Fall TV Report Card, part 2

As promised, I continue with my take on my favorite new and returning shows this fall. Please note that my comments contain spoilers, so if you haven’t gotten around to cleaning out you TiVo just yet, stop reading.

1. Ugly Betty – muy bien!

I love this show and the season premier did not disappoint. Our heroine is struggling to keep everything together as she deals with her family, her job, and her disappointment with the outcome of her relationship with Henry. She’s burning the candle at both ends in order to avoid her feelings and everything is unraveling. Wilhelmina is acting as editor-in-chief as Daniel and Alexis are recovering from the car crash and reveling in her new-found power. Amanda has ballooned with her stress eating because of her discovery that Fey Sommers was her mother. Justin sneaked into the Mode offices, quoted Coco Chanel and got himself a summer internship.

The story that was the cheesiest was also the best because I chose not to try to predict it. When I watch the Betty, it’s total brain candy. I turn off the brain. I watch other shows, like the procedurals, to engage my brain, but this is the opposite. So, I chose to go along for the ride, and while somewhere I always knew that Santos was gone, I let myself be taken along for the ride that he was holed up in Hilda’s room talking about their future. Then, in a Sixth Sense-meets-Telemundo twist, we learn the truth. A

2. Grey’s Anatomy

Meh. But not as meh as Private Practice. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to Shona Rimes as she cleans up the mess of last season. I watched it twice just to make sure my initial reaction was right, and it was. There were good things and not good things.

Starting with the not good thing: Izzie working on a deer. Mercy, that was lame. As my favorite EW reviewer said, “Excuse me, Doctor. Can you help me? I’ve been hit over the head by the personal resonance of this story.” Her speech to her interns at the end was pretty good, though. George declaring his love for Izzie at the end. I realize this season needs a triangle – that one’s just not believable. It’s not b/c T.R. Knight is gay, either. I can buy him in a straight role. Those two just don’t have any romantic chemistry.

Good things: Meredith & Derek’s breakup scene. Break up sex? Seems like a good idea. George’s fledgling relationship with Lexie Grey, also good. Alex and Cristina’s moment at the end with the bag of coins from Pica man’s stomach and they declare how much they miss Rebecca and Burke. Bailey taking the high road with Callie. B-

3. Dirty Sexy Money

Surprisingly good. I’ve enjoyed Peter Krause since his days on Sports Night and he seems to get better with age. His character grew up with his father being the family lawyer for the richest family in the universe, the Darlings (natch). He hated that he was always second to their whims and so he grew being a poor lawyer for the less fortunate. The show opens with the death of his father and the Darling family patriarch (Donald Sutherland) offering him the job. Of course he first turns it down, but then accept as information comes to light regarding the death of his father, not the least of which being the tasty tidbit that his father carried on a 40-year affair with Mrs. Darling. The best performance came from the self-absorbed older daughter who is engaged to be married a fourth time, but who has never gotten over her crush on Peter Krause. She’s brilliant. I look forward to seeing more of her. The son who’s a priest is particularly vile, which is fun to watch as well. Another great show from Peter Horton and Greg Berlanti. A

4. Bionic Woman

Another great one. I was a huge fan of of the original with Lindsay Wagner. I used to watch it on Sunday afternoons between church services. This one is decidedly more badass and angst-ridden. Turns out, Jaime becomes bionic b/c she’s in a bad accident and almost dies and her boyfriend just happens to be the scientist son of the man who invented bionics. This show also has and anti-Jaime, however – the first bionic woman, and she’s pissed. She’s slowly having all her body parts replaced so she can be entirely bionic, which is slightly crazy, but I can understand the appeal. Another difference is what happens when there’s some damage to the bionic parts. Remember how in the old one, if something happened to her, she’d be all smoke and wires and have to go in for repairs? Not so with the new bionic woman. She regenerates. It’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, the boyfriend was killed by the former boyfriend of Sara, the pissed girl, so Jaime is on her own to figure this out on her own. So far, there’s no Oscar Goldman character, the kindly father figure who mentors her through her assignments. I’m looking forward to following this one. A

Next time: 30 Rock and Pushing Daisies

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