Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What do you want?

First things first, the morning link: And Then There Were Two, my preview of the "American Idol" finale. (Not much you haven't seen here, down to the Katharine=Dave Kingman analogy.)

Second thing second: We have only two days left of the broadcast network TV season, which means potential blog fodder is going to be a lot lighter soon. I know a few of the shows I intend to follow this summer (Deadwood, Rescue Me, Rock Star, probably Entourage), but are there any summer shows you're looking forward to that you'd like to see discussed here? The floor is open for suggestions.

31 comments:

Louis said...

How do you decide which shows to follow? I seem to enjoy many of the same ones you do, but then you throw a curve like Grey's Anatomy, which I find unbearable. I wonder why you cover it and not, say, Big Love.

Anyway, I'm only looking forward to Deadwood. I didn't see season two, though, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

When does The Wire come back?

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear your thoughts on those shows from this season and their chances in Season 2. will Prison Break break and fall apart (signs are pointing to yes). Can HIMYM grow with such a soft center? Can My Name Is Earl sustain its one joke premise? etc. etc.

Make some predictions. Assess some series. That type o' thing.

Marc B. said...

Are there any BBC America shows starting soon that appeal to you? I saw an ad on the subway this morning for HEX. It starts on June 8th. And Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares returns this summer. It's usually fun.

Julia said...

I love Weeds on Showtime, it's starting again in August. Mary Louise Parker is great and the entire show is hilarious and really well done. I think you'd like it, you should consider it for this blog.

Laura Holt said...

What about The Closer? I love that show and would like to read your take on it.

BF said...

I for one am interested in Treasure Hunters, NBC's Extra-Amazing Race

H. C. said...

I'd like to second Ms. Holt--The Closer (actually, I was going to suggest it, but saw she beat me)

Jaynee said...

Big Brother, Hell's Kitchen, Kathy Griffin's Life on the D List, The 4400 - these are all shows I love watching in the summertime and can't wait until they start!

E.E. said...

I want to plug "The Closer" as well - and am inordinately pleased that other people seem to agree.

Susan said...

Maybe you could have a poll and let us vote? Whatever show wins, you cover for the summer. (Although, this might be a chore if something you absolutely hate takes first place.)

Anyway, my suggestions are, in order of preference:

Hell's Kitchen
The 4400
Big Brother

Kate said...

One more vote for The Closer. Thank you very much. (That last said in the unmistakable voice of Brenda Leigh.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Taking a break from an unusually busy day at the office to check in. (Nice of ABC to change evening news anchors on the same day I'm already writing two other columns.)

Louis, I just watch what I like. and as much as it annoys me, I have a real affection for "Grey's." Plus, with a lot of cable shows, I get most or all the episodes ahead of time and watch them in chunks, which makes next-day blogging tough. (I've already seen the first three "Deadwood"s and the first two "Rescue Me"s and will have to go back to take notes for the blog.)

"Big Love" I watched in a few marathons last month, and I'm not over the moon about it. (I actually find the characters harder to relate to than, say, Paulie Walnuts and Christopher.) If it were on now that the network season, I'm sure I would have paid it more attention, both in watching and writing.

As for some of the other suggestions:

-"Weeds": I liked but didn't love in season one. Thought it fell prey to the single-camera comedy trap of being clever but not especially funny. (Elizabeth Perkins was the only one who ever made me laugh out loud.) But I could definitely give it another shot.

-"The Closer": I had a viscerally negative reaction to the pilot, which I felt was deck-stacking of the worst order to make me sympathize with the heroine by making all the other characters over-the-top meanies. I like Kyra's performance and think the character is very interesting, but the whole Brenda Vs. The World dynamic either bores me or makes me root for the World out of sympathy for how the writers are slandering it. But, again, I can give it a second chance. I have the season two premiere somewhere on my desk.

-"Big Brother": I am in the extremely tiny minority who loved the first season (which was so spectacularly awful and stultifying that I couldn't stop watching) and haven't liked the rest (which is just run of the mill bad). I could care less about the game and the Golden Veto and the key ceremony and all the other nonsense Arnold and Allison spend so much time on. Plus, it's a major time investment. Pass, even if Chicken George comes back.

-"The 4400": Pilot put me to sleep (felt like a regurgitation of three dozen other UFO movies and shows I'd seen before) and I never came back. Has it gotten better? Or did you all enjoy it from the start?

dez said...

I enjoyed "The 4400" from the start, and I especially love all the parallels with & jabs at $camitology.

Anyway, I vote for "The 4400," "Rescue Me," "Deadwood," and "Monk" if it comes back during the summer. That should keep you plenty busy ;-)

Adam said...

I ran into Will Mega again yesterday at a political event. I said nothing, avoiding the problems we had last time we met.

Jaynee said...

I think Big Brother is going to be GREAT this year since it'll be an all-stars edition this time and America gets to vote in the participants we want (GO KAYSAR!)

