So the new network season began (for the most part) last week. As a mediaphile I feel an urge to jot down notes on the series that have either had my attention or caught it. That being said, I'll begin with Sunday. Boardwalk Empire: This is the new kid on the block, and it's catching peoples attention quickly. With a period piece set in the Prohibition and Steve Buscemi, a fantastic character actor, leading the charge plus setting it on HBO this seems like the show that folks are going to be keeping their eyes on. The characters are vibrant, the settings are fantastic, and the dialogue is terrific. There's a lot of good here that hopefully will grow as the series continues.
Chuck: One of my favorite series. Season four looks like it'll be as much fun as the previous ones. I'm looking forward to the CIA figuring out they have no idea how to run a big box store... and the development of Chuck and Sarah getting their relationship of equals on more even footing. Plus there's Casey (the always fantastic Adam Baldwin), how's his life going to change now that his daughter is in the picture? The first episode is adequate to set up the rest of the season, but it's going to be the rest of the series that lets us see how things go.
Castle: Ah, the modern Moonlighting, with the fun loving author and the driven police-woman. It's a challenge for me to articulate the reasons that I enjoy these stories. It's not just cause Nathan Fillon is one of my favorite actors on TV and has been for awhile, it's the sense of fun and joy in the macabre and strange he seems to bring to each case he works with the NY cops, then there's the home life with his hysterical actress mother and his terrific young daughter (in the show that is). Having Castle as a suspect in the season opener thus leading to another amusing interrogation, is just gravy. Still one of my favorite shows for this season.
The Event: Not sure what to think of this show yet. Government conspiracies, and terrible events have it feeling a little bit like Lost, but with sci-fi overtones showing up late in the episode. Going to save my judgment on this one til later in the season, when I've got a little more to think about it.
Undercovers: JJ Abram's latest. Fun little show. Not a lot to it yet, but we'll likely see a lot of character development and history revealed as the series progresses. Hoping the show will be more like the earliest ALIAS than the later seasons. All I can say thus far is the first episode was entertaining.
Bones: Another long running investigative show, focusing a little bit more on the science and the characters than many of the investigative series. At 6 seasons, the long running tension between Booth and Brennan is getting a little weak. The new season seems to be pushing that Booth is moving on, and Brennan is just now realizing how much her work with Booth and the FBI, made a difference to all the people around her. It'll be interesting to see if these revelations have any kind of long term affect on the characters.
Fringe: Back to the the series set in 2 different universes. There's nothing about this show that I don't like. The season opener has more mad science, lots of fun little reveals around the second universe, and just a glimpse of what is going back in our world. Walternate is fun and scary, Olivia has a fantastic escape scene all in all one of the best openers yet this season.
Smallville: The final season is barreling forward with out even LOOKING at their brakes. There are a couple great reveals, though the conversations with Jor-El are getting weaker quickly. Still, John Schnieder's return at the end of the episode, was heartfelt and touching. Still, unless someone has been following the show since it's beginning and knows DC comics... it'd be difficult to follow all the storylines going through this show.
Supernatural: Moments of brilliance with a majority of average. The initial presentation of Dean's new life is fantastic, but the monster of the week this time around is weak Bringing in new hunters this early in the show feels way too rushed. Hopefully there will be some better material down the line, but the first episode while fun, isn't nearly so strong as stuff we've seen before. I'm still looking forward to what else may show up through the season though.