Saturday, September 26, 2009

fall 2009 - initial thoughts

My DVR is still full of shows that I need to catch up on (both from last season and this season) but because it was getting so full, there were many shows I had to catch up on to open up space for more recording... :) In any case, I had a few initial reactions to shows, old and new, that I've been following this season.

-- 90210: So very angsty! I think it's because Darcy... or whatever her name is, Annie?, is so very angsty this season and she was all sunshine and optimism last season. I'm not sure I like it, but I do like the strong bond forged between Naomi-Adrianna-Silver. Actually I've gotta say that as a whole I kind of hate it, but there's something about high-school angst tv shows that draws me in... Oy.
-- So You Think You Can Dance: Having to watch audition episodes week after week after week is kinda getting sucky. Plus, it's so weird to have a new season of it SO SOON. Especially since last season, while it had its moments, for the most part it was underwhelming. But, I'm glad to see that there are breakers and well, non-contemporary and non-ballroom dancers auditioning! Plus I'm still waiting for Natalie to come back!!
-- How I Met Your Mother: This show is so reliably fun. I really do hope we finally get to meet the damn mother this season. I'm not sure how many more seasons of NOT meeting the mother I can go through. But I do love Barney. And it'll be interesting to see how Barney-Robin develop, but I really hope that doesn't become the focus of the show.
-- Greek: I caught up with all the old episodes right before this season started. SO much fun. This is my happy show of the moment.

-- Melrose Place: Not really sure why, but I'm enjoying this show. Maybe it's just that I never get to watch soap operas anymore and this show is the perfect night-time soap opera: psychotic characters, tons of secrets, murder, betrayal, and good-looking people. Plus the character that's the most fascinating to me is Ella, who I sort of see as a new generation Heather Locklear. BTW, I didn't actually watch the original MP when it aired back in the day, though I've caught a few episodes of it here and there on Soapnet in the past few years.
-- Glee: I was expecting this to be my happy show of the moment, but no, it's definitely a lot darker than a happy show can be. I love the musical numbers and truthfully, I watch just in anticipation of those. I like the main teacher-guidance counselor romance undercurrent, hate the psycho wife, love the psycho cheerleader coach, and am very amused by the awkward football coach. I could care less about the kids, but the gay kid is the most interesting by far.
-- The Beautiful Life: This show has already gotten canned, thank goodness! Well, it's mostly a thank goodness because if it didn't get canceled, I would probably continue to watch it. So, I really am glad that the network is taking this off of my insane list of tv shows I watch. :)
-- Community: I had high hopes for this show but so far it's been amusing at spots, still has good potential, but hasn't really delivered. We'll see.
-- Accidentally on Purpose: One episode was enough, I do believe I have the willpower to stop watching this show.
-- Eastwick: Uh, I might continue to watch this, but mostly because it kinda satisfies the part of me that was sad to lose Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle (and yes, I may be the only person in the world that was sad to lose those shows).

Still waiting to be watched on the DVR:
-- Grey's Anatomy
-- Gossip Girl
-- Heroes
-- House
-- The Good Wife
-- Cougar Town
-- Modern Family -- have high hopes for this one!!
-- Flash Forward

Friday, September 18, 2009

Inspector Lewis - Masterpiece Mystery!

As a huge Anglophile, sometimes I wonder if I like things just because they're British. Take Inspector Lewis, the current series airing on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. On American TV, I've never been the least bit interested in police procedurals (though I did kind of start liking Castle last season, mainly because I love Nathan Fillion) but give me a British one and I'm totally loving it. And I mean, now that I think about, I claim to like reading mystery novels, but honestly I think the only mystery writer I've really gotten into is Agatha Christie, also British! Am I being too...snooty? Do I need to give like CSI and Without a Trace and Criminal Minds a chance?

One of the things I love most about Inspector Lewis is that it's set in Oxford, which makes for just a really beautiful setting that I don't think any of the American shows can beat. All the wonderful old buildings of the university are pretty spectacular; I definitely need to go visit someday. And being a university town, many of the characters involved in the mysteries are students and professors, which makes a lot of the cases pretty intellectual, dealing with history and literature and religion, which I guess appeals to me more than drugs and gangs and stuff like that. Or am I being snooty again?

I do also love the team of Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway. I never saw any of the series that this one was spun off from, Inspector Morse, where Lewis was the sergeant/sidekick, but I imagine I would probably like that too. I gather Lewis comes from a more working-class background, and he doesn't feel like he really fits in with the intellectuals that populate Oxford and is often frustrated by their entitled and morally questionable behavior. His sergeant, Hathaway, is also a little bit of an outsider, but for different reasons. He is a Cambridge graduate, is very well read and knowledgeable, and was studying to be a priest, but left to join the police. As the series goes on, we learn more of why he gave up that career path. Hathaway comes off as cool, unflappable, and a little acerbic, so it was really interesting to get a little deeper into his character. Also I think Laurence Fox is kind of hot (I know, crushing on a British actor, what else is new?)...

So what do you think? Maybe I'm just as bad as the Oxford intellectuals that Inspector Lewis can't stand!