Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall TV Preview--Dean's Cable Reviews!

[editor's note: Dean came through for me again this year and wrote a nice overview of the significant information you need to know about this fall season's Cable TV offerings. And because he is great, and because I am not yet prepared, I am giving his submission pride of place in this year's Fall TV posts.]


First I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to watch Sleepy Hollow. I’m infringing on David’s turf here, but I don’t think he’ll mind.  [ed--HEY! Guess bloggers only get so much leeway. As Heisenberg might warn . . . tread lightly!] Critic Alan Sepinwall has said of it, “I suspect it’s bad.” Let’s make it the highest rated show ever! On to the cable.
This year’s reviews feature a rating system to help you decide whether they’re worth your time. I think it’s pretty helpful, and not opaque at all. (Your mileage may vary).


Boardwalk Empire (HBO): I almost gave up on this show last season, but then it ended, and oh my how it ended! It’s already started (like most of these shows…mea culpa) but if you have HBO you can catch up on demand. I suggest you do so.   
Series Rating: (On a scale of Mickey Doyle to Al Capone) Lucky Luciano

Breaking Bad (AMC): It’s not too late to start watching Breaking Bad before it ends forever. (It’s probably too late.) [ed.--It's DEFINITELY too late.] As a reminder of the heightened stakes at this late date in the season here are some unanswered questions: a.) Will Lydia and Todd ever get together?  b.) What is Walt Jr. going to have for breakfast? c.) Will Marie ever wear purple again? So tense! [ed--In his dreams and only when she wears a football jersey. Pancakes smothered in syrup and the tears of betrayal. Only when Skyler chooses the purple lining of Marie's coffin!]
Series Rating: (Chili P to Crystal Blue Persuasion): Crystal Blue Persuasion
The Walking Dead (AMC): The Walking Dead has an audience that NBC is jealous of. I can't watch this show, because zombies are scary and my wife is having none of it. I'm given to understand that it started off good, got pretty bad, and now is good again? This makes me sad because there's nothing more fun than listening to people complain about a show they are watching and you aren't.
Series Rating: (World War Z the movie to World War Z the book): Resident Evil
Other shows: There are other shows on Sunday that you could watch, but ugh, look, I’m tired and don’t want to look at a schedule. I suppose Dexter maybe? If you’re still watching Dexter, why? This isn’t rhetorical, I’m genuinely curious. Isn’t it terrible now? Although I heard Yvonne Strahovski is on this season, so that’s something. [ed--wait . . . WHAT?!] (I give this show a Ted Bundy.) 
Also probably Homeland is on (I give this show an “As You Wish” out of a scale of “love, twue love” to “My name is Inigo Montoya.” Also I’ve never seen it, so that rating is especially arbitrary.) 



Adventure Time with Finn and Jake (Cartoon Network): Most everything I write about is not appropriate for children, but this is! People with children, watch this! People without children should also watch this.   
Series Rating: (plop dumps to algebraic): algebraic
Regular Show (Cartoon Network): This show follows the adventures of a Raccoon and a Blue Jay who work in a park trying to slack off. Their boss is a gumball machine. There is also a lollypop man, a high-five ghost, and an immortal gorilla voiced by Mark Hamill. Somehow the show is more insane than that description.
Series Rating: (Thomas to Skips): Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost [ed--ugh . . . what?! How are these insane ratings even helpful to my readership? How is this accessible at ALL? I don't feel that you are treading lightly here.]


Brickleberry (Comedy Central): I only list this show to note that it is terrible.   
Series Rating: (no scale) Daniel Tosh’s rape joke [ed--ummm . . . Dean?]
Sons of Anarchy (FX): The last episode of the show featured the following: Prison rape, torture porn, a drowning in a bathtub full of urine (with the body then being micturated upon, another rape, a school shooting. I no longer care about the fate of any of the characters on this show. Ugh. However this show has pretty much everyone from Deadwood on it, so it does have that going for it. [ed--whoa. Guest blogger ladies and gentlemen. I emphasize GUEST blogger.]
Series Rating: (Steve the Drunk to Al Swearengen): George Hearst
Top Gear (History): This show is not as good as the British original. It started off really badly, but it’s gained confidence and is finally a show worth checking out.  
Series Rating: (Jason Dawe to Jeremy Clarkson): Richard Hammond
Cougar Town (TBS): I’ll be honest, I don’t know when this will return to TV, or if it will be on Tuesdays, but I hope it is, because Tuesday is a wasteland on cable otherwise. Also this show is funny and delightful and) you should watch if you like that sort of thing.  
Series Rating: (Shot glass to Big Joe): Big Carl


