Once Again, Heroes is Good

Earlier this week boasted the return of one of my favorite shows, Heroes. And when I say favorite shows, I mean the show that has so much going for it, but has really only had a single good season, and that was the first season. Heroes has certainly caught a nasty bought of the sophomore slump, and then some, for a lackluster season/volume 2 (Generations) and an only slightly better story arc that made up the third volume, (Villains) and first half of season 3. Heroes is now into its fourth major storyline, and it seems like the creators have finally realized what was wrong with the show. Too many heroes, too much time travel, too many unnecessary and pointless storylines all going every whichaway until they reach the last handful of episodes and things come together at the finale.

Volume 4: Fugitives opens some time (a couple months) after Villains ended, and we see that Nathan Petrelli has really gone to the dark side as a new Senator heading up Homeland Security. As Annalee Newitz points out in her review for io9.com the political side here is much behind the curve. The senator is saber-rattling, talking about threats to the nation, and while everyone is looking towards the old standby, terrorism, we know it's not. We go further, to the point where our favorite Heroes are captured, drugged, placed in orange jump suits and sent off to a remote air base where they're being transported somewhere else.

Science Fiction has always been heavily dependent on politics and national events for their storylines. The rebooted version of Battlestar Galactica could not have happened without the events of September 11th, and it would seem that we're now seeing the repercussions of the Guantanamo Prison into the genre, as the heroes are dragged from their homes and detained, to be sent off who knows where. This isn't the first time that we have seen governmental types taking control of capes when a couple of lawmakers realize the truly destructive nature that super-powered beings can present to the civilian population at large. Marvel Comics did it with the Days of Future Past, and again with the Civil War story arc just a couple years ago. The storyline is also touched upon in Watchman, which the general public will get to see in a month or so.

As Annalee, and most likely other viewers, mentioned, this feels behind the curve, better suited for the political events two years ago. I agree, but I have to wonder if this storyline was conceived of, at least in raw form, earlier on. Indeed, given the general feeling of the country in the months after the election of the Obama administration, which has signaled a sharp turnaround from Bush Administration policies regarding POWs and governmental transparency, the episode doesn't feel as relevant, although as long as the Guantanamo Prison is in operation, it will remain so. If this had been the second volume, the numerous complaints about the show just wouldn't exist.

This episode is in stark contrast to the prior two volumes of the show, and hearkens back to the original season. Season one took the concept of the superhero and brought it to everyday levels. Heroes weren't people who were walking around in spandex bashing comical villains over the head and sending them to jail; they were everyday people who had powers, struggled to find their identity and their place in the world, something that is easily identifiable to most everyone. The following volumes were essentially mere momentum, with little to identify with. Fugitives represents a departure from that trend, and seems to reset the story and direction of the series. The episode feels stripped down, stark, to the point, while clearly defining the entire theme of the upcoming storyarch, while bringing in a foreboding sense of direction for the show. Writers from Pushing Daisies and Battlestar Galactica are in on the show and it shows. This new arch is back to a practical, tangible problem, one that is rooting in tangible and recognizable problems that viewers can relate to. This is what the show should be, and I really hope that this means that the show is back on track, that we will have a solid story arc that will restore this show to the levels of quality that we know it can achive.

Top Geek Things of 2008

It's coming up to the end of the year, and looking back, 2008 has been a very fun year for geeks everywhere - in books, television programs and films, among other things. Over the past couple of days, I've been thinking back over the year to see what was the best and worst of 2008.

The Best:

Starbuck returned from the Grave; The Fleet reaches Earth. (Battlestar Galactica Season 4)

The third season of Battlestar Galactica was a little rocky in the middle, but the last episodes set up a real bang. Starbuck was presumably killed, only to turn up during a major confrontation of the Human and Cylon fleets. Season 4 opens even bigger, with one of the best space battles that I've ever seen. Our four new cylons are freaking out, Starbuck's back and everything culminates in the discovery of Earth in episode 10.Galactica has long been one of my favorite shows, and with a certain end point in mind, Season four was where Galactica got somewhat back onto the tracks, with a fairly tight story arc, only to get to another long wait for the final ten episodes. It's been well worth it though.

