That said, what the hell. Have some of my usual fumbling September reviews. They're always fumbling, even though I am not exactly out of practice with writing. I shall claim to be out of practice writing about these shows.
The Mindy Project:this is clearly a show best left marathoned or not written about it. Without Betsy, my hatred of everyone who is not Mindy or Danny has reached supernova proportions. Every time there is an entire storyline at the office without either of them, I'm just like "WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHY." It's like if CSI started devoting the first half of its episodes to showing the murder victims in their everyday life before they die and the actual team shows up. The laughs are such a proportionately small part of each episode that I honestly can't remember them unless I write them down immediately, adding to my frustration. Last spring I said I was glad I wasn't in charge of this show, but I would actually like to be in charge of it now just long enough to totally rehaul it for the like the 4th time, to be accomplished mainly by firing most of the cast and replacing them with interesting characters.
That is probably one of the best premieres I've seen in a long time. In the first 15 minutes, I was disappointed because it seemed like I wasn't going to love anybody, but by the end I had picked out a number of wildly interesting characters. My favorite couples so far are the model brothers (although at least one has a waxed chest that just looks...odd in its smoothness, like plastic), the Amazing Race sisters who instantly make me want to find their seasons and watch every episode of TAR they are in -- I would be more bitter about Nadiya being out first except that I was already grimacing at the prospect of having to look at that randomly shaved patch of her head; thank god the better sister is still in! -- and #1 with a bullet, the firefighter/cop husband and wife team. They seem like they have a fantastic bond, and I'm especially impressed by the husband, who is so far, awesomely, equal parts "strong and ruggedly manly" and "emotionally sensitive." The wife's hustle in the challenge and her cheerful toughness was super great though, too.
Update: it appears that the pretty boys might be super dumb. That is mildly disappointing, but if they're only going to be around a few weeks to a few months, appreciating them at a shallow level shouldn't be too much of a hardship.
For likable individuals, Old Dale seems like a pretty nice guy.
Couples I haven't quite decided about include Alabama Keith, who surprised me to overcome my prejudices by seeming like a pretty decent and even clever guy instead of a backwater hillbilly. (Unlike his son, who met expectations startlingly well and looks impressively like he should be a hunchbacked evil henchman to a cartoon villain, snickering evilly as he scurries about to do whatever nefarious bidding is required. He doesn't really seem mean yet, to be fair...just dim.)
They also include "divorced mom and daughter," because while I have to say that "divorced 3x" seems like a super weird character trait to pick, almost designed to make the audience dismiss you as white trash in combination with the age of your daughter, they pretty quickly seemed likable? The daughter (Baylor), in particular, is like she walked straight out a YA novel and I want to either read or write her story immediately. Not least because she bears a light but fascinating resemblance to Billie Piper, And Missy, as she shall henceforth be known, has such a super sweet face that I'm pretty sure that over the course of writing this paragraph she entered my top five remaining people.
There are a lot of bland people and/or borderline potentially irritating contestands left. I'm willing to wait them out for now. I thought all the challenges in this episode were pretty exciting, especially the immediate twists of having to compete against your loved one and then send them to Exile in the first challenge. (although, do I love Exile? I do not. It's boring to watch people there. Redemption Island is preferable to that.)
A random overall impression: is it just me, or is there a lot more bulge on display? It might just be me, but either way, I kept squinting at the screen like, "...I'm not sure I need this much detail about you."