Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heroes and Family Guy

Heroes:


This episode focused mainly on three stories: Samuel's plot to bring Peter and possibly others into the carnival family, Claire's new friend at school discovering Claire's powers, and Parkman being haunted by Sylar and trying to resist using his powers.


Samuel seems like a pretty evil guy.  I still can't figure out exactly what his ability is.  He was able to absorb and dispense in at will, yet is also able to "move the ground beneath him".  He uses the latter to destroy an entire mansion.  He is very smart and resourceful, tricking Peter into trusting him.  He ends up injecting Peter with some kind of ink that shows up on Peter's arm as a compass.  This is by far the most interesting story line.  I believe that Samuel will continue collecting heroes such as Hiro and Claire.  He must be connected somewhere in the past to the other older heroes.  I believe it will be generations before the years of Angela Petrelli.  He may even be simply jumping from time to time and has interacted with people of all times.   The older man in the carnival seemed to have time traveling abilities.


Claire and her roommate are boring.  Hopefully they will move this along and get Claire back involved in the bigger story or stop showing her.  It seems to be just a ploy to keep Claire in the spotlight.


I don't understand why Parkman won't just use his abilities.  He could be saving lives with it a la Peter.  I am not enamored with what has happened to him so far, but I can see it as part ofthe bigger story.  He should go back to Angela and work on the Sylar problem.  Nothing is really better with Sylar around - except for the entire show.  I think Parkman will soon leave LA and go to Washington to figure out why Sylar is coming back and what they should do with Nathan.  I think this story and the story of Samuel will merge soon as he looks to recruit Sylar into the carnival.


One more small story was the new character who was deaf yet could see sound as bursts of light.   I don't really know how this power will be useful, but I think she will serve a specific, important purpose later this season.






Family Guy:


Stewie figures out a way to travel between alternate universes and brings Brian along for the ride.  Very funny show as Stewie and Brian discover the good and bad in other universes from Brian favorite (a world filled with fire hydrants) to Stewie's (a world filled with buff men in bikinis.)  I won't try to retell any of the jokes because they are funnier on the show than I could ever relay.  But if you missed this one take 25 minutes and watch it.  Go here: Fancast.com.




Next:  Glee and maybe Top Chef

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dollhouse Premiere

Dollhouse premiered its second season on Friday despite barely making the cut to stick around another season.  The episode did nothing to to gain my confidence that the show will stick around for long.  I was totally confused by what was going on: from Ballard hiring Echo for a investigation to Dr. Saunders (Whisky) and Topher weird quasi-sexual interaction.  I just don't like that Echo seems to be the only active who is anywhere close to aware of her situation.  It just doesn't play with the rest of the show.  I think they jumped to that too quickly and now are forced to make up other story lines as they delay Echo's discovery of who she really is.

We don't really have an outside enemy as Ballard is on the inside and we don't really know what is happening to Alpha and his return too soon would be a detriment to the show.  I would really like return to the original format of the show and reveal clues about the overall arching story at a slower pace.  This will only really be a niche show, but if they can make it great it will stay on the air.  I think if they try to draw too large an audience, it will fail.  I look forward to next week to see if they can get back on track.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday Night Marathon

Okay, so I didn't actually watch all these shows on Thursday (carried over into Friday) but I did get a decent amount in considering Grey's dragged me into a two hour sad fest.

Survivor:

Russell may actually have some kind of strategy.  Unprecedented move finding the immunity idol without a clue.  Just incredible.  I couldn't believe it.  Unfortunately, I think it looks like his team is falling apart and could be in for a hard time before the merge.

Ben was the mystery man who got kicked out of the challenge, although I do think Jeff was a little arbitrary in his ruling.  Ben is a bit of a tool as well.  His fight with jasmine was hilarious but also sad.  Neither one of those two will make it very far.  I think that Ben could be the next to go, but the previews made it look like Jaison make some kind of ultimatum about Russell.

I dropped dave after the first week, and I will will be dropping Ben this week.  So I will be going forward with Brett, Erik, and Kelly.

