Sunday, 5 October 2008

Of The New Television Season

Yup it’s that time again, the beginning of the television season. So with all the shows back (except for 30 Rock which starts in about a month and those mid-season shows), here is my list of the favourite first episodes of the season in descending order i.e. 1-Heroes.

The Office: Weight Loss

The Office Season 5 premiere was superb. I haven’t laughed so much in a while. From Michael ripping up the tickets when Holly invited him out for a date to Angela going off to sleep with Dwight whenever her fiancé Andy spoke to her, it was all hilarious. There was even the continuation of the one of the shows best practical jokes, Holly thinking that Kevin is mentally disabled, leading to an extremely awkward scene when she is proved. But perhaps greatest of all was Jim proposing to Pam, at first I thought he was going to break things off for a while, but he actually proposed!!! Yes The Office does work better as 20 minutes rather 40, but if the longer episodes maintain this level of quality I really don’t care.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Samson and Delilah

I started watching Sarah Connor Chronicles over the summer and it was definitely interesting. However it was season 2 that has gotten me truly hooked. In this pilot we got an answer to the question ‘what happens when a good Terminator goes bad?’ What followed was 40 minutes of Cameron chasing John and Sarah in the aftermath of the explosion that finished season 2. The season has only continued to get better since this episode, with the last 2 episodes being particularly great. Sarah Connor also proved in this episode and the season 1 finale that it is the best show for choosing songs to be put over action scenes. Finally this episode also introduced to a type of Terminator not seen since 1992 in the second Terminator film for what promises to be a truly great season.

Pushing Daisies:

Pushing Daisies is back! This episode leaps right into the shows amazingly fast paced dialogue and primary colour palette. It had everything that we could possibly want from an episode of Pushing Daisies. Interesting murders, wacky characters, plenty of twists and some of the best set design on television. The fact that this show creates brand new locales for every episode is particularly amazing. This week we’re at a honey make-up facility, next week at the circus and then god knows where. It was cool to see the aunts finally coming out of the house and great to see that everything unanswered from last season came up last episode, Chuck’s dad, Ned’s dad, Lilly being Chuck’s mother, Emerson having a lost daughter (as well as his fascination with pop-up books) and Olive being a ‘sawn-off shotgun full of secrets.’ It’s great to have the wackiest show on television back.

How I Met Your Mother: Do I Know You?

How I Met Your Mother returned to screens in its normal hilarity. A lot happened in these 20 minutes. Stella said yes to Ted. Barney is still pining for Robyn and Marshall is still unemployed. How I Met Your Mother really does have the most heart of any show on television at the moment but it’s also the funniest, yes I did rank The Office higher but How I Met Your Mother I believe is the funnier show. If only for Neil Patrick Harris and the awesome amount of awesomeness that he brings to Barney and every single thing he does and says. I’ll be back every week to sample the 20 minutes of awesome that this show brings week in week out.

Dexter: Our Father

My number 2 show of 2007 is back with a slightly weaker season opening. That is in no way a bad thing, because Dexter always takes a few weeks to show you where the show is going to take you this year. In season 1 it was Dexter versus a serial killer. In season 2 it was Dexter versus the Miami Police Department. This year I don’t know where the series is going to go but I do know that it will revolve around this years special guest star Jimmy Smits. By the time that the season gets into its story proper, I have no doubt that the tension starts to rise and the action gets incredible just like the past two seasons have shown why Dexter is one of the best shows on the television, even if Doakes is sadly no longer part of the cast.

Chuck versus the First Date

Chuck is again back. This episode is technically a second pilot for the show, to reintroduce those people who haven’t seen the show since January. It does a great job. It was great to see the ‘Chuck must die’ story come back and the ending leaves a lot of questions. What does Fulcrum really want? Will Chuck and Sarah actually get together? Will Casey ever cease to be awesome? The show is a great set up to one of the most fun shows on television. Whilst it’s not a masterpiece like The Wire nor do you have to concentrate for 40 minutes like Veronica Mars or Lost, its just great fun to watch Chuck muddle his way through work, love and spies.

