2009 TV Scorecard – Best: “V”; “Glee” and “Modern Family”

Fall series premiers are getting ever less exciting, and with shows almost completely dependent on ratings and tv commercial dollars, its no wonder that little comes our way anymore on network tv. But there is the occasional breakthrough. Those of us who have had our hearts ripped out with cancellations of such well-done shows as “Eli Stone”; “Wonderfalls”; “Pushing Daisies” and the like, will understandably know why it is hard to commit to watching new series anymore.

The best of the fall bunch, “GLEE”, is a winner. An appealing cast, great scripts, and a strong teen following make this the standout of the fall season. And it’s a musical theatre lover’s dream show. I do hope they finally tie up the ridiculous pregnancy plot, and move on to bigger and better things…but the season has been filled with wonderful things: “Imagine” in sign language; a number in wheelchairs; great guest appearances (bring back John Lloyd Young!)…and a return visit later this season by Kristin Chenowith! Love the show. Keep it coming.

“V” was surprisingly better than expected — mostly because of the top-notch cast. In ABC programming bizareness, the show aired only 4 original episodes this fall, making us wait until spring for more. Bring it on, I’m hooked.

“Modern Family” is the sitcom standout of the season. An appealing and natural looking/acting casts bring some of the season’s most humerous moment to hilarious, embarrassing life. At the middle of it all is Ty Burrell as the yuppie dad-come-nerd, who basically plays his role as if he were a talking dog. Its one of the best, and funniest, sitcom acting turns in ages.

Surprising failures? “FlashForward”. It had the best premier episode of the season. By episode three it had faded into the distance with little interest in the characters. I do wonder why this cast is primarily British, acting with American accents. Joseph Fiennes has a throw-away roll, and not much is made of the other actors in the show. I’m losing interest fast.

In holdover’s – “Castle” is holding it’s own. I’ve really come to love this show, and look forward to my 10:00 Monday night hour of witticism and Nathan Fillion.

“Heroes” jumped the shark months ago, and basically lost my interest in October. I turn it on to catch some of the special effects — but they come few and far between in a show that just needs to be cancelled at this point. Similarly, “The Office” is no longer funny, and “30Rock” better find a way to get itself out of its NBC-studios insider jokes and back to the broad comedy that others could relate to pretty darn fast. “Community” is occasionally funny, and moreso if you work or attend that setting, but it is rather one-note.

Among the holdovers that still hold my interest are “How I Met Your Mother”, which is getting better, now that they are less concerned about Josh Radnor’s (lack of) love life, and focusing more on it’s more interesting characters — and “The Big Bang Theory” which episode per episode has the most laugh-out-loud moments on television, and a quote-worthy statement every single week. Take Raj’s observation that “If I could speak to rabbits, they would be amazed, and I would be their king” and Sheldon’s comment that “Cats refuse to wear sporting apparel…as my sister found out the hard way”. This is genius stuff.

Otherwise, I’ve found myself watching a lot of Netflix DVD’s instead.

And that’s the view from Ann Arbor today.

%d bloggers like this: