Clark: New season, new deliciousness on the television screen

10/11/2013 12:00 AM

10/09/2013 12:56 PM


“Top Chef” returned last week with a new set of competitors sharpening their knives in New Orleans. Food is a huge part of that city’s culture so it’s actually surprising that it took the competition/reality series 11 seasons to finally set up shop there.

One episode in (Wednesday’s second episode aired too late for press time for this section) and it already looks like the coterie of cheftestants – they started with a whopping 19 this year – is going to be a solid group to watch. Which is comforting. I’m still smarting from the Texas Season 9S crew that was more irritating than interesting and put an ever-so-slight smudge on the sheen of my overwhelmingly favorite TV show.

So now we wait to see who will be the season’s biggest obnoxious boob. My money is on Jason, a chef from Philadelphia who took no time announcing he was voted one of that city’s sexiest chefs. Side note: Since he brought it up anyway, he’d look a lot better if he’d step away from the hair product. And the pastel shorts.

Really? It’s true?

Looks like Fox proved me wrong – and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The TV network announced last week that it was picking up its brand new series “Sleepy Hollow” for a second season. I proclaimed the likelihood recently that the show would be canceled simply because my son and I enjoyed watching it.

The modern take on the story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman resurrects the Washington Irving characters in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, where Crane has met up with a police detective and begins helping to solve all sorts of otherworldly mysteries and crimes that befall the town.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Sleepy Hollow” opened to an audience of more than 10 million viewers on its first night, and increased to 13.4 million over the next three days.

It was the network’s most successful fall drama premiere since “24” debuted in 2001, Fox told the Times. Counting views through Web streaming, video-on-demand and digital video recorders, more than 22 million people have watched the first episode.

But there was an interesting note in that story: While most broadcast TV series run as a season of 22 episodes, Fox only ordered 13 episodes for the first season of “Sleepy Hollow” and the additional Season 2 also will be only 13 episodes long.

Most of us grew up with those 22-show seasons of our favorite shows. But the increased impact of the shorter seasons on cable television has altered those old habits. My son, for instance – he’s the reason I started watching “Sleepy Hollow” in the first place – is more used to the clipped seasons since his list of favorite shows include “Perception,” “Psyche” and the recently exited “Burn Notice,” all cable TV products.

But some of those shows have shorter hiatus periods between seasons, at least starting two short seasons within a one-year period, so you don’t miss it for so long.

Not sure how that will play out on broadcast television. If we get 13 episodes of “Sleepy Hollow” now, are we going to have to wait until fall 2014 for the next 13? That’s a long time for a short payoff.

Then again, no one has a hard time getting excited as they anticipate, oh, say, “Downton Abbey,” which runs only eight episodes each season, once a year. But I seriously doubt “Sleepy Hollow” ever is going to have anything close to a “Downton Abbey”-type following.

Nevertheless, it’s good to know “Sleepy Hollow” will get a chance to play out rather than getting nipped in the bud before there’s any sort of resolution.

Speaking of shows and resolutions ...

I just don’t have it in me to watch “Revolution” this season. Again, my son got me into the show last year, but even he gave up on it before that fledgling season ended. I tried to finish off the first-year episodes, but just couldn’t get up enough interest to do it.

Now, back for Season 2, the show simply is too tiresome to reel us back into its storyline.

It’s residual “Lost” exhaustion, really. I just can’t muster up the energy to watch a show that offers more questions every week instead of answers to the drama and storyline. I can handle a new question/cliffhanger every few weeks, but another constant battering of “what-the-heck?” action is about as unsatisfying a viewing experience as it gets.

And finally, something ‘Amazing’

If you’re following former Turlocker Ally Mello on the new season of “The Amazing Race,” you know that she’s survived two episodes and already has a fellow contestant with a major crush on her. No shock: She and her partner Ashley both are young, gorgeous blondes. And they’ve already sported bikinis. Honestly, I’m having a heck of a time recognizing which is Ally and which is Ashley. Pretty sure Ally is the shorter one.

Pretty sure.

Either way, you can follow the local girl in the internationally set competition Sunday nights on CBS.

Entertainment Videos

Join the Discussion

The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service