Gilmore Girls – Season 6, Episode 1

September 29, 2006

A lot of message board discussion has surrounded the creators of the show leaving and whether the new showrunner would be able to maintain the trademark dialogue that makes Gilmore Girls what it is.  My response is: Good Riddence.  I’m sorry that they didn’t get enough money to keep them interested in the show they created but let’s face it: Last year sucked.  Further leaving the new showrunners with the ending last season of Lorelai sleeping with Christopher (something I think wasn’t in line with the characters) was just mean.

I liked this episode.  If I didn’t know that there was new blood on the show I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.  The discussion about racquetball, the traffic camera and the whole rocket/ Twilight Zone gift was well  in line with the show’s roots.   I even think Lorelai’s attitude to Luke throughout the show clearly came through as a guilty person who doesn’t want to deal with the hard truth of what she did.  Luke’s return at the end of the show and Lorelai’s blunt statement about her sleeping with Christopher is sure to push the show in interesting directions.

Avi’s Episode Grade: B+

Boston Legal – Season 3, Episode 2

September 29, 2006

My review of this show last week was really harsh.  It had all the excesses that I hate in a David Kelley show.  This week was much, much better.  Parker Posey’s ridiculous character is gone and replaced by 2 new ones that I actually liked.  Craig Bierko’s Jeffrey Coho is a great character who is just crazy enough to fit in well with this cast but isn’t so over the top that I want him to disappear from screen.   It doesn’t hurt that he actually has an interesting murder case as well, defending the young clerk who is charged with the murder of a judge who was also his lover.

I also like Constance Zimmer’s character, although for me she’ll always be Dana Gordon on Entourage.  Her defense of a fired transvestite (played by Stevie’s father from Malcolm in the Middle) was handled with toughness and compassion.  My only hope is that they don’t have her falling in love with Alan Shore.

I’m actually looking forward to next week’s episode and for now it’s back on my list.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+

Without a Trace – Season 5, Episode 1

September 29, 2006

I had to look up what season this show was in and can’t believe it’s already been 5 seasons.  This is the only procedural on CBS (home of the procedural) that I watch.  I think I was finally able to put my finger on why I watch this show but no others.   CSI and the like are really just Murder She Wrote epsiodes with science.  You don’t get too deep into the characters but with the mysteries they solve there is a general level of detachment also.  Besides having many more character moments than the average CBS procedural, Without a Trace has a hook that by investigating the disappearance of individuals it also gets into the lives of the individuals so that you actually care if they are found or not.

This brings me the season premiere which I finally got around to watching yesterday.  My big mistake was watching it before I went to bed.  The story was about a boy who went to the FBI after his father had kidnapped another boy.  As the story develops, there is the revelation that the first boy was kidnapped as well 7 years earlier and that there have been others.  The team ends up working on all 4 aspects of the case: finding where the father is, identifying and finding the missing boy, identifying the son so he can be reunited with his family and identifying the body they found.

I will say that there was generally a happy ending but I shouldn’t have watched it before I went to sleep.  As a father of two, I can’t think of many worse things that could happen and it reflected in my nightmares after I saw the show.

Avi’s Episode Grade: A

Heroes – Season 1, Epsiode 1

September 29, 2006

I’m going to start this posting with the caveat that I’m a big comic book fan so a serial show about superheroes plays right into my sweet spot. That bias stated up front, I will say that the show lived up to my expectation. Even my wife, who is not a comic book fan at all, liked the show.

What other show has a Tokyo based corporate drone who can bend the space-time continuum (his words not mine) while making reference to specific issues of the X-Men (which is an obvious inspiration for the show), a cheerleader who is invulnerable, a stripper with a genius son and a killer alter-ego, politician and nurse brothers who can fly, an artist who can see into the future and a cab driver whose father’s research into genetics may hold the key to why heroes are appearing?

Wrap these characters up in a beautiful conspiracy package where the cheerleader’s adopted father is pursuing the heroes and throw in a dash of JJ Abrams favourite Greg Grunberg next week and I’m on board to see what happens next.

Avi’s episode rating: A-

New Sidebar – The Shows I’ve Stopped Watching

September 29, 2006

Well, we’re two weeks into the official new season and I’m already dropping shows. I start every new season with lots of great intentions. I want to give every show the benefit of the doubt, a chance to win me over and make my regular schedule.

In the past there were many shows where the premise looked stupid (e.g. Alias, Veronica Mars) but based on their reviews I gave them a chance and they quickly became favourites. I approach new shows like they could be the next Veronica Mars but then cold reality hits me in the face. Many of these shows are crap and given that there are only a limited number of viewing hours in the day for me, I start to become a little more discriminating.

I’ve added a sidebar to let you know as I stop watching these shows so you don’t wonder why I’ve stopped talking about them. Let me know what shows you’ve started to watch but dropped because they didn’t live up to your expectations.

Daily Viewing – Thursday September 28, 2006 – Updated

September 29, 2006

I forgot to add another show that I was recording tonight: Ugly Betty.  Lots of good reviews and my wife, Nicole, gave it a big thumbs up so I’ll be watching this sometime over the weekend.

Memo to ABC – Enough with the time overruns

September 28, 2006

ABC, I’m sick and tired of your shows running 3 minutes late.  You’re not fooling anyone and you’re not making me stay on your channel when there’s something I want to watch.  All you’re doing is pissing me and my PVR off. 

I recorded Help Me, Help You last night because I like Ted Danson and wanted to give it a try.  When I saw that the last few minutes got cut off I immediately deleted the show, sight unseen and I’m not coming back next week. 

Generally I like to watch on the US channels despite me being in Canada.  As of now, I will not be watching on ABC when there is an alternative local station (in HD of course).  I’m officially boycotting your station.