Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back, looking ahead

On the last day of 2008, I predicted (after watching a bunch of January and February screeners) that 2009 was going to be a very good year in TV. And that's exactly how things turned out.

I don't know that 2010 will live up to that, but I've been watching screeners for the past few weeks(*), plus I know we have things like the final season of "Lost" - which may or may not disappoint, but is sure to not be dull - and HBO's new "The Pacific," "Treme" and "Boardwalk Empire," FX's "Justified," AMC's "Rubicon" (and, of course, "Breaking Bad") and more, all coming up.

(*) The four shows pictured above - "Life Unexpected" on CW, "Human Target" on Fox, "Chuck" season 3 and "Caprica" - will be premiering in the first few weeks of the year, and so far I've liked them all to varying degrees.

So after another relatively quiet week of TV, things are gonna start getting really interesting as of January 10th. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Happy New Year, everybody. Stay safe.

30 comments:

Vaughn said...

Treme, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific. The holy trinity of 2010.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thanks for the reminder. (There are so many things debuting from January to early February that everything after that starts to feel like a blur.) Adding them to the post.

Jack said...

Hey Alan,

Do you have any idea when Rubicon is going to premiere?

Oh, have you received screeners for The Pacific or Treme yet? If you did, are they good/bad/can't tell yet?

Abhishek said...

Have you heard anything about Breaking Bad? So far, that and Treme are my most-anticipated shows, Treme for the sole reason(s) of more David Simon and Clarke Peters.

Mark said...

"Treme" isn't even finished shooting its pilot yet I don't think. They certainly haven't been sending out screeners (neither has "Boardwalk Empire.") They're not debuting until late 2010 apparently. I'm excited for both though. It does look like it's going to be an interesting year. I'm looking forward to just about every new show on cable.

By the way, you accidentally misspelled "The Pacific," Alan. Just providing some extra editing.

renton said...

Do you know the premiere date (or at least month) for Breaking Bad?

Cannot. Wait.

Zachary Beach said...

What do you think of Caprica?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I wrote about the Caprica pilot back in April.

katie1421 said...

You haven't gotten any Lost screeners yet, have you? I think I remember you taunting all of us around this time last year. :)

Tyroc said...

Alan,

Thanks for putting out this wonderful blog. And for turning me onto "Party Down". And of course, for being the man behind the return of "Chuck".

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Fran L said...

Happy new year when it comes Alan and everyone that reads the blog. I've really enjoyed keeping track of What's Alan Watching this year.

Anonymous said...

HBO seems to be treading too familiar ground. Find something fresh. Another war show? How original!

Leslie said...

Speaking of looking back, was there no Festivus post this year? Or will the one posted back in April have to suffice for those of us who love to hear your yearly grievances?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Another war show? How original!

Yes. Because why would you want to do a sequel (of sorts) to one of the best projects your channel ever produced, with most of the behind-the-camera talent returning?

Terrible idea. Clearly.

Alan Sepinwall said...

No Festivus post this year, Leslie. I was on furlough the week leading up to Festivus (when I ordinarily would have written it), and there simply wasn't space in the paper.

I feel like it's near time to retire the gimmick, anyway, given how long it's been since "Seinfeld" ended. But considering this season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," I would have liked to do it at least one more time this year.

And that's one of my biggest disappointments of the year.

Well, that and having to take an unpaid furlough.

Nicole said...

I normally don't watch war movies but I watched every single one of the Band of Brothers episodes because they were just that good. It was also were we got to see how awesome Damian Lewis is as an actor. (I think I might even place his American accent above that of Hugh Laurie's). Anyway, since the first series only covered one of the fronts in WWII, I think that covering the Pacific is a great idea because it's not really covered in detail in school (at least north of the border), and we can't have the horrible Pearl Harbour movie as the last word on that. (ok there were the Clint Eastwood movies, but I don't know how many people saw them).


