Thursday, September 29, 2016


This is a very busy time for TV addicts.  It's the start of the fall season, with old favorites (the ones that have not been canceled) returning and a host of new shows to check out.  This year for many of the old shows returning there is a new look.  NCIS lost Tony DiNozzo (who is now starring in Bull, which follows NCIS) and he has been replaced by two or three new people.  I haven't figure it out yet.  It will take a few episodes for me to start to accept them as part of the family.  There are two big losses with DiNozzo and that is first, his father (Robert Wagner) and then all of those glib movie references he used to make.  I note with some amusement that all of the now old timers are doing it -- McGee, Bishop and Palmer especially.  They make a movie reference and then look at each other in amazement, realizing what they have said.  it's as odd as Penny quoting Star Wars on The Big Bang Theory.

The first show of the new season for Criminal Minds started tonight too.  I haven't figured out yet who is out and who is in and where the hell they all were.  That's going to take some getting used to too.

(Thank goodness there are marathons of old shows every day, just about, if I find the need for the way things were)

But this is the time of year when I make important life decisions that I often end up regretting every time Emmy award nominations are read.  Blue Bloods has now had such a long life that I regret never having watched it.  I'm sure I would have liked it, but like many things I had to choose between that and something else when it first started.  There probably were two other shows I wanted to watch in the same time slot so I couldn't even record it.  Now it's been around so long and has become such a respected program that I feel I lost out on something special.

I feel that way about Veep every year too because until my Veep marathon last weekend, I had never seen a single episode of the show, and yet it seems that Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes home the Emmy for best actress in a comedy every year and it was not until last weekend that I understood why.  I also understood why the writers win year after year too.  It always upsets me that they beat out Big Bang Theory, which I think is some of the most clever writing on TV, but Veep is pretty darn good.

There have been other shows that I have not started watching because I decided to go with another show instead, and then the one I decided not to watch ends up having longevity and acclaim and my own choice is canceled after one season.

So far I'm happy with the choices I have made so far this new season.  Someone told me that Bull was a disappointment, but I guess I'm not all that discerning because I've enjoyed the two episodes that I saw.  But if it is indeed as week as they say it is, it will probably be canceled.  What I liked from Episode 1 to Episode 2 is that by Episode 2 Michael Weatherly was starting to slip into his "Bull" character and leave Tony DiNozzo, the 50 year old smart aleck that never grew out of college humor, behind.  I hope the show makes it, since I've staked my television watching on it.

I am not a sitcom person any more, but I was hoping that the new Speechless was going to be good.  And it is.  Minnie Driver is the mother of 3 kids, one of whom has cerebral palsy and the story covers the strange situations that come up with a kid with disabilities who can't talk.  I really wanted it to be good for Rob Rummel-Hudson and daughter Schuyler, who uses a computer to speak for her. What I like about the show is that it treats the handicapped kid as normal as the other kids, though his mother tends to dote on him too much, but he's now getting older and having his own ideas and making his wishes known in often funny ways.  Micah Fowler, who plays JJ, the kid with cerebral palsy has the condition himself and he's marvelous.  Also took me awhile to recognize John Ross Bowie, Minnie Driver's character's husband.  I knew I had seen him before and then realized he is the guy who plays the obnoxious Barry Kripke, with a speech impediment, on Big Bang Theory.

I think this show is going to make it.  Just read this review from the San Francisco Chronicle:
The show is a perfect balance of comedy and heart, and the performances are superior on every level. Micah Fowler, though: wow. He doesn’t utter a word, but he communicates more than words could ever say with facial expressions and the inflections of his monotone responses to life around him. There’s no BS about J.J. He’s centered, smart and determined. Fowler delivers one of the most eloquent, Emmy-worthy performances you’ll ever see. He makes you feel sorry that every other kid in the world isn’t as great as J.J.
I also like the show because Jeri's husband Phil has been caring for a young man with cerebral palsy for several years now and when I watch JJ's helper with him, it reminds me of Phil and what he has done for his charge.

I watched The Good Place, another sit com, where Kristen Bell's character wakes up dead and learns, Ted Danson tells her, she is in "the good place."  Because of her good works they have prepared a home for her with all of her favorite things.  Only they aren't her favorite things and her death resume is of someone else, so she's trying to figure out how to get back.  It's cute, but I think it is not going to hold my interest.  I'm always interested in the afterlife and I like Ted Danson, though he's one of those actors whose name I can never remember.  I know he was Sam Malone on Cheers.  I know he's married to Mary Steenburgan.  I know he's not Alan Alda or Sam Waterson, but I almost always have to look him up to remember his name.

How to Get Away with Murder is another show I decided not to watch which gets a lot of acclaim now.  I didn't watch it for two reasons -- the story of a class of law students and their professor (Viola Davis) was so convoluted and filmed so dark much of the time that I couldn't make heads or tails of it.  But Davis has won a couple of Emmys and critics call the show "the best show on television," and with a creator like Shonda Rimes could it be otherwise.  The main reason I didn't watch, though, is I just hate Davis' character's heavy make up, particularly the red-red lips, all the rage now, that look like she's been hit in the face by a ripe tomato (as my father used to say to me when I wore makeup).

(Unnaturally red lips seem to be all the rage now and though in the days when I wore lipstick, red ws my favorite, they just make me shudder now.)

I'm looking forward to the first episode of Timeless this week.  It seems to be a time travel series where people try to go back and prevent bad things from happening.  The previews show them trying to stop the crash of the Hindenburg.  I know from watching Star Trek's "City on the Edge of Forever" and reading Stephen King's "11/22/63" the havoc that can be wrought by well-meaning people trying to change the past and how it can cause disaster in the future, so I'm wondering how this show is going to sustain a series.

Lucifer is back, that weird show about Lucifer Morningstar, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the beauty of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals". Lucifer runs a piano bar, with the assistance of his demonic ally Mazikeen or "Maze." The longer he stays on earth, the more human and less demon he becomes and he begins to notice that his superhuman powers are fading.  There's also an attraction for a homicide detective and though he freely tells her his real identity she never believes him.  I very much enjoyed the first season and I'm glad to see that it's back.

Speaking of superhuman powers in someone hiding his true identity, what happened to Forever about the guy who couldn't die and kept reappearing as a young man, at this time working with his now elderly son (Judd Hirsch).  I enjoyed that show and don't see it on the new schedules.  Yet.  I hate it when a show I have come to really enjoy just disappears without a word of explanation.

That's not likely to happen to The Americans, that cold war spy series focusing on a Russian couple in a sleeper cell, raising two typical American kids who have no idea that when Mom goes out she's probably going to be having sex with someone and then killing them, or that Dad is married to another woman whom he married so she could spy for him. (She's gone now, poor clueless dear--learning his identity and shipped off to Russia to start a new life). The latest season hasn't started yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

So many shows, so little time, though Comcast has helped greatly by giving us tons more recording space, so I don't have to spend so much time juggling which shows I need to watch right away because something else needs to be recorded in its place.

Ahhh...the life of a TV addict is such a busy one.

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