What Meg’s Watching Tonight (Wednesday)

Okay, so, last night, I watched Heroes, which featured some exciting new developments, but overall I found the episode a bit lackluster — too much set-up, and some of the new storylines are ones I feel like I’ve seen 86 bazillion times on other shows already.  Still love it, but was a bit disappointed in the season premiere.

Luckily, I then started up Journeyman, which I LOVED, and right after that turned on Reaper, which I REALLY loved.   So, if you missed either of those latter two, try their network web sites to see if you can watch the first episodes online, because these are the first new shows I’ve seen so far this season that I’m actually really excited about.   Reaper had me laughing out loud practically the entire hour — oh man, it’s really as good as everybody said it would be — and Journeyman, though very pilot-episode-y, was extremely intriguing, especially when we learned the main character might not be the only one hopping around through time.  I’m definitely in for the long haul with both of those.

Tonight, we have:

9pm CBSCriminal Minds.  Can’t say I was that devastated to hear Mandy Patinkin was leaving — his character wasn’t the one I was tuning into watch (Shemar Moore, Thomas Gibson, and Matthew Gubler, on the other hand. . .).  But I will say I’m not too sure how I feel about Joe Mantegna replacing him either.  We’ll see how that goes.

9pm ABCPrivate Practice.  I’ll be watching this one on the ABC web site instead of on regular TV, because I’m fairly certain I’ll hate it, based on what I saw from last year’s preview Grey’s Anatomy episode, and I don’t want to give up somethng else to make room for it in my schedule.  Tim Daly really needs a better agent, is all I’m sayin’.  But maybe they will have successfully retooled it this summer?  I’ll find out when I give it a try on the laptop this weekend.

9pm NBCBionic Woman — I’ve already seen the pilot for this one and, well, to be honest, it’s pretty bad.  Bad dialogue, clumsy acting, and the actress playing Jamie Sommers (Michelle Ryan, see above photo) is pretty blah so far.  That said, the premise was intriguing and very Alias-esque, and who can resist Katee Sackhoff as the EVIL Bionic Woman?  That was a truly inspired choice (though, no surprise since it’s produced by David Eick from Battlestar Galactica — watch for Petty Officer Tyrol to make an appearance as well, BG fans). 

So, I would suggest you tune in tonight, but be warned that there were whooooole sections that had me roaring with laughter — and not because they were actually meant to be funny (best part: when Katee Sackhoff stops mid-fight to light a cigarette — and then remarks, puff puff, that, puff puff, the coolest thing, puff puff, about being bionic, puff puff, is that they can SMOKE, puff puff.   At this point, my husband looked at me to see if my eyes were rolling (yes).  Then Jamie says, “Who ARE you?” and Katee’s character replies, “Not to be all melodramatic about it. . .” and the next thing you know, both me and the spouse are battling a fit of giggles more deadly than Katee Sackhoff’s robot biceps).

Additionally, I’d like to offer these words of wisdom to the writers:  “serious and stuffy” is not the same thing as “having depth.”  Try throwing in some nerdy comic relief characters and see if that helps. And hey, I think Kevin Weisman is even available these days, so there you go!

10pm ABCDirty Sexy Money.  I’ve heard this might be the big guilty-pleasure show of the season, featuring Peter Krause as a lawyer who is sort of forced to start working for one of the city’s wealthiest, sexiest, and dirtiest morality-wise families (headed by Donald Sutherland, who is kind of hit-or-miss for me these days, but we’ll see).  Krause is a great actor and if the show is written brilliantly, it could be really fun.  But this won’t be one I stick with if the pilot disappoints, so it’d better be getting it right the first time or else!

10pm NBCLife.   This is one I strongly urge you not to bother with, despite the fact I know you and I both adore Damian Lewis.   I saw the pilot for this one the other night too, and I didn’t last fifteen minutes (alas, not long enough to see Robin Weigart, who will always be Calamity Jane to me, god bless her, but I hear she’s totally wasted in this anyway). 

I’d love to say the problem with Life, which is about a homicide detective wrongfully imprisoned for murder who is finally exonerated and gets his job back, is bad writing, bad premise, plot holes, and ridiculously convenient plot devices.  And, actually, those too.  But to be honest, the reason I couldn’t sit through it was Damian Lewis himself.  I love that man, but he is just ridiculously awful in this. Have you seen him in Dreamcatcher?  You know when he gets possessed by the alien and starts tipping his head and pinching his lips a lot to look weird and foreign and confused about what it’s like to be living in a human body?  That’s him in this show too.  Really, really bad.  Bad acting, bad plot, bad everything.  What a waste of some fine talents and a relatively decent concept, frankly.  If Raines couldn’t survive, my guess is this one won’t last three weeks.  Which might actually be good, as it’ll free Damian and Robin up for what might end up being something better down the line.

I’m shuttin’ up now.  Did you watch Journeyman and Reaper?  Did you love them?  What up, my peeps??

