Person of Interest – Preventing Crimes

Hearing that Jim Caviezel was starring in this show was enough to make me try it out. The only thing I’ve seen him in before is The Count of Monte Cristo, but his performance helps make that one of my favorite movies. I haven’t seen Lost (tell me, should I add that to the list of shows I must try out? If so, why?), so Michael Emerson’s acting is new to me, and the “rest” of the cast is unfamiliar as well. (I’ll come back to the reason that’s in quotation marks.)

Person of Interest has an intriguing premise: After 9/11, the government had Harold Finch (Emerson) build a machine that could sift through all the data from cell phones, computers, and security cameras to predict future acts of terrorism. Finch found it could predict other premeditated violent crimes, but the government only was interested in crimes involving large numbers of people, so Finch built a back door into the system. The machine periodically sends him the social security number of a person who will be involved in a violent crime.

Finch hires John Reese (Caviezel), a presumed-dead ex-spy, to help him prevent these crimes before they happen. Their job is hampered by the fact that they don’t know whether the “person of interest” is the victim or the perpetrator, or when the crime will occur. A NYPD detective is also trying to track down Reese, though Reese is able to blackmail a dirty cop into helping keep her off his scent.

One of the drawbacks to the show is that I’ve mentioned the entire cast already. Both Finch and Reese are guarded characters who keep their pasts a secret and their emotions locked down 95% of the time. It fits who the characters are, but that makes it hard for the show to connect with its audience on an emotional level. Even though the individual missions tend to be highly emotional (teen girl hiding from her parents’ killer, war vet trying to do right by his dead buddy’s family, kidnapped child), they don’t compel viewers to watch the next episode.

Detective Carter, and the dirty cop Detective Fusco, are only minor characters, but don’t add much emotionally either way. I’m missing the camaraderie, passion, and humor of similar mission-based shows like Leverage and Burn Notice. There’s no funny sidekick or romantic interest (though the latest episode hints at the latter).

Yet in spite of these drawbacks, Person of Interest is still a great show. The episodes keep you guessing, and there have been some fun guest stars, such as Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Captain Montgomery from Castle) and Dan Hedaya (Rookie of the Year, Clueless). Because of the show’s emotional restraint, when the characters do show emotion, it’s vivid and poignant.

Person of Interest has recently been given a full season order, which is nice, since it will now be going up against not only The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, but Bones as well. And if you know me at all, you know what I’ll be watching Thursdays at 9.

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House – Waiting for the Real Team

I was waiting for this show to establish the “new normal” before blogging about this season, but I’m getting the feeling that may be several episodes away. House hasn’t had this much upheaval since the end of season three/beginning of season four, when he lost his entire team and had to choose a new one (which took more than a third of the season).

Added to that is the displacement from early season six, only this time House isn’t in a psychiatric hospital, but a prison. There’s also the rift in his friendship with Wilson (a la season five). But the writers did bring something new to the table, though it didn’t originate with them: the departure of Cuddy.

Amazing what driving into a building can do.

The jury’s still out on whether all the upheaval will save this aging show. I really wanted to see the “new” team and how they worked with House before I made a judgment. After hearing about Lisa Edelstein leaving, I was almost positive this would be the last season. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’m mostly discounting the first and third episodes of this season. “Twenty Vicodin” was basically just House being House in prison. Fun to watch, but not a good indicator of the rest of the season. “Charity Case” was a farewell episode for Thirteen, with some bits on how Adams and Park get along (but who knows whether both of them will end up on the team).

Episode two, “Transplant,” showed that this show probably isn’t anywhere near done yet. First was the surprise reveal of the new dean of medicine:

House: Tell the dean that I don’t want to see her.
Guard: He said you’d say that.
House: He?

Cut to the visiting room, wherein sits Foreman.

It was quite a pleasant surprise. I’d assumed they were bringing in someone new, but promoting Foreman seems just as perfect as promoting Andy in The Office. Foreman knows how House works, what tricks he will play, and how to keep him under control while giving him enough leeway to figure out the cases.

