Making New Year's Resolutions for '24,' 'American Idol, 'Chuck' and more

zacharylevi_chuck_290.jpgWell I hope you got plenty of rest during the holidays and didn't make any crazy resolutions like to watch less TV (the horror!). There is so much TV coming your way this month that I can't wait to discuss with you like the 100th episode of "How I Met Your Mother" (January 11), the premiere of "Chuck" this Sunday, the return of "American Idol" (January 12), "Project Runway" returning to New York (January 14), the eighth season of "24" (January 17), the second season of "Being Erica" on SOAPnet (January 20), more new episodes of "Greek" (January 25), and the third season of "Damages" (January 25). Plus we have new series including "Human Target" on FOX (January 17), "Life Unexpected" on the CW (January 18) and "The Deep End" on ABC (January 21). And that's just January, two days into February and the final season of "Lost" begins.

But before we move full throttle into TV's midseason, I think it's time we could collectively make some new year's resolutions for TV shows. Here are some of mine:

"Brothers & Sisters" resolves to let the dream go with the Ryan character. I'm glad the show basically acknowledged that they've been ignoring him all season last night and it's nice that he saved Kitty but I'm in no mood for Ryan to have to go to trial for ruining the wine. I think we just send Ryan back to where he came from and maybe he visits during the holidays and very special episodes.

"Desperate Housewives" resolves to stop ruining its characters. I really can't believe the show killed off Karl, who has always been a delightfully amusing guest star, and let Orson, who seems to be a different and increasingly pathetic character each week, live. The ladies of Wisteria Lane need some consistent character development and plots that make some sense.

"24" resolves to use Kim sparingly. I think the show pretty much redeemed her last season (except when they once again tried to turn her into an action hero). And I resolve to never bring up the Cougar Incident again if the show resolves to not make her an integral part of season 8. She appears at the beginning of the season in a lovely cameo that nicely sets up Jack's current life and I think that may be all I need to see of her this season.

"American Idol" resolves to do something about the four judge format. More surprising to me that the show's letting Paula Abdul walk away (I stand by my claim that the show will not be the same without her) is the stubborn commitment to having four judges. It simply didn't work last season - it took up too much time to let everyone talk and detracted from the most important part of the show - the performances. I'm not sure what the series can do now that four judges are signed on for this season but I hopeful that they do something.

"Glee" resolves to be as deliberate with its storytelling as it is with its musical numbers. Now that both pregnancy story lines have been resolved (or at least the truth is out there), let the show not go off the rails again. And while there at it, I was fine with the show establishing the major characters in the first 13 episodes but now it's time to give Mercedes, Artie and Tina even more screen time.

"Bones" resolves to be less gory. I think the show is good enough without the ick factor, don't you?

"Chuck" resolves to put Sarah and Chuck together. Oh I know that Brandon Routh and Kristin Kreuk are coming aboard this season to form a love quadrangle but I really think "Chuck" should pull an "Alias" and let these two crazy kids get together. I don't want it to get to the point where keeping them apart is silly and unbelievable (and I think we may be teetering on that). 

With the obvious exception of Heather Locklear, "Melrose Place" resolves not to bring back any more former residents unless they know what to do with them. Jane disappeared sans explanation. I still don't understand what Jo's appearance was all about and you know how I feel about them killing off Sydney before the show even began.

On the other hand, I still think "90210" would be well served to continue to bring back former characters. I would love to see more of Kelly and you know that I'm still patiently waiting for Dylan to make an appearance.

"Grey's Anatomy" resolves to continue to balance the show. The show rebounded during the first half of the season by not having so much of the series myopically focused on so few characters. I want to continue to see more of the Teddy/Owen/Cristina relationship and of Bailey and of the Chief's drinking problem.

"The Office" resolves to give us more of the "Michael Scott Paper Company" Michael and less of the "I need to be Santa Claus" Michael. When the show reminds us of why Michael is successful, he's very very funny. When they make him so awkward that I almost can't bear to watch, he's not that funny at all. Also, let's resolve right now to bring Holly back to the show.

Those are some of my New Year's resolutions for TV shows. What are yours? Post them below. And if you have resolutions you think TV characters should be making, post those below as well.

Highlights of the Week Ahead

All times listed are Eastern Standard Time for January 4-10

"The Secret Life of the American Teenager" is back with new episodes Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family. We'll get to meet Ben's Italian girlfriend and he'll finally think about breaking up with Amy. Here's hoping Amy is a bit more likeable this season but let's be honest, I'll probably continue to watch no matter what. "Make It or Break It" is also back with new episodes Monday at 9 p.m. on ABC Family. The show picks up right where we last left the girls. Kaylie has won nationals and Payson's gymnastics career may be over.

"The Good Wife" kicks off the New Year with a brand new episode Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CBS. Alicia learns more about her husband when she represents a woman divorcing her husband and Craig Bierko guest stars as a TV commentator.

Things are really not looking good for "Scrubs" and "Better Off Ted" as ABC continues to burn off the episodes two at a time. You'll get two episodes of "Scrubs" at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and two episodes of "Better Off Ted" at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. I'm okay with "Scrubs" ending - the show has had a good run and returned from the dead more than once but "Better Off Ted" really deserves to be a hit. My hope - ABC moves "Better Off Ted" to Wednesday night where it now has an empty half-hour slot since "Hank" was cancelled.

ABC is touting Lisa Kudrow's guest turn on "Cougar Town" (Wednesday, ABC, 9:30 p.m.) as the first time Kudrow and Courteney Cox have reunited since "Friends" but if you've watched Kudrow's online series "Web Therapy" you know that's not true. But who am I to quibble? I couldn't be more excited to see Kudrow play a vicious dermatologist. And Kudrow isn't the only big guest star on Wednesday night. Brooke Shields is Frankie's neighbor on "The Middle" (Wednesday, ABC, 8:30 p.m.) and Benjamin Bratt is Gloria's ex and Manny's dad on "Modern Family" (Wednesday, ABC, 9 p.m.).

"Ugly Betty" moves out the Friday night time slot and to Wednesday nights this week at 10 p.m. on ABC. Here's hoping this leads to much better ratings for the show. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who now plays Mitchell on "Modern Family, reprises his role as Betty's orthodontist and Becky Newton's brother Matt Newton returns as Troy, Marc's Bahamas fling.

How are we feeling about "Dollhouse" these days? The show is completely different than what it started out as but I kind of think it's working for the show and I'm glad that we seem to be building towards some sort of conclusion so we won't be left completely hanging when FOX airs the series finale on January 22. Amy Acker, Summer Glau and Miracle Laurie are all back this week.

That's all for today. I'm back on Friday with a review of the third season premiere of "Chuck" and the season premiere of "Big Love." I'll also have this week's familiar faces and quotes of the week. Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week or a topic for discussion? Write me at mailto:amytvgal@zap2it.comor follow me on Twitter. Have a great week. Talk to you on Friday.

Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal

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