September 9, 2010

The Return of Fall TV

It’s that time of year again, time to make the tough decisions about what my TiVos will be busy doing for the next 9 months. It’s not just about which of the new crop of shows I’ll be giving a trial run and hoping to love, but also which of the shows I have watched in the past get a continued season pass and which are sent packing (Gossip Girl, I’m looking at you!).

Changing up the format from last year a little, I’ll note my returning shows with an R and the new ones with an N – clever no? And I’ll note the premiere dates if I know them.


How I Met Your Mother – CBS, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 20)
They had an off season last year but the creators say that they’ll be getting back to what didn’t suck about the show and I’m willing to give them another year. Mostly based on my love for Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan. The cast is really good and most of the characters are plenty enjoyable. Everyone except Ted. Good Lord, I hope they make Ted more likable this year because he is just awful.

Chuck – NBC, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 20)
After the best season yet last spring, I wouldn’t miss this one for the world. And now that the Buy More has been blown to smithereens I’m holding out hope that the Jeffster crap will be kept to a minimum and we’ll just have a show chock-full of Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Ellie, Morgan and Captain Awesome. Oh yeah, plus we’ll meet Chuck’s mom (Linda Hamilton!). It’s such a good show, if you aren’t watching, you should give it a shot this year. It’s never too late to fall in love with nerds, spies or Captain Awesome.

House – Fox, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 20)
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t even know what happened in the last few episodes of last season. My DVR list got very crowded and it got bumped a number of weeks in a row. I heard that House and Cuddy hooked up and while I wouldn’t categorize myself as a Huddy-shipper, I feel like it was about time. Still, I can DVR three things that air at the same time and if something else were to be shuffled into this timeslot at the last minute that looked good enough, I’d bump House. I can always catch it online if I really want or…I could quit it altogether and probably not miss it.

Lone Star – Fox, 9:00p/8:00 C (N-Sept. 20)
I’m a little worried that this one won’t be as good as the cast and premise would have me believe or that it won’t get good enough ratings and I’ll be disappointed one way or another. But a story of a wealthy family where the prodigal son is a con-man with two families – one of whom includes Adrianne Pallicki from Friday Night Lights – is just too good to pass up. Plus, the early reviews have been pretty decent.

Hawaii Five-0 – CBS, 10:00p/9:00p C (N-Sept. 20)
When I heard about this one, I was VERY skeptical. I’m not sure the original needed to be remade, I never saw it myself but I feel confident in saying that we probably didn’t need another version of it. However, I’ve seen the previews for this one and damn it if it doesn’t look quite good. I have high hopes here.


NCIS – CBS, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 21)
What to say? I like the NCIS team. On a crowded night of TV, I’m still not giving this one up. But it’s likely I won’t actually watch it until the weekend. It’ll make a splendid Sunday morning routine though.

Glee – Fox, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 21)
I really hope that the writers get a handle on the tendancy they have to keep the episodes self-contained with entire arcs beginning and ending in the course of a single show. But I’m still thrilled to have my campy singing and dancing back. Less rapping would be greatly appreciated.

One Tree Hill – CW, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 14)
After 7 seasons, I’m not going to give up on it now. Not when the lives of Quinn and Clay hang in the balance. And when Julian and Brooke are finally engaged and Haley is expecting her second child. That’s good stuff, people!

NCIS: Los Angeles – CBS, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-Sept. 21)
I like Hetty a lot and the leads are pretty good but the stories tend to be less interesting than on its sister show. Still, it’ll make a fine Sunday morning companion piece to the original.

No Ordinary Family – ABC, 9:00p/8:00p C (N-Sept. 28)
Julie Benz and Autumn Reeser, how am I going to say no to that? Plus, it’s got an Incredibles-esque plot and reviews that say it’s like a better version of Heroes which intrigues me.

Running Wilde – Fox, 9:00p/8:00p C (N-Sept. 21)
This one worries me because as much as I want to love a show with Will Arnett and Keri Russell, I haven’t heard great things about it. I have to give it a shot but I don’t even find the premise – of a wealthy, egotistical millionaire who is reunited with his selfless, humanitarian childhood crush – all that interesting. Still, Keri Russell = automatic TiVo setting.

Life UnexpectedCW, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-Sept. 14)
My mixed feelings about this mid-season show from last spring are well-documented here but Cate married Ryan and Lux might be a bit less annoying this season and at the end of the day, I’m already hooked so it can keep the season pass.

Detroit 1-8-7 – ABC, 10:00p/9:00p C (N-Sept. 21)
I don’t know why I’m going to watch this because it sounds unbelievably depressing but I’m from Michigan and I like Michael Imperioli so I’m going to give it a go. But 9 shows on one night is a lot even for me so this one will probably have a short leash.

The Good Wife – CBS, 10:00p/9:00p C (R-Sept. 28)
It was one of the best new shows of last season and there was no shortage of good new shows last year so that’s a high compliment. I cannot wait to see what becomes of the relationship between Alicia and Will. And things should get very interesting with Carey in the prosecutors office now. A lot more good stuff from The Good Wife.


