A look at this season of telelvision

Now in its ninth week, the WGA strike seriously threatens the remainder of the 2007-08 season. As a follow-up to my profile of the season’s new crime shows, four shows stand out as my favorite. I hope the writers and studios find common ground, so I can find out what happens to the characters.

ABC’s Women’s Murder Club, based on the thrillers by James Patterson, premiered October 12 and has consistently won the Friday 9PM timeslot in the ratings. Though the books, in my opinion, leave much to be desired, screenwriters Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, many of the same production staff behind FOX’s Bones, and a cast with real chemistry led by Angie Harmon make a highly-watchable show.

As far-fetched as its premise seemed, Chuck’s standout lead actors (Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin) play their roles for all they’re worth, and the episodes’ mix of geeky day job with the world of espionage stays quirky enough to hold my interest.

The CW’s Reaper may be more comedy than crime show, but to me it’s an intriguing look at the nature of good and evil with some of the freshest dialogue (mostly delivered by Tyler Labine as super-slacker Bert Wysocki and Ray Wise as the charming, cold-blooded Devil).

NBC’s Life is the new show I doubted most, and each episode proves me gladly wrong. Det. Charlie Crews’s Zen outlook and slowly-but-surely developing chemistry with his attractively flawed partner are fun, but the show’s gripping approach to each week’s mystery is even more impressive.

If and when these shows return, I’ll be watching.

–Gerald So