Friday, August 29, 2008

What New TV Is On Your Calendar?

I'm totally pumped for the new season of television to begin. So You Think You Can Dance offered some solace this summer, but it's been a very... dry... season. I've diligently put all the new dates into my calendar (but have yet to program them into my PVR because I'm hoping to upgrade my receiver to HD in the next few days... HALLELUJAH!!) and here they are.

Sept 1: Gossip Girl
Sept 2: 90210 and The Shield
Sept 3: America’s Next Top Model (this season has a transgender... let’s see if it holds my interest)
Sept 7: True Blood and Entourage
Sept 9: Fringe
Sept 11: Hole in the Wall (if you're a fan of Ellen, you know what this is)
Sept 22: Heroes and Worst Week Ever
Sept 24: So You Think You Can Dance Canada (Woot! My obsession continues...)
Sept 25: Ugly Betty and The Office
Sept 28: Amazing Race and Dexter
Sept 29: Chuck
Oct 1: Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money
Oct 13: My Own Worst Enemy
Oct 30: 30 Rock

So I'm only checking out 5 new shows, one of which is a game show that I won't exactly be PVRing... but the show that has me the most excited is Pushing Daisies. I cannot WAIT for that to begin.

So what's on your schedule? I'm intrigued to hear what my readers will be watching. Have I missed anything?

And in other news... I watched Obama's speech last night (as did half the human race, probably), and thought it was magnificent. Sure, the Republicans will tear him a new one for actually attacking John McCain (how untoward for a Democrat to stoop to the level only reserved for the Bush Administration!) but I thought the man was absolutely brilliant. Man... could you imagine? Charisma actually returning to the White House after an eight-year drought? Amazing.

Oh, and before you simply leave a comment calling me a Canadian liberal pig or tell me to get back to talking about television, I'll just head you off by saying I AM TALKING ABOUT TELEVISION. Last night's speech was made for television. Delivered outdoors (only Kennedy and Roosevelt had done that) and exactly 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his momentous speech, this speech couldn't have been better if it had been in a film. Dr. King dreamed of a day when people of all races could sit at the same table. How amazed would he be to see Barack sitting at the head of that table...

I loved it. He delivered a 40-minute speech that he had memorized, and didn't stumble once. There were no malapropisms, stutters, or "heh-heh-heh"'s throughout. He made it personal, then he made it about the people, and he gave his party some new slogans, like "Eight Is Enough." He accused McCain of siding with George Bush 90% of the time, and said anyone who agrees with Bush 90% of the time can't be trusted (that elicited the loudest guffaw from me). He said McCain has said he'll follow Osama to the gates of hell, but he can't even follow him to his cave. Of course, Republicans will be ALL over that part, as happened immediately following the program when a Republican on Larry King said that Obama had accused McCain of having Osama in his sights and walking away. King said, "Actually, don't you think he was saying that you guys switched the war from Afghanistan to Iraq, thus leaving the real 9/11 perpetrators behind and going after Hussein?" The guy disagreed and said Obama was claiming McCain saw him in a grocery store parking lot and kept on walking or something like that. Sigh... (I was waiting for the guy to say, "What are you talking about? Wasn't Hussein behind 9/11??" But apparently CNN wasn't about to offer up THAT much entertainment for me.)

I'm currently reading Obama's memoir about his parents, and it's beautifully written and poignant. Apparently some fence-sitters were swayed by last night's performance, while the others are waiting to see what McCain has to say. I'm intrigued, too. After all, in a recent issue of EW, McCain put The Wire as one of his favourite shows. (Har.) So no matter what, we certainly end up with a smarter animal than the monkey who's occupying the White House now. This campaign is going to be fascinating.


Anonymous said...

What do you hate about Bush? I'm not saying he's the greatest president of all time, and I personally feel we should withdraw immediately from Iraq. But I dont get all of the asbolute hate for him. Is it just that he is a republican and you are a democrat or is there more to it. I am curious.

Ryan said...

I hate to admit it, but I'm more than a little curious about the new 90210 - although I heard that Tori Spelling won't be returning. I wonder if that was her decision or theirs: if it was theirs...understandable. But if it was hers...I mean, what else is she doing with her days?

And my goal is to completely catch up on 30 Rock before the next season starts. I know it's a lot, but I have a feeling it will be hard to turn off once I get started.

Robbie said...

You've forgotten Prison Break! The best show on television besides LOST! 4th season starts monday.

