Dumped, On the Bubble, and Sticking

Posted on October 26, 2011

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On Sunday, the 16th, I had my usual morning. I was planning on attending day 3 of the Green Ronin annual summit. I found I had some extra time before I had to leave the house, and I wanted to work on something I’m writing. I turned my computer on, and nothing happened. Well, the fans came on, but that was it. I’d been having some computer trouble for awhile, so I was upset but not surprised. I decided that it gave me an excuse to get some things done on Monday, and to focus on spending time with my wife.

On Monday, the 17th, our 18-year-old cat, Robinson Livingstone Crusoe the Intrepid, got sick. He didn’t want food or water. He couldn’t walk without losing his balance. We took him to the vet, and his vitals were fine, but there was obviously something wrong. They took fluids for tests and recommended that we feed him soft food mixed with water, usingĀ  a syringe. We made him as comfortable as we could. I slept with him that night. Around 4:00 AM on Tuesday, I realized that his breathing was irregular and woke my wife. We took him to the emergency hospital where they explained that he was dying. The “irregular breathing” was his dying gasps. We agreed immediately not to prolong the inevitable, and put him to sleep.

So, as you can imagine, I was in no mood to write about television even using my wife’s computer to post the column. Thus, no post last week.

My computer’s motherboard was dead, it turned out. The good news is that AMD had already moved on to a new architecture, so the motherboard was a relatively cheap replacement via eBay. I put it in myself. I had some trouble because of a disparity between the network drivers and the BIOS, but that’s fixed now.

This week is a recap week, particularly for the “On the Bubble” shows. Next week, some mid-season shows start up again (Covert Affairs, Burn Notice) and I’ll start writing about one of them.

House

Still dumped. Nothing in the ads for each week’s episode suggests that I should return.

Psych

The season premiere was very medium. There was stunt casting (Malcolm McDowell), and riffs on James Bond and Star Wars. I was unimpressed, but then in the “Psych-Out,” an out-take that runs after the episode ends, Malcolm McDowell and James Roday had a “Scot-off” where they tried to one-up each others’ Scottish accents. Pretty funny.

The second episode, “Last Night Gus,” started with a retirement party and segued into a riff on The Hangover. It was very, very, funny all the way through. Writers and actors were hitting on all cylinders the entire time. The “Psych-Out” was a series of out-takes of the actors cracking each other up throughout the episode. Really made me want to watch the rest of the season.

As to the comments from my original column, the season opener forced Shawn to lie about his psychic abilities, on the record, while fooling a polygraph. This reinforced the show’s central conceit, that he can’t tell anyone he’s actually a great detective. Then, in the second episode, Shawn had to deal with Juliette (Maggie Lawson) like an adult, and discuss his feelings. Advancing that relationship is long overdue.

So far: Sticking.

Ringer

Yeah, no. Not on the bubble anymore, and – apparently – no longer a hit for the CW. Although my wife is still watching, I am not, and apparently neither are a lot of Sarah Michelle Gellar fans who tuned in for the first episode or so.

Dumped.

Haven

There haven’t been many episodes aired since I wrote my column, so my opinion hasn’t changed. Still sticking.

NCIS

Frankly, I was a little disappointed by Thirst, the episode that aired 10/25/11. They gave Ducky, a beloved character, a new love interest, then spoiled it by invoking the Law of Conservation of Detail, by stunt casting (no offense meant to Cheryl Ladd, a beautiful and talented woman), and by making her Chekhov’s Gunman. I would be okay with all that if she turned out to be the serial killer that they chased all season. Instead, her character zips in and zips out in a single episode. Bleck.

In fact, the whole of season 9 hasn’t been very impressive so far. I like what they’re doing with Tony (Michael Weatherly), writing him as more mature and introspective. I like how they’re bringing together the team of Tony, Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), and Zita David (Cote de Pablo). It feels like earlier seasons of the show, with Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander) – and then they killed her character, so I wonder who’s leaving this season.

I think they’re trying to get some kind of story arc going with Secretary of the Navy Clayton Jarvis (Matt Craven, who I know best for his role in Meatballs). They’re trying to get something going with Abby Sciuto (Pauly Perrette, who is awesome in so many ways) and her family background. Now, I’m a character- and relationship-guy, and I’m telling you that there’s not enough story here for me to stay interested.

I think NCIS, after all these years, is going on the bubble this season.

Chime In

As always, if you disagree, I’d love to hear it. In fact, I’m opening this series up to guest bloggers if you’d like to jump in. This week I’d particularly love to see if there’s a recently-cancelled show that you and I both watched. It would narrow down my choices for next week.

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Posted in: television