Rush to Fall

Salt Lake City Weekly | September 14, 2005
Rush to Fall

The season’s new TV shows, rated with the Geddy, Alex & Neil (of Rush) system.


*** Geddy, Alex & Neil

** Geddy & Alex

* Neil

Reunion *** (Fox; debuts Thursday, Sept. 8) Six friends graduate from high school in ’86. Flash-forward to the present, and one of ’em has been murdered—but which? And by whom? Then it’s 20 years ago, again, and each week the plot claws its way back to Now and resolution, one year per episode. Uh, if Reunion isn’t canceled by ’91 for being too “thinky,” what happens in Season 2?

The War at Home * (Fox; debuts Sunday, Sept. 11) Speaking of ’91, who ordered this relic from the vaults? Imagine a boneheaded family sitcom like, say, Eight Simple Rules, injected with Fox Attitude and taking up valuable real estate between The Simpsons and Family Guy. Now ignore.

Bones *** (Fox; debuts Tuesday, Sept. 13) She’s (Emily Deschanel) a brilliant forensic anthropologist with no social skills working for the FBI. He’s (David Boreanaz—Angel!) a wisecracking ex-military spook with an unhealthy distrust of science. Together, they’re CSI: Scully & Mulder. It’s waaay better than that sounds.

Supernatural ** (The WB; debuts Tuesday, Sept. 13) Dean from Gilmore Girls (Jared Padalecki) co-stars with some other hunk o’ hunky WB meat in a Hardy Boys take on The X-Files. It’s waaay worse than that sounds.

Head Cases ** (Fox; debuts Wednesday, Sept. 14) Chris O’Donnell and Adam Goldberg star as psychiatric outpatients (nervous breakdown and violent tendencies, respectively) who happen to also be lawyers. Naturally, they go into practice together. Funny stuff for a drama … too bad it’s a half-hour comedy.

Twins * (The WB; debuts Friday, Sept. 16) Very different “twin” sisters (brainy and dumpy vs. pretty and stupid) run a lingerie business established by their parents, Melanie Griffith (!) and Mark Lynn Baker (the guy who wasn’t Balkie on Perfect Strangers). Actually makes you long for the intellectual depth of What I Like About You.

Threshold ** (CBS; debuts Friday, Sept. 16) Carla Gugino (Sin City, Karen Sisco) assembles a scientific A-Team to face a possible alien threat against Earth in what sounds suspiciously like a Saturday Sci-Fi Channel movie premise. But hey, Gugino is the hottest TV scientist since Bones, and Threshold also stars Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) as a boozing, womanizing mathematician—gold!

Surface * (NBC; debuts Monday, Sept. 19) Then again, sexpot scientists aren’t the answer to everything: Take Lake Bell, last seen sucking the life out of Boston Legal, now sucking saltwater as an oceanographer who happens upon a mysterious mutant strain of Sigmund and/or the Seamonsters. Not quite SeaQuest DSV … or even Sealab 2021.

How I Met Your Mother * (CBS; debuts Monday, Sept. 19) No, no, no, no, no, no! Noooooo! Clear?

Kitchen Confidential *** (Fox; debuts Monday, Sept. 19) A star chef (Bradley Cooper, Alias) rises, parties, crashes, rehabs, then gets offered a comeback opportunity to staff a swanky Manhattan restaurant—in 48 hours. Think Arrested Development meets The Restaurant, minus Hell’s Kitchen … fuck Hell’s Kitchen.

Just Legal * (The WB; debuts Monday, Sept. 19) Don Johnson stars as boozy burnout attorney who takes a teenage legal savant under his wing … Yeah, just stick with Harvey Birdman.

Out of Practice *** (CBS; debuts Monday, Sept. 19) A family of dysfunctional doctors (including “showkillers” Christopher Gorham and Paula Marshall) struggles to work and live together. Funny as hell—so why’s it on CBS? On Monday?

My Name is Earl *** (NBC; debuts Tuesday, Sept. 20) Po’ white trash Earl Hickey (Jason Lee) wins a $100,000 lottery, then vows to set his karma right by making amends with everyone he’s wronged in his reads-like-a-Cops-episode life—but his equally-scummy ex-wife (Jaime Pressly) wants a chunk of his cash first. Single camera, no laugh track, paired with The Office … good and probably as good as dead.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart * (NBC; debuts Wednesday, Sept. 21) Oh, but this will be a hit. I hold you in pre-contempt, America.

