On the 8th day of Festivus, TV gave to me...
...eight seasons to look forward to.
Ho ho ho... nothing's on... my remote is collecting dust. Pesky writer's strike. Season's greetings? Not so much. More like "seasons canceled" or "seasons delayed." Fortunately (thank the TV gods) some shows didn't get touched when the WGA hit the picket lines. Either they wrapped production before the guild walked out or in some cases, full seasons had already aired. Here's to hoping that the New Year brings a speedy resolution to this whole mess so that business can move on as usual. And by "business as usual," I mean a selection of new episodes instead of me going out of my mind deciding if I should watch a Law & Order re-run from 1998 or 2002. Angie Harmon or Elisabeth Röhm... tough decision. Anyway, in the meantime, we have plenty to look forward to.
1.) The Wire, season 5: All in the game for one more season. As the fifth and final season of The Wire approaches, I can't help but be giddy over the fact that it wrapped production before the strike got underway. With only ten episodes, can you imagine the mess that would have been created if production would have been tweaked by a mere few weeks? Similar to the predicament Scrubs finds itself, HBO's greatest achievement could have been without a series finale. The thought terrifies me. Not the case, so take a deep breath and watch all these great previews. The Wire premieres on Sunday, January 6.
2.) Heroes, season 3 (2.5?): I can't wait for this. It's not fair. Who knows when production will resume, let alone when it will air. What about the few extra episodes that had been shot for this season, had it not abruptly ended with a fall finale? I assume they'll be re-cut and merged into Volume 3, "Villains." I think most will agree that this shortened season was crap when compared to how good the first was, but it still pains me to wonder how it would have ended had the story been fleshed out for the full 22. Best guess for a return? Probably not until next fall.
3.) Battlestar Galactica, season 4: File this under "shows that are supposed to be amazing, but I don't watch." I've tried numerous times to get into BSG, but for whatever reason I just can't. With the fourth and final season looming, at this point I'll probably just wait for a big 'ol complete series DVD set. That being said, I do plan to make the effort. I'm sick of having everyone around me talk about this show and I have nothing to say. Plus, they made that in between seasons prequel movie... that's just cool. Last I checked, new episodes come back in March although I'm not sure if the strike has affected this.
4.) 24, season 7: Probably the highest profile show affected by the strike, 24 has has been delayed indefinitely by FOX. The reasoning behind the decision? So that once it airs, it airs uninterrupted. Frankly, this just makes January much less exciting. After a mediocre Day 6, this season could be Jack in a coma for 24 hours and it would still be better. Add in the return of Tony "soul patch" Almeida and I can't contain myself. The downside? When will it come back? I don't see FOX airing a show like this for even part of the summer, nor do I see them breaking from the mold and airing it in the fall. As ridiculous as it sounds, you have to factor the production of season eight into all this. We very well might have a 24-less 2008 since January '09 seems to make the most sense for a Day 7 return.
5.) The Shield, season 7: Another show ready it take its final bow, The Shield isn't supposed to come back until April, but I'm fairly certain that FX is a little shaken up from the strike. Last I heard, Nip/Tuck only has 14 of its 22 season five episodes done and the length of Dirt's second season was still up in the air. I'm sure N/T will have a mid-season finale, but who knows about Dirt. If things get dicey (and we're lucky) maybe we'll see Vic Mackey back sooner that we expected. That's definitely something to look forward to.
6.) Californication, season 2: This turned out (for me anyway) to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the fall season. It took me a few tries to get through the pilot, but if you stuck with David Duchovny's new half-hour dramedy... well, you know what I mean. The show is hilarious. And touching, and sad, and despite the gratuitous sex, very family oriented. Even though the finale clearly wrapped the whole show up with a happy ending, Showtime went ahead and renewed it anyway. Ratings were much better than expected, thanks in part to the coupling with Weeds. Only problem? Who knows what it will be called when it returns.
7.) Lost, season 4: I'm greedy. So as far as I'm concerned, eight is better than nothing. As it is, the final three seasons of Lost were shortened from 22 episodes to 16 each. So once February rolls around, I'll be more than happy to tune in for 1/6th of the remaining Lost episodes. Between all the new characters we'll be introduced to from Naomi's group to the promise that we'll see more flash-forwards, I've got some high hopes for these eight episodes. Let's hope they don't disappoint because we probably won't see season 4.5 for a while.
8.) Damages, season 2: Might as well add in season 3 too. Right up there with Californication, Damages was arguably the best new show of the year. Big names, big twists, and a big cliffhanger finale. Most people seem to be worried about how the tense nature of the show (endless flashbacks) can be recreated. The way I see it, is that there's still plenty more story to tell. Ellen is undercover for the FBI, Frobisher could still be alive, and there is still a lot we don't know about Patty Hewes.