Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I'm Watching Now #13 (11/1/11 Edition)

Okay, here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons.  Wait, what?  How did that happen?  It's time for a new, and I do mean NEW, edition of "What I'm Watching Now".  You will see a significant amount of changes to this column, because, well, it just needs to be different.  I would like to thank Dule (accent over the e) Hill for his contribution to this blog.  He is the best.

In the past, I've always gone day to day talking about each show on that day.  I think there are a lot of people that probably find that format boring, and would prefer to see what's worth watching first, and then, if they want to know more about a show, go to the writing.  Maybe I'm wrong, if I am, leave some input in the comments section, and I'll return it to the day by day writing.  I am really going to try to write this every week, now, and the column will likely show up on Monday or Tuesday, in the afternoon.  It will probably take me a few weeks to shape the column into what it will eventually become, so please bear with me.

As for this particular post, I'm going to have to condense a lot of the TV season into this post.  I wrote a "What I'm Watching Now" column for the first episode of the season, and now we are in week 7.  That means, for most series, this will cover through episode 6.  Sorry about that.  There are new shows I have heard that are great, that I'm not watching (Homeland and American Horror Story).  I personally hate shows about terrorism, and the stuff revolving around that, so it's pretty unlikely I will be checking out Homeland.  I love old school classic horror (like pre-1965 type stuff), but not modern horror, because I'm not into gore.  However, because enough people have asked me about it, I do plan on checking out at least one episode of American Horror Story.

Some shows I watched have been canceled from my own viewing, some shows have been canceled from the TV schedule, and one show should have been canceled already, but is still sticking around.  It's been a wild TV season, so far, and it should have been wilder.  I've had fun tracking it, so far.  Remember, if you have a show that you are just dying for me to check out, please let me know in the comments.  As long as it's not way outside of my wheelhouse, I will check it out, and do some kind of write up about it.  If I do, I will also mention you in it.  Bribery can be an effective motivational tool in some worlds, I'm supposing.

As always, TV viewing is highly subjective, so I may be harder, or nicer, on shows you love and hate.  When I do my ranking system, the shows are going to be placed in categories based on my taste.  I'm sure I'll occasionally miss on the good and bad side, but if I put something in the "Best of the best" category, you best check out at least one episode, SUCKA! Okay, that's enough, let's get to what I'm watching now.

Ratings Legend:
It terrifies me how bad this is!  Don't waste your time.
Watch it, miss it, whatever.  Either way, I'll cry myself to sleep.
 Not good enough to like a lot, not bad enough to not watch.
Not bad, not bad at all.  Check it out.
Watch this.  Trust me.
Why aren't you watching this, you sad little person?
Here's what I've canceled, or the networks canceled, from my TV viewing:
Charlie's Angels-I canceled and ABC canceled
Free Agents-NBC canceled
How To Be A Gentleman-CBS canceled
Whitney-CC canceled

Here's what I am watching, that I was not planning on watching:

2 Broke Girls (CBS)
Revenge (ABC)
Once Upon A Time (ABC)
New Girl (FOX)
The Rankings (the down and dirty way to find out what I'm thinking): 

The best of the best

Parks and Recreation (NBC, Thursday nights at 8:30pm ET)
Person of Interest (CBS, Thursday nights at 9:00pm ET)
Psych (USA, Wednesday nights at 10:00pm ET)
Criminal Minds (CBS, Wednesday nights at 9pm ET) 
House (FOX, Monday nights at 9pm ET)
Burn Notice (USA, Thursday nights at 10:00pm ET)

Honorable mentions

Revenge (ABC, Wednesday nights at 10pm ET)
Grimm (NBC, Friday nights at 9pm ET)
Harry's Law (NBC, Wednesday nights at 9pm ET)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC, Wednesday nights at 10pm ET)
The Office (NBC, Thursday nights at 9pm ET)

On the good side of average

The Walking Dead (AMC, Sunday nights at 9pm ET)
Unforgettable (CBS, Tuesday nights at 10pm ET)
Hawaii Five-O (CBS, Monday nights at 10pm ET)
Once Upon A Time-(ABC, Sunday nights at 8pm ET)
Terra Nova-(FOX, Monday nights at 8pm ET)
New Girl-(FOX, Tuesday nights at 9pm ET)

On the bad side of average

2 Broke Girls-(CBS, Monday nights at 8:30pm ET)
Up All Night-(NBC, Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ET)
Body of Proof-(ABC, Tuesday nights at 10:00pm ET)

Won't change your life either way
Prime Suspect-(NBC, Thursday nights at 10pm ET)

For those of you who are lame, you can stop reading there.  You got the information you needed to add shows to your rotation.  I have a pretty strict policy of not watching total crap, so there really shouldn't be anything (other than brand new shows) that ends up in my "Screaming Gus" pile.  There is no doubt about it that Prime Suspect is the worst show I'm watching this season, since I no longer watch Charlie's Angels, Whitney, and Free Agents, all of which are/were worse than Prime Suspect.

Now, I'll break things down by day, to return to the more traditional form of "What I'm Watching Now".  For my purposes, I'm going to go from Monday to Sunday, as opposed to Sunday to Saturday.  For this column, you'll have to scroll up to get my rating of the show, but in future columns, I'll just put the rating with the show.


Terra Nova (FOX, 8pm ET)

Ah, Terra Nova, you are such a bland TV show.  You had a lot of potential, but you haven't lived up to it.  So, you're going to get canceled after your first season.  FOX has spent a lot of money on this series, but they seem to have forgotten a few crucial elements that go toward making successful TV shows.  The most important is that they forgot that good casting is EVERYTHING on a show like this.  The second is that the writing needs to, at the very least, be pretty good.  The series just has a bland set of actors, reading bland lines, in bland stories, that I don't really care about.  It's not bad enough to stop watching, or even be considered a bad show, but it's not good enough to ever get excited about.  If you think of a bland Steven Spielberg movie, this is probably what you would come up with.

I'll break down the few plot points that I care to remember, to give you a rough idea of what's going on.

In 2149, the world sucks.  You are prohibited from having more than two kids.  The air sucks, everything sucks.  Our protagonist (Jim Shannon), well, he doesn't believe in rules, even though he's a cop.  He has a third child, and the dumb child makes noise when the family is trying to hide her from the investigators.  The opening scene kind of reminded me of Soylent Green, and we all know that Soylent Green is...

Jim is arrested and taken off to jail.  However many years later, his wife comes to visit him, and slips him a file in a cake or something.  I can't really remember, and I probably don't really care to remember.  Anyway, his wife is a doctor, and she has been asked to go to Terra Nova, which is probably going to be the Nazis version of Jurassic Park.  It just seems like genetic engineering is at the bottom of all this, to me, but whatever.  Of course, she is only allowed to take her kids, because some old flame has recommended that she get a job there.  Well, this doesn't go as planned, because our rebel cop, Jim, has other plans.  He decides to jump into the time travel warp thingy, and manages to get the whole family to Terra Nova, which is not received particularly well.  Once you go through, you can't go back, so they're stuck with whatever gets through.

What is Terra Nova?  Terra Nova is 85 million years in the past, I guess.  Now, it turns out that this world has problems, as well.  There have been many pilgrimages, and we all know how that goes.  There will be splinter groups, anger management problems, superiority complexes, and dirt...lots of dirt.  Meanwhile, we are forced to try to invest in our typically horribly acted characters' back stories.  Terra Nova seems like a boring place.  There isn't TV, video games, Internet, or anything.  You would think they would have at least taken back a few fast food restaurants.  Well, I guess the "fun" part is that you're very likely to die by a dinosaur attack at Terra Nova.  The story lines are goofy, the acting is terrible overall, and the effects are...sporadic.  It feels more like Dark Angel, 65 million years ago, than something spectacular.

This series is a pretty big let down, and it will likely result in a lot of heads rolling over at FOX.

2 Broke Girls (CBS, 8:30pm ET)

Did you know this is like the totally most popular new show like ever?  No, seriously, it is.  I believe this is the highest rated new series on television.  I guess we have to credit it to goth sex appeal.  The show isn't very funny, and it still hasn't developed into something great.  There aren't enough characters in the show, and the main story is only kind of compelling.  It has a ton of dirty jokes that fly past the censors, but none of them make me laugh.  The woman playing Caroline still hasn't realized she's not supposed to be funny, and continues to embarrass herself, on an episodic basis.  The woman playing Max doesn't realize she is supposed to be funny, and continues to embarrass herself, on an episodic basic, with her poor delivery and timing.

The story is kind of compelling, so I keep watching it.  It's just not a funny sitcom, though, at least not to me.

House (FOX, 9pm ET)

Oh House, you devil you, you have gotten your mojo back.  Last season's House was just an embarrassing exercise in how to kill a great show.  Some episodes were great, but most were downright terrible.  If you saw the end of last season, you know that House crashed his car into Cuddy's house....get it Cuddy's House? BAHAHAHA

We began this season with House in prison.  I don't really remember the rest, because I may have been in some kind of Vicodin haze.  While he's cleaning up the trash, he sees a unique case going on in the prison infirmary.  He tries to pipe in, and pisses everyone off, as usual.  He finds someone to manipulate, though, Dr. Adams, and House can't quite understand why someone so attractive is working in a prison.  She obviously has issues, and House will try to find them out.  She defies the guy in charge of the infirmary to go with House's diagnosis, and gets in trouble.  House, as always, ends up being right, but things don't work out for him, like they usually do.

I can't remember if the prison story line was one or two episodes, so bear with me.  In the next episode, I believe, Foreman comes to House (Foreman has taken over the departed Cuddy's position), while he's in prison, and tells him he can get him out to work on a case.  It is here that we meet Dr. Park, who is only with House while she is waiting for a disciplinary hearing to happen, because she had punched another doctor.

You'll need to watch the rest on your own, but I am really enjoying this new season of House, so far.  The series manages to inject all of the ruthless fun of House, from the early seasons, while making House less of a sick horror movie psychopath (even though he still is).  It's also been a small venture, which has been nice, as well.  House is under the constant "threat" that he will have to go back to prison if he screws up, but, yeah, that ain't happening.  Until the most recent episode, his only team "members" are Dr. Park (could be fired), and Dr. Adams (the prison doctor who hasn't been hired).  We saw the true departure of 13, and we will have the return of Chase and Taub, next week.  The show could go back to being bad, starting next week, but I think this is the best set of characters the series has had, since the beginning (minus Taub).  I never thought I would love this show again, but I do...I really do.

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, 10pm ET)

You really have to suspend your disbelief for this show.  If you can do that, you will be fine.  There have probably been more murders in this series, over roughly 27 episodes, than there have been in the last five years in Honolulu.  Hawaii is the scariest place on earth, and this series will stop at nothing to prove that to you.  As long as the series makes it cheaper to travel to Hawaii, then I am cool with that.  This season, we've had characters depart, new characters arrive, characters' integrity questioned, and lots of trouble.  When I say lots of trouble, I mean LOTS of trouble.  Based on a particular story line, it sure seems like the thick headed Steve McGarrett really is pretty dumb.  Based on how the dude from LOST is acting, he has to be a bad guy.  I mean, I knew pretty much right off the bat that Kono was working for I.A., even though the series tried to make you think she had made a major turn.  It's still very gimmicky, and last week's episode featured a crossover from NCIS: LA.  Everyone wants a trip to this terribly dangerous and horrifying place called...Hawai'i.  Leave your head at the door, and the series is a pretty fun ride.  Think about it too much, and your house will start smelling like dog poo when you watch it.


