Just a few short weeks ago we took a look at the new SF/F TV shows appearing on Fall schedules near you. In that earlier post I stated that none of the new shows really appealed to me, but that was said without watching any of them. Well, a few short weeks later I’ve watched at least one episode of many of them, the ones I’ll talk about, and sometimes two.
The new shows aren’t worth the time, but the old shows are still pretty good.
Chuck – The first episode of season 4 had me worried. It felt like I was watching a warmed over remake of Get Smart rather than the old Chuck I liked. The second episode was better, but I still don’t like the way they brought the Buy More back and I feel that Chuck really loses something without the secondary characters: Jeff, Lester and Big Mike. Luckily Jeffster is back and I’m hopeful Chuck will still be as good as before. It’s ratings are down which would probably place it on the cancel block if it weren’t on NBC and if Undercovers wasn’t doing worse.
The Event – This should be termed The Non-Event. After hyping this show to hell and back we finally get to see NBC’s attempt at recreating the LOST lightning. They’ve failed. What we’ve been given is a show with boring, stereotypical characters, a cliched story and terrible writing. The only thing remotely interesting about the show is the overall idea which puts The Event into the same category as Flashforwad, doomed to fail before it started. When the leader lady tells the President in the first episode “I haven’t told you everything”, fans rejoiced that answers would be forthcoming. When in the second episode, given the chance to explain things she says, “I can’t tall you”, that’s when we realized the writers think we’re stupid, or they are, or something. So, so terrible. I don’t see this one getting a second season. It may not get it’s second half pick up.
No Ordinary Family – Even though I like Michael Chiklis, even he can’t save this show. The operative word here is boring. I just really didn’t care about any of the characters and they way the reacted to being home after being in a plane crash, all “life’s normal again! Yay!” just didn’t seem real. There was nothing there to keep me coming back.
Stargate Universe – My second favorite SF show on TV returns for season 2. I can’t say the new episodes are appreciably better then what we’ve seen before, but the hints at where the show is going are intriguing and, newsflash, Rush is a complete ass. I picture myself being on a millions of years old spaceship and think “That’s really cool. So much to work with.” The trailer for season 2 make it look like the writers will go in interesting directions. Definitely on my ‘must watch’ list.
Undercovers – The best word I can use here is ‘inoffensive’. The other word would be ‘boring’ (sense a theme?). This feels like Chuck without the humor or the geek cred. Although seeing Gugu Mbatha-Raw in her skivvies was interesting, if gratuitous. Did I mention the cliche storyline? Pass, even if it is J.J. Abrams.
Fringe – Hands down, bar none the best SF show on TV and probably one of the best shows period. I had my misgivings about the show early on when it was all about the monster of the week, but now that the dueling dimensions story is in full swing, Fringe is terrific. John Noble is masterful as bother Walter Bishop and Walternate. How that man hasn’t won an Emmy is beyond me. And while I’m still not all that fond of original Olivia, Fringe is a ‘must see’ for me and the one show I watch as soon as I can after it airs.
Sym-bionic Titan – Just for grins I took a shot at watching the first three episodes of this. I can say that it’s just not my cup of tea. It feels like a cross between Power Rangers, Transformers and Teen Titans. I like the look of the show, Tartakovsy’s influence is evident, but it tries to straddle the line between being a more mature show (the bad guy snaps the neck of a rebel fighter a la Darth Vader) and something aimed at the younger set with its ‘fish out of water’ setting.
So none of the new shows are doing anything for me. I may skim The Event just to see where the mythology side goes (I think they are actually humans from the far future, at least that would explain leader lady not saying anything when given the opportunity). As it is, it looks like I’m down to three shows I’ll watch regularly, Chuck, Stargate Universe and Fringe. At least I won’t have to waste my time, or DVR space, on that other dreck.