Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tonight--two at once

Tonight I'll try to tackle CBS and Fox. If you haven't read part one on ABC and part two on NBC, then read them first.


CBS kicks off the work week with The Class, a new sitcom in which a group of third graders reunite twenty years later to find out what changed. Sounds to me like the Big Chill but without the big budget, soft focus, and bankable stars. Count me out. But don't give up on CBS entirely, because at 8:30 following The Class How I Met Your Mother returns for season number two. This is another one of those shows that I am very much in favor of even though I haven't seen much of it at all. But anything on CBS that isn't Ray Romano-related has got to be an improvement, right? (Except for all the other CBS shows I will now dismiss.)

Fox's Monday night at 8 pm is Prison Break. A lot of people like this show, but I've never been a fan and haven't seen it at all. Ladies, especially like it because the main characters are rugged in a pretty, sensative way.

But Monday night on CBS wouldn't be complete without at least one contemptible show and for my money, that is Two and a Half Men. Does it have more juice than Everybody Loves Raymond ever did? I don't know . . . but you can't claim that it is more original than yet another family crisis sitcom. Ever heard of My Two Dads? At 9:30 you could watch The New Adventures of Old Christine and see if Julia Louis-Dreyfuss deserves the Emmy she just won.

On Fox at 9 you could watch Vanished, but I think you know that I am tired of shows that include the phrase: "there is much more going on here than it seems on the surface" but are not also LOST.


On Tuesday CBS has NCIS, which I think stands for "Not CSI," The Unit, which seems to be the Un24, and Smith, a new show with Ray Liotta. With the additional star power of Virginia Madsen and the striking similarity between this show and Oceans 11, it might be a decent show as CBS goes.

Fox Tuesday features House and Standoff. This new Fox show sounds like it is a mix of a procedural-type show like CSI or NCIS with a healthy dose of sexual tension and past relationships. Standoff does feature Gina Torres, who I liked quite a bit on Firefly and Angel.


CBS's big mid week offering is an ominous show entitled Jericho. Jericho sounds like yet another LOST clone that described itself with such words as "plunging," "chaos," "isolated," and "wondering." But it also features this promotional image:

How can Two and a Half Men compete with THAT? (Maybe the good people featured on Jericho should read this post.) If potential nuclear destruction doesn't make you want to watch TV then maybe Fox's two Wednesday shows--Bones and Justice--will. Bones debuted last year and has received good support and some critical praise. Justice features Alias alumnus Victor Garber, but since it's not Alias I don't think I'll watch it.


CBS on Thursday is all about two things--Survivor and CSI. Both shows have been around for a long time and so, you may ask, what else is there to say? Regarding CSI, I agree that there isn't that much to say now. We know the characters really well, the pattern of the show is established. Any success or failure of the show now hinges on the quality of the writers and the stories they provide.

But Survivor, being a "reality" show that lives and dies by it's artificial construction, has come up with a new idea that has guaranteed more pre-debut press than ever. Televised race-baiting! It makes me proud to be an American, I must say.

If you don't want to be confronted with the sorry state of the races in the United States, just let James Woods and Jeri Ryan chase your fears away with Shark at 10 pm. But no matter the packaging, its still just another lawyer show.

Usually you would expect Fox to go to the lowest common denominator and do something like the Survivor race game. Instead, Fox goes entirely conventional with Brad Garrett's attempt to "out-Romano" Everybody Loves Raymond with 'Til Death. It sounds and reads just like every other marital strife sitcom that you've seen over the past several years. I say skip it. There's another sitcom at 8:30 called Happy Hour but I don't even want to get into it as this post has already gone too long and I'm not done with the week.

Fox, 9 pm, The O.C. If you're a fan then you'll watch. If not, then you won't.


Did you know that Ghost Whisperer is still on the air? And it still has Jennifer Love Hewitt's ugly hair, I think. I've never even heard of Close to Home, the returning show that CBS has scheduled at 9 pm. And while I liked Rob Morrow's time on Northern Exposure back in the day, Numb3rs (10 pm) has never interested me that much.

Fox Friday is Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses. Both are returning shows and both interest me not at all. Must I say it again? Battlestar Galactica!


The choices for both networks on the weekend are Cops, Crimetime Saturday, America's Most Wanted, and 48 Hours Mysteries. And people wonder why so much sports is watched on the weekend.


There is always The Simpsons (now entering its 18th season), 60 Minutes (now entering it's kajillionth season) and other returning shows like Family Guy, American Dad, Without a Trace and Cold Case. But I'm tired now and I just don't want to get into anything else. You can go here to read up on stuff that I skipped for CBS and Fox.

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