At the outset of the new TV season, I wrote a review of the shows that I’ve been watching. With TV in a lull due to the writers’ strike, I thought that I might review the shows and give my updated opinions.

Back to You – My opinion of this one hasn’t changed much one way or the other. Before I described it as “competent, somewhat interesting, and quite funny at times, but never spectacular” and the description still applies. It’s proven itself to be solid, but has yet to move beyond passably interesting.
Original grade: C/C+
7 episodes later: C+

Big Shots – Most of the other dramas (including Life) have kept me interested with a hook: Detective Crews’s quest to find out who framed him, Chuck Bartowski’s history with Bryce Larkin, and Nick George’s search for his father’s murderer. Big Shots doesn’t need one to have my attention. The mixture of humor and drama works wonderfully. I care enough about the characters to care what happens to them, but not enough not to be able to laugh at some of their problems. Good stuff, if they can keep it going. Dylan McDermott remains flat, but so is his character. Christopher Titus is a jewel, but we don’t get enough of him.
Original grade: B+
8 episodes later: A-

Bionic Woman – Even the gorgeous Michelle Ryan can only hold your attention for so long. I stopped watching after scanning through the third episode.
Original grade: F
2.5 episodes later: F

Carpoolers – This show has proven to be a disappointment. The humor has grown a bit stale and the concept has not lived up to the show that I had imagined. My original grade was padded by what I thought were the possibilities of the program, but it just hasn’t lived up to them. I’ll continue to watch through the end of the season, but I’m not sure I’ll keep going after that.
Original grade: A-
6 episodes later: C-

Cavemen – This show keeps getting better and better as it goes along. I suspect that they were prepared at the start for the concept to get old so they put extra thought into the characters. They’ve avoided making it completely about their cavemanhood but produced something that couldn’t be made without that backdrop. I figured that when it inevitably got cancelled at the end of the first season that I would shrug. Now I’m really hoping it sticks in there long enough to make syndication.
Original grade: B
6 episodes later: A-

Chuck – A wonderful start that quickly slid into a sort of inertia for me. There’s nothing wrong with this program. I watched the first couple episodes but then started falling behind. There wasn’t much about the show that grabbed me. The genre-bending hasn’t worked out remarkably well. The big thing that kept me watching was finding out why Chuck got kicked out of Stanford and to get Bryce Larkin’s backstory. I got some of the latter and all of the former and am debating whether or not to stick around for the rest.
Original grade: B
7 episodes later: C+

Dirty Sexy Money – The characters haven’t become any more likeable, though the plotting has proven even better than I thought it would. The maneuvering between Tripp Darling and Simon Elders has particularly proven to be of interest, as has the nature of the George marriage. I’ve also taken a liking to the son, trying to figure out how to disentangle his best self from the temptation of living as a rich spoiled brat.
Original grade: C+
10 episodes later: B/B-

K-Ville – I was unimpressed with this show at the outset, but it’s grown on me. I might have given it up if my wife hadn’t become interested. They’ve used a good job of utilizing the unrealistic-seeming elements of it to encourage me to suspend my disbelief. I think that the show is chugging along pretty strong, but my wife isn’t quite as sure anymore. It’s hit and miss, but hitting enough to keep me interested.
Original grade: D
9 episodes later: B

Life – I previously complained that the show hadn’t lived up to its potential, but once it got moving it did. Detective Crews is one of the most interesting figures on television as he tries to reconcile his newfound zennish beliefs with his experience as a cop that was royally screwed by those around him. I was originally just waiting to see if they’d bother revealing who framed him. They sort of did and quicker than I had thought, though of course there is more to the story than originally thought. I don’t mind the continuing revelation so long as it doesn’t end up something extremely convoluted. It’s on the right track.
Original grade: B/B+
11 episodes later: A/A-

Reaper – As with Chuck, I couldn’t find much of anything to complain about with this show but had to search for reasons to watch it. I fell behind on this one, too, but unlike Chuck I did get caught up. I couldn’t care less about the protagonist’s romantic interest and far too much time was spend on it early on, but now they seem to be veering in a different direction for a little while so my interest has returned. I’m not positive I’m going to keep up whenever it resumes, but it’s possible.
Original grade: B+
9 episodes later: B-

The Big Bang Theory – Nothing I said in the original review is any different. Best new show on television.
Original grade: A
8 episodes later: A

Category: Theater

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2 Responses to New TV Season Revisted

  1. Barry says:

    I’ve only watched one of these new shows – “Chuck” – so can’t offer response on any others. But while I’m looking forward to the rest of “Chuck”, I’m afraid the producers assumed it would be canceled after one season and went ahead and accelerated the plot. Normally in shows like this the quasi-romance between Chuck and Sarah wouldn’t have progressed even to quasi by this stage (halfway through the first season), plus the other subplots you mentioned like Stanford and Bryce (and others) would be late first or even second-third season subplots. Everything’s accelerated, so I’m afraid there’s not going to be much left to do after the end of the season. That said, it’s still my favorite new show (my only one, really) and I’m looking forward to it coming back…

  2. trumwill says:

    I figured that they would probably give up one of the two questions (Why was Chuck kicked out of Stanford and what was Bryce up to) before the season’s and and possibly before the half-season, though I figured that they’d give up the latter before the former. So I don’t think it’s moving quite as fast as you do on that front. You’re completely right, though, that the romantic angle has been too hasily played, which interestingly enough is the same mistake they made on Reaper. It actually makes me less interested when they move too fast on that sort of thing. I hope that they put it on ice if the show is going to last for more than a season. I also hope that they give her more of a personality.

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