October 6, 2008

More Season Premieres

I watch so many shows in the course of a week that sometimes I can't watch them all in one week or at least not in one work-week. But thanks to TiVo, I don't have to. So over the weekend, I got caught up on Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Chuck.

Chuck - I thought it started out strong, just as it had ended. I was glad to see some Chuck/Captian Awesome interaction which I always find funny, Casey was genius and Sarah was mostly not annoying (they really need to lighten her character up - always with the pouting, that one). Morgan kept his hijinks to the Buy More which his where his hijinks belong but he also managed to help out a bit without even knowing it. Chuck is coming into his own as a spy and I'm loving it. I think the Chuck/Casey relationship is probably the best on the show and as Chuck's spy-skills increase, that relationship should only get better. Chuck is still getting an A- from me in season 2.

Pushing Daisies - Over the long hiatus I'd forgotten exactly why I like this little show. It's just about the sweetest, quirkiest thing ever put on TV and the only way they manage to pull off that level of quirk is with a stellar cast and fantastically lush visuals. Chuck is the weak link on this show for me. It's not that I don't like her, it's just that, she's kind of a downer because whenever Ned is around her, he's a bit soppy. Olive, on the other hand, is probably the best thing that's happened to ABC since...well in a very long time. The aunts are getting a little more play and that's always good because - Ellen Greene and Swoozie Kurtz, ya know wha' I'm sayin'? And Emerson Cod and his Lil' Gum Shoe pop-up book? Both warms and tickles my cockles. Also holding strong in it's second season with an A-.

Private Practice - Look, when Grey's Anatomy first started, I loved it. I mean, I broke up with two other shows I watched at the same time it aired because if it came down to a choice, I couldn't be distracted from the awesomeness of Seattle Grace. The love continued into season two and only began to ebb when Meredith and McDreamy broke up again in the season finale...AGAIN. By the end of the third season I was way past done, and frankly, I was kind of pissed with the shitty writing and the ridiculous direction in which that they'd taken a once great show. When I heard that Addison, one of only two characters I still liked on the show, was getting a spin-off, I was more than a little apprehensive. Not only would it remove any tiny glimmer of hope I had that Grey's would ever again be watchable, it also seemed way too cobbled-together and rushed to be good. As I'd predicted, with Addison gone, I no longer gave a fiddler's fart about Grey's and I cancelled it's season pass, but I gave Private Practice one in it's place because it wasn't great, but it was a damn sight better than what Grey's had become and it was on between Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money which meant it benefited from a truly excellent time slot. Interestingly, the best character on Grey's was the worst character on her own show as Addison instantly became the Meredith of PP. She was whiny, drippy, annoying, needy, overly focussed on her own love life and a right pain in the ass all the time. What made the show watchable was Taye Diggs' Sam, Tim Daly's Pete, Chris Lowell's Dell, Amy Brenneman's Violet and, most of all, Paul Adelstein's Cooper. Heading out of season one, it had a solid B from me.

Going into season three, the grade fell sharply based on two things - while Addison hadn't gotten much less annoying, Naomi had gotten much, MUCH more annoying. She whines constantly, she is bitchy to everyone, she screws everything up and won't take the blame, she keeps secrets, she is rude, she is ungrateful and she is completely unsympathetic. And as is her won't, Shonda Rhimes is going to try to make me feel sorry for Namoi and her bitchy, whiny ways in some way come next week and that's just going to piss me off. The second reason the grade is slipping is that the show isn't using the rest of it's cast, the likable ones, nearly as much as they should be. Last week put Cooper up front which I loved since I totally have a crush on Paul Adelstein, but everyone else was like wallpaper for the Addison and Naomi Irritation-A-Thon. Season 2 starts off with a C at best.

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