Is it just me, or has fall sort of snuck up on you, too?
Maybe it was the mild summer (no complaints; if I never see another 90-plus degree day, it still will be too soon) or maybe it was the oddly, ridiculously, obnoxiously early start to the school year (talking to you, Sylvan School District) that discombobulated the entire calendar.
It just seems like summer suddenly halted and fall slammed into it from the backside.
Again, no complaints. Fall is, after all, the best season. Not only does the weather cool down, but TV gets back down to real business.
Like the 10-degree drop in temperatures, the new TV season being upon us took me by surprise. I've been cramming to learn about all the new shows ready to lure us.
And just like those late-night cramming sessions in college and high school, I find myself yawning and fighting hard to stay awake. Where's Cliffs Notes when you need it?
Maybe it's just me, but the prospects look pretty grim. Some look about as tantalizing as "Beowulf."
It's not just an interest-level issue. A lot of the new TV fare seems to have a decidedly downturn air built in, thanks, it appears, to an inexplicable need to mirror the country's real-life economic stupor.
Sheesh, the economy's still dragging, but does it have to permeate every sector of our society -- even the escapist part?
From outsourcing to flim-flamming to job-hunting as reality show redux, it reads like an awfully depressing lot.
Wheth- er or not any of the new shows will stick is a guess- ing game. Going by premise alone, there are only a couple of shows I want to risk a spot for on my DVR. Crazily, my top pick is a rehash of an oldie but a goodie, albeit based on that confounding recession-as-theme thing: "The Apprentice."
Looks like The Donald, as in Trump, would like to do his part to help out the recently unemployed. Well, one of them, anyway.
Trump's double take on resurrecting his reality/
competition show -- he already regained a bit of success with the "Celebrity" version of "The Apprentice" -- gathers job seekers and pits them against one another for a single opening on his multimillion-dollar business team.
Gee, at least Oprah gave her entire audience a trip to Australia.
Despite the layoff mentality, I'm in, because I just love the whole silly "Apprentice" show. The Donald and his beleaguered bunch already debuted, Thursday, on NBC.
As for the rest of the lot, it looks like it's going to be a quiet fall on the old DVR. But these might -- might -- find a spot:
• "The Event," debuts Monday on NBC: OK, it's only here because I'm still mourning the loss of "Lost" and am in full replacement mode. The sci-fi thriller's premise: A man (Jason Ritter) investigates the disappearance of his girlfriend, only to uncover a bizarre cover-up.
• "Running Wilde," debuts Tuesday on Fox: This one caught my eye for one reason only -- it stars Will Arnett, who was HYS-terical in the magnificent "Arrested Development" and in his recurring guest role on "30 Rock." His new comedy is about a playboy (Arnett) looking to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart (Keri Russell). As an added bonus, Arnett's character is richy-rich, rather than part of the season's down-on-his-luck crowd.
• "$#*! My Dad Says," Thursday on CBS: Come on, we have to check it out, don't we? A comedy based on a Twitter feed features the ranting of a caustic dad (William Shatner).
• "Outsourced," Thursday on NBC: Yes, depressing subject, but it does have a spark. It's a comedy, for one thing, about an American who has to move to India to run a company call center.
Hey, at least somebody's got a job in it.
Let's hear a great big shout out to our regional chefs, who continue to prove this area is "Top"-dog in the culinary world.
You may have read that a Sonora-bred pastry chef is part of the fledgling "Top Chef: Just Desserts" series that debuted Wednesday night. Morgan Wilson is the fourth -- count it, fourth! -- chef to be part of the Emmy-winning "Top Chef" franchise, joining Mia Gaines-Alt of Oakdale and Ryan Scott of Modesto and Los Banos from the original series and Michael Chiarello of Turlock from "Top Chef Masters."
One word says it all: