What I Watched on my Summer Vacation – Part III – TV News I Missed

September 7, 2007

Although I took a hiatus from writing about TV news, I sure didn’t stop following it.  Here are some of the big TV news announcements of the summer and my thoughts on them.

  • Veronica Mars Cancelled by the CW – Not a huge surprise but still a disappointment.  As much as I wasn’t crazy about season 3, especially the last few non-arc episodes, Veronica Mars was a great show.  I watched a couple of season 1 episodes this week now that it’s in syndication and all I have to say is that the first season truly was a brilliant feat in episodic storytelling and I’m going to miss it.  Of course what this paved the way for was…..
  • Kristin Bell joins the cast of Heroes – Fanboys went crazy at this news, myself included.  Veronica the superhero.  How cool is that!
  • The Sopranos ends with a black screen –  I admit I rewound the PVR a few times and swore at the TV.  At first I was disappointed with the ending but as I thought more about it I did appreciate the lack of closure as consistent with the uniqueness of the show.  Now a few months later I’m back to disappointed but still looking at the series as a whole it’s hard to be upset for long.  It will truly be remembered as one of the best shows to ever air.
  • Jericho gets renewed for a second season – After being cancelled by CBS, a network that has demonstrated little to no patience for a show that isn’t a procedural, a viewer campaign sending nuts to the network convinces the powers that be to renew the show.  I’m super happy about this.  After a very slow first half of the season (ironically, the half where the ratings were good), the second half began to kick butt with twists, turns, deaths and a compelling story that drew me in every week.  Even though it’s only been renewed for a few episodes to give it a chance this may be enough to ignore my initial bitterness and get me to watch a CBS show this year.
  • Battlestar Galactica is going to end after season 4 – I think it’s great that the show is already crafting an ending allowing it go out at the top of its game but I’m not ecstatic about the recent news that SciFi may spread the final 20 episodes over 2 years.  At this point I just want it to start.  January still seems a far way off.
  • Isaiah Washington fired from Grey’s Anatomy – Handled badly by all parties at the end of the day I just don’t care.
  • Emmy Nominations Announced – There isn’t much I can add to the confusion and outrage expressed by any one – critic, fan, etc – over the silly nominations.  No Friday Night Lights.  No The Wire.   No Lost.  No Battlestar Galactica.  Lots of Boston Legal and Two and a Half Men.  Do the nominators actually like TV?  I’m happy about the 30 Rock, Sopranos and Office nominations as well as Brothers & Sisters acting nominations.  Also not too disappointed by the absence of 24.  But what about The Shield and the brilliant Walton Goggins.  I guess this isn’t the year the Emmys become relevant.

Just a few highlights from the summer.  It’s great to be back.  My Fall Preview entries are coming next week.  Let me know your TV news highlights from the summer.

Rumors of Veronica Mars Being Renewed Continue

May 9, 2007

Michael Ausiello rumor hound extraordinaire is reporting today that prospects have improved for Veronica Mars to be renewed.  Between the cancellation of Gilmore Girls leaving a hole in the CW schedule and the apparently positive response from the CW president on the “Veronica joins the FBI” trailer that was shot, it looks like early reports of the show’s cancellation were premature.

As my regular readers know I’ve been a huge Veronica fan since its brilliant pilot episode and throughout its first season personally gave copies of my recorded DVDs to many, many people.  I haven’t loved this past season as much as the first two  and am still a little disappointed that they chose to abandon the arc format for the last few episodes.  Still, I definitely am not ready for the show to end yet and I’m personally encouraged by the change of direction next season and the new possibilities it opens up.  I’m still not sure how crazy I am if they drop the entire cast (specifically Keith, Logan and Mac) but I will say that if the show does drop the mystery arc model and goes to a mystery of the week format then I probably won’t be back next season.

I guess we’ll find out next week when CW officially announces its 2007-2008 schedule.

What Show Will You Save? An E! Online Poll

March 30, 2007

E!Online is running a poll asking people to vote on the one show they would save from a list of programs that are “on the bubble”.  According to Ain’t it Cool News the show that has received the most votes the last five years running has been renewed.

Of the 17 shows on the list there are 5 that I’m pulling for: 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs and Veronica Mars.  But according to the rules I can only choose one.  Last year my vote would have gone to Veronica Mars hands down but this year I have to vote for Friday Night Lights, especially after watching last night’s amazing hour  It’s not that I don’t want the rest to make it but rules are rules.

Click here to vote for your favourite and feel free to comment below and let me know your pick.

How Rob Thomas Will Stop Veronica Mars From Being Cancelled

March 17, 2007

Answer: Veronica Mars, FBI.