I am also looking forward, albeit with some trepidation, to the last Doctor Who episode with David Tennant. If it's as good as the final Chris Eccleston scenes, then it will be good television indeed.

Abhimanyu Das said...

I will be devastated if Breaking Bad and Chuck do not match their high points of 2009. And equally devastated if The Pacific and Boardwalk Empire do not live up to my (astronomically high) expectations. I have faith, however.

It's been a while since I saw the original Band of Brothers and I'm trying to remember if any of that crew was shipped over to the Pacific front in the final couple episodes. It would be wonderful to see one or two of those beloved characters popping up in the new series.

Btw, Alan, have you ever considered writing extensively about any of the British TV that comes over this way either via BBC America or on DVD? I hear one of Netflix's booming streaming successes lies in the British TV category.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Because why would you want to do a sequel (of sorts) to one of the best projects your channel ever produced, with most of the behind-the-camera talent returning?

Terrible idea. Clearly.


If this is Alan's thought process, he must have loved the Star Wars prequels.

Hatfield said...

Amen on the furlough. City Hall is closed all this week, and I think my account is already in pain.

Happy New Year!

Marquis said...

Yes. Because why would you want to do a sequel (of sorts) to one of the best projects your channel ever produced, with most of the behind-the-camera talent returning?

Terrible idea. Clearly.

If this is Alan's thought process, he must have loved the Star Wars prequels.


Did Alan say he liked the Pacific? No.

He implied via sarcasm that doing a follow to Band of Brothers with most of the behind camera talent is a good idea.

So was the Prequel trilogy. Financially it did wonders. It didn't connect with fans as well as the first trilogy did, but the failures of the Star Wars prequels are pretty much unique to the Star Wars prequels and cannot be applied to the creative community in general.

Snark works better when it actually makes sense.

James said...

boy these pacific skeptics must've avoided the wire like the plague right? (i mean a homicide sequel? who needs that???)

vic said...

Alan, has there been any traction on Red Mars over at AMC, or is it pretty much dead?

Weirdly enough I'm hoping for the latter, as the "caliber" of talent they had lined up for it didn't really set my pulse aflutter.

Craig Ranapia said...

What do you think of Caprica?

Am I a bad person for saying I think the reaction to Caprica proper is going to be even more interesting than the show itself (which is going to be awesome, on the basis of the pilot). It's just tonally so different from BSG, I imagine a good proportion of that show's fanbase (and SF geekdom in general, are going to have real problems.

jasctt said...

After the mess that was BSG, I have ZERO interest in anything having to do with it. Wake me on 2/2/10 when LOST is back on.

Nicole said...

I really liked the Caprica pilot and I am definitely interested in seeing where they go from there. Since it's set pre-nuclear bomb, the tone is more fall of the Roman empire and less nihilstic, which I agree with Craig, will throw off many viewers.

I also am one of those who didn't hate the end of BSG as much as others. There were flaws, but expectations were so high, they could never be met, and I won't pre-judge a different angle on the story based on the last 15 minutes of another show.

Anonymous said...

boy these pacific skeptics must've avoided the wire like the plague right? (i mean a homicide sequel? who needs that???)

I think it's the same person.

Anonymous said...

Southland (re-)starts on TNT in Jan.

Watch it!

Question

How many epis were produced beyond the seven shown on NBC?

Puff

Alyson said...

Southland (re-)starts on TNT in Jan.

Watch it!

Question

How many epis were produced beyond the seven shown on NBC?


Six, none of which will see the light of day on TNT before March at the earliest. TNT is doing a huge promotional push for the show, though.

jeff said...

i've seen the promos for LIFE UNEXPECTED and loved them..
can't wait for jan 18.
glad you mentioned it in your piece.


happy new year from an avid reader.

Diana Frost said...

Hi Alan, Could you tell us when Rubicon & Justified will start to air? I've been to their networks and can't find anything. Thanks!