Tag Archive for Season

The Walking Dead: Season 1

A couple weeks ago, the season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead aired.

Overall, I am very pleased with it.  Who am I kidding?  This was just awesome!  It is the epitome of everything I love about the zombie genre.

First off, it isn’t about the zombies.  Frankly, I hate movies or shows where people try to protect the zombies (or love them) or where the undead are just not living but go around talking and stuff.  Here, zombies are used the way I feel they are best used, as a setting.

The only real complaint that I have about the show is a similar complaint I seem to have with many movies and TV shows these days: poor communication of time passage.  When you sharply cut from one scene to the next, my brain assumes that either these events are happening at the same time, in succession or that one is shortly after the one preceding it.  If you have a character say, “I’ll go do this.” and then sharp cut to a scene taking place in the same setting as the previous one and the guy who said he was leaving is still there, my brain assumes he has not left yet.  The Walking Dead did this once only it was supposed to be that the guy had gone and come back and a couple of hours had passed.

That issue aside, The Walking Dead on AMC was just fantastic.  I look forward to owning this on DVD or Blu-Ray, and to seeing season two next fall.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Drive

I’m still chewing on and basking in the glory of the season finale of Lost from last night.  I wanted to post something, but I didn’t want to spend much time on it, so you get this.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

The 2010 Upfronts

This week all the networks announced their fall seasons, and as usual, being a big TV watcher, here are my thoughts…

First, here are links to the network pages for their fall line-ups: NBCFOXABCCBS and The CW.

Next, the shows I’m losing (more shows than these were cancelled, these are just the ones I was watching): 24, Dollhouse, Better Off Ted, Defying Gravity, Lost, Ugly Betty, Accidentally on Purpose, and Gary Unmarried.  Of these, the only one I am really upset about is Better Off Ted.  It was, quite possibly, my favorite sitcom ever.  With pre-emptings and shufflings I don’t think it got a fair chance.  Season 1 is on DVD, buy it.  Season 2 is likely coming, buy it.  And when the complete series is released, buy that too.  Okay, maybe you don’t need to buy it twice, but you should buy it in some form.

Monday:

NBC: Chuck, The Event, Chase
FOX: House, Lonestar
ABC: Dancing with the Stars, Castle
CBS: How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly, Hawaii Five-O
CW: 90210, Gossip Girl

NBC looks like it has a winning line-up as far as I am concerned.  I already like Chuck and both The Event and Chase will be given a shot.  Fox isn’t looking too shabby either, I like House, but while the cast of Lonestar looks promising, I’m not sold on it entirely.  The con man angle is nice, so I’ll give it a chance.  For ABC, I’ll continue not watching dancing shows, but I’m in for another season of Castle.  CBS, HIMYM I like… but I’m also getting bored of not meeting the mother.  I’ll give Mike and Molly a shot, and I’m down for Hawaii Five-O.  The CW has nothing on Mondays that I care to see.  Total: 7 hours, 8 if Lonestar doesn’t suck.

Tuesday:

NBC: The Biggest Loser, Parenthood
FOX: Glee, Raising Hope, Running Wilde
ABC: No Ordinary Family, Dancing with the Stars Results, Detroit 1-8-7
CBS: NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife
CW: One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected

Reality shows still don’t interest me much outside of American Idol in the spring, so The Biggest Loser is a loser for me, but I found myself really enjoying Parenthood despite initial reservations, so I’m in for that.  Glee won me over already, and I’ll give both Raising Hope and Running Wilde a shot based entirely on their casts.  Hope looks better than Wilde.  No Ordinary Family: not only is the cast full of people I like, but it’s about superheroes, so count me in.  Skip dancing.  Detroit 1-8-7 has a strike against it – homicide.  Lots of other crimes happen out there, why does almost every cop show focus on murders?  This is going to be one of those shows I won’t watch until at least five people I trust tell me it is worth seeing.  CBS has programmed a night full of shows I’m not watching.  I gave up on One Tree Hill a while ago, and I’m still watching Life Unexpected.  Total: 5 hours, 6 if Detroit 1-8-7 turns out to be worthwhile.