Nikki Stafford said...

Anonymous (i.e. the name of every poster who questions my political ramblings): Thanks for asking without being rude.

No, he's not the greatest president of all time; I would argue, without hyperbole, that he's the worst. He's book smart, but socially retarded; he's a terrible public speaker; it's been proven that he and his advisors were warned of 9/11 before the attacks and they ignored them; he responded to the 9/11 attacks by going after Iraq, which had nothing to do with the Taliban and little to do with 9/11; he convinced Americans that Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction before it came out that they'd made it all up; his VP was Dick Cheney, undoubtedly the worst VP in history, who I would argue is not just a bad VP, but a terrible person; he's arrogant and easily flustered; he's waged war on a nation in large part to protect his own interests and to finish the mess his Daddy started but couldn't finish... I don't think I need to go on.

No, I don't dislike someone just because he's a Republican; if you're actually a regular reader of my blog you'd know that every opinion of mine is qualified and weighed heavily. I don't dislike for the sake of disliking.

And I'm not a democrat, by the way. Despite what you and many Americans might think, Canadians are extremely informed in US politics, mostly because our news isn't censored, and we can watch things a little more objectively. But on the other hand, Americans voting in a jackass twice not only affects the US, but the rest of the world, including your immediate neighbours to the north.

Austin Gorton said...

I'm also curious about 90210. Word is Tori Spelling uninvolved herself over money...possibly because she wasn't getting as much as other returning cast members. Whatever the reason, like Ryan said, what else does she have to do (not that I'm going miss her...)?

Jonathan said...

I was not interested in 90210 until I saw a poster that had Tristan Wilds, aka Michael from The Wire, as one of the main characters. WTF?! He's such a great actor, so I'm very curious. But I'll likely watch one or two episodes and then stop.

Nikki Stafford said...

Ryan: DEFINITELY check out 30 Rock!! The advantage to it starting at the end of October means you have more time to catch up!

Rob: Oh dear... I hope you don't hate me for this, but I devoted a large and angry post to why I'm leaving Prison Break partway through season 2. It's here:

Please don't hate me. ;)

Nikki Stafford said...

Jonathan: I know, when I first heard Tristan was on it I thought, "Now THAT is bizarre" but I was always going to watch. It has Freaks and Geeks heritage, and I was a massive Bev Hills fan in the day. Donna Martin graduates!!

Nikki Stafford said...

Teebore and Ryan: I heard the same thing, that they were offering Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty more money, and she wanted equal pay that they weren't willing to give, so she's decided to stay at home.

And are you kidding?! She's SUPER busy making VERY IMPORTANT reality shows with her children and adulterous husband. Heehee... seriously, I hate both of them because of what they did to Mary Jo Eustace. Eustace is so lucky to get rid of that dead weight, that's all I can say.

Anonymous said...

what have you missed? two words for you: MAD MEN. knowing how much you love character-driven dramas, i think you'll really like it. (DmcF and i squee about it via e-mail every monday morning now, it's become our ritual!) the first season is 13 eps long, and we're about 5 eps into season 2, so there's not years and years of episodes to catch up on. i have never seen the '60s so authentically replicated in any other show and the characters are so fascinating -- they all seem so one-shot on the surface, but there's so much more going on underneath. i really like it. it's on A channel (ch 20, i think?) sundays at 10 pm.

Anonymous said...

forgot to say: this is what's on my TV calendar this year ... dexter, madmen, heroes, house, NCIS, how i met your mother, ugly betty, without a trace, gossip girl and, of course, lost!

Nikki Stafford said...

fb: Ooh, I LOVE Mad Men! I didn't miss it because I was only listing new shows premiering in September and October. I'm halfway through season 1 and LOVING it, and the rest of it is waiting on the PVR for me.

And wow, your TV list is bigger than usual, isn't it?? It looks like you're turning into a television addict after all. I'm so proud of you!! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know the dates, but this fall Bones, Doctor Who (on CBC), Boston Legal, Heroes (I guess), Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Flashpoint (though that may be next year), Smallville...

I don't know about new shows. Dollhouse, when it's on, but I think that's next year too.

Oh, and if I could vote for Obama, I would. What a wonderful speech (though I like him for more than that).

The Chapati Kid said...

