Monday, September 25th, 2006
The Sun Always Shines On TV
I used to watch a lot of TV as a kid. Like A LOT. Naturally, as I got older there was less time for boob-tubing and the television landscape is quite different now with the advent of TV-on-DVD and cable shows that run on their own schedules, but I still get a bit of a tingle when September comes and with it, the new (network) television season. I’m of the opinion that despite the amount of utter dreck on the air, that we’re still in the middle of something of a television renaissance right now. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) there were so many shows on that I’ve heard good things about or would like to try and catch if only I had an infinite amount of time at my disposal. But as it is, I’ve had to be very picky and choosy about what I watch because otherwise, I’ll watch everything. It’s depressingly easy to hook me on a show – I watched 90210 for three or four season in university even though I found it wretched. I just couldn’t stop (and it was great for procrastinating).
Anyway, with the departure of The West Wing, it looked as though there were going to be some pretty big openings in the time I was willing to allot to TV programming. 24 doesn’t start till January and man cannot live on Veronica Mars alone (well, I probably could but that’s another topic…). But thank goodness for Aaron Sorkin and his new show Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Premiereing last week, it looks like it will more than fill that White House-shaped hole in my life. It has much of the same creative team, some of the same cast and even the same credits font as The West Wing and based on just the first episode, it looks to have the same creative spark that made Sorkin’s last show so beloved.
Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are a team of comedy writers who are recruited to take over an SNL-type comedy show after the former producer has an on-air meltdown. Naturally, they have a history with the show, its cast and the network and there is much promise in the relationships and politics that ensue. I’ve always thought Perry was capable of much more than Friends allowed, so it’s great to see him get a role that will (hopefully) let him realize that potential. Whitford has more than proven he’s a great match for Sorkin’s writing and I was rather surprised at how well Amanda Peet did as the new network president. The reviews so far have been pretty positive so hopefully it can find a large enough audience to convince NBC it’s worth the incredibly high production costs. But while the show is being lauded, the mock-blog they set up to promote it isn’t so lucky. Note that Defaker is down right now – temporarily or for good?
A show I’ve been browbeaten into watching lately – and I’m glad for it – is the new Battlestar Galactica. Pretty much everyone I knew with any sort of geek to them was telling me how great the new show was, so I gave in and watched the miniseries. Then the first season. Then the second season. And yeah, I will happily admit it’s pretty damn good. I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking – it leans more than a little on ideas from Starship Troopers and V – but it is almost perfectly executed and that can count for a lot more than originality. Like pretty much everyone else, I’m eager as hell to see how season three plays out starting in two weeks, though The Resistance web episodes have been bitter, yawning disappointments. Those are thoroughly inessential but I’m not holding it against anyone. CHUD.com has a conversation with show creator Ron Moore about the show’s politics and what to expect from the next season.
As for Veronica Mars, season three of that premieres on October 3 and for the first time, it will be simulcast in Canada on the otherwise abhorrent Sun-TV network. Hooray. The Chicago Tribune talks to creator Rob Thomas about season three, the pressures of being a show on the bubble on a new network… and Richard Grieco.
I do still have a vacancy for a decent, half-hour sitcom to fill in for Arrested Development. I’ve started watching The Office but still have season two to catch up on. Anything new this season look promising? The AV Club tries to help out, and I do appreciate that.
And this TV post gives me the opportunity to clear out some MP3s I’ve been sitting on for a while but never found the right time to post – indie rock TV theme song covers! Anyone got any more worth hearing? And I’m ignoring tracks from those Saturday morning cartoon theme tributes a while back, everyone’s heard those.
MP3: The Breeders – “Theme From Buffy The Vampire Slayer“
MP3: Spiritualized – “Theme From The X-Files“
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Theme From The Simpsons“
MP3: Sonic Youth – “Theme From The Simpsons“
MP3: The Wedding Present – “Theme From Cheers“
MP3: South – “Theme From Cheers“