Monday, November 06, 2006

TV Thoughts on Election Eve:
Tomorrow is election day in the United States. Please, even if you've mostly given up on the system (I'm looking at you, Nate), go out and vote. Unless you're planning to vote Republican, then you can stay home. Kidding! Seriously, most of the local races here look pretty much decided, judging by the polls, and the guy (or gal, I'm looking at you, Kay Bailey Hutchinson) I don't want to win is winning many of the races. My change of address didn't go in and I didn't early vote, so I've got to drive back down to my old neck of the woods and vote before going to work instead of going somewhere convenient to my house.

The whole thing seems mostly out of my hands, and I'm not entirely convinced my vote counts, or that it'll get counted correctly, given that we're using Diebold machines here in Texas... but I'm still going to go vote. It's that last little vestige that convinces me we're still living in a democracy, and that the lunatics won't be running the asylum forever. Come tomorrow night or Wednesday morning, if the Democrats haven't re-taken the house, I may feel differently. I may just throw my hands up at the whole system. But right now, I still feel like I should vote.

Wow, and that was just the digression, not the point of the post. Anyway, further TV thoughts, spurred largely by NBC's Monday Night line-up of Heroes and Studio 60.

Heroes: The quality is still uneven, and tonight's episode was mostly standstill stuff, with only a few minor developments and one big one... but in general, the show has gotten better, and I'm enjoying it. Some weeks, I'm even looking forward to seeing where the mysteries and character arcs go. Still not loving it as I loved Lost, and if I could cancel this and bring back Smith and/or Kidnapped, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I'm no longer actively angry that this gets to stick around while so many shows I really liked tanked so early.

Studio 60: Tonight's episode started off a little worrisome, and the whole "John Goodman as redneck judge" thing, the in media res opener, was almost nails on a chalkboard for me. Fortunately, I stuck it out and this turned out to be the best (and funniest) episode since the pilot. Whereas this kind of farce didn't work so well on West Wing, where it felt out of place, it feels perfectly in line with Studio 60, and still has a few important things to say about the culture wars at the same time. Clever writing, some funny moments and terrific acting. Now if only EW would quit gleefully predicting (and wishing for) its death.

Veronica Mars: I've recently been re-watching my season one DVDs of Veronica Mars, and I'm afraid the naysayers are right, and VM isn't as good as it used to be. Fortunately, it is still remarkably good, and I always watch it as soon as possible. The numbers are slightly up, and the CW doesn't have any hits, so I'm hopeful that the show might get to continue. I will say that I wouldn't mind them chopping down the cast a bit, and giving some of the often unseen players like Wallace and especially Mac some more juicy stories and screen-time to go with them. I'm also kinda tired of the Logan/Veronica relationship... I liked it at first, but this whole "strained relationship" thing is getting old, and I'm bored with it.

Lost: Some folks are abandoning Lost. I don't get it. I think the show continues to be excellent, and I'm just as wrapped up in the mysteries (and more importantly, the characters) as always. But then, I wouldn't mind the popularity of the show dying down so that the creators get their chance to end things rather than stretching them out forever to appease the ratings and advertising gods. But given its current ratings, and that it takes the lead spot on Wednesday at least 50% of the time, I don't see that happening anytime real soon.

The Nine: I'm up and down on this one. It's good, it's watchable, but I'm not sure I care about the aftermath of the characters' lives as much as what actually happened in the bank. And unfortunately, the story is much more about the former than the latter. Some good actors here, and it's especially good to see Tim Daly, but quite honestly, I'd rather that his underrated show Eyes was still going on instead.

The Office: So very funny. Easily in my top five shows, and one that I watch the night its on, rather than saving it on the Tivo. I can't believe it took me this long to catch on to how good this show is.

Battlestar Galactica: Continues to shine. The episodes just after the return from New Caprica haven't been as strong, but I think that's because the bar was set so high by the insurgency/rescue story arc. This season is so good it's making me reconsider going back to buy the DVDs of seasons one and two, which I hadn't done because I wasn't sure I'd ever re-watch the show. Now I'm thinking I want to.

Doctor Who: Fun, occasionally cheesy. Not in Galactica's league, but I'm pretty happy with the show, especially given that I'm not remotely a fan of the property in general.

Kidnapped: Ratings dropped so far that it didn't even get burned off on Saturdays, now it's gone to "online only." Which I think might translate to "We're going to quietly stop showing it altogether" and I'm still hoping for a DVD set to get some closure. This was a great, stylish show with a spectacular cast and some good writing, and it's a shame it didn't catch on. I'm amazed that fans of 24 didn't gravitate to this show, as it had a lot in common with that one.

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