And Now for Something Completely Different

I am going to be away for this week. Ish. Maybe less, maybe more. The interior of my building is being painted and as paint fumes cause my lungs to shut down (love that asthma), I have to leave. I should be back towards the end of the week, I fervently hope. Posting will be light - ok, non-existent - while I’m gone, as there will be no internet access (and I'm already twitching at the thought). Please keep your fingers crossed for quick dissipation of fumes and for Mojo, who’s having a spot of surgery this week.

While I’m gone, here’s my take on the new season’s dramas.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I was a West Wing fanatic until after its creator left, so naturally I had to watch this show. I'm still a little on the fence, but it’s a token resistance - it's already one of the shows I look forward to. Matthew Perry is great (not a bit of Chandler in sight), Amanda Peet is wonderful and the cast of Studio 60 is charming me every week. Josh Lyman - excuse me, Bradley Whitford - well, it's like a more tanned version of Josh Lyman, isn't it?

Bones. Emily Deschanel is one of the most beautiful women on TV. I love her character of Temperance Brennan. I love her awkwardness, her deadpan delivery, her intimidating intelligence, her strength and the fact that she looks like a real women instead of a stick figure (although she could gain back some of last season’s weight, thank you). I love everything about her. David Boreanaz is wonderful - their interplay is fantastic. The cases are interesting, but really, this is a show about Tempe’s team and the interaction between them is brilliantly written. A complete joy to watch.

Grey’s Anatomy. It’s strange – I thoroughly enjoy how real the show is, which is a funny thing to say about a show in which the medicine and the hospital culture are so blatantly wrong. However, the relationships, the people are very real. Meredith Grey is confused, fucked up and at times unlikable. I like that they make mistakes and that there are consequences. I like that they have to clean up the messes. And I love how the show was cast based on ability, not looks (aside from the standard requirement to be reasonably attractive). I love how racially balanced it is, I love how with the exception of Meredith, the other women don't look anorexic. It frees me to see the action, instead of obsessing about wanting to feed them.

ER. I can't leave. I keep thinking about it, then keep coming back. By now, it’s like family. Besides, Abby and Luka are a delight and Archie is turning out to be wonderfully funny. I could do without Sam, though.

Men in Trees. A mix between Sex and the City and Northern Exposure, it has a certain charm. Ideal for Friday night, when you don't really want to think too much.

Brothers and Sisters. Fascinating. Great actors, the writing is good, so far, I like. I also like that as far as I can tell, the Botox is kept to a minimum – I’m pretty sure only Calista Flockhart has a paralysed forehead (as with the skinny, I find an immobile face incredibly distracting in an actor). Rachel Griffith is wonderful. It's a definite keeper, although I have taken to taping it, as Global, the Canadian station carrying the show, spaces the commercials in a really annoying way. Instead of having 4-5 longer commercial breaks, with a decent amount of show in between, they do numerous short commercial breaks, leaving short stretches of show (as little as less than two minutes), which makes it impossible to get into the atmosphere of the story. I'd watch it on the American channel, but when its carried on a Canadian channel at the same time as the originating U.S. network, we can only watch the Canadian one. Note to Global: It's called an attention span! Cater to it!

On Probation:
Criminal Minds. I really liked the show last year, but am having some problems this year. It's gotten a little strident and doesn't seem to have the same zip that it did in the first season (what happened to that wonderful flirtation between Garcia and Morgan?). I'll hang in for another episode or two, but unless it's smartens up, I may be letting this one go.

CSI. I’ve watched this from the first episode and am a huge fan. However, I am not sure how I feel about adding all the personal detail - I understand that after several years of the procedural, it can get really boring for an actor, but it turns out that I don't really want this to turn into a soap – its charm was always the subtlety. Grissom (be still my beating heart), please grow your beard back. Writers, please kill the Grissom and Sarah romance and get him back with Sophia, who was much more of a match for him. And stop messing with a proven format (don't you love how I seem to seriously believe they might do as I tell them?).

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