Fall TV Week Three – Monday: Linda Hunt, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

tvset1HELLO, AND WELCOME TO WEEK THREE.

Not much to report on this morning.  I missed Madam Secretary AGAIN, but will try to catch up this week and report in. I was too busy this past weekend for much TV watching of any variety, though I did see the How to Get Away with Murder pilot a second time, this time with Mom, and we both liked it, so I stick to my “thumbs up” on that on (also, Entertainment Weekly gave it an A, so there, Brian Toohey!) (I tease because I love, by the way.)

Here’s what’s coming up tonight, which is not very much:

Mom — 8:30pm — CBS.  I haven’t seen this one, though I do adore Allison Janney, and she just won an Emmy for her role in Mom a few months ago too.  If it comes to Netflix streaming at some point, I’ll definitely give it a shot.

castleCastle — 10pm — ABC.   I’m at least 2 seasons behind on Castle because it records in my bedroom and isn’t watchable anywhere else (I really need to upgrade DVRs).  Planning on skipping my flu shot this year, though, so I have a chance at catching up at last. This show is fun but I burned out on it in terms of regular, weekly viewing somewhere around season 3.  On the other hand, it is absolutely perfect “I gotta fever” TV.  I’ll start breathing deeply whenever someone’s coughing or sneezing on the bus and see what happens.

NCIS: LA — 1opm — CBS.  I’d do a lot for a little time with Linda Hunt. BUT I WILL NOT DO THIS.

15 Responses to “Fall TV Week Three – Monday: Linda Hunt, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

  1. briantoohey Says:

    I saw one episode of Mom last season, and it was enough for me to swear it off forever. Prototypical terrible sitcom, from the creator/writer of Two and a Half Men. I hope Allison Janney’s bank account is enjoying this cash-in. She’s way too good for this dreck.

    NCIS: the choice of non-discerning viewers over 65. No, thanks.

    Castle: another show I might check out at some point, but need to start from the beginning.

    So I watched the 3rd episode of Z Nation, and I’m done with it. Terrible, terrible, terrible. On a scale of 1-10, a 3 would probably be too kind. Tom Everett Scott is likely hoping this ends as soon as possible, and the “actors” sharing the screen with him can go back to the occasional community theatre gig. At least D.J. Qualls only has to share screen time with a dog, who can’t be phony.

    Forever: found the first ep pleasant enough after the low bar set by all the mediocre reviews. Saw the second episode and thought the concept of him dying multiple times per episode to find the details of various methods of dying was already getting old. I mean, he still has to suffer through the pain of dying, and not withstanding that, the sheer amount he’s been dying would just become way too inconvenient. Sure he can die when he absolutely needs to in order to solve a case, but I doubt it would always be the first avenue he’d explore. The show kind of even acknowledged that (once) by having him choose not to jump off of a bridge, and he accidentally got hit by a car instead. So now, on top of everything else, there’s a high number of accidental deaths, too? He needs a cab with a meter perpetually running sitting down at the river waiting for him. Plus, they’re going to just keep cutting to those same pre-recorded shots of him splashing in the river every time he dies, which is already getting to be funny in an unintended way. I’ll probably give this show one more episode, but it’s a little too unambitious and paint-by-numbers for me to stick with it, even with Judd Hirsch in it.

    So tonight includes one more hour with Forever, a look at what Scorpion does post-pilot, and then the two shows I’m currently most excited about, Gotham and The Blacklist.

    Also have to mention that New Girl is starting to lose me. As a guy, it’s rare I object to sexual humor… but it’s getting to the point that’s all New Girl is doing. It used to have a lot going on in terms of character weirdness, but it seems like the writers have gotten too much favorable response from the crassness and sexual humor, so now they’re going crazy with it and forgetting to do anything else, and every character on the show is starting to become the same character.