Office:

I enjoy when David is on, because I feel like he brings sense of the real world in that clashes with the weirdness of Scranton.  Funniest moment of the night was Michael sneaking out of the cheese cart without anyone noticing.  Jim usually picks up on those kind of things but he missed it.  It should be a fun challenge for Jim and Michael to share leadership.  Jim did not have a successful run in his one day in charge of the office (combining birthdays).

I am looking forward to the wedding episode after reading an article about it Entertainment Weekly.  The challenge from now on for the writers will be to keep Jim and Pam interesting now that the romance has reached its peak - not sure that the baby will help much as I don't believe we will see much of the baby on the show - if at all.

Grey's Anatomy:

I wasn't really looking forward to this episode anyway and my feelings were confirmed.  Not that I disagree at all with the focus of the show being the grieving of everybody over George, but it's just not my cup of tea.  Too many dramatic speeches jammed into one episode.  It seemed like everybody had some sort of sad monologue to do and it just dragged on a little bit.  I don't really have much to say, because I felt like everything was expected with the exception of the merging hospitals.  Does this mean we are going to get some new, permanent characters.  Or do we get some throwaway characters for a few weeks until all SGHer's win all the position battles.  This may help tie into a story that makes sense why Meredith will be gone for several weeks due to Ellen Pompeo's pregnancy.  Good Luck Shonda.

Flash Forward: Series Premiere

Looks like a promising show.  I felt like most of the characters fit there roles (although I'm not completely sold on the main character yet.)  The concept is very intriguing: the whole world "loses consciousness" for 137 seconds.  More accurately they all have visions of the future 6 months ahead.  They wake up to find that millions have died in plane crashes, car crashes, drownings, etc.  The series will follow the characters as the seek to solve why the worldwide blackout and to prevent some of the future events that they have seen.  I recommend giving this show a nice long look.  Could be the next Lost if it can get enough ratings to stay on the air and get rooted.

Fringe:

Back to wrapping each episode up, this week we got a dose of super weird mutant boy.  People start disappearing seemingly underground and no one can figure out why until several bodies are exhumed and it appears that one of the bodies burrowed its way out of the casket and into the ground.   It is revealed that there were genetic experiments to strengthen a baby inside the womb and it turned the boy into a part human, scorpion, and mole.  In the midst of the investigation we learn Olivia has developed a super sense of hearing that she cannot control.  This has help and hurt her at work so far.  We have to assume that this is a side effect of crossing over to the other world.  The spy from the other side is seeming to exhibit some kind of pain or stress which could be another side effect of crossing over.  I look forward learning more of this other world and it is fun to only get some tiny insight per episode.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More from Glee

More high school drama makes this week's Glee a significant improvement over last week's show.  I did not miss the adventures of an awkward adult acapella group.  We get back to the messed up lives of the students.  I like that Glee points out everybody's flaws early and in a big way.  No one on the show still have a feel of invincibility to them.

I loved the opening scene.  Pretty funny stuff.  Kurt is a fabulous dancer obviously and he ends up translating those skills into a spot on the football team.  Kurt's story is a  great example of how Glee takes a worn out high school story - a disapproving father - and puts a new twist on it to make it more interesting.

I also enjoyed the new pregnancy on the show and it will be fun to see how they parallel the two pregnancies on the show - one real, one fake.  Will's wife is obviously not a good person, but she looks like saint compared to her sister.  Will is gonna be pissed when he finds out.  It doesn't make sense to me how Terry expects to trick Will be finding another baby.  Very confusing, but I'm into it enough to let that one go.

If nothing else, record the show and skip to the scenes of Sue Sylvester.  She is a total hard ass.  I love it.

I got a text form my friend mid-show that said he dropped Glee after two weeks.  I told him to stick it out and at least watch through this week and then decide.  I'll be watching for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heroes: Two Hour Premiere


Recap:


The show starts with a funeral of one of the new carnival workers as we are introduced to a brand new cast of characters.  The rest of characters pick up at what seems like several months later.  Hiro and Ando have started a "Dial-a-hero" business.  Claire is starting her freshman year in college.  Angela and Noah are working on setting The Company up again. Tracy has been attacking and killer former agents from Building 26, now going after Noah and Danko.  Peter is working as an EMT saving lives - only using his powers when he needs too.  Parkman is back as a cop in LA and trying to forget about using his abilities.  And Sylar's body is beginning to emerge from Nathan.


