Question: The summer-season shows on USA (Burn Notice, Monk, Psych, The 4400), as well as Eureka on Sci Fi and The Closer on TNT, were so awesome I find I'm not so excited for the "new" fall shows. The season finale last spring of Ugly Betty was such a downer, such a change from the normal mood of the show, that it really turned me off. Grey's Anatomy was a mess other than the Alex and Bailey characters. I am puzzled by the buzz that Pushing Daisies is getting. As someone who lost a family member to vehicular homicide, I don't see the appeal of waking the dead only for a few moments then losing them again. So I will truly miss the summer fare. It set a high bar for the new and returning shows this fall, one I doubt they will reach. I hope the summer shows start getting the respect they deserve.
Answer: If you've been reading me, I hope you saw I gave the summer shows all kinds of respect. I wrote several columns in the magazine and certainly online about this very thing. I admit it hasn't been easy shifting gears from a very satisfying summer to a so-so lineup of new series, although I'm very happy to have some of my old faves back. I've seen the first two Ugly Betty episodes and found them anything but a downer, although the poignance of the Hilda-Santos storyline was unusual given the show's customary over-the-top merriment. I wouldn't give up on that one, or on Grey's Anatomy, which I hadn't seen yet by this column's deadline. As for Pushing Daisies: I empathize with your feelings, but I found this show anything but morbid. It's actually life-affirming and delightful. Still, I'm sure it won't be everyone's cup of tea. What is?