TV Roundup: Sept. 11, 2005

This was the first week of the new fall season, but not too many shows debuted. I had already given up on Prison Break and Rome after watching a couple episodes of each. New this week, Reunion, the drama that follows six friends for 20 years after their high school graduation, each episode covering a year of their lives. I’ll give this show a couple more episodes to win me, but so far it’s been pretty cheesy. The characters are stereotypical and the situations are predictable, cliché, soapy stuff (poor boy covers for rich buddy’s DUI incident but gets unexpectedly heavy sentence; love triangles abound, including one unwanted pregnancy) all to an ill-fitting 80s soundtrack that tries too hard to compensate for the show’s lack of style or tone. Simpsons returned much earlier than their November premieres of previous seasons. Maybe they should have kept their old schedules—at least then they would have opened with another “Treehouse of Horror” episode. This season’s debut about Marge swimming with the manatees after Homer’s umpteenth screw-up was ridiculously unfunny. Alec Baldwin lends his voice to a forgettable environmentalist character.

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