Fall TV Wrapup - Chris Ullrich dot net

Fall TV Wrapup

In the interest of full disclosure I actually wrote this piece for LAist but I think it’s kinda funny so I’m going to put it here as well. Plus, a little comedy after that last post is probably a good idea. Enjoy.

Battlestar Galactica

Now that the majority of the new TV season has been paraded out in front of our collective eyeballs, we can make a few somewhat informed predictions as to how these new shows, and returning ones, will fare. Some of the new ones will, of course, do better than others. In the mix there are always one or two that breakout and become hits.

Mostly, however, there are far more that die a quick death on the alter of sacrifice to the TV gods. Plus, there are several returning shows this season that may have true staying power and many others that should know when to quit while they still have a shred of dignity left.

Here then are some of our predictions for the Fall TV season:

New shows that are going to die sooner rather than later:

Happy Hour – Even drunk this show still sucks. Trying to be funny isn’t the same as actually being funny.

’til Death – Marriage isn’t pretty and this comedy isn’t funny. Time for a divorce.

20 Good Years – John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor don’t want to grow up. We sympathize and understand but still, who cares?

Justice – Another legal show from the brain trust that is the Fox Network. Loud, obnoxious and destined for the chair.

New shows that are going to die (most likely this season) but will hang around awhile just to spite us:

Vanished – Bad writing, bad direction, bad acting. Just bad, bad, bad. Vanish already.

Heroes – Really wanted to like it because it tries to do something different. But even Ali Larter’s fantastic and prominently-featured ass won’t be able to save this show from itself. And besides, we already saw this before when it was called “Unbreakable.”

Six Degrees – Not interested in the characters or their problems. Even the photographer who hasn’t worked in years still looks liked he stepped out of a fashion magazine. Whatever.

Smith – When the main character is the least interesting of the bunch you have a problem. Make the show about Mrs. Smith and her torrid affair with Amy Smart’s character while they do crimes and you might have something. Until then, no thanks.

Jericho – How can a show with Skeet Ulrich and Major Dad be bad? Trust us, it can. The only thing that might have saved this show was the super hot Ashley Scott and she’s headed out of town at the end of the pilot. Too bad. Did we mention that she’s super hot? Just wanted to make that clear.

Returning shows that have outlived their usefulness already and/or “jumped the shark” this season and should be put out of their misery:

Bones – Not even Dr. Brennan’s brains and beauty can save this show from turning into a rotting corpse. The cast is fun to look at but they need to do something else to keep the show going. Something interesting instead of doing basically the same show every week. Find the corpse, identify the corpse, reconstruct the corpse’s face, flirt with the FBI agent but never consummate then solve the case with a touch of righteous indignation. It started out promising last season but has clearly lost it’s way.

ER – Is there anyone who understands why this show is still on the air? Seriously, we’re really asking? Should have been put out of its misery long, long ago. Right around the time George Clooney left to do movies.

Desperate Housewives – We love a good soap opera but seriously, how much bad shit can happen in one neighborhood before people start to move? Rent the u-haul its time to get the hell out. There’s a sign on the front lawn and that sign says “crap”.

Grey’s Anatomy – The problem with an ensemble show where the cast is all getting famous is that they all need screen time and they all need some big crisis every week. That’s just too many crises to deal with. Plus, in the season premiere they use the old “patient has the plague so the two doctors who are both in love with the same woman are stuck together in quarantine so they have to explore their feelings about each other” plot. Come on, ER did that in season five and it was lame then. And really, why they’re fighting over Dr. Grey is beyond us. She’s a drunken slut. Move on.

Crossing Jordan – Someone who works on this show must have photos of Jeff Zucker with farm animals or something. That’s the only thing that explains this show still being around. Cross Jordan off the list, we beg you.

How I Met Your Mother – See above about trying to be funny not being the same thing as being funny. And trust us, having a laugh track doesn’t really help. Mother, meet the door. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

Ghost Whisperer – Jennifer Love Hewitt’s cleavage talks to ghosts. No wonder they keep coming back. We would. And who deosn’t love a girl that eats at Taco Bell and Sizzler in real life (its true, we’ve seen her)? We love Love but this show has to go. Give her something else to do and we might watch. Until then, this show is a ghost to us.

And last but not least, new or returning shows that will stick around and entertain us at least until they start to suck and/or annoy:

The Office – Still funny this year without trying to be. What a comedy should be.

