The Stealth Launch: Lie to Me, Caprica Return
October 4th, 2010
This week marks the return of two series which were supposed to remain on the bench for a bit longer.
FOX’s Lie to Me was originally scheduled to return in November, but its third season will slot behind House (where it was last season) starting tonight at 9/8c.
SyFy’s Caprica, meanwhile, wasn’t going to return until January, but the decision was made to pair the conclusion of the series’ first season (10/9c) with the return of Stargate Universe on Tuesday.
As someone who was compelled by Caprica, and who finds Lie to Me to be a solid procedural, I should be excited by these returns. However, both because of a general lack of promotion in one case and a sheer lack of warning in the other, these series risk being missed by their prospective audience. While there is some value to flying under the radar, and it is possible that reduced awareness could lead to reduced expectation, I can’t help but feel that these series are being put in a position where sooner is not necessarily better.
“Lie to Me”
April 25th, 2010
You can follow along with the Cultural Catchup Project by following me on Twitter (@Memles), by subscribing to the category’s feed, or by bookmarking the Cultural Catchup Project page where I’ll be posting a link to each installment.
[Note: I’m wary of trying to shoehorn too many different episodes together this week, especially since a lot of them feel like they deserve to be analyzed more on an individual basis (although I’ll still be taking continuity into account, of course). As a result, I’m going to do some smaller “capsule reviews” for the six-episode stretch between “Lie to Me” and “Bad Eggs” for the next five days, before getting deeper into the season after that point. If it works out, and feedback is good, I might do this every now and then when I’ve got the time – however, if you object to this sort of analysis and would like strictly big ideas, do let me know!]
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, “Lie to Me” is not exactly what one would call a paradigm shift for the series: no new “big bads” are introduced, no major plot developments are revealed, and you could make the argument that what happens in the episode doesn’t fit into any definitions of continuity as a result.
What the episode accomplishes, however, is something more subtle: while “When She Was Bad” indicated that the consequences from Buffy’s near-death experience were not going to be forgotten, “Lie to Me” makes sure we understand that there are going to be more terrifying experiences in the future, and that the show will not shy away from some dark conclusions for the sake of trying to force this series into definitions of good and evil which fail to take into account the show’s inherent liminality.
Fox 2009-2010 Fall Schedule
May 18th, 2009
FOX has always performed well in the Spring, but this year they managed to do something they hadn’t in the past: they were smart with their scheduling in the Fall, used House as a lead-in as opposed to a lead-out, and managed to put together two shows (fall debut Fringe and midseason Lie to Me) that were stable enough to earn a spot on their 2009-2010 schedule. They did it with the help of both House and American Idol as lead-ins, of course, but they were intelligent in the way they used those spots, and their Fall Schedule feels more stable as a result.
The question now, of course, is whether they can maintain that momentum, which they will try to do with a highly aggressive schedule that demonstrates that FOX is willing to compete in the Fall…at the risk of running one of its franchises into the ground, throwing one of its new shows out into the wild on its own, and holding its new offerings until midseason.
So even when you think they’ve got the hang of things, FOX has to go and shake things up to prove that, no matter how consistent they may seem at times, they’re always going to pull out a new trick or two.
The full schedule, with my analysis, after the jump – if you’re looking for all the official images and press releases plus plenty of analysis, I suggest you head over to Televisionary where Jace has it all covered.