Dr. Chi Park is an interesting addition to the show. I loved her in this episode, but I was starting to get a bit of tired of her by the end of her next episode. I think, like some of the more annoying squinterns on Bones (Daisy, anyone?), she’d better in small, infrequent doses than as a regular member of the team. (Oh, and speaking of Bones, they played a new preview for it during the latest House episode. Can’t wait for the new season!)

The “lungs in a box” patient made the episode unusual by itself, and I love how Foreman knew House wouldn’t be able to resist the case.

House’s efforts to repair his relationship with Wilson show how much he has grown over the seasons. Sure, he is still relentless and over the top – his playing “My Heart Will Go On” in Wilson’s office was hilarious – but he was also direct and open about needing to have Wilson in his life. He asked about Wilson’s arm and admitted he was wrong. Their closing scene ended the episode perfectly.

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The Office – The List

An Office without Michael Scott? I actually wasn’t too fond of his character (he tended to make me cringe rather than laugh), but I wondered how the show would get by in his absence. The last few episodes of season 7 convinced me that The Office could survive and even thrive with him gone, so I looked forward to what the show would do with season 8.

Spoilers ahead!

I’d read that Robert California (James Spader), my least favorite candidate for the new boss, was coming back to the show, not as the new regional manager, but as the new CEO, replacing Jo (Kathy Bates, who I assume is busy enough with her own show, Harry’s Law). They managed to keep the new boss a secret right up until the season premiere, and they went with – Andy!

I think Andy was the perfect choice for the new regional manager. He has a bit of that delightful cluelessness that made watching Michael Scott try to run a company so much fun, without taking it to Steve Carell’s extremes. He cares about the company and the people in it. His efforts at trying to win Erin’s heart won his audience’s heart instead.

And while he does lack some backbone, this episode showed that he’s willing to stand up for his employees (though it feels so weird to be typing that, since they’ve been simply his coworkers for so long) and that he plays fair, except perhaps where Gabe is concerned.

I hope California won’t be in too many episodes this season, though if he spends half his time in the conference room, I’m guessing he’s going to end up in at least half of the episodes (plus he’s in the new credits, too). But I guess it makes sense to have someone around that makes everyone in the office a little nervous – which they can take to fun extremes like they did in this episode.

So Pam’s expecting again! I knew that coming into the episode, with Jenna Fischer’s pregnancy influencing the storyline (as Emily Deschanel’s did on Bones). Her weepiness was a little over the top in this episode, but I loved her reaction to Jim’s list.

And Angela’s expecting too! I did not see that coming at all, nor that she and the (state) senator would already be married. I wonder when his secret will come out, and I can’t fathom the effect that will have on Angela. But for now, she’s going to make a far different mother-to-be than Pam did.

In all, good start to the season on a show that’s still going strong.

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Fall 2011 TV Shows Anticipations

Fall TV is about to start for 2011! Here are some things I’m anticipating about the shows I plan to watch, in the order of their season premiere dates.

September 13

“Ringer”

I’m hoping this show will be as in-depth and multi-layered as Veronica Mars. I don’t thinkĀ  the show will make me laugh, but as skilled as many of the cast are with dramatic moments, it may make me cry. Previews gave away maybe a little too much of the pilot, but with 3 seasons planned of twists and turns, I expect to be surprised quite often. It has stiff competition in its Tuesday 9PM slot, but I foresee an early renewal.

September 14

“Free Agents”

Previews show this to lean toward the bawdy type of workplace comedy I usually avoid, but I love Anthony Stewart Head’s acting, so I’ll probably give this show at least two episodes to prove itself to me. And since The Office has flourished with its UK to US transfer, I’d say the odds for renewal are slightly greater than 50/50.

September 19

“How I Met Your Mother”

A great cast and hilarious hijinks make a few off episodes bearable, and I’m pretty content with not having met the mother yet, since that means the show can continue longer. The twist of another wedding should add interest for long-time viewers and keep them watching.

