season pass

Pushing Daisies Still fantastic. Perhaps not as good as season 1, but still great. Certainly the most surreal thing to be on network TV since... Twin Peaks, I guess.
Sarah Connor Chronicles I wasn't enjoying the first few episodes of season 2 as much as I enjoyed season 1, mostly because I was really bothered by the Shirley Manson character. I was just not buying it. But with the combination of "Allison from Palmdale" and last week's episode ("The Tower", where Manson's daughter goes to the shrink) I think I see where they're going, and they've redeemed it for me.

I'm still not buying the presence of T-1000 technology in this timeline, though. The T-1000 tech was only able to exist because of the boostrapping technology transfer left behind at the end of T1, and that problem was eliminated by the events of T2, as evidenced by the tech present in T3. So they've got some 'splaining to do before I stop scowling about this one.

And it still bugs me that they never explained how the Cromartie head came through the time bubble without being encased in skin.

Heroes Wow, this season completely sucks, even in comparison to the previous season. I don't give a shit about any of the characters even a little bit. Again, even in comparison to the previous season.
Mad Men I just watched this from the beginning, and I'm totally hooked. It didn't sound like something that would interest me at all, but it's great. The best part is how apocalyptic it is: you can tell that the consensual reality all these people have imagined up for themselves is about to come crashing down, badly. Oh, do read this awesomely obsessive critique of the fonts and props used in the show.
Californication Still enjoying this. It's dumb but funny.
Dexter Still great. I'm less enthralled by the voiceover this season, as a result of Dexter becoming more "human". Generally I hate voiceovers: I think they're almost always a terrible filmmaking crutch. Show, don't tell. Film is visual, and there are plenty of good ways to show internal mental state without turning a visual medium into a radio play. But the beauty of the voiceover in (early) Dexter was that it showed how what he was thinking was in complete opposition to the way he was acting, and that impressed me. But it's less true this season.
Sanctuary This show is bullshit.
True Blood This show is bullshit. It's a trailer-park soap opera that just happens to have vampires. And because that wasn't enough, also a psychic. And they can't decide if the vampires have a physical explanation or are just "magic". I can't tell any of the male characters apart. They look the same and have interchangable personalities (except the vampire is broodier).
Primeval This show is bullshit. But I'm curious about what their explanation of the mechanics of their universe is, so mostly I watch it in fast-forward, to get the mythology breadcrumbs while skipping over the "drama" among various despicable characters.
Supernatural I'm only still watching this because kfringe keeps telling me that it's actually a live-action version of The Venture Brothers, and I keep watching and trying to understand what the hell he's talking about. The first couple of seasons, where it was all "monster of the week", were mind-blowingly awful, but now that they've got a longer arc going, it's a bit better. And the Oktoberfest with vampires episode was pretty funny.
Fringe This show is just deplorable. Everyone says it's ripping off X Files, but if so, they mean it's ripping off the Doggett/Reyes X Files. It seems to me more like it's a remake of Strange World, which was a much better show.
Eagerly awaiting more of:
Weeds I still get a big kick out of this. It's just batshit insane.
The Middleman You really ought to obtain a copy of season 1. It's very funny. It's the same basic idea as Men In Black, but more screwball, and with fantastic intentionally-stilted dialog.
The Gong Show with Dave Attell You're not going to believe me when I tell you that this show is fantastic, but it is. Cookie Mongoloid was on! And a guy who balanced a full-sized lawnmower above his head by the handle while his assistant chucked cabbages into the blades.
Battlestar Galactica Spoiler alert: "This isn't Earth! It's New Jersey!"
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32 Responses:

  1. elegantelbow says:

    I think Fringe was originally sold as a modern X-Files. I agree. It's just awful.

  2. gimpyprophet says:

    Completely agree. Such a retarded show. I thought it had potential after the second episode, but then it went into drama bullshit.

    I hate that they have all these powers and yet no one can figure them out. Like scientists haven't gotten one to study yet? Please. It's not as if their abilities aren't absolutely clear RIGHT FUCKING AWAY.