New Girl (FOX, 9pm ET)

Emerson College alum, Mass Comm Depot alum, and former roommate of mine, Steve Welch, is the Editor of this series.  I think it's kind of goofy, and Zooey can be a real turn off for those of us that aren't really into her schtick.  The character, Schmidt, is one of the worst characters I've ever seen on TV.  However, even he occasionally has his moments.  The series does have some good laughs, but it also has plenty of cringes.  I'm looking at it more as a show that will occasionally make you laugh, but is something that will develop over time.  It's a series more about a quirky person, who is going to make a bunch of self-centered idiots change the way they feel about others.  It's certainly not for everyone (my wife hates it), but it's worth checking out at least once.  If you don't like it, you won't like it.  If you like it, you'll probably continue to like it.  I'm invested, but maybe I just don't really like sitcoms anymore.  There are so few relatively traditional sitcoms that I enjoy.  Am I getting old?  Maybe, get off my lawn!
Unforgettable (CBS, 10pm ET)

Poppy, Poppy, Poppy, why must you always wear a wife beater?  What will you do in the wintertime?  Maybe Hawaii Five-O will hire you if your show doesn't make it.  Easily the most confusing thing about this series is if Poppy is supposed to have an Australian accent or an American accent.  Whatever it is, I don't like it.  Her mom is American, so it's just so damn confusing.

Poppy nitpicking aside, this is actually a surprisingly decent show.  It's nowhere near as good as Person of Interest, but it's a very solid watch.  The casting is pretty good, and the stories are good.  It's too cute in some areas, but, overall, I like it.  If you like Prime Suspect, or wish Prime Suspect would have been something different, you should check Unforgettable out.  The two shows are remarkably similar, in many ways, and yet this one is solid, and the other one is sh*t.  It might simply come down to casting.  This series employs people who don't polarize you in the least, and Prime Suspect is filled with polarizing casting.

As for the actual show, it's just a cop show with a character who has a remarkable ability.  She remembers everything she sees.  There's a side story going on, but once it's resolved, this is probably going to be a very standard police procedural.  That's all it really needs to be.  If you like police procedurals, there's no reason you won't like this, too.

Body of Proof (ABC, 10pm ET)

The worst show, with the most potential, on network TV has failed to deliver, yet again.  I just don't get what's up with this show.  There are so many glaring problems with the series, yet no one seems to care.  This show is easily fixable into something pretty darn good, but no one seems to care.  Instead we'll be treated to more false accusations of suspects, dangerous situations, stupid character interactions, and high heels at exterior crime scenes.  This series really is perfectly matched with Desperate Housewives, these days, so I really don't understand why ABC doesn't just do a switcheroo with Pan Am.  I'm still watching, hoping it's going to get better, but that would happen in season 3.  However, at the rate it's going, there will be no season 3.


Up All Night (NBC, 8pm ET)

This show just doesn't really do it for me.  I like both of the main actors, but it just doesn't really work.  It's nice that Will Arnett is smart enough to move to the background that is Christina Applegate's aura, but it's still not enough.  My first really big laugh came in the last episode, though.  When the iPod played "Jump Around" by House of Pain, as she is about to have the baby, it cracked me up.  It needs more stuff like that.  All this show does is prove why I don't want to have kids. ;)

Criminal Minds (CBS, 9pm ET)

I love that the cast is back for the show.  I can't really remember what's going on, anymore, but there are probably messed up criminals doing bad things, and our awesome crew tracking them down.  There's not much to say about the series.  I just think it's a great series, a great police procedural, with compelling characters, that make me want to watch.  It has its problems, but I'll watch this show until it dies.  You should too.

Harry's Law (NBC, 9pm ET)

The TV shows I've seen with the most changes from their previous season are this, and House.  This show has been completely blown up.  Gone is the nice, small feel of Harry's office in the inner city, helping those who can't help themselves.  The production quality has jumped up 100 notches, and it fits right in with the NBC style.  It's a very busy show, with a ton of annoying camera work.  All of the good characters have been neutered, in the series, and we have had three major characters, in addition to several minor characters, completely go away.  We have the addition of Human Target's Mark Valley (this wouldn't have happened if FOX would have just done the right thing), and a very fast paced environment.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Kathy Bates probably wants out of this show, sooner rather than later (she'll get her wish, in the form of cancellation).  She says she "won't be around forever", in the show, and that's why she made Ollie a Partner in the firm.  If Kathy bows out, and the show stays on the air, they're clearly handing it over to Mark Valley.  Don't worry, that will never happen.  This is the last season for Harry's Law, unless something miraculous happens.

