Newb Tube

It’s been a month or so since the new TV season began (with a few exceptions; I’m still waiting on Supergirl Monday and Mom sometime thereabouts), so here’s a quick rundown of what I’m watching.

The most pleasant surprise has been Fargo, whose first season about a year and a half ago seemed to come out of nowhere and blow everyone (who saw it) away.  I probably wouldn’t have paid it any mind except that certain writers I respect were raving about it the week before it premiered.  It was excellent.  Maybe the first television I felt the need to discuss with others since Ally McBeal.  The new season had me wary, but only because I just didn’t see how it could equal the first season.  And so far, it has come pretty close.  I don’t see an Allison Tollman for this season, which is kind of a disappointment, but Kirsten Dunst could be this year’s Billy Bob Thornton: a known entity playing something completely different.  She’s been enthralling so far, a real puzzle.  I also like Ted Danson a lot so far.  It’s only been two episodes (of twelve), so if you’re missing the boat, it’s not too late to get caught up.

I’m a lifelong Muppets fan, as most people are, I guess.  The original The Muppet Show is one of my favorite TV series of all time, a show that impresses me more now that I’m old enough to know what to be impressed by.  This new show, The Muppets, a kind of takeoff on The Office, has Miss Piggy hosting a late-night talk show, with the rest of the crew as the production/performing team.  Fozzy is the show’s announcer and audience warm-up; Statler and Waldorf are regular audience members; Scooter is, as he always has been, a gofer; Kermit is the producer.  I totally get the criticisms, and I’m on board with a few of them.  The fat jokes aimed at Piggy are a bit much, and perhaps an anachronism of sorts for television today.  Like The Larry Sanders Show, another clear inspiration, we mostly only see behind-the-scenes stuff, which is the biggest disappointment.  The Muppets are show people.  Performers.  One of the inspiring things about the original show was the joy these characters felt in just getting on stage and performing, something that’s sorely missing from this.  Where’s the Kermit who was discovered sitting on a log in a swamp, singing “Rainbow Connection?”  Still, the characters are there, and they’re lovely and wonderful and I honestly can’t get enough.  And as I told Anto a few weeks ago, this completely new setting makes it easier for me to deal with the characters having different voices.

Dr. Ken, the new sitcom with Ken Jeoong, is uneven, but I’m on board for the whole season (and ABC just last week ordered the full season; it is the first of the new shows to receive the order) because I’m reviewing episodes for  The show is trying really hard to do some important things besides making people laugh, something I admire, but it really needs to be good entertainment first and good Asian American entertainment second, you know?  The cast is strong, for the most part, especially Dr. Ken’s family, anchored by Suzy Nakamura as Ken’s psychiatrist wife, and the chemistry between the two doctors is the show’s strongest element so far.  I’m not as in love with the way the staff at Ken’s HMO is being fleshed out, which is a disappointment because Tisha Campbell-Martin is there, and I love her.  The only reason I kept watching Martin on Fox in the 90s when it stopped being funny was her.

Which of course brings me to season two of Fresh off the Boat, which I am also doing episode reviews for. I have to say that it’s still uneven, but the season is a lot stronger than I expected. It’s doing a few things really well, giving Eddie a new love interest, and continuing to develop Jessica’s relationships with the other characters.

I’m TiVoing Life in Pieces, but haven’t watched any of it yet. It looks promising. I’m also TiVoing Last Man on Earth, that Will Forte series, but I only get to it once in a while. It’s excellent, though, and I’m sure I’d be more enthusiastic about it if I’d seen the first season. Definitely my kind of show. Alienation, baby.

For now, I’m down with Quantico too. I checked it out because of its star, Priyanka Chopra (ABC seems to be leading the pack in Asians, if you count CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 as just one multi-Asians thing), and got sucked into the story. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it, because it’s not really my genre, and if they plan to yank me along for a whole season without giving me enough development, I probably won’t make it. But it’s good so far.

I’m going to have to continue this tomorrow. It’s 12:33 in the afternoon, and I’m due at the annual NaNoWriMo kickoff, which I will also discuss later.


  1. Hey you,

    I’ve not commented here in a long time. Don’t think there are many other Susan’s commenting so maybe you’ll still remember me…

    But yep, I thought that was you. I connected the dots today. Saw you at Nanowrimo at the cafe meeting and was thinking that’s the guy whose blog I randomly found like 6 years ago and love.

    Yep. It’s you. This post confirmed it. Very odd really to see someone in person that you don’t know but sort of feel like you do from their blog. So odd in fact, I thought I should give you a heads up. Figured it would be better to say aloha here than catch you off guard when you were getting ready to write at midnight or something. 😉 Cool and odd all at the same time.

    So hello. Didn’t see you at the next restaurant. Now catching up a bit on your blog, and I see why. 🙁 But not out of character for you (to sacrifice your job), so not surprised you’d do such a thing.

    Hang in there. Sorry I sort of fell off from reading your blog. Had a lot going on and got out of the habit but not due to your writing. Always a great read. But personal which is why I thought I’d give you a heads up. Or else when I read your post about Nanowrimo and you say there were these new people and this one weird chic, blah, blah, blah… Just kidding. You’re going to have no idea which person I was. I’d bet on it. 😉


    Ps. Sorry about the … Pretty sure you hate that.

  2. Of course I know who you are, if you introduced yourself as Susan. 🙂 Thanks for saying hi. There’s no way I would ever have made that connection. I look forward to getting to know you in real life!

    Ellipses are no good in formal writing. In stuff like journal comments, they’re fine!

    …and yeah. I’m in between paychecks (there’s one on the way as I write this), so I had to choose this past weekend between paying for those punchcards and joining everyone for lunch. It was an easy call!

  3. I’ve watched both “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Quantico” at my closed-captioning job, although I’ve unfortunately kept up with neither–I don’t have cable, so I rely on Netflix for all my viewing.

    But I did the pilot of “Fresh Off the Boat” and another recent episode, and I really liked it from the start. I just thought it was so funny and clever.

    “Quantico,” at least from the early episode I saw, was a really interesting concept, and I’m interested to see where it goes.

  4. Forgot when I posted that there’s a picture with these comments. Looking forward to getting to know you in person as well.

    The strangest thing for me was the randomness in finding your blog to begin with via the site I used at the time. It literally had you click on an emotion and pulled up the most recent blog posts mentioning that emotion. As I recall, it showed worldwide sentiments at the time in a graphical form so I think I clicked a colored bubble to find you. I can’t recall exactly but I do know the chances of me clicking that and years later ending up in the same spot has to be similar odds to winning the lottery lol.

    See you Saturday night/Sunday morning. 🙂


  5. It was but I don’t use it anymore as it has some Java plug-in error for me, which is why I can’t describe how it worked. If it works for you, you’ll see the enormity of the odds of us connecting in person since it pulls data off the web worldwide. 🙂


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