Friday, September 14, 2007

Programming Notes

Just like asparagus season, and waffle season, I love new TV season.

Sure, sure, TV networks try to make you think they have new stuff all year, but Age of Love isn’t new, it’s like a tsetse fly on the face of broadcasting: it will suck blood and give you sleeping sickness. I forgot where I was going with that analogy. Fall, to get back on topic, is when we get the rush of the best, and the worst, new TV.

Am I somewhat obsessive? I guess if you consider doing the research starting at the network up-fronts, printing out a calendar, making a schedule in Excel, programming the DVR, and setting the VCR as a back up in case the two tuners of the DVR are taken, you could say I was obsessive. Tomato, tomato, right? Or was that a rose by any other name? I don’t know and I don’t care. Who needs an education when they have TV? I've almost considered going back to my university and handing them my diploma back. "I could have learned all of this watching Frontline, Nova and One Tree Hill. Thanks for nothing!"

Making a commitment to a show can be a hard thing. It’s not like committing to a spouse or anything, although some marriages didn't last as long as my commitment to Friends. Sometimes you make a commitment to a show and it doesn’t love you back. It treats you like dirt, like those last years of Frasier (kill me now.) Other times, you love a show, the show loves you, and the network gets in the way—poof! Cancelled! Just like I’ll always hate cancer (and puppies) I’ll always hate those of you who refused to watch Arrested Development.

Let’s dish, what are you looking forward to?

The Return of Jezebel James that also signals the return of Gilmore Girls creator/writer/supernova Amy Sherman-Palladino? I know the Jolly Porter will be glad to see A.S.P. back.

Gossip Girls, from my BFFs over at The O.C.? You have to watch Gossip Girls, it’s about an anonymous blogger who is dishing on the tony life at an elite Manhattan prep school. I may or may not be that blogger.

Life with the marvelous Damian Lewis, aka the awful Soames Forsyte in the Forsyte Saga, (my predilection to BBC productions shall never abate) looks, well, not that great. But it’s Damian Lewis, I’m watching it anyway.

I have to watch Bionic Woman; Starbuck is going to be a regular. My hands are tied on that one!

Reaper from one of my old-school favs, Kevin Smith, has to be on the list.

Also on the docket are Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Journeyman, and Cane. Add that to all the old shows? Hello! I think might have to farm my kids out to the countryside so I can get all this TV-watchin’ done.

One of the shows I’m most looking forward to is actually not that flashy and doesn’t star any BBC alumni. Ken Burns' new documentary The War, about WWII, will premiere on PBS September 23rd. You really shouldn’t miss it—especially if you are the type of person who looks down on TV. The War won’t be beneath you, it shouldn’t be above anyone either. I’m not going to call you a delinquent American (to your face) for not watching The War, but I hear a new HUAC has been formed and I know how to write a pointed letter. I’ll name names, I don’t care.

I’ve been stoking the fires of anticipation by watching some episodes of Burns’ older films like Baseball. My favorite Burns’ documentary of all time, however, is The Civil War. I watched the final episode the other night and cried like a baby (Spoiler alert: Lincoln dies.) If The War is even a fraction as good as The Civil War, we’re in for a sobby, messy, awesome treat.

So that’s what I’m watching, what are you in for?


Goobit said...

I am also looking forward to the Ken Burns doc on World War II. I saw a preview on PBS a few weeks ago and it looks great (I am a sucker for WWII shows, and movies -- especially love stories -- set in the time of WWII, like Racing with the Moon, etc).

My 2 fave TV shows just ended their seasons on HBO: Big Love and Flight of the Conchords. Not really looking forward to too much on network TV this season. I'll probably just watch my usual everynight - Designed to Sell and baseball.

(I realize you probably could care less what I watch because you don't know me, but I like your blog)

Azúcar said...

Ah see, that's where you're wrong. I love to hear what people are or are not watching. I don't get HBO so I haven't actually watched either of those shows. What do you like about them?

TOWR said...

The Office.
The Biggest Loser.

Nuff said. :)

Goobit said...

Flight of the Conchords is just hilarious. So off-beat and funny. It's about these 2 New Zealanders (Brett and Jemaine) who are in a folk band, and they often break into song in the middle of a scene. They are managed by this guy named Murray who is a bit of a nerd and they have one fan, a crazy lady named Mel. Worth getting HBO for(or at least buying the season on DVD) Watch this...

Big Love is a great drama with so many bizarre characters. For some reason, even though I don't understand polygamy, it is FASCINATING. Lots of characters you love to hate, like Chloe Sevigny's character Nikki, who is the uptight 2nd wife from "the compound". It's a good show because they focus on one main family who are closeted polygamists living outside of Salt Lake City, but also show their extended families, co-workers, teenage kids, etc. Just a good drama, and it could only be on HBO or some other cable network - like Sopranos it just wouldn't work on network TV.

