Friday, September 22, 2006

being an early adopter

yeah, check it out, two blog posts on the same day. where are the porcine aviators?

I have a bit of an elitist geek thing going on with my television watching habits. Often I ride the early wave of a show that ultimately becomes uber popular (X-Files, Crocodile Hunter, Mythbusters, Junkyard Wars, CSI, Battlestar Galactica) and can later feel superior to the masses because I 'called it' and watched the very first episodes before the water cooler buzz got going and made it popular. But sometimes it sucks when a show you fall in love with doesn't get renewed for a second season (Firefly, Freaks & Geeks, John Doe, Conquest). And of course it also sucks when a show that rocks becomes so popular that it starts sucking as the network start interferings more and more (Junkyard Wars) or they start running out of plot (X-Files, Stargate SG-1)

So here are my predictions for the new season based on years of being an early adopter of cool television:

My big bet: Nickelodeon is about to debut a show that will fill the same niche that Ren & Stimpy, Crank Yankers, and Space Ghost have filled. Tonight is the first episode of a puppet based program called Mr. Meaty. Its interesting to note that as with so many of the really great offbeat shows, this isn't produced in the USA. I've only seen the previews on TV, but I've got Tivo fired up to record it. I guess I'll know tomorrow if I'm right on this. But if parents in Canada are trying to get the show banned, it can't be all bad. heh.

Eureka is a new SciFi original that appeals to the geek in all of us - the premise is that there is a secret town in the USA (called Eureka) where all the scientific geniuses live and do their research. As with all scientific research, things sometimes go BOOM in the lab. The technology is creatively visionary like Star Trek used to be, and who wouldn't like to live in a place where its cool to be ridiculously smart? Its fun to watch, and SciFi isn't under the pressure the big basic cable networks are to produce big winners so it might be on the air long enough to pick up a reasonable following. You should start watching if you aren't already. Just don't trust the redhead.

I've seen a couple episodes of Standoff, and it isn't bad. It stars Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Gina Torres (Firefly) so I have to admit to being kind of biased. It is all about crisis negotiators, and has real promise if they can manage to keep the stories interesting - it has high risk of becoming repetitive, and just because Law & Order can stay alive for 16 years of the same thing every week, doesn't mean this will.

Not a new show but a new season, Survivor 13 is edgy, dividing tribes along ethnic lines was pretty risky. But I have found it to be a fascinating social experiment. The only tribe to not feel pressure to perform well to represent their entire race? The Caucasians (Raro). The only tribe (so far) to throw a challenge to kick 1 of their 5 team members off? The Latinos (Aitu). The strongest, most cohesive, and hottest tribe? The Asians (Puka). All in all the first two episodes have been pretty interesting; this Survivor rises above the typical boring high school style angst with this new cultural-bonding twist so you know a human nature and personal identity student like me can't resist watching.

Other shows I am watching and look forward to seeing develop over the next few episodes: Jericho, Shark, Heroes, and Kidnapped (I liked the first episode & think it is good, but success depends in part on audience saturation - competition is the established Without a Trace and the new Vanished, a conspiracy filled show which can't seem to decide if it is about OC style drama, politics, or kidnapping).

So go set your Tivo for some new shows and let me know what you think.




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