TV Nite

Laura was feeling a bit run-down last night and after dinner I siezed control of the remote.

I watched the series premieres of:

Supernatural. The X-Files meets Father Knows Best. What really struck me about this one is that it’s on the WB and I actually watched it. Sam is trying to get accepted to law school and put the problems of his past behind him. Then his older brother, Dean, shows up in the middle of the night to tell him that their father is missing. Sam and Dean go to Jericho, California to find their father, who is a sort of supernatural bounty hunter (searching for the paranormal critter that killed his wife). Do they find their father? Well, that would be telling. But they do encounter a Woman in White. Spectral antics ensue.

Surface. The X-Files meets SeaQuest: DSV. A young boy encounters an unusual sea creature while boogie boarding off the Carolina coast. Later, he returns to the area and retrieves a strange egg. An oceanographer in a Navy submersible encounters an unusual sea creature while exploring thermal vents five thousand feet beneath the surface of the ocean. A diver encounters an unusual sea creature during a recreational dive near an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. A government scientist is called into examine a submarine that disappeared for forty-six hours only to resurface in the Antarctic Sea, its crew missing and its hull damaged by what appear to be huge bite marks. This was one of the more satisfying premieres of the lot, and I appreciate the fact that the audience gets to see glimpses of the beasts right from the start, rather than leaving them entirely unseen for the first half-dozen episodes. The encounter near the oil rig was especially good.

Invasion. The X-Files meets War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise version). As hurricane Eve bears down on Florida, a research plane is destroyed by strange lights in the eye of the storm. Once Eve makes landfall, strange lights appear in the swamp and individuals who went missing during the storm turn up very much alive… and somehow changed. Extraterrestrials, government cover-ups and shades of pod people! I’m going to keep watching this one for a while.

Threshold. The X-Files meets War of the Worlds (C. Thomas Howell version). After an extraterrestrial presence is detected in the Atlantic Ocean, a government contingency plan called THRESHOLD is activated. The analyst who created the plan accompanies a team of experts to investigate a ship that encountered some manner of alien craft. Many aboard were killed, some are missing, and the sole survivor remaining aboard has been changed by the experience. The team observes strange fractal geometries on all shipboard computer displays, disfigured corpses, and mutated animals; some team members find that they, too, have been altered in some unexplainable manner. I was kind of disappointed with this show. The dialogue is clunky and the story is ridiculously predictable at times, and seems to be a little preoccupied with finding different ways to make the fractal pattern appear. I’ll give it a couple more episodes to see if things improve, but it may be the first new show I drop.

My Name is Earl. The X-Files meets Joe Dirt. Earl has done some pretty lousy things in his life, and now he’s afraid that karma is catching up with him. Hoping to make his life better, Earl makes a list of the 259 bad things he’s done and sets out to rectify each and every one. My Name is Earl looks as though it’s got potential and starts out strong. It’s very funny, and I don’t get the feeling that I need to give it a few episodes to hit its stride.

I did not watch the season premiere of Lost, though the array of ones and zeroes necessary for me to do so waits patiently on the TiVo.