Rob Thomas is pitching the CW that if they pick up Veronica Mars for another season he’s willing to fast forward a few years and change up the show by (depending whether you read Yahoo or TVGuide) making our favourite sleuth an FBI agent or a trainee at the FBI academy.  The assumption is that if they make this change most of the cast will likely not be returning, except probably her father and maybe Logan. 

Still I like the idea a lot.  Lately I’ve been feeling like the writers are stretching every week to create on-campus mysteries for Veronica to solve and to weave in a larger campus centric extended mystery arc.  By putting her in the FBI academy or making her an agent this should really broaden the ability to solve mini-mysteries while working within a cool season long arc (picture her as a Clarice chasing her Hannibal Lecter).

Truthfully, I don’t care what they do.  As long as the show isn’t cancelled and I get me some more Veronica next season.

Veronica Mars – Season 3, Episode 15 – Papa’s Cabin

February 28, 2007

Well that’s it.  The last episode of the last mystery arc of the season.

Loved how Keith dove right in to the sheriff job.  It will be interesting to see if he keeps the job beyond an interim capacity.

Even more fun was seeing our favourite suck-up TA suck up to our favourite detective.  It was good to see him realize that while he may be fully up to speed on the academic in’s and out’s of detective work he sure doesn’t have any thing close to the field experience of Veronica.  Silly TA asking Veronica questions like “Is there a way?”  Must be a linear thinker. As we found out, he’s sure no match for her.

I’ve got to say.  The episode did keep me guessing until the end.  As I wavered back and forth between the wife and Landry to both, I have to give my wife credit.  She continued to maintain that it was the TA even when it seemed like it was for sure Landry.  So much for my planning to mock her.  I guess she can comment below and mock me.

Overall a good episode heavy on resolution with just a smidgen of good teen angst.

Unfortunately that’s it as VM goes off the air for the next 6 weeks of Pussycat Dolls something, something, don’t care.  When it comes back the show is not going to be the Veronica Mars I’ve loved for 2 1/2 years as it completes its third season run with individual self-contained episodes instead of good meaty multi-episode mystery arcs.  I’m still going to watch and I’ll do my best not to prejudge until I see them but I’m prepared to be disappointed and even more hope it’s not a harbinger of things to come presuming it’s renewed for Season 4.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A-

Veronica Mars – Season 3, Episode 12 – There’s Got to be a Morning After Pill

February 7, 2007

After last week’s frakstastic episode that spoke to my inner Comicon going, Battlestar Galactica loving geek we get a reasonably decent episode packed full of Veronica goodness along with a heaping dash of Keith.  I’m definitely going to miss when this show drops the larger arc in the back third of the season.  It gives balance to the show.
So this week Logan and Veronica break up for the gazillionth time but this time it looks like it might stick.  I forgot that the history between Veronica and Madison runs all the way back to the first season.  Hard to blame Logan for lying given what happened when Veronica found out.  I guess they’re going to ramp up the “Piz goes after Veronica” storyline now but I don’t see it.  No chemistry whatsoever.  I’d even rather see her with Dick.

The mystery this week had Veronica solving the mystery of who slipped a pregnant girl the morning after pill.  Not a great stand alone mystery but not bad.  I really do love how the show weaves background characters in and out of the show.  It’s a good reward for fans who pay attention.

Who wants to bet that the Dean was killed by his wife’s ex-husband.  I like that Tim is investigating too.  It could be fun to see him, Veronica and Keith team-up.  They need to bring this story a little more front and centre.  The few tidbits they throw at us aren’t enough to solve the mystery especially with only a few episodes to go before the arc concludes.

Regardless of the stories in any given episode what makes this show still great is the dialogue and interplay between the characters.   We feel Veronica’s pain after being betrayed by Logan.  We appreciate the best father/ daughter relationship on TV for the way they communicate in ways beyond the banter.  We laugh everytime Dick is on screen for his great one liners, intentional or not.  And of course, we vicariously feel triumphant when our characters succeed whether its uncovering a clue, solving a mystery, having a car stolen and then returned or just placing a camera to steal someone’s password.  All fun and games.

Hopefully CW will give this great show another season but for now it gets a:
Avis episode rating: B

What I Did on My Vacation – See Lots of TV Stars

February 1, 2007

While I was vacationing in Florida I took a side trip to the FX Show in Orlando. In addition to having lots of comics for me to buy there were also lots of celebrity guests. Here are some of the stars who were there. The Veronica Mars picture is actually from another convention but she was there and I’ve never posted it so here it is.

Me and Kristen Bell

Me and Kristen Bell

Firefly Panel

Firefly Panel

Sylar and the Cheerleader

The Cheerleader and Sylar
Believe it or not – The Greatest American Hero

The Greatest American Hero in the flesh