Obviously, it's been a while. Once again, I'm going to try to use the new TV season to try to impose some sort of schedule on my blogging.
So here's my thoughts on what's new in the world of television:
Much as I love the work of Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, LA Law) I decided to give his new show on TNT, Above the Bar, a pass. Tried it out for about five minutes, and while it looked perfectly well-made, I just felt like I had seen it already. Just not interested in a lawyer show right now. Maybe it brings something new to the table beyond the story of overworked public defenders struggling to keep their clients from being swallowed up by a system that doesn't care. If so, someone let me know and I'll Netflix the DVDs. As should be evident to anyone who even kind of knows me, I watch a lot of television already. Don't need an excuse to add more.
I had thought about checking out the new 90210, but when the day rolled around, I realized I just really wanted to watch it because of my crushes on Shannen Dougherty and Jennie Garth, formed while watching the original version. Not the worst reason for watching, but on the other hand, I would have to sit through another teen drama, and I already watch One Tree Hill. (Which, to its credit, has moved beyond the teen part.) So, at the last minute, I passed, and watched a recording of another old favorite, Tales of the Gold Monkey.
And I did not watch Prison Break. Didn't really enjoy last season, and the news that they're bringing back Sarah after beheading her last season was the last straw for me. Unless they brought her back as a head in a bottle, a la Futurama. But that's not what happened. (I asked a coworker.)
Loved the season premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Lots of great action sequences, as usual. The developments with Cameron will hopefully turn out to be a good idea; I liked her character before, but I think she'll be a lot more interesting now that it's no longer as clear whether she's simply the "good Terminator." And the twist at the end with Shirley Manson's character caught me completely by surprise, and yet made perfect sense.
I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the new HBO vampire series, True Blood. It held my attention all the way through, and I definitely want to see the next episode. And Anna Paquin has quite the young Holly Hunter vibe. (Loving older Holly Hunter in Saving Grace, so not a bad thing.) In some ways, I guess I feel, as with Raising the Bar, that I've kind of seen this stuff before. But while lawyer shows follow a pretty clearly established path, vampire shows are--if nothing else--weirder. So here's hoping.
Speaking of weird, I liked the premiere of the new JJ Abrams show, Fringe, quite a bit. It owes quite a bit to X-Files, obviously, both in tone (been watching early X-Files on DVD recently) and just in the "government agent investigates weird phenomena with hints of some sort of big backstory connecting things" obvious sort of way. Having said that, it doesn't just follow the pair of characters/believer/unbeliever pattern of X-Files, and the larger ensemble cast should make things a little more interesting. Plus the fact that one of the characters is completely mad. And I generally enjoy the shows JJ Abrams produces. (Yes, even Six Degrees and What About Brian. Judge me.)
And that's about it for new American TV. As far as British stuff, I didn't hate Spooks Code 9 as much as the rest of the Internet, but I'm not going to accuse it of being good television. I saw the first episode of Mutual Friends and liked it enough to want to see the next two episodes, but haven't yet. I think I like the cast more than I do the premise. I really liked the first episode of Lost in Austen, about a contemporary London girl who finds herself stuck in the story/world of Pride and Prejudice, while Elizabeth Bennett disappears off to contemporary London.
As far as reading, I am about halfway through Brad Meltzer's latest book, Book of Lies. So far, it's a good, gripping thriller. Also still listening to the audiobook of Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime, although that got sidelined by my desire to listen to the new Torchwood soundtrack over and over again. And I'm about a third of the way through the first collection of IDW"s Complete Little Orphan Annie. As with all chronological reprints of comic strips, the strip is never quite as good at the beginning as it later becomes, but it's not bad, either. I'm enjoying the strips on their own, and as a means to watch the development of Harold Gray as the strip goes on.