2022 New Fall Season – Thursdays

Thursday night may once again be the busiest night of the week for my television viewing habits, due more to the drop-off across the board than the night’s offerings.  Here’s what’s on the slate for this season.

7:30

Ghosts – I never ended up watching any of the first season of this adaptation of a BBC show, but I remain interested.

8:00

Grey’s Anatomy – With Ellen Pompeo slated to appear in only eight episodes this season and a whole new crew of interns, it will be quite the shakeup for the medical drama’s 19th season.

9:00

Big Sky – I still haven’t watched the second story of season one, let alone any of season two, but I still do have a vague interest.

The Doctor Is In The House

Earlier this week, the BBC announced that Ncuti Gatwa would be taking up residence in the TARDIS as the latest incarnation of the Doctor following the departure of Jodie Whitaker later this year.  Gatwa is best known for his role on Sex Education, for which he was awarded a Best Actor Scottish BAFTA in 2020.

The current run of Doctor Who will wrap up this year in a series of holiday specials, with Whitaker and current showrunner Chris Chibnall.  Russell T. Davies, who launched the modern revival of Doctor Who back in 2005, will return as showrunner along with Gatwa.  No other details were released at this time, but the expectation is the new series will launch in 2023.

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 13

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world. Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 13 takes us into late spring of 1994 and my the end of my sophomore year of college. The song selection is now mostly completely alternative, with just one or two hip-hop hits to go along with it., with a little pop and Aerosmith on the side.

Side A

Alice In Chains – No Excuses

The first Alice In Chains song to top the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, originally acquired via 93.5 KHY in Lafayette, added 10 new plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 6 plays 16 plays, most recently on 12/23/2018 

Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

The third single from the band’s breakthrough release Siamese Dream, which was banned by the BBC because of its lyrical content, more than doubled its output over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 7 plays 15 plays, most recently on 12/17/2018 

Counting Crows – Mr. Jones

The debut single from Counting Crows, which hit #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, added an impressive 14 plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 3 plays 17 plays, most recently on 9/17/2018 

The Cranberries – Dreams

The first single from the band, which became a hit after Linger put them on the map, saw a 13 listen increase.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 9 plays 22 plays, most recently on 7/12/2018 

Jodeci – Cry For You

The 60th biggest hit of 1994 picked up 10 listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 play 2 plays 12 plays, most recently on 11/20/2018 

Julianna Hatfield Three – Spin The Bottle

The track, featured on the Reality Bites soundtrack, added 8 additional plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
10 plays 13 plays 21 plays, most recently on 11/1/2018 

Aerosmith – Deuces Are Wild

Aerosmith’s contribution to The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience compilation album, originally recorded for Pump, more than doubled its listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 6 plays 14 plays, most recently on 5/30/2018 

Gin Blossoms – Mrs. Rita

The minor Gin Blossoms, which peaked at #36 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, picked up a single new listen, 3 1/2 years ago.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 plays 5 plays 6 plays, most recently on 6/25/2015 

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Post Mortem – Episodes


After 5 seasons, Episodes drew to a close last October.  The fictionalized tale of Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends career was a joint production of Showtime and the BBC.

While the show had a ridiculous premise, it was mostly entertaining.  It probably could have hung on for a few more seasons, but if those Brits are good at anything, it is getting off the air before they overstay their welcome.

Running Out Of Timey-Wimey

Peter_CapaldiBig news out of the UK today, as the BBC announced that season 10 of Doctor Who will 1) not air until the spring of 2017 and 2) will mark the end of showrunner Steven Moffat’s run.  Moffat, who took over for Russell T. Davies in 2010, leaves as the most prolific writer of the new series.  The new showrunner, who will take over in 2018, is Chris Chibnall, an occasional Doctor Who writer who is currently wrapping up the final season of Broadchurch.

While nothing was mentioned in the release, one can only imagine that season 10 will also be the last for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.  Capaldi had recently mentioned a desire to move on and Chibnall will likely be given the same blank slate that Moffat was given when he took over.

Post Mortem – Gracepoint

gracepointFrom the moment this project was announced, I knew it wasn’t a good idea.  Remaking Broadchurch for an American audience, with the same star, mere months after the original had aired on BBC America, seemed like a pointless exercise when it was announced last May and, based, on the results FOX saw in the fall, it certainly turned out to be just that.

David Tennant returned as the lead detective and gave basically the same performance, except for swapping in an American accent.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t a good performance, just that it was the same.  Which is my main complaint about Gracepoint: it was the same.  Why bother remaking anything (a show, movie, or even song) if you are only going to replicate what came before.  From my recollection, there was a minor difference in the ending, which seems to be tacked on not for any creative reasons, but simply to fulfill the promise that the ending would be different for those that had already seen Broadchurch.