Pushing Daisies... back from the Grave, and back to it

After a long hiatus due to the writer's strike (more about that in a bit) my favorite show of 2007-2008 came back with a new set of episodes. There are not enough good things that I can say about this show. We left off last year with Chuck learning that it was Ned that killed her father, only to end up at the end of this season with him being awoken. It was another season of fantastic storytelling, character development and extremely fantastic dialog. Unfortunately, the show has been axed due to low ratings. Fortunately, Bryan Fuller will be going to Heroes for the latter half of Season 3.

Lost Gets Better - Again.

Here's the situation. LOST season 1 blew everyone away. Season 2 drove them away. Season 3 brought some people back, and Season 4, everything got interesting again. This season was the best since Season 1, in my opinion. We had several new characters (my favorite was Daniel Faraday, the physicist), and a couple people killed off. We started seeing flash-forwards, where Jack has a beard and addicted to pain pills, Hurley's in a mental institution and Sayid is channeling Abram's Alias. Oh, and they get off the island. Then the island vanishes.

I have Leonard Nemoy's DNA? (The Big Bang Theory)

This show started in 2007, where I was annoyed by its laugh track and annoying characters. But this year, I started watching it and enjoying it. While it's certainly a very stereotypical portrayal of nerds and geeks, it's fun, because the creators have put in place a series of fun characters, and the writers make some jokes that are actually funny. This week's episode was absolutely priceless, when Sheldon gets a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy. Now, if they'll just ditch the laugh track. This show's likely to be around for a while longer - it's been getting better and better ratings as the year goes on.

Back in a Nick of Time (Life on Mars)

One of my absolute favorite shows of all time was Life on Mars. Up until this year, it was only a BBC drama, until ABC picked it up and made a pilot. That pilot sucked, horribly, so the cast was ditched, except for Jason O'Mara, and the show was redone, set in New York City, given a good cast and started up. The result? A solid TV series that's mirrored the original (but it's starting to diverge a bit now), a wonderful soundtrack of classic rock and a story that's actually interesting. I can't wait for its return in 2009.

The Joker raises worldwide GDP. (The Dark Knight)

First, there was excitement when it was announced that the Joker was going to be the villain. Then Heath Ledger signed up for the role. Then he died earlier this year after filming was completed, leaving some people to wonder if the film would be released on schedule. Then Warner Brothers covered every surface they could find with Dark Knight ads. When the film was released, it went on to gross $996,680,514 in theaters. The film was a huge success, and a fantastic film at that. It was a comic book movie with true darkness, some real symbolism and good storytelling throughout. It's a pity that we won't see Heath Ledger reprise his role of The Joker, because he's done the best portrayal of a villain in recent film memory.

I am Iron Man (Iron Man)

Before The Dark Knight blew the doors off the box office, there was Iron Man. Iron Man has long been a favorite marvel superhero of mine, and everything fell into place for this film. Good story, well directed, fantastic casting (Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was brilliant) and of course, the Mark II set of armor. Marvel proved that they could make a good superhero movie, one that was relevant and not stuck in the low-humor that characterized other comic book adaptations. Already, I can't wait for Iron Man 2. And Iron Man 3. And The Avengers.

Eeeeevvvvvaaaaaa (Wall-E)

Pixar has released what is possibly their best film to date. (Except maybe Toy Story and The Incredibles). Following a robot far from home, Andrew Stanton has presented a film with a cute, romantic science fiction story with some social commentary (said to be unintentional) woven into the CGI. Wall-E is easily the most appealing robot since R2-D2 hit the big screen in 1977, and his antics as he's pulled along for the ride (literally) are cute, heartbreaking and funny.And with very little real dialog.

Roar. Crunch. Repeat. (Cloverfield)

Monster movies meets social networking video and America gets its own monster. This film was brilliantly shot with an extremely fun concept. A monster comes and plays t-ball with the statue of liberty, and it's caught on camera by a bunch of twenty-somethings as they escape. The project was conceived of by LOST creator J.J. Abrams, and his fingerprints are all over it. From the lack of explanation of everything to the weird stuff, this is a very fun film to watch. Rumors are that there's a Cloverfield 2 being talked about.

