The New TV Season

The new television season has begun!

I wouldn't say I'm a television junkie, really. In fact, when I first married, we hardly ever watched TV at all. But in recent years, since our evenings are no longer enslaved by baseball and karate and band practice, my husband and I have been known to enjoy a few shows. Only a few, though, and only if they're fiction. Reality show fans are sometimes surpised to hear that I have never watched a single episode of Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, or American Idol. Give me a riveting drama or a funny sitcom over a talent show every time. And of course, since my career is trying to tell made-up stories believably, I delight in picking apart the plot of every episode. It drives my husband nuts. Here's a recap of the season openers from a few of our favorites.

HOUSE - On Monday night, we watched the two-hour season premiere of House. Two whole hours of our favorite rude physician! My husband was a bit disappointed that there was no medical dilemma to be solved. Instead, Dr. House spent the entire time in a mental institution. He’d kicked the drug habit before the season began, which I thought was cheating a little. But I forgave the low blow from the script writers because I enjoyed watching House try to manipulate the facility’s staff. It seems they were less concerned with his drug addiction than with trying to cure him of his manipulative, arrogant personality. (Personality transplant, anyone?) He was at his obnoxious best when, in the span of a few minutes, he managed to send every one of his fellow patients into a corner for a private moment of thumb-sucking. Of course, it took a tragedy and a broken heart to reduce him to something that resembles normalcy. Unlike my husband, I enjoyed this episode a lot. It will be interesting to see if House continues to display his softer side when he returns to work next week. And if he does, will I still like him? Hmmm… not sure. He’s one of those guys we love to hate.

NCIS - Tuesday night was NCIS. This is my favorite crime investigation drama. There’s something about the energy between those characters that I just love. Mark Harmon as Gibbs carries the series, in my opinion, but Michael Weatherly surprised me with a powerful yet fully in-character performance in the season opening. The script was a bit disjointed at first – I’m not a fan of flashbacks, and this episode was littered with them. And I still can’t figure out what purpose the drug dealing seaman served. He must have been a time killer. Still, I absolutely loved seeing the NCIS crew in a new story. And one of the best parts of all was when Tony was drugged and strapped to a chair, beaten to a pulp, and he looked the killer straight in the eye and said, “In 30 seconds, you’ll be dead.” And of course, it was Gibbs to the rescue in a down-to-the-second move that made me laugh out loud with delight.

NCIS: LOS ANGELES - Following NCIS, we tried to watch the series premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles, but we couldn’t make it through the first fifteen minutes. To my surprise, LL Cool J did a good job. I think he could carry that series if Sam, his character, had the lead role. But “G,” Chris O’Donnell’s character, took center stage, and he just doesn’t command the same respect as Gibbs in the original. And the Hetty Lange character was just plain stupid. If she’s supposed to be the Abby-type character for this series, the plan failed miserably. Sadly, this spin-off is not one we’re going to watch again.

GREY'S ANATOMY - My television week lead up with mounting anticipation toward Thursday night and the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. I can’t help it – I’m hooked on the show (seriously!), even though my husband calls it a nighttime soap opera. I was treated to two whole hours of the Seattle Grace crew as they each tried to come to terms with George’s death. Can I tell you how relieved I am that Izzy returned this season? She’s one of my favorites, and I love seeing her relationship with Alex develop. I was really glad the crew gave Meredith and Derek a hard time about their “post it note wedding.” I thought exactly the same thing last season – you have to do it legally, people! The medical storyline of the girl who lost her limbs in a boating accident was satisfyingly dramatic, and I loved watching Lexi step up to a significant role. In all, that was two enjoyable hours.

I think the winner of the week was the NCIS episode. But all of our favorites kicked off the new season with a bang, and I’m looking forward to some good television in the coming months!