Better With You – ABC, 8:00p/7:00p C (N-Sept. 22)
It has such a likable cast – Jennifer Finnigan, Debra Jo Rupp, Kurt Fuller and JoAnna Garcia – that I just can’t pass it up. I’ve read mixed reviews but I’m hopeful.

Undercovers – NBC, 8:00p/7:00p C (N-Sept. 22)
I’ve heard raves and warnings not to get my hopes up based on the raves I’ve heard. I’m loyal to JJ Abrams so I’ll watch but I’m going into it expecting that it will merely make me miss Alias. If that’s the case, I probably won’t hang around because I don’t need to be reminded of things that I miss. Life is too short.

Friday Night Lights – DirecTV 101 Network, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-Oct. 27)
The final season of the most wonderful show on television. Matt’s gone to art school in Chicago, Landry and Julie are off to college, Tami left the principal job at West Dillon to be the guidance counselor at East Dillon and Tim has gone to prison for car theft. I tear up at the summation of where we left off last season, I can’t even imagine how much I’m going to cry when we finally say goodbye to the Taylors and the other denizens of Dillon, TX. God damn it, Academy! Recognize this show already! This will be your last chance to give them the awards they have always so richly deserved!

Modern Family – ABC, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-Sept. 22)
Hands-down the best comedy on TV last season. It doesn’t matter what’s going to happen this season because this show isn’t about what happens, it’s just about how crazy family can be. I can’t wait.

Cougar Town – ABC, 9:30p/8:30p C (R-Sept. 22)
It is funnier and more interesting than it has any right to be with a title like that. But it’s a fun show that’s worth watching. Stop judging it based on the stupid title and give it a shot, you won’t be sorry.

Hellcats – CW, 9:00p/8:00p C (N-Sept. 8)
As I write this, I’m about 20 minutes from the premiere of this show. I’m not hopeful for its quality but if you haven’t noticed, sometimes I like shows that are kind of terrible, as long as they’re awesomely terrible (OTH!) and I’m hoping this one fits into that category. Plus, Robbie Jones (OTH’s Quentin, whom I still miss).

The Whole Truth – ABC, 10:00p/9:00p C (N-Sept. 22)
I’m kind of a sucker for legal dramas. And this one seems kind of like Justice (you get the whole story) but instead of seeing what really happened but seeing only the defense’s case, we see it from both sides. Might be interesting. Then again, it might be boring. I’m willing to find out.

The Defenders – CBS, 10:00p/9:00p C (N-Sept. 22)
All the things I just said about legal dramas but in this case I’m curious to see how I’ll like a show about slimy Vegas defense attorneys. Especially when one of them is Jim Belushi. I also think highly of Jurnee Smollett and it’ll be kind of fun to see her in two very different roles on the same night.


The Big Bang Theory – CBS, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 23)
The second funniest show on TV right now, I enjoy this one immensely. And I am beyond excited that I’ll be going to a taping of this the very week after it premieres. Giddy…that’s what I am, I’m GIDDY!

Bones – Fox, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 23)
Attractive people solving mysteries and being nerdy. You see how this is right up my alley right?

The Vampire Diaries – CW, 8:00p/7:00p C (R-Sept. 9)
This was my favorite new show last year. Brace yourselves for a lot of really long, really detailed recaps of every episode this year. My obsession with how brilliant it is has not diminished since the insanely perfect season finale.

Fringe – Fox, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-Sept. 23)
I’m a little worried that the Peter/Walter relationship is going to be uncomfortable and no fun now that Peter knows how Walter snatched him from Over There. But having Other Olivia impersonating Olivia should be really interesting. And as long as they keep having Walter be all weirdly and inappropriately obsessed with food during total gross-out moments, it’ll still be good. And it hurts not at all that the Ashmore twins are going to be popping up. They’re nice to look at.

Nikita – CW, 9:00p/8:00p C (N-Sept. 9)
Much like The Vampire Diaries last year, I’m giving this one a shot based on some good word of mouth. I don’t have high hopes for it and I’m not even sure if I’m interested but it doesn’t hurt to try. It might benefit from airing after TVD when I’m in a good mood from that hour of awesomeness.

Burn Notice – USA, 9:00p/8:00p C (R-November)
It’ll take some getting used to to incorporate my summer/winter series into my fall viewing schedule but I can hardly leave Michael Westin out in the cold, now can I?

The Mentalist – CBS, 10:00p/9:00p C (R-Sept. 23)
Attractive people. Mysteries.


Supernatural – CW, 9:00p/8:00p C (R – Sept. 24)
Sera Gamble promises to return to the fun years when they were more focused on a monster of the week than on this larger good vs. evil storyline that poor, well-meaning Kripke managed to turn into a stinking pile of no fun at all. I hope that isn’t a lie because I miss the days when this show was fun.


The Walking Dead – AMC, 9:00p/8:00p C (N-Oct. 31)
Zombies. How could a show about zombies not be worth watching?

Stay tuned for my impressions of the new shows and how some of the old ones are holding up. I’ll try my hardest to get the new ones watched and reviewed in short order. I know you’ll be waiting on pins and needles to know what I thought.

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