With My Freeze Ray I Will Stop... The World (Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog)

This project was a huge success for Joss Whedon & Co. Conceived of during the Writer's strike, Whedon presents an aspiring supervillian, Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), his buddies and his quest to finish his freeze ray, avoid Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and win over Penny (Felicia Day). We're treated to musical numbers, crazy plots and a fantastic venture to prove that the internet is a viable place to release content.Take a look here.

Up, up and away! (When We Left Earth/NASA)

This year was NASA's 50th year in operation, and the Discovery channel released a fantastic documentary entitled When We Left Earth that touted its major achievements and failures throughout the years, bringing viewers some of the most incredible footage of space that I've ever seen, and telling a fantastic story of how NASA has come to be, with interviews with astronauts and support personnel. I get chills when I watch it, and wonder when we'll return to the moon and beyond.

Hobbit's Labyrinth (The Hobbit)

After long rumors, production problems and drama with Peter Jackson (who directed Lord of the Rings), Guillermo del Toro signed on to direct the upcoming Hobbit film and prequel. (Or two Hobbit films?) This is extremely good news, because the people who can adequately fill Jackson's shoes after LOTR are few and far between. del Toro is the perfect director for this project, and has already proven that he can do fantasy brilliantly, with his masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth. Plus, he can play in other people's universes, as per his work with the Hellboy films. (Which weren't as good, but fun)

Watchman Trailer (Watchman)

What's called the greatest graphic novel ever is coming to the big screen, much to the annoyance of its creator, and to FOX, apparently. A trailer for Watchman aired with The Dark Knight, and it made fanboys everywhere sit up and take notice. There's still complaints about how it's unfilmable and that it'll be too short or too long, but from my eyes? This looks like it'll be THE comic book film to see next year. It looks like it captured the feel of the comic book pretty well, and it's embellished a bit to look badass. Plus, Rorschach looks dead on. Just like I thought he'd be like.

Large Hadron Collider (Science)

The Large Hadron Collider was turned on on September 10th, to many worries about the world ending. Contrary to popular opinion, the earth didn't vanish in a tiny black hole. It was set to uncover the mysteries of the universe, but then it broke down again nine days later and won't be up online until 2009. But, it's still cool!

Geeks in Politics (Obama [spiderman, conan, superman] Patrick Leahy [Batman Cameo])

There's been a lot of geekiness in politics this year. No lightsaber waving from McCain this time around, but President Elect Obama has claimed to be a big Spiderman and Conan fan, and did a superman pose in Metropolis, IL. In addition to him, VT senator Patrick Leahy, a huge batman fan, had a cameo in The Dark Knight. He's also the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ironic.

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (Costumes)

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted an exhibit earlier this year (it's since closed) called Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. It featured a number of costumes from a number of classic films, such as the original Superman and Wonder Woman films, but also things as recently released as The Dark Knight and Iron Man. The fashion section was a bit of a miss for me, but the exhibit as a whole was just outstanding. Plus, they had several original copies of Superman and Batman, Spiderman and Iron Man on display. Covered in a plastic shield of course...

Star Wars Encyclopedia (Star Wars)

Del Rey released a new and expanded Star Wars Encyclopedia this year, one that is not only complete, but still remarkably up to date. That's not likely to last as long, given how fast LFL churns out canon material, but it's a beautiful repository of information in the universe. I can spend hours just paging through reading things.

"Anathem" By Neal Stephenson

I actually have yet to read this book, but it's caught my eye, and it's made a splash when it comes to the sci-fi literary world. All I really know about it is that it takes place on an earth-like world, and doubles as a philosophical text for knowledge and religion. I'll have to pick it up, and only expand my to-read list further.

A Game of Thrones picked up by HBO (Song of Fire & Ice)

Another book that I have yet to read, but I actually own this one. HBO has picked up the book for a series. If there's one thing that HBO does well, it's TV shows, because they can pour money into them and get a good result. And, they have a good track record with adaptations, with things such as Band of Brothers and John Adams. I'll watch this when it's released.

