Fall TV Week One: Tuesday — NCIS: NO or YES?

scorpionQuick update:  the only new series from last night I’ve had a chance to watch yet was Scorpion, and man, I LOVED it.  Granted, it could use some actual geniuses writing the scripts — if I out-think the guy with the 197 IQ three times in an episode, something’s not working quite right behind the scenes.  But it’s funny, it’s charming, and it’s really entertaining.  Great characters, solid acting, Robert Patrick not being too creepy, and I loved the chess playing nerd kid as well.  Lots of room to grow here.  Looking forward to seeing where they take this one, despite its few clumsy outta-the-gate moments.

OKAY NOW MOAR TV!  Here’s what’s coming up tonight!

ncisNCIS – 8pm – CBS — I’m at least  a season behind on NCIS, but I go through phases where it’s the only thing I want to watch so I’m sure I’ll catch up at some point.  I’m not super crazy about the new lady, which was part of my problem last season.  But I will never, ever tire of Ducky.  As long as they keep Ashley-Pitt, AKA “Dispersal,” in the game, I’m in. (Please live many, many more years, David McCallum; losing both the Scrounger and Big X in one summer was pretty rough on me.)

shieldMarvel’s Agents of SHIELD (I’m way too lazy to type the dots in the title, though, apparently not so lazy I won’t spend 20 times as many characters telling you why I didn’t type the dots in the title.) – 9pm – ABC — I tried so hard to like this show. I really did.  I hung in there at least 10 or 11 episodes and then I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I wanted it to be smarter than it was, funnier, more clever.  And it just couldn’t seem to pull it off.  Major bummer, because it was a great idea.  I know this is going to take some of you by surprise, but I’m really starting to wonder about Joss Whedon.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer was his strongest TV-based work, and everything else has been a steady trickle downhill from there (including Firefly, which I liked many things about, especially the cast, but which was pretty problematic TV writing; it made a tremendously good film, on the other hand, which makes me think, you know, maybe Whedon needs to stick to the shorter, tighter medium?).  I ramble.  And I also just lost about 9,000 fans.  But hey, honesty, yo. This show blows.

NCIS_NONCIS: New Orleans – 9pm – CBS – The last spin-off of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, was among the greatest stinkers I have ever encountered on the Tube of Boob.  What a waste of Linda Hunt.  With that in mind, it’s been hard to know how to feel about this one. I saw the NCIS episode last year that introduced us to the new cast of characters, and it was okay, I guess, but not terrifically exciting or anything.  On the other hand, I am a gigantic Scott Bakula fan (in fact, he was a Boyfriend of the Week until I somehow managed to accidentally delete his write-up, oops), and I love Lucas Black (“the kid from Sling Blade“) as well.  Also: CCH Pounder. Yay.  But. . . you know?  Oh, you know.  We’ll see.  NCIS: NO?  Or NCIS: YES? Check back later for my verdict.

Chicago Fire – 10pm – NBC — Nope.

Person of Interest – 10pm – CBS — Annnnnd, nope.

What did you guys think of Gotham, Scorpion, and Forever?  Comments?

12 Responses to “Fall TV Week One: Tuesday — NCIS: NO or YES?”

  1. wiccachic2000 Says:

    About Agents of Shield I honestly couldn’t stand it either but I had heard that after working with his brother on the pilot (underwhelmed there too) that his brother was the actual one writing for the show and not Joss himself.

    In regards to a previous post comment you made I also am not all about the Big Bang.

    What can you do about these things besides not watch?

  2. briantoohey Says:

    I watched & liked Scorpion, and watched & liked Gotham more. Also loved the season premiere of The Blacklist. Haven’t yet checked out Forever, but I read some bad reviews on it which has me thinking it’s going to be one shot for me at most. I’m on board Gotham for awhile at least; Scorpion is a little more tenuous because I agree it’s kind of a dumb (but fun) show about smart people. The show is going to have to at least maintain, and probably improve, for me to stick with it, but I’m happy to watch a bunch more episodes and see if it goes up, down, or sideways.

    Everything else here is a no for me. I, too, thought Agents of Shield was pretty bad, and never gave it more than a few episodes but kept aware of it to see if it got better and if other people seemed to start enjoying it. What I saw much more of is people like you, who kept with it longer and still eventually gave up on it. Its vocal supporters seemed to think it was a great show, and weren’t bothered by the many problems in the quality of the show that kept me from enjoying it. Person of Interest I enjoyed more than AoS when it initially premiered, and I tried to get into it, but it was still pretty generic television that didn’t do much to distinguish itself, and after several episodes I let it go. I think a part of the reason was the lead performance from Caviezel, who seemed to be acting through a coma. Of all the Tuesday shows, that’d be the one I’d be most willing to give a second chance at some point, but I have a list of dozens of better cable shows I want to catch up on, so that’s probably never going to happen.

  3. RogerBW Says:

    With you on SHIELD; I liked it at first, then tried to stick it out, but superhero worlds just rub me the wrong way even when the stories aren’t about superheroes.

