I’m not normally the first to see new TV shows, but acting on a tip from my friend Craig, I’ve already recorded and watched two new SF shows from NBC, Chuck and Journeyman. They premier on network broadcast next week, but they’re available now for free viewing without commercials! In our area, they’re on Comcast’s free “On Demand,” and you can record them like any other show. (You have to dig a bit to find them, though.) I think you can also stream them online, though to me that’s not nearly as appealing.
My wife and I watched Chuck the other night, and loved it! I did not altogether expect to, because the premise of a computer nerd who accidentally downloads the contents of the U.S. intelligence network into his brain seemed—well, a little thin. And I suppose it is. But the story was written with such wit and humor, was so funny and well acted, that we were both hooked and can’t wait for the next episode. On a scale of 1-5 secret government data discs, I give this one a 4, easy.
Journeyman‘s premise is a journalist who, inexplicably and involuntarily, gets zinged back and forth in time—how and by what force, we don’t know—seemingly for the purpose of his setting something straight for someone in need. Summarized that way, it doesn’t sound too original. A little like Quantum Leap, but without the channeling of another person. Again, the writing and the acting catalyzed everything; Journeyman was engrossing and moving, and handled the built-in “Honey, where the hell have you been for two days?!” problem with believability and finesse. On a scale of 1-5 time machines, I give this one, too, a 4. It might be a tougher premise to sustain, but I hope they get a chance to try.
We all know that good shows sometimes die early if they don’t get the right buzz, so I hope you go and check these out. Next up, the new Bionic Woman, which I understand features not just one but several actors from Battlestar Galactica.
“We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.” —rejection slip allegedly from a Chinese economics journal