My fall rundown of music and books was getting long, so I’d decided to let TV be its own post. And now that I’m almost completely caught up (more on that shortly), it’s a good enough time as any to look at what’s scheduled on the DVR these days and how that’s panning out. Starting with the best and going down to the bottom of the barrel…
30 Rock — We’ve only had one episode so far this fall, but still the funniest show on television. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, and the rest of the cast? Golden.
The Chef Jeff Project — So so so so so good. Chef Jeff was in prison for ten years and learned there how to cook. Now that he’s made it in life, he’s helping six disadvantaged and at-risk young adults by teaching them how to cook. You really can see some of them genuinely changing for the better, and blossoming under his care. It’s on Food Network, do try and check it out.
The Office — I have to give them credit, having Jenna Fischer elsewhere while using Amy Ryan as a guest star could have been the kiss of death, but it’s still smart and entertaining. Thumbs up!
Survivor: Gabon — I’d stopped watching Survivor about two years ago when my 8-9pm Thursday slot was triple-booked. That’s no longer the case, so I thought I’d give it another chance, and I must say that absence has made the heart grow fonder. Pretty darn entertaining, with just enough twists and turns this year (coupled with some of the best surroundings I’ve seen on the show… actual elephants charging the camp???) that I want to see more. Thumbs up!
The Amazing Race — Still want to be on this show. Pure and simple.
How I Met Your Mother — I started watching this last season and I’m pretty well entertained. This season has felt a little rushed, like part of this storyline was supposed to have played out last season before the writer’s strike cut everything short. But still good, especially because Neil Patrick Harris is comedy gold.
True Blood — I’m mortified to admit that I have only watched the pilot so far, but episodes 2-9 are still on my DVR. I’ve cleared everything else I recorded off, though, so I’m looking forward to sitting down and watching the rest of them before the first one. But I did like the pilot.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — Good, don’t get me wrong, but this season is starting to lose a tiny bit of steam. Danny DeVito’s character shifting from a father role to “one of the guys” is part of the problem, I think, but some of the stories have just felt like they’re trying a tiny bit too hard. Still pretty good, but there haven’t been as many episodes this season where I’ve felt like falling off my couch in shock.
Pushing Daisies — Still enjoyable, but not as strong as the first season. It’s been a little grimmer, and that sense of whimsy isn’t there as much as before. But honestly, I could watch Chi McBride and Kristen Chenowith every week, and for that alone I’ll stick around. Good, but last season was great.
Entourage — Another show that’s feeling like it is losing steam. Honestly, if this was the last season I’d be pretty happy. But it’s feeling like it’s going to overstay its welcome, and that it’s in the process of doing so right now.
Ugly Betty — I remember hearing that the network was stepping in to try and “fix” things after the lackluster second season, but I think they’ve done a little too much “fixing.” Resetting the status quo from the first season was more or less expected (I think several of us all called it in a matter of seconds), but on top of that it’s just been… well, even more lackluster than season two, and so intensely predictable that it’s a little jaw-dropping. I’m giving it until the end of November sweeps to pick itself back up, or it gets dropped.
Stylista — In the words of Michael Kors, “Trashy, trashy, trashy!” I cannot justify this as good television in any way, shape, or form. But I’m ready for a third episode this week. The dumb is so mind-bogglingly funny that I can’t turn away.
Already dropped: Fringe, 90210, Life on Mars, America’s Next Top Model.