I’ve gotten a little behind on my TV watching (gasp!) but I caught up this weekend. No, I’m no hero. Just a guy who can bravely sit on a couch for hours on end.
There have been a couple of new shows popping up lately, and the return of a couple of my favorites. Here’s what I’ve been watching:
Louie: I don’t know how to put into words how great I think this show is. It’s an oddity in that when you start to watch you really have no idea what you’re going to get: something funny, something depressing, something touching, something rude, and often, all of the above.
Take the first episode of the season. We start with Louie’s daughter casually mentioning that she enjoys being with her mother (Louie’s ex-wife) more than she enjoys being with him. It’s just one of those brutally honest statements kids make that don’t contain any malice but can plunge a burning dagger into your very soul. Depressing. Louie’s reaction is to give his daughter the finger when she’s not looking. Funny. Then his extremely pregnant sister shows up, and in the middle of the night she has a medical emergency. Louie is frozen with panic, and his neighbors come to the rescue, one helping Louie to get to the hospital while the other watches his kids. The emergency is defused (in a manner both rude and funny). Finally, Louie, is near tears with guilt for not knowing his neighbors even existed, and overwhelmed with gratitude at receiving help from kind strangers. Touching.
This is a great show.
Wilfred: This premiered on FX two weeks ago, the American remake of an Australian show. I don’t know how it’ll do: it’s sort of strange, not incredibly funny, and has an unusual premise. Elijah Wood plays Frodo (not his character name, but I can’t remember his character name), a depressed ex-lawyer whose plans to kill himself don’t come to fruition, much to his dismay. One noticeable side-effect: Frodo suddenly sees his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred, as a big Australian guy in a cruddy dog costume. Wilfred tries to snap Frodo out of his doldrums by encouraging his more animal instincts, such as stealing pot from his jerk neighbor and pooping in his boots. I enjoyed the pilot, but the second episode was pretty dull and more of a standard sitcom. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Falling Skies: We’re four episodes in and, I dunno. It’s okay? It’s not really doing anything spectacular or new, but it’s not really doing anything to really annoy me, either. I think the main problem is that I don’t care about anyone on the show. Noah Wyle is doing a fine job as Professor History, but his character is so good, kind, thoughtful, and reasonable it’s hard to have any real interest in him. I like flaws, and he hasn’t shown any yet. His rough-and-tumble teenager is pretty dull. Will Patton is a one-note gruff leader type. The women are all basically interchangeable. They introduced Pope, who I think is supposed to be a charming rogue like Sawyer from Lost but he’s not charming, just an ugly annoying scenery-chewing cartoon. Most of the story-lines come from missions that go awry because someone does something unforgivably stupid.
Still. It has aliens so I keep watching, hoping it will get better instead of worse.
Futurama: I’m happy Futurama is back but the first three episodes haven’t been particularly good. In one, Bender creates a bunch of replicas of himself, and they do stuff I can’t really remember. In another, the crew have their genders swapped, which is a promising concept that they didn’t do much with, other than make a bunch of incredibly obvious gender jokes. The third episode featured the death of Bender and his ghost trying to do I dunno what. Meh, times three. Hopefully, there will be at least a couple decent episodes this season.