Wednesday:

NBC: Undercovers, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Las Angeles
FOX: Lie to Me, Hell’s Kitchen
ABC: The Middle, Better Together, Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Whole Truth
CBS: Survivor, Criminal Minds, The Defenders
CW: America’s Next Top Model, Hellcats

I’m a J.J. Abrams fan, so I’ll be watching Undercovers, but I’ll be skipping the Law & Order shows.  Nothing for me on FOX.  All three of ABC’s returning half-hours I skipped last season, but am now catching up on, so I’ll probably continue watching them.  I’ll probably add Better Together, but The Whole Truth doesn’t interest me.  Legal dramas just don’t keep me watching unless the characters are great, and I’ll wait to hear reviews before I bother trying.  Mostly, I’m not interested in CBS’s Wednesday, but The Defenders might be something I watch.  Legal dramas, eh… but throw in comedy and I’m willing to give it a shot.  And the CW’s Hellcats is about cheerleaders and I’m a guy, so, yeah, I’ll be watching, but I may not stick about.  Total: 4 hours, 5 if The Defenders works, back to 4 if Hellcats sucks.

Thursday:

NBC: Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Outsourced, Love Bites
FOX: Bones, Fringe
ABC: My Generation, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice
CBS: The Big Bang Theory, S#*! My Dad Says, CSI, The Mentalist
CW: The Vampire Diaries, Nikita

I bailed on 30 Rock a while back and I never gave The Office a chance, Community is something I’m thinking of going back to catch up on, and Outsourced looks pretty funny.  I’m not overly thrilled with the idea of Love Bites, but I know the wife will want to watch.  FOX has a winning line-up.  We kicked Private Practice to the curb this year, but we still watch Grey’s Anatomy.  My Generation looks like it’ll be pulled from the schedule within 6 episodes.  The Big Bang Theory is still awesome, William Shatner will draw me in for S#*! My Dad Says, and I’ll probably keep sitting through The Mentalist if only for brief moments of Cho (he and Rigsby need a Dragnet-like spin-off).  We finally gave up on The Vampire Diaries… I’ve always talked about how lots of TV shows get stale because of their unwillingness to kill characters, this show illustrates the exact opposite, someone seems to die every episode – they’ll spend a whole night introducing a character just enough to make you care and then whack them.  People die so often I came to assume everyone was going to die and numbed to it.  I’ll give Nikita a shot because I like spy/action shows.  Total: 6.5 hours, 7.5 if she makes me watch Love Bites.

Friday:

NBC: Who Do You Think You Are, School Pride, Dateline, Outlaw
FOX: Human Target, The Good Guys
ABC: Secret Millionaire, Body of Proof, 20/20
CBS: Medium, CSI: NY, Blue Bloods
CW: Smallville, Supernatural

NBC has nothing for me unless Outlaw gets some great word of mouth.  I love Human Target and the Premiere of The Good Guys this week was enough to keep me watching.  ABC only has Body of Proof that I want to watch.  I keep watching Medium despite my frustration that Allison and her family don’t seem to actually pay attention to their own lives, and Blue Bloods looks good enough to try.  Smallville can die in a fire, and despite feeling like Supernatural should have finished strong at the end of this past season I’ll be watching to see where they go with it.  Total: 6 hours, 7 if Outlaw holds up.

Saturday:

NBC: Encore programs (repeats)
FOX: Cops, America’s Most Wanted
ABC: College Football
CBS: Crime Time Saturday, 48 Hours: Mystery

Nothing.  Nada.  Total: 0 hours.

Sunday:

NBC: Football
FOX: The OT, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, The Family Guy, American Dad
ABC: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters
CBS: 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss, CSI: Miami

I’d almost say it’s a repeat of Saturday, but I might still watch Brothers & Sisters.  The show has gotten a tad out of control with crazy plot lines and intrigue, so I also might not.  Total: 1 hour, 0 if I kick B&S.

So… the final total for the week is a low of 28.5 hours of television and a possible high of 33.5 hours.  Yeah, that’s a lot of TV, but not all of these shows will stay.  Of course there will be mid-season shows too, and this list doesn’t include the less traditional schedules of the cable networks like USA, TNT, FX, Syfy and so on.  I think I can attribute a good chunk of the increase over 2009 to NBC actually having a 10pm slot this year since the whole Jay Leno debacle.  And there you have my thoughts on the 2010 Fall Season.

Sam & Max: Season One

For my inaugural GameTap review, I decided to hit one of the original games designed for the service – Sam & Max: Season One. If you don’t know who Sam & Max are, take a moment and quickly skim through the Wikipedia entry. As a kid, I read a few of the comics, but I wasn’t a collector. And at 18, I played the video game. I always enjoyed the humor, and I’m happy to say the humor isn’t lost here in Season One. Playing through the game was fun and funny for the writing, the dialog.

