With some of my regular tv shows going off the air (Monk, Pushing Daisies, Jericho, Arrested Development) and others getting ridiculous and soap opera-esque to the point of almost being unwatchable (Heroes & Lost and dare I say it *gasp* The Simpsons), I've been auditioning some new shows to add to my regular line up. At least Lost is going to put itself out of it's misery at the end of this season although the story has gotten so convoluted and supernatural that I really doubt they can tie up even half the loose ends before the series finale. Guys dying and coming back to life, smoke monsters, time travel, and now two separate time lines simultaneously .... come on.
About a year ago I started the auditioning process. Based on good reviews, recommendations, or simple curuosity, I started out with The Office, Big Bang Theory, Primeval (BBC), Torchwood (also BBC), The Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and Eureka (I know, I should be ashamed to watch anything on the Sci Fi channel). Some of them I couldn't get into at all. The Office I will admit to watching all available episodes on Netflix, but it is so inconsistent that I don't think I'll bother watching new episodes, I'll just wait until I can stream them and watch them a season at a time. Primeval was surprisingly good the first season, tolerable the second season, then completely fell apart in the third season and I didn't make it through before giving up. Only Big Bang Theory and Eureka made the cuts that round, and honestly Eureka was flagging last season and I'm not sure it won't fall off the radar too. BBT though is a clever, funny comedy. It took a solid half season to get into, but while most comedies seem to be drifting in the direction of low brow humor, abstract situations, and characters doing the stupidest things the writers can imagine (I'm looking at you Simpsons writers), a smart comedy is refreshing. It's something I haven't seen since Frasier.
A new round of auditions has begun this year. Community has already fallen by the wayside and I could only make it through half a dozen episodes of 30 Rock. Chuck seems to be a winner, I guess any show with an awkward guy who becomes a spy and gets a super hot girlfriend way out of his league has a certain appeal. I've already heard rumors that it is getting the axe too though. I watched an episode of Better off Ted that I downloaded free from itunes and it has promise although I've already been warned not to get too attached to that show either as it might be going away. I've seen one episode of Legend of the Seeker and it looks promising, and having a big name like Sam Raimi involved can only be good news. I'm also 2 episodes into Spartacus: Blood and Sand on Starz but am skeptical so far.
I've loaded up my Netflix queue with a bunch of contestants, some of which are undoubtedly already off the air. I'm halfway through season 1 of Dead Like Me and so far it's not bad, but I think it's already dead. Others on the docket include:
Six Feet Under
Wonderfalls (I know this one is off the air)
True Blood (sources tell me I won't like this though)
Of course, at the nebulous date of "mid-2010" one of my favorite short lived shows will be making it's glorious return. Of course I'm talking about Futurama, but after 3 of the 4 straight to DVD full length movies failed to live up to expectations, I'm a little concerned. I'm hoping that it's just more suited to the half hour format.
I still feel like I need a couple more contestants though, so if you have any suggestions, send them in. Just know that any chick shows like Gray's Anatomy will be immediately dismissed along with any of the various iterations of CSI or anything that takes place in a hospital or court room. For reference, I haven't abandoned the afore mentioned Heroes, Lost, and Simpsons yet, and do watch Psych, Warehouse 13 (not sure that's still going either), Eureka, and My Name Is Earl (not sure how much that has left in the tank either). So let me have those suggestions, it's time to revamp my tv line up before I give up and have to take up reading. *shudder*