Here at the end of the 06-07 season, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the series I watch, where they stand, what I thought, and were they are going. So:
How I Met Your Mother - I though the second season was superb. I missed a fair share of episodes thanks to what I'll refer to as the "Tragic DVR Implosion of 07", or "TDI07," but still caught a good hunk of the season, and thought the writers did a fine job of a) deepening Barney without needlessly softening him, b) developing the Ted-Robin relationship, and c) fairly handling the Lily-Marshall break-up/reconciliation. I understand that the season finale upsets some apple carts, but am reassured by the good Mr. Alan Sepinwall that a third season will surely get approved and any open plot threads the chance to get resolved next year. Huzzah!
Never found its stride. I think having the leads be savior/geniuses who succeed out of the gate at rescuing Studio 60 was a major dramatic stumbling block (I never really believed in their genius), and that the tone of "this stuff isn't of earth-shattering importance, but it is to us, and we treat it that way" that Sorkin achieved so nicely on Sports Night was missing. Sorkin tried to have his cake (write about folks just putting on a show) and eat it too (the show was the most important show ever) and ended up neither possessing or ingesting it.
Saw this intermittently over the year and have seen most episodes by now. Loved the plotting and sense of momentum. Loved the sense of humor. Thought the portentousness fell flat and that the character interaction writing - the dialogue - was oft clumsy. Still, very eager to see how this first season plays out.
Thought, as usual, that long-time fans overreacted to the shift in focus. No, this season hasn't been classic Gilmore Girls, but it has been worthy and honest and entertaining. I'm one of the few hoping the 13-episode final season gets approved, so that the tying up of loose ends can be done more elegantly.
TDI07 had me miss all but the first, stellar, arc, but I eagerly await the last episodes of the season, and most likely series. I have a feeling it'll take the DVD to really appreciate this chopped-up season. I do think that Veronica Mars had the potential to be very interesting in the long-term, as they let Veronica grow up, and on that basis mourn its supposed demise even more.
I marvel at every episode at how well-directed, shot, cast, scored, and produced this is. While Heroes may have gotten a lot of ink for successfully aping Lost's sci-fi, geeky, serialized nature and bettering it in plot-advancement, I don't think it's gotten enough dis-credit for not coming close to equaling the writing, acting, or production excellence that is Lost. I know many lost patience with this season, but I remain enamored. We've learnt much about the Others (whose story this season is clearly largely concerned with) and have seen some interesting dynamics develop between characters. Count me as hugely anticipating next week's Ben-focused backstory and the Jack-(again?? - I bet this time there's a good reason)-focused finale.
My Name Is Earl
Only saw a handful of these, but loved the messing with the format they've done, and actually think the last few episodes, which suggest big changes for Earl, could be great.
Missed some key episodes (all the Roy-Jim stuff), but absolutely loved how they have managed to balance soapy, plotty stuff (the Jim-Karen-Pam triangle, the Michael-Jan relationship) with more standalone humor. It's a hard balance to strike, but I think they're doing a great job of it.
Seen maybe half of the episodes and have liked them just fine. Scrubs is one of those shows I never think about, but always love when I remember to watch it.
A great first season that evidenced a remarkable ability to adjust on the fly. An ability that will hopefully not be tested by an Alec Baldwin-less season. Still, I don't curry with the seemingly unanimous notion that Baldwin carries the show. A Tina Fey-less 30 Rock I could not fathom. Get the right actor to replace Baldwin and you could still have a show.
Still moving, still capable of wonderful drama.
Have only seen the premiere so far. Will post thoughts once I'm more caught up.
TDI07 had me miss the entire second half of the season. Am trying to grab reruns now.