I’ve been picking up some non-genre TV series box sets and vegging out on them during the writer’s strike doldrums. The first one I have to talk about is 30 Rock season one. I am not a sitcom fan so I didn’t give this series much attention when it started even though Tina Fey from Saturday Night Live is the show’s creator and one of the stars. I always found her funny on SNL and I enjoyed her snarly wit. Many people have been telling me that I’d love the series if I gave it a shot, so I finally did.
It seems like every indie filmmaker wants to make a movie about making movies. Those kinds of films are a tough sell to the mass market and mostly flop with only a few exceptions. There have however been a few television series that have made a good run of it telling the behind the scenes stories of making TV (Sports Night) so with the creative team behind 30 Rock I had high hopes that I wasn’t wasting my time. Tina Fey has brilliantly crafted a series that has a quirky and goofy sort of humor that can appeal to both a casual fan and the more hardcore TV junkie. Fey plays a show runner for a sketch comedy series airing on NBC and she’s not only the smartest person in the room but also the butt of most of the jokes. The series is extremely silly which may not appeal to everyone but I’m hooked. The writers and cast are first rate on this series with Alec Baldwin as Feys’ corporate boss being a standout. I found 30 Rock to be a refreshing break from reruns and reality television and can’t recommend it to you guys enough.
This week starts and ends terribly with not much on Monday other than the State of the Union Address and the Super Bowl on Sunday but in between there are some great shows coming back. Thursday night is the big one with LOST finally coming back with a two hour start. I think it’s kind of strange to do a two hour debut though considering the limited number of episodes the network has ready to air. If they had just started the series with one hour, we’d have another week of LOST before we’re back into reruns. LOST ended really strong last season making it one my most anticipated returning series this year right up there with Battlestar Galactica. That’s not all though, both Smallville and Supernatural are coming back to The CW Thursday night too. I have a real love/ hate relationship with Smallville but I’m happy to see it coming back and hopeful that it’ll actually be good. Supernatural is a no brainer. It’s one of the most consistently stellar series on TV and I expect no less from its return. For those of you into House, it’s new this week too.
THE MATRIX (AMC, 8PM EST)
This film is a science fiction classic. It’s a real shame that the sequels sort of tainted it place in history. If this was the only film in this franchise that had ever been made no one would question its brilliance, but alas we had to get a flawed trilogy. I actually like the sequels but they’re bloated and egocentric, just not as tightly executed as this film. Watch it and re-live the greatness.
HOUSE (FOX, 9PM EST) IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
House suspects that a mysteriously paralyzed woman (Janel Moloney) is withholding vital information---but maybe she can't help it. Meanwhile, House puts his personal stamp on the hospital's Secret Santa gift exchange.
DIRTY JOBS (DSC, 9PM EST) BUOY CLEANER
Mike Rowe travels to Oregon to make shingles and then hops a Coast Guard ship to clean dirty buoys. This guy is actually pretty entertaining and there’s really not much else on...
MYTHBUSTERS (DSC, 9PM EST) AIRPLANES ON A CONVEYOR BELT
Myths tested include whether an airplane on a conveyor belt can become airborne, and how much radiation cockroaches, fruit flies and flour beetles can take. Also: a prank involving a car interior filled with foam.
GHOSTHUNTERS INTERNATIONAL (SCIFI, 9PM EST) HAUNTED VILLAGE
Claims concerning the Elvey Farm Hotel in Pluckley, England, are investigated.
LOST (NBC, 8PM EST) PAST AND PRESENT FUTURE
A clip show recapping the first three seasons and exploring mysteries on and off the island in preparation for the fourth-season opener.
LOST (NBC, 9PM EST) THE BEGINNING OF THE END
As the fourth season begins, the castaways await rescue by the people with whom they have made contact, but are troubled by Charlie's final warning about them. Michael: Harold Perrineau. Christian Shepherd: John Terry.
SMALLVILLE (CW, 8PM EST) PERSONA
Clark is frozen in the Fortress and Bizarro takes over his life, starting with Lana, who shares information about Brainiac (James Marsters). Elsewhere, Grant reveals he is a clone of Julian, and Lex is shocked at his father's reaction to this revelation. Dax-Ur: Marc McClur.
SUPERNATURAL (CW, 9PM EST) MALLEUS MALEFICARUM
Unrequited love becomes vengeful witchcraft, which in turn leads Sam and Dean to a coven of suburban witches whose black magic is drawn from a much more sinister source.
FLASH GORDON (SCIFI, 8PM EST) REVOLUTION
Part 1 of 2. Terek (Craig Stanghetta) rallies an armed rebellion against Ming; Ming learns that Rankol is a Celetroph and orders his execution; Aura confronts Ming concerning her bloodline; Dale and Norah flee to Mongo; Flash makes a shocking discovery in the Citadel's mainframe room. Queen Fria: Kendall Cross.
STARGATE ATLANTIS (SCIFI, 10PM EST) OUTCAST
Sheppard learns that his father has died and returns to Earth for the funeral, accompanied by Ronon. While there, they discover that a covert project has accidentally unleashed a human-form Replicator in the city. Ava Dixon: Emma Lahana.
SCORCHER (SCIFI, 9PM EST)
An Army Intelligence officer tries to save the planet from a nuclear disaster. Hey it’s Rutger Hauer it can’t be all that bad. Can it?
TORCHWOOD (BBC, 9PM EST) SLEEPER
The team responds to a deadly burglary and Jack suspects the seemingly innocent victim isn't who she says she is.
STAR TREK ENTERPRISE (SCIFI, 8PM EST) MARATHON
Yep, it’s Super Bowl Sunday so this is what it has come too, a three hour block of Star Trek Enterprise episodes. This wasn’t that great a Trek series but it’s not as bad as I remember it being. What did I just get from Netflix?