Thursday, December 20, 2007

TV : It Was A Great Fall

I'm generally quite easily entertained by television, although I don't watch that much. I find a new show, give it a few episodes to catch my attention, and if I like it I follow it from that point on.

This season there was an unprecedented bumper crop of new shows that did this for me. Monday nights had the awesomeness of Chuck, Heroes, and Journeyman. Tuesdays had the hilarious Reaper, Wednesdays had Back To You, Kitchen Nightmares, and for awhile some new episodes of South Park and the Sarah Silverman Program. Thursdays had 30 Rock, and the week wrapped up on Sundays with the Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and American Dad, sporadically showing new episodes throughout the fall.

With this being the age of the DVR, it wasn't uncommon for us to be behind all week long in catching up with the new episodes of things to watch, so it was great always having something to look forward to seeing when we got the time to sit in front of the tube.

But then the writers strike hit, and these shows began wrapping up their seasons, or first half of seasons. Heroes, which started of so slow, finished strong. Reaper, the fate of which is still unknown, was gaining momentum. Chuck remained funny and interesting. But one of my favorite new shows, Journeyman, ended just last night with an episode so strong, with acting so well, that it hurt almost as much as the end of Firefly a few years ago.

That Firefly feeling, as I call it, goes like this. These people put together an awesome show. Cool plots, great supporting cast, and excellent performances - all of which catch my viewership and make me yearn for the show to reach its full potential, a feat which can only be done with a few seasons. It's like seeing a small sapling and realizing that, given some time and nuturing, it's going to be the best tree in the forest.

Journeyman will not get that nuturing, as the shortsighted network has pretty much cancelled it already. The same network that was smart enough to give Chuck a full season order (assuming that the strike is settled at some point, of course) is letting Journeyman wither and die. At least the series creators of Journeyman, seeing the writing on the wall with the strike, were able to work last night's episodes to end the series on a high note. There was finally some explanation about the time travel, and the main character's wife has come to peace with his travelling.

Also getting the axe is the 4400, a decent show that had been airing over the last four summers on the USA network. With that show, we've been left hanging, doomed to forever wonder what happened to those characters after the end of last season. The same thing has happened to other shows, Dark Angel and John Doe among them. I hate when they do that.

It was a great fall for new TV, and I'm going to miss getting up early Tuesday mornings and watching Chuck and Journeyman on my DVR over a bowl of cereal. Hopefully the strike can get settled soon, and people can get back to work, so at least some of the new shows that hooked me this fall can return.

But Journeyman, I will miss the most.

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