So despite the fact that last night was one of the bigger events in the gaming industry, I hung at the house with the family and had some pizza. After the kids went to bed, we checked out a few of the new shows starting up this fall. You see, the networks have finally realized there is a big demographic out there that they have neglected. They are referring to this demo as the “geek” demographic. Based on what I saw last night, geek translates into “above average intellect in the fields of math, science, and computing.”

First on the list was The Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory stars Kaley Cuoco, who played the late John Ritter’s daughter in 8 Simple Rules … for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The premise of the show is simple; cute girl moves in across the hall from 2 uber-dorks, they meet, hilarity ensues. Out of the gate, the show set itself up to fail with a laugh track that was going off every 2.5 seconds and geek humor that seemed to fly from high level math jokes to computers. As the show went on, the laugh track seemed to cut way back and the jokes had a better flow to them.

It’s almost as if they were afraid that if they didn’t go over the top nobody would watch the show. They went too over the top and almost ruined the pilot. They got 4 solid laughs out of me and ended on a high note. I’ll tune in to the 2nd episode to see how it turned out. After all, pilots almost always suck.

Next up, we checked out Chuck. The only thing I knew about this show was that a flash ad somewhere said it would be funny. How’s that for reinforcing the fact that internet advertising works? At any rate, Chuck works for “Buy More” aka Best Buy as the head of the Geek Squad, I mean the Nerd Herd. Chuck is a down and out geek that lives with his sister and has no luck with girls. He obsesses over a girl that dumped him for his college roommate, who happens to be engineer turned CIA operative. This friend is a rogue agent who sends him an encrypted file of images that contain tons of government secrets. Chuck opens the file and now has all the secrets stored in his head. After his computer is destroyed, his mind is the only copy of these secrets.

With CIA and NSA operatives fighting over him, Chuck helps them diffuse a bomb in the middle of a dinner presentation by a high ranking military official and solidifies his value to both organizations. Chuck had a nice mix of action and humor that really worked well. The actor playing Chuck struck me as a combination of The Office‘s Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Scrubs’ Zach Braff and he really nailed the character. I will definitely tune in next week and make sure I catch the next episode.

The lash show for the night was Journeyman. This was another show I had not heard a lick about. My wife is a sci-fi nut so she wanted to check it out. The premise behind the show is almost identical to the TV series Quantum Leap that aired from 1989-1993 starring Scott Bakula. Basically, Dan Vassar, husband and father disappears through time portals.

In this episode, he falls asleep in a cab and wakes up in 1989. He ends up saving a man named Neil Graves from committing suicide and then comes back to the present time. Several more times he flashes into the past, each time to help this Neil Graves through a potential life changing disaster. Along the way, he runs into people he knows and criss crosses with his former self and even runs into the present day version of his deceased fiance who is also jumping through time. The episode ends when Neil is killed by a bus in 1997. Dan, comes back to the present and finds out that the son of Neil Graves saved 6 school children from a bus accident, due in part to Dan’s interventions in the past. The show is fast paced and solid even if the concept is a rehash. Journeyman will be part of my regular viewing from here on out.

So there you have it, 3 shows, 2 hits, and 1 so-so. I know there are a lot of other shows starting up this week so I’ll touch back when I’ve had a chance to check them all out.

The Big Bang Theory – 2nd Episode is do or die
Chuck – Must Watch
Journeyman – Must Watch