There are three main story lines in the premiere.  The largest involves the carnival workers appearing and trying to seek revenge for one of there fallen members.  They send someone with super speed to retrieve something from Danko.  He kills Danko, but then runs away when he is unable to kill Tracy.  Noah shows up and finds what they were looking for inside Danko.  We then learn it is a key to a safety deposit box that has a compass in it.  Noah seeks out Peter to help protect him as he retrieves the key.  The compass seems to only work for people with abilities.  Peter will not take the compass and Noah is later attacked and loses the compass.  All of the carnival workers seem to have one of these compasses.  The carnival workers are also revelaed to be recruiting several heroes for some purpose: Claire, Sylar, Peter, and Hiro.


Of the other two story lines, one involves Claire's new annoying roommate who is killed one night by someone unknown.  The murder is set up as a suicide.  The other involves Sylar haunting Parkman from inside his mind and beginning to emerge from Nathan's persona.  Angela wants Parkman to come fix the problem, but he refuses to use any of his abilities.




My Opinion: 


I am very excited to see a new cast of characters that are all part of one group.  As opposed to recent seasons, in which we saw many characters added into separate story lines, we will see the carnival workers act as one entity.  This will allow the show to not jump around to so many different stories.  The carnival workers (Carnies) will seem to provide a new evil fro the cast to fight against, but we know that evil on Heroes is somewhat of a mixed bag.  They seem to have interesting powers although the leader (Samuel) seems to lead less by his power and more by influence.


Sylar will have to be let out of Nathan sometime soon, as the Carnies are looking for him apparently.  I believe they will keep the struggle going on throughout the season as opposed to having Syalr come out at once.  I don't really get why he is haunting Parkman, but I think it will lead Parkman to go and try to fix Sylar's brain so as to remain Nathan.  This will most likely have unintended, bad consequences.  


I will confess I have no idea who killed Claire's roommate.  My best guess is that it was actually suicide, but it opened up a way for Claire's new friend to learn of her abilities.  Claire sucks at remaining covert.  I am not too interested in this until the Carnies come for her.


I'm growing a little tired of Hiro's health issue, but I suppose that comes with the territory of bending time and space.  I believe that Hiro will see sooner rather than later that his forays into the past will again have bad consequences.  He will then try to re-correct his corrections - leading to even more trouble.  


The biggest mystery is what the compasses do and why they are so important.  It would seem that somehow the Carnies are traveling throughout time and having all their compasses is the way they know where they are going.  I can't figure out whose compass Samuel wanted back from Danko and whose compass he threw into the grave.  Hopefully we will find out soon.  


Feel free to share your opinions.  Hopefully you are still watching Heroes and haven't let the bad episodes make you leave.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Why do I watch the Emmys...

Simple.  I watch award shows because my wife loves them.  I suppose I enjoy them in some manner, but they always leave me with an empty feeling.  (A bit like I feel after a round of California or spicy tuna rolls.)  I will watch the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes.  I usually stay away from music award shows.  Although, I apparently missed a nice MTV VMA show.  Kanye never fails to impress.

I thought the Emmys were well thought out this year and well run.  They only ran about six minutes over, which is pretty impressive.  Neil Patrick Harris did a great job of not overwhelming the show.  He delivered a few funny jokes when he was supposed, not much more.  I enjoyed the format of doing all awards in a genre at once although I kind of tuned out during the miniseries part.  Nothing against them , I just didn't see any of them with the exemption of 24: Redemption.

30 Rock dominated again in comedy and while I love the show, I would like to see some other deserving shows get their share.  I just don't think 30 Rock is THAT much better than the other shows out there.  Entourage and The Office deserve some love as well.

If the Emmys showed me one thing it is that the TV universe is huge.  There are so many quality shows that I haven't even laid eyes on.  I am doing my best to catch up to some via Netflix, but there will always be great shows I don't see.  I may need to get some guest writers in to share some of their insights.  Until then I will forge ahead to watch as much great TV as possible. (Not too much though.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday Premieres

Long night of watching shows last night:  Well worth it.

