Get cozy with your remote in your leopard print Snuggie - it's practically winter out there. I don't know how they do it but those sleeves do keep you incredibly warm and toasty. I'm keeping the focus primarily on TV this week because it feels weather-appropriate.
Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day to watch each and every new show on television, and having a full-time job is really cutting into my highly demanding television schedule.
I did my best, however, to watch several of the fall season's new shows in order to assess how worthy of watching they might be.
My Favorite New Show: "Glee"
This show appeals to the outcast within us all. "Glee" has clever, irreverent, laugh-out-loud writing, with a great cast. The oddball characters are extraordinary. Just to name a few: the guidance counselor with a serious germ phobia, who pines away for the (married) dreamy director of glee club; the overachieving star singer of the club, not-so-secretly in love with the football player with a pregnant cheerleader girlfriend; and the club's foil, the unorthodox cheerleading coach (played by Jane Lynch of "Role Models" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"), who knows no moral bounds and will stop at nothing to take the glee kids down in order to get maximum funding for her cheerleading squad.
Do not let the jazzy song and dance numbers dissuade you. I hate musicals and initially skipped "Glee" because of this, until I happened to watch the fourth episode, got hooked and caught up online.
If musicals aren't your thing, record it and fast-forward through the songs later. The sequences, however, are delightful and many will make you want to put on something glittery and fabulous and start to sing along into your hairbrush.
Think of "Glee" as the weird kid you never thought you'd have much in common with until one day, you ended up striking a conversation and came to the realization that you've just discovered your new BFF. In other words, give "Glee" a chance.
"FlashForward" - It's more like a series of hour-long feature films, with high production values and a few film actors that crossed over to TV, including Joseph Fiennes ("Shakespeare in Love") and John Cho (Harold of "Harold and Kumar"). New pieces of the puzzle are revealed each week and I can't wait to see how it all comes together at the end of the season.
"The Good Wife" - Instead of a drawn-out drama about the wife of a political dirtbag that got caught in the act (Spitzer-style), "The Good Wife" turned out to be an engaging series about a woman who has to start her life over completely. With her husband in jail, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) goes back to working as a lawyer where she has to compete with a brown-nosing youngster for a permanent position. It's a little formulaic - each episode involves a new case, some investigating, the trial and the verdict - but the cases are interesting and I'm going to keep tuning in to see how Alicia conquers her latest feat.
"Eastwick" It's like "Desperate Housewives" with witches female friendships, equal parts catty and nurturing; the small-town setting, with plenty of gossip; creepy new neighbors with secret pasts that move into town and stir things up. "Eastwick" can occasionally overdo the campiness but for the most part, it's a pleasant surprise.
Take It or Leave It:
"Melrose Place" - It exceeded my extremely low expectations and managed to surpass The CW's other remake of a 90s megahit, "90210." Ashlee Simpson's acting is even halfway serviceable.
The show is OK for now but promises to get a lot better (and cattier) with the return of Heather Locklear on the Nov. 17 episode.
"Cougar Town"- The jokes were occasionally funny but like an over-the-hill club-hopper clad in clothing from the junior's department, it seemed like "Cougar Town" was trying too hard. Desperation isn't appealing.
"The Vampire Diaries" It's supposed to be more "edgy" than "Twilight" but less provocative than "True Blood."
It's just a mediocre teen soap with fangs thrown in for good measure and far too many mopey high schoolers.
Definitely Leave It:
"Community" - Not enough laughs and a moronic premise. Chevy Chase, can't you do better than this?
A few stragglers are just beginning new seasons this week - but better late than never.
Liz Lemon and co. are back for more shenanigans tonight, with the fourth season of "30 Rock" beginning on NBC at 9:30 p.m. After pushing back the premiere date several times, "Ugly Betty" comes back to ABC on Friday at 9 p.m. Relegating Betty to a Friday night timeslot is the network's way of saying "sayonara" - at least our gal finally gets a makeover this season.
The Classics: Halloween Prep
Turner Classic Movies dedicates an entire evening to low-budget horror movie director extraordinaire William Castle on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The lineup includes "Mr. Sardonicus" (1961) at 8 p.m. (which will also air as this Saturday's Off Beat Cinema, 2 a.m. on WKBW-TV), "Strait-Jacket" (1964) at 9:45 p.m., "The Tingler" (1959) at 11:30 p.m., "13 Ghosts" (1960) at 1 a.m. and "This Old Dark House" (1963), which is actually more of a dark comedy), at 2:30 a.m.
Batrider traveled all the way from Wellington, New Zealand to be at BJ's tonight. They play sludgy sounding tunes that reference 1990s Sonic Youth and Helium.
The group is on an extensive U.S. tour that includes a stop at the annual CMJ Festival in NYC next week. A Hotel Nourishing and Respect Mother are the openers. The show starts at 10 p.m. The cost is $3 for 18 and over. It's free if you are over 21.
At 41 West on Saturday, Rinky Dink will play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Longitude provides live tunes starting at 10 p.m.
Fredonia band Paul's Grandfather will perform at the Labyrinth Press Co. in Jamestown Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. The band features three delightfully harmonious female vocalists, Kate Preston, Karrah Teague and Rebecca Ryskalczyk (all SUNY Fredonia students), with percussionist Robert Fisk and cellist Paul Swenson. Little Teeth, a high-energy folk act from San Francisco, Calif., will also perform. The two acts will play Mojo's in Jamestown later on Monday at 10 p.m. On Tuesday at the Labyrinth, check out three Northeastern folk bands beginning at 7 p.m.: Wailing Wall, Tiger Saw and South China. All Labyrinth shows are free.
GET OUT OF TOWN
As part of the Buffalo International Film Festival, currently happening through Oct. 27 at locations throughout the city, a Ray Bradbury Saturday Matinee will be held 2 p.m. at North Park Theater on Hertel Avenue. "It Came From Outer Space" will be screened in anaglyph (red-green) 3D, accompanied by a video introduction by Bradbury and a classic Buck Rogers cartoon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and Buffalo Film Society members. Learn more about the festival at www.buffalofilmfestival.com.
April Diodato is an OBSERVER Staff Writer. Give her the dish on what's happening at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 366-3000, Ext. 492.