TV Character Deaths

Fear the Walking Dead as on last night. I saw a headline from a TV website I follow that indicated that someone had died in the episode. I watched the episode this morning and the character who dies was an actual main cast member, Earlier this week we watched a show faster than usual because this same TV website had a headline that said this show had killed a character off. In this case they brought back someone who had not been on the show for a long time and was not a vital character and had them die in the episode. The latter is too often the case when a show decides to kill someone and I think it cheapens the storyline.

I watch several shows where characters are routinely placed in life threatening situations. Cop shows. Firefighter shows. Zombie shows, When the characters are routinely placed in life or death situations an always come out unscathed it lessens the drama of the situations. If the firefighters are in a burning building that collapses and then the next week they are all fine there is no real tension the next time it happens. Same with law enforcement people being shot or people being attacked by zombies. If you aren’t willing to kill a character here and there you lose any sense of drama in these life and death situations. It doesn’t help if you pull the stunt of bringing on a new character for an episode or two just to kill them off. There needs to be a real chance that a main character from the show can actually die for these scenes to really have any punch at all.

The Walking Dead used to be good at this. Several main characters have been killed through the years. Lately, though, it has lacked the sense that anyone is ever in any real danger That’s one of the many ways Fear the Walking Dead is not better than the original. There was no cop put last night. They could have easily ended the episode with the reveal that the character had survived. Viewers would have been happier. I think it is better for the show this way. I will miss the character, but a show like this needs viewers to believe their favorite character could die at any time.

Chicago Fire has a bad habit of ending episodes with several characters in danger and then coming back the next week to show they are all fine. They’ve also pulled the “bring in a new character to kill them” trick a couple of times. Recently, though, they actually killed off one of my favorite characters. The show runner said in the interview that they realized that these dangerous situations had to eventually lead to a big death or they lose their impact. They are right about that. Why would I care about an episode ending cliffhanger if nothing big ever happens?

A character on SWAT was just shot for the second time this season and he’s fine but they killed a new character they brought on recently instead. They just introduced another random new SWAT recruit. I am expecting him to die before the end of the season. I guess they think they can show the danger of SWAT while keeping their man cast invincible.

If you want the dangerous situations on your show to have any real impact you have to make the viewer believe something bad can actually happen. To do this you have to be willing to let character die.

Tater on Commercials

I usually don’t watch a lot of commercials. I record all of the shows I watch and then fast forward over the commercials. I usually only see commercials in the morning when I’m watching the Today Show and when I am watching live sports. With March Madness on TV the past few weeks I’ve seen way too many commercial way too many times. Maybe it’s because I don’t see them regularly, but it seems commercial are way more annoying right now and several have music that gets stuck in my head for hours and annoys me all day long. Here are two of those

This one that prompted this post where I rewrote the song

And this one that is even more annoying

There’s the less annoying iPhone commercial with the guy cooking that plays constantly

The worst of the worst is the one with the woman trying not to drop her phone

Not all ads are bad. I still like the AT & T commercial with Lily and enjoyed her segments “explaining” basketball

And the best commercials on TV right now are these

Now that basketball is over I will go back to only seeing commercials during the news and Jeopardy and the occasional baseball game when the Braves are on TV. Hopefully, by the time football starts and I’m back to watching live sports regularly, the trend of annoying music and sounds will be gone and we will get more like the last two.

And now back to your show…

Fall Network TV Will Be Different

This is the time of year where I am usually posting each day about the network TV upfront. This is when the networks will have large glitzy events to introduce their plans for the next fall season. Renewals are announced. New shows are announced. We find out what’s not coming back. There are no large glitzy events this year and there is a question about how the networks will fill the fall schedule if shows can’t resume production on time. We have started to get answers.

CBS had already announced it was holding the Amazing Race to possibly fill a fall slot. It is already filmed and was supposed to start next week. It will now be delayed. They also renewed a good portion of their shows and only picked up three new ones. I don’t know what their plans are if the existing shows aren’t ready in fall. They could air some of the CBS All Access originals like Twilight Zone or Picard. The question is, will they be willing to give free access to shows they usually want a monthly fee for? I guess we will find out.

Two networks have given some indication of plans. FOX has announced a fall season schedule. It will be filled with two shows that were filmed and were supposed to be midseason replacement shows this year, a show they bought from Spectrum(LA’s Finest), WWE, football and reality shows. They are betting on football being back to fill Thursday and Saturday nights. They are apparently assuming The Masked Singer can resume filming, perhaps with no audience, in time to get a full season done in time for fall.

The CW has not announced a schedule, but they have announced that they have acquired to rights to various shows from other services. They picked up the one season of Swamp Thing from DC Universe. They bought the two seasons of the canceled CBS All Access show Tell Me a Story. They bought the two seasons of the CBS show Coroner and the six-episode first season of the UK comedy Dead Pixels. A clear sign they do not expect their shows to be ready to start in September.

The other networks have several options. They could buy from others as above. ABC could air Freeform or Disney shows. NBC could use shows filmed for the new streaming service The Peacock or shows from USA Network.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the ratings. With more people subscribing to streaming services while in lockdown, network TV will struggle t get the eyes back even with a regular season. With everything delayed, it will be even harder.


