The New TV Season – selected reviews

Heroes

– ah, what can I say about a show that was almost perfect already? Excellent writing, acting, and intricate plots. Love it. So far, my only real complaint is, much like the Marvel universe, it already seems that more people have abilities than not. Current favorite character: Bennett.

Chuck

– Yay, Adam Baldwin gets another role. He played a gunbunny** on Josh Whedon‘s Firefly and Serenity. His character (“The man they call Jayne”) was a hard drinking, hard fighting, tough guy. Yet, Baldwin managed to bring the character some life, depth, and feeling. With only two episodes down, Baldwin, hopefully, will bring the same to Chuck.

I really doubted the premise when I first heard about it. But the downloading of a critical CIA computer into Chuck’s brain wasn’t terribly done. I wouldn’t say it would work perfectly, but it seems plausible. More fun is the interactions between the characters. We’ve all seen the spy show where the hero can’t tell his family about his CIA role, but this is subtly different. It is very much told as a comedy, without being stupid. It’s really quite an enjoyable action/adventure/comedy.

I almost see it as a worthy successor to MASH. If the writers work hard and move carefully, they may be able to create that same sense of power that MASH had. During it’s tenure, MASH did everything from the lowest of low-brow comedy to the most moving and emotional drama. I’m not saying that Chuck can do this… modern writers don’t know crap from mash potatoes with gravy. Yet, I still remain hopeful.

I can’t say that the show has any legs. It probably won’t last the season, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Besides, Yvonne Strzechowski is well worth the hour long episodes.

The Big Bang Theory

What a surprise! You know, many people gravitate to what they know. Without even realizing it, what is funny and real to us, is what we know. I don’t know what that says about the watchers of Friends, but I know that I didn’t get into that show at all. Even Ross, the brains, was more stupid goofy than entertaining. But, man, I really get this show… unfortunately, that means it won’t last the season… sigh. I have a crummy track record.
The premise is painful simple and the show must a great on CBS’ budget. Two geeks (like multiple doctorate, research scientists at MIT kind of geeks) get a new next door neighbor and she’s something of a fox. Kaley Cuoco isn’t as drop dead gorgeous as Yvonne Strzechowsk, but she attractive in a blond, next door kind of way. The two geeks and their friends are insanely socially inept and so painfully intelligent that they have lost all sense of the common.

This show, for me, is truly laugh out loud ’til it hurts funny. In reality though, this show is exactly my life around the time of meeting my wife. My friends and I (while not that geeky… OK, I won’t discuss the entire alien biochemistry based on ketones) would sit around and do geek things (mainly play spades and drink Jolt Colas until all hours of the morning*). Then, somehow, I managed a few minutes of social ept and got a gorgeous chick to come over and play cards with us. She had her pick and chose me (hah hah guys!).

Anyway, I love this show. I understand it, I sympathize with it. And if you need me to explain any of the science references, please let me know. As far as I’ve been keeping track, they’ve been right on the money… with the possible exception made for Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

Favorite Scene:  The guys are helping Penny assemble an entertainment center.  They start pointing out the flaws in the design and the lack of aesthetic appeal.  So they get to redesigning the whole thing out of aircraft grade aluminum (extra points if you know the oxidation number).  Meanwhile, Penny is busy building the thing.  Finally, she says, “Man, it’s hot in here, I’ll just take off these clothes.”  The guys respond by considering for a minute then saying, “OK, Leonard you hit the junkyard for 6 square meters of aluminum.  Raj and I will get the acetylene torch from the lab.”  And off they go.  You got to love it.

*OK, Jon once played Master of Orion all night… literally. I woke up on the living room floor and went to the restroom. He was still at my computer. I asked, “how long have you been up?” He looked at me with the thousand yard stare and slowly came to his senses. “Up?” he asked.

I said, “It’s like 7AM.” He replied, “That must be why I have to pee so bad,” and stood up. His legs, lacking nutrients from sitting in my chair for almost 13 hours gave out and he fell rapidly to the floor. I went to get breakfast.

BTW: Read that link to the Larry Niven Article… if you dare.

** I disagree with the Urban Dictionary’s listing in this case. Our definition was more, “Anyone who liked guns, had many guns, was proficient with using them, and tended to solve problems with massive applications of firepower… artillery was encouraged, but not required.

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~ by OgreMkV on October 1, 2007.

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