Tuesday, September 08, 2009

FOX Fall 2009 TV Preview Post

Fred AstaireFred Astaire via last.fm

Tonight we'll take at look at the FOX network's offerings of new shows starting this month. Why FOX? Well, I only had one direct response on Twitter for guidance and while Hapless23 is a loyal participant in my Twitter lifestyle, his plea for CBS could not sway me from the fact that I am starting this post at 10:30, I'm already too late getting started, FOX favors hour-long dramas, and FOX original programming ends at 10 pm. Less things to write about tonight means I go to bed at a decent hour.

For no significant reason, I'll provide a link to my review of the FOX Fall lineup in 2007. It seems that they had more new shows than the other networks that year. I have yet to determine if they are similarly more stacked this year.

Here we go . . .

House [premieres 9/21 @ 8 pm, 2 hr. premiere] begins its sixth season this year. I've never watched House much, but it is always on reruns it seems and when I have watched, it is engaging. It is sort of like a Hospital: CSI. The characters are interesting and fun and Hugh Laurie always does a good job. It's too far down the pipe for me to start watching now, but I think I'm telling everyone else to join in with gusto.

Lie to Me [premieres 9/28 @ 8 pm] is entering its second season. I think the show is about a psychologist or something like that . . . someone who specializes in detecting falsehoods in various fields. So, maybe the show is sort of like The Closer?

So You Think You Can Dance [premiered 9/9 @ 8 pm] is already off and running with a new season of clodhopping challenges. I KNOW that I can't dance (and I've destroyed all video to prove it) and I feel no need to be subjected to the excellent skills of others how train, tone, and tap their bodies to success.

So You Think You Can Dance . . . is on again? What, two hours on Tuesday isn't enough for you? You want another hour the following night? Well, that doesn't change the fact that my dancing skills haven't improved since yesterday, nor do I think they will be any better tomorrow. So don't waste my time with yet another hour of So You Think You Can Dance on Thursday, okay?And, yeah, if I sound bitter . . . maybe I am. Maybe I've always dreamed of having the fleet-footed grace of Fred Astaire but am cursed to lurch around to music like an arthritic giraffe in the midst of an epileptic fit. Maybe my go-to dance move is a weird pogo-like motion that might damage my calf and possibly injure the feet of anyone foolish to dance in my vicinity. Maybe I just DON'T need to be CONFRONTED with all this DANCE anymore, OKAY?!!

(deep breath . . .)

Now, one of FOX's new shows this year is Glee [premieres 9/9 @ 9 pm]. I'm afraid that it has a fair bit of dancing in the promos and commercials I've seen and I'm quite sure (to my horror) that there may be lots and lots of jazz hands . . . but the premise of kids who are totally and completely committed to their choral group at school and the likelihood of snarky competition between rival glee clubs makes me think this show is something of a cross between Freaks and Geeks and Bring It On. If Fox was super smart, they managed to work Beatles music into the episode to help get some buzz from the release of The Beatles Rock Band game also. Still, see through my ramblings and realize that Glee might be a good show with engaging performances and interesting plots and songs. Give it a chance.

Bones [premieres 9/17 @ 8 pm] begins its fifth season next week. The show continues to couple the FBI agent played by David Boreanaz and the forensic scientist played by Emily Deschanel. I know that some people are suffering for (Maggie) Deschanel fatigue . . . though I am not one of them. So, if you think you are, stay away from this show. But if you like buddy comedies tied together with another dash of procedural mystery a' la CSI: then maybe you'll like this show.

Fringe [premieres 9/17 @ 9 pm] had an overall good year for its initial season, I thought. It is back for its sophomore effort and I am excited to see the show return. I admit that it was slow out of the gate last year, but you can't be surprised that I didn't give a J.J. Abrams a nice, big, fat chance to impress did you? I watched each episode last year with enjoyment and I think the trio of Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble did a good job of working into their roles last year. I admit that I should do some homework getting my mind set to jump back into the continuing story from last year. But I urge you to poke around on the Web site I linked to and learn something about the show. Then give season 2 a try.

Brothers [premieres 9/25 @ 8 pm] is a show centered around a football star going home again and adjusting to the expectations and misunderstandings that ensues. It is notable for the presence of Michael Strahan as (I think) the main character. Strahan was an actual football player with no training as an actor. To think he is now being asked to headline a show--even if it is one on Friday night--is slightly remarkable. But more importantly, this show features Carl Weathers. This guarantees a few ironic viewings from Arrested Development fans.

Dollhouse [premieres 9/25 @ 9 pm] is another show that I pretty much demand you give a chance this year. All I should have to say to back up this demand is the name of Joss Whedon, but beyond that, the show grew into a really interesting program last year. It followed a group of "dolls" who have no personality. They are programmed by clients to serve whatever purpose can be imagined--the obvious sexual angles, to highly trained professionals such as investigators and other things. But there is a parallel story with an FBI agent trying to prove the existence of the Dollhouse. I read that if you watched the Season 1 DVDs, there was an additional (unaired) episode that possibly rewrote where season 1 ended and where season 2 begins. I haven't seen it yet and may not before the next season begins. But I can read up on it.

This is all stuff you've either been watching for years--COPS, America's Most Wanted, or its stuff you never cared about.

Again, most of this stuff you're quite familiar with--The Simpsons is a known quantity. American Dad is a pale reflection of whatever might be good in Family Guy which is itself a travesty of the good in The Simpsons. What is "new" is The Cleveland Show [premieres 9/27 @ 8:30]. I think you will like this show if you liked Maude, AfterM*A*S*H, and Fish. If you didn't like those shows, if you don't know what I'm talking about, or if you think this new show is about Ohio . . . well, just turn the TV off and read on book on Sunday night, okay?

So, I suggest you pay attention to Fringe and Dollhouse on FOX this year. You'll be glad you did . . . or I'll give you your money back!
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