Tonight1 after How I Met Your Mother, CBS aired a Fall Preview Special. It felt like a weird throwback in this age of network websites and on-demand viewing and YouTube for a network to take 30 minutes of prime time programming to show what are essentially long commercials advertising their fall program schedules. It was horribly cheesy and horribly hosted by Jim Belushi and Jerry Romijn (née O'Connell), two actors who, no matter what your opinion of some of their work, you have to actually try to make not charming. But this thirty minutes really did that.
However, the special was helpful in that it made me realize
- it was time for me to put out the Logopolis Fall TV Guide and
- how much I have loved television promotional crap in the past.
Back when networks and fall schedules meant something, I used to love the TV Guide(s) that covered the returning and new shows. I'd read them cover-to-cover. (Okay, I did that will all TV Guides I could get my hands on, but these were extra special.) Those same issues, if I had saved them, would probably be remarkable graveyards of ideas half-formed and brilliance that never saw the light of day.
I don't remember Fall Preview Specials from the television of my youth, except for the specials, usually run on a Friday night, that promoted each networks fall cartoon line-up. You see, kids, once upon a time, each network showed cartoons all morning on Saturday mornings, and they promoted the fuck out of them in the summer leading up to it. And it. was. AWESOME!
If you look through the Internet Archive and YouTube you can find that networks have been doing specials like these forever In fact, here's CBS's own 1968 special.
As you can see, if you watch it, there was this little show with an awesome theme song that was premiering back in 1968. Hawaii 5-O. And as they say, the more things change...
The CBS promotional clips of the new Hawaii 5-02 made it look a whole lot better than I figured it would. Good for them -- if a show like this doesn't win you over by its style, it's sunk.
For one, any show where Scott Caan (the Danno who will be booking 'em) is possibly the third most attractive male lead is a show with lots of style points.3But they try for a little substance too. In this version, McGarrett is a former military man (as he must be to be a lead male character on a CBS drama - I think it's a hidden passage in the PATRIOT Act) haunted by a past in which his father was killed by international drug lords in a weird scene in South Korea (looking suspiciously like Hawaii and/or the island from Lost.) Soon after, the governor of Hawaii is setting up a task force to fight international criminals in Hawaii. Hmmmm...
McGarret is played by Alex O'Laughlin, that guy from that CBS vampire show that bombed (probably because the vampire wasn't a Navy captain), and he likes to surf, which is a good thing...
It's established in the promo that Danno, despite having moved to Hawaii, doesn't like the beach, which seems like, a mistake to me, considering the short Mr. Caan's love of the surf and... well...
Then again, I may not be the target demo.
Hawaii 5-O, Part Two: Less Hula But More Skin also stars Jin from Lost as a local cop and Grace Park as his rookie cop cousin who may or may not spend the entire pilot in a bikini.
Other Monday highlights
90210: Andrea Zuckerman Doesn't Live Here Anymore rolls into its third season with more skanks, psychos, and homosexuals than you can throw a stick at. Last season, before she became a budding pop star, one of the girls kissed Rumer Willis, and she liked it. This year, tennis player and player player Teddy Montgomery realizes he's gay. Which is great because, really, the actor who plays him, Trevor Donavan, has always reminded me of a gay porn star circa 1996. Fun fact, and speaking of Andrea Zuckerman, despite now playing a high school junior, Donavan would have been legal to be doing porn in 1996, since he'll turn 32 this year.
Nu-90210 is actually an entertaining little program by CW standards, as they've shed all the dead weight that was the original cast's haunting West Beverly and focus on the students -- all of whom think they are good people but are mostly, well, not. And the season finale ended with quite possibly the worst 'girl who cried wolf' turnaround ever when Naomi seemed like she might be getting raped by the teacher she falsely accused of sexual harassment. Also, there was a tribute to Emily Valentine, when crazy-ass Jasper burnt a boat that Liam had made. By hand. No weak-ass Homecoming Floats here. What I'm saying is: it takes little to please me.Also, Gossip Girl is still happening in televisual form. And despite main characters finally losing their virginity/finally getting shot while being a gross sex tourist, I manage to not care and care a surprisingly similar amount -- so much that I really can't tell you what's happening on the show (Final half of season summary: Somebody old had a rare soap opera disease that could only be cured by a doctor who doesn't seem to practice much medicine and Jenny was horrid) and that I will probably watch it.
