What’s On TV

We are back at GW. Summer is almost over and fall is right around the corner. Soon, leaves will be changing colors, the humid D.C. heat will give way to cooler temperatures, and most importantly, a whole new season of TV will start.
Yes, I’m talking about the shows that you can’t bear to miss coming back for a glorious four month run. Regardless of what thirty-minute to an hour slice of heaven may be your favorite, odds are it will be back in action in the coming weeks, distracting you from doing homework, reading, participating in intramural sports, various clubs, etc. But that is a good thing, right? Of course it is. So, if you have been taking a breather from TV this summer and are ready for more than just a weekly “Entourage” fix, get fired up, because it is time to sit back, relax, and see what’s on.
It would be wrong of me not to start with everyone’s favorite drug dealing, suburban-dwelling, pot-growing momma and the tight-knit little community of Agrestic of the Showtime original series “Weeds.” Already into its third season, “Weeds” has picked up where the second season left off and has quickly intensified past a Mexican standoff into a personal and professional downward spiral for our heroine Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker.) This show is definitely still growing to its full potential and we will soon see a more specific focus on the personal relationships between the Botwin family this season, meaning Nancy and her two sons Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould). Without making it seem like it tries too hard, Weeds still manages to be a family drama and a stoner comedy rolled into a single package. With some of the wittiest writing around and with the addition of Mary-Kate Olsen as Silas’s new love interest later this season, this show is only getting better.
Last year, NBC solidified its spot as the most exciting network channel. This year its return line-up is very strong: one of the most talked about shows on TV, “Heroes,” one of the most successful franchises ever, “Law & Order,” and the best comedy night line-up since the Friends/Seinfeld era on Thursdays, not to mention the return of critically acclaimed “Friday Night Lights.” Don’t let the crappy movie make you draw premature conclusions about “Friday Night Lights,” good acting and beautiful camera work make this high school football drama series worth at least a chance. It has just as much drama as “The Hills” and you get to keep your dignity after watching it.
NBC is also premiering a slate of new shows this fall to fill the void left by “The Black Donnellys” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which were both cancelled last season. Sandwiching “Heroes” in two newly coveted Monday night spots are two new dramas, “Chuck” and “Journeyman.” Neither of these shows impressed me much, but it would be unfair to judge a new show with potential in the same breathe as one without. So I’ll comment on “Chuck” first.
I hated “Chuck.” The premise is a loser computer geek who can’t get a decent job or even act together enough to hold a conversation. He somehow mistakingly “downloads” the U.S. government’s top secrets from an e-mail and now, along with the help of an extremely beautiful and blonde secret agent, must defend the information from bad guys. It took me three times to try and watch this pilot; that is way too many for a guy who likes most spy movies and nearly all beautiful, blonde agents. The show was created by “The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz, and it shows. With dialogue written at a fifth grade reading level and an uninteresting mix of clich? characters, “Chuck” probably won’t be around for too long.
Billed as “a romantic mystery-drama” by NBC, “Journeyman” could be a perfect encore show for Heroes fans. Created by Kevin Falls and Alex Graves, the guys who brought you “The West Wing,” “Journeyman’s” pilot is just captivating enough to warrant a second viewing. The show is about Dan Vasser, a family man and newspaper reporter who is suddenly burdened with an unexplainable ability to transport through time for the purpose of helping people. OK, so the plot is a little corny, but Vasser is played by the extremely talented Kevin McKidd of HBO’s “Rome,” who manages to make the character three-dimensional from the very first episode. Coupling McKidd’s acting depth and intricate character relationships, “Journeyman” may develop into another hit for NBC.

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