Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to the tube

The fall TV season is almost upon us, if it's not too old-fashioned to talk about such a thing as a season (let alone a fall one). The broadcast networks still premiere a slate of shows in September and October, although they hold others back until January and schedule others for times when the competition is presumed to be moribund. The cable networks, meanwhile, do whatever they like, often at a decidedly oblique angle to the traditional television timetable, and it probably helps them avoid getting lost in the shuffle.

One of the shows I blog for the A.V. Club's TV Club is returning this week -- the sick-funny, often inspired It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. FX has ordered 13 episodes that they're going to burn off at a rate of two a week, at least at the start (just as they did last year, and I didn't understand it then either -- the show's entire run is over in two months). My other regular gig, How I Met Your Mother, starts next Monday. (All the evidence suggests that I specialize in shows with titles containing five or more words, which must be why I'm so keen on The New Adventures Of Old Christine.)

I've got a stand-in gig tonight blogging Project Runway for Amelie -- another show with an interesting meta-narrative this season. It's been bought up by Lifetime, so Bravo dumped the current season onto the air with almost no fanfare. This for the show that kick-started the network's whole reality franchise (Top Chef, Top Design, Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, Flipping Out, Shear Genius, Million Dollar Listing, ad nauseum). It's ignominious, I tell you.

Tasha's interview with Neal Patrick Harris went up today, and while I don't expect that the HIMYM crowd reads my recaps, I went a little squidey when Harris implied in response to a question about watching his own work that he does keep up with reviews and blogs. Very occasionally the subject of one of our reviews or essays will show up in the comment section and remind us that the audience isn't always a third party; Larry Gonick, for example, weighed in on my review of The Cartoon History Of The Modern World. And then there's the moment when your editor forwards you an e-mail from the creator of a show you spent the summer methodically analyzing the awesomeness thereof. I don't mind telling you that we all turn into fanboys and -girls at such times.

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