Survivor:

Russell is a real SOB.  I can't believe his strategy.  Who burns someone else's socks?  And who keeps their tribe dehydrated before challenges.  His little plan will work short term for sure, but he will NEVER win.  What an idiot.  My guess is if he's not gone by the merge he'll be first off after.  No way another tribe take his act.

I suppose that the if the first person voted off isn't the elder statesman, it is the first person who annoys other people.  Marisa seemed to be the only one who accomplished this.  I'm shocked sometimes by how shortsighted these people are.  They vote someone off based on one short conversation.  Marisa was basically crying as she left.  Probst didn't care though - he has no heart.

The challenges were pretty solid and I enjoyed watching the team captains getting picked and then picking the strongest, smartest, etc.  Of course Mick picks the Asian as the smartest.  My wife took offense too that.
challenge
Looking forward to see who gets kicked out of the challenge.  My guess is it is not Russell - too obvious.  Get ready for lots of blurring and censorship in the next challenge.

I will not amend my picks for now but I will be updating them throughout the season.  (Side note: I do have a wager in place with a friend for my original picks, so I am loyal to those in that aspect.  More people should do Survivor pools.)


Office:

Michael solution to the rumor mill was genius.  He never ceases to amaze me with his brilliance.  Everyone got some air time which was nice to see.  We need a good dose of Creed every once in a while.  One of my friends voted for more of Nard Dawg and was granted his wish with Andy's brief venture into bi-curiosity.

Surprisingly, Stanley is a player, being on his third wife with a girlfriend on the side.  Who would have guessed that.  Although, I don't find his scenes very good.  Except when he is smashing Michael's car.  (Do you think Chrysler has product placement with NBC.  Michael loves their cars.)

Jim and Pam need to get it over with.  They are a little more boring as a pair then apart, but I guess ladies like the love story line, so I can live with it.  What kind of office pools do you think Kevin will start regarding the impending baby?


Parks and Recreation:

First scene was very funny.  Leslie is basically Michael Scott in the public sector.  The side characters on the Office are more entertaining, but I will give P&R time to develop these other characters.  We didn't really gt an appreciation for Creed or Meredith until later episodes of the Office.  This season will center around Leslie's promotion of the zoo and I believe there will be funny story lines to follow.


Fringe:

Very, very interesting.  The story lines are getting even more complicated and this was one of the first shows that seemed like a true serialized episode as there wasn't really any closure to the show.  I really thought that Olivia would die, however, I thought that was the alternate Olivia and the real one was stuck on the other side.  Bad guess.  It will be interesting to see how much the two worlds start to combine.   How many people will be replaced by the alternates and vice versa?  Will there be any episodes based entirely in the alternate reality?

I'm not warm yet to the new FBI agent, but I think she will be alright.  Peter will seem to have some sexual tension with  three females on the show.  Hopefully most of that stays at bay and they concentrate on the main story and some smaller plot lines in between.

We await Leonard Nimoy's next appearance on the show and to see when we get answers to some of the mysteries.  I think this show has the potential of Lost.  Lots of questions and mysteries to unwrap.  Seemingly too many to handle but JJ Abrams seems to be good at doing that.  Hopefully Fringe provides more regular answers to our questions than Lost does.



Feel free to comment on anything you saw that I missed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Glee: Episode 3

Glee officially aired its third episode last night and I am less than pleased.  It barely kept my attention as I felt the need to read during commercials bleeding over into actual show time.

Short summary of the episode:  

Rachel thinks Will is a terrible choreographer and wants to get a short, ill-tempered, famous choreographer to work with them.  He is too expensive and Rachel ends up firing him.  He provides a bit of cimc relief to the episode.  Funny.

Mercedes likes Kurt, who is gay.  This doesn't end well.  And we can definitely do without the impromptu breaking out into song.  It needs to seem like a normal show with music intertwined, not a full blown musical that happens to be on TV.  Stick to singing at practices and shows only.

Will starts the Acafellas.  This guy seriously misses his glory days and let's be honest, there is no way the football coach can sing like that.  Josh Groban's guest spot was funny.

