A New One Just Like the Old One


English: Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino on th...

English: Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino on the set of Law and Order: SVU, “Missing Pieces” Episode #13.5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s that time of year again. Fall, yes, but far more important, it’s the beginning of the fall prime time television line up.

I want to be excited about it. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. Alas, I am not.

Harry’s Law,” which was one of the few bright spots in a dreary lineup, is gone and unlikely to come back.

“House” is finished, though it had a long run and it was time to retire. Still, I’ll miss it if for no other reason than it was a little bit different than other shows.

“Bones” is back, and I hope they get back to forensic anthropology and stop focusing on the sort-of marital relations of Bones and Booth.

The Closer” is gone. Its spinoff, “Major Crimes” is on, but without Kyra Sedgewick. It’s not bad, but without Kyra, it isn’t the same. It’s okay, but not terrific.

Law and Order: SVU” is hanging on though I could skip a weekly sex offender fix.

Criminal Minds”  is a good show, but I’m not always ready to watch brutal serials killers mutilating and torturing victims. It’s particularly the wrong show to watch right before trying to go to sleep.

Pauley Perrette in the season opener of NCIS.

And then, there’s “NCIS” … our favorite show that’s still going. Yay Gibbs! Yay team!. Great to have Gibbs and the team back and I wonder what he’ll be building next? Very glad Ducky is still with us. Ilya lives!

“Vegas” was pretty good, a sort of cross between “Longmire” and the old Las Vegas series that starred James Caan. It was a bit derivative, but more original than most of the other stuff. For example, “NCIS: Los Angeles” bores me to tears. It’s not merely derivative, it’s also dull.

There are, I am sure, the usual broad and mindless selection of reality shows that we have never watched and never will. They keep putting them on, we keep trying hard to ignore their existence. If I get that desperate for entertainment, just shoot me.

We still have the “Mentalist” which is entertaining. And though I haven’t seen the latest incarnations of either “Private Practice” or “Grey’s Anatomy,” both were verging on daytime soap opera last season, so they’d have to do something super special to move forward from there.

The bright spot in my entire TV year was “Newsroom” and I can barely can contain my excitement until it comes back again.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but everything seems like rehash of something I’ve seen before. I can predict the dialogue of first run brand new shows. It’s like someone has a cliché generating computer with pre-formatted scripts, just change the names and locations, and voilà, a brand new cop show, medical show, lawyer show. And each is as predictable as the last.

Yup, it’s a new season. Watching re-runs of “MASH” is, on the whole, more satisfying than watching most current shows; more interesting and less predictable, even though I’ve seen them before.

As a final comment on the state of media, Leno was just on. He made a joke about “Newsroom” and Aaron Sorkin, except the audience had never seen the show or heard of Sorkin. So Leno said “West Wing? Boston Legal? You know, really intelligent shows?” Nope, they never heard of them. “Jersey Shore” they heard of. It’s just going to keep getting worse.

As for me, I shall be reading many books this year. Lots of books.