Catch-up time, so look for comments on, in order, "Gilmore Girls," "Jericho," "The Nine," "South Park" and "Grey's Anatomy," just as soon as I figure out whethere I left my $8 million check in the pocket of those jeans I just put in the wash...
Now that's more like it, "Gilmore Girls." Amazing how just bringing back Richard and Emily makes the show feel more like itself, isn't it? (And that's even with Emily's cleverness quotient only at 80 percent or so of normal.) I've always preferred the fluffier stories to the more overtly soapy material, so an episode dealing with Lorelai's fear of cotillions, Rory's fear of text-sex and Lane and Zach's fear of the life-changing creature growing in her belly was right up my alley. I'm even in an optimistic enough mood to say I'm looking forward to Lorelai and Christopher giving things one last shot. Independent of the idiocy with Luke and April, last season did an effective job of transforming Chris into the kind of guy Lorelai might actually want to be with long-term (and that's not just because of his money), so while there will no doubt be Internet rioting if she doesn't get back with Luke eventually, this isn't a terrible avenue to explore.
I'm really riding the knife edge with "Jericho." Like the idea, love Gerald McRaney, like certain moments (the outcast kid discovering the train, the scattered TV images), am more often bored than not with the execution. It feels like the show only occasionally wants to act like the country has been nuked -- in particular, the stuff with the teenagers bear no resemblance to how anyone, even teenagers, would behave in this situation -- the crisis of the week stuff is rarely compelling, and McRaney's been reduced to delivering a speech at the end of every other episode. If there was anything remotely more compelling in the timeslot, I'd be long gone.
Well, "The Nine" absolutely cratered in the ratings in week two. And unlike the pitiful Nielsens for "Friday Night Lights" (my other favorite pilot of the season), I'm okay with that. I'd said all along that I had no idea what the weekly show would be like, and if this is an example of that, I could take it or leave it. Some nice moments, mainly involving Egan acting out all those "Dead Poets Society" life lessons and Felicia realizing that her 911 call created all the problems, but overall it was meh. Because of the time-cut in the pilot, we had to imagine most of what happened during the robbery, and our actual glimpses of it aren't really living up to that.
"South Park" has come back with two duds in a row. The "World of Warcraft" episode was like an "SNL" sketch: funny idea that just kept going and going and going. (And there wasn't even a good payoff to all those images of the fat loser player; how did he react to getting killed?) The 9/11 episode, meanwhile, felt built on a strawman premise ("Ha ha! Look at all these idiots who don't think Al Qaeda caused 9/11!"), and the only parts that made me laugh at all were Mr. Mackey's quest to find the dookie-dropper, and the tumescent hijinks of the Hardly Boys.
And this was the first "Grey's Anatomy" all season where I didn't once feel the need to yell at the TV. I think the whole "Derek is The One" stuff is fairly lame, but at least the show finally acknowledged that he's an asshole who's probably going to cause her more pain, and at least Finn escaped with more dignity than, say, Aiden did on "Sex and the City." I like that McSteamy's even more of an overt jerk than Derek, and as soon as I saw the salesman patient's face light up real good, I turned to Marian and said, "Well, it's a good thing the hospital finally hired its first plastic surgeon so they'll have someone to deal with this," in the same way that any case remotely involving a woman's reproductive organs or children gets assigned to Addison, anything in the head is Derek's and everything else goes to Burke.
So Denny's father is Remo Williams? Huh. No idea where they're going with Izzy's newfound fortune, although realistically, the only way she could actually get back into the surgical program after, you know, killing a guy, would be through bribery. Callie and McSteamy are an interesting pairing as the two odd hotties out, and Korev and McSteamy are made for each other, professionally.
So what did everybody else think? Off to watch "Survivor" and "Ugly Betty."