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    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
    I feel somewhat depressed that my USA stuff is winding down and won't be back until January or so. Beyond Chuck and The Good Guys, there's very little on that looks all that interesting to me. I might check out The Event, but my gut feeling is that it'll be all smoke and no fire.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2010
    NOTE! New episode of The Venture Brothers airs this Sunday. At least, the DVR schedule wizard thinks it is new.

    Virtually everything I've been recording and watching lately has been from the "cable" tier. USA (Royal Pains), TNT (Leverage), SyFy (WH13), and AMC (Mad Men). The Goody Guys, which I've come to like a lot, is the exception.

    I'm not aware of many, if any, new big-network shows I plan on watching this fall. Anyone hear of any promising series?

    * * *

    Tangential Tee-Vee matters: I built a dipole UHF antenna from plans on the Make magazine site. A board, ten screws, some washers, and six wire coat hangers. Plus a $5.00 coax adaptor from Ace Hardware.

    Damned if it didn't pull in every over-the-air channel in my area. I barely aimed the thing.

    Beyond technical coolness: It is interesting seeing broadcast TV again. Some digital broadcasters have secondary channels, only some of which make it onto cable. One religious broadcaster in my area has something like five channels of low-production-value Jesus Lovin' programming.
  1.  (8858.3)
    I mentioned this at the end of last month, but nobody else commented...

    I am becoming a huge fan of The Colony

    Its a post apocalyptic style reality show about a group of people stranded by the government in an experiment designed to be as if a disease wiped out 90% of the country/world's population. The group is made up of a retired contractor, a geology professor, a christian carpenter, an auto mechanic shop owner, an industrial artist/inventor, a model, a cell phone tower construction foreman, an anatomy instructor, and a logging foreman.

    They have no running water, no electricity and very few supplies. They are given a tent and some food and medical supplies, and basically are left on their own. So far, they are idiots when it comes to security, but have built a windmill generator, an engine that runs on biofuel from rotten pig carcass fat, and caught a gator, and had a lot of "realistic" social drama. Interesting to watch to say the least. It's that argument about how you would fare when soceity collapses put to the test.
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
    There's a lot of interesting stuff starting.

    TV Guide

    New shows I'm interested in:
    Boardwalk Empire - Everyone should be checking this out, looks very promising. Just for a start, it's Scorcese directed.
    Hawaii Five-O - Not usually something I'd be interested in, but I've heard good things. Strong action, fun.
    Lone Star - Everything I've seen coming back from this show has been positive. Marc Webb directed first episode.
    The Event - Don't know much about it, but will tune in.
    Running Wilde - Something for the Arrested Development fans.
    Undercovers - JJ Abrams, spies.
    Blue Bloods - Writers of Sopranos, apparently.
    No Ordinary Family - Everything about this show is setting off red flags, honestly, but I'll give it a chance.

    Even more returning, though I don't much feel like going into all that, and anyone who's interested knows anyway (or can check the guide).
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
    Until two days ago, I'd have mentioned Futurama. As is, Mad Men and Leverage are about it.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2010
    Today, walking the dog, saw a crew filming an episode of "Little People, Big World," a reality TV show I'd never seen. It is about a family of dwarfs, or at least some of them are dwarfs.

    If anyone out there watches it, look for an episode where "the two twenty year olds" hunt for an apartment. (I asked a producer what was up.)
  2.  (8858.7)
    I dunno how I keep forgetting about this, but I love No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. One of the most honest travel shows out there, and I love it because he concentrates on stuff that's kept out of the guidebooks usually. Also gives me horrible, horrible travel ideas...
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2010
    Word. I just recorded Bourdain's 100th Episode special. Saving it and a few other episodes for when I need a lift.

    (And coincidentally, I'm listening to the audio book of Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, about his mad bad days. He reads it, of course. Great stuff.)

    * * *

    Holy crap: Mad Men, "The Suitcase."
    "Fifty percent market share. It's up there!"
    Duck "I killed seventeen men!" souse-fighting with Don.
    Anna Draper, doing her Obi Wan Kenobi farewell, suitcase in hand, giving Don and Peggy an approving smile.

    Dang! I may have to watch that again.
  3.  (8858.9)
    ...and that's Leverage done until December. Never fails to be splendid fun.

