Saturday, September 12, 2009

simply watching the new season begin

ah, it's back. network television in the fall. professional football. reasonable weather in new england. these are all good things.

this week started off light, giving just a small taste of the fall television goodness to come, but i think that was a good thing considering i essentially stopped watching television this summer. [i'm not one to turn on the t.v. and flip. i'm the absolute opposite of a channel flipper and happen to be very lucky to not have married a channel flipper. we lose track of the remote so often in our household we wish it would come with a pager from the cable box. why hasn't anyone invented that yet?]

anyway, so this week the cw premiered about half of its fall schedule and fox premiered "glee" [if other channels premiered things i don't know about them, the aforementioned lack of channel flipping and the fact that most of what i watch i schedule on the dvr and watch when i'm in the mood to.]

anyway, here are my thoughts on the premieres i watched this week:

1. "90210"
so last season i definitely had a love-hate thing going on with this show. i watched the first couple of episodes and then decided that it was incredibly boring. so i deleted it off the dvr, but then i read about how it was getting better so i checked it out again and kind of got into it, and since i wasn't watching anything else on tuesdays at 8, i figured i might as well. but then i forgot to watch the last two episodes of the season, which were apparently spectacularly ridiculous.

but i was excited to put it back on the dvr, and i really enjoyed the season premiere. it finally feels like it is becoming the show it always aspired to be. the new season opened at the close of summer, but did a good job of making sure that the repercussions of the season finale were still being felt. one thing that was slightly weird was the close friendship between naomi, adriana, and silver, but i really enjoyed seeing them as friends, and am willing to overlook that it doesn't exactly follow that they would be that close.

sometimes it is easier to forgive these things when i think back and remember high school. friendships were so fluid then, the ones that last, the ones that survive college and life and marriage and divorce and all the crap, those friendships are worth treasuring. but high school is such a strange moment in life, when you look back on it, it's as if you were a part of a sociological experiment that you never agreed to participate in. that is probably the reason it provides so much fodder for drama and comedy and story on television, and reliving it again with the beautiful people on the television screen is always enjoyable.

"90210" has a new showrunner who is committed to making a show that fulfills its aspirations. and i think that so far, so good. from what i've read online the second episode of the season improves on the first. and the first was already an improvement on last season. if only they could dump lame annie [poorly played by shanae grimes], though they've definitely moved in the right direction with her character. she's no goody-goody anymore, and her "brenda-fication" can only be good for the show. shanae does okay at snide, bratty teenager, but she can't really emote much else.

annalynne mccord, as naomi, is being dressed less like a forty-year old woman, which can also only help. [the fug girls often refer to her as drunkface, and sadly her acting often causes her to pull said face into use.] she's best when she's not trying so hard. let jessica lowndes [adriana] and jessica stroup [silver] pick up the slack on the emoting and the show is a million times better. luckily as the former drug addict and pregnant teen, and the bi-polar girl who filmed a sex video with her [now-ex] boyfriend, respectively, they do have the meatier stories.

the introduction of teddy [pictured above], will also be good for the show i think. i like his chemistry with silver, and will be interested to see where that goes. especially since teddy was the sole witness to annie's hit-and-run from the finale. he has an agenda at west beverly, and i can't wait to see it play out. elsewhere on the guy side of things, dixon, navid, and liam remain, and their relationships with the girls are definitely in flux at the moment. but i think it is a good thing. the boys need to interact on their own, what made the original flavor 90210 work was the enduring friendship between the guys. the girls switched allegiances weekly, but brandon, dylan, and steve, and sometimes david, were fast friends. and you understood why these people stuck together. the new version needs to work on forming some stronger relationships between the guys in order to succeed too.

2. "glee"
this show actually premiered after "american idol" last year, but i didn't watch it then. and throughout the summer i've read a ton of good things about it, so i decided it would be worth checking out. as a former glee club member, how could i not watch a show about glee club? though having watched it, i don't know about you guys, but my glee club was never quite like the one on this show. we existed to supply music at church and hold an annual spring concert, these kids aim slightly higher than that.

as i watched the first two episodes of "glee" last week, i was stunned by how much i enjoyed the show. i think what makes it work, is that it is so different from anything else on television at the moment. the way it tells stories is unique, and i really like how you [as viewer] shift from the leads' point-of-views seamlessly, learning a little bit about them [in each segment] that none of the other characters know. the colors are bright, and the show is imbued with a note of surreality, a hint of sadness, and a burst of unrestrained joy that reminds me of "pushing daisies" without the saccharine-sweet cuteness.

the story at the heart of the show hails back to the breakfast club [with labels adjusted slightly for the times] but you have the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal [well, okay, let's replace criminal with the gay kid] forced to spend time together for one specific reason. there's a dash of footloose in there as well, and some heathers in there for good measure.

ultimately, the fact that it isn't that original a story doesn't matter, because it's the way the story is told is what makes this show work. and i will definitely keep watching.

3. "the vampire diaries"
so many comparisons have been made between this and twilight and "true blood". but i don't think that it is fair to compare "the vampire diaries" to "true blood" and whatever similarities it shares with twilight, the fact remains that the source material for this show was written well before stephanie meyer wrote her first book.

vampire diaries isn't anything new or groundbreaking, but the leads are all such pretty people.

[ok the girls are also pretty.]

how can anyone resist? i don't have a lot to say about this show as yet, other than i thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. and that knowing that the creative genius behind "dawson's creek" is behind this, means that we can only expect some amazing teen angst. and boy, am i looking forward to it!

photo credits: and


  1. I watched all those shows, though 90210 will likely go the wayside if something else comes up. It was better this year than what I watched last year, though. I, too, was wondering when Silver became friends with Naomi and Adrianna but admit that the 3 have a good vibe together.

    Glee is awesome! I adore that show (on tonight!) in every way. All the characters are just interesting and likable and the music is fabulous and the glee teacher is adorable. I could want for nothing more.

    VD...well, I agree with you on the pretty. I actually didn't mind the pilot episode and felt that the girl playing Elena should have played Bella instead of KStew. I am aggravated that they made her a brunette with brown eyes instead of the blond she's purported to be, but whatever. It looks like they might stick closely to the books, which would be a detriment in my opinion. I like the idea of the good vamp brother vs. the bad vamp brother for the girl that reminds them of their maker. I don't like the elements the second book brought into play and didn't even bother with book 3 or 4 because they sounded so ludicrous. If they would avoid it, and I don't think they will as they're setting the stage with psychic Bonnie, then they're good to go. Right now it's a watch until my other shows premiere type of show for me.

  2. You know I haven't actually read the source material for Vampire Diaries (I feel weird abbreviating to VD, not a good acronym!), but it sounds as if the books aren't as enjoyable as the Twilight series or the Sookie Stackhouse books.

    My cable/internet has been broken the last two days so I'm really hoping Comcast gets its act in gear for tonight's episode of Glee!


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