I’ve never really been much into television.  Granted, I’ve watched a lot of it in my years, but the majority of it has been random viewing or a small handful of carefully selected shows I’m willing to dedicate my time to.  When I was in high school the only two shows I cared if I missed were “Friends” and “Star Trek: Voyager“.  As my parents will testify, I wasn’t worth being around if I wasn’t able to watch them.  Then again, while I was in high school I wasn’t worth being around most of the time anyways.

I was addicted to “Star Trek: Voyager” when it was going through it’s original airing.  I remember once making plans with a friend I hadn’t seen in years, and it happened to fall on the night that a new episode of Voyager would be airing.  I made the sacrifice and missed the episode (which I happen to remember was “Fury”) and met up with my friend.  We had fun, but all night I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool the previews for that episode looked.  Unfortunately, this was back in prehistoric time when DVR didn’t yet exist and we didn’t happen to have a blank VHS tape lying around for me to record it.  I read through the TV guide for weeks waiting for it to re-air and was finally able to rest peacefully a few weeks later when it showed up on late night syndication.

When the series finale aired my senior year of high school I actually made my mom and brother leave the house so I wouldn’t have any distractions during the 2 hour final episode.  I don’t know where they went, and wouldn’t have cared at the time.  I watched in awe as my favorite TV show ever came to an end.  It was very sad.  Coincidentally, Friends also ended my senior year, effectively bringing my interest in television to a halt for the most part.

It’s remained thus until just recently.  Only with the start of new seasons of TV shows this fall have I once again become enraptured in various television shows, and for the first time ever I am having to juggle almost a dozen different shows.  For kicks and giggles, I shall list them and review:

