Monday, September 18, 2006

Here's To Mothers

Last week, I called "My Name Is Earl" one of the two best new sitcoms from last season.

The other one, "How I Met Your Mother," airs its season premiere tonight (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) The show revolves around a guy (voiced by Bob Saget) telling his kids in the year 2030 how he met their mother. Of course, a season has passed and we have yet to meet the mom, but that's beside the point.

The series is essentially a flashback to the present, when we see the younger version of Ted (Josh Radnor), and his quest to end up with Robin (Cobie Smulders), with whom he apparently doesn't end up with in the future.

I find the Ted-Robin relationship a little dull, especially since we already know it's been destined to fail. What makes the show really worthwhile are the supporting cast, Ted's engaged roommates Marshall and Lily (Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan) and his best bud Barney (Neil Patrick Harris, revitalizing his career). Much like "Cheers," where the Sam-Diane and Sam-Rebecca relationships fell to second fiddle with the emergence of the supporting cast, Ted's trio of pals are worth the half-hour of viewing each week.

Tonight's episode picks up after last season's finale, in which Ted and Robin finally get together just as Lily breaks off her engagement to Marshall.

Also worth checking out is "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (CBS, 9:30 p.m.), the role that earned Julia Louis-Dreyfus a post-"Seinfeld" Emmy. Christine is a single mom trying to re-establish her life in her 40s while her ex-husband (Clark Gregg) is dating a younger woman, also named Christine (hence "new Christine).

The sitcom itself is a little pedestrian, but Louis-Dreyfus makes the most of her role and is surrounded by a good cast.

TV NEWS: USA has renewed "Psych" and "The Dead Zone" for new seasons. After a decent beginning, "Psych" dropped off each week as it tried to stretch its already thin premise. My brother is a big "Dead Zone" fan, but tells me the show has also dropped off in quality in recent years.

MONDAY'S BEST BET: The TV Gods have truly smiled on the TV Guy.

With the summer's best new show, "Life on Mars," ending last week, my Mondays at 10 p.m. were looking very open (except for the oodles of poker I play at that time).

But fall's best new show, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (NBC, 10 p.m.) makes its debut tonight. In case you didn't catch my earlier review, if you are going to watch one new show this season, make sure it's "Studio 60." Not only does it boast TV's best cast, it also has the best writing on the airwaves.

Passing the pilot DVD around the office, most of the rest of The Telegraph's staff agrees. As Webmaster Ryan Gilchrest pointed out, it's a shame that Judd Hirsch won't be back after he begins the show with 10 of the most electrifying minutes you will ever see on a TV tube. And Reel Fanatic Keith Demko pointed out that Amanda Peet stands out in this great cast as a network executive.

For me, Peet may be the true discovery of this show. I like her well enough in her movie roles, but she seems to get cast in the same parts as beautiful, somewhat icy women. In "Studio 60," Peet takes her game to another level and is likely the heart of the show to Matthew Perry and Brad Whitford's soul. Peet should be a virtual shoo-in for a Golden Globe (I'd say Emmy as well, but who the hell knows with the way they vote.)

With a huge wave of new and returning shows hitting the airwaves this week with new episodes, Mondays are a great way to start the new season.

1 comment:

Zodin2008 said...

I will add my strong thumbs up for "How I Met Your Mother" and second the notion that the supporting characters are what really makes the show go. In particular, Neil Patrick Harris. Should be interesting to see how Marshall and Lily play off the break up tonight.

However, I will be recording that and the new series, "Class" while I watch "Prison Break" which I think is having a strong 2nd season. I was worried about the show going into year #2 but the writers have done a really good job.

As for "Studio 60", I am not sure I would say it's the best new show of the year, having yet to see "The Nine" and I may like "Heroes" equally as much, but it's excellent and it does appear (from viewing the pilot last month) to be Amanda Peet's best work.