September 14, 2009

My Fall Schedule

As if anyone cares, I'm fixin' to tell y'all what I plan to watch this fall as the new television season opens. Thank GOD for DVRs!


Returning Shows:

How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8/7C) – I completely do not care about how he met the damn mother, or, frankly, who the mother is. That’s nothing more than a gimmick at this point anyway. Yellow umbrellas and Stella fake-outs and blah blah blah. What makes the show worth watching is the writing and the hilarity from the characters who mostly aren’t Ted. Ted’s fine, he’s funny enough but Marshall, Lilly, Barney and even Robin are a thousand times funnier and what this show really has going for it.

House (FOX, 8/7C) – I’m giving House a very short leash this year because, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t really liked it since House fired his original team and brought in the newbies. I actually really liked Kutner but, you know, Kal Penn had to go off and live a life of public service. My least favorite characters are Thirteen and Foreman and they get more screen time than most of the others combined which just irritates me. What they need to do is fire those two, put Chase and Cameron back on House’s team with Taub and then I’m a happy camper. But since that isn’t going to happen, I at least hope that House’s trip to the booby hatch makes for something fun to watch. If it doesn’t improve the stories substantially over the previous two seasons, my season pass my have to be cancelled.

One Tree Hill (CW, 8/7C) – There is a certain contingent of fans of this show that are fixing to boycott on the grounds that Chad Michael Murray and Hillarie Burton (Lucas and Peyton respectively) havare gone. I am not one of those people. I happen to think those two were dragging the show way down. Their stories were mostly depressing and over-wrought. They just weren’t any fun. What this show has going for it that few others on TV do, is that it’s over-the-top, cheesy, soapy FUN. So I’m looking forward to this next reboot and hoping that the stories that focus on Brooke (and Julian), Nathan (and his agent) and Hailey (and her sister) are back to the crazy, silly fun that I love about this show. And if they want to bring Chris Keller back for a few laughs, then it will officially be perfection!

Gossip Girl (CW, 9/8C) – They’ve had to add to the cast to give Nate someone new to sleep with. Chuck and Blair are finally a couple (not that I expect that to last too long). Serena and Dan are finally NOT a couple (I hope that lasts forever). The bitch (a.k.a. Georgina) is back. Jenny is queen of Constance. The adults’ lives are in upheaval (as usual) and the identity of Gossip Girl remains a mystery. All is right with the world of the Upper East Side and I for one can’t wait to rejoin the drama which is no doubt in spectacular progress.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9:30/8:30C) – There just isn’t too much to say in support of this show that isn’t “it’s so damn funny, you just HAVE to watch it.” The jokes are equally at the expense of nerds and non-nerds. The chemistry between the entire cast is extraordinary. An absolute joy to watch.

New Show:

Accidentally on Purpose (CBS, 8:30/7:30C) – The commercials for this one really do not look funny and the reviews have been unkind but I have to watch it at least once because of my deep love for Jon Foster. He’s so very cute that I can’t miss an opportunity to see him on TV again. Ashley Jensen is completely delightful too so I’m going to give it a shot. But unless I get at least 3 genuine laughs out of the first episode, I’m out.


Returning Shows:

NCIS (CBS, 8/7 C) – As procedural crime dramas go, this one has more going for it than most -forensics, detective-ing, relationship drama, office politics, comedy. When last we left Team Gibbs, Tony and Ziva were both in a spot of trouble with the lovely folks in Mossad. Their relationship went from being fraught with sexual tension to being fraught with hatred and violence. The shit is hitting the fan and I for one would like to see how it all works out.

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 8/7C) – There is little to say about this show that I haven’t said before. Suffice to say that if you have room for only one dance show on your schedule, this should be it because it’s a zillion times more awesome than Dancing With the Stars. I just hope this season they find some people who can pull off hip hop…last season’s offerings in that category were weak.

New Shows:

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 9/8C)
– The back door pilot episodes of NCIS that introduced this one were…not great. They were fine, just not great. But LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell were both pretty good so I’m going to see if it gets any better when it tries to stand on it’s own two feet.

The Forgotten (ABC, 10/9C) – A group of civilians make it their business to solve cold cases. I think…. This show might be starting out with a couple of strikes against it. First of all, its name is ripe for puns when its ratings are disappointing and it’s cancelled swiftly. Second, one of the main characters was recast and large portions of the pilot were reshot so critics have yet to see it which means no advanced buzz. Christian Slater’s (who was the new cast member brought in) attempt at TV didn’t fare so well last year but maybe this one will be more coherent.

The Good Wife (CBS, 10/9C) – This is my personal most anticipated show of the new season. Julianna Margulies is the wife of a politician who’s forced to resign in disgrace amidst a sex scandal. She’s that woman you see standing next to the politicians dutifully while they apologize for being caught with prostitutes or disappearing to Argentina. After the dust settles she picks herself up by her bootstraps, kicks her sorry-ass husband to the curb, goes back to work as an attorney and focuses on taking care of herself and her family. As if seeing this familiar story from the point of view of the humiliated wife weren’t interesting enough to me, they’ve gone and cast one of my all-time favorite actors, Josh Charles as a series regular (and, if the commercials are any indication, a possible love interest) so now I’m pretty much guaranteed to want to watch this show. I hope it lives up to the potential it seems to have.


Returning Shows:

So You Think You Can Dance Results (FOX, 8/7C) – This pretty much speaks for itself – I’m hardly going to watch the performances and then not see who is sent packing.

