Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

New TV Season: How's it treating you?

I'm sure it's not an accident that the new TV season starts premiering around the time of the Emmys but it's not always a flattering coincidence. Every year the season kicks off with much fanfare. One year later it's the same old stuff (or some variation) that gets the awards (with the occasional happy exception of Arrested Development).

Still, I'm optimistic about this year so far. That's part of the pattern, and maybe I'm just more intrigued my shows that aspire to be Lost or Arrested Development than those that aspire to be the next Extreme Makeover. At any rate, I'm kind of digging what I've seen so far. We'll have a more detailed analysis of new shows in a couple of weeks, but here's some first impressions from having set the TiVo on "sample" for the past week.

Invasion: Watched this last night after Lost. I've long held that there's never been a bad version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Invasion clearly has Body Snatchers has its inspiration (albeit uncredited as far as I can tell). Whether it can sustain that story over a season remains to be seen. Creator Shaun Cassidy uses broad strokes in the pilot. The cast's UFO nut mentions UFOs in his first exchange and the happy couple is almost too perfect to be believed. It's too broad for my taste, but the pilot has to do a lot of work, so that's kind of understandable. I'm on board for at least another episode.

My Name Is Earl: So far it's my favorite of the new shows. I was skeptical that it would be the TV equivalent of Joe Dirt (all redneck jokes made my people who've probably never met a redneck). Creator Gregory Thomas Garcia mentioned King Of The Hill and Raising Arizona as his inspirations, and the show's true to both. I like the idea of a sitcom that's about penance, self-discovery, and really crude humor all at once, too.

(And speaking of King Of The Hill: This is the last season? Bummer. Ten seasons is a nice run, but that show has never suffered a dip in quality in my book. It will be missed. Better enjoy it while we can.)

Bones: Ah, a procedural with an emphasis on forensics. Where did they come up with that idea? I like David Boreanaz and Emily "I'm Not Zooey" Deschanel as the lead, but I'm just not into this type of show. I group the whole CSI and Law and Order family into a school I call "Inlaw Shows," since I've only ever watched them while visiting my wife's parents. As far as I know, the only air in the greater Tampa area.

Supernatural: Or, as my wife has re-dubbed it: Hot Ghost Hunters. In the first episode the Hot Ghost Hunters hunt a hot ghost. I don't see this going anywhere good.

Kitchen Confidential: I'll stick around because I like the cast and setting but this a little precious for me. It goes down okay, but the Darren Starr aftertaste is a little unpleasant.

Finally, The Office. I'm just catching up with this. I was skeptical about the American version but I am so on board now.

Still in the cue: Reunion and Threshold. A TiVo error lost How I Met Your Mother but I'm intrigued by that. Anyone seen/liked/hated any of these? It's all just build up to Ghost Whisperer anyway.