Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall TV Round-Up

I am taking a break from my Tales from the Archives series this week to do a post on new Fall TV shows I have been watching. The weekly wrap-up will be Sunday as usual and Thursday (12/1) will be the next Tales from the Archives post.

South Park

As much as I love South Park I missed a good chunk of the first half of the season. However, I made up for this by watching the all seven episodes of the second half. While the last couple seasons haven't been quite up to par, the show is still very good. I liked every episode I saw but my favorite two from this season were "You're Getting Old" and "The Poor Kid."
South Park has been picked up through season 20, so it will stick around thru 2016!

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie
As a fan of Penn & Teller I was disappointed when their Showtime series got canceled last year. However, I got excited when I heard they were getting a new show on the Discovery Channel. Penn & Teller Tell a Lie is only a six episode series, and I'm not sure if they plan on making anymore. The show has actually already finished its run, in which it aired following new episodes of Mythbusters. The premise of this show is that Penn & Teller host seven outlandish stories, of which one is a fabrication and the rest are true. The viewers must try to guess which segment is a lie before it is revealed at the end. The show is basically a cross between Mythbusters, Ripley's Believe it or Not, and Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. It is also similar to the show Urban Legends which I discuss later in this post. Penn & Teller Tell a Lie is fun, but it feels drawn out for an hour length show and the basic idea of the show has been done before. If you like Penn & Teller (or those other shows I mentioned) check this out, but if you are new to the magic duo start somewhere else.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

I started watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold this fall. Unfortunately it was a little late to get into the show as this was its final season. The show was only intended to last three seasons and got canceled to make room for the more serious upcoming show, Beware the Batman.
I really like this Cartoon Network show as it can be hilarious, but at the same time have some great serious episodes like "Chill of the Night." Some people might not like a Batman show with a lighter, tongue-in-cheek tone, but it works as a great nod to the Silver Age comics and the Adam West Batman of the 60s. Each episode features Batman teaming up with other characters from the DC Universe so its more than just Batman. You never know who will make an appearance as some pretty obscure characters have been featured in this series. Any show that makes Aquaman cool is... Outrageous!
The series finale was fantastic. It demolished the fourth wall, made fun of jumping the shark, and even featured Ted McGinley as a guest star! The show had a nice run and this was the perfect way for it to go out in a blaze of glory.

Last Man Standing
I loved Tim Allen on Home Improvement (and in the movie Galaxy Quest) so when I heard he was making a return to TV I had to check it out. So far ABC's Last Man Standing is okay, but has the potential to be better. While Tim Allen is great on this show, his boss and wife are not as interesting or funny as Al or Tim's wife on Home Improvement. We also don't have a breakout character like Wilson. Allen's character is pretty similar to the one he played on his previous show. The formula is also pretty similar, just instead of having three sons, he has three daughters. So far the Halloween episode was my favorite, which incidentally were always great on Home Improvement. I hope the show gets picked up for another season as I think it can improve, but the other characters are going to have to get better if this show wants to last.

Urban Legends
This series is similar to shows like Beyond Belief: Fact of Fiction, Mostly True Stories, and the aforementioned Penn & Teller Tell a Lie. Although Urban Legends is not a great show, its still a fun way to kill half an hour. The format is that three unbelievable stories are shown, and we have to guess which segments are true and which ones are false. This is the third season and new episodes are still airing on the Syfy Channel.

Beavis and Butt-Head

I had seen re-runs of this show and always liked it, especially the segments with the two making fun of music videos. Personally I think that the spin-off show Daria and creator Mike Judge's other show King of the Hill are both better than Beavis and Butt-Head. However, when I heard that MTV was bringing back Judge to make new Beavis and Butt-Head episodes I had to check it out. So far I have been impressed. The animation is cleaner than before (although they use of the old couch footage when Beavis and Butt-Head watch TV for some reason). Beavis and Butt-Head still watch music videos, but also now watch and mock MTV shows like Jersey Shore. The show hasn't missed a beat and it feels like the show never stopped airing. My only complaint is that MTV follows Beavis and Butt-Head with a show called Good Vibes. I only watched the first episode out of morbid curiosity and it is probably the worst TV show I have ever seen. Beavis and Butt-Head deserves to be partnered with a better show. Bring back Daria!

Batman: The Animated Series
Technically Batman: The Animated Series doesn't count since unlike the other shows I have been watching this is not a new series. However, I have been watching the series in order on the Hub TV Channel on a regular basis so I feel it is only fair to include it here. At the moment I have seen all of season 1 and 2, so I only have the third season (15 episodes) left. I remember seeing this show as a kid, but re-watching it I have been blown away with how amazing this series is. It holds up incredibly well and while I haven't quite seen all the episodes yet it is one of the best animated series ever and perhaps the greatest TV or movie version of Batman. I need to buy the DVDs!

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