Sam & Max: Season One - Culture ShockActually playing the game, on the other hand, was alternately boring and frustrating. Sam & Max is one of those “click on everything” games. You drag your mouse pointer around the screen and when an object is highlighted, you click on it and you’ll either interact with it, pick it up, or talk to it. Items in your inventory are picked up, your mouse pointer changes and now when you click on things you’ll try to use that item on the object. Its also one of those “you can’t lose” games. There is no time limit. Every mistake, no matter how bad, loops back into the story, in fact, is actually part of the story if you want to hear all the witty dialog. When I say boring and frustrating, what I mean is that the puzzles in the game were either a) painfully obvious and amounted to just making sure I clicked the objects in the right order, or b) painfully obtuse. I won’t ruin the game by using an example from it, instead I will use a classic maddening example from the walk through of the old Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text adventure:

Firstly, eat the nuts. If you don’t, you will die of protein loss. Take off your gown, and hang it up on the hook. Then, get the towel and put it over the drain. Wait until Ford is asleep, then nick his satchel and put it in front of the panel. Put the junk mail on the satchel, then press the dispenser button. A babel fish will land in your ear, and you will be able to understand all languages.

Nothing in Sam & Max is quite that bad, but sometimes it does feel like it, especially when you are missing just one element of the “logic” and failing over and over again.

Overall, I love the art style of the games, and the humor, but as a “game” I’d almost rather be watching a cartoon or reading a comic book.

Tis the Season

Or perhaps it isn’t.

I can’t help but think that something is missing this year. Of course, as with every year since her passing, I miss my mother. She really enjoyed Christmas time. And I have lamented before about the lack of Christmas TV programming, specifically It’s A Wonderful Life being shown nine million times on seventy channels.

But this year, there is something else missing… It seems that even though people dislike thinking of Christmas as a commercial holiday full of spending money, they’ve also managed to suck everything but the commerce out of it. I was at a mall last week and they weren’t playing holiday music, not even the old classical stuff, and they didn’t have much in the way of decorations at all. A few stores had up some bows or snowflakes, but the mall itself was clear of holiday cheer. The grocery stores all look the same as they do any other day of the year, as do the Target’s and Wal-Marts. Best Buy has adopted a gift logo for general use, so even though it might appear they’ve got “present” decorations up, it is really just their every day stuff. At restaurants, nothing indicates that any celebration might be going on, except maybe the occasional wreath.

Luckily, many of my neighbors, myself included, put out lights and other decorations… but many is less than half, and once I leave the neighborhood it becomes a rare occurrence to see anything in the spirit of the season that isn’t directly selling something.

Lots of people I know say they are having trouble getting into the spirit, and to me at least its easy to see why.

I suppose it might be considered insensitive to want to see more celebration of my chosen holiday… but isn’t it also insensitive to want to see less celebration of someone else’s chosen holiday? I really don’t care… I want to see more of everyone celebrating however they choose to celebrate it.

Anyway… I’m off to observe my holiday traditions… a bunch of nothing today, followed by a late night snacky supper (sandwiches with all the fixin’s), a fitful sleep, breakfast and presents over at Dad’s house in the morning, and a misfits family Christmas dinner at night.

So here’s to you, in all that you do, whatever you are up to. Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

The 2006 Fall TV Season

All this week, networks were unveiling their fall line-ups for the upcoming season. The following are my thoughts, as they progressed through the week, so don’t complain when I speculate about things that by the time you see this are already known.

