Endurance test

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t spend my weekends catching up on TiVo viewing I miss throughout the week. I have to cut some shows loose, and I want to minimize the number of new shows I catch.

The casualties:

Smith. CBS made my decision easier by pulling the show from its schedule. As sleek and star-powered as the show was, it ended up being a lot of flash with little subtext. Lost and Battlestar Galactica serve as benchmarks for me, and both those shows excel at providing lots of character with the action, suspense and mystery. Smith is big on action, but in the end, the characters are cardboard cut-outs straight out of a bad bestselling novel. Thank goodness Mike Doyle’s involvement with the project extended only to the pilot. His bit part as a CSU technician in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit probably would have had more depth of character than his role on Smith.

Jericho. I’m actually interested in seeing how this story plays out, but I’m not willing to sit through all the love triangles and pissing matches. I could see the feel-good cookout scene in this past week’s episode coming from a mile away. You know what would have made this show interesting? A documentary film style. It’s how Battlestar Galactica shoots, and it’s how Friday Night Lights currently has my interest.

Six Degrees. I would be far more interested in this show if all the threads tying the characters together would get tied up just a bit faster. I do like the stories I’ve seen so far, but I’m not patient enough with the show’s current pace.

The Nine. I gave the pilot a shot, and I like the possibilities the premise holds. But like Six Degrees, I’m not confident the pace of the show is enough to keep my interest. It’s also in a difficult time slot, where my TiVo already records Project Runway and Good Eats.

I’m still evaluating these shows:

Ugly Betty. I spent the entire summer enjoying Psych and Eureka, and while Ugly Betty comes close to scratching the comedy itch provided by those shows, it’s not the same. It is, however, the gayest thing on network TV, especially in a season with very little gay visibility.

Friday Night Lights. Like King of the Hill, I really don’t know how this show can appeal to anyone outside of Texas. But I rather like the documentary style of the pilot. The faux-Explosions in the Sky soundtrack is a nice touch, too. Friday Night Lights is so far the most artfully made of the new shows debuting this season, which means it’s a prime candidate for Brilliant But Cancelled.