    • megwood Says:

      Good to know about Mom — in that case, I will not expend the extra energy! I enjoyed Scorpion again this week, but while I was watching it, I was thinking, Brian Toohey is going to HATE THIS. Was I right? Haven’t seen third ep of Z Nation — probably going to side with you on that one too, though. We’ll see!

      • briantoohey Says:

        I actually cancelled my entire cable bill, so I’m watching all shows on Hulu Plus, cbs.com (since those don’t air on Hulu Plus bc CBS is paranoid and tight-fisted), or findtv.net the day after they air. I’m really busy today, so it may be later in the week until I have a chance to catch up with the new Monday stuff, but that shouldn’t be an issue since there’s not much else on this week. I did watch all of season 5 of Justify over the weekend… so good. Just to show that I’m not negative all the time. I love Justified. I’m also about half-way through American Horror Story: Coven (Season 3), which is not very good but better imo than Asylum (Season 2) was. I have a feeling the Josh Hamilton role was written for McDermott but we was too busy filming Hostages last year to be able to do it. It just feels like a typical McDermott smarmy asshole part.

        • megwood Says:

          Oh man, I forgot all about Hostages. That feels like a million years ago. I couldn’t get into Justified, which was weird considering I have a massive crush on Timothy Olyphant. Maybe I’ll try again?

      • briantoohey Says:

        So why did you think I’d hate Scorpion this week?

        I’m watching it right now, and I am annoyed at how on-the-nose the entire script is with all of their “defined roles.” Plus, it seems like they’re really stretching to try to make Katherine McPhee a necessary part of the team. A comment or a written note here or there isn’t making the case for me. Plus, I find the Asian girl pretty annoying, and I want to smack that hat off of Eddie Kaye Thomas. I get that he might like to wear a hat like that often, but every episode? I wouldn’t say I’m hating it… but it’s kind of lost the stuff I enjoyed about it in the pilot and now it’s just in the mediocre zone. I’ll probably give it one more episode, before I drop it.

        Still have to watch the 3rd ep of Forever, which will likely be my last as well. Neither Gotham nor The Blacklist were great episodes, but I’m not putting either of those shows on the chopping block right away.

        • RogerBW Says:

          I had a horrible thought last night after I’d posted my comment on Scorpion ep.1. The waitress seems very like the Penny of the show, the “normal person” who’s there to provide Homespun Wisdom and Common Sense and other things that those silly smart people don’t have.

          Tell me I’m wrong, please.

          • megwood Says:

            You’re not wrong — she’s hired by the group to serve as their “communications” and PR person, essentially. But that doesn’t bother me, and I’ll tell you why. I work in both the medical world and the tech world in my job, and I see that same character all around me in both realms. In medicine, she’s called a “social worker.” In tech, she’s me, basically — the person everybody in the office comes to after they’ve talked to our network administrator, to get a translation into plain English of what he just said to them.

            It’s not unusual for “regular” people to have trouble understanding people with specialized intelligence — this is pretty common in the IT world in particular (the obfuscating tech guy is a stereotype for a reason). I’d like to see the waitress given a bit more to do in future episodes — episode 2 was a little disappointing in terms of her role (she was basically doing stuff the psych guy should’ve been able to do, for example). But the nature of her role doesn’t bother me at all.

        • megwood Says:

          p.s. Brian, I’m glad someone mentioned that stupid hat so I wouldn’t have to. 😉

          • briantoohey Says:

            Yeah, it just seems like the character is all in the hat. Like I wouldn’t buy him as having a gambling problem if he didn’t have the hat. Could you imagine him sitting at that gambling table in the last scene without wearing that hipster-wannabe hat? Wouldn’t work. And cure to the gambling problem?– lose the hat! If he ends up having to go to rehab, it’ll be super cheap. He’ll just walk into Promises (one of the high end rehab facilities here in L.A.), they’ll smack the hat off of him, and then tell him he’s cured and he can go.

