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Anything Good On?

The TV battlefield’s about to change. For starters, the new season of Heroes starts tonight. I am certainly looking forward to that. But that comes at what seems a high price: the end of season 1 of Burn Notice.

I mentioned Burn Notice once before in this space, but that was shortly before the show started. I had been suckered in by the promotional material, and wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it’s been probably my favorite show this whole summer. It takes a simple A-Team-esque format of ex-military helping people in need while trying to clear their name, and makes it even more fun.

Take the season 1 finale that aired this past Thursday. It was a 2-hour finisher that I would compare to a solid action movie like Die Hard with about twice as much wit, and half the exposition and denouement — a luxury afforded because it is part of an ongoing series. You already know the characters and the general setting, so you don’t spend the first fifteen minutes learning how much of a badass the protagonist is.

In my humble opinion, this is a show that deserves much more hype than it’s getting. On the other hand, as long as it stays on the air, I won’t be complaining. Well, I will, but only because the endcap to the finale stated that new episodes will be coming out next summer. Today’s high is 87 degrees Fahrenheit. This summer isn’t over. And they want me to wait until next summer? Just glancing at USA’s homepage, I can find a show that should be nipped in the bud, and it’s funding and time slot given to Burn Notice. I mean, it’s a reality show about someone who looks like he should be on Jackass crashing his bike into a cement truck or the like.

Too bad I’m not a TV exec, I guess.

Also, another show that I mentioned in that post from long ago was The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As it happens, the pilot episode showed up on the torrent networks a while ago. Given that I’m already pre-sold on the entire concept and I’m going to watch the series until Sarah dons a leather jacket and jumps a Terminator shark on water skis, I felt no real qualms about having this little foretaste of the show. So I got my hands on the pilot.

Having said that, I realize I’m hardly an objective reviewer of this sort of show. However, I was eminently impressed. Recasting Sarah was no small task, but Lena Headey brings just the right mix of border-line insanity and paranoia mixed with effusive love for John. This show has great promise.

Also of interest is a point that my father made to me when I was telling him about this some time ago: it’s awfully interesting that a high-quality, well-edited, polished, final-cut-looking episode made it onto the ‘net so far in advance of the premier. He speculated that it may have been the work of the networks. At the time, I was intrigued, but not convinced.

After reading the above linked tvweek.com article, I’m leaning more towards it. The article points out that the shows that have made it online pre-maturely “are among the more anticipated, buzz-heavy titles of the fall (there are many copies of ‘Bionic’* and ‘Connor’ online, for example, but no copies of ABC’s ‘Carpoolers’ or The CW’s ‘Life is Wild’ were found).”

(*This reference to the internet being rife with a leaked pilot of the new Bioic Woman show is complicated by the fact that Amazon is giving the show away for free. Update: Since this went to press, about two thirds of the shows there have been removed, including the Bionic Woman pilot.)

If this is really the work of the networks, their aim is obvious: to get the folks who surf the torrent networks (e.g. me) to have a look at these titles, and spread even more buzz for them (which I’m doing right now). It’s an interesting idea, and certainly seems to be working, if I’m any example.

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Categories: The Internet
  1. lyoncage
    September 26, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Sigh your the 2nd person whose opinion I trust so its torrents of Burn Notice for me.

    I was delighted with the season 2 opener of Heroes. I am very very interested in seeing where the season is going to take us. I am going to write a review of it on my blog in the next day or so…I need to watch it again and get a solid feeling for it.

    The Sarah Connor Chronicles pilot was awesome. I for one can’t wait to watch the 3 episodes that air, then see Fox nail its coffin shut, and bury it in the ground. Cause that is what Fox does to shows that really matter and are fun to watch.

    Lord I am about to start a blog here…sooooooo…let me return to my home and write one. Thanks Hober!

    Just a side note…Steve-O was on Jackass.

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