Thursday, October 18, 2007

A case of the Wednesdays

Okay, I'm feeling seriously underwhelmed here. I've now gone through almost all of the hellacious amount of new series that are airing on Wednesday nights (I'm about a third of the way through "Dirty Sexy Money"), and outside of the previously-blogged "Pushing Daisies," nothing especially wowed me and yet nothing made me rush to change the channel. Hell, the best thing I watched all day may have been the last 20 minutes of Monday's "Journeyman" that had been sitting on the DVR. So really brief thoughts on what I've seen, and feel free to comment on any of those plus things I missed ("Kid Nation," the Fox comedies, whatever). Spoilers ho for, in order, "Journeyman," "Bionic Woman," "Private Practice," "Life," "Gossip Girl" and "America's Next Top Model"...

"Journeyman": I'm glad that the writers are giving the show a sense of humor as Dan gets accustomed to the complexities of involuntary time travel, and I'm starting to feel a bit invested in the Dan/Katie marriage. But by far the coolest thing in the episode -- really, the coolest thing in all four episodes -- was the tachyon expert calling Dan while he was still in the past. I don't know that the show will be around long enough for Dany to explore his condition the way Henry in "Time Traveler's Wife" did, but that one moment put a big smile on my face.

"Bionic Woman": Meh. M-E-H, meh. Sister angst bores me, the spark of personality they gave Jamie last week was gone at the expense of a contrived thriller plot with iffy fight and stunt choreography (I'm already tired of the one punch/block combo that Michelle Ryan knows), but the Sarah Corvus/Jae stuff remains worth my attention.

"Private Practice": Outside of the continued dishrag-ification of Addison, there's nothing as egregiously bad here as a lot of the messes Shonda has made on "Grey's," but has there been anything remotely as compelling as "Grey's" when it's good? The attempt to turn Hooper and Violet into a slightly older George and Izzie is disappointing (what's so wrong with the occasional rock-solid male/female platonic friendship?), but at least they're doing it early so we won't have to rewrite history later, and at least there's no adultery in the mix.

"Life": I'm always happy to see William Sanderson (beloved as both Larry of Larry, Darryl and Darryl and as E.B. Farnum) working, and I have to admit that Crews and his quirks are growing on me. Not enough to keep me fully alert during all the twists and turns of the murder case, but enough to stick around a while longer.

"Gossip Girl": Several improvements over last week: Chuck and Tiny Archibald were absent and completely unmissed, Dan stops acting like a superior prig, and Blair is back to being queen bitch after last week's softer side. (I particularly liked her improvisation during the jailbreak from the Dawn Ostroff Memorial In-Joke Clinic.) Still makes me feel like a very old man while I watch, though.

"America's Next Top Model": Looks like Heather's getting more comfortable around the other hamsters, based on her very blunt and accurate critiques of each of them, and she also provided some nice comic relief with her klutziness (which may or may not be Asperger's-related) on the ice. Bianca had been growing on me as kind of a Fun Bitch the last few weeks, but her shredding of Lisa after Lisa came back from the bonus photo shoot was more the nasty, please go home soon (not that she will) kind. It's interesting how those two are the only ones to consistently stand out in terms of screen time (in addition to whoever the bottom two is each week); foreshadowing the finale, or just the editors playing up the two most compelling "characters"?

What did everybody else think?

14 comments:

BigTed said...

It would be nice if some of these characters actually seemed to enjoy their situations once in a while. The guy in "Journeyman" can friggin' travel through time -- couldn't he look around the city once in a while (like an actual reporter), or just buy some Apple stock? Unfortunately, as soon as he gets to the past, it seems as if he's always already late for a bus.

As for the Bionic Woman, how about letting her race a train or leap a tall building at a single bound, just for kicks? Or at least hang out with someone other than her annoying sister or the wet blankets in spyland.

Actually, the only one who seems to be having fun is the guy from "Life." A mansion with no furniture, but a huge stock of fruit and naked women? I'd like to get in on that action myself, if it didn't require jail time.

Stef said...

I watched just a few minutes of Journeyman but I had to turn it off, because I choose to have Kevin McKidd remain Lucius Vorenus in my mind, forever and always.

Private Practice is so blah. I've already dropped it from my rotation.

