A Good Yarn

Friday, November 02, 2007

TV Talk

I have entered a phase in my knitting when I'm totally bored with all of my projects. I'm sort of nearing the end of them all, and they're all green and/or gray, as you know. Plus, they're ribbing or stockinette. *yawn* Here are the second front and sleeves of the Cardigan for Merry:

Now I have to sew it together and then knit on the hood. At least then I'll have the cabling to perk up my interest. I'm a little worried about the blocking thing, though. These pieces have benefitted greatly from being soaked in hair conditioner and water and pinned out. (On a side note, the water did have a tinge of green and looked fairly dirty. It's Andean Treasure from Knitpicks. It fills a little dirty while knitting, too. So, beware if you are knitting with this yarn in the future). Since the hood is knit onto the cardigan, I need to either dunk the hood and pin it out or re-wash the whole darn thing. I'll probably end up doing that.

Anyway, since the knitting is boring, I'll do my annual fall tv report. As you may have heard, the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) may be going on strike. Their current union contract expired yesterday. Films take so long to make that you probably won't see any fallout in the film world. I'm sure the writers will keep writing on their own while on strike, so once the strike is over, they'll just be able to sell those scripts off. TV is another thing all together, though.

First thing you'll see is the nightly chat shows. They have new content every single day and pretty much all of the hosts are also members of the WGA. So, as soon as Monday we could be seeing re-runs of Letterman and the Daily Show, etc. The networks have been preparing for a possible strike, ordering lots of scripts and bumping up production of shows, so what we see now will probably continue at least through the end of the year, and I hear most of the them will be able to get through February sweeps if there's a long, protracted strike. Fox will be in the best position, of course, because American Idol doesn't have writers. Last time there was a strike, the reality tv boom was born, so expect to see lots of re-runs of some shows and lots of reality tv and news shows if the strike lasts.

One positive aspect of a possible strike is it seems like the networks are giving their new shows time to develop. We're a little over a month into the new tv season and only two shows have been cancelled. Last year there were far more cancellations by this time. The cancellations were a dumb reality show called Nashville and a show called Viva Laughlin. I watched the two episodes of Viva Laughlin and I didn't really like it, but I was willing to give it a little more time. It was about a guy who opens a casino in Laughlin, NV and is suspected of killing his former business partner. What made it really different is that the characters sang along to the songs on the soundtrack. Like in the opening, the main character is driving to and then walking around his new casino and he's singing along to Elvis singing Viva Las Vegas. It was weird. I'm kind of glad I'm not wasting any more time on it.

So, on to the other new shows. I'll go by what day they air:


Chuck (NBC)- I really like this one. Chuck is a computer geek who has a bunch of government secrets in his head. An NSA hottie and a CIA agent go undercover as his girlfriend and his co-worker to protect him/exploit his knowledge. It is totally illogical, but a ton of fun. I like all the actors in this show and their chemistry with each other.

K-Ville (Fox) - This one is ok. It's starring Cole Hauser and Anthony Anderson as post-Katrina New Orleans cops. In the opening it's revealed that the Hauser character is actually an ex-con. I kind of like that aspect and the post-Katrina fall out. The rest of it is kind of typical cop show stuff.

Journeyman (NBC) - I really like this one too. The lead character is a reporter who suddenly starts travelling through time (he has no control over where and when he travels) to fix something in the past - save someone's life or help them make a different decision or something. He's married and has a little boy, so this can be very inconvenient. He also has a brother, who is a cop, and who also used to date his wife, so their relationship is a bit rocky. Kevin McKidd from Rome plays the main character and I like him. This show fits into a trend this year (like Chuck), of having stand alone stories, with a little bit of an ongoing story too. So you can watch individual episodes and enjoy them and not feel like you're missing a whole lot, but if you do watch every week, you're rewarded with a bit more to the story. Last year a lot of shows that had an ongoing story were cancelled, so I think tv execs feel like people can't commit to watching a show every week.


Cane (CBS) - This is the only new show I watch on Tuesdays. It's an old fashioned nighttime soap opera. Jimmy Smits stars as the head of a rum company. He's a refugee from Cuba who was adopted by the founder of the rum company and sort of adopted, but he is also married to the only daughter of the family, which is sort of incestuous, isn't it? Anyway, Jimmy Smits is gorgeous and intense and I like this sort of thing.


Pushing Daisies (ABC) - My favorite new show. It's highly stylized and sort of wacky, but I love it. It's about a guy who has the power to bring things back to life, with his touch. But if he touches something he's brought to life again, it dies for ever. And if he doesn't touch who he's just brought back to life within a minute, someone else dies instead. Which makes him understandably a bit cautious about getting close to people. But his childhood sweetheart dies and he can't help himself, so he brings her back to life and doesn't put her back to death. So now they can't touch again, otherwise she'll die forever. But they love each other deeply. And every week they solve a murder mystery. Kooky, but charming. If you are interested in seeing one new show this year, check this one out.

Back to You (Fox) - To be honest, I've only seen the first episode of this show, so I can't make a good judgment. It seems like a decent enough sitcom, though sitcoms aren't my favorite types of shows. I've taped some more episodes and if I end up loving it, I'll let you know.

Private Practice (ABC) - The spin off from Private Practice. Another gorgeous cast. These guys are a little older, so they're more relatable to me. They seem a little more grounded. They still have their problems, but they seem less angsty about it. I like everyone in the cast, so I'll keep watching it.

Life (NBC) - Another one I really like. It sounds like it has a pretty good following, so hopefully this won't be cancelled even if there is no strike. It stars Damien Lewis from Band of Brothers as a homicide detective who spent 10 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit. As part of his settlement with the City, he gets his job back after he's exonerated. His time in prison has definitely given him a different perspective and I find it really interesting. He's also secretly trying to figure out who set him up for this murder. So, another show with a thread going through the season, but mostly stand alone episodes.

Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) - I like this one too. Peter Krause (local connection!) plays a down to earth lawyer who agrees to take his father's place as a wealthy family's attorney after his father's death. He suspects someone in the family may have murdered his father and figures the best way to investigate is to stay close to the family. The family are all messed up rich folks and their antics are highly amusing.

Nothing new on Thursday, but a whole lot of great returning shows!


Moonlight (CBS) - The show follows the life of a modern-day Vampire. It's sort of kitschy, but I find the cast attractive and enjoy the stories so far. I probably wouldn't watch it if it were on another night.

Women's Murder Club (ABC) - Although this show is on at the same time as Moonlight and I watch them both, so I must like them both somewhat. This one is about a group of 4 women who all work in the world of criminal law and support each other both at the job and off. I like the cast and I like the mysteries.

No new shows over the weekend, either. Saturday night is dead on tv and Sunday is just a lot of my same old shows.

The one show that I watched and gave up on was Big Shots, on ABC. I had high hopes for that show because I love the cast. But it was just so poorly written and unbelievable, without being tongue in cheek or fun. At least to me. I just didn't find any of the characters in the least bit realistic or interesting.

So, I've been impressed with the new season so far. Some really good shows that I hope won't get cut short with a strike. All of the networks now put their shows on the web so you can catch up with old episodes for free. So if something sounds good, I highly recommend jumping on the computer and catching up.

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