This final installment of our look fall-ward (is that a word?) is a quick one, mainly because I'm posting before I head to work and then out of town for the weekend. There are no links for these shows because these are our returning favorites, most of which have been discussed in detail on this very site.
Freakgirl says "Welcome back" to...
*Survivor: Guatemala-Since "the twist" has been on the internet for months now, CBS is starting to just admit it. Two previous Survivors will be returning for this new installment. If you want to know who they are, just google Survivor+Guatemala+Twist.
*Grey's Anatomy-A little show that I didn't think I'd care about much, but started watching for Sandra Oh. I'm really glad I did.
*The Amazing Race-Always look forward to this one, although I'm a bit unnerved by the Family Edition. I guess we'll see how it goes.
*Arrested Development-Who knew I'd ever get to crush on Jason Bateman TWICE in my lifetime?
Max says "Welcome back" to...
*The Biggest Loser 2-Good grief, let's not even get into the issues that make me look forward to this show every week. I'm interested in the "Men vs. Women" thing this season, though--I guess they'll be using percentages to determine winners, right? Otherwise, wouldn't the men walk away with it?
*The King of Queens-I've said it before, I'll say it again: The best damn "traditional" sitcom on TV right now.
*Arrested Development (how unbelievable is it that we're actually getting a third season?), Lost, and Survivor-See Freakgirl's comments above. (Of course I'm looking forward to The Amazing Race, but I'm a little too leery of the "Family Edition" thing to put it on this list.)
And which shows are you welcoming back into your living room this fall?
Today, let's talk about a few new shows that we are not thrilled about watching. We could be wrong, of course, but these shows have a bit of the stink about them before they're even at the gate...
Max is NOT waiting desperately for...
*The War at Home-Good God, this show looks heinous. Typical mean-spirited, stupid, out for shock value FOX garbage that should last about three episodes or so. And the only people allowed to break the fourth wall on a TV show are George Burns, Garry Shandling, and the Muppets.
*How I Met Your Mother-Oops! Looks like I'm alone in my pre-boredom with this show, if yesterday's post and comments are any indication. Who doesn't love Doogie, but it just looks so blah to me...nothing fresh or new or interesting as far as the sitcom format goes.
*Commander-in-Chief-Snoozeville, yo. I just don't like super-earnest political shows, I guess (I always snicker when I hear people talk about how much they LUV The West Wing).
*Head Cases-Adam Goldberg might be my least favorite actor working today, which is saying a lot. He just looks so...so...so smelly.
*Twins-The cast looks good, I suppose, but how can this "yet another Odd Couple" show go anywhere interesting after a few episodes?
Freakgirl is NOT waiting desperately for...
*Commander-in-Chief-Shut up, Geena Davis.
*Bones-Is America actually clamoring for more shows about people looking at dead bodies? Really?
*Freddie-I'm sorry, no.
*E-Ring-I'll be honest, I have no idea what this show is about. But I refuse to tune in, on the grounds that the title sounds like some sort of female contraceptive.
*The Ghost Whisperer-I lost Joan for THIS SHIT? And was that Wentworth Miller I saw in the preview? The hell?
Add to our reeking pile of garbage in the comments!
(Tomorrow: Old TV friends return--no, not Ross and Rachel, you nitwit.)
Freakgirl and Max have been studying the skies, reading the tea leaves, and looking in the sacred scrolls (okay, the Fall Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly), and here's what's on the horizon--conveniently broken down into three easy-to-understand categories. We're going to post one category a day through this Friday, starting with the new shows that are making us pre-set our TiVos.
Freakgirl is excited about...
*How I Met Your Mother-I'd follow Neil Patrick Harris anywhere after his star turn in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Plus, Alyson Hannigan. The pre-buzz on this was good; hoping the show lives up to it.
*Prison Break-I had no interest in this show at all, as I secretly felt that Wentworth Miller was the reason Joan of Arcadia got cancelled. However, the hype was too much and I tuned into the third episode. So far, so good-I don't LURVE it, but it held my interest and I will tune in again.
*Kitchen Confidential-I love kitchen shows, I love Anthony Bourdain, I even have some love for Nicholas "Xander" Brendon, and the boy from Freaks & Geeks is in this one too.
*My Name Is Earl-If you know me, you understand the love I have for Jason Lee. 'Nuff said. Well, except for how exceptionally ugly he looks on this show. Yowza.
*Reunion-Because I was in the Class of 1986, too! Hoping that FOX shelled out some money for a good soundtrack.