Tater’s TV Week #4: The CBS Fall Schedule

I think CBS is my second most watched network. I know it is the one my wife watches the most. I record a lot of CBS staff for her that I don’t watch. They didn’t cancel anything I cared about so  I guess we will be watching a lot again.

Monday – 8pm – The Neighborhood 8:30pm Bob Hearts Abishola 9pm All Rise 10PM Bull

I gambled with the new sitcoms last season and chose the canceled Happy Together over The Neighborhood as the one with the most potential. I was obviously wrong. Bob Hearts Abishola is another new sitcom with a premise(man has heart attack, falls in love with his nurse) that seems thin. I doubt I will watch. All Rise sounds a lot like For the People that ABC canceled. Maybe my daughter will like this one as much as she liked For the People. I didn’t really like Bull when we tried it.

Tuesday – 8PM NCIS 9PM FBI 10PM NCIS New Orleans

My wife watches the NCIS shows. I think she likes New Orleans more than the original now. We both watch FBI. It’s your typical procedural, but I like the cast.

Wednesday – 8pm Survivor 9pm SEAL Team 10pm SWAT

I like all of these shows. I still watch Survivor as soon as I get home from work on Wednesday. It’s not quite the same now that I watch alone, but it’s fun to watch a second time with my daughter to see her reaction. SEAL Team and SWAT are much better than I expected them to be. Of the two I think I like SWAT the best.

Thursday – 8pm Young Sheldon 8:30pm The Unicorn 9pm Mom 9:30pm Carol’s Second Act 10pm Evil

I will try both of the new sitcoms because The Unicorn stars Walton Goggins and Carol’s Second Act stars Patricia Heaton. I really like both of them. Evil sounds interesting. A skeptical female forensic psychologist works with a priest in training and a carpenter to investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and unexplained phenomena. It could be really good or really bad.

Friday – 8pm Hawaii 50 9pm Magnum PI 10pm Blue Bloods

Magnum joins the night with shows that feel like a good fit. Hawaii 50 and Magnum are both in Hawaii and Blue Bloods stars the original Magnum. It makes sense. My wife still watches 50, I watch Magnum with her, but wish it was better and I still really like Blue Bloods. I still want Blue Bloods and Magnum to crossover so Selleck can meet the new Magnum,

Saturday – Series encores(repeats) and 48 hours

Sunday – 7pm 60 Minutes 8pm God Friended Me 9pm NCIS LA 10pm Madam Secretary

I only watch Madam Secretary. LA is the one NCIS my wife doesn’t watch. This is the night CBS makes people mad by constantly having shows start late because of football. They should change the schedule to account for the fact that football is never over by 7.

Midseason – Amazing Race, Big Brother, Criminal Minds, Macgyver, Man With a Plan and Undercover Boss plus an FBI spinoff and a couple of generic new shows. My wife still likes the new Macgyver and I still really like Amazing Race. Nothing else interests me here.

Tater’s TV Week #3: ABC’s Fall Schedule

ABC canceled For the People, Whiskey Cavalier, Shameless, and the Kids Are Alright. I loved all four shows, but I have to forgive them because a lot of my favorite shows are still on ABC. Here’s the fall schedule:

Monday: 8PM Dancing with the Stars 10pm The Good Doctor

Nothing for me here. I have no interest in watching B-list stars dance and I was not impressed with the episode of The Good Doctor I watched. I think my son watched some of it and liked it.

Tuesday: 8pm The Connors 8:30pm Bless this Mess 9pm Mixed-ish 9:30pm Black-ish 10pm Emergence

The Connors is much better now that Roseanne is gone. I like Dax Shepard but I had no interest in watching more than one episode of Bless This Mess. I never watched Black-ish. We did watch some of the spinoff Grown-ish and liked it. I doubt I will watch the prequel series. I don’t want to get sucked into another conspiracy show, but I really like Alison Tolman, so I might watch Emergence.

Wednesday – 8pm The Goldbergs 8:30pm Schooled 9pm Modern Family 9:30pm Single Parents 10pm Stumptown

I don’t watch the first two comedies. I hear they are pretty good. Modern Family is not as good as it once was, but I still like it and will watch the final season. I thought Single Parents was the best new comedy this season and I’m really happy it was renewed. Stumptown is based on a graphic novel series about a PI and stars Cobie Smulders. I think I will give it a shot.

Thursday – 8pm Grey’s Anatomy 9pm A Million Little Things 10pm How to Get Away With Murder

I still love Grey’s and it will be one of the shows I will watch from the beginning of the run to the end of the run, no matter how long that is. I really like A Million Little Things and I’m looking forward to what the second season brings. I lost interest in How to Get Away With Murder halfway through season one.

Friday – 8pm American Housewife 8:30pm Fresh Off the Boat 9pm 20/20

I’m not sure I like the move of American Housewife to Friday. I’m afraid it is still the first step to cancelation. We still watch Fresh Off the Boat. It’s a good hour of comedy. I don’t watch 20/20.