            On another note, I just watched the third ep of Forever. While I was glad the show didn’t keep unnecessarily killing him again this episode, I also found the show super bland and mediocre. Not bad per se, just with nothing demanding me to keep watching it. So I’m done. We’ll see how Scorpion does next week with giving Katherine McPhee’s character a reason to exist on the show besides her being female and attractive. I feel like making her character work on the show would require a really delicate balance, though. If she’s not genuinely needed by the nerd patrol then she’s totally unnecessary. And if the nerds do freak out to the point that she is essential, and they spend enough time on it to merit her inclusion, they others are going to become pretty annoying characters. Also, I think part of the reason I find the Asian chick annoying is that she seems pretty functional and not of the group, just totally throwaway. And ditto Eddie Kaye Thomas (hat guy). Only King Nerd and Fat Guy really have social anxieties that prevent them from interacting with people. Hat Guy might have his own anxieties (resulting in some self-destructive tendencies), but communication isn’t among them. So McPhee really does seem unnecessary right now, just a writer’s convention aimed to get an additional dramatic element into the show, and one that won’t ever be used very well, in addition to putting an attractive woman in the main cast. One reviewer said that he’d just decided to just call the show Katherine McPhee: Nerd Wrangler.

            I did have one moment on Scorpion where I thought they could do something with the show that would be a little surprising and interesting… and then after about 10 seconds I realized they won’t do it. I think you said, Meg, that they’re obviously going to try to get McPhee and the ringleader nerd together romantically, which is probably true. But at the end of the episode when he initially turned down her invitation to the rooftop BBQ with her and her son, and she instead asked Robert Patrick to come along to help her watch her son while she cooked… I thought… hmm, that would actually be pretty interesting if she ends up relying on Patrick’s character by default, since the main dude is too emotionally constipated to follow through on things. That could lead to a romantic entanglement between her and Patrick’s character, and even though he’s old enough to be her father, she has a small world because of her son, and maybe he’d prove himself to be dependable. Then the lead character could have even more emotional troubles knowing he’d effectively lost the girl for the same reasons he always loses the girl… and in this case with a girl who kinda/sorta actually understands him. I just think it could add a level of emotional complexity to the show, but I don’t think the show is going to go there… if anything it’s already taken so many complex things and distilled them down to a level of near-stupidity.

          • megwood Says:

            Engineer Lady and Hat Guy are definitely the most “normal” socially of the group, but they’re not completely normal. The second episode set EL up as being incapable/unwilling to form strong relationships with people, for example (Hat Guy talks to her about it in a scene in the car — she says something about being abandoned as a kid and how that made her trust tools, not people. Then, later in the episode, her screwdriver breaks, remember? Ham-handed epiphany precursor!)

            And I think they’ve established, at least subtly, that Hat Guy’s problem is compulsive observation. So far, that hasn’t actually been a huge issue, but I can see them taking it in that direction down the line. Blurting out observations about people’s body language or other traits is something Sherlock (Cumberbatch version) does as well — to awkward, sometimes offensive effect. So, that may be where his issues lie, at least in the heads of the writers. Well, that and his HAT, obviously. THAT HAT, ZOMG, PLEASE STOP!

            The last few moments of episode two are where I picked up on the budding romance between Main Guy and Waitress (I’m unlikely ever to retain their names, by the way, so roll with the nicknames here) — there was some body language and eye contact suggestive of that direction to me. Incidentally, I think she was trying to engage the Terminator in extracurricular BBQing less because of attraction and more to establish her uber-empathy, after learning about his dead daughter. It’d certainly be interesting if they ended up together, though. Especially since HE’S A ROBOT.

            I think initially, her kid was what made Main Guy want to hire her on, but that their relationship will be what keeps her around, providing the writers with an excuse to underutilize her. I’m still hoping they’ll give her more to do, but we’ll see.

  2. RogerBW Says:

    I store up Castle for when I’m in the mood. I loved the early seasons, but as with Bones I’m mostly watching on inertia now.

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