Obama is MY candidate, even if I'm not American. I'm going to have a November 4th Obama party, and you're invited, Nikki. I was on my feet cheering for him last night. I wanted to shout from the rooftops. He was confrontational without being combative. What I don't get is his critics saying that he didn't mention a word about MLK. Are people just that dim that they didn't see him echo MLK's speech during the entire second half? Instead of talking about the Dream, he talked about the Promise, and it was an incredibly subtle, yet respectful acknowledgement of that day. Not only that, but for crying out loud, an African-American Presidential nominee makes history on the same date that MLK did. What greater compliment to his Dream than that? The world is waiting for history to happen. I know so many Canadians who are so emotionally invested in this election, even though he's not even running for our government. If only the Cons and the Libs and the NDP could inspire such hope in us.

Also, I hope you have forgiven me for my unintentional gaffe of a few days ago! I couldn't bear to think Nikki was still mad!

Finally here are my highly anticipated show waits:
Kath and Kim
Dexter (who's going to go after him next?)
And I know you won't like this one...
Eli Stone

Anonymous said...

I seriously need to get PVR and soon -- come January, Chuck is up against Dollhouse! (Sorry, Mr. Bartowski, your wild hijinks aren't enough to make me miss a moment of The Joss and Eliza Show.)

I notice Terminator isn't on Nikki's list. If this is hesitation about a tired franchise or "Isaw the pilot and it seemed lame," then I assure you the show got a lot better as the first season went on, at times rising to Lost and Heroes-at-their-height levels. I'm looking forward to this show as much as Heroes!

Anonymous said...

nik, i have you to blame for this 10-shows-a-season nonsense! eek! how on earth do i do this without a PVR?

i'm so, so pleased that you're watching mad men -- i figured you would, it's right up your alley. would love to hear your thoughts on season 1 once you've finished it.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Forgot Dexter. And True Blood. (though they may not be on my TV, exactly)

YolandaAsh said...

Umm I watch way too much TV for my own good, Heroes, Big Bang theory, HIMYM (NPH is just way too funny), House, Bones (I guess the season finale almost ruined it for me though), Dirty Sexy Money, Grey's, Ugly Betty, the office, eli stone, Numb3rs, I also want to check out Christian Slaters new show just because of him. I also think my roommate is also going to get me hooked on Chuck and pushing Daisies. Occasionally I might even leave the house but no promises.

Ian said...

The shows that I am most looking forward to watching this season-although I will most likely not see them until they make their way to Hulu or my DVD shelves-are Fringe, True Blood and 30 Rock. I haven't seen Pushing Daisies but I know I need to!

Jim Wood said...

Hey Nikki. I'm a republican posting under my user name. Not anonymously. I thought you'd get a kick out of that. Who cares if Obama memorized his speech? He's a great speaker, we get it. But there is more to that than being president. Let me put it this way. If Bush was a great speaker, would that change your opinion of him?

And something we can all agree on...what a great country we Americans have when someone named Barack Hussein Obama can run for president. The only way his name could be worse is if it were Charles Manson Hitler. I totally ripped that off from Dana Carvey by the way :-)

All that aside, I'm excited about Fringe, and I need to get caught up on Pushing Daisies. I've actually never seen it. I've only read what you've had to say about it.

LadySolitaire said...

I may or may not watch the series premiere for 90210 - I watched the original series (well, on and off) so it would be interesting to see the new one.

I also want to check out Fringe. Kinda curious about it. And, of course, my favourite CBS sitcoms: How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory -- yeah, I'm a geek.

Also... not sure if it's on the fall TV schedule, but I'm looking forward to the Lipstick Jungle Season 2.

I have to catch up on Grey's Anatomy. I haven't seen the full Season 3, and I only saw the latter part of Season 4.

That's all for now...

atruebluehusker said...

I have to say I am sick and tired of giving my heart away only to have it ripped apart by the Nielsen folks (Jericho) so I am not tuning in to a whole lot new this year. I'm thinking of giving Cruesoe a chance on NBC, but I think I will stick to Lost and House for the most part.

Politically speaking, I think speech-making and charisma are overrated. But then again, I think the whole political system is a mess, particularly the party system. But that is opening up a big can of worms.

Anonymous said...

Sundays - True Blood & Dexter

Mondays - Heroes, Chuck, Sarah Connor Chronicles & Prison Break

Tuesdays - Fringe and House

Wednesdays - Bones and Sons of Anarchy

Thursdays - Smallville and Supernatural

Fridays - Sanctuary, Monk, Psych and Stargate Atlantis

Nikki Stafford said...

