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The PopMatters Fall 2010 Television Preview

All this week, PopMatters highlights the new shows premiering on cable and broadcast channels with in-depth reviews and trailers.

Monday, December 6 2010

‘Men of a Certain Age’ Season Two Premiere

Men of a Certain Age is a departure from the glorified perpetual adolescence that has plagued characterizations of men in movies over the last few years and in television for the last few decades.

Wednesday, November 17 2010

‘Human Target’ Season Two Premiere

With a billionaire benefactor in charge of the team, the show seems set to go to even more exotic locales in Season Two.

Wednesday, November 3 2010

‘The Will: Family Secrets Revealed’ Series Premiere

Unlike vengeance, gossip is not a dish best served cold. Neither is it served by lack of imagination.

Monday, October 25 2010

‘In Treatment’ Season Three Premiere

As the third season of HBO’s In Treatment begins, Brooklyn-based psychoanalyst Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) appears more unhappy than any of his three new patients.

Monday, October 18 2010

‘Luther’ Series Premiere

The pay-off for persistence with Luther is so rich that it is worth suspending judgment on the show for its first episode.

Friday, October 15 2010

‘Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura’ Season Two Premiere

Watching Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, one begins to wonder whether the truth truly is out there. Ventura persists because, as he explained in an interview with PopMatters, it's our civic duty.

Monday, October 11 2010

‘Hardcover Mysteries’ Series Premiere

Hardcover Mysteries explores some of the most sensational cases in American crime and their bleeding into crime fiction.

Wednesday, October 6 2010

‘Steven Seagal: Lawman’ Second Season Premiere

Steven Seagal's one expression is appropriate for nearly every occasion in Steven Seagal: Lawman.

Monday, October 4 2010

‘Lie to Me’ Season Three Premiere

Now surrounded by women in Lie to Me's third season, Tim Roth's Cal Lightman may have to recalculate his distractions.

Sunday, October 3 2010

‘Law & Order: UK’ Series Premiere

A 20-year-old American show, reworked for British audiences, re-imported to the U.S. One can't help thinking, "What's the point?"

‘IRT: Deadliest Roads’ Series Premiere

Deadliest Roads creates a palpable sense of white-knuckle fear that's mostly absent from the original Ice Road Truckers.

Thursday, September 30 2010

‘My Generation’: Series Premiere

The classmates' 28-year-old incarnations are just as one-sided and vacuous as their high school nicknames.

Tuesday, September 28 2010

‘No Ordinary Family’ Series Premiere

No Ordinary Family is off to a promising start, tweaking a lot of superhero conventions without seeming like a parody.

Monday, September 27 2010

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Season Seven Premiere

Unfortunately, the best bits of the Grey's Anatomy premiere were the flashbacks to the finale, though their impact was watered down considerably.

Sunday, September 26 2010

‘The Amazing Race’ Season 17 Premiere

You'd think that with 16 previous seasons of The Amazing Race to watch, new team members would know to learn how to drive a stick shift before starting the race.

‘Dexter’ Season Five Premiere

Dexter ponders his lack of humanity and Rita's enormous capacity to love. All true, but nothing new.

Friday, September 24 2010

‘Community’ Second Season Premiere

When this much-anticipated premiere briefly imploded into a big emotional mess and we could love it all the same, that just might be meta storytelling at its most sophisticated.

‘The Whole Truth’: Series Premiere

In The Whole Truth, there are no easy answers, but the difficulty doesn't tax viewers' intellectual curiosity so much as their patience.

‘Detroit 1-8-7’: Series Premiere

Detroit 1-8-7 has a long way to go before it comes close to equaling Homicide, but it's off to a promising start.

‘Better With You’ Series Premiere

What is Better With You trying to accomplish? It wants to be Friends.

‘Cougar Town’ Season Two Premiere

To her credit, guest star Jennifer Aniston went all out to be weird and at least a little unlikable.

Thursday, September 23 2010

‘Outsourced’ Series Premiere

Outsourced is not a satire of current corporate practices. Neither does it have much to say about the politics of outsourcing jobs to India or other sites of "cheap labor."

‘Fringe’ Season Three Premiere

Get used to wondering. As Fringe leaves each Olivia in the other’s world, it opens up a season’s worth of plots.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season Four Premiere

The real target of The Big Bang Theory's satire is the arbitrary, self-serving stupidity of mainstream culture.

‘Bones’ Season Six Premiere

A love letter to group synergy and the fruits of hard labor, the Season Six premiere makes its own case for the team's existence.

‘S#*! My Dad Says’: Twitter TV

With very little character development beyond “irascibly grumpy,” his masculinity seems Ed’s sole identifying quality.

Wednesday, September 22 2010

J.J. Abrams Unveils New Show ‘Undercovers’

Stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw help make Undercovers a slick and entertaining hour of television.

Tuesday, September 21 2010

‘Raising Hope’: I Want People to Look at Me Differently

Virginia, played by the incomparable Martha Plimpton, can be downright poignant. She works as a maid, a job that hasn't exactly sweetened her on life.

‘Running Wilde’: Zero Edges

On paper, Running Wilde looks like the second coming of Arrested Development.

Five Pluses for ‘Hawaii Five-O’: Reasons to Watch Yet Another Re-imagining

Hawaii Five-O’s looks, charm, and attitude may get mainlanders to take up surfing -- but not among channels.

‘POV: The Oath’: We Need Every Last Muslim

Laura Poitras' superb documentary, The Oath, follows Abu Jandal, but doesn't quite figure him out.

Monday, September 20 2010

American Ghost Towns and the Anti-Apocalyptic Road Trip of ‘Supernatural’

The CW's Supernatural returns for its sixth season on 24 September in its new Friday night time slot. For five years Dean and Sam Winchester have have been on a road trip through "the old, weird America" in an effort to forestall the Apocalypse and battle pure evil.

‘House’ Season Seven Premiere

There is, of course, a risk in House and Cuddy finally consummating their relationship (Moonlighting, anyone?).

‘Mike & Molly’ Series Premiere

Perhaps we are ready to discuss weight and size more openly. Mike & Molly does its part by showcasing some common insensitivities.

‘Hawaii Five-0’: Surf and Terrorism

Hawaii Five-0's first sequence is smartly staged action, fast-paced and technically impressive.

‘Lone Star’: Never Play Yourself

Lone Star suggests that being human has nothing to do with conscience and empathy and everything to do with how well you deliver the performance your audience expects.

‘Chase’: No Doubts

Chase might want to toss out everything else and just give us a full hour of nonstop chase.

‘The Event’: It’s All Happening

In order for The Event to work as a series, a metaphor or sociopolitical commentary, it’s going to have to commit to a clear direction.

Sunday, September 19 2010

‘Boardwalk Empire’: A Man Apart

HBO's glossy new Prohibition-era gangster series has a powerful lead in Steve Buscemi's Atlantic City operator, but a story that takes several episodes to catch fire.

‘Heartland’: You Should Have Waited for the Pie

Heartland offers the ranch as an environment free from parental control, but without any of the implacable obligations or unexpected dangers such freedom might entail.

Horse Sense and Soldiers

This is how the world works, when you're not at war. You can't expect human beings to meet your expectations, observes horse whisperer Monty Roberts. You can only "take what comes."

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