A few teevee notes:
:: Granted, I can't watch any of the supposedly great shows that are on cable channels, but for my broadcast-only network money, Castle is the best damn thing on teevee right now. It just is. Last night's episode returned us to the ongoing "Becket's mother's murder" storyline, and the ball got advanced a bit; the case isn't solved, but the writers are able to make it feel like a solution is actually getting closer each time they return to this particular arc, which is really refreshing. (Unlike, say, the "Red John" storyline on The Mentalist, which has had twice the episodes devoted to it and feels as far from a resolution as when the show started.)
:: Bones got moved to 9:00 on Thursdays, so that FOX can put on its latest abomination of a game show, Million Dollar Drop. This means that I can at long last watch The Big Bang Theory when it actually airs. What a great show this is! Last week's episode sent the group on a car ride to a hotel stay at some conference or other, which is a standard thing for ensemble sitcoms to do: put everyone together in one place and bounce 'em off one another. Every sitcom does this, but the really good sitcoms turn those episodes into greatness because their characters are so good. (The show needs more Bernadette, though.)
:: The Bones move means we don't watch The Office on the night it airs anymore. And I don't feel terribly deprived by this. That show is long past its prime, and is only limping along now on reputation.
:: Well, I was excited about Survivor coming back in a couple of weeks. They're doing a new twist this time out called "Redemption Island". What happens is that when you get voted off, instead of being out of the game, you're sent to a place called, you guessed it, "Redemption Island". There you stay until after the next Tribal Council, when you square off in some contest against the person just voted off. If you win, you remain on Redemption Island until yet another Tribal Council; if you lose, then you're out of the game. Ultimately this cycle stops, and the last person standing at Redemption Island returns to the game with the other Survivors. So now, voting someone off is no guarantee, and could conceivably come back to bite you.
I rather like this twist...but then CBS had to ruin it with another twist. This one is so vile that now, I have no plans to watch the show at all. The twist?
Boston Rob and Russell are coming back.
For those who aren't keeping track at home, here are the standings for these two. This will be Boston Rob's fourth attempt at Survivor, and Russell's third. Neither has ever won the show, putting them at a combined 0-5. And that's not all! Rob has also been on The Amazing Race twice, so in CBS's million-dollar-payout reality game shows, he combines with Russell to be 0-7. And yet, CBS has decided that we need to see these two idiots one more damn time.
I've no idea what the fascination CBS has with Rob is all about, or why they just don't give him a million dollars if it gives them a sad that big that he's never won. Ditto Russell, a pouty little jerk-off who for all his braggadocio about how good he is at "playing the game" doesn't know how to play the game. So CBS has taken an interesting premise for a new season of Survivor and turned it into crap. Thanks for that, guys. Rob and Russell have had more than a half-dozen cracks at the million between them. That's enough.
:: I was actually pleasantly surprised by the new judges on American Idol. It's hard to judge their effectiveness, obviously, when they're in the audition stage, but Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez really seem to be engaged and know what they're talking about, which was simply not the case the last few years. Especially not in last year's painfully horrible season, during which Ellen DeGeneres looked like she had no idea what she was doing, Kara DioGuardi was looking like she was trying to sound intelligent but was failing miserably, and Simon Cowell was oozing "I really don't give a f*** anymore" from every pore (which might explain the tongue-bathing they gave the otherwise shitty Lee DeWyze on a weekly basis). But then, I never bought into the whole "Simon is the glue that holds Idol together" meme to begin with.
:: The new Hawaii Five-0 is slowly winning me over. I'm not sold on the new McGarrett, but I do like Danno and the other cast as well. Production-wise, the show is still way too indebted to CSI: Miami, but I do think the show is competently done.
:: I've developed something of a grudging respect for The Family Guy, but I don't think I'll ever be a Seth McFarlane fan. American Dad and The Cleveland Show are two of the most appallingly bad shows I have ever seen. They are terrible, unfunny, stupid pieces of trash. Ugh!
I think that's all.