With the weather turning cooler and wetter, the days shorter, the economy and politics increasingly dreary, I've been turning to the comforts of TV. I'm actually getting more selective: I like comedy the best, but most sitcoms seem too insipid. I don't like gore or creepy stuff, but I do like mysteries/spy stuff that has a touch of humor. So here's what I'm watching as the new season starts.
Last night I watched the series premiere of Valentine. I do have a weak spot for romance, but I'll be surprised if this one succeeds. The premise is this: some Greek gods (Aphrodite, Eros, Hercules) are still among us, under assumed and meaningless aliases. The only way they remain immortal is by bringing soulmates together, but the family business is going under because modern humans would rather text message than fall in love. Since Eros (Danny) and Herc (Leo?) are too dumb to figure out modern love, Mama Aphrodite hires a mortal - a romance novelist - to help them out. At least it's not Dr. Phil. Confusing and uninspiring.
Fortunately, Sunday does have my all-time favorite reality show, The Amazing Race. This show's first season began airing in September, 2001 - one week prior to 9/11. The racers started in NYC, there were background shots of the World Trade Center, and then they set off around the world. Of course, it had all been filmed the summer before, but when it resumed airing, the rest of that season had a bittersweet flavor - would Americans ever be able to travel so freely around the world again?
It's seven years later, and they're still racing. This season looks to be slightly better than average with a few really smart and Race-savvy teams. Along with some dumb ones, like the southern blondes who failed to accurately read their clues twice in the same episode. That should have been enough to get them eliminated, but it's early and the really slow teams are still getting weeded out.