Monday, September 24, 2007

TV Monday, or How Heroes is the most overrated show on the air

It's premiere week!
Most of my favourite shows are returning and now that I have a tv and a less crowded social life (read: mostly non-existent, but slowly working on it) I can revel in watching loads and loads of tv!!
My idea is to blog about the shows that I watch this week.
It'll be like Watch with Manuel.

(Some spoilers ahead)

8:00 - How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
I only caught up with HIMYM yesterday, having finished watching the second season so I was more than anxious to hear Neil Patrick Harris finish saying '...dary!' at the beginning of the episode. The gang is back - Ted with breakup beard (and making out with Mandy Moore), Robin back from Argentina (and dating Enrique Iglesias... who only American TV would cast as an 'Argentinian'), married Lily and Marshall and ever so funny Barney. The episode was tres funny as we watched Ted bounce back (and gets 'wings' of his own, in a matter of speaking - the joke is too funny to have it ruined, trust me). Enrique and Mandy were okay - as was the unabashed Mandy CD plug at the end of the episode. The season promises to be a really fun one - now, all we need to know is how Ted ACTUALLY met his as-yet-unborn-and-yet-unnamed kids' Mother... We do know she owns a yellow umbrella, hm...

Favourite part of the episode: Barney saying "We're gonna get Cirque du So-laid!"

8:30 - Last 1/2 hr of Chuck (NBC)
Spies and geeks? Yah-hah, that had me intrigued, and also being a Whedon-fan I had to tune in and see what Jayne was up to. Good thing NBC has had Chuck plastered all over the web, NYC billboards and tv ads: it made tuning in half an hour late easier as I knew the basic premise. The concept sounds funny and I'm sure many girls (and boys) will swoon over Zachary Levi (he has that Krasinski look going for him) but I'm not sold. Was it funny? Yes. Entertaining? Sure. It was also very sleek-looking (both in terms of cinematography and art direction for a TV show - that scene on the roof for example looked amazing) but there was something missing. I mean, I rather have my spies be chiseled like Michael Vartan and Jen Garner, and I rather have my quick-wit Gilmore-style, but the combo somehow feels forced. Nice twist at the end with what Chuck sees from a certain surveillance camera, but I guess my Monday's will have to be okay without the Geek Squad.

Favourite part of the episode: Awkward dinner talk - "I could be your baggage carrier"

9:00 - Heroes (NBC)
That said, I would take any episode of Chuck over an episode of Heroes. Everyone loves it I know, and hey, it actually is a good premise. I enjoy it more when it's called X-men and it's written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday, or when it is directed by Bryan Singer and stars Hugh Jackman, hey I'll even take it when it airs on Saturday mornings in the form of cartoons... But I digress. I don't follow it, I've only seen a handful of episodes, but I have the same problems with it over and over again. It tries too hard: to be hip, to be geek-chic, to be cool, to be 'cult' and it isn't helped by lackluster writing. I went in knowing vaguely about where we were at since I watched the season finale on the plane on my way here and even if I hadn't I will give the writers props for giving a 'just-tuned-in' audience a good briefing. That also meant that we spent the first half-hour visiting different 'Heroes' and seeing where they were at: Clare's at a new school, we don't know what happened to Peter, Hiro is in the past, etc. But even as I was watching I could see the show wanting (in a very LOST-esque way) to lure me into asking endless questions that the season will unravel for me if I devote one hour of my life to the show. I think back fondly on techniques like this when they were used sparingly (think seeing Michelle Trachtenberg and SMG fighting at the end of 'Dracula' and hearing the collective gasp of the buffy-fandom going wtf?!) but here, Heroes tries to set so many stories into place the episode felt like a good warm-up that didn't deliver anything substantial, only questions:
Where was Peter, how did he get there (and who did his hair? Cause they need a raise)?
Who's that creepy kid in Clare's school and what does he know?
What are Clare's dad and Indian guy working on?
What's the Sensei symbol doing all over the effing episode?
What will Hiro do?
Who committed that murder at the end?
etc etc...
Too much for too little. (Also - no Ali Larter? Who does Tim Kring think he is?)
That said, what Heroes lacks in writing it tries to make up in casting: as an ALIAS fan, I was happy to see my fave Brit-villain back in the tube in the random role of Takezo Sensei.

Favourite part of the show: Anders punching Hiro.

1 comment:

mercedes said...

What? No review for 'The Big Bang Theory'? Well here's my Haiku Review for that one:

CBS nerd show
So very cliché it hurts
Laugh track overload

Though I did love this exchange between the two nerds about their new female neighbor.

Leonard: Should we have invited her for lunch?

Sheldon: No, we're going to start season two of Battlestar Galactica.

Leonard: We already watched the season two DVDs

Sheldon: Not with commentary!

BTW: For geeks, these guys have amazing furniture from Pottery Barn. Their set designer must be Nate Berkus.