I think the show is still very good, possibly the best drama on NBC, that I watch, with the falling of SVU, and Grimm's just getting started.  However, this season really does make me miss last season.  Last season was far from perfect, but it absolutely did not need this level of re-tool.  It almost reminds me of Toy Story 3, where people just throw out the old toys, or something.  You can safely watch the show, if you like law things, and sarcamas (sarcastic drama), just don't get too attached to it.  It has no ratings in the 18-49 demo, and with all the changes it made, it's certain not to make any gains there, either.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 10pm ET)

With the new casting, and reliance on ripped from the headlines type cases, at the beginning of the season, I just wanted this series to go away.  However, things have calmed down quite a bit, and I'm beginning to get used to it.  The surly nature of Benson is a bit grating, but I'm assuming that will all get toned down in short order.  I also don't like that several of the early season cases really focused on tearing down the victim of the crime.  That's way out of form, for this series, and they need to not do that.  Most of the new cast are okay, but no one's mind blowing.  The star from Chase is probably the worst addition.  She spends too much time trying to prove how awesome she is as a cop.  Enough, we get it, she's Benson's replacement...oy.  It's not as good as it's been in the past, but as long as they stay away from the ripped from the headlines type stuff, you should be safe to watch it.  Think of it like the original Law & Order when Anthony A. and Jeremy Sisto joined the cast.  That's about where this series is now, though I was much more on board the original Law & Order changes, than I am with this.

Revenge (ABC, 10pm ET)

If you told me I would like this series last year, I wouldn't have believed you.  It has uber rich people (don't like that), doing uber rich things (don't like that), and it's a revenge story (uhh, hmm).  However, this series, for the most part, is very compelling television.  I haven't ever DVR'd an episode, so I've had to watch it On Demand and on Hulu.  That hasn't been as fun as DVR, but I have conflicts, you know?

The show is about a woman named Emily Thorne.  She's a Thorne in everyone in The Hamptons side...bahahaha...uh..ahem..:cough:  Emily has been wronged, or so she thinks.  Her life has sucked, but we don't know why, initially.  We soon find out that her father was framed for some terrorism stuff by all of the good, nice, rich, beautiful people of The Hamptons.  Emily should have had a charmed life, but instead, she lived the life of an orphan, and, as we've come to find out, an institutionalized one.

The good news for her is that her father invested in technology whiz kid Nolan, when he was trying to get a start.  Nolan now has more money than anyone in The Hamptons, supposedly, and because Emily's father invested in him, we know she has almost as much money as Nolan.  She uses it to her advantage.  

The initial goal of the series is for Emily to take down everyone involved in framing her father.  As we have been told in proverbs, etc., revenge ain't all it's cracked up to be.  There is collateral damage, and as of the fourth episode, not everything goes as planned.  The first three episodes were excellent, the fourth was pretty sub par, the fifth was pretty good, and the sixth was good.  The first three episodes focused on her taking down one person, in each one.  The fourth followed that story line, as well, but added a lot more stuff.  The fifth and sixth did not involve taking a person down, because things have started to unravel.  The cliffhanger for last Wednesday's episode was pretty nice, so I am looking forward to seeing the next story reveal.  

It's well worth your time to check this show out, if you can get past watching the uber rich do their thing.

Psych (USA, 10pm ET)

If you have nothing else to do, and if you've made it this far, you clearly don't, I demand you stop and watch this episode of Psych, right now:  Psych: Last Night Gus

I literally cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard at a TV show.  If you don't like this episode (which is a parody of The Hangover), you will never ever ever ever never ever like this show.  If you like that episode, there's no chance you won't like the rest.

