I've been sort of remiss in posting about new fall shows, although I've seen nearly all the pilots; anyone interested in my overall thoughts can read my Las Vegas Weekly fall TV preview here. Tonight sees the premiere of my favorite new show of the season (Chuck), as well as my least favorite (The Big Bang Theory), so I suppose it's a good time to get back on the ball with these previews.
Although Chuck is certainly the best new show of the fall, it didn't blow me away in the manner of pilots like Lost or Friday Night Lights or Smith. It's a fun, endlessly entertaining show with a rather convoluted premise about a slacker computer geek who ends up with a head full of government secrets and two federal agents as his handlers (as many people have remarked, it bears numerous similarities to the short-lived but well-loved UPN series Jake 2.0). There's nothing terribly innovative here, but the cast is winning, the writing is sharp and the action is fast-paced. This is one of two good new shows from The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, the other being Gossip Girl, which is darker and obviously much more soapy. I'm not gung-ho about proselytizing for this show like I have been about others in previous years, but I do think it's well worth checking out. NBC, Mondays, 8 p.m.
Also possibly worth the time is Journeyman, completing NBC's Monday geek-friendly lineup (along with Heroes). Its Quantum Leap-esque premise (about a guy who spontaneously travels to the past and has to right certain wrongs) didn't really grab me at first, but the characters have interesting complexity, and a twist toward the end of the pilot pointed toward a potentially rich future. I plan to give it at least one or two more episodes to fully engage me, and if you like sci-fi, it's probably a good bet as well. NBC, Mondays, 10 p.m.
But no one should go remotely near The Big Bang Theory, a horrid, unfunny, insulting, badly acted, poorly written piece of sitcom trash that made me ashamed to be a TV viewer. This is the kind of show that's leading to the death of the three-camera, laugh-tracked sitcom. It's every awful cliche you can think of played up to the hilt, with horrible stereotypes about geeks, men, women and foreigners and a generally nasty, unpleasant tone throughout. If NBC is embracing the idea that geeks are cool with its Monday lineup, then CBS is doing the opposite here, giving them a metaphorical wedgie and telling them to fuck off. In a just world, not a single person would watch this show. CBS, Mondays, 8:30 p.m.