Monday, October 01, 2007

'Aliens' Invasion

I gave it an early review last week, but I just wanted to remind you loyal dozens that one of the more clever sitcoms of the season premieres tonight.

"Aliens In America" (CW, 8:30 p.m.) has a feel to it that reminds you of "Malcolm In The Middle" in how it addresses the awkwardness of growing up as a teenager in high school.

Justin (Dan Byrd) is among the least popular teenagers in his school, not fitting in with any social clique. It doesn't really help matters when his younger sister (Lindsay Shaw) has blossomed over the summer and is now the object of desire for most of the boys in the school.

Justin's mom (Amy Pietz) is obsessed with making Justin more popular (and usually has the opposite effect), so she hits upon the idea of giving Justin a good-looking Swedish exchange student to be his new best friend. Unfortunately, the exchange student agency has other ideas, and suddenly Justin finds himself with a Pakistani Muslim as his new roommate.

"Aliens" does a good job of examining prejudice without ever becoming preachy or maudlin. The show has a lot of charm to it without ever becoming too sweet, and Pietz could join the ranks of great TV moms if the show lasts.

"Aliens" is part of an all-new CW comedy lineup, headed by "Everybody Hates Chris" at 8 p.m. and "Girlfriends" and "The Game" running from 9-10 p.m.

R.I.P. LOIS MAXWELL: The British actress, best known as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond series, was 80. Maxwell always brought a sense of charm and humor to the role.

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: For me personally, I'll be catching "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 8 p.m.) in its regular timeslot, then flipping over to "Aliens," so thanks network TV for making that convenient for me. It certainly beats having to watch "Big Bang Theory" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) in that timeslot.

Of course, if you aren't into sitcoms, one of the cleverest new shows of the season is also airing at the same time in "Chuck" (NBC, 8 p.m.) It leads off an all-new night of "Heroes" at 9 p.m. and "Journeyman" at 10 p.m.

Fox is all-new with "Prison Break" and "K-Ville," but I'm about ready to drop both shows. "PB" has bordered upon the ridiculous, while "K-Ville" hasn't really lived up to all that it could have been. Despite an excellent cast and an interesting setting, "K-Ville" is mostly a standard '80s-style cop show.

ABC has expanded "Dancing With The Stars" to two hours tonight (Go Wayne Newton!), followed by a new "Bachelor" at 10 p.m.

Finally, the acclaimed documentary miniseries "The War" (PBS, 8 p.m.) resumes.


zodin2008 said...

You've proved mine and Hollywood's point from Friday by bringing up "Dancing with the Stars" - I know you don't watch that, yet you mention it? At least SNL has SOME entertainment value. The ent. value of "Dancing" is clearly lost on me - but still needs to be mention (though as a ratings monster, it's not like they need the help).

I am torn about "Prison Break" - there is always a sense of loyalty when you commit 2 years + to a series, especially one that started out so promising and so fun. That being said, the central mysteries - Lincoln falsely on death row, Michael breaking in to get him out - have all been 'solved' essentially.

Fox is now just milking this thing to death. It's hard to balme Fox if there are numbers - it's why the completely unwatchable "ER" is now in it's 87th season. It still (inexplicably) gets numbers. I stopped caring about "ER" when Dr. Greene died, but that's already like 8-9 years ago!

But I think if "Chuck" is seriously a keeper, and "Mother" is already one of my favorite shows, I have to say BYE to "Break". And that means also not delving any further into "K-Ville", though give me a fun, old fashioned crime show like "K-Ville", any day over the boring escapades of any number of cop shows on CBS. Who can tell any of the CBS ones apart.

"Aliens" sounds like it's a good show, but can't say I have any interest. I grew quickly tired of "Everybody hates Chris" last year and quit that show, and "Malcolm" was great, but I grew tired of it as well.

Hotspur said...

Glad you mentioned "The War" the best show on TV. This, in my opinion, is the finest documentary I have ever seen and one of the top TV shows ever.

If it does not win the Emmy it will be highway robbery. Burns is great.

We gave up on "Prison Break". This show used to be a favorite. How many prison escapes do they need. When Mike makes it this time will he end up in a Syrian, Chinese or Russian jail. Last week we turned it off.

Phillip Ramati said...

Most of Ken Burns' stuff is worth watching, although it appears that PBS may be inflating the ratings for The War somewhat, based on an LA Times report.

Only you the viewer can decide when a show has "jumped the shark" and give up on it. For me, it's usually when there's a better choice in the timeslot. The aforementioned sitcoms and Chuck are easily better than PB these days.

zodin2008 said...

Hotspur, I am glad you had a chance to see "The War". I really wanted to see it, but did not have a chance to record it because Ken Burns decided to launch this opposite all of the Fall premiers. Very frustrating.

Had Burns launched this earlier in September, we could have seen it. Now I will have to wait for the DVD.

Hotspur said...


It is very worthwhile getting the DVD. It is great even if PBS played with ratings numbers. It should be shown in every High School in the USA

RE "Prison Break' I often wonder what the network exec are smoking

Phillip Ramati said...

In addition to the DVD, PBS is also likely to re-air the miniseries over the summer, something it has done with the other Burns' documentaries.