We'ss Har Wars End (Karen Traviss)

Several years in the making, Karen Traviss has finally finished her Wess'Har Wars series with book 6, Judge. Starting back in 2003, she introduced readers to a fantastic story of first contacts filled with alien races, political commentary and expert storytelling. Judge didn't deliver quite as well as I'd have liked (It certainly wasn't the strongest of the series), it carried the momentum well, and proved to be a good read, one that finished up one of my favorite series satisfactorily. Hopefully, Karen will be back to writing hard scifi again, because she's incredible at it.

Trooping (501st)

This year I got back into trooping with the 501st Legion. All in all, I did a total of 30 or so events, ranging from small affairs here in VT to much larger ones. The most memorable ones were the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, Burlington Kid's Day, the Weird Al ConcertSt-Jean-sur-Richelieu Balloon Festival, Walk for Autisms, and the 2008 Woburn Halloween Parade. All my events are listed here.

With all the good things that have happened this year, there's the other side of the coin, and some letdowns, disappointments and pure flops.


Writer's Strike

Okay, this started in 2007, but it messed up television for the foreseeable future, by ending some shows and putting others on a long hiatus that has really hurt ratings. Pushing Daisies was one casualty, Terminator was almost one, LOST was put off for a year, as was 24, and already, we're on the eve of another major strike over pretty much the same issues - internet distribution. Hopefully, some lessons will be learned.

Surviving a Nuclear Detonation (Indiana Jones)

Indiana Jones came back, and he came back bland. Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was an impossible undertaking to fill the hopes of fans for the past twenty years. While it's not a horrible film, it's nowhere near as high quality as Raiders or Crusade (although I did like it better than Doom). There was no passion, a crazy storyline and some annoying characters. It does have its moments, but they are few and far between.

Skyguy/Snips/Roger Roger (The Clone Wars)

Star Wars was another big LFL franchise that came back this year, and while The Clone Wars certainly had its moments, even high points, this film just extends the image of money grubbing that LFL is involved with, which is a shame. There's too much bad dialog, characters and situations to make this a good part of the Star Wars universe, but the TV show has been making some improvements. The animation is stunningly good, some of the stories are actually good, but every time the battle droids start talking, I want to throw something at my TV.

Michael Crichton Eaten by Cyborg T-Rex and Flesh eating Space Bacteria from the Past.

While my interest in Michael Crichton has waned over the years as he began to write crappy books (Such as Prey and State of Fear), there's no doubt that he's shaped my reading. I'm still a huge fan of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man and a number of his older novels. He's one of the most popular scifi authors (although he's resisted the genre title) out there with his works, most of which were made into films. It's a shame that he's passed - I was always hoping for another good story from him.

Gary Gygax failed his saving throw

Geek-God Gary Gygax likewise passed away this year, leaving behind a legacy that has shaped nerd-culture in the US forever. His creation, Dungeons and Dragons, along with co-creator Dave Arneson, was one of the defining features of geeks everywhere, something that I got into back in 2001. Along with giving geeks something to do in groups, it helped define a generation's activities, reading materials and conceptions of fantasy through to this day.

Arthur C Clarke becomes the Space Child

Arguably one of the greatest science fiction authors ever, Clarke's death hit the world hard. He helped to define the literary genre, and the actual science behind it, and was responsible for such classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rama, Childhood's End, and numerous others, as well as the telecommunications satellite. He will be sorely missed, and is one of the last of the golden age of science fiction to be with us.(Today would have been his 91st birthday)

CNN Hologram technology

On election nigh, CNN touted their new thing in news casting, a hologram of Will.I.Am. Looked cool, and it looked like a hologram, but it was nothing more than a lot of cameras and empty space plus some CGI. Blah. Let's see some real technology in action please.

Close the Iris! (Stargate Atlantis)

I was a huge fan of Stargate SG-1, and same with Atlantis for the first couple of seasons. This season has just plain sucked. It's a shame, because there's a good concept there, amidst the horrible characters, stories and situations. Not long now, because Atlantis has been canceled, and will be replaced with Stargate Universe next year.

