Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall Lineup


September is my favorite month of the year.  I think it’s a favorite time for a lot of folks, though for a variety of different reasons. 

Some people—like my husband—are glad that football has returned; some are happy that the weather is cooling off; and some are thrilled to have kids returning to school.  But for me, the earliest days of the fall season have always signaled the return of new television episodes, and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a reason to celebrate.

TV Lady 9-11-12

                                                                        Image credit:  Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I love getting reacquainted with old favorite shows and seeing how cliffhangers from last year get resolved, and I love getting to know new shows and new characters.  I have to admit, there aren’t a lot of new programs this year that I’m really excited about, but there are a few that I’ll be giving a shot.

Of course, the new season always brings a little bit of anxiety, too.  Not just hoping that returning favorites haven’t lost their attraction during the months apart, but also that no major scheduling conflicts will have arisen over the summer.  Sadly, I’ve already realized that the 9:00 Monday slot is going to be a problem.  Last year, NBC re-ran some of their programming on Saturday nights; I’m hoping they do that again so I can see all three Monday night shows.  I really need to get one of those DVRs that records five channels at a time, but the last time I checked the price, they were $400, which is a little pricey, in my opinion, especially since ours had to be replaced just barely a year ago, so there’s not a thing in the world wrong with it.  Of course, as much of a TV fanatic as I am, it’s an expense I would bear in a heartbeat if I was still working, but with only one income, we need to be a little more careful.  On the other hand, now that I think about it, I’ve been saving up some credit card points.  I was hoping to redeem them for an iPad, but this might be more useful.  Hmmm. 

Anyway, back to the new season.  Here are the new programs I’m looking forward to:

Elementary—Another twist on Sherlock Holmes; looks a little bit iffy, but I’ve missed Jonny Lee Miller since Eli Stone left the air.

Revolution—J.J. Abrams’ newest offering, some sort of post-technology survival story or something.

Chicago Fire—as you might guess, it’s about firefighters, but it’s from Dick Wolf, so it’s worth a look.

Vegas—I don’t know; I think it’s mostly just good guys vs bad guys in the old days of Sin City, but it’s Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, so I can’t just ignore it.  (Though, as an aside, the name is a turn off for me, as that title will always conjure up images of Robert Urich and Tony Curtis.)

Made in Jersey—I’m a sucker for a lawyer show, so I’ll give it a try, but I honestly don’t have high hopes

Go On—There aren’t a lot of sitcoms on my watch list, but Matthew Perry was always my favorite part of Friends.  I caught the pilot one night after the Olympics—not roll on the floor, laugh out loud funny, but not the complete crash and burn I was sort of expecting.  I’ll give it a try.

Partners—One other new comedy that seems worth tuning in to.  A couple of good friends who are also business partners.  One’s gay, one’s straight; the set ups seem too obvious, but it’s by the same folks who brought us Will and Grace, so there’s some hope.  Plus, I haven’t seen much of David Krumholtz since the end of Numb3rs, and it’ll be interesting to see him in something so different. 

As for returning favorites, this is what’s on my weekly DVR list:

Criminal Minds—FBI profilers catching a weekly whacko unsub.

Person of Interest—As much as I enjoy this show, I’ve just realized I can’t really sum it up in just a few words; maybe that’s part of what I like about it.  At its roots, it’s a cop-like show, with good guys going after bad, though the mechanics of how and why are different than most.

Castle—Another cop show—sensing a theme yet?  Yeah, I’ve always had a soft spot for crime solvers.  And this one’s a writer, too, and cute, to boot.  What’s not to love?

Hawaii Five-0—A reboot of the classic—say it with me—cop show.  Every week when I watch it, I’m really glad I have an HD television; it’s beautiful.

NCIS—At least these guys are Navy cops.

The Mentalist—Traumatized fake psychic now working with the CBI (like the FBI, but in CA) to catch criminals, always looking for the one who got away, the man who murdered his wife and child.

The Good Wife—Not a cop show!  But it is a lawyer show; I’ve always been fascinated with the legal system.

Grey’s Anatomy—Finally, a break from all the law and order, medical drama at its finest.  Who’s going to survive that plane crash, anyway?

Blue Bloods—Well, that was a short-lived break, wasn’t it?  A family of civil servants in NYC—cops and lawyers, but mostly cops.

Touch—Another show I can’t really define.  A widower trying to be a single dad to a young boy who doesn’t speak, but understands the world through numbers, and those numbers prove an inter-connectedness to everything/everyone.  I’ll admit it’s a little slow sometimes, but I’m fairly certain Kiefer Sutherland could read a phone book for an hour and I’d never once reach for the remote.  (This one doesn’t return for quite a while yet, sometime in late October, I believe.)

In the midst of all that drama, there are a few comedies I enjoy:

The Big Bang Theory—A group of nerd scientists trying to make their way in the normal world.  IMO, funnier than anything that’s been on in a long, long time.

How I Met Your Mother—A tight group of friends living life in NYC.  Not really as much like Friends as it sounds, and it’s got Neil Patrick Harris.

Mike & Molly—The “hook” in this romantic comedy is that the two leads are both large people; it got good when it cut back on the fat jokes (though they are certainly still there) and just made it a show about people.

2 Broke Girls—One career waitress and one newly-broke ex-heiress, roommates trying to make a go of a cupcake business.  Funnier than it sounds, but not as funny as it could be.  This is its second season, and I’m hoping they move away (just a bit) from double-entendre one liners and into a bit more story depth. 

Two and a Half Men—A bazillionaire sharing his Malibu beach house with the cheapskate brother of the home’s previous owner.  This show had a pretty good run for about five or six years; by season 7, it was definitely slowing down.  But last year, when Charlie Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, the show may have been dealt a blow from which it can’t recover.  It still had its moments, but they were few and far between.  I’m giving it another try this year because there are some tiny sparks of potential, even though the situational set up is now so ridiculous it’s totally unbelievable and they have systematically turned a pathetically likeable character into an annoying twerp with few redeeming characteristics.  I’m hoping they’ll fix it.

So, there you have it, a look at what my television viewing will look like this year—at least at the start of the season.  You never know what I might be watching come the new year.  And, of course, this is just network television.  Most of the cable shows have already ended their season or are wrapping up soon.  Even my beloved White Collar only has another couple episodes left before hiatus.  In many, many ways, I am opposed to the cable scheduling that breaks seasons up into small chunks of only 7-10 shows at a time, and seems to start and end their seasons with no regard to traditional programming constraints.  However, the reality is, it does make it easier to keep up with everything!  Plus, it gives me something to watch during the summer. 

What shows will you be watching this year?