My Name is Earl – Much like “The Office” in quality and disarming charm. Comedy from situations and characters. Not a situation comedy. There is a difference.

Men in Trees – Funny, cute and with a heart in the right place. We love that blonde, crazy, ex-lesbian. She has spunk and spunk is good.

Numb3rs – Like the smart kid in class that you wanted to beat up only this time, what he’s saying is so interesting you actually pay attention. And who knew you would really use math in the future like your teacher said you would? We though they were full of crap for sure.

The Unit – David Mamet meets “The Shield.” Sign us up for another tour. Plus, President Palmer kicks serious ass. The rest of the cast is good too, especially Robert Patrick as the unit’s boss and Abby Brammell as the wife of a unit member he’s having an affair with.

Plus, the show is called “The Unit”. Get it? “The Unit”. Nevermind. Testosterone-fueled men with machine guns who blow shit up is good fun. Embrace it and learn to love it.

Shark – Even though it’s clearly “House” with lawyers (we can hear the pitch meeting now) we like James Woods. Can’t help it. Plus, having Jeri Ryan in the show is not a bad idea either. Although it didn’t help “Boston Public” much. But really, nothing could have helped that steaming pile of “art” so we can’t really blame Jeri now can we?

We might be a little biased about Jeri, though, due to spending some time with her back in the day when she was a struggling actress working on a small movie. She’s a hoot and a pretty good pool player too. Where’s that five bucks you owe us Jeri?

The Nine – Interesting premise. Interesting characters and a cliffhanger that makes us want to come back to see what happens. All you can hope for from a new show. At least all the “Party of Five” alumni seem to be getting work now. Maybe Lacey Chabert will show up on “Lost” this season and get into a mud-soaked tussle with Evangiline Lilly’s character over Jack just to make things interesting? It could happen.

America’s Next Top Model – Don’t say a word. This show manages to be funny, poignant and highly entertaining all without really trying. Call this our one guilty pleasure. Plus, hello, hot models.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – Even though Aaron Sorkin is clearly “influenced” by many other great writers of the past, he is still one of the most consistently intelligent and interesting creative forces working in TV today. He may be preachy and self-righteous sometimes but whatever he has to say, we’re listening. Plus, we love that Sarah Paulson and Amanda Peet.

Some of the male cast members are ok too. We like that Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford. They’re just fine. Also, kudos to Timothy Busfield and Evan Handler for staying on and getting on the Arron Sorkin express, respectively. They’re good and they deserve the work. Sadly, some of the other cast members aren’t quite up to the job just yet. Yes Hughley, we’re talking about you.


Finally, let’s keep in mind two of the very best shows on TV that have not had their official premieres yet this season but will most certainly still be on the air for years and years to come. If you are not watching these shows, you don’t know what you are missing. Get with it. We’re talking about, of course, these:

Veronica Mars – Funny, intelligent, scary and many other positive adjectives that don’t really do it justice. This show manages to walk the line between teen drama and noir thriller with equal facility for both genres. Kristen Bell is great as is the rest of the cast, particularly her father, played by Enrico Colotoni. We guess Exec. Producer Joel Silver isn’t such a dumbass after all, inspite of the “Matrix” sequels and a little movie called “Fair Game.”

Battlestar Galactica – This is the best show on TV that you’re not watching (unless you are in which case, kudos). We know, its sci-fi and that scares you. We know that the original ‘Battlestar“ left something to be desired in the quality department (but we loved it anyway). We also know that if you watch the show you’ll be hooked. Time Magazine can’t be wrong (at least about this) so give it a try and follow Exec. Producer Ron Moore’s plan. He won’t let us down.

That’s it for now. If LAist were one to bet we’d put our money down that our predictions are spot on. Anyone wanna take that action? Not that we advocate gambling. But if we did, we’d break the bank for sure.

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  • Spadada
    September 28, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    I knew there had to be some VM fans on staff at the LAist! Afterall, they were one of the first blogs to cover the “Renew Veronica Mars” plane we hired to fly over the UPN offices on finale day last year.

    You’re right. It was a funny piece. And you have good taste. I have never seen BSG, but many VM fans watch it. Supernatural is also on my list. Fills that void X-files left in me, and no fear of them getting the two main characters together and ruining it. (Except, of course, in the fanfic.)