Wednesday, October 6, 2010

OF COURSE, STUDIO 60 WAS THE FIRST SHOW TO GET A BACK 9 PICKUP ITS SEASON: Given that we're a mere three weeks into the fall TV season and already have had two cancellations (one disappointing but not surprising, and one that I didn't even bother watching), it's surprising that it took till today to get our first official back 9 pickup. The winner in that sweepstakes is, surprisingly, not the top-rated new show (Hawaii Five-O) or even the top-rated sitcom (Mike & Molly), but Fox's Raising Hope. With that, it's time to make your allegiance known--what have you tried and picked up or decided to drop from the new season? For me, the pickups are:
  • Hawaii Five-O--Solid procedural, and Scott Caan in particular is delivering a fine comic performance, even if Alex O'Loughlin is a charisma vacuum. I've also liked how the show's iconic catchphrase has been given a clever/taunting turn, though they need to be careful not to overuse it.
  • Running Wilde--Given the pedigree, expectations were stratospheric among critics and AD fans, and it's been a bit of a mixed bag, but this week's finally seemed to be clicking, particularly with the running joke about Steve's science tutors. (I tried the first couple of Raising Hopes, but it kind of left me cold. Seemed like a pale retread of Garcia's last show.)
  • No Ordinary Family--Still in testing mode for me, but I'm just happy to see a superhero show that has a sense of fun and joy and isn't all mopey, even if "ability to understand really complicated math problems" is the lamest superpower this side of Aquaman. In particular, Romany Malco and Autumn Reeser's sidekick characters are a lot of fun.
  • Better With You--The jokes haven't been great thus far, but the performers (with the exception of the youngest guy) are all exceedingly likable, and I can identify with the situation.
  • Outlaw--Mostly, just to see if it can get any more implausible.
Had it not been canned, I would have picked up Lone Star. Sampled for potential pickup purposes and rejected The Event (great production values, pretty cast, but seemed to be little more than chain-yanking without interesting characters), The Whole Truth (almost as implausible as Outlaw, but not nearly as ridiculous/fun), and L&O:LA (may watch from time to time, but L&O needs more "chung-chung" and less TMZ).


  1. spacewoman4:55 PM

    I just gave up on Raising Hope last night, about 6 minutes in.  It was laugh out loud funny the first week and then got old very fast.  Basically, it's got one joke, and Earl and Co. did it better.

  2. christy in nyc4:59 PM

    Sister Wives! A++++ Obsessed!

    I like-don't-love Running Wilde, Raising Hope, No Ordinary Family. Better With You is ehhh, OK. I'm basically waiting to see with all of these. I don't have a lot of room for new shows on my schedule. I'm still HOURS behind for the week.

    My husband likes The Event.

  3. Maret4:59 PM

    I rejected The Event, Undercovers, and No Ordinary Family this week. Tried 'em all, and didn't care about any of them enough to keep going and was annoyed they were taking up space on my DVR. Which makes Top Chef: Just Desserts and Terriers my only new shows this fall that are sticking.

  4. christy in nyc5:00 PM

    Also I'm DVRing Todd Margaret but haven't even watched the first episode yet so no comment there.

  5. I forgot Undercovers, which is still somewhat of a test for me.  There's a hint at some sort of arc plot in the pilot, but they need to do something with it to make it interesting.  Boris and Gugu are both charismatic and gorgeous, but it needs a little more snap to it.

  6. Ramar5:04 PM

    Terriers - Ambling cross between Veronica Mars and Rockford Files.  Watch it now, because there's probably only going to be the one season.

  7. Carmichael Harold5:08 PM

    I've tried and dropped Undercovers (dull) and will probably drop No Ordinary Family (I find the writing to be bad in a way that irritates me) and the Event (don't care about the characters; neither do the creators).  Have tried and picked up Terriers, and continue to audit Raising Hope, Running Wilde (which I thoroughly enjoyed last night) and Hawaii 5-0.

  8. We're not actually much new (though I'd like to sample a few), but I just need to comment on the sky-high mental instability factor on TC: Just Deserts. The cooking is fine, but it's hard to avert the eyes from the trainwreck that is Seth.

  9. Carmichael Harold5:09 PM

    Instead of writing my own comment below, I should have just co-signed yours.

  10. Andrew5:12 PM

    There's also a bit of Lebowski in the mix. Great, great show. By far my favorite of the new season and 50% of the shows that I've picked up this season, the other being Boardwalk Empire. 

  11. J. Bowman5:21 PM

    I still like Raising Hope. Running Wilde is improving - I still want to like it more than I actually do. Since I decided to drop Glee once and for all this week, it might be tougher to remember to watch them.
    That's pretty much it. I watched Outsourced for half an episode, which was plenty.

  12. sconstant5:23 PM

    Saw a The Whole Truth (yay for Friday "please please please watch this show!" repeats) and would try it again, liked the origin story for No Ordinary Family (same set of repeats) but I am a sucker for origin stories and am not excited to move forward. 

