Off to a family gathering today, so I figured I’d drop a few notes on a number of exciting (or depressing, so as to counterpoint the exciting I guess) notes for the day ahead.
(Myles on) TV on the Internet
Todd VanDerWerff is pretty well known around these parts as a fellow TV critic and friend of the blog (a term I steal mercilessly from Alan Sepinwall, it’s just plain fun to use), but I haven’t given nearly enough attention to the really engaging, wondefully consistent, and now special guest enhanced TV on the Internet Podcast that he does with the lovely Libby Hill. I spent part of last evening defending some of my own unpopular opinions (warning: I’m not nearly objectionable enough, so they’re pretty boring) and more excitingly analyzing some particularly insane (and hilarious) opinions from Todd and Libby. We’re also joined by Carrie Raisler, who I know from my days back writing a bit for Todd’s South Dakota Dark, and who does TV recaps for Zap2it. It was a blast to be on the show, and hopefully the podcast can bring more great guests from Todd’s TV rolodex into the fold with time.
I made a note of this on Twitter (a few actually, since bad news always begets bad puns), but any chance of FOX’s Virtuality (Which I discussed Friday night in excessive detail for its position as a pilot being burned off in the summer) being picked up went away yesterday when its ratings revealed a mere 1.8 million viewers and a 0.5 in the key 18-49 demographic. For those who don’t follow ratings news, this is particularly awful even for summer, drawing less viewers than ABC’s Surviving Suburbia (which is less surprising than embarassing) and just not connecting as it needed to in order to feel like it had momentum to gain in the future.
Sure, there’s still a long shot of DirecTV or Sci-Fi (I refuse to call it by its new name) stepping in to save the show, but with an expensive budget, an extensive cast, and considering these ratings, the show really doesn’t have a chance of surviving, which is really a pity as the show came together really well. Alas, it’s another disappointment in a string of Sci-Fi television getting a bump rap, so Fringe and Dollhouse in all their inconsistency (if particularly strong on their highs) will have to do.
Tonight is the beginning for HBO’s Hung, a show about a high school gym teacher who embodies the show’s title and decides when down on his luck to take advantage of it – critics are somewhat divided on the show (some, like Mo Ryan, find it a disappointment, while Alan Sepinwall is a fan of the show and is adding it to his blogging rotation), but I’m giving it a shot tonight regardless and will be back with my review later tonight.
I’ve also taken a look at the first episode of Merlin that NBC will air tonight, “The Mark of Nimueh,” and the show remains what it was before: low budget, simple, and in some ways charming. Tonight’s episodes feature Michelle Ryan (“Bionic Woman”) as an evil sorceress, and the second episode, “The Poisoned Chalice,” has a storyline that focuses more heavily on Arthur, for those looking for more branching off in that direction.