The 4400 is an AMAZING SHOW. I too love how it so obviously despises Scientology, but it's also just a REALLY well done show. SO EXCITED that it's finally back (I never deleted the Season Pass on my Tivo even though it's been off the air for almost 9 months).

Devin McCullen said...

I'll vote for the inevitable Cool FOX Show That Gets Ignored and Dies Quickly (see Keen Eddie, The Inside).

And The Closer really did get better as the season went on. The guys in the squad came around, and J.K. Simmons plays a great weasel.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

IF YOU CAN, I would like to see your thoughts on new pilots, like Daniel Fienberg offers his thoughts on early screenings of films (not giving anything away, but giving a general impression).

Kristin said...

There's always "The 4400." One of my favorite summertime shows. :-)

Oh, and have you seen that ad for "Treasure Hunters?" Looks interesting,

undercover black man said...

Why wait to talk about "Deadwood," Alan? Have you done any reporting on the fate of the show, not that this season looks to be its last? And how do the new episodes look to you so far, without giving anything away? Up to snuff? As darkly poetical and skin-tingling as the "Beatitudes" promo?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Devin, I don't think Fox is premiering any original dramas this summer. "Keen Eddie" and "The Inside" were both Summer Burn-Off Theatre, and I'm pretty sure Fox aired all their scripted stuff for this season already.

Maybe I'll have to give "The 4400" a second look. Time to call someone at USA for a DVD set.

Todd, I'm definitely planning on doing pilot capsule reviews. So far, the only pilots I've gotten are the CW's two shows, and I feel like I saw half the "Runaways" pilot at their upfront (the only one I attended in person, for precisely this reason). But as they trickle in, I'll offer up brief thoughts.

Undercover Black Man, I have yet to see the "Deadwood" ad you're raving about. One of the perils of watching so much product on DVD and VHS screeners is that sometimes I miss stuff the average viewer notices. I shut off HBO as soon as the "Sopranos" episode is over, for instance, to start writing, so I always miss the preview for the next episode until later.

As for "Deadwood" itself, it's feeling even more Shakespearean than ever, and not just because Brian Cox is on hand as a gay theater impresario. The person who really dazzles me is Gerald McRaney. I always thought of him as a solid, beefy presence and not much more, and he's giving a Gene Hackman-esque performance here as Hearst (who may actually be scarier than Wolcott). As always, it's all about the material, and this is a step or two up from "Simon & Simon" and "Major Dad."

James said...

Scarier than Wolcott? You made my day.

Alan Sepinwall said...

James, he has a scene in episode three with Alma where I wanted to leave the room, get a glass of water and come back in the hope that the bad man had left my TV screen. He's really very terrifying.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I hated The 4400 at first but by the second season I was completely hooked. Give it another shot.

And any chance of a "Hell's Kitchen" post? Would love to see your take on that hilarious show.

Anon said...

_The Closer_ is really a bad show in so many ways -- almost all ways, really -- but Kyra Sedgwick's scene chewing, mixed with the various one liners they hand G.W. Bailey and J.K. Simmons make it genial viewing. Actually, I guess in many ways it is an old-school mystery show, where the mystery's irrelevant and what really matters is the characters -- so if you don't like Kyra's accent, you'll want to claw out your eyes.

I also watch in the hope Gina Ravera and Michael Paul Chan are actually given something to do.

_Bodies_, on BBC America, is supposed to return sometime this summer.

_Nip/Tuck_ is actually returning in the fall this year, isn't it?

And as louis asked, when does _The Wire_ come back?

Anon

undercover black man said...

Thanks, Alan. By the way, I meant to say "NOW that it looks like this season will be Deadwood's last."

Brian Cox, huh? Not a damn thing wrong with that.

Maybe HBO's publicity department can send you the "Beatitudes" promo... maybe even as an e-file, I don't know. I do know you'd like it.

undercover black man said...

Actually -- duh -- the Deadwood "Beatitudes" promo is viewable on the main page of hbo.com.

Sandi said...

I was glad to see that you mentioned "Entourage" on your list of summer shows. That's Must See TV for my husband and me and I will look forward to seeing your comments on that one.

Tosy And Cosh said...

devin:

I interacted with JK Simmons once in a customer support role, and he IS a weasel.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

The 4400 is so damn stupid. I have a high tolerance for crap, and even I had to tune out midway through year two.

Still, it would be fun to read your evisceration.

Randy said...

Alan,

For what it's worth, I was reluctant to get into The 4400, expecting it to be watchable but weak. However, I started reading some interesting stuff about season two and so I rented the DVDs about the time season three started last year. It starts off slow, and it never achieves the heights of a Lost or a Heroes, but it's actually a pretty solid sci-fi show as it goes along.

My summer shows are The 4400, Rescue Me, Weeds, Big Love and, with any luck, a couple of HBO's new offerings. I'll also be curious to hear your take on Flash Gordon on SciFi, because the vibe I'm getting is that it's in the Smallville/Supernatural vein, which doesn't hold much interest for me.

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