I held out for so long on this series, and I have three scars on my forehead from banging my head on the wall about it.  THANK YOU ALEXIS K. for finally getting me to watch this series.  Even though it does have some over the top corny, and hammy, performances, it is one of the most fun watches on television.  In fact, if you don't like this series, I hate you (in the most loving way possible).


Parks and Recreation (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

It's been another great season of Parks and Recreation.  The Entertainment 7Twenty story line, when shown, was awesome.  Adam Scott is one of the best straight men I have ever seen.  Even though I feel the Rob Lowe addition was terrible, because of him, we got Adam Scott.  To me, the Tom and Ben interactions are amazing.  I truly believe this show has the best ensemble comedy cast I have ever seen on TV (minus Rob Lowe), and think you best get your azz off the couch and watch it...no, um, wait, I mean best get your azz ON the couch and watch it.  
Here's a great episode for you to watch, if you haven't seen it:  Parks and Recreation: Ron and Tammys

The Office (NBC, 9pm ET)

Michael Scott is gone.  I only began watching the show to see him go away, and I don't miss him.  I guess that's probably how everyone feels about me, every time I'm no longer with a company...oh wellz.  The focus has moved toward the ensemble, though James Spader tries to steal every episode.  The garden party episode was hilariously wacky, and, for the most, I have enjoyed the season.  A lot of its mean spirit is gone, and it's generally a fun watch.  I'll stick with it until the end.

Person of Interest (CBS, 9pm ET)

Oh how I hate your no Video On Demand ways CBS.  This is, bar none, my favorite new show of the TV season.  You have to suspend your disbelief, but once you do, you will be along for a great ride.  It does have some story arc to it, so you're best off watching it from the beginning, WHICH YOU CAN'T DO BECAUSE OF CBS'S DRACONIAN PROGRAM VIEWING WHATEVERS.  At any rate, just start with the oldest episode you can find on cbs.com and get going.  My biggest victory is that my mom thought she would be bored after the first episode, and wasn't all that jazzed about it, when she came to visit.  After the second episode, she wanted to catch up.  Winner!

Prime Suspect (NBC, 10pm ET)

This is one of the worst, and lowest rated, police procedurals I have seen in recent memory.  As my friend, Sewra Gee, stated on the blog, it's so bad, you want to keep watching.  It just does everything wrong.  If we are fortunate, it will be canceled, like yesterday.  Unfortunately, we are unfortunate, and there is no noise out of NBC that it is being canceled.  It is, the when is the problem.  I have a list a mile long of things I don't like about the series, but you should watch an episode to see if you'll like it.  Some people do kind of like it, but that disturbs me, because it's just bad, but not bad enough to stop watching.


Grimm (NBC, 9pm ET)

I specifically remember seeing the trailer from this series, and being intrigued.  The show premise, as written, was pretty bad, but I liked the trailer.  The Pilot didn't disappoint, and I am hooked in for the ride.  It's not quite what I thought it would be, yet, but I have hopes it will get there.  You've heard of Grimms' Fairy Tales, right?  Well, according to this show, they're real.  
Nick Burckhardt, a cop, is beginning to see things that are disturbing to him.  Faces of ordinary people are turning into monsters, and then morphing back.  Maybe he had one too many Red Bulls, maybe his coffee was laced with LSD, or maybe it was something else.  He's called to a murder scene, where a woman has been shredded to death.  The woman was wearing a red hoodie.  Later, as a little girl is walking to her grandparents' house, while wearing a red hoodie, she is abducted by a postman.

That night, Nick's Aunt shows up, and tells him that he is the last Grimm, and that the weird things he's seeing means it's time for him to get to work.  A big ol' crazy fight happens outside the house, and the show is off to the races.  
It was a pretty well done show, overall, with nice production value, and a very nice dark edge to it.  I much prefer it to Once Upon a Time's sappier and more hokey style, and I am sure I will watch this series as long as it is on the air.  I only lament that it is on Friday nights.  If NBC does not get it off there quickly, I am afraid it may not be long on the air, because of their malpractice in regards to their shows.  The easiest fix is to switch this series with Prime Suspect, to allow Prime Suspect to burn off the rest of its episodes.   Otherwise, they might both die.


