Monday, September 22, 2008

The busy season begins

Lost in my Emmy coverage and my other two columns today was the obvious mention that the 2008-9 TV season officially begins tonight. Obviously, with a bunch of Fox and CW already having debuted, the official start date -- which is reflected by Nielsen and the broadcast networks -- seems more arbitrary than ever, but that's the way the Big 3 still roll, and so get ready for a lot more original TV starting tonight.

Some ramblings about exactly how I intend to cover all of this on the blog coming up just as soon as I find out if I have a long-lost identical twin out there...

If you're relatively new to the blog, some things to keep in mind about the season:

• I watch an awful lot of TV, and do my best to write about everything I watch, but there are only so many hours in my day. This means I may not get to certain shows until several days after they air, or that I simply may skip over some shows on some weeks, either because I have nothing to say or because it took me so long to get around to watching them that it now seems pointless. Dropping into a "House" review post to complain, "Where's the Sarah Connor post?" isn't helpful; either it'll go up at some point or it won't.

• Along similar time-management lines, prepare yourself for a mixture of individual show reviews and multi-show grab-bags. I know the latter aren't as popular, but they're the only way I can realistically cover as many shows as I do, particularly the ones I don't feel as strongly about but can compose two or three sentences on.

• Both of those points being made, there are certain shows I will not miss an episode on, and that I will always review separately from other shows. "Mad Men" is my biggest time-suck of the moment, but I'm going to endeavor to do individual posts for most of my favorites -- "How I Met Your Mother," "The Shield," "Dexter," "The Office," "30 Rock," "Chuck" -- and whenever I get episodes in advance (as I do regularly for "Shield" and "Mad Men"), I'll do my best to have a review ready to go as soon as the episode finishes airing. I can't always be that fast -- and I fear the "Mad Men" reviews in particular may get slowed down for these last few season 2 episodes, now that I have so many other things to write about, in the blog and for The Star-Ledger -- but I'll do what I can.

• I'm going to be covering a much larger number of shows over the next few weeks than I will by late October or November. For the most part, life's too short to waste it on shows I don't like -- though I'll make exceptions for shows where the nature of the badness fascinates me, like "Studio 60" or middle-period "Grey's Anatomy" -- and I'll also eventually be ditching certain shows if the timeslot competition is too rough. (I suspect "Sarah Connor" is in trouble around here once I run out of "Chuck"s I've seen in advance, in fact.)

• So, just as an example, I'll have a "HIMYM" post up tonight at 9 because I've already seen the premiere, I'll hopefully have a "Heroes" premiere review done sometime tomorrow morning, and I'll also have a link tomorrow to my review of "The Mentalist," which you can then use to comment on the pilot after it airs tomorrow night. "House" and "The shield" I've already seen and will hopefully get done for end-of-show time, while I'll hit "Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Fringe" whenever the time/feeling strikes me. And I realize I still haven't even watched last night's "Skins." Sigh...

(I wanted to put a photo from the actual "What's Alan Watching?" pilot at the top of this post, but I couldn't find one, so I went with Corin Nemec's second-greatest role.)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work, Alan! I've read a lot of on-line review/commentary sites, and your blog is definitely the best. I don't read anything else now when it comes to TV.

Pamela Jaye said...

I belong to three House lists. I read your blog first (and often the comments as well) and during the summmer I reviewed a couple shows, reading the blogs for each ep. (i think there may be some old bloggings about grey's that i can't reach thru labels, alas, as i go thru my season 3 DVDs that i forgot to watch, before i can watch my Season 4s)

Can't remember how or when I first got here, but it's a great and insightful (while not TWOP level overwhelming) place to be.

Jaynee said...

I love any post that is prefaced with Parker Lewis pictures (that IS what that is a picture of, right?).

Secondly, no hints on the opening "HIMYM?" NONE????

Karen said...

You have--at least I think--a real treat in store with last night's SKINS. Monumentally better than last week's, with some interesting developments. I am ABURST, but I will keep it in until you post.

We appreciate the time you spend doing this for no actual remuneration, really! But it is tough when you can't get to all of our own shows. It IS a crowded season, though--my DVR can handle Chuck and How I Met Your Mother, but I've had to say goodbye to the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Webeh said...

It's a good thing I dropped by here before heading to my night class. I had no idea HIMYM starts today and would have kicked myself if I missed it. Thanks for the reminder! :)

JasonR said...

(I wanted to put a photo from the actual "What's Alan Watching?" pilot at the top of this post, but I couldn't find one, so I went with Corin Nemec's second-greatest role.)

I am glad we agree. While most people think that "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" is Corin's best role, true Corin Nemec afficionados know that he peaked with his television debut in "Webster".

Okay, I give up. What is Corin Nemec's greatest role? I reviewed his IMDB list, but I couldn't decide. I thought about using his single episode on "NYPD Blue" instead of "Webster" above since I know how much you love that show.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, I give up. What is Corin Nemec's greatest role?

The show that gave this blog its title.

Mo Ryan said...

You didn't say when you'd be posting your massive Knight Rider post-episode analysis. Right away, I hope!!

Kensington said...

Parker Lewis!

O how I wish they could give us Freaks and Geeks quality Parker Lewis DVDs.

Or any DVDs, for that matter, but I hate when they fudge the music.

I still miss Parker Lewis.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You didn't say when you'd be posting your massive Knight Rider post-episode analysis. Right away, I hope!!

That one's all yours, Mo. I finished my column on it a few minutes ago, and with any luck, those will be the last words I write on that show until "has been canceled" is part of the first sentence.

Karl Ruben said...

You do a great job, and I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever shows you decide to cover on a week-to-week basis. Also, take your time with the posts if you feel you need to - I come here primarily for your writing, not the comments section (even though your commenters are great).

UAM said...

I'll follow your posts on "30 Rock" because it's such a great show, and your posts on "Chuck" because it's my version of your "Studio 60" exception rule. Maybe Chuck really will be better this season, getting a full order before it even airs is quite a compliment. But then I realize it's NBC doing the complimenting, and my skepticism returns.

The real gem on this blog is the "Dexter" discussions though. While most of your posts have nice commentaries that add some fun facts, I think the Dexter discussions run deeper and add more to my enjoyment of the show than any other show or blog out there. I hope all the Dexter regulars come back.

Anna said...

I understand your affection for your blog namesake, but Corin Nemec's greatest role was Stephen Staynor in "I know my first name is Stephen."

Austin said...

I, for one, just want to say that these "rules" are unacceptable. I expect you to post your reviews and posts on my schedule, not yours.

Seriously, it makes me kind of mad that you would have to post this because there are people out there who would be mad at you for not posting an update on their favorite show in a timely manner.

I'm happy to get any post you throw at me. Keep up the good work. Mad Men may have brought me here, but your insights have made me stick around.

filmcricket said...

Basically, what Austin said. I'm happy for whatever you can post, whenever you can post it.

Toeknee said...

I never heard of the TV show "What's Alan Watching", but after reading about it at IMDB it sounds interesting. This is the only clip from that show that I could find: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUwDTmGt8sk

And, at the risk of turning this into an ass-kissing fest...I also agree with austin - this site is one of the handful of sites I make sure that I read regularly, and I'm grateful to you, Alan, for all of your hard work.