But - I am LOVING the fun and fluff of Dirty Sexy Money, so I'm looking forward to your recap!

M.A.Peel said...

Life: With Robin Weigert as the chief, and now Farnum, I'm having deep Deadwood sadness all over again.

LA said...

Other than being bored by both twins, I love Dirty Sexy Money. It's like a weeky master class in acting by Donald Sutherland.

Anonymous said...

Well, put me down as meh for DSM. I really liked the pilot and I love the cast, but I have been completely bored by the last few episodes. There is no plot movement, the murder mystery is boring, I don't care about any of the characters, and I've found very little to make me want to keep tuning in. I'm giving it one more episode and then I am officially done.

As for Bionic Woman--was Isaiah Washington not the most pointless addition ever? And did he completely forget how to act over the summer? Talk about phoning it in.

Mo Ryan said...

Sanderson was great on Life. I think I have no idea what happened in the mystery story, I just smiled every time he was on. Sarah Shahi's character needs to lighten the hell up, and they need to give more to Adam Arkin.

Something's off about DSMoney. So far the twins are really irritating. I did like when Nick's wife told off the Natalie Zea character - Karen? It's a bit of a shame that they've turned Karen into such a beyotch/idiot so quickly.

Basically DSM so far is like Heroes -- everyone's stuck in their own storyline, and not much feels very connected, or urgent.It's getting there, but it's not there yet.

But I continue to lurv Glenn Fitzgerard as the angry priest. He's awesome.

And they need more of the Baldwin and his transgender gf. So far they're my favorite DSM couple.

PPractice -- Alan, you wrote the other day (very well) about how Mad Men assumes that its audience is smart. When it comes to PP, I feel as though Shonda assumes that we have the intelligence of pond scum (not the smart kind). She hits us with the obvious stick, hard, then hits us again. Then bangs us upside the head a few more times, just for fun.

On this show, there's no subtext, and the text is so painfully contrived that I have trouble keeping my eyes open. Why not just put neon signs over each character's head: "Hung Up On Ex"; "Likes Internet Hookups"; "Angry Cake Inhaler." Ugh.

Painful.

Why are all the new fall shows making me so sleepy?

stevie said...

Dirty Sexy Money is barely doing it for me these days. I wish it were a little dirtier and sexier with a lot less boring catfighting over Peter Krause.

Jessica said...

I gotta say, yet again, ANTM telegraphed the exiting hamster from a mile away. We kept hearing her opinion on EV RY THING and I was like "Aww, you are GOING HOME 'liza'"

Good episode altogether though, I thought. I'm kinda rooting for Ebony because she is honestly the most pathetic person.

filmcricket said...

Aside from Krause and, of course, Sutherland, DSM has some of the worst performances of any show I've seen this year. It's like the anti-West Wing. It's actually painful to watch Samaire Armstrong. I could maybe handle her awfulness in an over-the-top, Ugly Betty kind of way if the show were going for that feel, but it's not campy enough.

Despite the Wednesday-is-the-new-Thursday thing, Wednesday remains the night when I watch almost no TV. Gossip Girl's on too early here, I watched one episode of Private Practice before deciding it was just as bad as that proto-pilot last spring indicated it would be, and I tend to watch the CTV airing of DSM on Sunday nights, which, despite what I said above, remains worth it (for now) for Krause and Sutherland.

Anonymous said...

PP is so meh. Who didn't know the kid was in love with another boy? Come on....

filmcricket said...

Forgot to say: happy birthday, Alan!

Taleena said...

Journeyman - was I the only one surprised that Kevin McKidd is supposed to be Reed Diamond's younger brother? I would totally buy that the other way around but that threw me.

Dark Tyler said...

I actually find Peter Krause the only really boring part of DSM. I love the guy, and he's still a terrific actor, it's just his character that bores the hell out of me.

And a huge DITTO regarding Samaire Armstrong's awful, awful, awful performance.

dez said...

Journeyman - was I the only one surprised that Kevin McKidd is supposed to be Reed Diamond's younger brother? I would totally buy that the other way around but that threw me.

According to imdb.com, Reed is actually older than Kevin. It's Reed's babyface and Kevin's character lines that make it seem otherwise.