Mr. Teacher's wife is a total loser.  Lying about being pregnant.  Not cool.  This cannot end well.


All in all, I think the show has a chance.  I think the focus needs to be on the story lines and not random music numbers and we need to see more story lines around Sue Sylvester trying to take down the Glee club. Sue is the best character on the show and should be showcased more.


More to report tomorrow after some comedy premieres, Survivor, and Fringe.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Upcoming Fall TV Shows of Interest

I am a bit late on this since several popular shows have already started (i.e. Biggest Loser), but I will be reviewing what shows I will be watching and reviewing this upcoming season.  Besides these shows, I may review another show occasionally if I deem necessary.

Below is a day by day schedule with a few comments to start the season:

Sunday:
Football

Family Guy (9pm FOX) - Funniest cartoon ever.

Monday:
Heroes (8pm NBC) - Heroes returns after an up and down season last year.  
Story lines that I enjoyed:  Delving into Sylar's past and why he is who he is,  Hiro and Ando taking up saving the world on their own ( although I don't really like when Hiro loses his abilities - he becomes whiny), and the look into the past of  human power manipulation at the compound run by Mohinder's father.
Story lines I do not enjoy:  Claire and Matt Parkman being such badasses.  It just does not fit their characters to kill and hurt people.  Let Syler do that.  Claire especially sounds stupid when she tries to be the hero - rarely succeeding.

The Hills (10pm MTV) - We'll see how long this lasts.  With LC gone, the drama is sure to pick up.  My friend's favorite character from Laguna is back, Kristen.  We all know this stuff very loose reality but we keep watching.

Tuesday:
Hell's Kitchen (8pm FOX) - Not much to say here.  This show is just funny to watch. (Although sometimes I lean towards bad reality TV)  I often wonder how good/ bad these "chefs" are in real life.  There is no way Gordon Ramsey actually lets them completely run one of his restaurants.

Wednesday:
Glee (9pm FOX) - Interesting idea for FOX.  First two episodes were pretty good.  Some of the singing seemed a little fake, but it is easy to eat up teen drama.

Top Chef: Las Vegas (10pm Bravo) - Hell's Kitchen with less yelling and more interesting food.  Judges are kind of weird on this one.

Thursday (BIG DAY):
Parks and Recreation (8:30pm NBC) - Giving this show another chance.  Funny moments last year overshadowed by weird story lines and not enough talent surrounding Amy Poehler.   Hoping for better.

The Office (9pm NBC) - My wife found out she was pregnant just like Pam did so I have a special affection for this show.  I'm pretty sure Pam is pregnant.  Looking forward to more Office and to see of they can keep going or if they will fizzle out.  Will it go on to 9+ seasons or will it fizzle out.

30 Rock (9:30pm NBC) - Still funny.  I vote for more Tracy and Kenneth relationship drama.

FlashForward (8pm ABC) - Should be an interesting show with a cool concept.  I don't think it will last though.  They may corner themselves with having an endgame too soon (finding out why everybody blacked out) ala The Nine and Daybreak.

Grey's Anatomy (9pm ABC) - I'm pretty much over really caring about this show, but they still hook me in.  It will be interesting to see how they deal with Meredith being gone for an extended period.  What will the fall out from Izzy and Korev's wedding?

Survivor: Samoa (8pm CBS) - Sounds like another interesting one.  I read in Entertainment Weekly that Probst has to kick someone out of a challenge.  He gets a little more ballsy as the seasons go on.  My picks for the season are:   Dave, Erik, Kelly, Ben, and Brett.  I'll narrow it down to four next week and then three after that.  Then I'll go with those for the duration.  Weigh in if you disagree.

Fringe (9pm FOX) - Probably the show I'm looking most forward to this fall.  First season started off a little rocky, but it is great now.  You get closure each episode while the overarching storyline leaves you dying to know more. Walter is hilarious.  WATCH THIS!!!

Friday:
Dollhouse (9pm FOX ) - Okay show.  My wife made me watch it because she likes Joss Whedon, but I got a little hooked.  Again I don't think it will last long.  The show is torn between keeping Echo acting like a doll and giving her some kind of emotions for the audience.  Ehh.

Saturday:
College football