Monday, March 16, 2009

What I'm Watching, And Who's Directing What?

Just did a quick running count of what shows I'm watching every week...and the list ain't that long I'm sad to say.

Top of the list is NBC's Chuck. For a show that was fun but felt a little fluffy early on, it has evolved into one smart funny action/comedy. Tonight's episode was a repeat, 'Chuck Versus The Seduction', but it was an early Season 2 ep that really helped the series turn a corner for me. A fun A-line, a couple of wicked guest spots from John Larroquette and Melinda Clarke, and a nice complimentary B-line at the Buy More store...all deftly directed by Winnipeg-boy and Psi Factor alumnus Allan Kroeker!

Sidebar: it just blows my mind how many Canadian TV directors I know or have worked with up here in the past that are just tearing it up on the U.S. primetime nets these days. Kroeker has not only helmed a lot of Chuck's, he's also done a whack of Bones, not to mention eps of Pushing Daisies, Knight Rider, and a Dollhouse. David Straiton (who wrangled a dinner with me ages ago to grill me on how to get out of directing commercials and into episodic television --- I'm gonna say I gave him good advice but I really can't remember what I said) has become a regular director on House, done multiple episodes of Life, eps of Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy, and also a Dollhouse. Stephen Williams is a co-executive producer on Lost and has directed like 25 episodes of the series, this after doing Las Vegas, Kevin Hill, and a long stint on Crossing Jordan. Milan Cheylov has become a regular director on 24....and before that, gigs on Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles, Knight Rider, Prison Break, and Las Vegas. 24 has been a boon for a lot of Canadian directors, including Brad Turner (35 episodes plus stints on Bones and Life On Mars) and Jon Cassar (Cassar is also a co-exec producer of 24 and is approaching 60...60! episodes directed of that series alone). Alex Chapple has been busy on Law And Order, Law And Order: Criminal Intent, Crusoe, and Bionic Woman. Holly Dale has been filling her time between Canadian standout shows like Durham County and Flashpoint with multiple eps of Cold Case, and stints on Life, Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles, and Heroes. And James Head has been helming Kyle XY, Reaper, and a whack of The Dead Zone's.

And of course from our blogging circle (Boot In The Pants) there's Ken Gerotti, who has been tearing it up on Rescue Me, Law And Order: Criminal Intent, Burn Notice, and The Beast.

(I'd been considering trying to gather up a bunch of these folks for a big TV directing Q&A blogfest but I'm thinking now I may be too starstruck to come up with any decent questions!)

And then there's Grant Harvey, David Winning, Stephen Surjik, Ron Oliver, Michael Robison...sheesh...I know I'm forgetting or missing some, but this sidebar is already wayyy too long. And I know some of them come back up to work on the occasional Canadian show, but still, kinda makes you wonder how a lot of our homegrown series might have benefited if the Hollywood machine hadn't sucked most of these talented directors down south.

Anyhow...I've lost some of my steam for this post. AMC's Breaking Bad is a definite can't miss...30 Rock still makes me laugh consistently (The Office, not so much anymore)...The Daily Show and The Colbert Report of course.....South Park when there are new ones....Bones and Life are always on the PVR but I don't always watch them all...Being Erica and Wild Roses and Flashpoint because I know a lot of people involved but don't always watch them all either.....Super Channel's Burn Notice was a pleasure, and their Trust Me is okay but hasn't sucked me in yet...Fringe when it was on....and I have gotten through every Dollhouse but let me just say that I've been giving it a HUGE grace period so far because, quite frankly, I'm really not enjoying it.

And that's about it. BSG isn't on list because I'm watching it from beginning on DVD...and even though I caught up on Lost via DVD over the past six months, the new season lost me after three or four eps (or I'd just been spoiled by the DVD viewing experience) and so will wait until this season comes out later this year and watch it straight through then.

And maybe, after tonight, I may add Movie Network/Movie Central's The Line to the list.


And so it goes.


Dono said...

By the sounds of it you're a good luck charm for breaking into the industry. Don't be surprised if the next time you see me I try and steal your foot and make it into a key chain. Hollywood here I come!

BSG is awesome! Finally caught up like a week ago, just in time for the series finale.

Dollhouse is really bad. Painful at times, seriously what was up with the popstar episode?!

30 Rock is the funniest show on TV.

scottycwilliam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scottycwilliam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scottycwilliam said...

I've heard Joss say that 'Dollhouse' gets infinitely better this week (episode six). I have also heard rumors that network interference is the main reason why the first few episodes weren't so good.


Aren't you forgetting 'Damages'? =)

IMO, that's clearly the best show on TeeVee.

'Big Love' is the only good thing on HBO. And I second 'Breaking Bad'. Along with 'Mad Men' AMC is really impressing me. Let's hope they keep it up.

Let's hope this post does't frak up. Heh.

wcdixon said...

Yeah I should really check out 'Damages' - keep hearing good things, but been hard to find up here...think its on Showcase, right? And I watched the first two seasons of 'Big Love' but for some reason had no desire to check out new season when it started recently.