So, the new TV season is upon us. And I for one watched a ridiculous amount of TV last week to check out most of the new & returning shows. I mean, it was a silly amount of TV. At one point I contemplated watching TV in my room so that I could PVR 2 shows & watch a third. So, instead of giving you a lowdown for each night of the week, or of all of the shows (honestly, none of us have time for that), I thought I’d give you my Top Five lists for the new Fall TV Season. Some great. Some mediocre. And some just downright wastes of all of our time. So, let’s get at it.
Top Five New Shows
1. Modern Family- Wed 9pm ABC
Best Line: Mitchell: We had initially asked one of our lesbian friends to be a surrogate, but…
Cameron: Then we figured, they’re already mean enough, could you imagine one of them pregnant? No thank you.
2. Cougar Town – Wed 9:30pm ABC
Best Line: Jules (to her assistant regarding the “risque” pic on her new real estate sign): What did you do?!? This is not the photo I picked! This is from that night when we got drunk on Amaretto & played dress up!!!
And this would be the best new cast on TV. Two Words. Chevy Chase. Two more words. On TV. Enough said.
Best Line: Jeff (trying to convince his college professor buddy to help him cheat on his clasess): Okay, Duncan, you did seem less into integrity the day that I convinced 12 of your peers, that when you made that u-turn on the freeway & tried to order chalupas from the emergency call box, that your only real crime was loving America.
Duncan: I do love America. I do. I love chalupas.
4. FlashForward – Thurs 8pm ABC
ABC seems to be trying really hard to fill the (ridiculously) ginormous hole that will be left when LOST finishes its sixth & final season next year (silent tear). I think that ABC might have just done it. The premise, that everyone on earth blacked-out for 2 minutes 17 seconds at the exact same instant, all (or at least most) getting a glimpse of their future 6 months down the road. Fabulous cast, with possibly the best looking couple on TV in Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) & Sonya Walger (Lost’s Penny). I can hardly wait for the episode that Dominic Monaghan shows up as genius, & possible key to the mystery, Simon.
Best Line: I am going to have to go for a Best Moment here. The moment at the end of the premiere when we are looking at grainy, zoomed in footage of a Detroit Tigers baseball game, with everyone blacked-out & in the outfield bleachers is one dark figure walking around surveying the scene. Honestly it sent a shiver down my spine. Wicked scary.
FOX’s new hour-long comedy is so chock-full of goodness, I barely know where to start. The writing, the acting, the laughs, the surprisingly heart-felt moments. Not to mention some seriously amazing musical numbers (a particularly memorable rendition of Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” comes to mind). Critics love it, which basically means it is destined to die young like the amazing Freaks & Geeks or squeak out a loyal, cult following in order to keep it on the air for at least a few years a la Arrested Development. I’m really hoping for the latter.
Best Line: Sue (cheerleading coach): You think this is hard?!? Try being water-boarded. That’s hard. (Jane Lynch is GENIUS)
Top Five Returning Shows
1. Fringe – Thurs 9pm FOX
Oh how I love me some of that freaky, sci-fi, X-files creature of the week vibe, all rolled up in a Lost-type conspiracy. Soooo much fun. John Noble plays crazy (or is that like a fox?!?) “scientist” Walter Bishop, while Joshua Jackson (PACEY!!!) plays his wisecracking, yet seemingly smartest-man-alive son Peter, & Anna Torv just basically skulks around a lot as FBI agent Olivia Dunham. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but did I mention that J.J. Abrams created it?
2. How I Met Your Mother – Mon 8pm CBS
The lead-off leg of CBS’s comedy night Monday is still going strong in its fifth season, even with a LOST-sized mystery in who is the actual Mama (I think I am going to try to work LOST into all of this list!!)? Obviously Neil Patrick Harris has become the star of that show (even if he was robbed by Emmy voters…who are these people anyway?!?), but the cast is solid all around & the story-telling is totally inventive, with flash-backs, flash-forwards, fantasies, dreams, different points of view & I’m fairly certain there is a story about a goat that we are still waiting on. Except for the goat, it does sound a lot like LOST.
3. The Big Bang Theory – Mon 9:30pm CBS
The anchor leg of CBS’s comedy Monday Night is well worth waiting for. Or at least worth a slot on your PVR. They continue to mine the “4 geeks” for different material that we can all laugh at. (I’m fairly certain the “4 geeks” would have some great theories about the LOST universe.) This is the season that the show is “going there” & hooking up Leonard (our lovable nuclear physicist) with Penny (the aspiring actress/Cheesecake Factory waitress). The best part of the relationship is that the writers resist the urge to make Penny a dimwit. It would be too easy, & frankly too stereotypical. Even though Penny does not “get” 90% of the scientific geeky stuff, she is by no means a dumbo. Far from it. I’m fairly certain she’s the smartest one of the whole bunch.
4. Dancing with the Stars – Mon 8-10pm, Tues 9pm ABC
I know, it goes against every fibre of my being to put a reality show as one of the top returning shows, but this year is just plain old fun. Loopy choices like Kathy Ireland (one reviewer commented that she seemed to think she was on her own late-night infomercial the entire time), Macy Gray (with her famous bleeped-out moment from the premiere), & Tom DeLay (I’m still trying to figure out why he’s a celebrity, & why he’s still dancing?!?). Natural choices like Mya, Aaron Carter, & Donny Osmond (all wonderful performers). My personal fav’s (& I will take it presonally if one of them doesn’t win) are Natalie Coughlin (11-time Olympic medalist in swimming) & Kelly Osbourne (do I really need to explain who she is?!?). Don’t even try to claim that you didn’t get a little teary when Kelly ran over to her father & hugged him, after her Viennese Waltz. All the while, Mom Sharon was just balling & clapping away, so proud of her daughter. An actual real moment out of a reality show….such a rarity. Too bad we couldn’t get anyone from LOST on. I would love to see Michael Emerson cut a rug on DWTS!
5. Friday Night Lights – Wed 9pm DIRECTV
Okay, Okay, so it doesn’t return until Oct 28. And it only airs on DIRECTV (the rest of us will have to wait until NBC starts airing it in the new year). But those are totally irrelevant. This is by far the best returning show. Everything about this show is beautiful. At this point it is just silly to have to repeat that this show is soooo not about football. The best couple on TV, the abso-smurfly underrated Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton, will probably never get the recognition that they deserve (I’m talking to you Emmy voters), but the lives & the marriage that they portray are so real, & so spot-on, & so honestly the best thing on TV. Catch up on past seasons on DVD & then wait patiently for January…. it will be worth the wait. (Oh crap, I just can’t work LOST into this one…oh well…just watch it!!!)
Well, my short little review got to be crazy long (shocking), so I’m going to have to leave it for now. So what do you think? Did I miss any of your fav new or returning shows? Let me know in the comments section below & be sure to check back next week for my Top Five “Meh” New Shows & Top Five Shows you are Absolutely Wasting your Time on.