Unpopcult should be careful what it wishes for. Ignoring some of the less-important issues of the day – Afghanistan, the deficit, the Middle East, that sort of thing – we’ve hung our hats on an unshakeable belief that UK viewers should get American TV imports as soon as possible after original transmission, which makes sense both for broadcasters and viewers. Now we’re getting what we wanted. And it’s rather a lot, isn’t it?
Already mentioned is the immediate return of Chuck for its fourth season, now on Living at 10pm and starting tonight (Thursday 14th October). Chuck has had a precarious existence for most of its life, and it feels odd now to be thinking of it as an established part of the TV landscape. The current season is, like last time, scheduled to run for 13 episodes, but I wouldn’t be amazed by an extension this season as well; while new shows get launched on a wave of hype, then slump towards cancellation, Chuck seems to have found its niche.
Also this week, American ratings heavyweight The Mentalist (Five, 9pm, Friday 15th October) is back for a third season. The Mentalist is predictable fun for the most part, with occasional Red John episodes giving it a bit of heft from time to time. The chances of Jane and Lisbon just doing it already seem slight, at least until Jane can bring RJ down, but that won’t stop CJ from hoping or reviewing.
Then on Sunday 17th October we get the start of season 7 of Desperate Housewives (Channel 4, 10pm). The last two seasons have been patchy, but I’m still watching. And on the face of it the showrunners have already made potentially the casting decision of the year by bringing Vanessa Williams in: she strikes me as having the mixture of comic smarts, high camp, and occasional vulnerability that Housewives needs at this stage in the game. Reviews here when I find the time.
Also on Sunday, and possibly getting lost in all of this, is the return of Hung for its second season (More 4, 11.05pm). I reviewed season 1; I’m not sure that I liked it enough to keep going, though, particularly when there’s so much else on. But presumably Ray’s wanger will still be enormous, so if that’s your sort of, um, thing, you know where to find it.
And coming very soon: The Event, Lie To Me, and Bones.