Alright children, before you run off and enjoy the Chrismahanakwanzakah break, it is time to hand out report cards. Some of you did very very well this semester, and some of you are Heroes. A lot of you are not that unique, but do what you do so well that you stand out. Some of you have finally hit your stride and couldn't be doing better. So many of you are doing such a great, wonderful and incredible job. And again... some of you are Heroes. So let me hand out your report cards and see who is doing well, and who is sucking big time *cough* Heroes *cough*.
Overall Grade: C
Mediocrity, thy name is Fox
Family Guy, Simpsons and American Dad (Fox) C- Yes, I lumped these 3 together, because they are all performing the same. A good episode peppered with 3 or 4 turds in between. American Dad is the most consistent of the bunch, but unlike Family Guy and Simpsons doesn't have any big standout episodes. Nothing to write home about, but nothing terrible either. Each gets a C.
Overall Grade: B
Two surprises and one huge disappointment start my weeks off with confusion.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) A- Holy crap, where did this one come from? TBBT is the Super Mario Galaxy of TV: nothing that new, nothing that unique, and nothing that original, but done so spectacularly well, it shines through the muck that surrounds it. For those out of the know, take 1 big hearted physics nerd, add 1 Aspergers roommate, a spoonful of Gynephobic Indian, a dash of smarmy Jewish gamer, and finish it off with a sweet, naive young blonde, and you get the best written dialogue this side of a Joss Whedon WGA speech. No question, an A.
Chuck (NBC) B- Chuck has surprised me. While nothing amazing yet, it has managed to capture my attention. The acting is what makes this so good, especially Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez and, of course, the incomparable Adam Baldwin. A good action/comedy movie in TV format, and just a fun ride.
Heroes (NBC) D- What the f*&k happened here? To agree completely with another friend and fan of the show, Peter is a moron. Peter is like my pug Inky. He follows those around him blindly if treated nice, and doesn't realize his potential or what he is capable of, and will sooner piss on the floor than take the time to think about his actions. Hiro's storyline sucked just as badly. While the last 3 episodes before the finale were pretty decent and well done, it doesn't make up for the other 8 or 9. I enjoyed the ultimate Adam/Kensei storyline ending that came around, but there were just too many other issues with this season to make it salvageable. Tim Kring has promised a completely revamped 3rd chapter, as was clear by the rushed finale. Let us hope he can bring back the magic. Oh, and I could care less if Nikki is dead or not.
Overall Grade: A
Tuesday nights are, as they have been since Full House aired in 1987, my favorite night of TV each week.
Reaper (CW) B- Reaper has been a mixed bag full of one trick ponies. I want to love this show more... Almost every episode follows the same formula, something that is usually reserved to children's shows. Each episode, although very similar to the last, has enough in it that is unique and special to make me look forward to this every week, but the writers better start showing something more if I am to keep watching.
House (Fox) A+ - House is currently the best program on television. 'Nuff said... but when have I been known to keep quiet? The competition that House put the applicants through was a great idea, and a lot of fun. And, not to brag, but 2 of the 3 people I said he would pick, he picked. Sometimes change is good, and House has gone through some great changes this year.
Overall Grade: B-
Further proof that NBC really knows what it is doing this year.
Bionic Woman (NBC) B- -Bionic Woman is another Chuck. Nothing overly great, but just a lot of fun and a good time. It also doesn't hurt that Michelle Ryan is not only absolutely gorgeous, but a genuinely good actress. And to confirm my suspicions, she is British, and doing a nearly flawless American accent. I would like to see more of the secondary characters get fleshed out more, and completely rid of the horrible acting of Katee Sackhoff/Sarah Corvus (sorry Battlestar fans!).
Overall Grade: B
Swan songs and dead ducks.
CSI (CBS) D- To quote myself, from September, "Why do I still watch this show?" I wish I was kidding when I say that EVERY episode has AT LEAST one "big boobs" joke... I love boobs as much as the next guy (maybe more) but grow up and be a drama with good writing, not childish jokes.
30 Rock (NBC) B- This show has yet to disappoint. A Scrubs meets the Office style show, I am sad to say I missed the first half of the first season. Tina Fey is the best, Alec Baldwin is still legitimately funny, not forced, and no character is useless or not funny. Good job 30 Rock!
The Office (NBC) A- Consistently the best written show on television, despite my early whining. A true character based sitcom that is as close to perfection as you can get. I am disappointed to say that Pam's character has plateaued and is no longer a lot of fun to watch, even though she is now always forced into tight sweaters. Now that she is with Jim, she has blossomed, but has become dull. That is, however, my ONLY complaint.
Scrubs (NBC) B- Thank goodness the writers came to their senses here. Scrubs doesn't have to be one crazy and goofy joke after another. They have yet to find that magical 2nd/3rd season magic they once had, but this is a large improvement over last year's super goofy attitude. The characters are adults this year, and are realizing that themselves. It's nice to see Scrubs mellow out and go back to what made it fun in the first place.
On a serious, closing note, I just wanted to add that, despite that so many shows will not be returning to TV as soon as I would like, I completely agree with the current writers guild strike. These extremely talented men and women should be paid for everything they create, regardless of whether it airs on national TV, a website, additional DVD content, and should be paid proper royalties without question. How Hollywood has not signed a deal yet is beyond me, but I will enjoy these shows much more knowing that the amazing talent behind my favorite shows are being compensated for their amazing body of work.