In Hindsight: Looking back at the 2005-06 season, part two

Here we go with the second half of my season in review…

I’m really not sure what the deal with Sabrina Lloyd leaving the show was, but her replacement, Diane Farr, has worked a lot better into the stories simply because she isn’t there as a will they-won’t they romantic foil for Don. Speaking of which, we still haven’t gotten a resolution between Amita and Charlie, but it’s likely to depend on whether Navi Rawat is back for Season Three. I think the production team has worked hard to keep the show unique with the continuity and the use of “CharlieVision” where the CSIs would zoom in on evidence and such. I do encourage you to find the DVD of the first season (reviewed by yours truly) to check out some interesting info about the show, such as how the original Don was going to be involved with Amita, not Charlie.

Prison Break:
You know, it’s hard to believe that Brett Ratner has been behind one success this 05-06 season, let alone two. But we knew that X-Men 3 would do pretty good numbers at the box office. ‘Prison Break’, however, seemed to come out of left field – and, improbably, it managed to not only last it’s initial 13-episode run, but the show got additional episodes and has been renewed for a second season (with filming set to take place in Dallas, TX). It’s even more impressive when massively hyped new shows with linear storylines – ‘Threshold’, ‘Surface’ and ‘Invasion’ – have all bit the dust, one by one, while the little show about convicts and an improbable escape has just kept chugging along.

Generally speaking, ‘Survivor’ has trouble putting on solid consecutive seasons of the show, the exception being the first two seasons. Well, now they can boast of having three consecutive strong seasons, as both ‘Guatemala’ and ‘Panama: Running out of Subtitles’ provided a lot of excitement, excellent gameplay and debate over “who’s better?”. The answer, btw, is apparently “Aras”. Guatemala provided the twist of bringing in Stephanie and Bobby Jon, a hidden Immunity Idol and gave us some of the most physical challenges seen on the show. Panama v3.0 gave us Exile Island, a twist that proved to be successful enough that they’re bringing it back for the next season, set in the Cook Islands.

The Ultimate Fighter:
Season Three is still going on, but Season Two was a mixed bag. The welterweight fights were exciting to watch, with every fighter acting like they really wanted to win once they stepped into the Octagon. The heavyweights, by comparison, had some of the most boring fights we’ve seen in this series. I suppose the problem here was that there were only two true heavyweights in Brad Imes and Dan Christenson, while everyone else moved up from 205 and generally looked sluggish carrying the extra weight. The Ultimate Finale, though, was a bit hit, as all three fights provided a lot of excitement and the fighters gave a good account of themselves. Overall, I’ve been impressed with how this show has gone and I’m really looking forward to Season Four, which will feature seasoned fighters looking for a second (or third, or fifth) chance in the Octagon.

The Unit:
Arguably the best mid-season replacement show this season, the show has done what I’d assumed might be a bit difficult to do – make military missions interesting every week. It seems to have done so by adding the “chick flick” element of the lives of the army wives as their men are on missions. Yeah, these parts are generally pretty useless, but similar to the use of Veronica Donovan on ‘Prison Break’, they’re like a sorbet in between dishes – it helps to relax your mind a bit before the next exciting scene. I’m really looking forward to seeing what direction this show takes next season.

IP Linkage:
Shelly enjoys men having bubble bath fights. And also ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.

Matt B looks at the ‘Lost’ and ’24’ season finales and talks about Memorial Day, which the Brits call a Bank Holiday and Canadians call… Monday.

Mathan also looks at finales. And he hates Cristina Yang as well.

Craig gives us a doubleshot, giving his take on the fall schedules for NBC’s knee-jerk reaction revised schedule as well as Fox’s schedule.

The Week… In Hindsight:
‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ (Spike) – So Ed takes out Danny without breaking a sweat. Now, this week, we get deaf wrestler Matt Hamil taking on Tyson Tomko lookalike Mike Nichols in the last preliminary Light-Heavyweight fight.

‘Iron Chef America’ (Food Network Canada)
‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ (Food Network Canada) – I have to say, I love this show. Then again, I’d probably hate this in the U.S. since they’d bleep out every third word that comes out of Gordon Ramsay’s mouth.

‘The Apprentice’ (Global, NBC) – Carolyn, on Pepi: “Who was that guy on the right?” Pwned.

‘Last Comic Standing’ (Canwest, NBC) – SKIPPY! And, crap, Nikki Payne. I’ve heard her bit on ‘Just For Laughs’, and near as I can tell, her gimmick is to be really loud. And unfunny. Unfortunately, I didn’t see more than the L.A. portion of the show, but there’s an interactive part of the show where comics that didn’t make the semi-finals compete for one last shot at glory. You can find that here.

‘Game Show Marathon’ (CTV, CBS) – I like the concept of this show, BUT Rikki Lake is a horrible host. And it doesn’t matter that they kick things off with the one show that’s still going. And since it’s still going on, couldn’t they have brought in Bob Barker to host the games? And if not, it’s not like Chuck Woollery and Bob Eubanks are busy these days.

‘Iron Chef America’ (Food Network Canada)
‘Good Eats’ (Food Network Canada)

That’s it for this week.