Mea culpa and fall TV

Fringe is back for another great season, along with a host of other shows.

It’s been a long time, and I have to apologize for my absence from Remotely Entertaining. With a full lineup of fall TV, a tidal wave of work and more than a few social calls, it’s been tough to find time to write in the last couple weeks. Kudos to my co-blogger, Mark, for keeping things fresh.

Wow! What a fall lineup we have. Here’s what I’m loving:

  • Fringe – Every season seems better than the last. Last week’s premiere delved into Olivia’s predicament on the other side, and set the stage for another very interesting season. In interviews, I’ve heard the show’s writers say that they intend to fully develop the alternate characters, rather than simply setting them up as ne’er do well dopplegangers. Next week, I’m hoping for a good monster of the week, as this show does mythology and one-off episodes equally good.
  • 30 Rock – You’re my pube shirt. Enough said.
  • Boardwalk Empire – We all knew this would be great, and guess what? It is. From the excellent cast (particularly Steve Buscemi) to the directing and writing to the costumes and sets, this show is nothing short of enthralling. It’s no surprise that after one episode, it was picked up for a second season.
  • Dexter – To be sure, it was a depressing first hour of Dexter on Sunday. With Rita gone, Dexter is definitely off his game. Deb is trying to pick up the pieces whilst sleeping with Quinn (who is quite nice, I might add), and the kids are a wreck. From week to week, I can never predict where this show is going, but I’m on the edge of my seat the entire time I’m watching.
  • Vampire Diaries – This show hit the ground running, and the twist of Caroline becoming a vampire is a great one. Also, I love that Damon continues to be a bad guy and I was genuinely shocked when he snapped Jeremy’s neck in episode one. The werewolf element is also promising, and the show has a unique mythology related to its supernatural elements.

Like I said, there’s lot to watch right now. I also have a few new and returning shows that I’m not loving as much, but I’ll save that commentary for another post.

Catching up on The Office, 30 Rock, Parenthood

 I did some catching up last night with my DVR, so you’ll have to forgive me for the delayed reaction to one of the better episodes of The Office in recent memory. Although I love Jim and Pam, it is the awkward, quirky interpersonal relationships that make this show really great. This week’s episode “Happy Hour” got back to basics – Michael making a fool of himself as “Date Mike,” Andy acting like a complete lunatic with Erin, and Dwight in classic form. I mean, who didn’t cheer when Isabel whacked Angela on the forehead. I replayed this scene twice.

We also got a big surprise on 30 Rock with the return of Floyd from Cleveland. I, like LL, was hoping Floyd was back to rekindle their love connection, but alas he has moved on to an exercise instructor. Bummer.  I laughed my butt off about the Silver Panthers and “Twig and Plums,” and Kenneth’s silver NBC hot pants.

That brings me to Parenthood. Honestly, the show is just not that great. But I keep watching it. Why? Because it will always do in a late-night pinch when I’ve watched everything else on my DVR, there’s nothing on HBO, and I haven’t received my Netflix in the mail. Maybe the show is just too vanilla for my taste. It definitely should be on at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

The missing lost and found and other musings

Creed Bratton

Last night’s episode of The Office essentially revolved around the newfound bravado of the sales staff under Sabre (which I still pronounce Sa-Bray).

One of my favorite characters on this show is Creed. When Michael announced that the lost and found was lost, Creed (wearing what looks to be a pair of Ryan’s hipster glasses) gave a deviant glance that indicated he was the culprit behind the missing lost items. Perhaps he is keeping the lost and found in his desk drawer with those mung beans.

Andy and Erin continued their bizarre courtship, which is almost painful to watch at times. It seems like the writers are setting them up to become the next Jim and Pam, but they are both too awkward to be completely lovable. Speaking of Andy, his clothes become more ridiculous each week – coral Dockers and a yellow sweater vest? He looks like he raided the closet of Long Duk Dong.                                                 

 Also new last night was 30 Rock, a show that usually has me in stitches but last night only evoked a few chuckles. I did love Jack’s comment about Don Geiss’s funeral – an Episcopal cryogenic freezing service open only to Six Sigma Black Belts. Hilarious. “Madder than a bat in a suitcase” will be deposited in my mental bank of idioms. And who didn’t laugh when Wesley said, so non-chalantly, that his last name is Snipes. He does have a point though – it sounds like a middle-aged British guy’s name.

Thursday is a big night for TV, and I am looking forward to new episodes of Vampire Diaries (next week) and Fringe (coming back in April). What are you watching on Thursdays?