Last week, I blogged about the ABC shows I watched this past season. Today, it's CBS's turn!
"Survivor" continues to fascinate me even though it's had more than 20 seasons now. I think it's largely how game theory can be used to analyze the moves (or non-moves) by the players. The fall edition had "Redemption Island" idea, where you could be voted out, yet survive duels long enough to get back in the game. Hence, we viewers were treated to the unusual strategy of repeat player Ozzie asking to be voted out himself so that he could beat the woman then holding Redemption Island (knocking her out of the game, as she was hostile to them), and then getting back in. Pretty gutsy, and it worked. On the downside, dweeby player John Cochran certainly did no favors for those us in the law school arena, as CBS kept describing him as a Harvard law student, and he didn't do much on the show to make law students seem like survivors. . . .
The spring edition ("One World") had a somewhat boring cast. The women started off slowly and clumsily, but mastermind Kim soon took control of the game. One can admire her ruthlessly efficient play in voting out the strategic threats one at a time, but it did not make for compelling TV. Well, there was immense satisfaction in seeing the odious and spoiled Colton get taken out of the game due to a medical injury. (The satisfaction wasn't the injury -- wouldn't wish that on any player -- but his departure from the game.) Grade: A- (Redemption Island); B+ (One World)
"Hawaii 5-0" is much like ABC's "Castle" (which it airs opposite -- thank you, TiVo, for producing dual tuner DVRs) -- a slick, well-executed formula. "H50" in HD is gorgeous, as Hawaii's lush scenery pops off the screen in vibrant greens and blues. So what if Alex O'Loghlin's Steve McGarrett is an impossibly cool superman? That's part of the appeal of the show! And I continue to love how it showcases so many Asian actors -- not just co-stars Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, but also Masi Oka (technically a co-star, since he gets billing in the opening credits), Mark Dacascos (still weird seeing him in something other than "Iron Chef America"), Taylor Wily, Kelly Hu (before getting killed off), Will Yun Lee, Dennis Chun, Brian Yang, and Ian Anthony Dale. Grade: A-
I watched half of an episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles" because it was a crossover episode with "H50" and found it so . . . dull . . . that I gave up. Apparently lots of people disagree with me, as this is one of the top-rated shows, but sheesh . . . . Grade: F.
"Person of Interest" hasn't been anything special, but it does deliver what it promises, which is Jim Cavaziel's mumbler dishing out painful justice to wrongdoers in New York. All courtesy of some super-magical -- er, technological machine that sees patterns in the surveillance cameras set up after 9/11 and detects criminal activity before it occurs. Or something like that. Grade: B.
Shows I didn't watch even though they might have appealed to me
I used to be a big fan of "The Amazing Race," but I stopped watching a few years ago; not sure why, it just stopped holding my attention. The same is true for the original "CSI."
"CSI: Miami" has been canceled. I thought it had the best opening theme music of any of the "CSI"s, but it was hard to take David Caruso seriously. Maybe we weren't meant to?
Next up will be the CW. That won't take long, since the only show I watched on that network was the "Nikita" remake, so I'll also cover Fox.