This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Epth Nation Super Great 2005 Fall TV Preview

This year's crop of new shows is like one of those crops you get from a field -- we don't know how it will taste, but it sure looks average. What shows should you try? Which shows should you stay away from as if they were poisoned by bad pesticide? I don't know, and you should make these decisions for yourself. This isn't Russia.

First, the prospects for the returning shows I watch:
The Simpsons -- I caught the season premiere the other night, and it was kinda funny(but very surreal and "out there"). At 300+ episodes, they're really just recycling old plots for the 5th time now, so I don't know how much longer it can go. I guess as long as the ratings are high, the show will still exist. It's not like the show has jumped the shark, it's just that it's not fresh any more. They need to kill off another character. I nominate Lisa.

Alias -- Let me just say that I'm highly skeptical that Alias can pull off a season with Jennifer Garner pregnant and taking a reduced role in the show. Without her, it's just a bunch of scummy spies out there chasing after a 500-year-old inventor. Also disturbing are the rumblings I'm hearing about a couple members of the cast being written out of the show. I'm not going to spoil it for any viewers who don't wish to know, but it's common knowledge that at least one character is gone, and another is probably gone (unless it's all a pratical joke on Alias fans to keep them guessing, which would be brilliant). After last year's finale, it seemed impossible that this year could totally suck. They have possibly made the impossible possible now. I blame Ben Affleck.

Arrested Development -- Not only is Chachi taking over for Fonzi as the family lawyer (maybe they'll have some sort of "Charles in Charge" reunion tribute with Willie Aames, Nicole Eggert, that other chick, John Travolta's mom, and that guy who's dead now), but Charlize Theron will be guest starring! Of all the returning shows, I'm actually the most excited about this one. Starts next monday at 7pm real time (central time) -- if you're a Neilsen family, you better watch, or bad things may happen to you.

Survivor -- After last year's revival, they should have learned their lesson. They didn't. This show will suck this year. Bank on it.

The Office -- Universally recognized as having gotten better as the six-episode opening season progressed, this show gets a full season this year. It will be cancelled because of low ratings mid-season, but that's ok. We will still have Arrested. Maybe the girl who plays Pam (who is the Tito Horford of television -- tons of potential but never does anything with it) will actually show up and not sleep-act this year.

Medium, NBC -- Stars Patricia Arquette, who is simultaneously ugly and boring (least talented Arquette? That's saying something), as a "medium," which is evil, but this show claims she's good. I vow to only watch this show if the main character is killed off. Hey, they did it with "Valerie," which starred Jason Bateman of Arrested, which you should watch, if you're a Neilsen family.

After Freaks & Geeks, I feel like I have to take matters into my own hands when shows I really like are in danger of being cancelled. It's a very helpless feeling, this liking something whose fate is decided by faceless morons I don't know and snakes in suits who are just out to make a buck. I'm still shocked they didn't cancel Arrested this summer. Fox, I salute you for keeping a show on just because it wins Emmys.

NBC -- Remember when they were #1?
Surface -- A hot girl, a dude, and a little boy investigate strange goings-on in the sea. Is it the X-Files underwater? Seaquest DSV without Roy Scheider or a ship? V with fishes instead of lizards? Lost with people who aren't lost? Nobody knows. All I know is that this show features a government cover-up, and that's so 2003.

My Name is Earl -- Can a sitcom starring the great Jason Lee as a hick who wants to save himself by balancing his Karma be bad? Probably, if it also stars the criminally overrated Jaime Pressley. Still, at least this has the potential to deliver the goods, unlike...

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart -- noted inside trader and spoiled banshee Martha Stewart picks who gets to lick her boots clean every day. Normally, when you go to prison, the world forgets about you. With Martha, all the housefraus who loved her methods of making fantastic things out of common household items followed her every move within the penal system, making her an even bigger "star" than she was before. I still think the show will fail, because it's hard to imagine any man watching this, and that cuts out 49% of the potential audience before it starts.

E-Ring -- on the one hand, it stars Dennis Hopper and Benjamin Bratt (who I've always secretly thought was the best of the Law & Order former detectives), and it's about the Pentagon, which is at least kind of an interesting angle. On the other hand, it's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and it's named fricking "E-Ring," which sounds like either a horror movie or an internet gimmick. On balance, it will probably E-suck.

