Wednesday, September 03, 2008

FOX Fall TV Preview

We keep on rolling tonight with another network's Fall TV lineup. On Tuesday I gave my opinions on NBC; on Wednesday I gave The CW a look. Tonight it'll be the FOX network.

For no reason at all, I think we'll use the old phrase "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog" as the thematic system of this preview.

Monday: We'll use The Quick to describe Monday night's on Fox. It begins with Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles [9/8 @ 8 pm]. Why The Quick? Well, when Terminators show up, there tend to be a lot of people that end changing from the Quick to the Dead. (I didn't say this theme would work well every time . . . if at all.) T:TSCC started last season and met with mixed reviews. It has some potential, but there were only about 8 or 9 total episodes aired at the end of last season. It felt to me like the actors were still working their way into their respective roles--especially the young man trying to portray a high-school aged John Conner. He needed to take some acting refresher courses over the summer break, I think. Summer Glau (River from Firefly fame) was an interesting choice as the newest Terminator assigned to protect the Conner family, but her basic roboticness tended to create a one-note performance. I don't exactly know how to get around that, but I think there are quality pieces to work from in this series. 

Also on Fox Monday is another season of Prison Break [9/1 @ 9 pm]. I feel that the buzz on this show flagged pretty strongly after its premiere season that energized a lot of people. The original puzzle-based plot of finding a way to break out of prison was invigorating to people, but once the characters got out of that prison setting, the show sort of became aimless. I say all this without being a fan or watching the show. If anyone has insight on why this show deserves a  successful fourth season, let me know.

Tuesday: This night features two shows, House and Fringe. This night will be described by the words Brown Fox as described below.

Up first is House [9/16 @ 8 pm], a favorite show to a lot of people. I kind of think of it as an edgier spin on ER with a healthy dose of Sherlock Holmes. I like the mystery inherent in each episode and I like the character of House himself. He'll represent the "Fox" here, since many people find him sexy. Perhaps it's his confidence in himself; perhaps its his limp (which makes him vulnerable); perhaps it's his ability to always get to the correct answer, but people dig Hugh Laurie's character.

"Brown" goes with one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the fall, Fringe [9/9 @ 8 pm--a 2 hour premiere with regular episodes airing afterwards at 9 pm]. Why "Brown?" Well, I see it like this. The last time I was this excited by a show on Fox, it was Joss Whedon's Firefly. That show featured Captain Malcolm Reynolds, formerly of the space rebellion force known as the Browncoats. I can only hope that Fox gives Fringe more time to succeed than they gave to Firefly because a great many people are very excited by the idea of Fringe--I don't think it's a X-Files rip off and as a last word I've only got three additional words to add to seal the deal (for me anyway)--J  J  Abrams.

Sign me up!

Wednesday: I'll use Jumps to describe the only interesting show on Fox's midweek lineup . . . because Bones [9/3 @ 8 pm] has five letters just like "jumps." (Man, I am really regretting this terrible idea for a theme!) Bones has always appealed to a lot of people and I think that I would also like it if I had ever taken the time to start watching the show. But I didn't jump on board early enough. That isn't really an excuse in the era of DVD rentals and summer hiatuses, but that is all I've got. Bones is a show about a FBI agent played by David Boreanaz (of Angel) and a forensic anthropologist played by Emily Deschanel. As I am sure I've said before, two more complicated names that are prone to misspelling I'll probably never encounter. I once planned to study forensic anthropology in my early college career, so there's another reason to like. And the two main characters have (I believe) a Mulder/Scully vibe that is also appealing. So, I recommend this show. Catch up with past seasons on Netflix, watch on the web, whatever. But give this show a try.

Thursday: This night makes me use the words Over and Lazy. Why "over?" Well, Fox on Thursday night begins with The Moment of Truth [8/26 @ 8 pm], a show I had hoped would be "over" and done with by now. The premise of destroying lives with public  polygraph questions for entertainment value is reprehensible and shows the worst of Fox's bad tendencies. I want it to end, but I don't think it ever shall.

"Lazy" seems to fit Kitchen Nightmares [9 pm] because the website gives me the impression that this Chef Gordon Ramsey reality show was originally aired in 2007 and are being rebroadcast now to help fill out the schedule. Since I don't like cooking shows that aren't aired on the Food Network, I don't truly care one way or the other, but it does seem a bit shocking.

Friday: The end of the Fox workweek schedule is best characterized by Dog because it is boring, same old, same old stuff. Who really watches Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? [8 pm]. Are these viewers, perhaps, the same one's that watch Don't Forget the Lyrics? [9 pm]. I don't care about either of these shows, so I'll quickly move on.

Weekend: Saturday on Fox is Cops, Cops, and more Cops. Sunday is filled with the animation block that includes King of the Hill, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad. All of these shows have been on autopilot for many, many years and you don't me to tell you anything new about them. End of discussion.

So, what have we learned about Fox? Well, there are some good shows returning (House, Bones), some shows with solid potential (T:TSCC) and one show that just might be something special--fingers crossed! (Fringe) This network just might be worth your time in carefully selected bites. Tread carefully but sample with confidence. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

while i've only ever caught it by accident, i've loved parts of Kitchen Nightmares. minutes 5:00-15:00 are the best: that's when Gordon arrives, is appalled by everyone's cretinism, and starts to cuss them the &^%# out. Cheers to FOX for simply bleeping him; it's the most authentic dialog on TV, &^%#'ing 'ell.