Movies & TV

Fall Sweeps

I don’t usually write about TV shows, since half the year my viewing centers on baseball. But this is fall and there are some good new shows we’re watching and some not so good old ones. Cindy and I tend to like shows that get canceled, like last year’s Outsourced, and we usually shun the top raters like Modern Family, Two and a Half Men, and Big Bang Theory.

Here’s what Cindy and I have been watching this fall.

New Girl

This might be our new favorite. Zooey Deschanel is adorable as geeky 20-something Jess sharing an apartment with three guys. I loved her in Bridge to Terabithia as the school teacher who liked to play the guitar for her class. She has a fantastic voice, and I was thrilled to discover she has an indie release. New Girl seems to be rating pretty well, so perhaps it’ll stick around.

The Office

The crew at Dunder Mifflin (or is it Sabre now?) definitely took a hit when Michael Scott left. The addition of the new CEO played by James Spader was good, except he’s hardly in the office. Much like Kathy Bates in the previous two seasons. She left to focus on her own show.

Harry’s Law

We started watching this show last year, because I love everything Kathy Bates does. Harry’s Law received a major makeover this fall, losing its uniqueness and becoming like so many previous law dramas. I’m not sure how it rated last year, but it isn’t doing so well this season. Considering the direction it took, I’m not sure I’d be disappointed in its demise.

The Middle

I think this one is in its third season, and we’ve enjoyed it since it began. There are few shows centered on “normal” families, like the ones I grew up watching (Growing Pains, Family Ties, etc.) Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Neil Flynn (Scrubs) shine as parents struggling to raise kids in an Indiana town. It’s worth checking out.

Suburgatory

We’ve seen a few episodes of this show about a single father (Jeremy Sisto: Law and Order) and teenage daughter who move from the city to the suburbs, leaving behind reality for the plastic characters in the suburbia. Jane Levy as the daughter is extremely likable, smart, and always poking fun at suburbanites. Her father is devoted to her but doesn’t seem to spoil her. I hope Suburgatory sticks around for a while, if even because the title is quite clever.

The Mentalist

I didn’t like the direction this show took in the first episode this season. I should say, I wish it’d taken a new direction. Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is insistent on finding Red John, who we all thought was finally killed at the end of last season. The show still has a lot of potential, if only because Simon Baker’s character is fun to watch, but new plots are needed, since some rich man or woman getting murdered is the basis for nearly every episode.

Chuck

We haven’t seen an episode yet this season, but we’ve DVR’d it. I stopped being a fan when the relational (sexual) tension between the two spies was finally relieved a season or two ago. The last I knew they were engaged and living together. (I guess the producers don’t remember what happened to Moonlighting.) Also, Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) was a much more interesting character as a computer geek, Buy More sales rep than super spy.

So that’s what we’re watching. How about you?

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