Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Fall Shows

Okay, what new shows are you guys picking up this season? Here's my list of newbies that I've decided to allow into my life for at least a couple of months (some shows need time to grow). The only one I watched that I just hated was My Generation. If anyone ends up watching that one, tell me if it gets any better b/c I thought that one was *lame*. It never met a cliche it didn't like. Here are ones I'm going to keep watching for a while, though:

- Lone Star: This is my favorite of the new bunch. I expected to hate it, but I loved it instead. The main character looks like he could be related to Kyle Chandler, which frankly is always a selling point, and in spite of the fact that he's a criminal and a bigamist, he's likable. He's an anti-hero that I found myself rooting for. I'm really interested to see where this show goes -- if it doesn't get canceled. Seriously, watch this show!

- Boardwalk Empire: I'm almost always a fan of good (read: not The Tudors) period dramas, and HBO actually has the budget to do it right. Prohibition was a crazy time in our history, when the cultural/moral divide was even greater than it is now, in other words, good TV show fodder. Steve Buscemi somehow manages to pull off the gangster thing pretty believably. I thought the pilot was excellent.

- The Event: It wants to be this year's LOST, but it's not there. It may turn into this year's Flash Forward (may it rest in peace), but hopefully with better results. However, I did find myself sucked into it, and I like seeing Laura Innes in a different kind of role than Kerry Weaver. Good actress. It was weird, though, to see Luke Danes [SPOILER ALERT!!!!!] using a plane as a weapon. What would Lorelai say to that?

- Chase: I wanted to like this more than I did, but I'm willing to keep it on the Tivo list for the season. It seems like it's trying really hard to not be In Plain Sight, but the reality is that it's a regional drama about a female US marshal, so in its attempt to overcompensate, it's falling into cop show cliches that are dumb (seriously, the over-eager rookie cop learning from "the best"? Don't patronize me). I want it to be good, though, and I like seeing Cole Hauser playing a good guy.

- Undercovers: I like JJ Abrams doing another spy show. It's cool, and the stars are REALLY attractive. Honestly, I don't have a lot of deep thoughts about this one, but I enjoyed the pilot.

- Hellcats: This is the cheerleader one on the CW, and although it's terrible, it's kind of a blast. Ashley Tisdale is surprisingly likable, even when she's copping to TV Christian cliches that we've all seen. Plus, they do flippies all the time!

- Nikita: Apparently, TV executives saw a gaping hole in the television spy genre, so they simultaneously greenlit this one, Undercovers, and Covert Affairs (of the three, Covert Affairs is totally my favorite). This one seems to have more of an overarching narrative going through it than Covert Affairs, and I like the relationship between Nikita and Alex. I was surprised that this didn't totally suck. Maybe that's what I'm responding to.

- The Whole Truth: I like both of the leads in this one. Maura Tierney was supposed to play Lauren Graham's role on Parenthood until she was diagnosed with cancer, so it's great to see her returning to TV healthy. This show kind of reminds me of The Practice, sans the David E. Kelley quirky factor, which is definitely a good thing. I'm not jumping out of my seat with excitement about it, but it's an entertaining enough episodic procedural.

- Blue Bloods: I think this one has real potential. I like seeing Tom Selleck in this police officer patriarch role, and, of course, I welcome the return of former crush Will Estes (JJ from American Dreams!) back to TV. This show has such a great cast, also including Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynahan, that it can only get better -- and it was already darn good. I don't like a lot of shows on CBS, mostly because they're out of my age bracket (BURN), but this was ABC-worthy. I loved how they played that scene with Donnie Wahlberg's character and the scumbag in the hotel room: both characters were awful and unsympathetic, and the violence was truly grotesque. It reminded me of the violent scenes in Witness. How great to see so many layers in a pilot episode. I'll definitely be tuning into this one some more!

- Running Wilde: I don't usually get too excited about pilot episodes of half-hour comedies, mainly because good comedy shows usually end up emphasizing the strengths of the ensemble cast and it usually takes about 6 months to a year to find a good rhythm. There are plenty of exceptions to this, but it's a good rule of thumb to give comedy shows at least a couple of months leeway before deleting your season pass. Running Wilde is from some of the creators of the greatest comedy show of the last decade Arrested Development, so it's got potential. It's fun to see Keri Russell doing straight comedy on a TV series, and Will Arnett is always funny when he allows other people around him to be funny as well. This one's got potential.

- Better With You: Honestly, I'm only watching this show because I think ABC's Wednesday night comedy line-up is stellar, and I want to trust that they've picked another good one. The pilot was funny enough for a pilot, and the two sisters at the heart of it (Joanna Garcia from Reba and Jennifer Finnegan from Close to Home) have good chemistry. It can only get better, I think.

- Sister Wives: DO NOT judge me for this. It's the only TLC show I watch, and it stems out of pure, morbid fascination. I'm also a huge fan of Big Love, so I'm hoping this will hold me over until January. In case you haven't heard of it, it's about a Mormon guy with three wives and twelve children, shacking up, Big Love-style in a pretty nice, two-story complex in Utah. The thing that's fascinating about this family is seeing how they organize their lives. In the pilot, we learned that Kody, the husband, is attempting to bring another wife into the family, so as viewers, we are meeting this family on the cusp of big change (it's almost like the producers planned it that way. Crazy.). I was riveted by the pilot, strangely enough. I also find it fascinating that a show like this is now considered acceptable fare for a family network like TLC.

Your turn. What new shows are you liking this season? Anything you hated? Don't fear the comment section!


  1. I really really hated Hellcats. I usually like fun teen shows on the CW, but this one was just too glamorous for me. It felt inauthentic, and I don't think it's as much fun as it could be. Also, I thought Nikita was a little dull, overall.

    I'm gonna try Blue Bloods next week, based on your take. I think it will get a better shot from me if I can watch two episodes at once.

  2. I know you hated Hellcats, and I freely admit that it's terrible, but my enjoyment of the show is twofold: 1) I love watching the crazy stunts they do. I'm a sucker for dance-related stunt madness; 2) I enjoy reminiscing about college athletics through their little arguments with the athletic department. I'm waiting for an episode that brings up Title IX.

    Agreed that Nikita is kind of meh, but I don't hate it, so I'm giving it a few months. Seriously, what's with all the spy shows this year??

  3. My problem with most spy shows is that people assume, because there is action and there are spies, that it is going to automatically be exciting. Not true. The writers still need to come up with plots and human elements for us to care.

    I'll give you reason one of Hellcats. I like seeing people dance too. It has sort of waned after sitting through hours and hours of some of the best cheerleading in the country (my sister was a competitive cheerleader). I feel like I've seen every possible fantastic move they can make. I enjoyed Bring It On. And Step Up, haha.

  4. Yes! Human elements in spy shows! That's what made "Alias" so great, because from the very beginning, you were invested in Sidney as a human being. Her being a layered human being, struggling with things, made it all the more awesome when she single-handedly took out a quorum of Russian guards every episode.

    I enjoyed Step Up, too, but Step Up 3D was just a fail. So You Think You Can Dance is my summer pleasure!

  5. They should change the name of "So You Think You Can Dance" to "You Can Dance," because everyone on that show boggles my mind with their awesomeness. LOVE that show.

  6. Not gonna lie, I watch Sister Wives too! Granted, I watch all kinds of shows on TLC, but I think it's really interesting to get a glimpse of what life is like in a contemporary Mormon fundamentalist family.

  7. It's fascinating, isn't it? I can't look away! They almost seem normal...except for the whole 3 wives + 12 kids thing.