“2 Broke Girls”

As the only half hour show in its time slot, and paired with the popular “HIMYM,” this show should do well by default. I’m not expecting much from it, just a few laughs, but I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

“Castle”

I’m positive Beckett’s not dead, as the premise of this show would fall apart without her, but I hope the events of the final moments of last season will have far-reaching effects on this one. I am not looking forward to the new chief. The absence of station politics is one thing I enjoyed about the show, so rumors I’ve heard worry me. But it would take a lot more than that to make me stop watching this show. Hoping for some more Whedonverse guest stars and Firefly references this season.

September 20

“NCIS”

Can’t wait to hang out with the gang again. With the start of season nine, this show is the longest-running one I watch, and it’s stronger than ever. Starting out with emotional turmoil for DiNozzo sounds like a great way to begin the season.

“NCIS: Los Angeles”

Unlike its sister show, NCIS: LA is picking up right when the last season ended. The only thing I ask for season 3? Don’t get rid of Hetty. If I had one other wish, I’d love to see Nate back as a regular part of the team.

“The New Girl”

With two shows already competing for my Tuesday 9PM viewing, I wasn’t even going to look at this show, but with the other Deschanel sister not coming back until November, I probably will check out at least the pilot online. But with strong competition on every other broadcast channel, the ratings will probably be terrible enough to make a renewal unlikely. It’s one saving grace is that it’s the only comedy in its timeslot.

September 22

“The Big Bang Theory”

This show makes me laugh more than any other. And it’s one of those shows that while you know the two of the characters belong together, you don’t really care how many detours they take along the way, because it adds new dimensions to the show.

“Community”

I’m still mad at the networks for making this and the previous show compete. It’s a little sad to think that cast will be juniors this year, so the show is most likely halfway over. It was left up in the air whether Chevy Chase would return to the group, but if any of the main 7 characters had to go, I’d prefer him.

“The Office”

The show proved it could survive without Michael Scott at the end of last season, so I plan to keep watching. While not every episode tickles my funny bone, I love (some of) the characters enough to tuning into their workdays for as long as they’ll let me.

“Person of Interest”

An intriguing premise and Jim Caviezel are enough to put this show on my to-watch list for at least the first several episodes. With Bones starting late, this show has the potential to grab a few extra viewers. Most of my action shows tend to be summer ones, so I’m hoping this will be good. Need to know more before predicting renewal, though.

September 23

“Nikita”

The new season brings a twist to the dynamics of this show, with characters switching sides, but I’m confident Nikita will make it work. My one fear is Lyndsy Fonseca looking like a powder-puff villain next to Melinda Clarke. And the show has a month to establish some viewers before Chuck comes in to try and woo them away.

“Blue Bloods”

This show has a great cast and interesting episodes, but doesn’t have the compulsive watching quality many other crime dramas do. I hope the second season starts off with a bang and adds a layer of intrigue.

September 28

“Suburgatory”

Alan Tudyk is the only reason I’m checking this show out. The fact that it’s unlike most of the other shows I watch may help it stay on my list. But it’s kind of funny that the only Wednesday night shows I’m interested in air at the same time and pit Whedonverse actors against each other.

September 29

“How to Be a Gentleman”

I hated the first preview for this show, but the second was a little better, so I’ll still watch the pilot. I have my doubts about this one being a keeper, though.

October 2

“Homeland”

This will be the first Showtime TV show I’ve ever tried out. But with Damian Lewis (Life), Claire Danes, and Morena Baccarin (Firefly), how could I resist?

October 3

“House”

I’m curious who the show will bring in to replace Cuddy, and how House will get his job back. I almost feel like the show’s starting to wind down, which is a shame, but it’s had a good run. Of course, this next season could surprise me and pick up momentum again.

October 12

“Psych”

It’s been way too long of a hiatus for Shawn and Gus, so I’m really looking forward to the return of my favorite fake psychic, and the boatload of special episodes he brings with him.

