Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall TV Preview--THURSDAY

Credit: sunsetintherearview.com

 As the TV week creeps towards the end and the ratings decline, what is there to expect on Thursday nights? Is it a night of drama, comedy, or reality? New challengers or old favorites? Which network has the best chance at success on the last night of the TV week that really means anything?

NBC has the least  change in its lineup this night, but that doesn't mean it is settled. Given how unsuccessful NBC has been in ratings over the last several years, its frankly amazing that some of these shows are still around. But--as Nixon once said--you won't have them to kick around much longer. 30 Rock (10/4 @ 8 pm) ends its many years of quality and success with one more dip into the crazy that is TGS. Will we learn that it's all been a dream of Liz and Jack while they drift off to bed after intercourse? (That most surprising sentence ever written on WWYG?! would be pretty remarkable if it turned out to be true . . . which it won't be.) Up All Night (9/20 @8:30) gets another shot for its second season, but many things about the show are different.The talk show is no more and so the tone of the show also changes. But don't think Maya Rudolph's Oprah clone is gone. She's likely to be weirder than ever though. And Parks and Recreation (9/20 @ 9:30 & 9/20 @ 9) are also back. But, I don't watch these shows so I won't say much about them here. I know people love Parks & Rec . . . but I've never given it a fair chance. I don't really have a good reason. Maybe it's because I've never really cared about Saturday Night Live? If you are outraged, put all your venom in comments.

What am I looking forward to on this night of TV? I'll renew my acquaintance with The Big Bang Theory (9/27 @ 8 on CBS) and keep scrolling on my phone while sort of keeping an eye on Glee (9/13 @ 9 on Fox). But I am most interested in two other shows that are familiar . . . but not.

First there is Beauty and the Beast (10/11 @ 9 on The CW) which attempts to revive a strangely popular show from my youthful 80s childhood. But it won't have Ron Pearlman or Linda Hamilton. It'll have some dude named Jay Ryan and . . .  gulp . . . my old Smallville nemesis Kristin Kreuk in the title roles. I can say with certainty that I won't be watching this show at all. But I'll keep an ear open to hear what others are saying about it.If this show was airing on ABC, I'd insert some joke here about how this show's revival was done only to achieve synergy with network's owner. But that isn't the case.So, I can only fall back on the notion that America's creativity is well and truly bankrupt.

The other show, however, is probably one I will watch--at least to try out. Elementary (9/27 @ 10 on CBS) is not a gritty drama about the rough underbelly of preschool in New York City. (Why hasn't someone tried that concept yet?) Rather, it is a new version of Sherlock Holmes.(Sadly . . . no, not THAT Sherlock.) But like that--infinitely better--version, it is a modernized spin on the World's Greatest Detective. (No, not that world's greatest detective.) Jonny Lee Miller (a Brit, don't worry) plays the guy in the deer-hunter cap and Lucy Liu plays Watson.

What . . . huh?

Yep. As anyone who pays any attention to TV knows, the big twist in Elementary is that Watson is a girl! And everyone swears that there won't be any love interest brewing between Miller's Sherlock and Liu's Watson. And that's fine, as the BBC version of the show is already famous for its homoerotic watercolors on Tumblr. But my love of the BBC show has made me ready to embrace this version of the show, so I'll watch it. And I hope it does well enough.

And because it is the new show I am most interested in seeing--and I'm not going into all the Thursday night shows--I'm awarding the New Show Most Likely to Succeed on Thursday Night to Elementary.

Yes, my dear Watson.
This show isn't the B___ in
221B Baker . . .

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