Over the past few months, I've gotten in the habit of eating Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms as a post-dinner snack a couple nights a week. No good can come of this, really, except that I suppose it somehow keeps me from doing something worse, like, say, eating rocket fuel.
Much the same can be said about my Monday night television watching: at least it keeps me from stealing cars. I've sat through three episodes of The Class, which is thoroughly mediocre. I was all set to dump it for good last week, when my wife happened to sit down in the living room mid-show with me and laughed, despite herself, at a couple of lines which is two more laughs than she ever gave something like Joey, for example. That probably bought the show another viewing tonight, against my better judgment.
How I Met Your Mother was a show I abandoned early last season. I truly wanted to like it, having been a fan of Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris and finding I had nothing against Cobie Smulders or Josh Radnor. But I found the show pretty inane and dumped it, feeling that the material was beneath them. I never really bought Harris in the role of Barney it always felt like a put-on to me, someone forcing Harris into trying to be an upscale Kramer. Wacky neighbor and all that. But truly the worst were the voiceovers by Bob Saget at the show's opening and closing: so tedious and hackneyed, I felt that I couldn't trust the showrunning skills of anyone who thought those came close to being a good idea.
I did catch the end of the season finale this spring, and I was in a romantic mood I guess, because it spurred me to give the show another shot. For the most part, I have felt the show has many of the same problems although Saget seems to be used more sporadically. But the characters are ingratiating themselves with me a bit, the writing seems to have a tad more substance, and I am curious to see how Ted and Robin's romance plays out. Mother is still week-to-week for me, but it has better prospects than Class. (By the way, CBS is flipping the order of the two shows in its lineup, so if you're a fan of one and not the other, make sure you watch for that.)
Tonight could also be a make-or-break night for me with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I wouldn't call this a polarizing show, but it does seem to be the case that people are either buying into its formula or not. Studio 60 asks us to be invested in the fate of NBS' Studio 60, its creative talent and its executives. If you feel, as I do, that the people and their output are for the most part deadly dull, it's a tough sell. Each of the first three episodes of NBC's Studio 60 has had moments that have swept me into the show and made me forget about its problems, but I don't know if that's enough.
Now, some people are loving the Matt Albie-influenced writing on NBS' Studio 60, and some people are loving NBC's Studio 60 despite being unimpressed by the NBS portion. But not me. I need the NBS stuff to be credible, to be entertaining. Put it this way: I watch Lost for the character stories more than the island mystery, but if that island mystery was dull and simplistic, I'd find some other characters to get hooked on.
The big surprise on Mondays this season is that with about a tenth of the promotion that Studio 60 got from NBC, Heroes is outperforming it. Based on its positive reviews and groundswell of support, I recorded the pilot after it reran for something like the third time in its first week. By tonight, I will have three episodes backlogged to watch, but at some point I will give it its shot. I just haven't yet. In not that much time, it's possible that Heroes could become my only Monday night show, if I show just a little bit of discipline on some of the others.
Or maybe Monday will become a catch-up-on-other-things night (like stealing cars). It can happen. Having dropped Brothers and Sisters early in its second episode, having avoided ever latching onto Desperate Housewives and having found The Simpsons for the past several years to be occasionally amusing but no longer essential, Sunday already has.