Hello, criticism fans! It’s been a little while since I’ve written something, but I’d like to think I’m back with a vengeance. The creative juices are finally flowing, and it’s not just because I had Olive Garden for dinner last night. I have several things I want to say, but I’d like to start with some TV reviews. Instead of busting my balls to write a full review of new TV shows, I think I’m just going to write one long entry that addresses several TV treasures (or trash heaps). Without further ado, here are my snap judgments of fall TV ’09.
Read my review for more thoughts. Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Ditto. 3.5/5 stars.
Ah, another CW remake is taking shape. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be pulling in the ratings that 90210 is managing. Fortunately, it’s off to a much more promising first season than its comrade. With murder, prostitution, theft, and bitchy dialogue, Melrose Place is definitely somewhere I’d want to move in. 3.5/5 stars.
Of course, Heidi and Tim always seem to make it work. Even with Michael and Nina constantly MIA and a generally blah cast of designers (both personality and talent-wise), somehow our German bombshell and gay Oprah manage to still create consistently entertaining TV. Even on Lifetime. Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
Now that Projway has said auf Wiedersehen to Bravo, Top Chef is the new alpha male. As a new Top Chef fan, I have to say that I’m really enjoying this season. The challenges are interesting and the chefs are compelling. My personal favorite is Jen, the bitch who knows it and works it. Sadly, it seems like the top five chefs are extremely obvious at this point, so some of the dramatic tension is lacking. However, it’s still mouth-watering television. Rating: 4/5 stars.
Parks and Recreation
I don’t think there’s a show that I’m rooting for more adamantly than Parks & Rec. I’m rooting for Amy Poehler’s sitcom to truly hit its stride and become as hilarious and compelling as its ancestor, The Office. It is definitely making baby steps towards becoming a surefire hit, but it’s still pretty tentative at this point. The laughs are hit-or-miss, and some of the tertiary characters need to be fleshed out more. That being said, the show is still very new so I’m optimistic. Rating: 3/5 stars
The Office came back in fine form this year. The premiere was touching, outrageous, and involved many of the side characters who had been benched in recent seasons. To me, I’ve always thought showing more Kevin, Angela, Meredith, Kelly, etc. is the show’s ticket to comic gold and I think this season seems to be on that path. Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
So far, Community is runner up for the award for most promising season premiere (I’m technically counting Glee’s premiere as a part of the tail end of last season, so there's another first place prize). The characters seem quite varied and the writing is extremely snappy. It also seems to be a show that has slightly more sophisticated humor, so the audience might actually have to think in order to get some of the jokes. That’s what makes 30 Rock and Arrested Development so great. Perhaps Community is on that path? Rating: 4/5 stars.
Modern Family just inched out Community for my favorite premiere. This show is ripe with laughs and relatable characters. I think I about peed myself with the Circle of Life came on. If you watch the premiere, you’ll know what I mean. Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
The Vampire Diaries
Sadly, I might not be able to watch this show as consistently as I’d like. It conflicts with too many other programs and I might lose touch with it as the year goes on. However, I will do my best to keep up with it based on the first episode. Granted, the originality factor is missing because this show is Twilight minus the bad acting plus great dialogue. Yet, any show that references “tranny mess” deserves bonus points. Kevin Williamson might have another hit on his hands. Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
Well Upper East Siders, our favorite chic debutantes are back at it again. This time, at college. Although Serena, Blair, and company don’t get to school until next week, there was a bit of good drama this week. However, it seems like the storylines are running in circles and the show could use a good dose of originality. Perhaps college is the ticket? Rating: 3/5 stars.