Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall TV Preview--TUESDAY

It's a Saturday, but I'm writing about Tuesday. I'm sure you can keep up with me here. I am not the one taking Grace to her early morning softball game today, so I have a bit of time to try and catch up. Yesterday the family went to Grace's start-of-year get together at Emerson Elementary, so I didn't have as much time to write the next day's Fall TV Preview post. But the time at the school was interesting--especially the lady DJ spinning semi-wildly inappropriate tunes from the 1980s and Today (with no censoring!) for the elementary ears. Lynda, I, and the other parents we were talking with had a few eyebrow raises . . . but the music was fun to embarrassingly dance to.

But . . . all that fun got in the way of my keeping the string of consecutive posts alive. (Well, who are we kidding really. I could have written last night, but I chose to watch Doctor Who instead.) But I'm NOT watching him now, so without any further preamble . . .

Tuesday, Tuesday, what can I say about Tuesday?


A quick glance at the lineup shows me that I habitually watch none of the CBS shows on that night. (Two versions of NCIS and Vegas. "Vegas is still on?" I think as I glance at the title. "If that show was on NBC, it would have disappeared by now." Similarly, I don't watch any of the NBC shows either . . . but I will have something more to say on that in a moment. On Fox, I recognize New Girl and admit to looking forward to its second season return (9/25 @ 8 on Fox). ABC also has no shows I have watched in the past and neither does The CW.

What did I do on Tuesday nights in the past? This is perplexing me. Did I only watch New Girl and then catch up on recorded stuff from previous days? Surely there wasn't a day where I didn't watch TV, right? Am I getting old enough to simply start forgetting things?

Who cares, anyway? That was the past and we're focused on the Now--or the immediate, onrushing Soon. So, what will I be thinking about on Tuesday this year?

I'll be thinking negatively about Go On (9/11 @ 9 on NBC), but not because I watched it's second premiere episode this week. I just don't think it'll be that good. Matthew Perry is alright and everything, but he had his decade of millions in the sun and now he should just go away for fifteen years until he's gray and old and had thoroughly shed his sweater-vest, quipster past (let ME have that Matthew!). Then he can take over the old man with dignity roles that Alan Alda currently won't let go of. But that is for the Distant Future. Currently, Matthew Perry is still delivering his mixture of nice guy + funny guy to a bunch of diverse misfits. And I'm just not into it. NBC needs to do better and I don't really know what to tell them. But this show feels more like it was created via Focus Group interaction and now based on good, creative thinking. (Plus, the typography of the show title often looks like the word "goon." Not a good mnemonic to have.)

Now, there are some shows that might be worth watching this night. If I had to pick, I guess I'd go with maybe Ben and Kate (9/25 @ 8:30 on Fox) or Raising Hope (10/2 @ 8 on Fox) or . . . potentially The New Normal (9/10 @ 10 on NBC) or The Mindy Project (9/25 @ 9:30 on Fox).

What are my rationales for these potential suggestions? Okay, here you go:
  • I've read one or two promising things about Ben and Kate, a show about a brother and sister pairing who are dealing with the raising of Kate's young baby. It'll likely feel a lot like Will and Grace because they totally love each other, get on each other's nerves, will have NO option of romantic tension (ohhh, but WHAT IF THEY DID, you guys!?), and have to take care of a squalling immature baby . . . kind of like Jack!
  • People I trust tell me that Raising Hope is a good show. So if any of them want to weigh in through comments below . . . go for it. Convince me to watch!
  • The New Normal has gotten lots of post-Olympics hype (as opposed to Go On, which only got during-Olympics hype). Most of the hype seems to be centered on the madcap nature of the show; its willingness to skewer convention--gays! Lucille Bluth-style racism! quirky kid!; and the presence of Ryan Murphy. (Ryan Murphy is the non-thinking man's J.J. Abrams!) Murphy is responsible for Glee and American Horror Story, so The New Normal might give you anything. But, it feels like a safer, more middle-of-the-road offering. And that may mean that it just doesn't capture attention. We live in a world where extremes make ratings. Because we can find anything on any device at any time. So new things need to be a.) out-of-the-gate outrageous, b.) safely bland for the Flyover Crowd, c.) unshaking, uncompromisingly well-made and acted. If The New Normal hits any of these options, it'll be option b. But I'm just not sure. (And to be honest here, I kind of picked it for comment because it has the temerity to be a 30 minute sit-com airing at 10 pm. THAT'S thinking outside the box, people.)
  • The Mindy Project is a show that I probably should say nothing about. I don't watch The Office, so I don't have any sort of allegiance to the star Mindy Kaling.But she's a young actress getting to work on her own after being in an ensemble for years. She's firmly in charge of this show's vision. She wrote on The Office and wasn't just an actor. She's got thoughts man. For some reason, I think she could be a bit like Tina Fey some day? And besides . . . NBC passed on this show and Fox snatched it up really quickly. So that means it's probably pretty good. (I could run NBC right now, you guys.)
And so, which new show wins today's award for New Show Most Likely to Succeed on Tuesday Night? I'm going to pull Ben and Kate out of a hat and go with that one.

Ben and Kate
Dakota Johnson
stars as Kate. She's not a Fanning.
Hope baby is cute.  

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