Fall In

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Shock of all shocks, I am NOT watching any new series this fall. The closest I've come is picking up mid-season newcomers Life Unexpected and Parenthood earlier this year, but none of fall's big offerings appeal to me. I have no faith in JJ Abrams to follow through on a show, and this year's 'Undercovers' seems like a blah retread of Alias. The new CW offerings both look like they have short futures, and I'm extremely skeptical to watch the only remotely Lost-esque replacement, 'The Event' after last year's Flash Forward debacle.

Instead that leaves me with the opportunity to rate the season premieres as they roll through town, starting with the first four I've consumed in the last few days:

America's Next Top Model - first out of the gate, I was skeptical about tuning into Top Model this year. The show is consistently cornballish and gimmicky and the talent pool has, ahem, thinned out so to speak. Last year's winner was a disappointment, not because she didn't take good pictures but because after judging a modeling contest with scouts from around the world (including the agency last year's winner got scouted to), there was NO WAY Krista would ever actually be scouted at the age of 24 to start her career. Sorry. No way.

Regardless, the season's opener was better organized and less cheesily themed than the last few and I got to know the finalists a bit better than normal - and saw potential in several of them (my money is on Jane). It also provided humour from the girls instead of Tyra herself trying to force her way into the spotlight, which I appreciated, and the prizing is...intriguing. I have decided to watch this year, which is saying something as usually I find the first episode a total snoozefest. Consider me entertained.

Gossip Girl - I am a reluctant Gossip Girl watcher. The show hardly belongs in the hallmarks of great YA dramas, yet it consistently comes back with ridiculously soapy turns. I guess I can tolerate them more here than I can on two other soaps I watch because of the fantastic clothing and the line delivery by Penn Badgley, who was severely underused last year and has a lame storyline this year. At least him and Vanessa are splitsville. I hope. The season opener was fluffy as all hell, with yet another Blair/Serena "I hate you, I love you!" smackdown reminiscent of Emma & Manny on Degrassi in a single episode, but I did appreciate the nod to the book series which also pulled some sort of European royalty card in one of the later volumes. At least they'll be going to school this year? Sort of. Also is Juliet Gossip Girl? She looks way too old. And not like Kristen Bell. How awesome would that be if they brought on Kristen Bell to reveal herself as Gossip Girl??

Parenthood - Last night's episode reminded me of what I like about the show, soundtrack and all. Also the show touched on two points that I said were essential to its second season success - it gave Joel a storyline of his own (and looks like we'll develop his persona further next week with the Julia/baby debate) and it showed us more of Adam's life at work. For a guy that can support his family quite handily off whatever his job at the shoe company is, I expected Adam to be a little more ballsy and a lot less ball-less when it came to working with his Baldwin brother of a boss (fresh off a stint on Gossip Girl). I like the set-up of Sarah working at the office, and the Julia/Joel storyline, and I called the Crosby/Gabby hook-up as soon as I saw them interact. I think it'll be an interesting interwoven plot line once they make that happy - Crosby and Jasmine only being kept apart by her ambition, Crosby as a (potential) single parent, Crosby and Gabby making it work in the insane household of Kristina & Adam? Has promise. The Hattie/Kristina/Adam stuff this week drove me up the wall, although the two Max breakdowns (including the one where Hattie rightfully snapped, regardless of whether the kid has Asperger's, any teenage girl would) were well done. Overall I'm looking forward to diving into this season!

One Tree Hill - Blarghity blargh blargh. I don't know why I'm still watching. I guess in the hopes that they'll wrap things up satisfactorily by season's end and not carry out this torture any further. General thoughts in bullet form:
- OMG Peyton and Lucas EXIST AGAIN. After being personas non grata last season, we had Haley writing Lucas an illustrated notebook letter thinger, photos of Peyton and Brooke on the fridge, and reference to the fact Peyton used to be engaged to Lucas. Are we setting up a guest appearance, preferably during a series finale? I hope so!
- Brooke's company heading for financial ruin felt a little forced, but I get why they wouldn't want to drag out a state of limbo for several episodes. Let's face it, her store and clothing line hasn't had much point since season 5 when they first introduced it - with Baby Brooke shelved and Clothes For Bros nowhere to be seen - so I'm not weeping over it so much, just the fact that why let all the characters 'achieve their dreams' and rip them away in one episode? Lame.
- The return of a montage-y opening credits! Fun, and I appreciated the longer timeline flashbacks for the three rightful leads.
- Which member of Naley will have complications in the medical department? It ain't tree hill without a visit to the OR!
- Both Parenthood and OTH tackled small children asking about where babies come from and tried to be all cute and funny about it. I think OTH won, although Parenthood's had more relevance to where the show is going versus Naley being all "Tra la la baby time!"
- I have no words for Clay and...and...wtf is Haley's sister's name? Oh Quinn. I spent the whole episode repressing puke during their sappy as all hell lovey dovey pointless scenes, was pissed at the show's creators for making the shooting a dream, and wondering what the point of their endless sex on the beach scenes were for...and then they got me with the dream within a dream thing, similar to Clay's first season hauntings from Sarah. I clapped with joy at the prospect it really wasn't a dream, only to realize they will survive (likely) because they are in the credits, and if I bothered to look on IMDB I'd see they were there as well, and on the CW website. The only thing stupider than a season-ending death cliffhanger is a season opening one, because you know their contracts are signed and sealed if they're in the goddam credits. OTH is not crafty enough to trick us with a "Oh look they're in the credits but they're actually dead!" Joss Whedon-esque move, sorry.

Well that's all for now. Survivor tonight, a downloaded episode of Life Unexpected to go, and a few more new shows kicking off next week.

Till then!

Britt's On

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