Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Beer goggles

Subject: TV
Last week, when I posted all those little enthusiastic blurbs about my usual Monday-night network TV shows, I had -- go figure -- a couple of beers. I was taking Thanksgiving week off from work, so why not?

This week, sober and working, I wasn't as enthralled. Go figure. Anyway, here's the quick roundup.

"Torchwood" -- I'm losing a bit of interest in this, even as they're trying to spice it up rather blatantly. The characters aren't quite doing it for me -- they're mistaking sexual shennanigans for chemistry, and that gets kind of boring, especially when layered on a "monster-of-the-week" scenario. Plus, Captain Jack just doesn't come off as cool as he could; little tidbits about his mysterious existence are almost too obvious, and they don't make up for the way he oozes smarminess. And all the other characters are written with gaping, obvious faults in a way that's just trying too hard to balance out their supposed strengths -- like they're trying to make the characters "humanly flawed", or even "complex", but seem to just be two-note transparent to me.

"Dexter" -- Yeah, last week I was totally in "I called it" mode; this week it was even more painfully obvious what was going on. And then, and then, they go ahead and completely telegraph that "yeah, that's right, that's what we did here". And the side-stories, like I had observed from the get-go, are a rather weak attempt to broaden the scope of the show, and are generally forgettable. It's still got it's moments, but it sure ain't no "Deadwood" or "Sopranos" replacement, that's for sure.

"Heroes" -- Hrm. So now we go back in time and see the origins of most of the freak... er, "genetically evolved". We even get to see how Sylar gets started. Of course, Hiro learns a "valuable lesson" in the matters of time continuity, Niki has an excuse for "Jessica-mode", and a bunch of other insightful tidbits. Which then brings us right to where we left off previously. And, oh, that "previously" and "next time" announcer voice, and tone, and writing -- and everything about it -- totally sucks. I don't mean Mohinder's narration, I mean the network bits before and after. Gah.

"Studio 60" -- Probably the least annoying out of the week, though the overall premise is really showing how thin it is. I'm starting to get annoyed that Jordan is so lacking in presence for a woman who's supposed to be a fast-track executive. I know there's supposed to be some attempt at giving her some human weakness (again with the "complex"!), but, well, she's no C.J. Otherwise, there are still some witty moments, and the rest of the characters have enjoyable aspects.

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