Even more Confusing and Confounding! (Heroes Season 3)

Heroes Season 1 was brilliant. It introduced a new spin on superheroes, only to fall to its own success and have a fairly slow and boring second season. (To be sure, the writer's strike had something to do with it, because it got better). Season 3 was promised to be bigger and better. And it was certainly bigger, with heroes coming back from the grave, more time travel and action, but none of it really made the same impression that season 1 did. I'm still behind episodes, but apparently it's been getting better. Now that Bryan Fuller's returning to the show, can we PLEASE start off really good and get better? Please?

Weird Science (Fringe)

I was really excited for Fringe, the latest show by JJ Abrams. It was a fun concept, and had a good couple episodes at first, but just became so dull that I stopped following it. I might pick it up again at some point, but only when I can marathon the entire thing at once.

Forrest J. Ackerman Dies

Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the first science fiction fans out there recently passed away. He was a key element of the spread of science fiction fandom, and he helped to found the LA Science Fantasy Society, among other numerous achivements, as well as influencing numerous authors over his long life.

Borders Downsizes SciFi Sections

I ranted about this earlier, as did a number of authors. Borders has been downsizing their sci-fi sections. While it's understandable that they have to sell items, and that they can't put everything on the shelf, you can't predict what the next big hit will be, and you can't know that until you actually start selling things.

That's it for this year. Next year, there's already quite a bit coming up. Should be a fun year.

The Best TV of 2006

Now that Christmas is over and it'll be the New Year tomorrow, I figure I'd do a bit of looking back on things. So, the best TV of this year:

New TV

This was the year that the television networks picked up on the fact that serialized TV might sell really well. Following the sucesses of LOST and Prison Break, it seemed like a no brainer. Odd thing is, it didn't really work as well as people'd predicted. Critic favorites like the Nine and Six Degrees bombed and were cancelled, although a couple held on nicely.

1- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - I like TV, the industry, writing, everything. I'd heard about the show earlier on in the year and thought that it sounded bad, but when I saw the pilot episode online, it hooked me from then. This show's the most important one on there. It takes on religous, governmental, politics, broadcasting theory and ethics in its episodes, stuff that you don't really see. This is smart TV. The dialogue, characters, plots, all fantastic stuff, and it's a shame that this show didn't catch on as well as it should have. Hopefully, we'll see a season 2 to this.

2- Heroes - This is a fun show. Can't take it too seriously, but it's just one of the best geek shows out there. There's a good kick back to the community with references and things like that that makes it fun to watch, as well as a really cool storyline and characters to match it.

3- Day Break - This was cancelled just the other week, which makes me very unhappy. The good news is that this show's got all the 13 episodes filmed, or so I heard, so they'll be out sometime. Detective Hopper's reliving the same bad day, and while this show couldn't last very long, it's got the strongest of all the storylines of any tv show. They should have just billed this as a miniseries or something.

TV That Came Back

Battlestar Galactica - I didn't think that it could get any darker, but it did, and man, the opening five episodes just blew my mind. There's been a couple of episodes that I wasn't thrilled with, but on the whole, Battlestar's back and kicking ass. Can't wait to see the next ten episodes. As far as Season 2 went, this year's half of the episodes was weaker than season 1 and the first half, but they really pulled themselves together towards the end.

Veronica Mars - Season 3's on a new network and doing pretty well, although they're not going to be doing an overall mystery this time around. The rape mystery was brought to a conclusion, which was pretty good, and the writing and characters are just as good this time around. Can't wait to see the next half of the season.

House, MD - House was cured! Sort of. After getting shot, he could walk for four months. Then he's back to drugs again, and he's got a cop after him, a former actor from the show Hack, who's one of the cooler new characters that's been in the show, much better than Vogler from season 1. House is sarcastic still, and downright mean at times, and they're really pushing his character around, which doesn't happen that often.

Prison Break - Okay, they broke out of Fox River, and they're on the run. A good chunk of them have been killed, right from the first episode. It was good to see the show change gears so quickly, but I don't think that this has much life left in it. While they're still alive, they're still running, and they've done a terrific job with it.