How I Met Your Mother chugged along nicely last year, even though it's rabid fan-base (that, yes, actually exists) thought it sucked. I'm ready for it to live up to its title, though. I realized last night, when watching Rachel Bilson as the roommate of the heretofore unseen mother, they've really blown it by not having Sarah Chalke and/or Bilson being the mom. I really don't think we can ever meet the character because she's got such a mythical status. (Also, since Ted is the new Ross Gellar, his dream girl is bound to be super fucking annoying.) I think that'd be a fine way to end the show, literally ending the show at the moment he meets the mother. But if so, they need to just never mention the title of the show again until that episode.
Every summer I somehow accidentally start watching a show that I've never even known was on and then end up secretly setting up a Season Pass for it. This summer it was CBS's Rules of Engagement. Yes, really. I always thought it was just going to be the same "pretty women nag stupid guys" sit-com with an extra annoying dose of David Spade thrown in. And I guess, now that I describe it, that's exactly what it is. But it makes me laugh. And Megyn Price is very funny. And it's fun to imagine that Patrick Warburton is actually dressed as the Tick the whole time.
And it also has my favorite new trope: stupid guy with hot wife... wait, you say, that's not new. In fact, that's what we've been complaining about for years. But no, see, in this new trend, the stupid guy with the hot wife is actually hotter than his wife. (Oliver Hudson, above) So it's not exactly a long way, baby, but it's progress.
Mike & Molly, which is not a sitcom about me and my sister, but instead a fictionalized version of The Biggest Loser, starring Sookie from Gilmore Girls. As much as I want to love anything Melissa McCarthy does, and was more hopeful seeing Swoozie Kurtz is involved, I'm not so sure about this one. The good news is that they don't seem to be making lots of horrible fat jokes in the commercials; the bad news is that the jokes in the commercials aren't funny.
Lone Star - about a con-man living a double life -- looks promising. But Fox has burned me too many times with serialized dramas. Any other network, I'd try. But Fox has burned me one too many times. (Wait until Thursday, when I really go off on this.) The pilot for this was in Vanity Fair last month, so I may try to watch this one so I can give it an early review.
Speaking of serialized dramas that did me wrong, NBC is replacing Heroes with The Event (with a backwards E in the middle). I'm not sure how it's different than any of the other incorrectly spelled globally weird copies of Lost that the networks keep trying out (see also FastForward without a space sometimes) Remember when the Rimbaldi shit on Alias seemed so new? (More on that on Thursday too.) I'll give it a pilot plus one try out and then we'll see (based on the show AND the ratings)
Finally, there's Chase... which is a procedural that looks like it moved over from TNT -(in that it has an awesome woman professional being a bad ass professionally. This is not a bad thing in theory. In fact, it's a good thing. But the commercials look like it will suck. It co-stars Jesse Metcalf, which is not a good sign, as Metcalf is good for three things, and since "playing off Eva Langoria" and "acting confused because of a spell a witch on Passions has cast" probably isn't going to happen on this show; he's just going to be dead weight. Pretty dead weight, but dead weight nonetheless.
1 Eagle eyed readers (and anyone who follows me on Twitter) will note that I actually posted this on Tuesday and post-dated it because I wanted to roll these out daily. Damn it, Labor Day, for screwing up my idea -- and also for making it so I couldn't find any ground beef at the store last night.
2 Wikipedia informs us that the title [of the 2010 version] contains a zero instead of the capital letter O in the title"; I would appreciate if we would all start calling it "Hawaii Five-Zero" then. Wikipedia also tells us that the name of the series comes from the fact that Hawaii was the 50th state to join the union, and referring to cops as the "five-o" comes from the series, not the other way around. Weird.
3 Just kidding Tweeder. You'll always be my fave.