cop show. after seeing the first episode i'm STILL not sure.

ok, take The Shield, water it down for network television, and add formulaic stories that can be solved in one episode's time (instead of sprawling season-long stories). that's K-Ville. the pacing of the whole thing was off, the stories were cliche, the acting was over-the-top...

the setting of a post-Katrina New Orleans, however, is almost worth the admission.

it's easy to forget that the city is still in shambles 2 years after the storm. i HOPE the series isn't exploiting it and rather is using the show as a vehicle to remind us of the work that needs to be done there... but i don't know. maybe it's a little of both.

my expectations were above average for this show, and now sadly they've plummeted. since it's going to be on at the same time as Heroes, you can guess which show i'm going to be watching... BUT, i'm a sucker for pain, so i think i'm going to download the episodes for a few weeks to see if it grows into its own... or until it's canceled (sad to say it, but it had "cancel me" written all over it).

ok, NEXT week the fall 2007 officially starts. i don't want to count this fizzle-of-a-night as the first night. :)

- kawitchate

Tuesday, September 11

on being burnless

for those that know me, you know i don't often change my appearance. after my radical transformation from a hippy caterpillar into a lovely, more socially-acceptable butterfly five years back i haven't done much with myself.

since then i've let my facial hair grow to a semi-full beard before shaving sometimes, and even let my hair grow out for a few months before cutting it... then there was that "experiment" that i let grow on my chin for over a year that had mixed results (i liked it, others didn't really)...

but the one thing that stayed pretty much constant? my sideburns.

sure they would grow and shrink in size depending on how i shaved them for the week, but they have always been with me in one shape or form for over five years now.

and now? they are gone.

i'm burnless.

fret not. since i'm scared of too much change, i'm not completely hairless. i've got a stubble beard. yes, for those of you in the know, i've pretty much been keeping a short beard while in Hawaii - letting it grow for a week, then trimming it down pretty low. so all is almost as it was, except now i'm burnless.

how does it look? surprisingly not bad. i wish my hair were a little shorter to match (been about a month since my last haircut, and she screwed up and didn't clip it short enough, so i'm about due in another month) but yeah... i'm already used to it! weird.

how does it feel? i feel a little bit of a difference. not bad. cooler.

next up? i keep telling myself i'm going to do something different with my hair, but every time i go in for a haircut i chicken out... maybe because i have no idea WHAT i would do (i think i'd just ask for it really short). either that or i'm deciding on what to do next with my facial hair - might be a more controlled version of what i grew up in Vancouver... might be a full-on goatee... might be a fuller beard...

stay tuned!

- kawitchate