Tag: 10 items or less

It’s time to set your TiVos…

There are a number of new (and returning) shows making their season debuts this month. Here is a list of the scripted shows that premiere in the next two weeks (through 1/19):

1/6/09 at 9:00 PM & 9:30 PM
8th season premiere

1/6/09 at 10:00 PM
5th season winter premiere

1/6/09 at 11:00 PM
3rd season premiere

1/7/09 at 10:00 PM
2nd season premiere

1/9/09 at 9:00 PM
2nd season premiere

1/9/09 at 9:00 PM
7th season winter premiere

1/9/09 at 10:00 PM
3rd season winter premiere

24 (FOX)
1/11/09 at 8:00 PM
7th season premiere – special night and time

1/12/09 at 9:00 PM
3rd season premiere

1/15/09 at 10:00 PM
(from A&E’s press release, November 2008) A&E Network will premiere the original scripted drama series, “The Beast” on January 15th at 10PM ET/PT. “The Beast,” starring Patrick Swayze and Travis Fimmel, centers on an unorthodox but effective FBI veteran, Charles Barker (Swayze), who takes on a rookie partner, Ellis Dove (Fimmel), to train in his hard-edged and psychologically clever style of agenting. In the premiere episode of “The Beast,” the mischievous Barker hazes Dove as they go undercover on their first case to infiltrate a weapons smuggling ring. Barker brilliantly manipulates situations, constantly tests his new partner’s abilities and pushes him to delve deeper into the roles of the undercover characters he creates. Although Dove takes a liking to Barker, the new job takes its toll on him. The stress and danger of being an agent quickly makes him realize that he can no longer maintain normal relationships outside of work. Yet that’s not the worst of it. The rookie is confronted with a larger challenge: An FBI Internal Affairs team feels Barker may have gone rogue and they try to enlist Dove as a double-agent in the bureau’s investigation of his mentor.

1/16/09 at 9:00 PM
3rd season premiere
(Note: I’ve been watching this season and it’s as good as it has ever been.)

1/16/09 at 10:00 PM
4th season winter premiere
(Note: Be sure to check back for our weekly blog of the final season.)

1/18/09 at 9:00 PM
5th season premiere

1/18/09 at 9:00 PM
3rd season premiere

1/18/09 at 10:00 PM
2nd season premiere

1/18/09 at 10:00 PM
(from Showtime’s press release, June 2008) Showtime Networks has fast-tracked the pickup of THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, a new 12 episode half-hour comedy series starring Academy Award(R)-nominated actress Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”) as a wife and mother who suffers from disassociative identity (formerly multiple personality) disorder, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment for Showtime. The comedy series, a co-production of Dreamworks Television and Showtime Networks, will delve into how a dysfunctional family, including Tara’s working husband played by John Corbett (“Sex and the City”), copes with the various identities that may appear on any given day and range in age, temperament and even gender.

1/18/09 at 10:30 PM
2nd season premiere
(Note: I’ve seen the first few episodes of the second season and there was no fall off.)

Check back on 1/19/09 and we’ll have another list of debuting shows for you. If you can’t wait, the Futon Critic has a complete list of January premieres.

Old Show, New Season: “10 Items or Less”

If you saw my review of the “10 Items or Less: The Complete First and Second Seasons” DVD set, then you already know that, although I like the show, I just feel like it ought to be funnier than it is. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has proven over and over again that ad-libbed television can be hilarious, but in its first two seasons, “10 Items or Less” repeatedly demonstrated where its strengths lay – in its characters and its premises – but kept getting mired in punchlines that were only funny because they were weird, thereby seriously cutting into its replay value.

Unfortunately, Season 3 is already starting out with one strike against it, due to the departure of Jennifer Elise Cox from the cast. She was a great comedic foil for John Lehr as Leslie’s longtime crush, Amy Anderson, but I guess the producers must not have been able to figure out what to do with her character once she left Super Value Mart and came to work at the Greens & Grains. Instead, we’re introduced to Amy’s replacement at Super Value Mart: Mercedes P. Jones, played by Kim Coles (“Living Single”). She’s proven in the past that she’s a gifted comedienne, but aside from a brief bit about why her character has picked up the nickname “The Velvet Hammer,” her contributions to the 3rd season premiere are predominantly limited to reacting to other people’s lines and offering up generic sassy dialogue. Let’s hope she’s given more of an opportunity to shine creatively in future episodes.

The good news, though, is that the premiere is pretty damned funny even without utilizing Coles, and the reason why can be summed up in two words: turkey bowling.

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