This is my working document with what I’m currently watching/trying to watch. I’ll update it throughout the TV season to reflect cancellations, moving timeslots, emerging awesome shows & the dropping of the ones that suck. Comment anytime with what shows you love or hate.
Okay here we go…remember, this doesn’t include cable or sporting events…all times are PST/EST…
Amy’s TV Lineup
Gossip Girl (CW, 8pm PST/EST) – It remains exactly as it is, round and round it goes, just mix & match the pairings & situations. Today’s Chuck’s good, then he’s bad, then Blair’s good, then she’s bad, then they’re together, then they’re not. It’s hard to keep track or stay invested when it’s almost certainly going to change the next day. And the Totally 80s! Brittany Snow-led Lily pre-Van-der-Woodsen spin-off? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t probably going to tune in. It’s got some issues, but it has the benefit of a rather brilliant cast, & I’m somehow fascinated by the idea of Lily winding up the way she did, exactly as her mother wanted her to & exactly the way she so resisted.
Out For the Count:
Chuck (NBC, 8pm) – I’m happy to hear it’s coming back but sadly, I’m just not ever going to be into it, I fear.
Heroes (NBC – Season Completed) – It’s pretty clear to me that Heroes will never get back to its geeky cool Volume 1 level of effortless adventure. There are still elements that intrigue me—the idea that Matt was able to “erase” Sylar & have him replace Nathan particular (of course, that idea would be infinitely cooler if only they hadn’t hinted ALREADY that Sylar is still lurking, ready to be reborn). It’s just that Heroes doesn’t seem to ever be able to let go of characters or actors (What’s the point, really, in killing Nathan, if there’s no threat of Adrian Pasdar leaving the show? Who cares about Ali Larter’s current incarnation making its umpteenth reappearance when you know it will never matter how many versions of Niki/Jessica/Tracy/Barbara die, because there’s always another one to replace her?) or the things that made it work, even when they don’t anymore (you can’t help but think how much stronger the annual Hiro/Ando storyline would be without the Hiro part of the equation these days). It’s not that bad of a show, really, even now. It’s just that we know that it will never be THAT good, as good as it used to be, as it COULD be. And that’s just plain old depressing.
The Closer (TNT – Season Completed) – I was seriously shocked that the Brenda/Fritz wedding actually happened. A little disappointed that there was no big production, the crew wasn’t even there, but I did like the bit where Fritz is the one working the case right up to the big day, so of course Brenda happily takes the free pass & works her own case. I always thought the relationship seemed just a little bit unbelievable—surely a guy as totally sweet & awesome as Fritz wouldn’t put up with that—but sometimes, they really do say the sweetest things to each other.
NCIS (CBS, 8pm) – It might be a case of overhype, but I’m not finding the much-plugged final four episodes, featuring both the backdoor pilot of the new LA spinoff as well as a TIVA-heavy subplot, nearly as can’t-turn-away as I thought it would be. I liked some aspects of the spinoff—LL Cool J & Chris O’Donnell were both compelling as the leads—but it was clear that the actual show, in the great likelihood that it gets picked up, will need to lay off of its reliance on showing off how cools its gadgets are (when they aren’t THAT cool, I mean that image manipulation was nifty, like, ten years ago, when we saw it in Minority Report) & also do something about its severely obvious weak link, Louise Lombard’s unlikable & questionably competent Macy. And as for TIVA, I think that it would be fine if they had only spent more time building up to it, instead of having it all start hitting the fan so suddenly. I simply don’t buy that Ziva was in this intimate of a relationship when we barely hear about it all season & all of sudden he shows up just long enough to establish that he’s a grade-A jerk as well as a possible terrorist-disguised-as-terrorist-hunter before being, admittedly satisfyingly, killed off by Tony. I’ll let the season finale & aftermath play out before making a final judgment, but I can’t help but feel like the producers should have left well enough alone & let the material speak for itself.
The Mentalist (CBS, 9pm) – It’s a little tedious & a little formulaic, but it does what it does well. Its most fascinating parts are the darkest ones, Red John is as sick as any of Criminal Minds’ psychos. I know a show like this has to pace its visits to that particular well, but I sure wish there were more of them.
Out For the Count:
Fringe (FOX – Season Completed) – Proof positive that a good twist changes your entire perception of a story. Because “There’s More Than One of Everything,” the season 1 finale, actually, for the most part, fell short of the standard the show has set for itself. For the first time, toward the end of the season, it failed to live up to its brilliant production level, like they simply ran out of funds. The resolution of David Robert Jones’ storyline felt rushed & sloppy. Even the reveal of what was a rather brilliant character reveal—that Peter Bishop is actually not Peter Bishop, but his replacement from the alternate universe, stolen by Walter to replace his dead son—was projected so far in advance that it lost some of its effectiveness. But it was that final scene, that final visual of the twin World Trade Center towers, glistening in the lovely sun of that different world, that was what saved it for Fringe. After all, it’s hard to top the first appearance of a guest star of Leonard Nimoy’s caliber, but somehow Fringe made it so that he wasn’t even what was being talked about the next day. It was that last juicy, fabulous reveal that sealed the deal for my tuning back in eagerly next season.