Friday Night Lights (DirecTV 101, 9/6C) – It’s practically a television miracle that this show will see a 4th (and even 5th) season because while it has consistently been one of the best shows on TV, it has failed to garner the kinds of ratings that really warrant keeping it on the air. And thought it is acclaimed by every critic I’ve ever read, it still somehow fails to be recognized by the bodies that hand out awards (which is why the Emmy’s in particular can totally suck it as far as I’m concerned). Still, the show deserves to be renewed and really deserves to be appreciated and watched by so many more people than it has been. The residents of Dillon, TX are the most realistically flawed, interesting, and complex people you’re likely to see on television. The writing is top-notch, the acting is superb, the directing and photography are the best you’ll find. As they did last season, FNL will bid farewell to more of it’s original cast this season as Tyra and Lyla both leave Dillon behind for college and Matt follows a bit slower behind them. But as long as Eric and Tammy Taylor are there, and the town of Dillon remains, there will always be something worth watching on Friday Night Lights.

New shows:

Modern Family (ABC, 9/8C) – The critics have given it high marks and though I typically find myself filled with ambivalence for sitcoms, I’ve come to realize that some of them are more than worth it. So I’m checking this out based on recommendations from the critics I trust who’ve already screened it. But no one should be surprised if this is one of those that builds up on my DVR for months until I either admit to myself I don’t care or watch it all in one shot around Christmas when there isn’t anything else on.

Glee (FOX, 9/8C) – I watched the pilot last spring and it really is funny but…I have to be honest, I’m not as enamored as some. But Wednesday is a pretty lean night for me so I’ll give it a few more weeks, possibly months to really wow me.

The Beautiful Life: TBL (CW, 9/8C) – Welcome to the morbid curiosity section of my weekly schedule. I fully anticipate giving up on this show ½ way through the first episode but I just can’t bring myself not to at least see what back-story they’re giving Mischa Barton’s character.

Cougar Town (ABC, 9:30/8:30C) – Morbid curiosity show number 2. I hear bad things about it and I really do believe them. But, like with Accidentally On Purpose, they’ve cast some people I really, really like (Busy Phillips and Ian Gomez) and so I have to check it out.


Returning Shows:

Bones (FOX, 8/7C) – I am unapologetically fond of crime-solving procedurals and if they include some medical jargon, so much the better. And Bones has a good sense of humor and likable characters which in my book are all good reasons to keep watching. I might be the only person in America who does so not caring one iota whether Booth and Brennan ever get together or not.

Fringe (FOX, 9/8C) – Crazy, gross, ridiculously fake science-y stuff is going to continue to happen in multiple dimensions and as long as Peter and Walter Bishop are there to witness it, so shall I be. I am bummed that Agent Francis is going to be leaving but I trust they’re doing it to serve the story. And at least they’re keeping Astrid around. Plus, from the looks of the EW photo shoot, Anna Torv did something to liven up her annoyingly long, straight, tucked behind the ears and unbearably boring hair so that’s something to look forward to!

Supernatural (CW, 9/8C) – As I mentioned last week, I had my disappointments with last season and with the premier of this season but overall, I trust Kripke to give us the kind of demon-fighting episodes that I enjoy watching.

The Mentalist (CBS, 10/9C) – Another crime-solver that I’m hooked on, Simon Baker is delightful. While I could take or leave Robin Tunney most of the time, I have grown to like her well enough here. Where this cast is concerned, the ensemble is definitely greater than the sum of its parts and back-handed though it may sound, I do mean that as a compliment. It’s too bad though that the producers have already said that Red John shan’t be caught any time soon. I would have liked to see some good progress on that one.

New Shows:

FlashForward (ABC, 8/7C) – I’m dubious. The premise is that for 17 seconds everything in the world went black and during that time, everyone had a glimpse into their own future. Specifically, everyone saw what they were destined to see on April 29th, 2010. It’s fine for a show you hope only to air for one season but my issue with this concept is the same as with Prison Break before it – once that’s over, then what? What happens on April 30th? That said, it’s got a very good cast (John Cho and Joseph Fiennes chief among them) and if the concept is executed well enough in the first season, it’ll be worth watching then even if I have to bail after that on the grounds of retreading (again, Prison Break).

Vampire Diaries (CW, 8/7C) – Having the advantage of being one of the only new shows I’ve watched prior to writing this post, I can say with certainty, I’m in for this one. It’s still early and Lord knows he could fuck up a free lunch, but this show has the potential to be Kevin Williamson’s best effort, in my opinion.


Returning Show:

Numb3rs (CBS, 10/9C) – Crime-solving procedural plus super nerds? If you didn’t already guess I like this show it’s like you don’t know me at all.


New Show:

Three Rivers (CBS, 9/8C) – In the midst of my ER rewatch I realized that I miss medical drama. House doesn’t add as much of it as I’d like to my week and since Mercy looks like a steaming pile, and Trauma leaves me cold, this is my only hope. Either the transplant stuff will be gripping medical excitement and I’ll be won over, or they’ll play down the medicine and up the heart-wrenching, tear-jerking nature of life-saving operations and I’ll kick it to the curb to free up some time in my schedule. Either way, I can tell from the promo pictures that no one loses spending a few minutes of their life watching Alex O’Loughlin walk around in scrub pants and a very tight t-shirt.

To soon to know for sure how many will stick but if I had to place a bet, I’d say that of the 11 new shows I’ve signed up for, I’ll bail on 3 after one viewing or less; another 4 will be cancelled by the networks before the holiday season; and one more will air the full season and then be put out to pasture. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if I was left with a few hours of catch-up time on Wednesdays.

I’ll try to put up reviews of the new ones at least as I watch them.

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