TV on trial


The new TV season has descended upon us yet again.

Every year, the powers that be at the major networks spend entire summers coming up with new programs and new plots for the returning shows.

The season premiere “week” has been extended into about three weeks, so there are still a few shows in the corporate vaults waiting to be flashed upon your TV screen.

The problem is that there are never as many decent shows as the networks think they have. How is a procrastinating student to know what to watch? Well, we’ve got the answers.

Most of the shows have premiered already, so the Collegian’s editorial staff was recruited to review the show most related to their position. For example, the Twin Peaks-esque mystery program Push, Nevada was cover by the Collegian’s community expert, Rebecca Schultze. The West Wing was covered by State and Local Editor Tobias Ueker.

Our hope is that, by reading the reviews of the our experts, you can avoid wasting valuable TV time on loser television.

We cannot guarantee that you will enjoy these programs or that you wouldn’t enjoy the ones that fetch a nasty review.

But hey, nobody’s perfect.

Sean Kennedy/Lifestyles Editor

FriendsThursday, 7 p.m.NBC

The season premiere of Friends was a total let down.

For Ross and Rachel fans, the couple almost got back together, but then didn’t, following a nasty cycle that the series has followed since beginning.

Not to be harsh or anything, the show was funny, especially the sub-plot with Monica and Chandler trying to get pregnant in the hospital closet and her dad catching them. These scenes took my mind off how stupid the main plot was. This show has done the misunderstanding thing to death. These Friends need to stop dating each other and find some other people to date.

Krista Tschetter/Sports Editor

EdWednesday, 7 p.m.NBC

The third season premiere of “Ed” on NBC has already resolved last season’s romantic cliffhanger, although not in a way devout watchers may have liked.

The benign comedy-drama about every-guy Ed (Tom Cavanaugh) who moves back to his hometown after a messy divorce to open a law practice in a bowling alley is often chuckle-worthy, and the first episode of the fall season was no exception.

Last season’s closer ended with an impromtu kiss between Ed and Carol (Julie Bowen), the searing culmination of three seasons of not-quite-hooking-up.

Unfortunately, Carol was then whisked away by her boyfriend Dennis for a summer of camping in the desert (and a possible marriage proposal).

In last Wednesday’s opener, Carol gets back to Stuckeyville, NOT engaged, but angry with Ed for making her think about him all summer.

She tells Dennis about the kiss, who threatens to leave her when finally she proposes to him.

The plot twists were enough to keep regular watchers interested, while a couple kooky subplots were entertaining enough to hook a random channel surfer or two. A cameo by Danny DeVito as a scamming psychologist made the hour worthwhile.

Rebecca Schultze/Campus and Community Editor

Push, NevadaThursday 8 p.m.ABC

If you’re the type that enjoys driving around in circles on an overcast day, then Push, Nevada is the show for you.

With exaggerated red and blue-green hues and gray tints to every other color, it’s like an ugly, roseless Kim Anderson figurine with action. In fact, the figurines tell a better story than this show.

Created by Ben Affleck and Sean Bailey, Push, Nevada is about an investigative agent for the Internal Revenue Service who goes to Push, Nevada?populaton 10,623?to find out more information about a murder. While he’s there, his secretary, Grace, does a high profile search and discovers that no one in the town of Push has filed an income tax return for 17 years. To sum up the story line, everyone is covering this up, he can’t figure out why, and it ends with him being charged for the murder of the guy he was initially looking for.

The quick flashbacks, coloration and the images akin to a Nine-Inch-Nails video were impressive, but the show’s budget was obviously spent on visuals, not on writers.

Tobias Uecker/State & Local Editor

The West WingThursday, 8 p.m.NBC

The multiple Emmy award-winning The West Wing returned for its fourth season Wednesday, and writer/producer Aaron Sorkin has set the stage for another high quality run of the political drama.

With the 2002 vote just around the corner, the show is also working the election cycle into its story line as the staffers work to get President Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen) elected to a second term.

The tight writing and outstanding character interactions that have become the hallmarks of Sorkin’s shows shone through in the West Wing season premier. Humorous situations like having three White House staffers left behind by the presidential motorcade in Indiana farm country provide light-hearted breaks that propel the stories along.

Whether or not audiences care about politics, The West Wing is a high quality way to spend an hour of Wednesday evening.

Mike Gussiaas/Photo Editor

CSIThursday, 8 p.m.CBS

Sticking to last season’s proven formula, CSI began the season in true solid form.

Last season CSI usually would have two different murder cases for each episode.

Sometimes, however, the show cooled it off a bit and went with one major murder to fill the time.

A higher percentage of the time though it was two, and this season started with two cases for the viewers to ponder each time the uber-intellegent crew went to work.

This, I believe, is the appeal of CSI.

It gives a viewer the chance to flex their own mighty Sherlock skills along with the characters and try to match wits in situations they will probably never find themselves in.

Everyday life is like that only in a small way?we all try to solve the problems and try to figure outwhat the best course of action is for the moment.

With CSI we see what we wish we could be in our lives?calm, cool, and intelligent, and incredibly competent in any situation.

CSI is not just a good show, it is a good looking show. It takes place in Las Vegas ( and also Miami on Mondays) and is filled with shots of Sin City and all its beautiful inhabitants.

Even the supersleuths themsselves look like models.

The hour is filled with mystery and insight that keeps the viewer engrossed in the cases with the characters.

And with Jerry Bruckheimer involved the show visually brings alive the science and art of crime scene investigation.

CSI has already hit the solid mid-season form of it’s breakout rookie year.

With any luck, CSI should rank with the best of the best on primetime TV once again this year.

Kara Christensen/Editor-In-Chief

Good Morning MiamiThursday, 8:30 p.m.NBC

This show should be called Good Night, Miami.

For one thing, it bombards the viewer with a plethora of sexual innuendos, a tactic that characterizes most NBC sitcoms these days.

For another, it’s a snooze.

The plot line is predictable, the characters are flat and most of the acting is far from genuine.

Even if it is only a sitcom, I expect more from my television than this.

A sought-after TV producer named Jake (Mark Feurstein) agrees to a job interview at a failing morning talk show where a nun does the weather forecast.

His motivation is simply to visit Miami and have lunch with his grandmother, Claire (Suzanne Pleschette).

The sniveling wannabe-tough-but-isn’t station manager, Frank (Jere Burns) begs him to take the job. Jake adamantly refuses.

A panic attack conveniently sends Frank to the bathroom.

Cue Dylan (Ashley Williams), a fresh-faced brunette with a pair of scissors and, surprisingly, some acting talent.

When this hair stylist walks into Frank’s office, Jake turns into a moron.

Apparently, it’s love at first sight. And guess what? He accepts the job without a second thought.

During the next 20 minutes, however, the screen writers introduce the two egocentric TV anchors, one of whom is Dylan’s long-time love.


Jake is crushed. Awwww.

He wants to give up and head home for Chicago, but can only tell Dylan “good night” instead of “good-bye.”

Viewers, however, may not share his problem.