Start of the New TV Season

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I mentioned previously that I’d be tuning in to some new shows this fall. The new season is basically off and running with this week starting tha avalanche of new seasons and new shows.

I’m already hooked on Fox’s Vanished. It moves fast and has the same rapid-fire, made-for-ADD-sufferers style of shows like 24. I wonder how long they can keep up the overall mystery of the show. It feels like it is already building towards a conclusion and we’re like 4 shows in. Hmmm…

I watched The Class last night. This is a new sitcom from the people that did Friends. This has a lot of the same quality as Friends, but it felt heavy handed to me. There was a LOT of dramatic moments for the series opener of a sitcom including a montage complete with voiceover, vignettes of the cast and sappy music.

There were only a few real laughs and some pretty obvious punchlines. Who didn’t see coming the fact that the blonde woman dumped on prom night by her gay date would be married to an obviously gay man now? And of COURSE the two loveable losers (the suicide attempt and the girl who just walked in on her boyfriend and another woman) were going to get together. There’s also the sarcastic, bitchy girl who, obviously, is going to end up with the utterly nice guy who gets dumped in the opening episode and the girl who married a football player but regrets not staying with the dumb-guy-with-a-heart (hello, Joey!).

I’ll watch the next episode to see if it progresses, but it sure feels like there are going to be WAY too many storylines to manage and I still prefer the “no hugs, no learning” style of comedy Seinfeld had to this.

After that, I watched NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. This is the new drama from Aaron Sorkin, the creator of the West Wing. Reviewrs have been raving about, surprise, the writing and the flow of the show. Sorkin is great at taking people behind the scenes and this does that well.

Set on an SNL-like set for a late night variety show, I honestly found this show riveting. From the moment Judd Hirsh snaps on live tv to the cheesy ending when Chandler Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford talk about how they “live here” on the set.

The camera work was intersting as it flew around the set much like the people who work on these sketch comedies. Immediately you see how crazy things can get as segments of the show are cut and writers are forced to come up with an extra 45 seconds of un-funny dialogue for sketches that weren’t supposed to air. The writing is fantastic, much like the West Wing.

Perry was Chandler-esque at moments, but unlikeable at others. He needs to get comfortable in the drama portion of this show because while his moments of comedic foible were natural, the isolated moments of heartfelt concern and righteous indignation felt awkward and overacted – not dissimilar from the moments when Chandler tried to be the nice guy on Friends.

I’ll be watching though. They loaded the cast with a combination of great veteran actors (Hirsh, Ed Asner, the guy that played Elliot on 30 Something) and some interesting newcomers like DL Hugley, who I sincerely hope is allowed to expand his character.

I still need to catch my DVR’ed copy of the premier of CSI: Miami. It was my least favorite of the three probably because Caruso just annoys me. Does that guy have a neck condition or is his hair just so heavy that his head hangs to the left? Plus, a few more new shows this week (all the new CSI’s, the Office, Shark, NCIS) and more on the way the next two weeks.

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