I've been away for a few days, so I'll answer some of these comments going backwards. :)

TVJunkie: Great list! I just started watching Supernatural on DVD, and wow... where has it been all my life?? I love it.

atruebluehusker: I know how you feel, and I know I'm wary of checking out any new show on Fox for fear I'll fall deeply in love with it, only for it to be taken away from me. Wah.

adrienne: I was interested in checking out the Big Bang Theory (that's the one with Galecki in it, isn't it?) but then it doesn't seem to air with any regularity here. Is it good?

Nikki Stafford said...

the original blawger: I AM thrilled that you posted with your name!! LOL! The thing is, you didn't need to post anonymously because your post was thoughtful, polite, and convincing. The people who post anonymously basically write, "I don't know why you hate Bush, you stupid liberal Canadian. Long may he reign! Down with gay marriage!" Or somesuch. And it's easy to write stupid things when you're posting anonymously.

I agree wholeheartedly with what you say: just because Obama is well spoken and charismatic doesn't mean he's a good president. That said, the good speakers tend to be the better presidents (Kennedy) and the bad ones not so much. But you're right: if Dubya were a good speaker, it wouldn't make him a good president. It would give him *something*, but it wouldn't make him a good president. I don't think I said in my post, though, that Obama gave a good speech, and therefore he will be a good president. (At least, that wasn't my intent if that's how it was taken.) I loved his speech, but as I mentioned, I'm reading his memoir and the guy was brought up by a mother who taught him to care about people... to REALLY care about people. She introduced him to scenarios and conditions that opened his mind to the world that's out there, whether it's the world of the poor or disadvantaged or the world of the wealthy, and taught him to appreciate all of it. George W., on the other hand, had a silver spoon in his mouth, and you'd be hard pressed to suggest that he has ever been able to empathize with someone in a different circumstance as himself.

Thanks for the comment! And yes... WATCH PUSHING DAISIES!!! :)

Nikki Stafford said...

chapatikid: I would love to come to an Obama party! Thank you for your wonderful comment (and no, I could NEVER be angry at you!! in fact, I'm about to issue an apology to you...)

Oh! And I watched an ep of Eli Stone... it was tough to get into because it seemed to come with some backstory that I didn't quite get but there was a funny moment where George Michael showed up, and the assistant called him Bono. :)

jj: You know, I PVR'd Terminator, and then I began running out of space and I calculated the time it would take to watch it all, and figured I'd just drop it. I'm assuming I made a mistake?

fb: I'm the enabler of your TV addiction? YAY! :)

yolandaash: Going out of the house is overrated. ;)

Ian: Pushing Daisies is AMAZING. I can't say enough about it.

And everyone, I forgot one very important show: Friday Night Lights!!! It begins October 1. Woo!

Ian said...

I didn't get to watch the 90210 season premiere, but it was THE buzz at work today.

My coworker posted about her reactions:

What did you think?

K J Gillenwater said...

"We will certainly end up with..."? Aren't you Canadian? I hope you meant, "certainly *Americans* will end up with..."

Curious what you think of McCain's VP pick. I, for one, think it was a brilliant move and am looking forward to VP debates for *once* in my life. (who really has ever watched a VP debate with interest?)

To me, Obama sounds very nice, but behind him is just an empty suit.

Chris in NF said...

I'm coming late to this party, but I need to weigh in on the Obama thing ... and to defend the power of rhetoric, not just for what it does, but for what it means.

Obama's speech at the convention was amazing, but pales in comparison to what he's done previously -- I'm thinking here specifically about the "More Perfect Union" speech, the one he delivered in the aftermath of the Jeremiah Wright silliness. If you haven't heard or read that speech, do so now (the text is available online, Obama's performance of it on YouTuvbe) -- and I say that to everyone here.

I'm teaching a course this fall on race and identity in American Fiction, and we're starting with Frederick Douglass' "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July," and that speech by Obama. Because, seriously -- it's that good. it deserves to go down as one of the major statements on race in American history.

There's a lot of criticism of Obama floating around -- not just one the right -- that speaks dismissively of his "empty rhetoric" and "lofty speeches." I agree, certainly, that just talking about things isn't enough ... but seriously folks, when was the last time a major American politician spoke with such intelligence and eloquence? That in and of itself is heartening ... when you read Obama's speeches, they often move into vague references, but they just as often speak directly to an issue, and if nothing else, demonstrate that there is a remarkable mind at work behind them.