*Twins-I'm sort of embarrassed about this one. But you guys-MARK LINN BAKER!
Max is excited about...
*Prison Break-This is already on, of course, and I'm really liking it (so far). There's never a dull moment (so far), and it's just preposterous enough (so far) to give me the escape I desperately need on Monday nights. And I totally didn't use "escape" in that sentence just to be cute, I swear.
*Kitchen Confidential-Looks like a fantastic cast, and I am a sucker for cooking shows of any stripe.
*Invasion and/or Threshold-I know that I will eventually have to choose between these shows (I have a nerdiness limit, believe it or not), and right now Invasion has me with its premise, while Threshold has me with the promos (and the Peter Dinklage!). battle it out, nerd culty sci-fi shows, to win my love!
*My Name is Earl-Actors don't get more appealing than Jason Lee, and as soon as I saw that this was going to be a half-hour show (and not some ridiculous hour-long "dramedy," as I had feared), I was in.
*The Apprentice: Martha Stewart-Is this really a shock to anyone? I don't watch the Trump version of the show, but not even the world's thickest ankle bracelet could keep me from my Martha fix.
So there you have it--and what new shows are you chomping at the bit for?
(Tomorrow: The shows that Freakgirl and Max are already over, and they haven't even aired.)
WOW--I only thought I was excited about watching Being Bobby Brown before, but this preview clip has upped my enthusiasm for the celebrity ridiculousness tenfold. You see, my dream is that there is a major focus on Whitney in the series, and that she is as full-on sassy and snotty and keepin' it real and completely effed-up as possible. In my world, this whole series would be reimagined as Whitney: Just a Big Ol' Mess. But I'm willing to put up with some Bobby time for occasional and delicious doses of Whitney.
HUGE thanks to frequent commenter, double-entendre-master, and all-around bon vivant Michael for this heads-up.
I'm sure that everyone who reads Too Much Free Time also reads the addictive TV Tattle site, so I won't post a bunch of links about this week's upfront presentations from the networks. However, there are a few things that I'd like to highlight for your thoughts:
1. Is ABC insane? Why are they moving Alias to Thursday's at 8 p.m., one of the toughest timeslots ever. It'll face off against Joey, Survivor, The O.C. and Smallville. I think someone's pregnancy has made the network lose faith in the series. Can it survive there?
2. CBS axes both Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia. Both shows are produced by the same company, so I think there will be some pink slips handed out in Hollywood this week. I agree that Joan kind of lost its way, but I still enjoyed the show. I've always loved Judging Amy, because let's face it, Tyne Daly is god in my book.
3. Another insane move. Why are they moving Everwood to Thursdays at 9 p.m.? I realize that CSI and The Apprentice are male-heavy shows, so is this counterprogramming for women? Hmmm.
So there have been two episodes of the new high-tech private-eye series Eyes so far, and I have to say that I'm liking it quite a bit. It's got some soap opera stuff (affairs! sexual tension!), some intrigue stuff (one of the employees is a mole!), and some okay detective stuff (the cases all seem to get wrapped up much too quickly, but then again, that's classic Perry Mason-type denouement action).
Of the elements mentioned above, it's really the soap-opera aspects that brought me back after the pilot (the second episode was nowhere near as entertaining as the first, though). Tim Daly pulls off his almost-winking-at-the-camera lead character, and I can't get enough Laura Leighton--she's looking mighty fine after all these post-Melrose years. The other characters are pretty interesting to watch as well, especially Rick Worthy's surprisingly layered portrayal of Chris Didion.
If nothing else, we have to watch this week's episode because it's called "Wings." C'mon--that's worth a chuckle, at least.
Look here for a list of new shows coming up in January. I am kind of psyched for Point Pleasant, mostly because it's set in New Jersey, but also because Grant Show is on it. And one of the geeks from Buffy.
