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Hello, New-Season Monday: Viewing Notes

By admin Published: September 20, 2010

Tonight the TV season kicks in. Premieres of "Chase," "The Event," "Mike & Molly," "Lone Star," "Hawaii Five-0" along with the season premieres of "How I Met Your Mother," "Rules of Engagement," "Two and a Half Men," "House," "Dancing With the Stars," "Chuck" and "Castle." Yow. Notes on some of the things I have seen, including the five new series and the season premieres of "House" and "HIMYM," after the jump. Three of them had me thinking about "Lost," not always to their benefit.

New shows:
"Chase" (NBC) certainly has energy, but you would expect that from a show with a name like this. What it doesn't have is any attempt at depth or character. It's simply what its title says: federal marshals chasing bad guys. It gave me no one to care about, no reason to come back for a second week. Not recommended.

"The Event" (NBC). This strikes me as a show made up of parts of concluded series, with the hope that the audience for those shows will turn even to second-hand goods to fill their viewing diet. So this was pitched something like this: " 'Lost' was very confusing and had an airplane. We are very confusing and have an airplane. '24' had a sweaty guy running around with a gun. We have a sweaty guy with a gun." Unfortunately, I don't think the ideas behind the show go much deeper than that. "Lost" had mysteries in its early going (remember the polar bears?) but it also had characters about whom we wanted to know more, and we came to care about. "The Event" is more interested in, well, an event than people -- and I doubt they have really thought through where this will all go if they get five or six seasons. Not recommended.

"Hawaii Five-O" (CBS). Will this make Alex O'Loughlin ("Moonlight," "Three Rivers") a three-time CBS drama loser? He certainly doesn't bring anything to the show, an actioned-up retooling of the Jack Lord series. But the action isn't bad. Scott Caan as Danno has all the charisma and basic appeal that O'Loughlin lacks, and Daniel Dae Kim of "Lost" is amiable (although so far he's not given anything near the dramatic weight he got to carry on "Lost"). I'll watch once more, just because of the titular pedigree, but I'm not eager for it. If it does succeed, it will probably have more to do with the time slot, which CBS cleared "CSI: Miami" from to give this a shot.

"Lone Star" (Fox). Soap about a con man with a conscience, leading two very separate lives. Continuing my "Lost" theme, if the central character was Sawyer from "Lost," I'd be back every week. If it had more of the bitter directness of "Profit" (gosh, I miss that show), I'd lock it in on my DVR now. Instead, I found it just entertaining enough to watch one more. At best, it could have a "Dallas" vibe with a little extra layer of corruption. We'll see in a week.

"Mike & Molly" (CBS). I can't say that this addition to CBS's comedy block is all that funny. But it's better than "Rules of Engagement," and its story of two overweight people developing a romance is sweetly told. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Melissa McCarthy -- a TV Miss Adorable going back to "Gilmore Girls" -- is one of the leads. And, with the Chuck Lorre crew behind the scenes, I expect this to get funnier. "Rules" does not get DVR space. This will, at least for a couple of weeks.

On the returning show side, I have seen the season premieres of "House" and "How I Met Your Mother."

"House" (Fox) right away begins exploring the new House-Cuddy possible romance; there's another change in the wind, but I'll save the surprise. The start of House and Cuddy (Huddy? Couse?)
is somewhat interesting on the season premiere, and there's a scene which makes clear how very, very challenging any relationship between them could be. Good work by Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein, and that carries over into next week's episode, which is even more entertaining because it focuses more on how they deal with workplace issues. The early suggestion is that this is reinvigorating the characters, especially Cuddy, and I'm on board. The medical stuff, not so watchable.

"How I Met Your Mother" does another of its time-jumping, narrative-twisting things and it wasn't one of the show's best. Some good parts with Marshall and Lily, and nice business with Robin, but far too much of it was a recycling of devices the show has used before. I hope for better.

As for the rest of the night, I had a chance to see the season premiere of "Chuck" but I am so far behind on that show that there was no point in jumping in this late. "Castle" just has not earned a place in my (ever more limited) viewing time or DVR space. Have never liked "Rules" in spite of several tries and am not going at it again. I expect to watch "DWTS" and will likely post sometime after seeing it although, considering my schedule, it may not be until later this week.

Coming Tuesday: Notes on "Glee," "Raising Hope," "Running Wilde," "Detroit 1-8-7," and possibly some other things.

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