Series 2 of Broadchurch aired on BBC America earlier this year, but FOX has decided to not move forward with replicating it for a second seaon of Gracepoint.  But before you start to think that the network has learned anything from this experience, they have ordered an American remake of the BBC show Luther, which starred Idris Elba.

Midseason Review – Sundays

old-tv-set1With the advent of winter premieres, the start of the premium cable network shows, and with February sweeps around the corner, it’s time to revisit my thoughts from the beginning of the season and look ahead at what’s to come for Sunday nights.

7:00

Once Upon A Time – Season 2 of the show about fairy tale characters in the real world started to go off the rails a little as new characters showed up and the plot expanded.  This season promises a more focused plot, which will hopefully result in the show becoming more enjoyable again.

Well, the first half of the season mostly jettisoned most of the characters and focused on a small group fighting Peter Pan in Neverland.  While things were more focused, they may have been too focused.  The show returns in the spring with (another) new status quo, so we’ll see where it goes from here.

8:00

The Good Wife – Last season, the show moved from solid to really good.  With Alicia and Cary planning on leaving the firm, the season ended on a cliffhanger that will hopefully continue to carry it to new heights this year.  The big problem once again will be catching the entire episode when football runs long, as it always does.

This show has become crazy good.  The slow burn of when will Alicia pull the trigger and leave and then the explosion of what happens once she (and the others) do was tremendously done.  The one complaint, and it is a small one, is that every case since has been the new firm versus Lockhart Gardner.  It would be nice to see them do battle against some other law firms as well.

Revenge – Another ABC show that became much more convoluted in its second season.  This went from one of the better shows of the previous season to one that, more often than not, was a chore to get through.  Hopefully a new show runner will get things back on track this year.  Otherwise, it might be time to say goodbye to the Hamptons.

Things did get back on track somewhat, but the soapier elements are starting to seep through.  I’ll be sticking with the show for now, but I can’t say for how much longer.

The Walking Dead – Now here’s a show that keeps building and building.  Following last season’s story with the Governor, things get shaken up at the prison this year.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

The first part of the season ended with the Governor dead, but Rick and the rest of the survivors forced to separate and go their own ways.  Things should pick up again next month when the show returns. Continue reading →

The Doctor’s 50th

1239465_716134781733885_1562432521_n_zpsb5ce47a850 years ago today, while the US was reeling from the assassination of President Kennedy, a new science fiction show debuted on the BBC in Great Britain.  Today, Doctor Who is bigger than ever, both in the UK and here in the US.

Up until last year, Doctor Who was one of the holes in my nerdom.  Growing up, I had never watched the classic episodes when they would air on PBS, nor did I catch on to the new series when it came over to the states in 2006.  Over the years, though, the show slowly started to pull me to it, thanks to the boys on the Nerdist podcast and the parody version of Inspector Spacetime in Community.  Last September, while I was in Belfast, I finally took the plunge and watched my first episode, on the BBC no less.

Back at home, I ended up watching the next 2 episodes on BBC America, leading up to the end of the first half of season 7 and the death of the Ponds.  Just about a year ago, during the week of Thanksgiving, I decided to start at the beginning, at least of the current series, and worked through the 7 seasons, finally catching up early this year in time for the second half of season 7.  Tonight brings the 50th anniversary special, picking up from the season 7 finale and featuring the first team-up between David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Matt Smith’s 11th.  This will then lead in to the Christmas special, where Smith will hang up his sonic screwdriver and turn the role over to Peter Capaldi.

2012 New Fall Season – Thursdays

Thursday night is traditionally the busiest night of the week.  Here’s what’s on the slate for this season.

7:00

The Big Bang Theory – Entering its 6th season, the show is at its ratings high point.  They pick up right where last season left off, with Howard married and in space.

30 Rock – Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin return for the 7th and final season.  I will certainly look forward to these last 13 episodes.

Last Resort – Early reports are that this show had the best pilot of the season, but left some doubts as to how it could continue on on a week to week basis.  I’m looking forward to seeing for myself.

7:30

Up All Night – Christina Applegate and Will Arnett return in the last minute renewal from last spring.  The status quo gets shaken up a bit as Ava’s show was cancelled in last week’s season premiere, putting Applegate’s Reagan and Maya Rudolph’s Ava out of work.

8:00

Person Of Interest – The enigmatic hit returns for its second season.  Michael Emerson was not given as much to do last season as one would have hoped following Lost, but his role did pick up somewhat towards the end of the year.

The Office – The producers had previously announced that this season would be the show’s last.  With original EP Greg Daniels returning to bring the show to its conclusion.  Last week’s season premiere introduced some new, younger employees that might cause Jim and Pam to re-evaluate their lot in life.

Grey’s Anatomy – The 9th season opens a few months after the plane crash that closed out last season.  There will be some cast shakeups, as Chyler Leigh is gone and Eric Dane is leaving.  While not as good as it once was (and what show is after 9 years), it is still an entertaining way to pass an hour.

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