    Also, why is it that if you drink V, you get a raging hardon, but if you suck a ridiculous amount of blood from a vampire, you heal magically? Ugh. So dumb.

  3. chuck_lw says:

    >Pushing Daisies

    I accidentally watched that the other day (didn't know anything about it) and it just might be one of my many kinds of weird. Laughed my ass off. May have to locate first season DVDs.

  4. Just watched the new episode of Terminator...You're right. God damn that was great, contortionist terminator battle and that last scene explaining John's trauma made it even better.

  5. injector says:

    The only show (which you reviewed positively) on that list which I don't currently watch is the Gong Show. I'll have to check it out.

    I wish I could offer you some gem which you are missing, but the only other things I watch which you didn't mention are cop/court/medical dramas, and I know better than that.

    Though, Leverage seems at least worth checking out.

  6. vincel says:

    We sold you Primeval? That's just embarrassing.

  7. I can't find a source for this right now, but I read somewhere that the show writers scripted the scene such that Cromartie's head was still mostly covered in burning flesh when it went through, but they couldn't get it through without censorship.

    There's some vague handwavey bullshit about the head being close enough to the Connor's meat in the TDE bubble to compensate for that.

    • jwm says:

      I want to know why we don't see humans smuggling future weapon parts back through time like drug mules. Literally pulling a gun out of their arse as soon as they land.

      Maybe that would just give terrorists ideas or something. And I admit that I don't really like the idea of having to turn up to the airport before a flight only to be packed off to a cubicle with some laxatives to spend hours shitting like my arse is a clown car, all because some fucknuckle decided to become the ´Butt Bomber´.

      • nessur says:

        I never bought the original reasoning for "hiding metal inside of flesh" argument. Is that supposed to be a security feature of the time portal tech that the resistance designed? I thought the machines, with their super-massive AI's and shit should be able to take any piece of tech they find and reverse engineer it to their hearts content.

        That said, I love this show, and it would totally jump the shark if plasma rifles started to filter in from the future.

        • nelc says:

          Not having watched SCC, are they still playing the skin thing at all? 'Cause the T1000 broke that rule way back in T2. Unless either 'mimetic poly-alloy' is close enough to skin for the rubber physics to work, or the security system on the time-machine is easily fooled.

  8. fo0bar says:

    The prevailing theory I've heard from most fans about Sarah Connor Chronicles is T3 never happened it was shitty movie just forget about it I hate T3 die die die. And I have to admit, when you look at it that way, the continuity of the TV series mostly makes sense. I guess they've basically split off the universe into T3 (and I would assume the upcoming T4), and the series.

    (Was I the only one who didn't hate T3? It was mindless action, and not as deep as the previous movies, but I didn't dislike it.)

    • jwz says:

      T3 was horrible, but the great thing about the TV series is that they acknowledged that it existed and then used time travel to delete it and re-fork the plot from before it happened, which was awesome.

      • pikuorguk says:

        They did? So T3 doesn't exist any more?

        Right, now things make more sense because I was trying to join it all up in my head and nothing fitted, since what's the point of watching the series if they end up sealed in some bunker with everything exploding around them? Although that would have been a cool way to end the series.

        I can cope with Sarah and John mysteriously changing appearances, but not entire chunks of plot mysteriously failing to match.

        The new credits for season 2 are cheesy and crap though. Really, we don't need the characters explaining to us in SERIOUS MOVIE BLOKE voice.

        I thought the entire show would be cack, but it's become surprisingly watchable, even if the main plot devices are going to be "send someone from the future" or "Miss Terminator goes nuts and tries to kill John... again".

        And yeah, heads flying through time portals. Doesn't make sense either. I explained that away by thinking Sarah's magic ray gun disrupted the time travel magic and things went a bit screwy.

  9. base3 says:

    rip Gilmore Girls

  10. nidea says:

    re: NJ
    My thoughts exactly!

  11. holywar says:

    The Middleman

    Yes! I absolutely love this show, which usually means it won't make it past more than a season. It's fantastically funny, especially the way they not only bleep out the occasional swear but also put a blackout bar over the character's mouth. I don't know if that's due to the show being on the ABC Family channel or not, but it's awesome.

