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I guess I just like liking things

You’d never know that I wasn’t allowed to watch much TV growing up. Now I do it like it’s my job, which, if I got paid to do this site I guess it kind of would be?  [Note to self: figure out how to get paid to watch TV.]

The beginning of the Fall TV season is stressful for me, because I’m worried I’ll have to add new shows to watching list, and I’ve already got a lot going on, TV-wise. My TiVo is 6+ years old, so it only holds around 20 hours of hi-def programming, which sounds like a lot until you’re trying to catch up with stuff. I’ve told my TiVo not to suggest things for me, partly because I don’t want it hogging space on the hard drive, but mostly because I want to put off having machines be the boss of me for as long as I can before the Terminators show up.

Here are the new shows I’ve tried this week and a few thoughts on each:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking this one out. They’d have to pull a major “Heroes Season 2”-type screwup to get me to stop.  I don’t get all the references because I’m not well-versed in Marvel, so I’ll be hitting up sites that list things like that after every episode.  Agent Coulson is the best part of the show, though Maria Hill could be good if she can become a regular once she’s done with How I Met Your Mother.  Yes, I know that it’s technically Cobie Smulders who is on that show, but it’s better to imagine it’s Maria Hill deep undercover, isn’t it?

I’ve read many “it’s like Torchwood” posts and thoughts, and I can see that with a bit of X-Files and [the better parts of] Smallville thrown in.  There’s groundwork being laid for a season-long arc with weekly stories, and that’s a great structure for something like this. I am very, very excited about the potential here.

I, like most Whedonites, hope that regulars from his other shows keep showing up. Surely there’s a perfect place for Alan Tudyk and Gina Torres?  Frankly, having them would create the perfect places anyway, so just do it.

Likelihood I’ll continue watching it: 100%

The Greenburgs

This one was barely on my radar until the evening it aired. I think I might have even seen a commercial during S.H.I.E.L.D. for it that caused me to set TiVo to record it. The main draw for me was Jeff Garlin, who was great in Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I was pleasantly surprised by it. I mean, I don’t think it was blow-your-mind fantastic or anything, but it was okay enough that I could keep watching it.  Setting something in the 80s is a good draw for me, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle that.  Overt “Hey! 80s stuff!!!  REMEMBER THIS?!?” is tiresome, but seeing it just kind of happen is fun.

I particularly enjoyed the ending credits where they showed the original video of the creator’s family from the 80s saying some of the exact lines that were in the sitcom.

Likelihood I’ll continue watching it: 70% If something better comes along in that exact timeslot, I could see myself giving it up.

The Michael J. Fox Show

I didn’t know much about this show going in other than it had Michael J. Fox, which was pretty much all the reason I needed. So I didn’t remember that they were going to write his Parkinson’s in the script, and that ended up being both great and difficult. It’s great because it ended up being the basis for several solid jokes, but it’s difficult because, well, it’s an actual guy with Parkinson’s playing a guy with Parkinson’s. I wonder how difficult it would be for someone to watch this show if they have someone in their family with the disease.

I wondered a couple of other things about the show: first, did they get this idea because of Fox’s appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm? He was on for that one episode, but it, too, used his affliction as a basis for several solid jokes. Second, do they run every joke past Fox to make sure it’s okay before they include it in the script? I can imagine the writers wondering, “Is this too much?” and feeling embarrassed to even bring it to him. Or are many of the jokes based on things Fox has dealt with in his actual life that he’s suggested to the writers?

The show is funny, and I can see it getting even better from here. Plus, Katie Finneran from Wonderfalls is in it, and that was a nice surprise.

Likelihood I’ll continue watching it: 100 % I really, really enjoyed both episodes that have aired so far.

The Crazy Ones

“20 years ago I would be watching this because of Robin Williams. Now I’m watching it for Sarah Michelle Gellar.” – me on Twitter last night.

While my real wish is to see Buffy become a part of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m like 78% sure that won’t happen. So I guess we’ll have to see what else SMG is up to. Really, that was the draw here. There was never a “I wonder what Robin Williams will do on the show?” because, well, we all knew what Robin Williams would do on the show.

The show was fine, I guess. I’m sure it will be on for a while largely because of the draw of it’s two main actors. There’s the potential for guest stars to show up all the time, and that could be fun, and it’s nice to see Hamish Linklater (from New Adventures of Old Christine) in another show, too.

Likelihood I’ll continue watching it: 50% I was a little surprised by how quickly I tired of Robin Williams’ schtick, but maybe it was because I was tired. Plus, I’ve been sick this week. I’ll give it a couple more tries.

Returning Shows

  • The Simpsons – The first new episode is this weekend. I quite enjoyed many episodes last season, so I’m looking forward to this next one. Plus, they keep tying events in Tapped Out to it, so it means more new gadgets and buildings.
  • Bones – I am always frustrated by situations in shows and movies that could be easily cleared up with a little communication, so there have been parts already that made me grrrrrr, but the show’s creator has promised a couple of things are going to happen this season that I am a fan of, so I can make it through this difficult time, thanks for asking.
  • New Girl – I really like this show but I really dislike Schmidt’s current storyline. SO MUCH. This, too, shall pass.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? – They just had their “summer finale,” but they are coming back, I just am not sure when. Not soon enough, most likely.
  • The Walking Dead – My wife absolutely loves this show, and she’s very excited that the cable lineup we switched to this summer will allow us to watch it weekly when it airs. I like the show fine, but not near as much as she does.
  • Community – Can’t get here soon enough!
  • Cougar Town – This usually doesn’t hit until later in the year, so… I don’t even know why I’m including it?

I Am Really Going to Miss

  • 30 Rock – Rumor has it Tina Fey has a few other shows in the works, but it won’t be the same.
  • Futurama – This show should get as many seasons as The Simpsons, and I don’t care if some episodes aren’t awesome: some Futurama beats no Futurama.

Series I’m Still Working Through On Netflix

  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9 – I just started season four, so Worf just showed up and that first episode was the best one in the series so far.
  • Cheers – This is what my wife and I are working through as our “dinner TV.” We just started season five, and we’re both looking forward to a time when Diane is no longer on the show. They keep wanting us to care about Sam and Diane as a couple, and we keep not liking her.  As my wife put it, “Every time I start to like her, she does something irritating.” I’m hoping that we can go through Frasier when we’re done with Cheers, but we’ll have to see how that goes.
  • Magnum, P.I. – Sometimes my wife wants to watch something longer than Cheers but not as long as a movie, so we’re watching through this, too. It’s held up pretty well, and the occasional awful episode is offset by a pretty good one soon thereafter.


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