Other good ones this year - Supernatural, LOST, Stargate SG-1/Atlantis. Supernatural's gotten into more of an arc, which is interesting, and they've really forced some characterizations out of the brothers, LOST has been interesting and Stargate's really gotten into it's stride again, only to be cancelled.

Foreign TV

1- Life on Mars - Aired earlier this year on BBC1 while I was over there. I didn't catch the show while I was in England, but I did recently. It's one of the more imaginative and interestin series that I've seen, mixing police drama with science fiction and the 1970s. Brilliant show.

2 - Green Wing - This show is hilarious. Simply brilliant show, great acting, really fun sense of humor there.

Misses this year were The Nine, which should have been a movie, Six Degrees, which had an interesting concept, but handled poorly with some bad characters. Smith was promising, but it never took off, which was a shame, that one I actually liked.

In the upcoming year, I'm only looking forwards to one show, and that's The Dresden Files, airing on SCIFI in January, based off of the books by Jim Butcher. It looks really good, and I can't wait to watch it.

You only get what you give

Mundane day today, with an evening filled with many interesting things that will be listed. I puttered. I changed out all of the lightbulbs in my house with energy savers, finished out a couple more loaves of bread and fullfilled my obligations for Thanksgiving dinner, watched some more of Veronica Mars, did a little reading and yeah. No major progress on my reports or other readings, but that'll be coming soon. Hopefully.

Interesting / Noteworthy things:

  • Prison Break, Heroes and Studio 60 were on. Prison Break was decent, but Heroes and Studio 60 were brilliant.
  • Studio 60 made fun of Jessica Simpson and FOX and really dug at the network for product placement.
  • Veronica Mars has been picked up for a full season, or twenty episodes.
  • Steven Spielburg told people today that he'll be working on a Tintin miniseries and a new WWII one.
  • The trailer for Harry Potter 5 came out, and it actually looks good.

Bad things:

  • Peter Jackson isn't going to be directing or working on the upcoming Hobbit movie. Between financial things between his studio, Wingnut Films and New Line Cinema, over the gains from LOTR, they're not being asked back. Between that and the Halo movie, he's not having a good fall.

Also, I'm jointly posting on this blog and the livejournal that I've sorta, kinda, not really kept up for about the same amount of time.

What To Watch

In recent years, I've become a big fan of a lot of the TV shows that have come out on television, mainly because of the recent rise in quality in a lot of the storytelling that's been coming through. LOST has been one of the biggest movers and shakers thus far, causing a bit of a change among a number of stations and a number of new shows coming out with a much different focus than before.

So, as a friend described, I did something incredibly geeky over the summer, and set up a table comparing the shows, times, days and what they go up against. Thus, I've come up with a list of shows that I suspect will do well, and which ones I'm recommending for the upcoming season.

Returning Shows:

Prison Break (FOX) - This was one of the best scripted and arched series that came out last year. Now, the inmates of Fox River Penitentrary are all on the run, and now that the show's in it's third episode, it looks like they're keeping up the intelligent storytelling and scripting. Can't wait to see what happens next.

House, M.D. (FOX) - Doctor House and the doctors are back, and they're picking up where they left off, after House was shot last season. This show has some of the more interesting characters in TV, although they don't have the tight storylines that Prison Break has. However, the sarcasm makes up for it nicely.

Veronica Mars (CW) - Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Now imagine it without the vampires, supernatural elements and keep the cute blond girl, who's father is a Private Investigator and the various problems that she solves over the year, and you've got Veronica Mars. It's highly and tightly scripted and has some of the best dialogue and characters to date.

LOST (ABC) - I don't think that I really need to talk too much about LOST, do I? 48 or so survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 land on an island with a mysterious creature that eats people and a couple of hatches with computers and other things like that. Oh yeah, and everyone's connected somehow. And, after last Season's cliffhanger, the next six episodes are supposed to be a sort of miniseries to clear everything up. Can't wait to see what happens next. Season 2 comes out today on DVD.

Supernatural (CW)- Last season, the two brothers lost their parents, their mother (and one of their girlfriends to a monster) and the father who vanished. They hit the road and work on taking out monster after monster. It's a little formulaic, but it's got great camera work and some very fun stories. Season 1 comes out today on DVD. Great watching for Halloween.