14 Responses to “What Meg’s Watching Tonight (Wednesday)”

  1. megwood Says:

    Dang, now everything I’m reading today about “Life” is saying the first episode was awful (check!), but that it got a LOT better in episode two. I guess that means I should try the pilot again and see if I can slog through the whole thing. Life is so complicated when you are ruled by television. . .

  2. Lorraine Says:

    Private Practice – I’m not a fan of Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t watch shows which have intelligent people with the emotional maturity of 15 year olds. But Tim Daly & Amy Brenneman have me interested. I loved “Judging Amy” and will try Tim Daly in anything. They blew it with “The Nine” – you need to hook people quickly these days and the unaired shows were really much better (you can see them on abc.com). This would have made a great limited series – the kind they don’t do any more in the U.S. Sorry for the rant- I’m not enjoying PP so far but I will give it a few weeks.

    Dirty Sexy Money – see my comment above about “emotional maturity of 15 year olds” and mix that with unlikability. I stopped watching 10 min before the end – didn’t even want to invest 10 more minutes!

    Life – haven’t gotten to this yet. I had high hopes because of Damian Lewis. I’m still slightly hopeful because his portrayal has been compared to Vincent D’Onofrio in L&O:CI and I revel in his scenery chewing.

    Journeyman – I was underwhelmed but will keep tuning in – now that the premise is setup maybe the storytelling will improve.

    Bionic Woman & Reaper – I have these Tivo’d but I haven’t gotten to them yet. Neither of these seem like “my cup of tea” but I’m curious.

  3. Alisa Says:

    The only one I watched was Reaper and LOVED it.
    “Dude, that a Dirt Devil, we sell those in isle 5”

    I didn’t like the orginal bio shows the 1st time around, so I’m not interested in the new and improved ones now. And Journeyman seemed to much of a rip off of “The Time Travler’s Wife.”

    What I’m really pissed off about is that SciFi isn’t bringing back The Dresden Files, I loved that show.

  4. megwood Says:

    Journeyman’s not a rip-off of The Time Traveller’s Wife (a book I thought kinda sucked, incidentally). It’s actually a rip-off of Quantum Leap and Early Edition.

    Reaper was awesome, though. Even my mom had a great time watching that one! 🙂

  5. Lorraine Says:

    I just watched Life and I loved it!! The reviews are saying that this is a show that you either hate or love. I come down on the side of love.

  6. megwood Says:

    Lorraine, I’m now curious to know how much of Damian Lewis you’ve seen before, just in case I found it unwatchable because I know him too well from other stuff. Have you seen any of his other works, like Band of Brothers, or Forsyte Saga or anything?

    How was Robin Weigert? She’s the only reason I’m still kind of tempted to try it again.

  7. Lorraine Says:

    Meg – I haven’t seen Band of Brothers. I tend to avoid “war stories”. But I did see him in the first Forsyte Saga and also “Friends and Crocodiles”. I find him really intriguing and I really like him in Life. The character seems to be very intelligent with alot more going on than he wants to show to the world. He also has this dry wit which I also like. The conspiracy story has the potential to be really interesting.

    Robin Weigert – she was good. Not as quirky as she usually plays. But her character may have been involved in the conspiracy and should be interesting. Many of the characters seem multi-dimensional which we don’t get on tv so much any more.

  8. carolyn (duff) Says:

    i liked LIFE a lot. Dirty Sex Money also thumbs up.

  9. megwood Says:

    Dudes, I cannot BELIEVE you guys liked Life so much! I tried watching it a second time last night just in case I hadn’t given it enough of a try, and I STILL couldn’t get past the first 15 minutes. That scene with the dog is just one of the stupidest “crime scene” scenes I’ve ever seen. “Gee, why is this dog all the way over here? It must be because he’s buried a severed body part in the dirt right in front of him. Dig, dig, dig, voila!”

    First of all, I still don’t see how he got from point A to point B on that one (How did he know to dig up the dirt in front of the dog? Oh right, I forgot — he read a book on Zen Buddhism in prison and now he’s a dog whisperer!). And second of all, explain to me why, if the dog bit the shooter’s finger off, there isn’t a TON OF BLOOD all over the place. Because the shooter clearly shot the dog first, while the dog was attacking him and biting off his finger, right? (That’s how the dog got a bullet in the belly instead of in the head or back, right?) That means the shooter was hanging around the crime scene with a spurting finger for several long minutes, while he killed the boy and did whatever else it is killers do at crime scenes. Yet, nobody seemed to notice any blood leading away from the dog and then away from the crime scene. And, even worse was that there wasn’t a single drop of blood on the dog’s face! Despite the fact the dog would’ve been holding the recently-severed finger in his teeth while he dug the hole to bury it in!