    Let's all pretend that I logged out and made this comment anonymously: I've watched all 3 Mike and Molly eps.  Much as I really don't like Mike's cop partner, Molly's mother, Molly's sister, the guy at the restaurant (isn't an erudite immigrant behind the counter at the restaurant a totally overused thing, or am I just imagining it?), Molly or (more than any of these) the writing, Billy Gardell (Mike) has really lovely comic timing.

  13. I liked No Ordinary Family enough to DVR it this week, but not enough to watch the second episode right away. So it's a "we'll see" for me.  Otherwise, haven't picked up anything new this season. Which is sad, because a lot of my old standbys are starting to really feel like OLD standbys (House, Grey's Anatomy, Dexter).

  14. isaac_spaceman5:23 PM

    I'm watching and liking Terriers but don't love it -- nothing there I haven't seen before.  I'm committed to Boardwalk Empire but am not ready to rave.  I enjoy it, but it's not in the Deadwood-Wire-Sopranos tier of HBO drama for me.  I'll give it time.  I'm still watching Children's Hospital, usually on a pretty long DVR delay. 

    I gave up on Lone Star one pre-commercial-break in.  I've seen ten minutes or so of I Hope the Baby Doesn't Die, or whatever it's called, but am infuriated that this is what Garrett Dillahunt has come to.  Running Wilde is on my DVR, probably never to be watched.  I probably would watch it if I knew that it actually went through with the plot that Hurwitz described on what Alan calls the most depressing interview with a showrunner ever (Hurwitz talks about Arnett throwing a party for rich people where they're dressed up as hobos, but then has to throw another party simultaneously but doesn't have enough rich people, so he hires hobos and dresses them up as rich people -- he says that Fox nixed it), but what I'm getting from the article is that Fox doesn't want him to do any of the kinds of humor that I like.  So I probably won't watch (and Fox doesn't care).  I don't think there's even another new show that I was tempted to watch.

    Except Walking Dead.  When that comes out, I'm definitely watching that. 

  15. The Pathetic Earthling5:55 PM

    The lamest superpower is that of Gazebo Boy.

  16. Marsha6:01 PM

    Sampled Boardwalk Empire. I'm aware that it's brilliant, but it didn't click with me, and I found the next two episodes sat on my TiVo and I had no desire to watch them, so I cancelled the season pass. I may catch up with it on DVD this summer when there aren't so many other shows that I already love commanding my attention.

    First two No Ordinary Family eps are sitting on my TiVo. If they don't cancel it soon, I'll watch them, but I'm unwilling to invest right away.

    Only other new show I've tried was Mike & Molly. It's got a long leash with me because of Melissa McCarthy, but if they don't stop with the horrid, painful, not-funny-at-all-even-if-fat-weren't-a-touchy-subject-with-me fat jokes. It's hammy and kinda dumb, but there's about 5 minutes worth of really good material in every episode. None of those 5 minutes involve Molly's mom or sister, sadly. I'll keep at it for a while, but I hope they figure out soon that the story of two people who have had very few good dating experiences trying to date is pretty good on its own, and they don't need to mock their leads all the time. They also don't need them both to be on diets. There are people in the world who are fat and don't want to lose weight.

    (Speaking of which, Huge has been officially cancelled and I'm very sad about it. That was a fantastic way of portraying fat people on TV.)

  17. Haven't really added anything new into the mix, but we're getting sick pleasure from watching Seth unravel on TC:JD.

  18. Eric J.7:33 PM

    May continue with No Ordinary Family, but that's it. I find mostly I'd rather play WoW than watch TV these days. There's also tons of stuff I'd like to Netflix but never get around to.

    Later this month, though, keep an eye out for Sherlock on PBS. Modern-day version, very smartly done and a lot of fun. Everything House used to be.

  19. Maret7:39 PM

    Oh yeah, Borardwalk Empire, I fogot but I am still watching that.

  20. Maret7:40 PM

    I loved Huge.

  21. Our British office has already alerted me to be on the lookout for Sherlock, which is from Stephen Moffat, who did "Coupling," as well as the best stuff from the current "Doctor Who" series.

  22. I'm still watching Boardwalk Empire, but am in kind of the same vote--I admire it an awful lot, but am not finding it particularly ENJOYABLE.  Once Mad Men ends, it'll clear up some space on Sundays, though, and that'll help.

  23. Jennifer7:43 PM

    I have rejected all shows officially and have NO new shows this season. I still watch 14 shows anyway so I won't miss 'em.

    Lone Star: self-explanatory.
    Undercovers: could have been good if it had far more interesting (rather than dead flat) dialogue. Needs Buffyspeak desperately.
    The Event: uh.... other than the alien stuff, I don't care. I like Jason Ritter but his character ain't great, and I think they're going to hedge on the name forever.
    No Ordinary Family: smacks of irritating family sitcom (minus the sitcom). Faaaaamily, faaaaamily, faaaamily, they just keep saying it over and over again JUST IN CASE YOU FORGET THEY'RE A FAMILY! Which is why I generally loathe family sitcoms except for Modern Family (which manages to avoid the anvils). The kids also have sad superpowers. I like the sidekicks, but that was about it.