Battlestar Galactica (SciFi)- Coming up in October, this is the show that I'm waiting the most for. Season 2 left us with a year long jump ahead in the story that left the remains of the human race under the control of the Cylons and the Galactica and Pegasus jumping away to who knows where. The SciFi channel is leading up to the show with a small series of webisodes that'll lead people into the 3rd season, as that there's another gap in time. This season is going to be darker, deeper and better than the last two. The DVD for Season 2.5 will be released on September 19th.

And now that the shows from last year have been looked at, there's several new shows coming that also look very promising:

Heroes (NBC) - Around the globe, a number of people start finding that they have powers. A girl can heal quickly. A cop can read minds. A painter can paint the future and another man can fly. And, it's not based on a comic book, but it's rooted in the tradition. Reports are that this show's got potential and interest, although a little formulaic to start, but it's going to be launching into a full blown story arc. I'm excited for this. Also airing on the SciFi channel.

Jericho (CBS) - In a small, midwestern town called Jericho, one character comes in mysteriously. As people start asking him questions, a nuclear bomb blast is seen on the horizon and communications are cut off from the town. As the season goes on, we learn why. I'm not sure that this is going to do terribly well, but it should be interesting if it does.

Six Degrees (ABC) - The Six Degrees of Seperation states that anyone knows anyone six people down the line. One person knows another, who knows another, etc. Small world, right? This show's about six random people in New York City, who's lives are impacting each other's in some way. The really interesting part of this? J.J. Abrams has some hand in this. He also did LOST and Alias.

The Nine (ABC) - Nine people are caught in a bank robbery. As it goes bad, they're held for 52 hours. These nine people are linked together somehow, and that's all that I know. It's an interesting concept, but I can't see it lasting for very long.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) - This one looks amusing. It's about back stage life behind a sketch comedy show, and it's been getting some of the biggest buzz than almost all of the other new shows. It's created by the guys who did The West Wing, and from the previews that I've seen online, it looks interesting.

Vanished (Fox) - Comes on just after Prison Break, so it's got some of the audience from there. The wife of a senator goes missing, and there's a wider conspiracy that will be uncovered. I haven't seen any of it yet, but it's getting decent ratings. I've heard that it's a little predictable.

Those are the ones that I suspect will do well, although there's several others, such as Shark, Justice, Kidnapped, The Unit, Smith, and maybe a couple others that might do okay during the season. It should be interesting to see where this will be taking TV and the storytelling that it tells.

Now, just to end, a couple of the shows that I'm going to be missing in the upcoming Season:

Alias (ABC) - Going from being a double agent to missing a year of her life to various other drama in the spy world, but also great action and a very tight storyline, Alias was a very fun show. The first two or three seasons were really good, especially 1 and 2. While it dragged a little 3 to 4, the show did leave on a good ending. Despite that, I do wish that it was still going. Season 5 will be released shortly.

Surface (NBC) - This was very short-lived, but it was very interesting. A new life form appeared in the oceans. Big new life forms. They trashed a nuclear submarine, one small one was raised by a small kid and the government got really paranoid. Had a lot of potential, but I guess it didn't really appeal to the audiences. Complete series was just released on DVD.

Arrested Development (Fox) - Quirky, deadpan and hysterical. This is probably the one show that I'll miss the most, especially after watching all of last season, which only lasted 13 episodes. The writing and characters were the best and funniest. If only Fox listened to the fans again. Season 3 was just released on DVD.

Theshold (CBS) - An alien spacecraft lands in the ocean and the government enacts a plan to contain the situation. Too scifi for CBS apparently, as this was killed off in just 13 or so episodes. I only caught a couple episodes of this, but it seemed interesting. Now out on DVD.

The West Wing (NBC) - I heard that this was really well done, well acted and well written, and the awards that it won certainly means that it has some of those. I personally haven't seen it, but given what some people have said about it, I might give it a short somewhere down the road.

And that's it. I doubt that I'll be able to see most of the ones that I'd like to see, but given the fact that a lot of the shows are making their way onto the internet on the show's network's official sites, I'll probably be able to get an episode in here and there.