Thursday, October 02, 2008

The new season

The new TV season is off to a good start. All of my favorite network shows have shown at least one episode. Too bad the list of favorite shows is so short. Here's the list.

The Simpsons.
TV's longest-running sitcom, ever. Also the longest-running prime-time cartoon. The show was in a slump for years but pulled out a few seasons ago. It's impossible for it to be fresh after so many years but it still manages to be relevant. The season opener poked fun at Dog the Bounty Hunter and similar shows.

I didn't dislike the second season at the time but the third season feels much stronger. After an early a two-episode premier, we are now three episodes into the season. As always, we don't exactly know what is going on but we have a better idea than at this point in previous seasons. We do know that the heroes are going to save the world again but we also know that there are at least two alternate futures that the world has to be saved from - not counting the ones from the first two seasons.

The lead-in show for Heroes is about an electronics store nerd who got involved in James Bond-style spy stuff. The first season was ok but it always seemed like the show should be better. It either should have taken itself a little more seriously or a little less. The season opener seemed stronger. They seems to have gone for taking the show a little more seriously. It is just as well. The Middleman on ABC Family sets the bar pretty high for over-the-top spy spoofs. There is still plenty of room for a classy crime-solving show with light comedy. There were several of these in the 1980s but they died off in the 90s.

Pushing Daisies.
One of the best shows from last year and one of the most original shows ever. ABC is pushing it hard which is a good thing. The show has a lot of continuity from one episode to another but it also has a narrator who tells you everything you need to know. The show features off-beat plots and stunning visuals. It picked up right where it left off. With the exception of a longer-than-usual opening naration, it felt like the next episode in season one (this is a good thing).

For those who have not seen it, it features a pie-maker who can raise the dead with a touch (they die again on the second touch), his partner, a detective who has a fondness for knitting and pop-up books, his girlfriend who he brought back to life (and can't touch), her aunts (one of them is secretly her mother), and the waitress in the pie shop who knows almost everyone's secrets.

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