Science Fiction Book Club
September 4, 2001
What's Curtis Watching?
Or, to be more accurate: what will Curtis be watching? I'm talking about television, of course, and the upcoming fall season. I've stolen some programming grids from Entertainment Weekly, circled the shows which interest me, and added commentary below. Your Mileage May Vary.
Okay, so Jeri Ryan is pretty much the only reason I circled Boston Public. But it's not what you think. It's significantly rare for a Trek-made actor (i.e., one whose fame is primarily due to her role on a Star Trek series) to land a non-genre series regular role so soon after the end of her Trek series. I want to see how well she distances herself from her Trek character.
Likewise, Jill Hennessy, formerly of Law & Order, puts Crossing Jordan over the top. But the HLOTS connections don't hurt: I liked Michelle Forbes' medical examiner character, and Kyle Secor plays a detective in the Jordan pilot.
It's all about Buffy. Buffy Buffy Buffy. Yay Buffy! We love Buffy!
I've only seen part of one episode of Gilmore Girls, but I liked it. I'll try some more.
As for Smallville, it's Superman, so I'm already interested, even if the premise does sound a little shaky. If they start soaping it up (like the consistently annoying Lois & Clark), I'm gone.
And that's 24 I've circled, NOT Love Cruise. Just wanted to make that clear.
If it weren't for Buffy and the shadow of Sports Night (oh yeah, Aaron, we noticed the recycled storylines), I'd say The West Wing is the best show on television.
Law & Order is still solid. Rarely spectacular, but always solid.
I'm sure The Amazing Race will be quite lame, but it might be lame in a new and altogether refreshing way. I'm not holding my breath.
And, of course, there's Enterprise. If you have to ask...
Here's my problem with Dark Angel: it's about 10% crap, 80% above average, and 10% cool, and it can be a damn chore sitting through the former two to get to the latter. Last season's finale was pretty sudsy, and the critters being advertised for the new season look sketchy, but I'm willing to give it another chance.
Dude, it's James Cromwell!
For my money, the last good spy series on TV was the woefully brief Under Cover in 1991, and Alias seems to be hitting many of the same themes. I'm not convinced it will work, but it has potential.
I'm also skeptical about Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It's got the L&O brand name and a terrific cast, but so did Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and that was a total crash and burn as far as I'm concerned.
Simpsons is still pretty good. Malcolm rocks.