NBC

I was happy to see the return of Las Vegas, Medium, and My Name Is Earl. Good shows all three, and they will continue to be on my watch schedule. Scrubs, as usual a fan favorite but not well rated, managed for the first time in 5 seasons to not be cancelled, but will be held off until mid-season (likely to fill the hole of some show they cancel within the first couple of weeks). I’m sad to see that Surface isn’t returning as it was the best, most exciting of all the alien invasion TV shows from last season. Heist is gone, which sucks because frankly it was more exciting to watch than Thief on FX (Thief has a better cast, but it was so slow in its plodding storyline). Teachers bids farewell as well, a shame because it was pretty funny, in my opinion, as was Four Kings (also not returning). Conviction is missing from the line-up, which is too bad because I was really enjoying it. As for new shows… Heroes looks great to me, which means it should last exact three episodes, nine tops. Kidnapped also looks interesting, in the vein of all the other mystery serials, this one could be good. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has a stellar cast, and Sorkin is a good writer/creator (see the first seasons of The West Wing). 30 Rock, well, I like Tina Fey, she’s a good comedy writer, I’ll watch the show, but I’m iffy about its chances. I really want to see Andy Barker, P.I., but its been relagated to mid-season status, so I’ll have to wait. Raines might be good, but as much as I like some of the actors the plot seems like it could be a bit too hokey for me. As for the rest of NBC’s line-up, I really don’t care… ER I gave up on long ago, though I’ve heard its been decent. The various Law & Orders, I catch those on TNT, USA and other stations when I’m trying to go to sleep. Friday Night Lights? Didn’t enjoy the movie, I’ll probably not enjoy the show. Deal Or No Deal? I’ll care when they come to Atlanta and I get to be on. America’s Got Talent? Like the Deal, only care if I’m on it. NBC also got the contract for Sunday Night Football, which means at least one night a week I don’t have to even bother checking to see what’s on that channel.

ABC

Lost is sticking around (Yay!), as is Grey’s Anatomy (Woot!). Freddie is gone (Boo!), and The Night Stalker got axed early this past season, as did Emily’s Reasons Why Not. I’ll miss In Justice, The Evidence and Commander-in-Chief. Invasion is out… however, I know the CW has expressed interest in picking it up, and I’m conflicted about this show. Previously I wrote that it was the worst of last season’s three alien TV shows, and for about the first 9 or so episodes, it clearly was. The pacing was godawfully slow, and it made me want to scream at the TV, but seeing as how I was a huge fan of American Gothic years ago, I wanted to give Shawn Cassidy a chance, so I stuck with it. Now, at the end of their season, Invasion has gotten alot better. There is action, and plot movement, and stuff makes more sense now. If the CW doesn’t pick it up, I won’t be too upset, but if they do, I’ll keep watching. So, on to the new shows… Day Break, eh, not so interested but I’ll watch it for Adam Baldwin. The Nine sounds interesting, but I’m willing to bet it gets cancelled rather quick. Six Degrees will get some attention from me if only because J.J. Abrams (creator of Lost) is involved. I refuse to watch Traveler, because it sounds kind of lame, and I don’t think it will last long at all (Best Buy, however, will sell exclusively the complete series that contains as many as six unaired episodes). I’m going to pass on most of their comedies… I might watch the Ted Danson one, Help Me Help You, if enough people tell me its good, and Let’s Rob… might be a winner, but then I love Donal Logue (only not in a gay way). Every show I didn’t mention, I have no interest in. Betty the Ugly and Men in Trees have to be the two worst named TV shows ever. And American Inventor? This season was so horribly crappy that it won’t sucker me in again… what a hunk of garbage!

CBS

Of the shows I watch How I Met Your Mother will be back, so will The Unit, Numb3rs, and Ghost Whisperer. Yes, Ghost Whisperer is a stupid show, but for some reason (and it couldn’t possibly be Ms. Love Hewitt’s breasts) I keep watching it. Threshold, of course, got axed early this past season, and won’t be returning. CBS is actually renewing 18 shows, more than anyone else, so there isn’t alot to complain about in the cancellation department. New shows… sitcom The Class sounds like it might be okay, but the appearance of Lizzy Caplan in the cast doesn’t bode well for the WB’s Related, which I can now assume is not getting picked up for the CW. Smith is another “people stealing stuff” drama, Heist didn’t last and I found Thief kind of boring, so I’ll give this a try but I’m not holding out much hope (though the cast is stellar). Jericho sounds like it might be interesting, Skeet Ulrich as the lead isn’t a big draw for me though. With the possibility of real nuclear war looming in the Middle East these days, either people will heartily embrace this story, or flee from it, I don’t see much middle ground. Shark… well, since I lost Conviction, I suppose my TV line-up is missing a court drama, so I’ll give it a shot. If the world didn’t so love all the various CSIs, I’d say can them and pull a couple of the midseason replacements out… Waterfront sounds promising, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for Joey Pants (and, really, not in a gay way). So it looks like I’ll be trying all of CBS’s new offerings, how many stick is another story.

