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Thursday, October 28, 2010

My New Fall Favorites

People used to make comments like, “I’ve entered the ‘90s,” when they started using some new technology that seemingly everyone else had been using for years. Since we’ve never seemed to name the first or second decade of the 2000s – are we just waiting for the teens or the hopefully roaring ‘20s to kick-in? – I’m not sure what to say about finally using On Demand. Besides, technology changes so fast, referring to last week instead of last decade seems to make more sense. I guess that’s why we came up with “that’s so yesterday,” but I just refuse to use that one.

I should probably point out that I’m not even 40 yet after the opening paragraph, which makes me sound like I still play music on a record player. In fact, I only vaguely remember doing that as a young kid. I got the iPod rocking about a year ago, along with the big screen HD TV. That may be why I’ve latched onto more TV shows this fall than I have in years – 46-inches of HD is just awesome.

Sports dominates my TV viewing so much this time of year that I have become a regular On Demand user for The Event, Detroit 1-8-7, No Ordinary Family, and until I learned it was getting axed Outlaw. I’d like to add The Whole Truth to that list, but it’s only on

Let’s start there. I also upgraded my computer last year with one that included a pretty damn good monitor, but I have a 46-inch screen that I can watch on my couch instead of a desk chair. Why? I repeat, why are some shows not On Demand? Networks care that much about driving traffic to their .coms?

I know, I know . . . buy a DVR. Maybe if ad revenues pick up on my blogs.

Ok, back to the point of this post, or I should say, to the point of this post. Here are my quick looks at the best new shows (in my opinion) this fall:

The Event: This show has a horrible time slot for me until Monday Night Football is over, but I love this show. It’s got a story line viewers can sink their teeth into, it moves but still has some real substance, and it’s possible to care about the characters. I’m always intrigued by the “aliens living among us” idea – see my affinity for the hangin’-by-a-thread V – and I’m hoping this one gets time.

Detroit 1-8-7: This series is proof that there actually can be truth in advertising. The network says people missing NYPD Blue will love this, and I agree. Producers just have to be careful not to make Michael Imperioli’s character, Detective Louis Fitch, too much like the complicated Andy Sipowicz. Seeing Blue alum James McDaniel on the show is interesting.

No Ordinary Family: This is the shocker of the bunch for me. I really like this show. A family of super heroes on ABC seemed destined to be a soft, kind of hokey series, but this show has an edge to it. The crime fighter angle of the character of Michael Chiklis – who was terrific in The Shield – works well, giving the show a serious side without losing the family element.

The Whole Truth: I’ve missed a couple of episodes after learning that the show was likely to get the ax. It’s a little weird “reviewing” this show after I learned that Tom Donaghy – the brother of my former fantasy football partner – created the show. I tuned in a few times because I liked the idea that we were going to know what really happened in the crime that drives each episode of the legal drama, and Maura Tierney wasn’t bad to look at. She’s still not, and the back-and-forth between her and Rob Morrow is cute, but the same two lawyers going at it each week is odd. I wish they would put it On Demand.

Unfortunately, I’m usually the kiss of death when it comes to shows I like surviving out of the gate. While I actually agree that Outlaw wasn’t up to snuff, I do not get networks pumping shows all summer just to cancel them after a few weeks. Why invest all that time advertising and money in a star like Jimmy Smits, only to bag it in within the first few weeks? It makes me think I should stick to cable series – at least they don’t cancel shows mid-season – or start renting old seasons of long running series that I never watched before.

Are they On Demand? Just kiddin’.