New TV Season Review Part One

The new TV season is here, the new TV season is here! 

OK, it’s not really that exciting.  In fact it’s far less exciting than previous seasons.  But hey, in an age where there are multiple “new seasons” throughout the year thanks to cable, it really isn’t possible to have the fall TV season, a cornucopia of new shows and new episodes of returning shows; to be as big a deal as it once was.

Still, it’s the biggest collection of brand new shows to premiere within a 4 to 6 week time period all year.  The summer cable season, and the midseason replacement season are all much smaller fares.  So here’s a glimpse of some of the new and returning shows that I managed to catch thanks to the miracle of on demand.

The New Shows

Two Broke Girls:  The gist of the show is two waitresses working in a two bit Brooklyn diner.  The twist is that one is a newly broke heiress of a Madoff type mogul.  The other is an always broke streetwise mouthy bitch who must break in her new waitress co-worker into the world of living just on the edge.  The problem is, that spin on the show is boring because to make it work the former heiress Caroline (Beth Behrs) would have to be interesting.  So far she isn’t.  On the other hand, the streetwise waitress Max (Kat Dennings) is a delight.  Her character, being a smartass, gets all the best lines.  Plus she has great cans.  She’s interesting enough to watch the show just for her.  Obviously that won’t sustain the show over the long haul but I’ll give it a few more episodes and see if the rest of the show catches up with her.

Ringer:  Sarah Michelle Gellar is the draw to this or at least the draw for me.  This hour long CW drama has Gellar playing two roles of twin sisters; one a snooty married socialite and the other an ex addict, ex hooker.  Yes I know it’s the typical twin scenario.  Anyway, rich socialite twin apparently dies, and ex addict-ex hooker twin takes her place and discovers she has been up to all sorts of shenanigans.

My take?  This show is way too complicated.  There are too many mysteries, too many loose ends, and unless I want to keep running spreadsheets of the various clues, I’m not going to get it.  Sorry Buffy, I’ll have to bail.

The Returning Shows

Two and a Half Men:  I’m not a regular viewer although I’ve seen enough episodes to get the general idea of the show, and since Charlie Sheen’s crazed breakdown and firing from the long running series, I’m sure everyone else has gotten the general idea by now.  The real interest for me was how they were going to integrate new series regular Ashton Kutcher into the show without totally fucking it up.

Surprisingly, I think they figured it out.

Kutcher’s character is a recently divorced internet billionaire attempting to commit suicide in front of the recently departed Charlie’s Malibu beach house. The surviving brother Alan tries to do the right thing and talk him into life being worth living again by taking him to a bar.  Yes, there is nothing like a bar to renew your desire for life.  Although in this case it works and Kutcher’s character ends up buying the beach house.  Implausible?  Yes, but only in real life.  For TV it makes perfect sense, or at least just sense enough to work.  So congrats to the writers for at least giving this show a chance to go on without its star.

Community:  Of all the returning shows, this is the one I was looking forward to the most.  My son had gotten the Season 1 on DVD and every time I walked by the living room I found myself stopping, watching , and laughing.  To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, life’s too short to watch reruns, but I found myself watching these shows over and over.  It really is one of the most cleverly written shows on television that you’ve probably never watched.  So watching the season premiere last week I found myself … disappointed.  Part of that I put off to expectations and part of it I put to the necessary setup that is always required when shows shift their focus.  Still, I’m hopeful.  The subplot, involving Abed needing to find a new favorite TV show with the delay of the return of Cougar Town was hilarious, so I’m confident the show will quickly find it’s familiar grove.

I’m just shallow enough that I think I can get a few more posts about this so I’ll see what I can come up with next week.

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