FOX

Prison Break, Bones, The O.C., and The Family Guy all return (though I’m getting less enthused by The O.C. each season Marisa continues to live). 24 is back, of course, but I’m still many seasons behind and have decided I’ll just watch them on DVD, but as long as they are good, I’ll be happy they keep making them. The Loop is coming back, and probably bringing is crappy theme song with it, but only as a pair with the American Idol Results show on Wednesdays. And yeah, Americal Idol will be back. Reunion died long ago, and the only show they axed I was watching was Free Ride, and I really won’t miss it. Vanished sounds like it might be good, but frankly I’m getting pretty tired of the “you must watch every episode or else you’ll be completely confused because this show is really one 24 hour story” shows. A couple is fine, a few is pushing is, but next season it looks like there will be aboout fifteen of them. Standoff looks better since its more episodic (like Numb3rs, The Unit, and a few others). Justice… well, it’ll be either Shark on CBS of this, I really don’t want too many courtroom dramas on my schedule. Shark may win just because “James Woods > Kerr Smith”. ‘Til Death sound formulaeic, but fun. The Winner might be a winner, except I got burned on Reunion last year, so a time warping comedy drama looking back to the days of 1994 probably won’t make my list unless the word of mouth is extremely good. Yeah, and Simon Cowell has another show, Duets… more singing on TV. On The Lot might be the first reality show I actually get excited about rather than just watch because its on and people talk about it. (New Fox Shows don’t have links because I can’t find links to New Fox Shows)

The CW

Veronica Mars survives the merger! WOOHOO!! So did Supernatural, Smallville, Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill (I hate that I’m addicted to this show). Pepper Dennis and Related didn’t make the cut. Neither did Everwood, of which I wasn’t a fan watching every week, but I enjoyed every episode I saw. I honestly don’t know why they renewed 7th Heaven. It wasn’t a bad show, but I never felt it was any good either, it was very bland family happy-happy-joy-joy drama. But I guess I can’t begrudge a network wanting at least one wholesome show on TV. Sadly, they are keeping both the UPN’s and the WB’s reality shows. Runaway seems like an odd plot… its The Fugitive, only the guy doesn’t run off alone, he takes his whole family with him. It could work. They’ve picked up Palm Springs for midseason, which sounds like The O.C. only with really dark secrets. As long as Marisa Cooper isn’t there I’ll be watching. No word anywhere, but I hope that they at least try out Mercy Reef (the Aquaman TV show) to see if people like it instead of just letting it go. And it seems they did pass on Invasion, something about it being too expensive. I wish they’d take the 7th Heaven money and put it in Invasion instead. Well, I got my Veronica Mars, so I guess I’m happy for now.

Other Networks

TNT is starting up another season of The Closer this summer, and it looks like they cancelled Wanted. FX will probably keep Rescue Me and The Shield, even Thief might run another season. USA has a show called Psyche about a private detective who pretends to be a psychic by lying, guessing and using inside information. And beyond that, I don’t really know any more…

`Tis the Season.

It occurred to me that there is something very wrong about the retail business at the Christmas season.

While working at Toys “R” Us, admittedly only for 3 actual days of work, I heard alot from the other employees, you know, the ones who work there are year long. Seems that this place, much like alot of retail places, only allows each store to have so many “full time” employees. The kinds of people who have to provide benefits for. During the Christmas season, they hire seasonal help to handle to extra load. These seasonal people are required to sign forms saying that regardless of the number of hours they work, they will not under any circumstances be considered full time employees. So I, and the 10 or so others hired for the holidays get scheduled for back breaking 40 hour weeks, while the people who actually care enough to work for the store all year round are left wondering why they can’t get more than 22 hours on the schedule. I mean, I bet they’d like some extra spending money too (safe bet, they actually told me they wanted more hours but were refused).

These stores don’t offer their normal part time workers more hours because by law if they give them 30 or more they have to give them benefits too, and yet they can work a “seasonal employee” into the ground and until what used to be his feet are just bloody stumps thumping away at the tile as they drag yet another overpriced Power Wheels toy to the front. Why is it they can’t just use the same magical piece of paper that allows them to side step the law for seasonal help for also allowing their dedicated employees a few extra hours a week?

I quit because my feet hurt. I was unprepared to do the job physically. Only minutes before I handed in my badge, another employee did the same, but because she was going to go do “seasonal work” for another store to get more hours.

Sometimes I just don’t understand.