E-Ring ** (NBC; debuts Wednesday, Sept. 21) Obscure indie producer Jerry Bruckheimer takes a shot at Pentagon military drama, starring Dennis Hopper, Benjamin Bratt and Benjamin Bratt’s perfectly square head. If you loved JAG … what the hell was wrong with you?

Invasion ** (ABC; debuts Wednesday, Sept. 21) A major hurricane brings destruction and alien weirdness to a Southern town—no, not Sean Penn. Thanks to Katrina, Shaun Cassidy’s X-Files Gets Lost sci-fi series will probably be pushed back to make room for Extreme Makeover: New Orleans Edition. Oh, you know it’s coming …

Everybody Hates Chris *** (UPN; debuts Thursday, Sept. 22) “Chris Rock does The Wonder Years,” you’ve already heard that one a thousand times. So, I’m simply going with “Chris Rock: Even on UPN, he’s easier to find than Dave Chappelle.”

Love Inc. * (UPN; debuts Thursday, Sept. 22) Successful female matchmakers who—you got it—can’t find love for themselves. If you’re thinking “Hey, NBC already tried this with Miss Match and really stunk up the ladies’ room,” you don’t work for UPN. Congratulations.

Criminal Minds * (CBS; debuts Thursday, Sept. 22) Mandy Patinkin (Dead Like Me ain’t coming back—quit asking) stars in what The Onion A.V. Club brilliantly described as “the Vincent D’Onofrio Law & Order crossed with the Gary Sinise CSI crossed with every other show on television.” God, I wish I’d thought of that.

Ghost Whisperer ** (CBS; debuts Friday, Sept. 23) Jennifer Love Hewitt talks to dead people. True TV has already covered this one, perhaps too extensively: There are no boob jokes left to milk and … Oh! Snap! Take that, A.V. Club!

Three Wishes * (NBC; debuts Friday, Sept. 23) Do I really want another pissy call from a Three Wishes producer telling me I’m going to hell for calling the unfortunate souls that host Amy Grant and her Not Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew help out “po’ white trash”? (True story) Well, beats watching …

Inconceivable * (NBC; debuts Friday, Sept. 23) Ming-Na (ER) and Angie Harmon (Law & Order) run a fertility clinic and listen to the touching stories of desperate couples who want to make babies. Think a warmer, fuzzier, Lifetime-ier Nip/Tuck … now run.

Killer Instinct ** (Fox; debuts Friday, Sept. 23) More detective-show fun with emotionally damaged cops and psychotic serial rapists—starring the guy from Anaconda 2! Not Anaconda, but Anaconda 2!

Extras *** (HBO; debuts Sunday, Sept. 25) Not a network show, hence actually funny: Ricky Gervais (The Office, original U.K. flava) stars as an incompetent actor who’s nowhere near as good as he thinks he is. More Freddie Prinze Jr. jokes to come.

Commander in Chief ** (ABC; debuts Tuesday, Sept. 27) Also known as She’s the President, starring Geena Davis as the nation’s first female Head of State. You know, because the real prez died—she wasn’t elected or anything. Sheesh.

Sex, Love & Secrets * (UPN; debuts Tuesday, Sept. 27) Hot young thangs (including Denise Richards) in Hollywood (actually, Silverlake, near Hollywood—just like UPN) engage in … sex, love and secrets. And we’re done here.

The Night Stalker * (ABC; debuts Thursday, Sept. 29) Supernatural snoop/newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak is back from the ’70s! And he’s hot! Just like all newspaper reporters. Need I mention that this is sci-fi?

Close to Home *** (CBS; debuts Tuesday, Oct. 4) Jennifer Finnigan (late of Committed … sigh) solves compelling crimes in the suburbs while balancing motherhood and the rigors of maintaining fabulous, fabulous hair. It’s also Jerry Bruckheimer’s 285th show currently in primetime.

Related ** (The WB; debuts Wednesday, Oct. 5) Gilmore Girls via Sex and the City, with hot Italian sisters in Manhattan. Oh, if only this were Showtime …

Freddie * (ABC; debuts Wednesday, Oct. 5) A Freddie Prinze Jr. sitcom that sucks so vigorously, the rating should be knocked down from Neil Peart to John Rutsey (one for the real Rush fans).

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