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New beginnings

Welcome back, TV! The fall season is underway, and I'm already enjoying it. I'm not sure when I'm going to sleep with all the shows I want to watch--hurray for TiVo.

Although the return of Heroes was quite exciting, I was looking forward to a new How I Met Your Mother just as much, and it didn't disappoint.
I can't remember the last time a show made me laugh this hard. HIMYM is usually pretty spot-on with the comedy, but this episode was even sharper than most. Maybe not quite "Robin Sparkles" level, but damn close. It also was an invasion of the pop stars, with both Enrique Iglesias and Mandy Moore in featured roles. While Barney still gets a lot of the best lines, I simply adore Marshall in his dorky sweetness and occasional insecurity. I loved his man-crush on "male Gael." I still think Josh Radnor as Ted is the weakest member of the cast, but I definitely like the character better when he's not being a starry-eyed schmoop over Robin. His "irrational yelling" was well-played, and the "tramp stamp" was freaking hysterical. Finally, there was a brilliant nod to continuity with the institution of the Slap Bet Countdown. Whoo!

There was a lot to like in the S2 premiere of Heroes, as well as some stuff that didn't really work. I still think that one of the show's continued weaknesses is its inability to consistently integrate such a large cast into the storylines. The fact that this season introduces even more "heroes" will probably only exacerbate the problem. Niki, Micah, D.L., and Sylar were completely absent from the episode, while Peter was featured in only about 30 seconds. Quite frankly, I felt like every moment spent with Maya and Alejandro in the jungle was a waste of time. This show seems to work best when the various heroes are interacting with each other, so the fact that those two are completely isolated makes me pretty much not care about them.

Fortunately, the other new characters fit much more smoothly into the complete picture. Nick D'Agosto (a Marquette alum!) was suitably adorable as Claire's potential love interest, and while the fact that he has a power isn't wholly unexpected, it being the same as her father's is a nice twist. HRG--sorry, Noah--continues to be made of awesome, and it cracked me up that he admonished Claire to lay low, but in the end he couldn't follow his own advice and play nice with his supercilious boss. I also loved the phone call from Claire to Nathan, although there were weird vibes that made it feel more like she was calling a boyfriend than a parent. The Petrellicest, it is strong. Speaking of which, they're both clearly pining for Peter, who is busy having amnesia over in Ireland. Along with his memory, he seems to have lost his shirt, which is totally fine by me. Also, a haircut! Whoo!

Meanwhile, Mohinder is still insanely hot, and seems to have grown a bit of a spine. It was a treat to see the character actor who played the guy with the alchemy power--to me he will always be Werner Brandes from the movie Sneakers. His voice is his passport. Verify him. Nice reveal that Mohinder and HRG are in cahoots to bring down the company. I was also amused by the fact that Mohinder and Parkman are apparently shacking up while sharing custody of Molly. Did Parkman leave his wife so he and Mohinder could live the Big Gay Love? *snerk* Seriously, though, Matt and Molly were so sweet together, and he makes a good daddy.

Even though Mama Petrelli is kind of a hardass bitch, I love Christine Rose in the role. I'm so glad that we're going to find out more about the previous generation of heroes. Who else was in their band of twelve? Was Claude one of them? Was it one of them who killed Sulu? Speaking of Mr. Nakamura, I loved Ando's loyalty to him, which I know was rooted in his friendship with Hiro.

And finally we come to Hiro, and one of the most eagerly anticipated cast additions this season. I was one of the many who adored David Anders as the mysterious Mr. Sark on Alias, and I remember being shocked to learn he wasn't actually British. It's great to see him back on TV, in a role with another British accent--but a completely different one! Poor Hiro is definitely having his expectations shattered by this guy, but the comedic moments between the two of them were delightful. Hiro silently putting his glasses back on when Kensei was revealed to be a blonde white guy, Kensei's mercenary attitude ("If it's honor I can spend"), even their double takes when they both tried to claim the sword. What kind of time travel paradox might we be dealing with if Hiro ends up being his own hero?
All in all, I thought it was a solid episode to kick off the new season. Lots of new questions to be answered, and isn't that why we watch every week?

I also watched the premiere of Journeyman, which wasn't quite as much of a Quantum Leap ripoff as I thought it would be. The show was a little confusing, and I'm not sure I'll bother to record it, but it was an agreeable enough way to pass an hour. Let me start by saying that I've enjoyed Reed Diamond since Memphis Belle, so the fact that he has a supporting role on this show is a definite plus. At this point, though, I'm honestly more interested in the backstory between Dan, his brother, and his wife than I am in the person that Dan was supposed to help. One of the strengths of QL was that it made you care about the people that Sam interacted with, which I don't think this show succeeded at doing, at least in the pilot. It might be because Dan doesn't go back in time and stay for a while--his visits are shorter, and multiple timeframes have to be altered in order to achieve his goal. In fairness, a function of a pilot is to set up the framework of the story, so a lot of time was spent establishing Dan's problems with this new phenomenon. Hopefully that won't be necessary in the weeks to come, allowing a better flow for the actual time travel episodes. Then, of course, there's the issue of the dead-not-dead girlfriend, Livia. What timeframe did she originate in? Is she from the future? Why didn't she get on the plane? It's a decent hook to keep viewers watching subsequent episodes. At the very least, it's a better alternative than The Bachelor or the horror that is David Caruso on CSI: Miami.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 27th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Great premieres
I was pleasantly surprised by Journeyman. It did some nice things. To answer your questions, this is what I took from the episode:

I think Dan and Livia were engaged when she got on the plane. Future Livia, when she pulled Future Dan aside, mentioned the first time-jump for her happened when she was on the plane, before it crashed. Just like Dan wasn't injured in his car crash because he'd already jumped, I think that's what saved Livia's life. That means she's still alive but never contacted Dan. How Dan and his current wife came to be, that's what we'll find out.

How I Met Your Mother was so good. I've got a blog covering news, music, and episode discussion for the show. Stop by and check it out.


JD
have-you-met-ted.com (http://www.have-you-met-ted.com)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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