  12. chaoskitty says:

    Try My Own Worst Enemy with Christian Slater. It was surprisingly really catching with a really unique speculative fiction/ spy action adventure concept.

    pushing Daisies is teh LOVE! I don't know about as surreal as Twin Peeks but cute and quirky and I like that.

  13. boonedog says:

    I'm obsessed with Mad Men. Every time an episode ends I wish that the writer's would come live in my house and keep telling me the story while I threaten them with my pitbull/pachecephalasaurus mix if they dare to stop.

  14. strathmeyer says:

    I remember seeing the commercials for Fringe and thinking "I wonder if when they say fringe-science they really mean pseudo-science." I had my answer in the first episode when Joshua Jackson said, "That's not science, that's pseudo-science."

    Eleventh Hour seems to be a version of Fringe and X-Files where they've decided to not just completely make stuff up.

  15. nessur says:

    Fringe made me very happy the first episode when they dosed the main character full of LSD and special-K and threw her into a float tank, having had experiences with both the first and the last and having always wanted to try them together. The last episode where they locked up the guy with randomly destructive powers made me remember 'Threshold', and I'm pretty sure this series could get that bad if the writing doesn't improve. The mad scientist Walter is just so damn heartwarming, I'd like the show more if more plots revolved around him.

    Supernatural makes me happy when they build up a truly tangible sense of doom and despair, then open a show with some classic ballad like "Carry on my wayward son". Plus, some of the monster-of-the-week episodes were brilliant, like one about the woman who thought she was in a car accident but couldn't find her car.

  16. ommadawn says:

    If you like Weeds, you gotta check Ideal, which is BBC's surreal treatment of "pot dealer is main character in network sitcom".

    Season 4 is a bit of a bummer, though.

  17. I would go so far as to say that The Middleman is the best show I've seen in the last 5 years.

  18. romulusnr says:

    No Chuck?

    I mean, I know it's gimmicky, but it's geek gimmicky, and that makes it okay, dammit. Even if it's unreasonably bright retail dork geek instead of unreasonably bright l33t c0d3r geek. Cause no geek gimmicky shows have made it to a second season before now.

    • jwz says:

      I haven't ever watched it. It looked even more fantastically awful than the fantastically awful things that I have watched.

  19. elliterati says:

    I have a theory about the T-1000. She's got the FBI agent looking for robots because she wants to make sure the technology for her to exist gets developed. All that needs to happen is that one CPU piece gets found by a present-day tech company, no? Perhaps one that she's running...

    Can't help you on Cromartie, though. And I too have officially given up on Fringe. I sent this to Twitter after the third episode:

    "X-Files + CSI = Fringe = kinda silly."

  20. mtbg says:

    Heroes: There have been a couple of good moments this season (Sylar cheerfully making breakfast, etc.), but I agree, it's pretty weak overall.

    Sarah Connor Chronicles: One of the two things I watch as soon as it finishes downloading (and the other is a cop show, so I won't bother naming names). Also, holy crap, somebody made an excellently ballsy decision with regards to the first five minutes of the season premiere.

    Dexter: The main arc seems kind of weak right now (though I haven't watched this week's ep yet). Wait, doesn't this one violate your cop rule?

    I need to watch another episode of Eleventh Hour before I pass judgement on it. The science in the first episode was much, much less aggressively stupid than anything I saw in the couple eps of Fringe that I watched.

    I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but Knight Rider has been entertaining me so far. To be sure, I'm laughing at it a fair amount of the time, but I laugh with it reasonably often too. The biggest WTF is that KITT can now apparently transform into any vehicle it wants, so long as it's black and made by Ford.

  21. ywwg says:

    Did anyone watch Threshold? Fringe seems more like a ripoff of that than anything else (And Threshold was a ripoff of the X-Files, so that would make Fringe a ripoff of a ripoff). Except that Threshold was actually a little better, and it still got canceled fairly quickly.

  22. xrayspx says:

    Thankfully the latest Primeval (mammoth) lived up to "More story, less Monster of the Week".

    Hopefully they kept that up.