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New TV season

September 23, 2010 - Paul Giannamore

The anticipatory joy of earlier evening darkness in September was caused by the knowledge of new TV shows and returning old favorites back when I was a kid.

The joy has fallen away as an adult because, as was the case with October new-car debuts, TV shows come and go all year long.

Still, there is the little bit of hype the TV networks try to maintain with debut week in September.

This year, I actually noticed, for the first time in a long time (must be getting older and ready to watch more than football every night again), and so I tuned in.

Monday night was the return of "House" and the new "Hawaii Five-O" for me.

"House" seemed OK during and immediately after watching it, but then, after thinking on it for a day or so, it seems the show I knew has been killed like a victim of one too many bad treatments given by Dr. Gregory House's team.

Where do they go with this show now? Will "House" devolve into just another evil romantic comedy with some cool disease sequences thrown in? And what's up with Thirteen just running away? Will Dr. Foreman express his undying love for her and we'll be treated to the lovesick House and Foreman every week? And what was with House and Wilson doing the slapstick thing coming in the kitchen window? No, methinks "House" may be in trouble.

As for "Five-O," you cannot go home again. Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett as bad buddy cops, like Danny Glover and Mel Gibson? Please. And though the plot seemed a bit like an old "Five-O" at times, it suffered from being 30 years newer in treatment. Too much shaky handheld camera shots in the action sequences. Too much overacting by all the young cast. Jack Lord and company were the kings of cool. These guys try to be too edgy all the time.

And, even when they pulled the blanket back on a black Mercury Marquis in McGarrett's father's garage, it was only a glimpse. Young Steve never drove the thing. Jack Lord's Steve knew what to do with an intimidating 1968 Mercury Park Lane, for sure, right up until it got shot in one episode in the late 1970s.

I give the new "Five-O" three more weeks on the air before it quietly disappears, taking with it one of the more beloved entertainment franchises of the Baby Boomer entertainment era. By the way, that doesn't mean I'm watching for another three weeks. I think CBS put a lot into promoting this series and wants to give it a bit of a chance.

Wednesday night came a surprise. "Undercovers" on NBC is pretty good. Oh, it suffers from underfunded special effects (rocket propelled flairs as a bad-guy weapon? Really?), but good acting by the stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as well as a good role for Gerald McRaney, along with a good plot, made it interesting. Think "Hart to Hart" or "Moonlighting" meets "Burn Notice." There's a plot. There's good looking people. There's just enough action and comedy to keep it interesting. I'll be back there again.

As for the rest of the week, I figure I'll give William Shatner's "S*** My Father Says" a try. First of all, my brother-in-law is apparently a twin separated at birth from Shatner, so I have to watch. Second, it looks funny, despite the title, though I figure one day there won't be asterisks used and we'll be treated to an ABC prime-time soap called F***. I still use asterisks. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by this show, because to me, sitcoms died when Ray Romano took my family off the air several years ago. We'll see.



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