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A Few Early-Season Notes

Unfortunately for the whimpering husk of my social life, I am spending a lot of time watching TV. Here are few of the peaks and valleys I've noticed so far this fall:

UPN's Jake 2.0 is the best new show I won't be watching after Oct. 1. Heck, it's the best show to originate on UPN since the paranoid glory days of Nowhere Man. (No, Trek fans, I haven't forgotten anything in that assessment.) Christopher Gorham's supergeek hero actually looks and acts like the well-meaning dork he's supposed to be. As his adorably nerdy doctor, Keegan Connor Tracy tempts me to make off-color innuendo about slide rules and pocket protectors. Ace showrunner David Greenwalt turned in a second episode that actually improved on the few nagging flaws in creator Silvio Horta's pilot. If only the mouth-breathing imbeciles running UPN would realize that scheduling the show opposite both Angel and West Wing is a quick way to kill the only good show they've got left.

But the future looks bright for NBC's Ed. The first half of last season saw our hero locked in an inane passive-agressive death spiral with his reluctant paramour Carol Vessey, a plotline so repulsive I personally wanted to burn the quaint little town of Stuckeyville to the ground. But the writers wised up, the characters miraculously started acting like human beings, and Ed and Carol wound up happily together at last. With Ed miraculously snatched from the jaws of cancellation, this season's premiere gleefully spoofed the series' own notorious indecision while making Ed and Carol's jump to couplehood believably awkward. And the supporting cast is still as funny as ever. Provided they bring back the diabolical Dr. Jerome, and use super-spazoid Warren Cheswick wisely, I think I can finally watch this show again without keeping a gasoline can and a box of matches within easy reach.

And lastly, am I the only one watching promos for UPN's vile The Mullets and thinking that, if the network had a lick of sense, it could instead be airing new episodes of both Farscape and Firefly as we speak?


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