Saturday – Football

Sunday – 7pm AFV 8pm Kids Say the Darndest Things 9pm Shark Tank 10pm The Rookie

Nothing for me here. The one episode of The Rookie I saw when on vacation was OK, but I don’t think I will ever watch it regularly.

Midseason – Shield, Station 19, American Idol, The Bachelor and some new shows, I like the first two, never watched the second two and the new shows don’t interest me.

Tater’s TV Week #2 – The FOX Schedule

A lat post tonight because I had a work event and then went out with friends after. We left after 8. I’m a part animal. The FOX schedule was released while I was at work. They canceled one of the shows I watch and don’t have much else that interests me. Not much on the schedule for me to be excited about.

Monday – 8PM – 9-1-1 9PM Prodigal Son

I feel like 9-1-1 is a show I would like, but I had scheduling conflicts when it first aired so I never watched it.  A spin-off is coming with Rob Lowe and I like him so I might watch the spinoff.  Prodigal Son is a new show about the son of a serial killer who is a criminal psychologist who uses his skills to help solve crimes in NYC. It has a good cast(Tom Payne, Michael Sheen) so I might give it a shot.

Tuesday – 8pm The Resident 9PM Empire

I think The Resident is one of the better doctor shows on TV. I especially like Malcolm Jamal Warner’s character. I hate when they move a show. It has always been on Monday and  now has the risk of people not finding it or having other shows they already watch. I have never watched Empire.

Wednesday – 8PM – The Masked Singer 9pm – Not Just Me

The Masked Singer is strangely compelling. I hope the success of season 1 helps them get bigger celebrities for this season. Not Just Me is about a girl who finds out her dad, a fertility doctor, used his sperm to father a hundred children. Not sure I will watch that one. It stars Brittany Snow, Emily Osment and Timothy Hutton.

Thursday – Football

Friday – WWE

Saturday – College football

Sunday – 8pm – The Simpsons 8:30pm Bless the Harts 9pm -Bob’s Burgers 9:30pm Family Guy

Bless the Harts is another animated show with the voices of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. Nothing for me here.

Last Man Standing, The Orville and a bunch of new shows are midseason shows.

So, only one show for me and a new one I might try with two more, Last Man Standing and The Orville, coming later in the season. It won’t be long until I don’t watch this network at all.

The Week Where Tater Talks TV: The NBC Fall Schedule

This is the week I love to write about and no one reads. The TV Network Upfronts are here and I will have a post to discuss each network’s fall schedule. NBC goes first tomorrow and the schedule is out, so it’s a bonus Sunday night post. Exciting, I know. Before I get to the schedule – I’m very disappointed that Abby’s and AP Bio are still up in the air. I love AP Bio and Abby’s is growing on me. Why not just give them a midseason slot. I’m sure something won’t last and you will have time slots to fill. Fill them with good shows that people already know and not new stuff you will just cancel anyway. Do it! Now the schedule:

Monday – 8PM – The Voice 10PM Bluff City Law

I used to watch The Voice, but there is too much of it. I can’t watch that much, especially since most of it is filler. I might try Bluff City Law. It stars Jimmy Smits as a civil rights lawyer in Memphis. I like him and it’s been a while since I’ve had a good lawyer show to watch. Maybe this will be one.

Tuesday – 8PM The Voice 9PM This is Us 10pm New Amsterdam

Still not watching The Voice. I’m one of the few people not watching This is Us. I really like New Amsterdam and will keep watching next season.

Wednesday – Still One Chicago night. 8pm – Med 9pm – Fire 10pm PD

I still only watch Fire. I like Fire, but the leads(Casey and Severide) are boring. I want more episodes about the goofball group that runs the bar. They are the best part of the show.

Thursday – 8PM – Superstore 8:30pm Perfect Harmony 9pm The Good Place 9:30pm Sunnyside 10pm SVU

I love Superstore and The Good Place. They are two of the best comedies on TV right now. Perfect Harmony looks fun. Bradley Whitford plays a Princeton music professor who stumbles into a small town choir practice and stays on as the choir director. Anna Camp stars as one of the choir members. I watched the trailer and enjoyed it. Sunnyside stars Kal Penn as a former New York City Councilman who is hired to help a group of people become US citizens. I was not that impressed by the trailer, but I like Penn, so I might give it a shot.

Friday – 8pm Blacklist 9pm Dateline

I watch Blacklist, but I’m getting a little bored with it. They could have ended it with this season and I would have been OK with it.

Saturday – 8pm Saturday Dateline Mystery 10pm SNL encore 11:30 SNL

Noting there for me. I might watch SNL if the host is interesting.

Sunday – Football

Depends on the game.

Not much of a change to the schedule at all. Some shows I watch are being held for midseason – Brooklyn 99, Manifest and Good Girls are all better than shows on the main schedule. The Kenan Show, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Lincoln all sound good and I will give them a look whenever they finally air.

The FOX schedule is next – Sometime tomorrow so look for my post tomorrow night sometime.