October 21

“Chuck”

Back for a truncated 5th season, it’s nice that the show will have the chance to say goodbye. I’m looking forward to a hilarious season with Morgan’s new role.

“Grimm”

I love the idea of this show. But with cult favorites Supernatual and Fringe vying for the same slot with a month-long lead, the ratings will likely be terrible. (Whose bright idea was it to stack three speculative shows against each other?) The reviews for the pilot haven’t been great. No big-name actors or even geek favorites. And Friday nights are usually the death slot. The plus side is that it’s created by some guys responsible for much of Angel, and has a great lead-in show with Chuck. Since I didn’t catch up on Supernatural and Fringe this summer like I wanted to, I’ll definitely be watching this. I just hope the studio will focus on day+7 and online views when deciding how long to let it run.

October 23

“Once Upon a Time”

I’ve watched the preview for this show more than any other. I just hope it lives up to the beauty and intrigue that glimpse conveyed, and there are enough twists and turns to spawn multiple seasons.

November 3

“Bones”

Having caught up on this show, I’m excited to be finally watching it in “real” time, without spoilers to mess up my expectations. I’m hoping the baby mania won’t overtake the show, but I trust that it will be an awesome season.

 

November also brings the return of split season shows like Covert Affairs, Burn Notice, and Leverage.

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Being Human – Comparing Both Versions

Oddly enough, it was the American adaption of Being Human that caused me to watch the British version, even though I watched the British one first. Confused? I heard about SyFy’s version somewhere (most likely a Hulu ad, though I don’t remember specifically), and it intrigued me enough to do some looking into the show.

I found out pretty quickly that there was a BBC version of the show as well, and I was faced with a dilemma. Which one should I watch? I knew whichever one I watched first would color my perceptions of the other, and perhaps ruin it for me completely. I’d barely gotten through one episode of the British version of The Office after seeing several seasons of the US version. I hadn’t even made it through half of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie after watching the show. (Though to be fair, the movie is almost universally considered terrible. But if they ever reboot the show, I’m thinking a British version would be a pretty cool twist.) I finally decided to watch the British version of Being Human because a) it was there first, and b) it had more episodes out, so a greater loss if they were ruined.

Both shows center on three supernatural beings who share a house. Two unlikely best friends, a vampire and a werewolf, rent a house to try and live a more normal human life, only to find out the place is haunted by the ghost of the former occupant.

The British version is more raw, bloody, and gruesome. It’s probably the least family-friendly show I watch, and I almost stopped watching it after the first episode. In contrast, the American version seemed sanitized and slick. The special effects were better, the minor characters were prettier, but the trio of stars didn’t have the same connection and chemistry.

The American version succeeded best when it differed from the UK one, so I’m really looking forward to season two, when the storyline will completely diverge. Josh’s sister was a great addition, and it was fun seeing some plot points from later on in the British version make it into the first season of the American one (whether intentionally or not). With knowing how most of the season would go, I loved that they changed things up in the finale and actually surprised me.

As far as the main characters go, I prefer Mitchell to Aidan. I enjoy both George and Josh, but I think George is an easier character to connect to (however, I think the actor Russell Tovey looks far more like a Mitchell than a George, so I confused the names in my mind for a series and a half). And while Annie got on my nerves a lot, she does make Sally look a bit bland. I hope Sally will get more to do in season two, and Nora as well (Nina has her beat so far).

I really don’t see the deep friendship and camaraderie among the characters in the American version, though it appears they tried to amp up the situational drama, especially with Josh’s character (with four distinct occurrences, all but one from later in the UK show). The British version, however, lives on emotional drama. There are more tears in a single episode of the British show than the entire season of the American version. Are the British just more comfortable with men crying in front of other people?

It’s no surprise that I like the original Being Human more than the remake, but the latter showed enough glimpses of brilliance for me to keep watching.

