Once upon a time, I used to get really
excited for the new fall season.
I loved looking forward to what new shows would be coming on and more importantly, who would be on them. You see, I had so many favorite actors, many who had to have their "big break", so the idea they may be added as a permanent cast member to an existing favorite, or be made an intregal part of a new favorite was in itself, worth the anticipation.
But the last few years my passion for the new fall season has dwindled. That's because in my eyes, there has been less and less to be excited about. Many of the concepts are either been there or "out there" and the cast members are often of the "who the hell is that?" variety.
That being said, that doesn't mean that I don't still go at every new fall season with the gusto I did the season before. A girl can always dream, right? So although I have less and less time every year, that doesn't stop me from giving a slew of new fall shows a chance to sit next to returning favorites on Tivo's season passes. This year in particular, however, there seems to be a lot of new shows as a lot of older shows are no longer on the air.
The following list you are about to read (if you should be so bold) consists of 32 shows total, 13 of them new shows, all of which I attempted to watch this year. I've broken them down by night and by category, returning favorites versus new shows I'm trying this year. The **** indicate a current favorite of mine. Of course TV is a fickle creature. What's here today may be gone tomorrow and there's always something new on my horizon. Some say New York never sleeps. Neither does my Tivo.
After reading this list you may wonder how in the hell I have the time to "watch" all of it. Simply put, I don't. It's an addiction, plain and simple. I'm still trying to get through my summer season passes, but that's not important now.Returning FavoritesMondays
- Let it be known that Monday's alone is really a week's worth of programming. If everything is new on a Monday, needless to say I need to watch something, use the Tivo and use the tried and true VCR, too.1. ***Dancing With the Stars***
- Technically this show is a two night event as it is on Tuesday, too. I like how it's brought dancing back into the forefront, and it's good, clean fun, even if the chosen stars don't always necessarily burn as bright as you'd want them to.2. How I Met Your Mother
- This show is cute and the cast works well together. That being said, it will always be a poor substitute to Friends
and it's lead actor, a poor fill in for Johnathan Silverman, the man who should have had this role had they made the show ten years ago, you know, when I was still excited about the fall season. It's also interesting that in the future, the lead character's voice sounds a lot like Bob Saget. It's not like this is Wonder Years
and he's a child telling the story. Wouldn't his voice be pretty much the same in thirty years or should I too worry about one day sounding something like Bea Arthur?3. Heroes
- I like this show, but sometimes I am afraid it is going to go the way of Lost
, opening a lot of doors, but not giving us a whole lot of answers. I also worry a bit that the heroes themselves, which were once a small, exclusive group, seems to be everywhere. Before you know it, everyone will have super powers and if that's the case, can they really be considered to be super?4. The Bachelor
- Every crop of shows deserves a guilty pleasure watch or two. The Bachelor
falls under this category, though I almost always fall asleep while watching it. After all, once you've seen one smooth talker hooking up with another misguided wanna be model, you've seen them all.5. Samantha Who?
- I've only watched this show once so far, but I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did. I mean I really wanted to hate it. What I do hate, however, is the title. Ugh.6. Weeds
- When Weeds
first started I thought it was a really great premise. A suddenly single suburban mom, as to not compromise the lifestyle of her children, begins to sell weed to make ends meet. But now that it's been on for a few seasons, I have a harder and harder time feeling for the mom's situation. She continually makes bad choices, now even including her children in her bad decisions. Is it fun to watch? Sure. Does Mary Louise Parker do a good job? Absolutely. But the believability factor has definitely gone "up in smoke".
7. The Hills
- Guilty pleasure #2. I'm sure much of it is staged and regardless of whether it is or not, I'm far too old to be watching it. I don't care. I still do.Tuesdays1. Beauty and the Geek
- Guilty pleasure #3. I also know this one is partly staged. The beauties always seem far dumber in the beginning of the season, as to the nerds come across as way geekier. But somehow, someway they both transform and might somewhere in the middle. Riiight.
Wednesdays1. The Real World
- Guilty pleasure #4. I have a lot of these don't I? I started watching the "seven strangers forced to live in a house..." premise years ago. In fact, at this point, The Real World
has been on for more than half of my lifetime. Scary.
Thursdays1. 30 Rock
- I love that Tina Fey is a funny woman who also writes. I love Alec Baldwin when he's being funny, intentionally or not. I think Tracy Meadows is the perfect nut job. That's all I have to say about that.2. ***The Office***
- Take a perfect cast on a show that is brilliantly written and you have The Office
. All the characters are just odd enough to make you scratch your head. Even odder is that I worked in an office just like this years ago. I so relate to Pam and my fiance is definitely my Jim. 3. ***Grey's Anatomy***
- I can still remember how when this show started how I was excited by the previews and thought it looked really good. But for the most part, a lot of mid season replacements have always been just filler, nothing of substance. Once shows like The OC
came along though, they changed the formula. Now I know that great shows need not start in fall at all.
4. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
- It's sick. It's twisted. It's filmed on next to no budget. And yet, it's highly entertaining.Fridays1. ***Friday Night Lights***
- I was soooo
happy when I heard that Friday Night Lights
had been renewed for a second season. They are like the little engine that could of good television. I'm not sure where they are going this season and if I am completely happy with some storyline and character's direction, but even with its faults, this show is leaps and bounds above the rest.2. Men In Trees
- I watched this show all last year. I have the first two episodes on my Tivo for this season though and I haven't gotten to them yet. I'm still uncertain about if I'm going to continue watching it, but I will watch a few more before I make my final decision. I do think Anne Heche is a great actress though, both in her personal and professional life.Saturdays1. Saturday Night Live
- I've watched faithfully since I was eleven years old. Taped or not, I don't think I've ever missed an episode. Now it's more like a tradition than anything else. It's like the Thanksgiving dinner of television. Sometimes you know it isn't going to be fun, but you watch anyway.Sundays1. Desperate Housewives
- This show is utterly ridiculous, but it is also mildly amusing. I could really take or leave the antics, but I continue to take the mysteries of Wysteria Lane. I still say that Felicity Huffman is the only one with true acting chops living on that block.
2. Family Guy
- What's so great about this show is that you can watch any episode, from any season in any order and it doesn't matter. They're all hysterical and they all are chockful of pop culture references only someone like me could love.3. ***Brothers and Sisters***
- At first I wasn't so sure how I was going to feel about this show and the chemistry between the brothers and sisters. But the family, and their individual story lines, ultimately grew on me. I've always been envious of big families like that, so now I have the chance to live vicariously through the Walkers every Sunday night. I could take or leave the Calista role, but other than that, it's a staple of mine.New Shows I Tried This YearMondays1. **Big Bang Theory**
- I watched this show by accident and I'm glad I did. I really enjoy Johnny Galecki and I'm glad that he continued to work, if only sporadically, after Roseanne
went off the air. In fact, I love that other Roseanne
alums (Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert) have shown up on the show as well. The comedy itself is like Beauty And The Geek
but more real. 2. **Chuck**
- Apparently geeks are where it's at this season because Chuck
is another show to make geek seem hip. The premise is about a regular guy who works as a tech support guy during the day. Only through an unfortunate mishap, all the government secrets are downloaded into Chuck's brain. As a result, he finds himself thrown into the role of reluctant espionage spy. Chuck
himself is a combination of Seth from The OC
and Jim from The Office
. Chances are if you like either of those characters, you'd dig Chuck
- I didn't catch up with this show until three episodes in. I liked it so much though, I watched all three episodes back to back. With my luck, that means it won't last very long. It's compared a lot to Quantum Leap
an while I didn't watch that show, I know enough about it to say the comparison is valid. However, where Journeyman
differs is that there is a continuing story line thread that runs from episode to episode. Quantum Leap
on the other hand was rather encapsulated in nature. The lead actor, although foreign, completely reminds me of later years Anthony Michael Hall.Tuesdays1. Reaper
- This is another new show I'm on the fence about. It's premise is basically Chuck
meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer
. The lead actor is just a regular guy who works in a Home Depot like store. Regular, that is, until he finds out that his parents sold his soul to the devil when he turned 18. As a result, each episode has him battling two very different demons...his daytime boss and the devil himself. Only time will tell if the devil is in the details, too.Wednesdays1. **Pushing Daisies**
- Pushing Daisies
is like a vivid dream you don't want to wake up from. It's child like in it's narration, but cerebral in its approach. The show is centered around a pie maker named Ned who discovers as a little boy that he has the talent to bring the dead back to life with his touch. Only catch is if he touches the dead twice, they become dead...again. Of course at the heart of it all is a love story, too. Only the one he loves he cannot touch at all since he was responsible for bringing her back from the dead. It's original, which in this day and age, is something in itself. And to think, some guys are only responsible for breaking hearts.
2. **Private Practice**
- No matter how they market it, this show is essentially Grey's Anatomy
: Part Two. But I love Grey's
so much that I was willing to give this one a shot. Last season I wasn't impressed with the premiere, but some tinkering has me coming back for more this fall. Plus it has the "takes a licking and keeps on ticking" actor, Tim Daly. Poor guy has been looking for a bit hit since his Wings
days. For this reason alone I hope the show succeeds. Well that and the fact that Kate Walsh has a better look and more charisma than Ellen Pompeo, period.3. Gossip Girl
- Guilty pleasure #5. I can't really tell you why I watch it. Watching this show makes me feel old. But it looks like it's going to be a hit and since Gilmore Girls
is gone, I felt like I owed The CW at least an hour of my time. It's a bit like Cruel Intentions
only without the incestuous relationships...at least so far.