J.GO'S PREDICTED FAVES
5. Desperate Housewives: To me, Felicity Huffman, an A-level tv actress, is slumming it on ABC. Why is she hanging with skanks Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher? This show looks like pure camp and cheese, with a hint of class offered by Felicity. I so can't wait for the cat fights, drama and shirtless pool boys. (ABC)
4. Joey: Thank god the buzz is good on this show. I think people are somewhat invested in it, just because there's some Joey love already. I kinda want it to succeed. (NBC)
3. Kevin Hill: Taye Diggs is eye candy. It has that freaky chick from Firefly. I'm sorry, but a show about an entertainment lawyer is the perfect thing for this pop culture addict. Plus, there's a baby! What could make for better television? (UPN)
2. Lost: J.J. Abrams is god. Ian Somerhalder is pretty. Matthew Fox is hot. There trapped on an island, people! Seriously, after Felicity and Alias, I'll follow J.J. anywhere. (ABC)
1. Jack & Bobby: With Greg Berlanti and Thomas Schlamme behind the scenes, I have high hopes for this show. Christine Lahti is also one of my favorites after her tearful run on Chicago Hope so many years ago. This little show looks like it's got amazing heart! (WB)
FREAKGIRL'S PREDICTED FAVES
5. Lost: The premise of this show sounds great, and it seems to be generating some positive buzz. Plane crash, survivors, desert island. Count me in. (ABC)
4. Joey: Come on. You know I have to watch it. I actually have decent expectations for this show. Matt LeBlanc OBVIOUSLY knows his character, plus, hello, Drea DeMatteo from �The Sopranos.� What�s not to love? Let�s just give it a shot before everyone craps all over it. (NBC)
3. The Billionaire: Cross �The Apprentice� and �The Amazing Race� and you might just have this show. Also, it�s brought to us by Bunim-Murray Productions � who are no strangers to shallow, train wreck television (see: "The Simple Life"). Richard Branson is a total freak and he�s rich. This could be fun. (FOX)
2. Desperate Housewives: I need this show to start tomorrow. Marcia Cross AND Nicolette Sheridan, people. Can you smell the cheese? I�ve been searching for a primetime soap since �Melrose Place� went off the air, and I�m hoping this one fills the void. (ABC)
1. LAX: And speaking of �Melrose Place,� my all-time favorite girlcrush Heather Locklear will be starring with Blair Underwood in a drama that takes place in an airport. Color me intrigued. I�m setting the Season Pass right now. (NBC)
MAX'S PREDICTED FAVES
5. and 4. You know what? I'm not really looking forward to that many new network shows this fall. How pathetic is that? I mean, I will probably check in on Desperate Housewives (for the cast) and Road to Stardom (for Missy E.), but it would be a stretch to say I'm excited about them. This makes me feel sad for the networks--I genuinely love TV, and the schedules are making me yawn. What about the people out there who might actually have better things to do? Thank God for cable...
3. The Benefactor: I know, it will probably be garbage and ABC will probably cancel it after three episodes, but I'm genuinely curious. What are the contestants going to have to do to win the money? What, exactly, is Mark Cuban looking to reward? (ABC)
2. Joey: He was my favorite character on Friends, and really the only one interesting (and funny) enough to deserve his own sitcom. I even laughed at the "nude beach" promo for this one. Plus, Drea de Matteo! I just hope this one doesn't collapse under the weight of its own hype. (NBC)
1. Lost: J.J. Abrams, plane crashes, desert islands. These are a few of my favorite things. I have no idea how this plot (and seemingly huge cast) is going to be interesting past episode 2, but I'm willing to give J.J. a chance to surprise and delight me. (ABC)
That's it for our fall preview of the big six networks. Don't worry, we'll continue to keep you updated on the best of cable and the season as it unfolds.
MAX'S LIST OF DESPISED SHOWS
5. Father of the Pride: See my "John Goodman" notes in the next bashing. It makes me sad that the awesome Cheryl Hines is associated with this. (NBC)
4. Center of the Universe: Gag. John Goodman as a lovable dad who is surrounded by zany friends and family? There aren't enough barf bags in the world to hold the vomit this concept makes me want to spray. Goodman has officially squandered his Roseanne goodwill with this crass-looking piece of garbage. Back to random SNL guest spots with you, please. (CBS)
3. Listen Up: Gag. Jason Alexander as Tony Kornheiser? There aren't enough barf bags in the world to hold the vomit this concept makes me want to spray. Alexander has officially squandered his Costanza goodwill with this crass-looking piece of garbage. Back to pretzel commercials with you, please. (CBS)