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What I Will Watch in Fall 2011

Now that CBS has finally posted its fall 2011 schedule, I have a good idea what I’ll be watching come September. Most of the time, of course, I will watch shows online the day after they air, but if I get a chance to watch them live, this will be my schedule.

 

Sunday

8PM – Once Upon a Time – ABC

This fairy tale meets modern life sounds like it has promise, and I love the promos.

 

Monday

8PM – How I Met Your Mother – CBS

8:30PM – Two Broke Girls – CBS

9PM – House – Fox

10PM – Castle – ABC

Chuck’s move to Fridays and House’s move to 9 finally makes my Mondays conflict-free (though I imagine Chuck’s ratings would have greatly improved with House’s move – seriously, is it any wonder the show wasn’t doing well against BOTH House and HIMYM?). Two Broke Girls sounds interesting, and will nicely fit in my half-hour gap.

 

Tuesday

8PM – NCIS – CBS

9PM – NCIS: Los Angeles – CBS

9PM – Ringer – The CW

CBS was smart not to mess with its Tuesday domination. Both shows had awesome finales Tuesday night, and NCIS: LA was finally renewed yesterday. I was a bit worried that they were going to off Jimmy Palmer in the NCIS finale, but Los Angeles ended with the more dramatic cliffhanger, making me anxious for season 3. I will have a hard time deciding what to watch at 9, but the CW’s terrible online viewing experience may tip the scale toward Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Ringer.

 

Wednesday

8:30PM – Suburgatory – ABC

8:30PM – Free Agents – NBC

I will be checking out these two shows solely for their Whedonverse alums: Suburgatory features Alan Tudyk (Firefly and Dollhouse), while Free Agents stars Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Merlin).

 

Thursday

8PM – The Big Bang Theory – CBS

8PM – Community – NBC

8:30PM – How to Be a Gentleman – CBS

9PM – The Office – NBC

9PM – Bones – Fox

9PM – Person of Interest – CBS

Thursdays are still full of conflict. As usual, I probably will watch The Big Bang Theory live and Community on Hulu when both are airing new episodes. How to Be a Gentleman sounds promising, and I probably would have checked the show out anyway even if it didn’t perfectly fill a half-hour gap (the promo, however leaves a bit to be desired). Watching Bones will depend on if I catch up on back seasons of the show over the summer. The Office’s penultimate episode of season 7 proved that the show can still be hilarious without Michael Scott, so I plan to keep watching. Jim Caviezel (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Passion of the Christ) stars in Person of Interest, and the sneak peek was excellent.

 

Friday

8PM – Nikita – The CW

8PM – Chuck – NBC

9PM – Grimm – NBC

10PM – Blue Bloods – CBS

It seems a bit odd, having such a solid line-up of shows for a Friday night. Blue Bloods has proved it can hold its own on the evening, but its family vibe makes it a more likely choice for those who stay in Friday nights. I suspect the young-adult-aimed Chuck won’t do as well, but since it’s the final season of the show the numbers aren’t as important. And it’s pitted against fellow action show Nikita, which also doesn’t seem like a good Friday night fit. Grimm has a tough shot against both a cop show and TWO speculative fan favorites, Fringe and Supernatural (which even I may be watching instead if I have time to check them out this summer).

 

USA’s Psych typically counts as a summer show, it doesn’t sound like it will be starting until August or September this year (since it’s cable, I won’t be watching it live, though). There are a few other shows on the major networks and some mid-season pickups I also plan to check out if I have time.

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NBC’s Fall 2011 Lineup

So after the grim news of last week’s cancellations, NBC looks toward the future by announcing its fall lineup. Out of the new shows, The Playboy Club, Whitney, and Up All Night don’t interest me at all based on just the descriptions. I watch so many crime dramas a show needs to offer something unique to catch my attention, and Prime Suspects’ hook about a woman trying to break into the boys’ club of a police precinct makes me yawn.

