Thoughts on the Fall 2009 TV Lineup

I just peeked at TV Guide’s Fall 2009 TV lineup to see what Prairie and I might be interested in using to rot our brains with in the evenings. Most of the week looks doable, with only a few potential conflicts. (Oh, and we are old and crotchety and go to bed at 10pm, so I’m not paying much attention to the 10-11pm block.)

  • Mondays

    While we like both How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory, as CBS has put one show we’re not likely to be interested in (Accidentally on Purpose) and one show we know we dislike (Two and a Half Men) in between the two, we probably won’t bother watching either one until the season DVDs show up on Netflix. This leaves us without anything we’re terribly interested in watching on Mondays until the mid-season switchup when Chuck comes back. Looks like Mondays will be TV-free for us until spring.

  • Tuesdays

    NCIS is a definite, with NCIS: LA a maybe. We’ll probably give NCIS: LA a couple weeks out of curiosity to see if they can pull off a successful spinoff, but we’re reserving judgement, as the NCIS episodes from last season that introduced the new team weren’t our favorites. Plus, once Dancing With the Stars (ugh) ends (hooray!), the Scrubs/Better Off Ted combo will (for us) be a strong contender — NCIS: LA will have to be really strong to pull us away once that switch happens. I am worried about ABC putting V up against NCIS in November — not only does NCIS already have a strong fanbase, but it’ll have had two months to set up any season-running plotlines to hold onto its fans. I really, really want to see this new take on V…but I also really enjoy NCIS. That’s going to be a difficult choice — one of them will have to get pushed to Bittorrent or some other form of online delayed viewing.

  • Wednesdays

    Law and Order: SVU and/or Criminal Minds are the only things that look interesting at all, and they’re both shows that we can watch or not watch depending on our mood. Wednesdays look pretty TV-free for us.

  • Thursdays

    While I’m curious enough about FlashForward to look for it on Bittorrent, Hulu, or some form of online watching, I’m not curious enough for it to win out over Survivor: Samoa (I’ll admit it, it’s one of two “reality” shows that Prairie got me hooked on). After that, it’s Fringe…or CSI (if I choose, it’ll be Fringe, if Prairie chooses, it’ll be CSI — either way, we’ll both enjoy what we watch, and the other will get the Bittorrent/Hulu/whatever treatment later in the week). Ugh. This one worries me. I really enjoyed season one of Fringe, and I’m not happy that FOX is putting it up against CSI. CSI has such an entrenched presence and fanbase, I’m not sure if the sci-fi, alternative reality weirdness of Fringe can pick up enough numbers to compete long-term. While I’m glad that Fringe is at least getting a second season, I worry that in putting it against CSI, FOX is just practicing a form of “delayed cancellation” — this way, FOX can just say Fringe didn’t get the market share it needed when they cancel it, even though if they’d moved it to a less competitive night (or left it where it was, though I can understand them not wanting to try to battle the NCIS juggernaut either), it might have done fine.

  • Fridays

    Prairie’s a fan of Ghost Whisperer, so we’ll keep watching that, even though last season kept annoying us (the ‘ghost of the week’ stories were fun and what kept us watching, the stupid ‘romance’ plotline with her husband in the body of the new guy is annoying, dragging on too long, and has enough WTF moments for a post of its own…but then I’d have to publicly admit that I watch Ghost Whisperer). Nothing else looks interesting.

  • Saturdays

    A wasteland of dreck. TV-free, for sure.

  • Sundays

    The Amazing Race is our favorite “reality” show, so that’s a definite. Nothing else that night is a must-see.

So that’s our lineup. Agree/disagree? Attempts to convince me to try a show I’m ignoring? Lemme know!

Links for January 12th through January 14th

Sometime between January 12th and January 14th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Report Finds Online Threats to Children Overblown: The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all. A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem. […] The panel, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that adults were using these popular Web sites to deceive and prey on children. But the report concluded that the problem of bullying among children, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults. […] “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.”
  • Found Footage: Good grief, NCIS, do you take us for fools?: Apparently the "Mac SE" that McGee pulled out of a box on NCIS last night (which I "squee'd" about here) wasn't an SE, but a Classic, and geekier MacGeeks than me are up in arms about the flub. Meh. Perhaps I should have noticed, as my first Mac was a Classic, but…I just can't get too upset about the goof. It's a TV show. Actors get lines and props…it's not their fault if they don't go together.
  • Runnin’ With The Songsmith: The leaked David Lee Roth vocals for "Runnin' With the Devil" run through Microsoft's new Songsmith software. Hilariously awful.
  • “The Recently Deflowered Girl” (1965) – Illustrated by Edward Gorey: I knew that Shel Silverstein published different works aimed for “kid” and “adult” audiences, but I had no idea that Edward Gorey did the same – at least not until I saw The Recently Deflowered Girl. It’s a 1965 parody of etiquette books that seems quaint now, but must’ve seemed racy back in those days when Playboy was where you got not just the pictures of nude women, but good advice on stereos and cocktails.
  • Hardware that supports iPhoto ’09’s geotagging – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW): If shot with the right hardware, iPhoto recognizes where a given photo was taken, and places it on a Google map. If the photos in an event span several locations, it notices that, also. The built-in maps are very attractive and handy, as you can search your entire library by geographic location. As I watched all of this, one thought was echoing in my mind. I don't have single piece of hardware that can do this.
  • Rock Paper Scissors Spock Lizard: Scissors cuts Paper covers Rock crushes Lizard poisons Spock smashes Scissors decapitates Lizard eats Paper disproves Spock vaporizes Rock crushes Scissors.