  24. Dan Suitor7:56 PM

    No, it is decidedly Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.

  25. Jordan8:39 PM

    No TV matters that does not involve Doc Halladay

  26. Hannah Lee10:26 PM


    Haven't gotten into anything new this season. Lone Star was interesting, but it's gone. The Event could have been interesting, but it's dull and has outlandish plot elements (and I am not even talking about the aliens). The Whole Truth had me at Maura Tierney, but then lost me when I realized even she couldn't overcome my post-Quiz Show avoidance of Rob Morrow.

    Nothing else really seemed interesting, so I'm sticking with the series that won me over last year: Community*, Parenthood*, The Good Wife, plus P & R* when it returns and an occasional 30 Rock*, Office* and/or Chuck*, along with the cable shows. (HIMYM has forfeited its spot in the rotation, Castle comes and goes. )

    *Boy, I just looked at that list and realized that someone at NBC would probably kill for me to have a Nielsen box.

  27. I've picked up No Ordinary Family, Raising Hope, Better with You, Blue Bloods and The Whole Truth (which apparently could get canceled soon). I could see myself eventually giving up on all but No Ordinary Family. I tried Hawaii 5-0, Running Wilde and Terriers but couldn't get into any of them. 

  28. Okay . . . I take it back, didn't expect him to unravel all the way. Now everyone else is lining up to be next.

  29. Adam C.12:04 AM

    Sticking with Terriers, which I'm really liking.  Also, so far, The Event, but I'm leaning heavily toward a bail there.  Lone Star was dumped for me with Ep. 2 still waiting on the TiVo (since deleted w/o watching).  Dumped Running Wilde when I couldn't make it through Ep. 2 without falling asleep on two consecutive nights, but the comments above noting improvement in Ep. 3 have me rethinking that call.  Have the Boardwalk Empire eps sitting on the TiVo but haven't watched a single minute yet.  Does Rubicon count?  'Cause that's been great.  And like Isaac I'm anxiously awaiting The Walking Dead.  Frankly, even if that turned out to be terrible, I'd watch it, but I have a feeling it's going to be the polar opposite of terrible.

  30. Adam C.12:06 AM

    Oh yeah, TC:JD -- I wasn't sure I'd stick with it, but then Seth got all crazy-weird and a couple likable cheftestants emerged.

  31. The Pathetic Earthling1:53 AM

    At least the action figure would get the superpower right.

  32. RandomRanter9:15 AM

    In my ever optimistic way, I have picked up a bunch this season.  I'm still enjoying "Raising Hope" (was enjoying "Lone Star") finding "Terriers", "The Defenders" and "Hawaii 5-0" interesting (although they need to stop making Alex O'Loughlin say Hawaiian words because he is bad at it, leave it to Daniel Dae Kim).  Still have some others in rotation, dropped "Blue Bloods" partway through the first episode but no other official deaths yet.

  33. gretchen10:00 AM

    What's Sherlock about?

  34. I feel the same about Boardwalk Empire. I enjoyed the first episode, but when the second one rolled around, I found I had absolutely no interest in watching it. 

    Also sad about Huge, but I was ambivalent about it. I liked the premise and the setup, but I found it so hard to like most of the characters. I was just continually frustrated with their behavior, even for teenagers, even if it felt real.  But I would have liked to see more of the show, because I felt like the characters were starting to grow.

  35. It's Sherlock Holmes, but in the present day.

  36. Am I the only one watching Detroit 1-8-7 and LOLA?  I really like D187, mostly because of Imperioli.  And LOLA's second episode was more chung-chung than the first one.  I like the two main cops.  As long as they make Hollywood the back scene, I'm okay with it.

  37. Hannah Lee7:29 PM

    Rubicon should count.  That's been a really interesting show to watch (I had lumped it in with other cable shows in my post, but you reminded me it deserves a shout out)   It started out being something I watched while waiting for Mad Men, but now I look forward to it on its own.

  38. Adam C.7:55 PM

    Yeah, it's a shame it's not getting any ratings at all -- probably a one-season-and-done show, but it's been a terrific season.

  39. Adam C.7:58 PM

    You aren't the only one watching D187 -- I just forgot to include it above.  I'm enjoying it, but other than Imperioli, and some nice work between McDaniel and the guy who plays his partner, there's not much that makes it stand out.  It's just a reliably solid hour of cop drama.

  40. kkatiya12:34 AM

    For Eric J, I'm a little ashamed to admit it but at first I read you'd rather play with wolves thab watch tv these days :)

  41. Phew!  I want to keep it on the air.  It's just an hour of enjoyable tv.

  42. Adam C.4:16 PM

    For two of us, at least!