Dave said...

No one can prove that I'm looking forward to The Return of Jezebel James and Gossip Girls because I loved Gilmore Girls and the O.C.

No one.

Azúcar said...

Dave, if Ira Glass from This American Life loved The O.C., it's ok for us to like it too. Not that I'm saying you liked The O.C....

April said...

The Office, obviously. Need me some Jim Halpert. And Kristen Bell from my beloved Veronica Mars will be starring in Heroes this season. She's also doing voice-over work for some CW show. I'll have to look into that. And Ugly Betty!

Laura said...

It's so refreshing when people freely admit they watch TV. As opposed to being really being a closet TV watcher. I mean who REALLY doesn't watch ANY TV at all?!
Jezebel James and Gossip Girls sound charming. Of course there is always LOST, The Office, and yes, I will confess to watching Desperate Housewives (gasp!). Now if I can only get the kids to bed earlier.

Queen Scarlett said...

I am interested in in Life - just because of Damian Lewis. My hubby and I are fans of his work on Band of Brothers. Thanks for the heads up on The War - will have to go program the Tivo now.

I'm curious in Bionic woman. My brother told me to watch Reaper and Pushing Daisies. I'm totally curious about Journeyman - because I loved The Time Traveler's Wife and curious how they'll do this show with a similar least that's what the previews look like.

Have you seen some of these pilots online? My brother is an avid pilot watcher to get ready for the new season.

Of course - LOST, Heroes, The Office, my girly shows Grey's, Desperate Housewives... oh and maybe Survivor - because it's in China and ... that gov't is just freaky.

AND... I have Friends reruns on permanent Tivo. That is one relationship that is longer than... my marriage. (3x longer) "That's what she said."

Cindy said...

I want to watch that Bionic Woman show so bad. I've got to get cable. I could poke the eyes out of the people who are making me wait so long to see LOST again. Hey! And thanks for reminding me that I want to see Pushing Daisies.

And, hello, another season of Project Runway is right at our doorstep!

Monica B. said...

Thank you Thank you I totally agree about the Arrested Development thing. Now I'm forced to watch reruns from Netflix.

Anyway I'm looking forward to Grey's Anatomy. The truth is I probably still watch it because I'm from Seattle, and enjoy seeing the small glimpses of home. Hopefully this year doesn't suck.

La Yen said...

If given a choice between receiving Entertainment Weekly or the Ensign, I would have to pray about it very very hard. Then I would probably get EW.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Gossip Girl
How I Met Your Mother
The Big Bang Theory
Aliens in America
Boston Legal (John Laroquette this season. Catfights with Shatner.)
Kid Nation-maybe. I like to see kids cry. Then I beat Jooj.
America's Next Top Model--I like to see pretty girls cry. Then I beat Jooj.
30 Rock--More More More
Viva Laughlin--if it is anything like Viva Blackpool we will all be happy
Brothers & Sisters (Rob Lowe makes me happy)
Desperate Housewives
Maybe Gray's Anatomy. I am kind of over it.
And I am already watching My Boys.
And I will be watching Ken Burns.
And I will be watching Biggest Loser-while I eat cookies.
And I will be watching the standard murder shows.

kristenlibrarian said...

Mmmmm...Damian Lewis. LOVE HIM. Except in the awful Stephen King movie where the alien has a british accent. Creepy weird/dumb.

This is me said...

Thanks for the head's up on the The War. I LOVE documentaries and I LOVE WWII (is it okay to love a war?) What I mean is I have a degree in History and I mostly studied WWII. Whatever.

Really looking forward to The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock.

Really missing Arrested Development and Studio 60.

Kalli Ko said...

Thank La Yen for bringing up It's always Sunny in Philadelphia. Paul and I watched it for 2 hours straight last night and laughed our pants right off (hmmm.... And I miss, I YEARN for Arrested Development. Good thing we have all 3 seasons on DVD to enjoy as often as wek can.

For me it's all about entertainment over education, most of the time. I have my discovery health and history channel that I love of course. Here are my staples:

The Office, der
My name is Earl
Grey's (agree that this show has gone seriously, SERIOUSLY south since the first two seasons)
Lost (I am so bugged they renewed this for 3 more seasons, I need closure desperately)
Friday Night Lights
Dr. 90210
Real Housewives of Orange County
Girls Next Door (don't ask)
Rescue Me
That's all that comes off the top of my head.
Life looks interesting, so does Gossip Girls.

wow, this list is extensive. maybe i need a life??

Kalli Ko said...

oh I forgot to add Rob and Big on MTV. Shout out mini horse!

and sometimes I watch the hills... I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!

Kalli Ko said...

crap and 30 rock. love alec baldwin

Azúcar said...

Thanks for bringing up Friday Night Lights, Kalli. That show rocks you like a hurricane. There is no better example of a married couple on TV.

