Octopus Hat
We have the technology!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006  

TiVo Armed and Ready

Greg requested I post my “picks” for the Fall 06 TV season, and who am I to say no? We are in a very interesting period of television history, one that I have heard several people refer to “The New Golden Age of TV,” and I agree with that statement. Sure, there is still a lot of trash and unredeemable shit on these days, but I don’t think there has EVER been so much quality programming vying for viewers. While the Movie industry sees profits and audiences shrink as the budges of feature films bloat and the quality shrinks, the Television industry is in the midst of a renaissance. Julie and I have been discussing this a lot lately, and we have come up with a few theories. I feel that it started with HBO leading a movement towards truly exceptional original programming (basically started by the Sopranos.) Combine this with a long-overdue reality TV backlash, and a new generation on creative that were (quite literally) raised by TV (especially syndicated reruns of 70s classics) and add the TV-on-DVD phenomenon and Tivo andVideo-on-Demand and suddenly it is easier than ever before to consume a serialized narrative w/o fear (or at least with less fear) of missing an episode and getting lost. Anyway, I digress. There is a media-theory thesis topic in here, but I’m not ready by a long-shot to touch that. Suffice to say that turn of the century America was a “perfect storm” of technology, socio-political climate, and a “new wave” of creators getting a chance to make waves. So, what will I be watching this season?

First I’ll start off with the sitcoms, both of which are returning. A perennial favorite SCRUBS is back for a season that promises to be the most off-the-wall yet as Series creator Bill Laurence was pretty much given carte-blanch by Buena Vista. It will also prove to be the final season w/ Zach Braff’s J.D, who is of course the narrator and his departure from the show after 2007 might prove too much for the network to bear and so this might be the final season of the show. Look for several J.D.-less episodes (like last seasons “His Story III”) where the writers will try to convince the network that the show is viable w/o Braff’s inner monologues. Of course SCRUBS won’t actually premiere until January but it does begin national syndication next week! So set your TiVos as SCRUBS is a wonderfully rewatchable show. The second sitcom on my slate is “How I Met Your Mother.” This was a sleeper from last season that I didn’t get around to watching until it was in reruns, but damn is it funny! It takes the formula for (dare I say it?) Friends and tweaks it enough to be familiar without seeming rehashed. The writing for the show is very smart and very funny, and the cast (anchored by Allison Hanagen on one end and Neil Patrick Harris in a career reviving role on the other) has awesome chemistry and great comedic sensibilities. The show uses a soapy season (series?) long arc wherein the main character (voiced by Bob Saget) is telling stories to his kids about “How [he] met [their] mother.” The show then takes place entirely in flashback. A cool twist that does not come off gimmicky at all. This show has shot to the top of the Season Pass list.

I’m not sure about new sitcoms the only thing that I am even remotely interested in is “30 Rock” and that is just because of The Baldwin’s (meaning Alec) involvement. There is also the John Lithgow/Jeffory Tambor show, but I give it 2 episodes before a time-slot change and then another episode before the plug gets pulled on that. I’ll try and tackle the Dramas (both new and returning) that have made the list tomorrow…

posted by JMV | 9/13/2006 04:44:00 PM
Octopus Hat
Pics From Flickr
Other’s Blogs
Me, Elsewhere
Buy John Beer
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com