The Walking Dead (AMC, 9pm ET)

I still enjoy the show quite a bit, but I've started noticing budgetary constraints showing up on screen.  I have no intentions of not watching the series to the end, unless it gets really bad.  The ratings are phenomenal, and it's already been renewed for a third season.  The problem with the last couple of episodes is that they've been kind of boring.  I thought the first episode of the second season was the best of the season, so far, but I had a really hard time remembering what had happened most recently in the first season.  I guess that's bad, but I'm not going to go back and watch the first season again.  The second episode was mostly used to introduce a new set of characters, after the traumatic cliffhanger of the first episode.  
It's pretty hard to get past the idea that there is this rural farm house, out in the middle of nowhere, that hasn't been overrun by zombies.  Yet, that's what we're expected to believe, so I'm going with it.  The last episode had something very disturbing happen, at the end.  I totally saw that it had happened, but it didn't make the actual scene any less disturbing.  If things pick up, in that vein, the audience's boredom may soon be contained.

It's sad there was so much production drama around this series, and I'm sad to see those I know not involved with it anymore.  However, I know good things are around the corner for them.  A new beginning is always a good thing, even if it takes awhile to get going.

As I said, the show's not as good as it once was, but it's still very watchable.  I don't like a lot of the actors on the show, but there are some I do really like.  There's always enough to keep me around for the next one, so I'll certainly be seeing it next week.

Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8pm ET)

This was another series that was rumored to be in trouble before it even began.  Well, it's certainly proved the naysayers wrong, and has strong ratings two weeks running.  It's off to a great start, ratings wise, and it doesn't look like they'll drop too much more in the coming weeks.

It's similar to Grimm, but so much different.  Grimm is focusing on the darker fairy tales, while Once Upon a Time focuses more on the well known ones.  The series is told in both the present and in the fairy tale past.  It stars Jennifer Morrison, who you may remember as Dr. Cameron from House.  Similar to Nick, from Grimm, she has no idea that she is part of a world that has been written about in fairy tales.  The fairy tale story begins with Prince Charming awakening the seemingly dead Snow White, with a kiss.  The Evil Queen is very upset with this, and decides that she wants to curse everyone's happy endings.   That means no more "and they lived happily ever after."  The curse comes, and Snow White must give up her recently born child by putting her in the one place that won't be affected by the curse, and can one day come back and give them happy endings all over again.  The baby's name is Emma.  We continue to get bits and pieces of the fairy tale back story throughout the first two episodes.  
The real world story begins, in Boston, with a woman on a date.  It turns out she's not really there for a date, she's there to collect on a bail bond.  Shortly after her introduction, a young boy comes to her condominium, on her birthday, telling her that she is his mom.  The boy's name is Henry, and he comes from a town named Storybrooke, Maine.  He convinces her to take him home, and we see many of the characters, from the fairy tale sequence, in modern attire.  Henry tells the woman that all of these people are from the fairy tale book, but that they don't know it.  I'll let you pick it up from there. 

The series has some pretty bad acting in it, in addition to some pretty good performances.  I wouldn't call it a great show, by any means, but it holds my attention.  I think the flashback fairy tale scenes are hokey, but I like the general idea of the show.  It has a Hawthornesque type hold over me, by making me want to see what will happen in the next episode.  It's probably worth a look at the Pilot to see if you'd like it.  If you don't like it, you won't like it.

Somehow, I made it to the end of this, and I don't know how I did it.  I don't know how you did it, either.  I hope you enjoyed the new and improved (?) "What I'm Watching Now".  If you did, please reflect that by selecting like, below, or by leaving a comment.  Thanks for reading.


  1. First of all, your wife is a saint.

    Second of all, I also love Dule Hill so I can appreciate your ratings system.

    Third of all, beware the undead.


  2. Hahaha, CatG...love it.

    I would love to know why you say my wife is a saint.


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