by Melissa Brunner
Monday marked the first big night of the new fall television season. In the 13 Newsroom, I can tell you most excitement centered on the premieres of two returning shows, "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men." Evidently, many people agreed with the latter. The Charlie Sheen-less "Men" drew nearly 28 million viewers, a 90 percent jump from last season's finale.
My take on both shows is that the premieres were fair, neither overwhelming or underwhelming. After listening to fellow HIMYM fans Blake, JB and Matt, I'm now not sure whether the show was getting bogged down in setting up its conclusion - or making sure we were thoroughly confused! The Robin and Barney dance number was so random, I was left thinking, "What?!" rather than laughing, like when Barney sang his "Suit" song a few seasons back. I like the show, but I think the producers need to take a cue from "Lost" and say when it's going to end so they can make the concept come full circle in a way that neither rushes it nor draws it out incessantly.
"Men" brought the much-anticipated debut of Ashton Kutcher. I'm not sure what to think of the addition just yet. My initial impression is that it sounded a lot like Jake talking - the slow-witted, sort of dead-pan deliverly. I supposed making the character have that sort of personality accounts for why Alan and Jake will be allowed to stay in the house (at least, it appears they'll stay there). I thought the opening funeral scene left a lot of untapped potential for humor with the ex-girlfriends, but I did like the almost-respectful goodbye nod in Alan's conversation with the urn. The Dharma and Greg cameo? Okay. Better was the John Stamos appearance, since he was the one initially mentioned as taking Sheen's place. Again, I'll reserve judgment for a couple episodes to see what unfolds.
As for the rest of the week, I'm looking forward to the "Big Bang Theory" premiere Thursday and I'm curious about the new show "Person of Interest." I think "Survivor" is out of the gate on a strong start, and am awaiting the "Amazing Race" premiere, too!
What did you think of Monday night? And what shows do you want to see?