The Tube

Because nobody requested it, here are some brief follow-up thoughts on stuff I've seen in this new TV season.

Heroes - More Hiro (the Sensational Character Find of 2006), less hollowed-out skull cavities, please! Also, Mohinder's love interest is perhaps the most ridiculously adorable woman I've seen on television in some time, which only convinces me more that she is, in fact, Up To No Good.

Studio 60 - Great show. Exceptional, really, but I find it sort of odd that a show about a sketch comedy has yet to show a portion of a sketch that I actually find funny. I also take issue with the assertion that Gilbert and Sullivan are funnier than Groucho Marx, and I choose to believe this is why the show's ratings have been less stellar than expected.

Doctor Who - Best show on TV right now, and this week's episode with Anthony Stewart Head and the return of two of the best companions ever - Sarah Jane and K9 - only proves it even more. Throwing a bone to continuity nerds while still making the show accessible to new fans is a really tough feat to pull off, but they succeeded admirably. It was also nice to get the rare glimpse of how traveling with the Doctor for any length of time really affects the lives of the companions, which is a subject that's only ever really been touched on in the Who novels (and rarely at that), never in the show that I can recall. Unless you're talking about Katrina, Sara Kingdom, or Adric, in which case the end result is pretty clear.*

30 Rock - Anyone else find the pilot kind of awkward? And not in a "there's no laugh track, so I don't know where to laugh" sort of way; more in a "I'm not sure where to laugh because there isn't anything that's making me laugh" way. I'll stick it out for a few more episodes because, well, Tina Fey... sigh. But there's a lot of ground to make up here.

Smallville - Every year I give this show another shot, and every year I decide I'm really not missing anything. For one thing, I think I need more Superman in my Superman shows. For another, I can't figure out how this guy can actually grow up to be Superman, since just about everyone on the show - certainly everyone in the opening credits, as far as I can figure - knows Clark's secret by now. Unless they plan on having Zatanna appear in the series finale. Maybe if you pretend that this show actually isn't about a version of Clark who eventually becomes Superman it would all work, but why base a show in this particular mythos if you were going to do that?

Legion of Super-Heroes - It's no Justice League Unlimited, and it's no Teen Titans, but it fills the void pretty decently, I think. I'm especially happy that they respect the audience's intelligence, dropping subtle clues as to the Alexa character's heritage and letting folks figure it out on their own rather than beating everyone over the head with it. Too bad it's already in reruns, though!

The Venture Brothers - I know I'm gonna get rapped on the mouth for this, but honestly? I don't see the appeal here. I think it's clever enough - recasting the Scooby Doo gang as Ted Bundy, Patty Hearst, Valerie Solanis, and the Son of Sam is sort of brilliant, actually - but I think that most of the time it's trying to be much too clever, and I've lost interest in the whole affair as a result. There's a point when even the depths of humor being mined can be too arcane for me, and I think this show reached that mark somewhere around mid-season. Plus, I find Rusty Venture too creepy to be entertaining most of the time.

Jack's Big Music Show - I used to say I watched this show because Liam liked it, but I have to come clean. I love it. I'd watch it even if I didn't have kids. But they need more than the 12 or so episodes that currently air. They also need to throw the one with Henry the Scary Monster back into rotation, as that was my favorite. Anyone know why they never show this one anymore? It's annoying. Anyway, I've heard it'll be at least next January before we get any new episodes. WAY too long. Even Ren & Stimpy never kept us waiting this long for new stuff.

*Uh, they died.

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