My doctoral alma mater, The University of Western Ontario, had for a while the marketing slogan "Leading. Thinking." My favourite professor there, a wonderful woman named Alison Lee, once drily observed that perhaps those were in the wrong order ... perhaps thinking should come first? The last eight years in America have been the embodiment of this problem (except for the thinking part, which hasn't seemed to follow the leading at all). Perhaps I betray my professional bias toward language and discourse, but I believe emphatically that intelligent, measured *discussion* is the basis of a strong democracy, and the willingness to think and consider the nuances of a situation before acting is absolutely crucial. I choose to see Obama's capacity for oratory as indicative of this reflective, intelligent spirit.

Nikki Stafford said...

Kristin: Surely you aren't naive enough to think that the American president impacts only Americans??? The president of the United States is the single most powerful person in the world: witness the state of the world today. It has everything to do with who is in power in the U.S. So as a Canadian, I am VERY interested in who (y)our next president is.

I'm keen to hear Palin's speech tonight, and I feel terribly that she (and more importantly, her daughter) has been ripped to shreds by the critics and the media who have dug up this stuff. Notable that the very things she's being attacked for -- "lack of family values" (puh-leeze), etc. -- are the very things that the Republicans dredge up against every Democrat on earth, and yet when it happens to one of their candidates, they rally behind her and make excuses.

I say that just as an observation. I feel very badly for her, and wish the critics could withhold their fire until we could understand her. I just wonder why McCain's camp didn't see all this coming, and, you know, take down her daughter's baby daddy's stupid MySpace page before she was announced the candidate. They must have known her background and current familial situation... or maybe they looked into her family situation about as closely as the Bush Administration researched those WMDs.

Ian: 90210 is on the PVR and I'm BURNING to watch it!!!

Chris: Yes. What he said. SO well put.

Chris in NF said...

"A More Perfect Union"

K J Gillenwater said...

Yes, I understand the world is impacted by our election...but it's not your candidate to vote for. I guess that's what I was meaning. So we get who we vote for, you just deal with the aftermath of that choice.

As for Palin, there are no 'family values' to attack, as far as I'm concerned. To me, family values means you support the nuclear family. That children and marriage and religion come first (if you happen to be religious). And that is what I see in Sarah Palin. When you start to undercut those things through policies or your own lifestyle, that's where I have a problem.

By the way, her speech was absolutely brilliant. She is a born public speaker...and you just can't learn that. A natural in front of a crowd. Makes me excited for 2012!

Anonymous said...

Nikki, I do think you made a mistake. The show has flaws -- I'm not crazy about the voiceovers, and it can get melodramatic. However, mostly it's a tight little action show that is very well-acted. It'll suck you in, I'll bet.

Anonymous said...

As for the election, I'm Canadian like Nikki, so I don't get a vote. I will say I like how dramatic this is all becoming -- the two old white dudes are being ignored (natch) so everyone can focus on the candidates with life stories that could have come from Lifetime movies of the week. The partisans on both sides are all, like, "Our Messiah is better than your Messiah!" Awesome.

YolandaAsh said...

Nikki Big Bang Theory is SO funny and I think it comes on reguarly at least in the US (is it different in Canada) you know presuming there are no strikes to ruin all the fun. And my favorite character is Sheldon (jim Parsons). Oh what a wonderful tribute to geekdom.

Anonymous said...

Palin stands for everything I don't (anti-choice gun-owner big-oil creationist). I don't care how good her speeches are.

Have you been watching The Daily Show? That's where I get my political news ;)

LadySolitaire said...

Nikki, The Big Bang Theory is pretty good. It's very funny, although the more advanced scientific stuff goes over my head sometimes (think Frank Lapidus and his thoughts regarding Faraday's experiments *wink wink*). Johnny Galecki has great comic timing. I love the characters. The Indian guy (Rajesh) who can't talk at all around women, especially attractive ones, is one of my favourites. It's just so hilarious. I think I'm getting the DVD. Anyway, I usually watch the US broadcast on CBS. I think it's also on E! Network. At least, here in Metro Vancouver anyway.

I can't wait for Fringe!

Emilia said...

It's hard for me to commit to watching new shows. I usually don't get into them until a reliable source tells me it's good and then I frantically try to catch up. I plan on watching Lost (of course), Heroes, 30 Rock, The Office and ER (last season!). This blog will have to serve as my reliable source on any new shows. Except for maybe Fringe; I might watch that from the beginning.