Here is a quick rundown on the new fall TV shows that I am watching.
The Mentalist – A show about a very observant person that comes off as almost psychic. I like this one. It is like a serious version of Psych (on USA Network). Overall it is about what I expected, but I would like to be in on it a little more. Meaning, they don’t show us the clues the mentalist sees, so we can try and come to the same conclusion. They also need to have more episodes that have him matching wits with the serial killer that he originally went after when he “pretended” to be a psychic (5 years previous to the time frame we are watching in the show).
Life On Mars – A cop gets hit my a car and wakes up in 1973. This looks like an excuse to make an old style cop show like Starky & Hutch or Baretta. Cops are more forceful and less politcally correct. Problem, the main character gets up from the car accident and he is wearing period correct clothes and has appropriate identification for the time. Huh? I kind of like it, but it clearly has a time travel problem. Are we ever going to know why he is in 1973. Is the show a dream, or did he get put back in time. How do you explain everything around him, including his background. I don’t think this will make it because of the weirdness. I like weird, but this time it doesn’t seem to fit in a way that lets the audience understand. It just comes off as a way to make an old time cop show.
My Own Worst Enemy – This is the split personality spy show. The spy is the actual person and the split personality is a fabricated person. The split is controlled by a chip implanted in his brain that cannot be removed. The chip malfunctions and the switch between personalities cannot be controlled. Oops! I like this show. Slater is very good at playing both parts. However, if I were running a super secret agency that did the kinds of things this agency does I would terminate the malfunctioning equipement right away. Slater’s dual personalities of Henry and Edward don’t want that so they work together to maintain the releationship. Unfortunately one of them would rather not. In the end I don’t think this will last. I like the premiss, but the issue with one personality sleeping with the others wife is going to get old very fast.
The Eleventh Hour – This is about a scientist that works for the FBI solving science based crimes that seem impossible otherwise to solve. I like it. I like how the main character explains what he observes and what it could mean. This show seems to avoid the recent trend of creating a deep conspiracy as part of its plot. You can watch one episode and not be lost on previous information. Unfortunately, although I like it (in the same manner I like NUMB3RS), I don’t know how long it will last. It is hard to pin down and know if others will like it as much as i do.
Fringe – Now this is serious conspiracy theory here with all the bizarre and science fiction stuff you can think of. We have an FBI agent that gets on a case that is weird, and she is offered a job looking into other strange cases that have to do with “the pattern,” a series of events from old scientific research. She is teamed up with a crazy scientist that did a lot of the original research they believe is part of “the pattern.” Also, the agents boyfriend dies in the first episode but returns as possibly a figment of her imagination, or something far deeper. This show is out there. Which seems to work as it was created by the same guy that created Lost. I don’t know if this show will make it, but if it doesn’t I hope they at least answer some of the many questions it leaves open. When Jericho was canceled they got enough fan mail to bring it back. But it never did do well in the ratings, so they brought it back long enough to give everything meaning. I hope we get the same here if this show is not a success.
Prison Break – O.K. This is not new, but this season is new in that it is not a prison break. Finally they are not trying to escape prison. Now they are trying to take down “the company” that put them in their situation… or go back to prison. I like this. I was very disappointed with the second prison and the how and why it was done. Conspiracy still runs rampant in this and we will probably never learn all we want to know, but it is better this year than last.
Life – I know, this is also not new. But is was a mid year show last year due to the strike. I really liked this last year, and I have not been disappointed this year. A slight change in cast (the “captain” was replaced) doesn’t seem to do much. Overall I like how they mix conspiracy in with shows that can been seen one at a time.
Gary Unmarried – I had high hopes for this show because I like Jay Mohr. But I just can’t warm up to this show. I get tired of the divorsed guy that lost everything. Have these people not heard of comminuty property. Plus Jay Mohr was better in Ghost Whisperer and that show has taken a hit with him leaving. I am not impressed with the new whisperer that can only here ghosts (like in the movie Ghost).
Flashpoint – This was a cop show that showed hostage negotiating and SWAT. I liked it. This was actually a summer fill in show. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anything about it being a regular show. It may have come and gone already.