Criminal Minds (CBS, 9pm) – Still the only show on television capable of making me actually re-evaluate the security measures I take in my life. I honestly feel like watching it has made me safer from being attacked & murdered by a serial killer. Also, it’s reached the point where I’m squigged out by the promos.
Out For the Count:
Lost (ABC – Season Complete) – Two hours of non-stop entertainment, complete with trademark Lost finale checkmarks: Rose & Bernard appearance of hilarity! (Check.) Vincent appearance! (Check.) Situation of great direness that seems incapable of resolution at the beginning of the first hour & is steadily resolved over the course of the episode! (Check.) Villian of great evil! (Like, triple check, if you include Phil!) Long-debated questions answered, followed by introduction of even more frustrating questions! (Check.) Love triangle developments of angst! (CHECK.) Mind-blowing, ridiculous cliffhanger of how-the-hell-are-we-supposed-to-live-our-lives-until-next-January???! (CHECK!!) Seriously, again, how are we supposed to wait nine months for this? And more importantly, what are we supposed to do when it’s all over this time next year??! GAH!!
Life (NBC – CANCELED) – RIP Life. It never really had a chance, did it. First drama to snatch up Damien Lewis wins…annnnnnnd GO!
Southland (NBC, 10pm) – Like its ratings, its writing seemed to slope downhill as its late-season run went on, but Southland is still a fairly entertaining follow-up to E.R. Gifted with a shockingly solid cast, there’s barely a character that seems to have been explored even close to the pace you would have expected by now, besides, maybe, Ben. Tom Everett Scott’s Russell remains criminally underdeveloped, to the point where I honestly don’t understand why they bothered to cast him when his part is so obviously that of a bit player. Regardless, I’m now less riveted by Southland than I was before, although I still find it a show with a lot of curious potential. Hopefully they can shore things up with this week’s finale.
Meh. Probably Not:
The Office (NBC, 9pm) – From what I understand, it’s totally back. I just never came back with it. Don’t worry, this is what the summer hiatus is for.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9pm) – It really did lose me, so much so that I can’t even bare to watch it on DVR. I know I should care about Izzie, I just don’t. I could blame it on the fact that I hated her character for so long, I just want her out of her misery, because that would make sense. But somewhere along the way, I also stopped caring about Alex, who I never hated, who was at one point the only reason I still watched the show. I think, somewhere along the way, I gave up on the whole mess, & no gimmick brain tumor is going to make me come back from that.
Out For the Count:
Private Practice (ABC, 9pm) – I just can’t bring myself to care, even though, I think, if I just force myself to watch, I’d probably be into it still. I think I vaguely remember not minding Pete/Violet, actually…
Bones (FOX – Season Complete) – I just couldn’t get into it this season for some reason. When word of the bizarre, annoying fantasyland of a season finale came out, I was glad to already have been rid of it.
Flashpoint (CBS, 9pm) – Reliable, mindless weekend-starting action.
Out For the Count:
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX – Season Completed) – Now officially dead. The tears dried a long time ago.
NUMB3RS (CBS – Season Completed) – Something about this show has lost its way a little with me, but it’s still a solid Friday night staple.
Dollhouse (FOX – Season Completed) – Given a miraculous, extremely generous reprieve by Fox, who is wasting their time if they do anything but move it to a better timeslot. I know it’s not going to get the Fringe treatment, but at least give it a trial run paired with House or Bones. I should mention also that I didn’t actually watch most of the season & it was actually a single, fascinating plot twist that brought me back: the reveal that Amy Acker’s Dr. Saunders is actually a reprogrammed Doll named Whiskey, assigned to spend her days at the Dollhouse after Alpha sliced up her face. It’s a terrific twist for a curiously quiet character. And this is the line that will bring me back next year: “Why did you decide it was so important for me to hate you? I find that odd.”
In Plain Sight (USA, 10pm) – Dear Show: I literally CANNOT believe I have to say this again but, here goes: Nobody, & I do mean NOBODY, cares about Jinx or Brandi & their subplots of lameness. I thought we made ourselves abundantly clear last season. I understand that you want to show the human side of Mary, to slap us in the face with the reason why she is the way she is, but you are literally offending my intelligence to think that I don’t GET IT by now. Right now, I’m muting the scene anytime Jinx or Brandi comes on screen, pretty soon, not even Frederick Weller’s awesomeness will be able to persuade me to keep tuning in. I won’t be able to handle it. Look, I’m telling you this for your own good. We all want you to succeed, since, again, that would mean more Frederick Weller on TV. So listen to me when I tell you this: less or better yet NO Jinx & Brandi will make you a better show. Trust me. I watch, like, a lot of TV. Warmest regards, Amy. PS: Seriously, more Fred Weller. Play to your strengths. PPS: You’re wasting Joshua Malina here & it breaks my heart into like a million pieces.
Out for the Count:
Brothers & Sisters (ABC – Season Completed) – I bailed on this year, I did. It’s just lost it’s magic. I don’t care about the Tommy in Mexico subplot. I don’t care about the Rebecca/Ryan/Justin subplot. I find Kitty such an unbelievable character right now, I can barely stand it (Seriously? You actually think you’re in LOVE with Cute Park Dad? You flirted for like five seconds & suddenly you LOVE him?? What?? Also, I don’t know if you know this but you’re MARRIED to Rob Lowe!). I dunno. I just don’t really see myself coming back next year.