January 14th, 2010


The Mid-Season TV Round-Up

Your faithful TV Nerd here, with a late look at the mid-season shows making their way to our television sets. I say late because four of the mid-season programs I enjoy have already started: Big Love, Chuck, Better Off Ted and Scrubs.

Thankfully, Big Love, Chuck and Better Off Ted are as good as they've ever been, if not even better, but I wish I could say the same about Scrubs. It's taking me way too long to warm up to the new cast of med students that the show is focusing on, and part of the problem is that they're just not as interesting as the original cast. J.D. was always the heart of the show, and with Zach Braff in only a handful of episodes this season it feels like the series is foundering. Still, whenever Dr. Cox is onscreen I'm happy, and for now that's enough to keep me watching.

Looking over the slate of new programs, though, once again I see very little that interests me. I might check out Human Target on FOX, but after reading about it I have to admit it leaves me feeling "meh," possibly because I'm already getting my action-adventure fix from Chuck, FlashForward and the increasingly uninteresting Smallville. The only other new mid-season show that piques my interest is Spartacus: Blood and Sand because it reminds me of HBO's Rome, but it's on Starz, and who subscribes to Starz? The rest of the slate looks like the usual borefest of relationship dramas, crime dramas, lawyer shows and reality shows, not to mention Caprica on SyFy, the prequel to a series I never had any interest in. But when it comes to returning programs, I'm much happier.

In addition to the four shows I mentioned above, there's a new season of The Sarah Silverman Program returning to Comedy Central in February. Silverman is a polarizing comedian and her show seems to be love-it-or-hate-it, but I like her and I like the show. The TV Nerd offers no apologies!

Though technically neither of these are mid-season programs, I wanted to mention that FlashForward and V both return to ABC in March. I'm still digging FlashForward even though some have called it dull and plodding, but I'm not so hot on V. I found it kind of boring when they aired the first four episodes this fall and will probably watch the first episode of its return to see if things have improved. If not, I have no qualms about dumping it from my DVR schedule.

Of course, the returning program I'm looking forward to the most is ABC's Lost in February! After two utterly amazing and creatively reinvigorated seasons, the sixth and final season of Lost seems poised to bring the awesome. I feel like I've been waiting forever to find out what happened with that nuclear bomb, and with FakeLocke's showdown with Statue Foot Guy, and with the smoke monster and the temple and Sawyer and Benjamin and Desmond... Argh, is it February 2nd yet?

Amazingly, that's it for the mid-season as far as your TV Nerd is concerned. There just isn't that much new that looks good to me, and with the possible demises of Scrubs, V and Smallville--at least from my DVR schedule, if not from their networks'--pickings are getting even slimmer. Here's hoping for a more creatively robust season next fall. In the meantime, though, get me back to that frickin' island!