We're loving Always Sunny. We saved the Eagles episode for tonight--can't wait to watch!

Emily said...

30 Rock and Drew Carey on TPIR.

The Rookie said...

Two Words: Grey's Anatomy. It's a guilty pleasure if ever there was one. Now I've just got to find time on Wednesdays for spinoff/Private Practice. I usually avoid spinoffs, but Frasier makes me think they have potential.

I too am looking forward to another installation of Ken Burns' historidoc masterpieces. I'm waiting for him to do Vietnam, quite frankly. But I'll settle for WWII.

What I really am drooling over isn't until January, however. PBS and the BBC are doing "The Complete Jane Austen." January through April I will be unavailable on Sunday evenings to anyone and everyone. I'm turning off my phone. I'm wearing my vast and multi-colored collection of elastic waist banded "house pants." I'm drinking diet coke and eating peanut butter m&m's and other rubbish. Ty-Pennington-and-his make-me-cry-every-week-within-
-stupid-home-makeover-show-be- allegiances lie with Jane. Always have, always will.

MoJo's Weekly Update said...

30 Rock! Heroes! The Office! Josh and I was renewed on Lost by seeing the last episode of season three, thanks to Yukiko. Season two lost us, no pun intended, but now we can do it again.

RC Cola! said...

DEXTER. Even though I don't have Showtime, I'm fully prepared to stream it online. Same thing with Weeds, even though secretly I don't like Weeds, but secretly I can't get enough.

I don't have any television right now, but it is time. I went over a year without television. It's time to come back.

I plan on watching Project Runway, and the Food Network once I can afford glorious cable.

nct1112 said...

I had forgotten how much I love reading your blog! I am looking forward to the new season as well. Some of my faves - Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, The Office, Project Runway.

I also can't get enough of the shows on Bravo - Kathy Griffin, Flipping Out, Top Chef, Tim Gunn's new show.

Thanks for the entertaining blog! Miss ya!

Emily said...

When is waffle season?

Olivia said...

I loved the OC, we even had Chrismukkah parties where we watched previous Chrismukkah episodes before the new one aired. We played dreidel during commercial breaks... I was also superdown with the first few seasons of Gilmore, although I lost interest for a while during the Yale years... What I'm trying to say is: I feel the love, too....

Azúcar said...

Ems, I guess you caught me: waffle season is ALL year long!

Livs, People who didn't watch had no idea how fun The OC was. I think the first season will go down as one of the best in the genre.

Dear nct1112- for the love, boy! Where have you been?

rc - welcome back to the fold.

Rookie, I hadn't heard that about PBS & Austen- something to look forward to!

Mojo-- Can you believe 30 Rock won the Emmy last night for best comedy?! I'm totally thrilled!

Lindsey said...

Jane Austen Fever Jan-April '08
The War
Mystery and Masterpiece Theater

This is turning into an "I Heart PBS" fest. But, really, I do. Not having cable greatly limits the possibilities.

But, like most people, can't wait to see what's next for Pam and Jim.

Need my fill of white trash, so Earl will be on each week.

(I will also be secretly watching America's Next Top Model--even though I hate reality TV. And models. So, uh, don't tell anyone.)

Oh, and I'm curious how the Cavemen show will pan out. Love the commercials--can a sitcom work?

I won't be watching:
Grey's--last season bit it big time

Well, maybe I'll tune in for the season finale....maybe.

MoJo's Weekly Update said...

It did not! Member I don't have cable!? I'm so glad that it 30 Rock won. Tina Fey reminds me of Lisha, a lot. But when I think of it, she also reminds me of you. I think she's a good representation of the Hoskisson girls. Maybe that's why I love watching that show, because I feel like I'm best friends with Tina Fey. She's my best friend and she doesn't even know it. I should email her.

sue-donym said...

There's a waffle season? Yessssss!

kiki said...

If you could email me that excel spreadsheet so I know what to watch...

I WAS looking forward to K-Ville until I actually watched it last night. It is the suck! BOOOOO!

Nemesis said...

Speaking of Soames Forsyte, have you seen the new Shakespeare Retold DVD? It has 4 updated plays, one of which is Much Ado About Nothing starring Damien Lewis as Benedick. He and Beatrice are sparring news anchors. And he is hilarious. And hot.

Azúcar said...

Yes! I caught them on BBC America; very fun.

La Yen said...

Update: I like the KidNation. I would have been all over that when I was in elementary school. I am excited to see how it turns out.

I also like the Gossip Girl, but I am hoping that there is less "I used to be mean but now I am nice " and more "I am mean." Or something. Less exposition. Or something. I can't put my finger on it.

And I would have liked Top Model better if they had focused less on Tyra. I am tired of Tyra. But I will keep watching it because, you know, I like it when pretty girls cry and act stupid.