    I’m still catching up on Person of Interest because everyone says it gets good towards the end of series 1, but I’m not there yet. I’ve even slowed down on my Doctor Who rewatch/reblog.

    Big Bang Theory just feels like geekface to me. But I loved (most of) Community. Hey ho.

    Watched the first episode of Forever. Ioan Gruffudd is a good start, and with luck Joel David Moore may have more to do than he did on Bones. The Sherlock Holmes style hyper-observation is always a crowd pleaser, and it looks as though there’s going to be actual per-episode interesting procedural stuff rather than just constant teases of the Big Picture that will turn out not to exist. (Yeah, I was burned by Alias.) I’ll keep with it for now.

    • briantoohey Says:

      I like “geekface.” Well not the idea of it, just your word. Like blackface, for geeks. Have you watched HBO’s Silicon Valley at all? Imo, that was a great show, and a friend made the comment “Hey, this is kind of like The Big Bang Theory if the creators actually took the characters seriously and didn’t dumb things down or make it into a version that made fun of them.”

      • RogerBW Says:

        I tried the pilot of Silicon Valley, but it felt as though it were trying too hard to be the next Mad Men. Look at those weird Historical People! Gee, the past sure is strange, isn’t it?

        • briantoohey Says:

          Are you confusing Silicon Valley with Halt and Catch Fire? Silicon Valley is a comedy set in the present.

          • megwood Says:

            I liked Halt and Catch Fire but it was definitely VERY problematic (killer soundtrack, though!). I’d be surprised if that came back. Loved Silicon Valley, by the way!!

          • briantoohey Says:

            I loved Halt and Catch Fire, and didn’t really think it was problematic, but I know a lot of people felt differently. Roger’s comments seems to fall in line with why some people didn’t like that show. I’d say that was the show this summer with the second largest vocal audience divide, after The Leftovers. In the end, I preferred HaCF, but The Leftovers probably had 4 Emmy-worthy episodes.

            But Halt IS coming back, and I’m excited about it.

          • megwood Says:

            I had some problems with the characters in Halt — big problems with a couple of them (Lee Pace, mostly, though his character got a little more depth by the last two episodes, and also the wife, who I desperately wanted to be more interesting). I’m glad to hear it did well enough to get a second season — I didn’t see many people talking about it so thought it was doomed for sure. But I enjoyed it too and will definitely keep watching. Didn’t watch Leftovers at all — felt like I’d seen that kind of thing too many times before lately. I’ll probably get around to it at some point, though. We subscribe to HBO, so all their shows are on-demand through their HBO Go platform, which is nice. A lot of HBO shows are also free with an Amazon Prime subscription now, too, if you’re a Prime subscriber.

  4. RogerBW Says:

    Coming back to Scorpion (pilot): only one of the four principals is really annoying to me (the generic panicky fat guy), which is not bad as these things go. The setup with aircraft being out of communication is rubbish, of course.The “good wireless signal” is even more rubbish. And as for the backup regime… yeah, basically they might as well be saying “we’ve got to flirble the wazmatic or the cormanic will be fizlit”. By the time they started talking about “five hundred thousand kilowatts” (yeah, that’s half the output of a fair-sized nuke plant, it’s not being switched through one cabinet) I was laughing at the show, which is not a bad thing even if it’s not what the makers intended. Normally I count on procedural content in a show to carry me over the rough characterisation; here it’s the other way round.

    But oh, man, yet again we see the “smart people are pathologically socially inept” meme. That’s going to be the real hump for me to get over on this one.

    Still, it gets a chance for episode 2.

    • megwood Says:

      I had the opposite reaction to the characters — my issue with “smart people” on television is that they’re so often portrayed as also clinically mentally ill, which is what gets old for me. For a few of them to struggle socially makes sense to me, because really, really smart people actually DO have trouble connecting to others (especially in their youth when they are often even isolated from peers in school — I know I was, anyway). Also, their social struggles in the show are pretty realistic — it’s not over-the-top at all, in my opinion. If they were “pathologically socially inept,” they wouldn’t be best friends with their core group of like-minded pals. Nor would they be clearly headed toward a romantic relationship with the waitress, I’d say. That didn’t bother me at all.

      What I get so tired of is shows about geniuses who are also clinically mentally ill (schizophrenia, e.g.). TV seems to think you can’t be a genius without also being totally f’ed up. That was a trend for a long time on television (I can think of at least 5 shows off the top of my head in the last 5-10 years), and I found that so annoying. (“Generic panicky fat guy” has OCD, which may be irritating to me down the line, but so far hasn’t been exaggerated in an intrusive way.)

      The science and tech on Scorpion isn’t brilliant, for sure, and no, I don’t think they’re getting it wrong to be funny. But I’m not irritated by it either, mostly because I like the characters a lot so far. I was a little disappointed by the backseat role of the kid in episode 2, but we’ll see what happens with that next.

      I’m diggin’ it, and without shame!

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