Grimm, on the other hand, offers a storybook twist – bringing fairy tale villains to the world of crime scenes and witness statements. Does this plug sound at all familiar: “The last of a long line of chosen ones must fight legendary creatures few others know exist while maintaining a normal life and keeping the presence of the creatures a secret”? My mind instantly drew parallels to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it’s not surprising that two of the show’s creators helped produce Buffy and Angel. The cast doesn’t have any big names to draw viewers, but hopefully they will bring in some geekdom guest stars. It’s also in the Friday night death slot, but has a decent lead-in show with Chuck. This year’s cancelled supernatural show meets cop drama, The Cape, also followed Chuck. Here’s hoping Grimm will do far better than The Cape (though I’m trying not to get my hopes up, since The Cape had Summer Glau and Monday nights, while Grimm does not). I also would love it if Grimm got a taste of Buffy-inspired humor.

NBC’s other new show, Free Agents, didn’t catch my attention with its premise as a comedy about two coworkers, one recently divorced and the other who lost her fiance, and their fumbling attempts to get back into dating. But their boss is Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and King Uther from Merlin)! The previews confirmed that he keeps his accent, and there was even a brief mention of Sarah Michelle Gellar in one, which tipped the show into “definitely watch the pilot” territory. And since I lost one NBC workplace comedy with the cancellation of Outsourced, it seems only fitting that NBC should provide another.

The unscheduled pickup, Awake, also looks good. Jason Isaacs plays a man caught between two alternate realities. In one, his wife died in a car accident. In the other, it was his son who died in the accident.

In addition to dumping Chuck and Grimm onto Friday nights, NBC made another schedule error by keeping Thursday nights annoying and choppy. They kept Community at 8, which will conflict with The Big Bang Theory if CBS keeps it at the same time, and then plunked Parks and Recreation between it and The Office. I hate half-hour gaps of shows I don’t like between shows I like. But at least they’re providing some worthy substitutes for the shows they axed.

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Renewals, Cancellations, and Finales

Wow – tons of shows are getting renewed or cancelled this week, and many are airing season finales. I keep checking for news and getting a rush of joy or sadness, and sometimes both. This year I dived headfirst into many new shows, and quite a few of them got cancelled.

Before this year, only two shows I watched as they aired had been cancelled with only one season – Fox’s 2009 summer medical drama, Mental (I had only started watching it at the urging of my sister) and another summer show, NBC’s excellent modern retelling of the story of David, Kings. (I watched the best-known one-season show, Firefly, years after it was off the air.) I picked up 3 new shows in 2009-2010 regular season: Community, NCIS: Los Angeles, and V – all got a second season. Even the two new shows I started watching in summer 2010, Covert Affairs and Rizzoli & Isles, will be back this summer.

This year I watched 6 new shows: The Cape, Detroit 1-8-7, Blue Bloods, No Ordinary Family, Outsourced, and Nikita. As of this moment, four have been cancelled, and the other two haven’t been renewed yet.

A quick recap of the verdicts on this season’s shows, by network:

ABC

They kept Castle, one of my favorite shows, but cancelled the three other shows I watch on the channel – Detroit 1-8-7, No Ordinary Family, and V. Of the three, I was most surprised by V’s cancellation. The show was intriguing, with an excellent cast, and the short seasons helped keep the integrated storylines comprehensive. I started watching it for the sole reason that it starred Morena Baccarin, aka Inara from Firefly (Alan Tudyk, aka Wash, was also in a few episodes). With this season’s finale ending the life of one of the most annoying characters on the show, I had high hopes for season 3. Too bad.

CBS

They seem to be waiting to see what the other networks do, as they haven’t revealed many verdicts. But I’m confident they’ll bring back the two not-yet-renewed shows I watch on the channel: Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Angeles. NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory have already been renewed.

Fox

I’m only current with one show on the channel, House, and its renewal is hardly a surprise (it will likely be the final season, however). I’m glad they renewed Bones (on season two now and loving it!) and Fringe (hoping to try it soon), though.