2. The West Wing: Spare me your talk of how good it used to be. This show is directionless and boring and pretentious garbage that's put out there to make TV viewers feel smart and smug. We don't want to be smart, we want to be entertained. As soon as I hear someone say that they "never miss" an episode of this show, that person's stock drops about 50 points with me. Try watching a real show, Boring McYawny. (NBC)
1. The Bachelor: I love cheesy dating shows as much as anyone, but it's time to throw in the towel on this franchise (which pretty much proves that it's the straights who are f***ing up the "sanctity of marriage"). I think America has figured out that none of the relationships on this show ever work, and each installment is more boring (and each outcome more certain) than the last. ABC is obviously hoping for a turnaround this time, with an older bachelor and older bachelorettes, but still--it's too little, too late. Focus only on The Bachelorette. Bring back Cupid. Or, better yet, take a break for a year or two, then we can all try it again. (ABC)
J.GO'S LIST OF DESPISED SHOWS
5. One Tree Hill: I'll admit, I so don't get the Chad Michael Murray thing... or the James Lafferty thing.... or the Hilarie Burton thing. Honestly, for a cast that's suppose to be hot, I find them totally unattractive. I think this show about over-sexed teens falters for trying to be more than it is, introducing all this really lame family drama. I hate to bash this show, because my friend's brother, Adam Horowitz, apparently has written for it. (WB)
4. Two and a Half Men: It's just kinda sad. I was never a Charlie Sheen fan, but I never expected this pile of crap. Does anyone believe this guy can play a playboy anymore? It's just stupid, and, even worse, not funny. (CBS)
3. ER: Any hospital worth its accreditation would do some form of quality assurance and realize that this Chicago ER is massively unsafe. Shut it down. There's an explosion every season. Plagues shut it down. Helicopters fall into it. Tanks drive into it. The doctors grow dubious facial hair. It's just too much. This show fell from exciting melodrama to outrageous soap opera without any interesting characters to make me tag along. Hate this show. (NBC)
2. Law & Order: SVU: This show is emotionally flat, and the acting reflects it, Emmy nominations be damned. Christopher Meloni (hot) just growls and sneers. He has a daughter, so perps make him sick. That's the extent of his character development. Then there is Mariska Hargitay, who just snaps at people, because the clock is always running out on some victim. These people are dull one-note saints with crappy attitudes. (NBC)
1. The West Wing: I HATE THIS SHOW. It honestly was the best show on television during the Aaron Sorkin years. Every episode had a great laugh and a swell of emotions. It was a very human show, occupied by some superhuman White House staffers. CJ Craig was my hero. In recent years, as the show attempted to reflect a more balanced political view, it just got angry, hateful and dull. John Wells needs to put it out of its misery, before he "ERs" it into tragedy-of-the-week shit (which he started with an abduction and the Donna accident). (NBC)
FREAKGIRL'S LIST OF DESPISED SHOWS
5. Commando Nanny: Seriously, Mark Burnett? From the King of Reality Television, a sitcom about a nanny who used to be in the British Special Forces? Co-starring Major Dad? On the W-fricking-B of all places? Have we learned nothing from the disaster known as �The Help?� Good god. (WB)
4. Blue Collar TV: I�ve never even seen this show, but it involves Jeff Foxsworthy, and that�s enough for me to know it sucks. Plus, any show that describes itself like this � �a 64-oz. Big Gulp of red, white, and blue collar comedy� � will be instantly rejected and set on fire by my TiVo. (WB)
3. The Contender: I�ll admit right now that I don�t know much about this show, but people. Sylvester Stallone. Case closed. (p.s. Mark Burnett � that�s two shows you�ve got on my list. Shape up, mate.) (NBC)
2. The Bachelor: One of the stupidest and most sexist shows on television. Yet it keeps coming back, even though not a single �romance� has actually worked out. Take this rose and shove it, my friends. (ABC)
1. The Swan 2: Otherwise known as �Hey, Ugly Girl, We�ll Lock You In A Room And Point Out Your Flaws Until You�re A Psychological Mess, Then We�ll Cut Up Your Face and Body and Put You Back Together In The Form Of A Plastic Drag Queen And Then We�ll Make You Parade Around A Runway And Decide If You�re Finally Pretty Or If You�re Actually Still Ugly!� Television at its absolute worst. (FOX)
Tomorrow, check us out as we bless the best of the new shows.
Here is the first installment of our amazing Fall TV Preview. Let us know what shows you've been missing all summer!