It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX): First note: If you can’t find this channel it’s hidden amongst all the sport channels. Second note: a show this long in the tooth shouldn’t be so funny still, but it is. Third note: not appropriate for any audiences.
Series Rating: (Charlie Work to Cut-Off Sleeves) Dee Looks Like a Bird [ed--Did you get Badger to write this for you in between Star Trek scripts?]
The League (FXX): Do you like Always Sunny? If so watch The League! Honestly, it’s just as funny and just as not appropriate for anyone. 
Series Rating: (Jacksonville Defense to Adrian Peterson) Peyton Manning
American Horror Story (FX): This season is about witches! Last season featured Ian McShane as a Murder Santa, so I’m not sure how that can be topped. However, the first episode title of the new season is delightful (and inappropriate for a family blog so look it up, unless you are a young child in which case . . . don’t). [ed--Maybe it's all the weirdness of up above getting to me, but that episode title didn't bother me as much as I expected.]  
Series Rating: (Banshees to Demonic Possession) Every horror trope ever rolled into one undifferentiated mass.

Key & Peele (Comedy Central): I spent an embarrassing amount of time watching Key and Peele clips while writing this. Rather than write something I suggest you "Google" Key & Peele East/West Bowl. You’ll be glad you did.  
Series Rating: (John Smith to A.A. Ron Balakey) Fudge
South Park (Comedy Central): This show has been on for 17 seasons now. It’s only 8 years younger than The Simpsons. If you don’t know what this show is about by now, I don’t know what to tell you.  
Series Rating: (Cartman to Butters) Tweek
Duck Dynasty (A&E): I’m uncomfortable with most of the reality TV out there. There seems to be more “laughing at” than “laughing with.” Because this is one of the most popular shows on television (not just cable, but all of television) I watched an episode. It was…OK. I’m not sure why it’s so incredibly popular, but at least it’s better than Two and a Half Men. I’ll take a thousand Duck Dynasties over that.  
Series Rating: (Honey Boo-Boo to Duck Dynasty): Duck Dynasty
Anger Management: Much like Brickleberry I only note this to say that this is terrible. Stop rewarding Charlie Sheen’s behavior.
Series Rating: (no scale): Alec Baldwin Voice Mail to his daughter


I didn’t see any shows worth watching on Thursday so I’ll put in a plug for Netflix Original series which can be watched at any time. Orange is the New Black (on a scale of Piper to Red, I’d give it a Red) is incredible. Arrested Development is still funny enough to rewatch a few times (I’d rate season 4 as “Same” or maybe even a “sad Peanuts theme”).[ed--SAME.] Derek has Karl Pilkington and I am a sucker for Karl Pilkington (On a scale of Life’s Too Short to The Office I’d rate Karl Pilkington “The Ricky Gervais Show.”)


Legend of Korra: Book Two: Last season of this children’s cartoon featured a murder-suicide. It hasn’t reached the heights of Avatar: the Last Airbender yet, but I’m definitely watching. [ed--Now I tread lightly on Dean's turf by also encouraging you to watch Korra. He makes the murder-suicide thing sound like a bigger deal than it was within the entire context of the whole first season. If you can handle the name of American Horror Story's season 3 pilot, you can handle this.]
Series Rating: (Azula to Uncle Iroh) Zuko [ed--HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?!! (A:TLA fans know what I'm talking about.)]


College Football (ESPN probably): Football!
Series Rating:
(Big East to SEC): Pac 12
[ed--Well, what could be clearer? Thanks much Dean for kicking off this year's Fall TV Preview. Any complaints regarding the content of this post can be directed to]

1 comment:

Dean (@Hapless23) said...

I feel I should leave a couple of quick notes:
Daniel Tosh is the "star" of Brickleberry. He made an offensive joke about rape. He is not great.
I made the SoA recap as family friendly as possible. I even used the word micturate instead of its crass synonyms.
Zuko is wonderful. I don't know what David's problem is.
My ratings aren't opaque in the slightest. I found them extremely helpful.