NBC

I was shocked to find out less than a day after watching the season finale of Outsourced that they’d cancelled the show. I was really looking forward to season two. The Cape was dead as soon as they shortened the episode count from 13 to 10, but I plan to get Bear McCreary’s soundtrack to the show. The other Firefly alumni show, Chuck, has been picked up for a 13-episode final season (I love Chuck, but as more and more of the show’s characters move toward domestic bliss, I can see why they’re deciding to end it.) And of course, Community and The Office got renewed. Community’s finale does raise the question of whether they’ll bring back one of the main characters for season 3. And does the show have a 4 season limit due to the college setting?

The CW

I only watch one show on the channel, Nikita, and there’s no word yet on whether it’s been picked up for season two. I really hope so. My lineup needs more shows that focus on the overarching story instead of individual episodes, and the last few episodes of Nikita really kicked things up a notch.

In conclusion: Networks really seem to be abandoning rookie shows this year. I hope that space goes to other high-quality scripted shows and not endless rehashed versions of reality and competition shows.

And my other wish for the 2011-2012 season – don’t air The Big Bang Theory and Community in the same time slot!

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Outsourced – Awkwardly Funny

I started watching Outsourced and I kept watching Outsourced for one primary reason – India. I love Indian culture and I enjoyed learning more about it and laughing along the way.

The Indian/American culture clash that this show is built on is heightened by the type of call center Todd Dempsey comes to India to run. They sell American novelty items, and so the employees have to understand American culture to be able to sell them well. So instead of Todd just gradually becoming more familiar with India, the culture clash goes both ways.

This does end up making the show a bit more raunchy than most I watch. Fellow “fish out of water” call center managers Tonya and Charlie don’t help things, either. The type of humor and the workplace setting does make this a bit of “The Office – in India!” (it even followed The Office on NBC originally) and Todd tends be an affable blend of Michael Scott and Jim Halpert.

The show has gotten a bit of bad rep for being racist, but I don’t think it is. Outsourced makes fun of America and India, and in the end, respects and celebrates both cultures.

And the diverse selection of vibrant characters also make the show a joy to watch. Outrageous Gupta steals every scene he’s in, Rajiv adds much needed backbone to episodes, and shy Madhuri has many unexpected talents.

Here’s hoping NBC decides to bring the show back for a second season!

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The Office – Goodbye, Michael Scott

Watching the early episodes of The Office, I never really liked Michael Scott. I watched for Jim and Dwight’s pranks on each other, and Jim and Pam’s love story. Michael was simply just the annoying guy who always said and did the wrong thing.

As the show continued, I warmed to Michael’s character a bit. He still could make things as awkward as possible, but he did have moments (rare as they were) where he said exactly the right words at the right time. The rareness of those moments made them all the more brilliant.

While The Office’s sense of humor ranged from spot-on to not even worth of a groan, over the show’s seven seasons The Office has never failed to surprise me. It had perfect episodes that could keep you laughing every minute, and awkward ones that you never wanted to watch again. Most, however, were a mix of humor and cringing – which is why some people hate the show and others love it.

Amid most people’s strong emotions about the show, I feel a bit out of place having only a tentative warmness toward it. It doesn’t make my top ten favorite TV shows – maybe not even my top twenty. I’ll probably never own the DVDs, and I only occasionally rewatch episodes when I’m with friends. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop watching new episodes as long as the show keeps airing. After seven seasons with these characters, I don’t see how I could stop experiencing their lives.

When I heard that this season would be Michael Scott’s last, I immediately guessed that the writers would have him move away to be with Holly – so glad to be right about that! Those two are perfect for each other. I’m still waiting to see if my prediction of the new boss will come true as well.

I thought Steve Carell’s farewell episode was brilliant. (Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched it yet!) I loved Michael’s recommendation letter for Dwight, and their paintball battle. I loved his fatherly advice to Erin. I love how Jim figured out Michael was leaving early, and their teary-eyed “plans” for a lunch that would never happen. I love that Pam made it just in time to say goodbye.

Without Michael Scott, The Office just won’t be the same.

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