    Anyone else enjoying Rubicon? It's flawed as hell, but has a nice brooding tone & isn't afraid to take things slow.
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2010
    it's flawed as hell???

    noooooo! I wanted to watch it, the pilot was good.

    I will still give it a try.

    I still have to catch up with leverage.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2010 edited
    I felt exactly the same way! Definitely giving Mad Men another watch this evening and I never do that.

    I've seen a few people reference The Good Guys on here but I've only just thought to google it. I went a bit nuts when I saw the cast. BRAD WHITFORD. I miss West Wing. I'm so watching that.
  4.  (8858.12)
    Isn't Dexter starting in a few weeks?
  5.  (8858.13)
    Main flaws caused by show creator getting sacked right after pilot, leaving new team to work out what the hell to do. A few missteps (characters have major things happen but dismiss/forget them until needful) but even with this I enjoy the show a lot. It has promise.
  6.  (8858.14)
    I think Rubicon really turned a corner in the past couple of episodes. And I don't think the new show runner's were left with nothing to work from but the pilot. IIRC from the talk about Dead Channel, AMC won't go ahead with a series unless there's a fairly detailed Show Bible, which should make the overall plot of the show pretty static, but some of the characters might end up being kind of fluid for a bit while the new creative team works out what roles they want them to have in that plot (if I understand the purpose of a series bible correctly, which I may very well not).

    Won't be able to call it until the end of the season, but I think AMC may be three for three on excellent original series. Hopefully Walking Dead won't screw it up.
    • CommentAuthorSBarrett
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2010
    I second (or is that third?) how awesome The Suitcase was. Just watched it and seriously the best episode in a long time. Could be because it focuses on the two best characters in the show, Don and Peggy.

    I think Sons of Anarchy started up tonight, but I missed. Probably just wait for it to show on Hulu.

    Eastbound and Down starts up again on the 26th! Can't wait!
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2010
    Am I the only one who liked last week's Mad Men better than this one? I mean, they're all spectacular, but the flashbacks made last week extra special.
  7.  (8858.17)
    This post is very UK centric, but if you are interested in documentaries and can watch iPlayer I urge you to watch this.

    The BBC history documentary series "Timeshift" has returned to BBC4. Sometimes the episodes are dire, but hold mind interest such as the Richard Hammond does D-Day documentary. Others are fascinating hour long overviews of niche areas of history like last year's program on the history of British ocean liners. The episode that opened the tenth season was very niche. I'll let the description on the BBC iPlayer website do the talking here:

    Paris-based cultural historian Andrew Hussey follows his success with France on a Plate by travelling back to his homeland, the north west of England, in search of its lost food culture.

    He brings with him the French idea of terroir, a term used by their wine growers and foodies - a belief that a food from a particular area is rendered unique though a particular set of local circumstances including culture and landscape.

    As he wanders around the north west, Andrew asks if this rather highbrow foodie term can be applied to common northern grub such as a Blackpool chip or a Wigan pie. As he isn't a foodie he relies on local people to help him out, including three generations of a Wigan biker club and a woman who knows far too much about rhubarb.

    In doing so, he uncovers some fascinating cultural history and the role of the Industrial Revolution in defining modern eating habits. And, most importantly, he redefines the concept of terroir by giving it a northern accent.

    This program made me seriously hungry. I might have to make a large meat and potato pie on Sunday because of this. It is getting into the season anyway.

    The program is called "The North on a Plate" can be found on the BBC iPlayer website or on your catch up on demand service.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2010
    @SteadyUp: "Am I the only one who liked last week's Mad Men better than this one?"

    Waldorf Stories was damn good, and in terms of structure was more interesting than The Suitcase. The parallel of how Don got his job from Roger, and how the new guy got his job from Don, was delicious.

    But this last show was kind of a historical turning point for two characters, and maybe the final word on a third, so it kind of looms large.
  8.  (8858.19)
    I'm loving Rubicon. The one written by Zack Whedon was incredible, and the most recent episode was pure, unadulturated essence-of-tension. Genius characterisation, stunning cinematography - now, if only they could work out what they're doing with Miranda Richardson!
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2010
    Totally forgot about Rubicon. I kinda liked the pilot, though it moved rather slow at some points. Worth another shot.

    Any opinions about Terriers yet? Reminds me a lot of The Rockford Files. In a good way.