4. **Dirty Sexy Money**
- I don't know what I expected the first time I watched this show, but I didn't get what I bargained for at all. It's better than I expected and yet it's not as serious as I thought it was going to be. It centers around a larger than life, rich family called the Darlings. All of the Darlings are self obsessed, only on different levels. If there's one complaint I had about this show is that I wish they would have made the rich characters a bit less cartoonish and one-dimensional. I'm afraid this way it's going to be hard to get to know them, considering they have no souls. Still for the time being, they have my interest.Thursdays1. Big Shots
- This is another show I'm on the fence about and something tells me that eventually the ratings will make the inevitable decision on this one for me. I mainly watched because I love Michael Vartan. His character is the only one so far who has redeemable qualities. Overall, I think they should have made the guys more human. All the other leading men are merely existing on different levels of loathsome. If that's not the recipe for certain disaster, I don't know what is.Fridays1. The Next Great American Band
- This show just premiered this past Friday, so the jury is still out. I do like they rounded out the finals with all different types of bands, but at the same time that makes it very hard to pit them against each other. I'm also worried they let a few good ones get through the cracks in order to try to get more of a mix. Otherwise it's easy to see this is just American Idol
en mass. 2. Nashville
- It's a "reality" show about the pretty young things of the country music scene who want to make it big. This show is like Real World
meets American Idol
. It was originally meant to be a partner for The Next Great American Band
, but it was removed from the schedule after a few weeks on the air. I would say it was the first casualty of the season, but it hasn't been officially cancelled...yet. I still think it's only a matter of time though.Sundays1. Life Is Wild
- If Seventh Heaven
lost a few members and journeyed to South Africa you'd have the brood on Life Is Wild
. Here we follow the misadventures of three children and their parents as they are uprooted from their New York lifestyle to a game reserve. It's early yet, but this show has more substance than I expected it to. Yet, it's easy enough to watch while doing other things. For instance, I'm "watching" it right now as I write this post. It also has the miscast dad (yet happy to see him anyhow), D.W. Moffett. Moffett is better used when being semi-sinister and snarky and yet, if he is on board, so am I.2. Viva Laughlin
- Ok, so I watched the premiere and I will admit, it totally has the train wreck effect. It's soooo bad that it makes it oddly good. I have no idea if you're meant to laugh at it or with it but either way, I know I'm laughing for all the wrong reasons. Even worse it has relatively big names in Melanie Griffith and Hugh Jackman as regular cast members. I can't imagine the Cop Rock of the casino set (they randomly burst into song) lasting for very long, but they can't say they didn't take a gamble. They just have to know when to fold 'em, too.New Shows I Tried, But Couldn't Take To1. Cane
- I suppose you could say that Cane
is like the Hispanic Dirty Sexy Money
. I only watched one episode, but I couldn't get into it. I decided not to try too hard since I watch too much already anyhow. Of course that next week I heard that this show was picked up for more episodes. Isn't it always the way?2. Kid Nation
- Another hit that was lost on me, it's too Lord of the Flies
. I couldn't imagine story line suspense being centered around children that were under fifteen. Even if they did manage to have drama, I get that every day in the class when I try to do group work anyhow. No need for someone like me to tune in every week.3. Women's Murder Club
- This show has only been on twice. I only watched it once. Maybe I didn't give it a far shot, but I didn't like the mix of CSI
and Sex and the City
. Of course I heard that it was a ratings hit the first week out. Whatever. I give up.Shows I Gave Up This Year So Far1. Degrassi
- I was very excited to find that the old Degrassi show I watched on PBS was rejuvenated with a new generation. When I found it a few years back, I faithfully started watching. I loved the after school special like quality of the first show and how they were regular teens having regular problems, growing up before our eyes. Even the second batch managed to hold my interest for many years before I finally got sick of the "wrapping it all up in 22 minutes" writing style. I would have much rather them tell it like it is and be in it for the long haul.2. Ugly Betty
- Breaking up is hard to do, but I did finally decide to dump Ugly Betty
after watching an episode an a half this season. I know, I know everyone who watched it loves it. With the exception of me. Once I saw The Devil Wears Prada
and realized they did it better, that did me in.
- Despite grass roots efforts to resurrect this show from the dead, can't believe this
was the show to actually get revived. I was already a few episodes behind when it got canceled. When they decided to bring it back however, I was already long gone.