Season premieres, part the first

I’ve already written about my impressions of new shows — what about my returning favorites?

Truthfully, the old favorites have been a bit waylaid by the new shows. With TiVo making it too convenient to catch a lot of stuff, I found myself last weekend inundated with catch-up viewing.

I didn’t even take in any of the Law & Order shows.

So Thursday night, I went on a TiVo binge. Man, I hope to write off some of these new shows soon, just to make my viewing schedule a bit more sane.

Gilmore Girls, Tuesdays at 7 p.m., The CW. The Palladinos have left the building, and now the sparkly writing which set Gilmore Girls apart from the rest of television is in the hands of Dave Rosenthall. He does a valiant job of maintaining the show’s tone, and in the first two episodes of the season, he comes up with some terrific scenes. Sookie and Michel in arm-wrestling match? Lane’s rant on the conspiracy of marital sex? Great! At the same time, you can tell it’s not the Palladinos. A little something did get lost this season, but for the most part, it still feels like Gilmore Girls.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Tuesdays at 9 p.m., NBC. Season 7 was nothing but Emmy bait, and it paid off in an award win for Mariska Hargitay and a nomination for Christopher Meloni. So far, the first two episodes of Season 8 haven’t been heavy-handed with the baiting, but that probably won’t happen till sweeps. But eco-terrorism and a rare disease? It seems like the writing staff is stretched thin. Oddly enough, in seven seasons, the show has never dealt with gay male rape. There was a male rape episode — with Diane Neal before she became Casey Novak — and a few gay-themed episodes, but no gay male rape case. Curious.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Tuesdays at 8 p.m., NBC. A friend of mine pointed out a memo to Dick Wolf by James Wolcott regarding the season premiere of Criminal Intent. I read it before I had a chance to see the episodes themselves. I have to agree — the flashy camera work is jarring. I already miss the sexy that is Jamey Sheridan.

Law & Order, Fridays at 9 p.m., NBC. Ripping off celebrity headlines is not unprecedented in the mothership, but Britney’s parenting skills? Oh. Kay … I didn’t have that much more hope for the MySpace-inspired episode, but the technical jargon didn’t sound embarrassing. If anything, it was somewhat convincing. Alana de la Garza continues not to suck, although Milena Govich seems a bit stiff.

Desperate Housewives, Sundays at 8 p.m., ABC. I still fucking hate Gaby. Susan hasn’t done anything yet to rekindle my ambivilence to her, which is a good thing. I started liking Lynette more last season, and I like her still. Bree, of course, is still the only draw to this show. I would so love to see Michael Ontkean move in a few houses down from Kyle McLachlan’s Orson Hodge. The bad taste left from last season, however, is such that it’s going to take much more than what I’ve already seen of this season to make up for it.

Lost, Wednesdays at 8 p.m., ABC. At least the WTF moment of the episode happened in the first five minutes than the last 10 seconds. I liked it enough, but as usual, the clues keep trickling out. I expect that of Lost, and it didn’t disappoint. I just know I’m going to like the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica a lot more. (I already saw the first act of the premiere online at