FREAKGIRL'S LIST OF RETURNING FAVES:
5. Scrubs: One of the most underrated shows on television. John C. McGinley should receive an Emmy once a month for his portrayal of Dr. Cox. Every week this show makes me laugh and cry. (NBC)
4. Arrested Development: If you�ve never watched this brilliant sitcom�what can I say? You�re really missing out. Bravo to smart, funny writing that never, ever panders to the audience and has introduced the phrase �never nude� into the national lexicon. (FOX)
3. Amazing Race: This is the reality show for people who think they don�t like reality shows. Come for the adventure! Stay for the sniping, the globetrotting, and the culture shock. Plus, our host, Phil Keoghan, is a major fox. (CBS)
2. Gilmore Girls: I don�t know how I�ve managed to survive the summer without developing a twitch from wondering how Luke and Lorelai�s romance is going to work out. Oh, and Rory with the losing the virginity? Ooooh girl, there is a lot to deal with this fall in Star�s Hollow. (WB)
1. Joan of Arcadia: What can I say? I�m a sap and I adore this show. Give it a chance � it is NOT �Touched by an Angel� and it is NOT �Seventh Heaven.� It�s funny and it�s touching and it questions our fundamental beliefs � and Amber Tamblyn is a delight to watch. (CBS)
MAX'S LIST OF RETURNING FAVES:
5. What I Like About You: Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth are as cute as the proverbial buttons, but I can tell you why I love this silly tween-aimed show in three words: Miss Leslie Grossman. I loved her as Mary Cherry on Popular, and since she's basically playing Mary here as well (albeit with a few more years on her and a different name), I am compelled to love her and everyone around her. Oh, I think Amanda Bynes has really good comic timing, too...but it's all about some Mary Cherry. (WB)
4. : The Amazing Race 6-I started watching this show with season 4, and on my deathbed, I swear you'll hear me mutter, "But I never got to see the first seasons of TAR." Every week, this show literally makes my stomach hurt from sheer tension and anxiety...may the race go on for years and years (or until I finally land a spot as a contestant). (CBS)
3. Hope & Faith: My love for Kelly Ripa knows no bounds, and her willingness to go for the all-out stupid and silly on this show is the main reason I love it (that, and an unnatural affection for Ted McGinley). This show has no pretense of being smart or clever or anything but formulaic, and thus it is the classic sitcom--unafraid to go from raunchy to maudlin in a matter of seconds, with tons of Ripa-tastic physical comedy everywhere else. (ABC)
2. Arrested Development: So when I call The King of Queens the funniest traditional sitcom below, I was excluding this gem, which is hands-down the funniest show on network television right now. The shaky camerawork and lack of a laugh track may be keeping sitcom fans away, but they're totally missing out and deserve whatever suffering they experience in their lives. Every member of the cast is doing top-notch work, but the unsung hero(ine) of this show is Jessica Walter as the Bluth family matriarch. Her acid punch lines over the last season made me laugh myself into fits. (FOX)
1. The King of Queens: I love Kevin James, and any talk of this show being "Raymond, Jr." can stop now. Over the last two years, you would be hard-pressed to find a funnier traditional sitcom than this one. And now that Leah Remini's distracting pregnancy is over, the show can barrel on full-speed ahead. I just hope they keep throwing the "Doug and his buddies" subplots at us, since the supporting cast here is unusually solid. (CBS)
J.GO'S LIST OF RETURNING FAVES:
5. Charmed or Gilmore Girls: Charmed is a cheese fest. Regardless, it's just good campy fun. I totally love these sisters, though the White Lighters can just orb away, for all I care. I really would love to add Gilmore Girls to my list, but I thought last season sucked, except for the last episode. I am hoping the show can return to its glory days and avoid the plotless boredom it inhabited for most of last season. (Both WB)
4. Without A Trace: This show is gripping, dark and very cinematic. I typically don't like the formulaic crime stoppers, but this one seems a step above. Unlike CSI and L&O;, we're slowly starting to learn more about our FBI agents and their personal lives, which adds to the drama. Marianne Jean-Baptiste rocks. (CBS)
3. The O.C.: I was late to catch this show last season, and I'll be grabbing up the DVD as soon as possible. Life is hip, beautiful and hilarious in the O.C., bitch, but it also has heart. I love that the adults have just as much drama as the kids. Also, Seth Cohen is making funny geeks the new sexy. (FOX)
2. Less than Perfect: This show makes me laugh out loud, which is so not my style. The trio of Will Sasso, Andy Dick and confidently-dressed Sherri Shepperd are the funniest thing on television, in that really obvious way. Every line they deliver has me in stitches. It's a simple show, but goofy enough to work. (ABC)
1. Joan of Arcadia: This show makes me laugh and cry at least once during every episode. Joan is so ernest in her desire to accomplish God's work, but she's very much a struggling teen at the same time, trying to figure out her world. Also, the actors are pretty amazing, particularly Mary Steenburgen, who conveys the struggle of parenting so well. This is quality television. (CBS)
Join us tomorrow for the five shows that we despise!