  • Sunday
    • Dexter – This Showtime masterpiece is already on it’s 3rd season and so far it’s been phenomenal.  I’ve yet to be disappointed.  The show focuses on main character Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a serial killer with a conscience.  Adopted as a child by a police officer, it became evident early that Dexter had an insatiable urge to kill.  Over time his father taught him to control his urges and to never let on that he was different than everyone else, eventually deciding to use his son as a tool to take care of the criminals who escape the judicial system.  Fast forward a couple decades and Dexter actually works for the Miami PD as a blood spatter analyst, flawlessly hiding his double life of hunting down criminals and bringing them to his own form of visually stunning justice.  [Season 1 / Season 2]
    • True Blood – HBO premiered this show just last month and while I have enjoyed what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it didn’t last for years on end.  This show explores a new angle of vampirism, and an interesting one at that.  Japanese scientists have perfected artificial blood, able to satisfy the hunger of vampires and end the need for feeding on humans.  As a result, vampires are able to come out in the open for the first time to be greeted by society.  Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is able to read the thoughts of those around her, but upon coming into contact with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) she finds that he is a blank slate to her.  Enticed by the one person she can’t mentally hear, she develops a friendship and tests the waters of human/vampire interaction.
  • Monday
    • The Big Bang Theory – Only on it’s 2nd season so far, this is by far one of my new favorite television programs.  It’s one of the only truly cerebral humor programs I’ve seen, not relying on slapstick to get laughs.  Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are roommates with exceptionally high IQs, working for the pysics department at Cal Tech.  Sheldon is hopelessly OCD and Leonard is intent on developing a real relationship with the new girl who moved in across the hall, Penny (Kaley Cuoco).  This show has both brains and beauty, though not combined in the same characters, and has jokes that require at least a moderate understanding of science to fully appreciate.  If you watch anything this Fall, I’d recommend Big Bang Theory.  [Season 1]
    • Heroes – Rolling out an incredible 3rd season this year, “Heroes” is a show that will keep you guessing even when it seems to be answering your questions.  The mantra “save the cheerleader, save the world” was the mysterious quote that spanned the entire first season, and still wasn’t fully explained until late in the second season.  Exploring the lives or ordinary individuals who discover they have extraordinary talents, you’ll watch as they either use their gifts for good or evil, and the epic struggle that ensues to keep their existence a secret while saving the very people who would erradicate them if given the chance.  How do they know that’s what will happen?  Prophetic visions and time travel combine to provide views of both the future and the past, revealing two new mysteries for every one they solve.  [Season 1 / Season 2]
  • Tuesday
    • Fringe – A brand new show in only it’s 1st season, “Fringe” is an exploration into the outer edges of science as we know it.  Ranging from cloning to teleportation to reanimation, FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her new partner Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) along with his slightly psychotic father Walter Bishop (John Noble) must piece together the continued emergence of these “fringe” sciences to determine the source.
  • Wednesday
    • Pushing Daisies – Entering it’s 2nd season after a shocking season finale last year, this show is brilliant.  With stunning visuals and a melodramatic touch of comedy, this show seems to have it all.  Ned (Lee Pace) learns as a young boy that he has the ability to bring the dead back to life, but he quickly learns that the gift is not without unwritten guidelines.  Once brought back, the individual can only remain alive for 60 seconds before he must touch them once more to return to their previous state of permanent sleep; if he doesn’t, someone nearby will immediately drop dead.  Somewhat of a give and take situation.  In the learning process, he kills his mother, brings her back, and when he doesn’t immediately kill her again his best friend’s father dies in her place.  To make it all worse, when his mother kisses him goodnight and their skin touches, she’s down for the count for good.  Much later he’s reunited with his childhood friend Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel) when her death is publicized as a mysterious murder.  He brings her back, only to develop a relationship where physical contact of any kind can never happen.  The shenanigans they get into from then on can only be described as hilarious. [Season 1]
  • Thursday
    • Ugly Betty – Barely into the 3rd season, it had a weak start this year but has already begun to pick up it’s previous steam.  Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) is a very average girl who wants nothing more than to make it big as a writer for MODE fashion magazine.  Made assistant to the editor-in-chief, Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius), in order to keep him in line and organized, Betty immediately realizes that she doesn’t quite fit in with everyone else.  And they don’t hesitate to point it out to her in every little way they can.  This “dramedy” can be very sad and very funny, but has some serious issues addressed throughout the show so far.  I’ve spent some shows laughing, and a couple crying.  I wish I’d known how good it was from the start because I wouldn’t have waited so long to begin watching. [Season 1 / Season 2]
    • Eleventh Hour – Only one episode in so far, and already I’m intrigued.  Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) is a brilliant scientist working for the government, guarded at all times by Rachel Young (Marley Shelton) to keep him from getting into trouble.  Working mysteries and murders from a purely scientific angle, he seems to not be aware of anything else.  His bodyguard, though tough, is his link with the average individual who usually have no idea how to deal with him.  The first episode has numerous opportunities to turn the science aspect into something graphic and disgusting, but they refrained and for that I am glad.  I can already tell I’ll be watching this show from now on.
  • Friday
    • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – I hesitated to begin watching this show due to the epic failure that was the the CGI movie released prior to the series’ 1st season debut.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at the superior storylines provided in the first few episodes.  Similar to a previous animated series that Cartoon Network aired, this show is supposed to take place on the Star Wars timeline between Episodes II and III, during the Clone Wars that lead up to Anakin Skywalker’s sith transition.  The backstory is interesting, though in some places more detailed than necessary on characters you don’t care about.  I’ll stick with it for a while to see if it’s able to maintain the quality it’s at now.  It’s too early to tell, but I’m holing onto hope.
    • Sanctuary – Though this is the 1st season airing on SciFi, there was a previous season that was produced solely to be viewed and distributed online, known as “webisodes”.  Having watched a couple of those I’m already seeing why SciFi picked up the online series.  Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) seems to be incredibly long-lived, and keeps a sanctuary of sorts for creatures that don’t quite fit in the normal world.  Whether to protect them from humans, or to protect the humans from them, she provides them a safe environment to live their lives.  She encounters Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) and takes him as her protege to someday take her place protecting the creatures.  Together they must search out these individuals and keep them and the rest of the world safe from each other.

I know, no Saturday shows.  What’s up with that?  Well, to my knowledge there’s nothing good on TV on Saturday nights.  If I’m wrong, please do tell me.  I do prefer a balanced schedule.  All in all, I have quite a bit of TV to keep up with on a weekly basis.  I’m up to the challenge though.  Other than work (for the moment) and school, what else do I have going on in my life?