Inconceivable -- Isn't that a word that has been ruined by the guy in "The Princess Bride"? Can't we put it to rest? In my head, I keep pronouncing it "incontheivable." It's impossible to say without smiling. So, where does that leave this sexy new drama set in a fertility clinic that stars Ming-Na and Angie Harmon? Well, it's brought to you by the producers of Smallville, so if you like that crappy show, you might like this.

Why is Angie Harmon not back on L & O where she belongs? What has to be done to make that happen? Sam Waterston dressed in a tutu, begging? NBC needs to hook that up, and stop messing around with these other shows.

ABC -- Peter Jennings is dead.

Emily's Reasons Why Not -- Heather Graham stars as yet another of those mythical TV hot girls who has a hard time finding a man. The working title should have been, "You're f___ing Heather Graham, and could have any single man you want, so figure it the f___ out." At least, as the title suggests, the character's going to start using some discernment. My prediction: People will watch this show in droves, and it will become my nemesis.

What About Brian -- From what I can tell, this looks like a male version of Ally McBeal, only with no lawyers. Man likes his best friend's girl, man is 34 and single, man has a sister who's trying to have babies, man is boring and we have nothing to learn from him. That's pretty much it, except that it's from the producers of Alias, so there'll be a lot of talk of Rambaldi Boxes and Evil Dopplegangers and Zombie Nadia. Just kidding.

Commander in Chief -- Geena Davis as our most unlikely President, and Donald Sutherland as the scum who hates women and loves power. With a premise like that, the bad episodes practically write themselves! Mid-season they're going to bring in Heather Locklear as Sec. of State and have a presidential catfight. It'll be awesome.

-- In case you were wondering which network would be the first to give Freddie Prinze, Jr. his own sitcom to make up for the death of his father, the answer is ABC. Is there any wonder why ABC is trailing in the ratings? It's Freddie and a bunch of crazy women. America already rejected that when it was called The House of Yes. Eww, that's right, I went there.

Invasion -- One of the happy side-effects of shows like Lost being successful is networks will be temporarily willing to try dramas filled with long story arcs and weird crap going on again. This show is hurt by the fact that it's about the aftermath of a hurricane, and we watch TV to escape from reality. It could be good, though. I know I'll at least try it, which is more than I can say for most of the new fall TV shows.

Night Stalker -- Speaking of weird crap, ABC thought it would be a good time to remake the old TV show Kolchak: The Night Stalker, starring Darrin McGavin. Does the world need this, and if it did, could they at least give Carl Kolchak a name that's a little easier to say? Oh, well -- at least it's not a reality show.

Hot Properties -- Because Sex and the City's departure has left a hole in our hearts, we need this show about 4 women dealing with men to fill us up again, America. It's strange, though -- I wouldn't think Nicole Sullivan from Mad TV would be good on a show like that. I guess we'll just have to trust that ABC knows what they're doing, since their instincts are so demonstrably good.
In other news, something's happened to Gail O' Grady so that she's now smokin'. We'll see if that saves this show.

And yes, I am still bitter over ABC's cancelling of Mulholland Drive in 2000 or whatever.

Next time: CBS -- Number One, and Not Just Among the Old.


  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger Dave said…

    Since I'm a big Kevin Smith fan, I've always liked Jason Lee. I'm looking forward to My Name is Earl, but I am also realistic. This won't fit the "norm", so it will only be on the air for six episodes. I will thoroughly enjoy those six episodes and anxiously await for its move over to UPN or the WB, maybe even FOX.

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Isn't it sad that we automatically assume that any show that's good is going to be cancelled? Yes, it is.

  • At 11:20 PM, Blogger Jennifer Aguiar said…

    HBO's The Complete girls Season 3 DVD Box Set is getting a little extra oomph for its  third season, in the form of Jon Hamm's   gal.HBO has officially announced a third-season pickup of Lena Dunham’s comedy Girls, which has received a 12-episode order, up from 10 for the first two seasons. HBO has been making preparations for girls Season 3 DVD Box Setfor the last couple of months. The network closed a new overall deal with executive producer Jenni Konner to return as co-showrunner alongside creator/star/executive  producer Dunham. The duo, who executive produce Girls with Judd Apatow, have assembled a writing  team, with Paul Simms replacing Bruce Eric Kaplan as co-executive producer as Kaplan is busy working on his HBO pilot. (He remains involved with Girls). The writers have already been working on scripts for Season 3 in anticipation of a pickup. Dunham inadvertently confirmed the renewal on Alec Baldwin’s podcast earlier this week. girls Season 3 DVD Box Set  is expected to film on the stage used by Baldwin’s departing 30 Rock at Silvercup Studios.


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