Fall TV 2009: 7 new developments on old shows (Commentary)

Here are seven plot developments I’m looking forward to on old favorites this fall season. (Technically, TV’s best show, “Friday Night Lights,” is a fall returnee — Oct. 28 on DirecTV — but I’ll be blogging about Season 4 next spring when I see the episodes on NBC. I’m very interested to see what Coach Taylor does with his new team.)

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Mystery, mysticism and politics: Denning’s ‘Abyss’ continues the ‘Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi’ series (Book review)

The early “Star Wars” novels — “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” and the “Han Solo Adventures” — followed the lead of “A New Hope,” where adventure was the writer’s main concern. With “Heir to the Empire,” the tone shifted toward political and military maneuvering, and “Star Wars” became associated with those genres even more with the prequel films and “The Clone Wars.”

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Fall TV 2009: 6 new shows to watch (Commentary)

Here are six new shows you might want to check out:

1. “Community” (8:30 p.m. Central Thursdays on NBC, starts Sept. 17) — When I first heard about this show about a hodgepodge of students at a community college, I thought it’d be like a lower-class “Bedford Diaries.” It turns out, though, that it’s a half-hour sitcom, not an hour-long drama.

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What show will make Entertainment Weekly’s Fall TV Preview cover? (Commentary)

I’ve already picked up the fall TV previews from TV Guide and Sci Fi magazine (yeah, it’s still called that, even though the channel is called SyFy). It’ll be a couple weeks before I get my Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview (I haven’t even gotten this week’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”/”Seinfeld” cover yet), but EW can afford to be last, because it has secured its place as the best.

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Preston & Child do their usual, compelling ‘Dance’ — this time with zombies (Book review)

I used to describe Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child as “like Michael Crichton, only better.” I now know that’s a simplistic comparison, but it’s still useful. The late, great Crichton’s “Lost World” came out in 1995, and earlier that same year, Preston and Child made their collaborative debut with “Relic.” Crichton’s book was a theme piece about dinosaur society; Preston and Child’s book was a wild ride about — as it turned out — a guy who basically turned into a dinosaur.

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Fall movie preview: 3 with Jason Bateman, and 4 others (Commentary)

Here are seven fall films you wouldn’t have to drag me to:

“Extract” (Friday) — This is “Office Space” turned on its head: Here the bosses are sane, and the employees are nuts. So, obviously, this is less realistic than “Office Space,” but it’s still from Mike Judge and it stars Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”) and Mila Kunis (adorable in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”).

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With Rory Gilmore and Matt Saracen in lead roles, ‘Post Grad’ is easy to like (Movie review)

“Post Grad” isn’t the movie where Alexis Bledel breaks out of her Rory Gilmore mold and shows her range. But I’m not complaining. I’ve pretty much been in love with Rory/Alexis since the first episode of “Gilmore Girls” aired in 2000. Bledel basically plays Rory again here, and she is just as gorgeous (only a bit more freckly) on the big screen as on the small.

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