Column: Guide to the fall TV lineup, Sept. 09, 2009
There is a wealth of brilliantly creative people working in Hollywood. Unfortunately, none of them works in television.
That’s the perception I get from the TV networks’ fall lineup, the highlights of which, today, I will preview for the benefit of those of you who happen to be violently opposed to reading, exercising and spending time with family.
As usual, the old reliables are back. Like “Dancing With The Stars,” where the word
“Stars” is used very loosely. This is how famous most of these “Stars” are: If any of them, out of the blue, showed up on your doorstep, your initial reaction would be to shut the door while telling them that you’re presently happy with the siding on your house.
In my book, the one true celebrity on the show worth watching is former Ultimate Fighting Champion Chuck Liddell.
Those fighters aren’t always the most mentally stable people on Earth, meaning there’s always the chance that after a bad performance, Chuck will go up to the show’s host — that annoying guy from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” — and sucker-punch him in the face. At least that’s my dream.
Also returning to ABC is the mega-hit “Grey’s Anatomy,” where the on again/off again romance between Meredith and Dr. Derek Shepherd repeats itself every year:
Derek: (on bent knee): I love you, Meredith. Will you marry me?
Meredith: Wow, I can’t believe this! I’m being proposed to by an incredibly attractive, wealthy neurosurgeon who treats me very well and with whom I have great chemistry.
Derek: So is that a yes?
Meredith: I’ll have to think about it.
Derek: Um, OK. So when will you give me an answer?
Meredith: May sweeps.
Speaking of which, last May, the show left us with a doozy of a cliff hanger. Izzy, played by Katherine Heigl, was rushed into the operating room where Dr. Shepherd frantically performed surgery on her. However, complications arose that put Izzy’s life in real danger. Namely: Contract negotiations between Heigl’s agent and ABC broke down.
But perhaps you’re not into medical dramas. Maybe you prefer to watch something more positive and uplifting, like, say, people being murdered. In that case I have good news for you: “CSI” is back. Along with “Law & Order,” “CSI New York,” “Law & Order Special Victims Unit,” “CSI Miami,” “CSI De Beque,” “Law & Order Overdue Library Book Unit,” etc.
Then again, you can spend your entertainment hours watching other people date. “The Bachelor” is back with yet another publicity-hungry, 30-something guy who somehow can’t find a girlfriend, this despite the fact that he’s incredibly rich and handsome with no criminal background. So instead of looking around all the places normal people look when trying to find a spouse, (church, the gym, work, oriental massage parlor, etc.), he decides to turn over his love life to (why not?) a televison production team.
He’ll be introduced to 25 attention-starved sluts, uh, I mean, 25 potential soul-mates, and eventually, a true, heart-warming love connection will be made that will last for all eternity. Or two weeks after the season finale, whichever comes first.
This is just a taste of this fall’s new offerings. I didn’t cover all the mind-numbing reality shows on cable because some people don’t even have cable. (These are what’s known as “Lucky People.”)
The rest of us, however, will eagerly tune in and await the answers to several important questions:
1) Will the detectives from “CSI” be able to solve an incredibly complex and complicated murder in under an hour and still leave time for erectile dysfunction commercials?
2) Will the bachelor find love this season? If not, will he at least find a cure to that itching problem?
3) Will Chuck Liddell flip out and put the “Dancing With The Stars” host in a dangerous choke-hold? And if so, would anyone be opposed to this?