My Name is Earl: The Magic Hour

My Name is Earl fell from my graces last year. I thoroughly enjoyed season 1 but seasons 2 and 3 seemed to have lost the magic. However this and the following 3 episodes are beginning to restore my faith in the show. Whilst it will never be as funny as The Office or How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl may just be able to find what made its first season so great, particularly if it keeps up the big name guest stars like Seth Green (quite possibly the highlight of the season 4 premiere).


Fringe the only new show on the list, from J. J. Abrams, the man who created Lost. Fringe could definitely turn out to be a great show. However so far it is just showing a great potential. The cast is great, the effects are good, and all the fringe science is really cool. It’s just there is something missing, which I sincerely hope that they find because this show could quickly turn to be one masterpiece of a show. However I will say that it truly is Damon Lindelof that made Lost what it is, even if J.J is the person who gets most of credit for creating the show (also we can’t talk about Damon unless we mention Carlton Cuse as well, because those two are the best writers in the television world. Period.)

Heroes: The Second Coming

Heroes, Heroes, Heroes. Goddamn it! Get your finger out. This season should be awesome!!!! It’s all fucking there!!! Heroes, Villains, Superpowers, you’ve shown you can make that awesome, just look at season 1!!!! Please I have so much faith that you’ll turn this around. So far you’ve not been bad but there’s so much you’ve wasted. Focus on one or two storylines an episode, don’t do the future thing again next year and get rid of the fucking Mopider story. You’ve got one of the best casts on television, Zachary Quinto, Kristin Bell, Masi Oka, Greg Grunberg, Hayden Panettiere and Jack Coleman, plus that’s just main characters!! Christopher Eccleston, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Tobolowsky, George Takei, Jamie Hector, Francis Capra, Andre Royo, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer!!!! Really it’s not the actors fault at all with all that awesomeness in one place it should be easy to make this incredible, but it’s the writing that brings this down. Too many stories in on episode make it feel bloated as does the repetition the show has. On paper season 3 sounds great, it’s just the execution that hasn’t impressed me so far. So please make the show as great as it used to be, a true rival to Lost’s thrown as best show on television.

That’s the current television first episode reviews (except for 30 Rock) for you. It might not be all of them, but it’s the ones that I watch. Now I’m looking forward to new Lost, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’ new show ‘Cupid’ next year. Television is only set to be getting more awesome.

However I do have plea to all American readers. Please, please, please don’t let Pushing Daisies, Chuck or Terminator get cancelled. Viewing figures for these shows are down and the networks might just cancel them. Please save the shows. Save them please. We don’t the Old Adventures of New Christine or Knight Rider to survive if it means Pushing Daisies will die. If they do die then I’ll just have another reason to hate Americans (along with your butchering of Red Dwarf, Sarah Palin and the cancelling of Veronica Mars). Don’t come to me crying when you realise that 90% of television is shit if you won’t save the shows that truly deserve to survive. Unlike horse shit that’s being going on far too long *cough*According to Jim*cough*Boston Legal*cough*Smallville*cough.

No clear up this time, it’s still exactly the same as last time just minus this post so look for movie and book reviews (this will be all the television (unless something amazing happens) until my top 10 shows of 2008.)


IaSg14 said...

I agree with your list, but I still think Heroes is doing the 'build-up' game. They're not going full barrel now because it leaves nothing for later.
I can almost promise that Heroes is going to be near 100% as awesome when they bring in Arthur Petrelli and the confrontation between Ando and Hiro, then again I say 'almost promise' because it could become emotional and crap with Arthur, so yeah. I agree with you when you say Heroes writers need to pull their fingers out and listen to the fans instead of the executives.

Nquoid, what about South Park? 'The China Probrem', October 8th? SOMEBODY GETS RAPED!!!

Nquoid said...

The reason I haven't put in South Park is because technically it is episode 8 of season 12, not the first episode. All these shows have had their first episode in September or very early October (Pushing Daisies being the last on this). I may have to deal with South Park at a later time.