A brief look at the new TV season

The new TV season is finally here! Everybody is so excited! You can tell by the exclamation points!

The critics are still out on how good, or how excruciatingly awful, the new and returning shows are. The best minds in Hollywood have been working hard for months creating what we all hope is compelling viewing.

But these aren’t the entertainment industry writing jobs I’d like to have. What I’d want to be is the guy responsible for the eight-word-or-less summaries that appear in the online listings that cable and satellite providers offer. In previous eons, we might’ve referred to this short literary form as a Japanese haiku, restricted to 17 syllables. These days, it’s probably more comparable to a tweet, only shorter.

Containing the bounty that is contemporary commercial broadcasting is no easy feat. Even the titles sometimes defy space parameters. Our local cable company posted the name of one popular sitcom as “The New Adventures of Old Christ…” for several weeks before evangelicals complained that there is no “Old Christ,” only the One, True Living Lord, Jesus Christ, and he’s not featured in a show starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, even as a walk-on.

Since I’m sure I’ll never get one of these precious jobs, I guess I’ll just have to play around on my own. What follows is my attempt to summarize possible plot lines for many of the programs debuting this week on network television.

Dancing With the Stars — Bristol Palin incinerated while touching partner Alpha Centauri

How I Met Your Mother — She was a “he” back then

Rules of Engagement — Rule One: Turn off the television

Two and a Half Men — Who cares about them? Watch for the hotties.

Mike & Molly — M&M meet an old friend; he slays them

Hawaii Five-O — Updated police classic still has hulas, fat guys

90210 — I thought this was cancelled long ago

House — House diagnoses a surprisingly common malady: shark-jumping

Chuck — Cheap meat cuts vie for cash and prizes

Gossip Girl — You won’t believe what she just said

Lone Star — They could afford only one recognizable actor

The Event — What will you believe? This show will fail.

Chase — Catch it!

No Ordinary Family — In fact, no family at all — just horses

Detroit 1-8-7 — Incredibly, the Lions play to seven ties

NCIS — No Cops In Sight, just good-looking investigators

NCIS: Los Angeles — Same as above, but really good-looking investigators

The Good Wife — Going against type, she eats a live kitten

One Tree Hill — There’s this tree, and it’s on this hill

Life Unexpected — No telling what will happen this week

Glee — Homo High qualifies for the regionals

Raising Hope — “Hope” is a person — clever, huh?

Running Wilde — Aesthete icon Oscar Wilde vows to finish marathon

Parenthood — Humans bear live young, and the fun ensues

The Middle — Investigating what makes a great sandwich

Better With You — Best of all, you go to Istanbul

Modern Family — The attractive Latina bends over several times

Cougar Town — Lions, leopards move in next door

The Whole Truth — Can you handle it? This show sucks hard

Survivor — Sweaty, hungry people are fortunately far away

Criminal Minds — Preserved brains grow feet, run amok

The Defenders — Let Binder & Binder help settle your claim

America’s Next Top Model — Sweaty, hungry people are getting closer

Hellcats — Don’t mess with these kitties; they’ll scratch ya

Lie to Me — Tell me I’m pretty, so very very pretty

Hell’s Kitchen — Just what you want: a pissed-off chef

Undercovers — Sheets, comforters, quilts do battle with evil

Law & Order: SVU — Police procedural is So Very Unwatchable

My Generation — People try to put them down

Grey’s Anatomy — Derek has a thing on his thing; ouch

Private Practice — Urologists, gynecologists solve crimes under cover

Big Bang Theory — Nerds talk pretentiously; somehow that’s considered funny

$#*! My Dad Says — This week, “motherfucker” and “shithead”

The Mentalist — Solving crimes with ESP; we’re so impressed

Vampire Diaries — Bloodthirsty undead blog about their lives, loves

Nikita — Former Soviet premier Khrushchev now a lithe Asian-ette

Bones — The ulna beats tibia senseless with fibula

Fringe — Like X-Files but everyone wears 60s vests

Community — Nobody that glib in real life

30 Rock — Jack tells Lemon to jump off a cliff

The Office — Someone left copier on “darken”; coffee is drunk

Outsourced — Indian accents are naturally hilarious

The Apprentice — Pressure, humiliation and Trump combine for smiles, tears

Secret Millionaire — Just in case Bush tax cuts expire

Body of Proof — A proofreader finds a mistake, is murdered

20/20 — Is it possible Hugh Downs is still alive?

Medium — Just try finding a sweatshirt in your size

Blue Bloods — Tom Selleck? You can’t be serious

Smallville — Superboy runs for mayor on Tea Party ticket

Supernatural — Neither super nor natural, it’s a pedestrian fraud

Human Target — Man, the most dangerous game (next to dodgeball)

Good Guys — Their name is “Good”, so are they; wacky!

Who Do You Think You Are?/School Pride — Probably some kind of Glee rip-off

Dateline NBC — This week’s predator: a 1200-pound grizzly

Outlaw — No summary necessary; no one will watch

Crimetime Saturday — Lucky viewers win a home invasion

48 Hours Mystery — The mystery: Why is this still on?

Cops — Viewers vie with viewees to see who’s skankier

America’s Most Wanted — He’s calling from inside your house!

America’s Funniest Home Videos — Finally, someone gets killed

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition — Just blow it up and start over

Desperate Housewives — Bree gets upset, drinks a white wine spritzer

60 Minutes — Fortunately only 46 if you don’t count commercials

The Amazing Race — Contestants race to Swat Valley; several actually survive

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3 Responses to “A brief look at the new TV season”

  1. Jennifer Grey Says:

    I really admire Jennifer Grey’s tribute to Patrick Swayze on DWTS. Last night was just special. They got to dance to a song that is so iconic and it triggered great memories.

  2. Stentorphone Says:

    ‘Dancing with the Stars’

    Maybe if Bristol Palin had stayed on her momma’s front porch (from which Momma can see Russia), she wouldn’t have gotten
    A) Incinerated, or
    B) Knocked up.

  3. fakename2 Says:

    I realize this is a Herculean task you set for yourself, but you did forget “Undercover Boss”. (S&M goes primetime.)

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