    Sometimes I’ll put up with really really lame plot devices like that, but I have to REALLY like the characters in order to be willing to swallow it (by comparison, the plots on K-Ville have all been pretty weak too, but I just love Anderson’s and Hauser’s characters and chemistry, so I’m sticking around for more of that one). But this is only one example of the horrible writing in the first fifteen minutes of the “Life” — I could go on and on — and I didn’t find Lewis’s acting at all believable. I couldn’t stand watching him, frankly. His overacted mannerisms irritated the crap out of me, and quickly.

    That said, because I think “Life” is crap on a schtick, it is sure to complete the season and win ten Emmy awards, so if you enjoyed it, the good news is that you will probably have many more chances to watch Damian Lewis tilt his head quizzically and talk about his love of fruit.

    “Reaper,” on the other hand, I absolutely adored, which means it ought to be canceled in roughly three weeks. Dang. 🙂

    Haven’t watched “Dirty Sexy Money” yet, but am hoping to get to that today!

  10. Lorraine Says:

    Meg – glad to hear that you think Life will last the whole season 😉 I haven’t seen a “well written series” on network tv for YEARS! I just hope for interesting characters and decent storytelling. Everything is focus-grouped so it all becomes rather average. What do I consider a well-written series? “Homicide: LOTS”, “The Wire”, “The Sopranos”, “Northern Exposure”.

  11. megwood Says:

    Really? I can think of a lot of network TV shows in the last several years I considered well-written. The problem is that most of the shows I think are clever and original don’t last very long. I could chalk that up to my having bad or odd taste (“Wonderfalls,” for example, was pretty odd!), except that most of the time, these are the same shows that receive tons of critical acclaim. And then, of course, are axed before they even make it to the half-way point. Is it because most TV viewers these days don’t want to have to think when they watch the boob tube? Or because well-written shows sometimes are slower-paced than their speed-action CSI counterparts, and TV viewers today lack the patience for that? I have no idea. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for “Reaper,” which is the only new show I’ve seen so far that didn’t immediately make me think of two other shows just like it. Viva originality and wit! I can’t tell you how astonished I am that the CW is the channel I’m raving about so far this season!

  12. megwood Says:

    D’oh! I just had to come back and tell you guys this — my Mom just watched “Life,” and though she also thought it was pretty badly written, she does think the series has promise. She was wondering, actually, if the Damian Lewis character might be faking some of his craziness in order to “disarm” his colleagues a bit, and she too wondered if the boss lady might be in on the whole conspiracy thing. Dang! Long-time readers of the Boyfriend of the Week site know that I think my Mom is an absolute genius — and also that she and I tend to like all the same kinds of TV shows and movies. So, while I do definitely value YOUR opinions as well, the fact my Mom is saying this one is worth a second look means I probably did get it wrong the first time around.

    I hereby solemnly swear that this weekend, I will watch the WHOLE PILOT, though I may skip the dog scene, just to keep the eye-rolling down to a minimum. 😉

    Will report back next week after I’ve seen the pilot AND episode two, and then we can have this debate ALL OVER AGAIN.

    p.s. Lorraine, please feel free to post “I TOLD YOU SO, YOU MORON!” as your next comment. Hee hee.

  13. Lorraine Says:

    Hurrah for mom!! I think the Damian Lewis character is damaged because he was constantly in fear of his life for 12 years in prison. It seems that the guards were out for him also. I think it changed his perspective so he isn’t concerned about following all the “rules”. He seems to have alot going on in his head which I find interesting. The writing can be better but the concept and execution have me hooked for now.

    I won’t say “I told you so” because I have to concede that you were right about “Reaper”. I had seen a clip a few weeks ago and really thought it looked inane. But, I like to give most of the new stuff a try because that is how you find the unexpected gems. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Reaper It was funny, interesting and CHARMING! I hope it continues.

    I have to admit that I never saw “Wonderfalls”. I’m sure I was being harsh about tv writing. It’s just that I think “good writing” is not what tv is about or maybe I should say “great writing”. I admit that some of it is “good” – Freaks & Geeks, The Office – but usually there are moments of brilliance not sustained brilliance. But, “The Wire” is constant brilliance. You are right – most of the well written shows are taken off the air rather quickly.

    As I read somewhere, “TV shows are invited into your home each week so you have to want to spend time with the characters”. That is really true for me and mostly how I decide whether to watch a show. Someone can say that “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Rescue Me” or “Nip/Tuck” are good shows – but I don’t want to spend time with those characters. Maybe “Stargate Atlantis” is not highly regarded – but I like spending time with the characters.

  14. carolyn (duff) Says:

    i think he figures out the finger is hidden under the dog because he feels it while he is feeling the dog’s belly for the bullet. he says there’s a bullet there, but keeps digging around with his hand…

    i think the kooky thing is part of having only had himself to talk to basically for 12 years. i like the interesting hints of a real connection between him and his lawyer. i like the stuff between him and the dude handling his money now (dang can’t think of the name of that actor). i love that he keeps pulling over his ex wife’s new husband. “don’t you have anything better to do right now?” “hmmm. No.”

    really enjoyed it. just let the dog / bullet / finger thing go and see what you think… 🙂

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