Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grading the New Season

I can't believe it is nearly Christmas. I also can't believe that Rudolph was shown so soon after Thanksgiving that B and I missed showing it to the kids. We really need a DVD player.

But that means it is time for the annual (more or less) grading of the new season's worth of shows, both old and new shows.

Where to start? How about alphabetical order?

Chuck - This season has seen Morgan derailed as the broken Intersect and Chuck rediscovering his hacker roots. It  turns out that Jeff without carbon monoxide is a rather normal, moral guy who turns Lester in for trying to kill him. Casey finds a love interest as geeky about guns as he is, and our team of spies is now on the run from the federal government. Morgan as the jerk Intersect was a little dull, and bad for a character who had grown on me so much, but the last episode is a return to the best of Chuck. At the end of last season, I gave Chuck a B. I'm giving it a B+ for this season.

Community - Fans of Community were devastated to learn that NBC decided to leave Community off its spring schedule. This failure to schedule is a big indication of the network's lack of trust in this excellent comedy. And this season has been fabulous. Although I feel Britta for some reason has been drawn a little more broadly this season than in the past, the characters are all still funny and unique. Pop culture has never been skewered as well as Community. Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but Community goes from a B to an A.

Fringe - As I've noted before, the disappearance of Peter from the timeline has left a few viewers in the cold, especially considering that this may be this show's final season. I've personally enjoyed watching the evolution of a Peter-less Fringe team, especially with the addition of Lincoln Lee, but I also know that Fringe is always best seen as a season, not even as a half season. I'm lowering it's grade from an A to a B. We'll see if it improves.

House - This is most likely the final season for this show as well - seems to be a theme for this post so far! Cuddy is gone, House is on parole (with Foreman holding his ticket out of jail), and he has two new team members. For the first time ever, House has a female doctor that I like - Park is a socially awkward woman who isn't "hot" and doesn't fit in. The other doctor - the one House met in prison - is fairly typical for the show. I can't even remember the character's name. Thirteen left on a lesbian love affair or to pursue her movie career (I can't remember which), but Taub and Chase remain. House continues to play his mind games on his team and on Wilson, and manages to find a diagnosis for the desparately ill patient in the last five minutes. It's good the show is ending, but it is better than last year, so far. I'm giving it a B+.

Once Upon a Time - I didn't even include this show in my list of what I'd be watching this season. See what happens when you don't get the annual TV Guide Fall Preview issue? It is, of course, right up my alley. Jennifer Morrison (quite annoying as Cameron in House) stars as Emma Swan, who will somehow save our favorite fairy take characters (you know - Snow White, Prince Charming, Jiminy Cricket, the works!) from the Evil Witch's spell. I'll not go further into this other than to say that some Lost producers are behind it. That should make clear that there's no way to explain it all in one blurb. However, I don't want to imply this show is as good or as riveting as Lost - it's not. But it is good - it just needs to find itself. I'll give it a B.

Person of Interest - Okay, I'll confess. this is probably my favorite new show. I'm a little embarrassed, mainly because it's a procedural. There's the usual deep, dark arc that we get little bits and pieces of each week, about both characters, Finch and Reese. Benjamin Linus - oh, wait, I meant Finch, has created a master program that lets the government monitor and prevent terrorist activity. The program also detects your run-of-the-mill planned murders, but the government doesn't care about that. Finch does, so he engages an unemployed Green Beret/CIA agent called Reese. Some people don't like Jim Caviezel's performance as the laconic, intense Reese, but I like it. And I have to say that I would probably pay good money just to watch Michael Emerson to read a phone book, and he doesn't disappoint as the genius Finch with secrets of his own to hide.  I'll give it an A-.

Ringer - this tale of two twins has been written about before in this blog. It's fall finale didn't make the series that much better. C. It killed off the annoying Jemma and Charlie; otherwise, this would be a C- or worse. And yes, I'll still watch it. Get over it.

The Good Wife - This was one of my highest rated shows from last year. Sadly, I can only give it an D or F now, because I'll never see it again! The powers-that-be decided to put this gem of a show on Sundays, after football. I saw the first episode, but the second episode was half Amazing Race. I deleted it (you know I don't watch anything in real time), as I have each subsequent episode. I can report that my mother is not as big a fan this year as she was last year. Hmph.

So, what have you been watching?


  1. We don't have much overlap in our TV watching anymore! You know I agree on Community. I would rate Chuck a little lower than you. I am so sick of it, but my OCD self has to see it through. Here's my scorecard though:

    Homeland: A+
    Walking Dead: A
    Boardwalk Empire: A-
    Dexter: B
    How I Met Your Mother: B
    Chuck: C
    Bored to Death: B+
    Community: A+
    Parks n Rec: A
    Word World: F

    I have Enlightened and Person of Interest on my

  2. On my DVR, I will watch once the schedule calms down. I am so excited for Justified to return!

  3. No, we don't really have the same shows on our schedules, do we Nicole? We got rid HBO and never had Showtime, so there's one reason for the difference. And for some reason I've never gotten into the FX shows. I have no idea what that's about.

    If I'd have graded Chuck before the most recent episode, I would have given it a lower grade. The most recent episode was hot!