After, so recently, having any remaining faith in television programming executives quashed with Fox's Japanese rehash of Hole in the Wall, I do have to admit that perhaps my second favorite season is the new network television season that, while becoming more staggered in it's tenure over the past decade, usually spirals out of Labor Day with great aplomb. Sure, the parameters of the network season were blown wide open with cable and access to some of the great programming on the BBC that often run more like epic mini-series than seasons, but there is no comparable storefront of the magnificent to the craptastic as one can get when the big US four crank out the pablum every fall.
The BitTorrent movement has created the ultimate time-shifting for me. There will be entire seasons I download that I will not watch until the following summer. Bruce Springsteen once sang of 500 channels and nothing on. There's plenty of stuff on; it's just that the viewing public used to only have to wade through 13 channels to find a good show. The time it takes to sift through the 500 channel sandbox means there's now a good chance the good stuff remains buried.
Incredibly, last season I managed to follow, through the torrent time-shift or otherwise, a roster of shows that was way too great in numbers for the average viewer, including some I'm loathe to having to admit watching. This fall I'm looking forward to a major network roster that includes The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Boston Legal, Fringe, Bones, Pushing Daisies, Sons of Anarchy, Dirty Sexy Money, Smallville, My Name is Earl, The Office, Supernatural, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, Eleventh Hour, Life on Mars (although the BBC version of this show will NEVER be outdone by this already tweaked US attempt), Ghost Whisperer, Sanctuary, Numb3rs, The Simpsons, Dexter, True Blood, Family Guy, American Dad, The Unit, Californication (strangely, both not about porn), and Entourage.
Of course this is in addition to whenever they show new episodes of 24, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Bonekickers, The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and South Park.
Some of these shows are guaranteed for the season, but some may die off, which is good because now that football season is well in swing and my favorite season (hockey) is on its way... I'm going to have to schedule to time on my Google Calendar to work on my cloning project.
While I'm happy to count on reality TV providing hours' worth programming I will never watch, I really need to find a way to pair down some of these shows, but when the winter storms roll in on weekends and I have a new 67" HDTV with a hard drive full of commercial-free programming... I'll be a happy man. Strap on your crap waders people. TV season is upon us. Build your hopes, clear your schedules, oil your recliner and tell people that being the media connoiseur you are, you have the ability to watch television on a macro-level that far exceeds their "idiot box" criticisms... it's better than Rabbit Season and Duck Season combined.