ABC's lineup begins a new season last night, and my feelings about the shows are slightly different than they were a year ago. ...
"Pushing Daisies," my favorite of the three, is still visually inventive and personally charming in the two episodes I have seen. In fact, there is a gag in the second episode that is so corny and left-field that it made me laugh out loud. The show begins with some significant changes for Ned, Chuck and Olive, and we begin to see more of a wistful and touching side of Emerson. But the pace seems a little more rapid than I remember it being, and that can at times be off-putting. This is a show to savor, and it works better when you have a little time to enjoy everything in the scene and on the set. Still, I'm back for the foreseeable future.
Like its narrative companion "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice" used the strike to rethink what it was and what it should be. And one of the conclusions was more medicine -- getting Addison back in surgery -- and a little less soap. That approach is very much in evidence in tonight's season premiere, and more besides. Perhaps because she has to be a surgeon again, we are also seeing an Addison with the toughness, fire and ice that were part of her when she first arrived at "Grey's," and then scrubbed away as the shows tried to make her more appealing. The new season also shifts some of the dynamics among the characters, so it is not without some soap opera, but it feels less contrived than it did a year ago. I wasn't in love with it, and both the patient plot lines seem to have more logical solutions than the show at first provides; but I wasn't tearing out my hair either.
"Dirty Sexy Money" has promised to live up more to its title this season, and the premiere certainly tries to show more sex and dirt among the main characters; there's also plenty of money flying around. But the changes have not made it any more interesting for me. In fact, it seems even duller than it did on the rare occasions I checked in. I won't be adding it to the DVR.