Links for December 28th through January 8th

Sometime between December 28th and January 8th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • freezebubbles: It's very cold tonight, so we played with bubbles. If you blow them upwards enough they have time to freeze on the way down.
  • xkcd: Converting to Metric: The key to converting to metric is establishing new reference points. When you hear "26° C," instead of thinking "that's 70° F," you should think, "that's warmer than a house but cool for swimming." Here are some helpful tables of reference points…
  • Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Seattle: Green River near Auburn: Hydrologic info for the Green River. Currently in the 'caution' zone at its single checkpoint, but seems to have crested already and is expected to drop from here on out.
  • UiRemote: The Universal Infrared Remote for iPhone: With the help of this small accessory, you will be able to use your iPhone to control your TV, DVD, Cable box, Projectors, Digital Photo Frames, AC, Fans, & Backyard evil robots, whereever you go. Not only does it send out the remote control signals, you can easily teach it to learn any button on any standard Remote, or even a sequence of button clicks as a macro. (This looks nice — hopefully they make it compatible with the iPod Touch as well!)
  • 25 Years of Mac: From Boxy Beige to Silver Sleek: Here's what's amazing about the Mac as it turns 25, a number that in computer years is just about a googolplex: It can look forward. The Mac's original competition—the green-phosphorus-screened stuff made by RadioShack, DEC, and then-big kahuna IBM—now inhabit landfills, both physically and psychically. Yet the Macintosh is not only thriving, it's doing better than at any time in its history. Mac market share has quietly crept into double digits. That's up from barely 3 percent in 1997, just before the prodigal CEO returned to the fold after a 12-year exile. Any way you cut it, the Mac is on the rise while Windows is waning. Roll over, Methusela—the Macintosh is still peaking.
  • 6 New Web Technologies of 2008 You Need to Use Now: Every year, we see scores of innovations trickle onto the web — everything from new browser features to cool web apps to entire programming languages. Some of these concepts just make us smile, then we move on. Some completely blow our minds with their utility and ingenuity — and become must-haves. For this list, we've compiled the most truly life-altering nuggets of brilliance to hit center stage in 2008: the ideas, products and enhancements to the web experience so huge that they make us wonder how we got along without them.
  • NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack: Okay, maybe it's a little cheezy as a TV show tie-in, but NCIS is my personal favorite of the current crop of crime dramas…and the entire second disc of the soundtrack set is music from Abby's Lab: Collide, Ministry, Seether, Skold vs. KMFDM, Nitzer Ebb, Android Lust, and more. Sweet!
  • Weak cellphone law puts drivers off the hook: When lawmakers addressed the issue, they amassed sufficient votes only for a law that made talking on a handheld cellphone a secondary offense. If it were a primary offense, an officer could stop a violator on the spot for using a cellphone. But in our state, officers can stop an offender only for another reason, such as a busted taillight, weaving or following too close. During the stop, they can write an additional ticket for cellphone misbehavior. Of several states with cellphone bans, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, only Washington opted to make it secondary offense.
  • Whose Streets?: In both instances the the streets have been immediately appropriated for the purpose of joy—not commerce or commuting—and the Seattle police, who normally exist to protect commerce and commuting, have gotten it exactly right. They've ceded the streets to the celebrants and made it their duty to protect them and their temporary takeover of space that isn't theirs. On election night, I saw police keeping cars away from the street party in the above video. On Saturday night—or, really, at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning—I saw a lone police car parked so that it blocked traffic from descending the hill favored by the East Denny Way sledders, some of whom are pictured above.
  • Chart Porn: The Unofficial Theory Of Sci-Fi Connectivity: We've concentrated on three types of crossovers between series: Direct Crossover, where characters from one series or another have actually met in a story; Easter Egg, where elements of one series have appeared in another (often as geeky in-jokes), and Brand Crossover, where market forces have brought two disparate things together for no good reason (See Transformers/Star Wars).