Fall TV 2007 Pt. 3 – More Shows

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I don’t give up on new shows until after at least watching 2 episodes (but last week’s Moonlight is really pushing my tolerance in that regard), but the rest of the new and returning shows that I watched were a bit disappointing.

Pushing Daisies

This highly-anticipated new show is very quirky in that Tim-Burton-esque, magic-realism kind of way. It comes complete with odd characters (main guy is a pie-maker who brings people back from the dead), colourful set design, and even a storybook-style narration. Critics have mostly loved or hated this show, but for me it fell somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed the freshness of its tone, and the uniqueness of the concept, but I didn’t really care too much about the characters (despite a perfectly charming performance by male lead Lee Pace). I found the scale tipped a bit too far to the precious and romantic side, despite the macabre overtones, and the narration was really too much.

Desperate Housewives

Having given up on Wisteria Lane last season, the introduction of new neighbours Dana Delaney (who used to be on China Beach) and Nathan Fillion (who used to be on Firefly) was enough to bring me back for another try. So far, their little mystery is kind of intriguing (daughter doesn’t remember living on Wisteria in the past and something major happened in their house that caused Delaney’s character to leave before). Meanwhile, the other ladies are still up to their usual antics (except Lynette, who’s gone from the slapstick problems of having too many ankle-biters to having to live with the side-effects of chemotherapy — way too heavy for this show, IMHO). I think the only way they can keep me watching is if the girls band together to try to solve the new neighbours’ mystery.

Supernatural

Sam and Dean are back after last season’s big finale (they let armies of demons escape hell, Sam died and Dean sold his soul to bring him back). This season all the demon hunters around are having to deal with the mess of new baddies, but Dean actually has a positive outlook on life (since he’s only got a year left of it courtesy of his devil’s pact). The first show started off with a bang as the brothers (with a lot of help) faced-off against the Seven Deadly Sins (in demon form), but the whole released-demons premise smacks of contrivance as a way to explain why there are still so many demons out there and why the Winchester brothers have to deal with them. Nevertheless, I was impressed with the scale of the premiere. Plus, there seems to be no way for Dean to get out of his deal, so I’m intrigued about where they’re going to take that little ticking-clock plot thread.

Gossip Girl

Let the soaps foam! Hardly an original concept, Gossip Girl takes a bunch of pretty young rich kids (planting them in Manhattan this time, rather than the O.C.) and coats their teen-angst-writ-large with a sheen of slightly catty voiceover (courtesy of Veronica Mars’s Kristen Bell as the eponymous online commentator). I’m sure if I were 15 or 20 years younger, I would have been hooked (even at my old age, my interest is piqued) but in the end I can’t really muster enough interest to keep a spot open for this show on my DVR (maybe I’ll just watch Cruel Intentions again on DVD instead).

Private Practice

First off, I didn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, so I can’t sympathize with any whining about how they might have changed spin-off character Addison’s personality. Nevertheless, I can agree if you think that setting a medical soap in a slower-paced clinic rather than a big-city hospital really makes this type of drama seem neurotic and petty. Who can believe that they are so un-busy that not only can they meddle with each others’ clients, they can also have arguments about their own personal problems while working. People actually come to them for help? (To be fair, I have to own my double-standard and admit that I don’t have any problem with this same kind of thing on lawyer shows, but I guess I find it harder to accept on a medical drama — my bad.) Regardless, I’m definitely checking myself out of Private Practice.

Dirty Sexy Money

Doesn’t this show have the best title? (or maybe a close second to “America’s Most Smartest Model” — a real show, by the way). Anyway, having grown up around such opulent puppet shows like Dynasty, Dallas and Falcon Crest, you’d think that I’d be keen on Dirty Sexy Money since it concerns a good-hearted lawyer (Nick George, played by Six Feet Under’s Peter Krause) trying to stay on the straight path while working for the ultra-rich and decadent Darling family. Despite the over-stuffing of the pilot episode with melodrama for each of the 7-member family (and a terribly cliche wife-walks-in-on-embrace-with-ex-and-misconstrues scene), like Nick, my interest in the story of the Darlings is sustained largely by the continuing mystery of who killed Nick’s father, their previous attorney.

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