September 11, 2003

Fall TV Preview

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Some people are sports fanatics. Ask them who won the ’69 World Series and they’ll say, “Whad ya mean? The *&*@% Amazin Mets.” (I, on the other hand, had to ask Jeeves) Others are shoe fanatics. Ask them when Manolo Blahnik showed his high-heeled construction boots and they’ll tell you, “1995, way before J. Lo even had her eyebrows waxed.” And others are television fanatics. We who are grouped here know what television show Sarah Jessica started on, what Jennifer Aniston’s old nose looked like, and at any given moment we can tell you what’s on. For us TV fanatics the end of September, middle of October doesn’t signal changing leaves and bulky sweaters but rather a brand new television line up.

This season offers the usual — The Good, The Bad, and The Reality. Think of me as your tour guide through a 300-channel safari. We will come up against the wily Jeff Probst and some gorgeous creatures from the WB. Just keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times and away we go.

The Good.

The story of Jack Turner, a budding young lawyer whose mentor and managing partner has just committed suicide, Sunday at 10 on NBC is Lyon’s Den, the drama that plucked Rob Lowe after he left West Wing. This show looks to take The Firm and turn it into a series with grace, charm, highs and one Lowe. Monday at 9:30 on CBS you’ve got Two and a Half Men which pairs Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer (Duckie from Pretty in Pink) as two brothers who live together taking care of Cryer’s 10 year old son. On Tuesday look for 1 Tree Hill on the WB. Chad Michael Murray, the adorable mischief-maker from Dawson’s Creek gets his own show playing goodie-goodie Lucas who is constantly getting measured against his bad-ass half brother. NBC’s must-see-tv lineup gets a new addition with Coupling. NBC seems to think that this show will be the answer to the final season of Friends. On Friday nights, Joe Pantoliano stars in The Handler. It’s the story of Joe Renato who trains FBI agents to go undercover. Quick witted Pantoliano and stellar buzz promises to make it one of the fall season’s hits.

The Bad

As with any season, we’re also offered shows that “jump the shark” during the first episode. So, moving back to Sunday. Tarzan on the WB at 9:00. The sole reason to watch this show is to gawk at the unbelievably gorgeous man playing the title role. There are, however, reasons not to watch: it’s the story of Tarzan, a boy raised by monkeys, who falls in love with the first woman he meets