I went through my copy of Entertainment Weekly the week before last and set the TiVo to record all of the new TV shows that caught my attention. Here are my impressions of the new shows I've watched so far:
Game Over - I thought it was kind of a cute concept, but pretty cheesy. The smoking/drinking/swearing character (a la Bender in Futurama and Baby Stewie on Family Guy) meant to offset the "normal" characters has been overdone to death. The first episode had way too much of a gooey happy ending wrapup. Casting bonus: features the voice of Patrick Warburton, a big fave of mine especially since he played The Tick.
Century City - I'm hoping the cheese-o-meter ratings of the first episode subside. It's wise to play it as a lightly sci-fi version of a regular lawyer show, and it's possible that things will calm down once all the characters and plotlines are established. I like the "today's ethicists' hypothetical questions as tomorrow's legal cases" approach. Casting bonus: another alumnus of The Tick, Nestor Carbonell. I'll give it at least one more shot.
Deadwood - I think I'm really going to like it, and I'm not offended by the incessant swearing. The reviews I've read say that it doesn't really get going until the fourth episode, and I'm more than willing to put in the time.
As for the other shows I watch, I've become so disinterested in what happens on Friends that I've actually cancelled the TiVo season pass. My favorite new(ish) comedy is Two and a Half Men, believe it or not. It's funnier than you'd expect. I'm watching a lot of cable these days: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Chappelle's Show, lots of stuff on TechTV (which should be its own blog entry - and probably will be someday), Trading Spaces, and even South Park occasionally. I'm enjoying this season of The Sopranos, and I predict a great deal of bloodshed for the rest of the season.
I am also looking forward to the return of Carnivale, even though the pacing of the show exasperates me sometimes. When I first began watching it last year I meant to give it up after the first episode or two, but I was hooked and continued watching until the end. I've had other friends tell me the same thing happened to them, so story must be more compelling than it seems at first glance.
Without the TiVo, I might very well have stopped watching television at all by this point. Last night was the first time in as long as I can remember that I actually watched two shows in a row as they were being broadcast, rather than later in the week at my convenience.
Still, there's one thing that cuts my TV watching down more than anything else: web surfing time. Since you're reading this, I'm sure you know what I mean.