Fall TV 2010: Part 1 (Sept. 13-19)

Hello and welcome to this year’s edition of Meg’s Unsolicited Advice About Fall TV!

Next week is the big week of premieres, but we’ve already missed a couple of things that might’ve been worth catching (Nikita — anyone watch it?), and there are a few returning shows this week I’ve been looking forward to as well.

Check back every Monday through October for what’s coming up in the next seven days, and then post in comments after you’ve seen a show and have an opinion on it yourself!  Team effort, people.  TEAM.  There’s a ME in TEAM, so don’t let me down.

Monday, September 13

Tonight brings us two returning shows I have zero interest in.  Do with this information what you will.  I’ll be watching the latest season of Dexter on DVD, myself.

90210 – The CW – 8pm
Gossip Girl – The CW – 9pm

Tuesday, September 14

Sons of Anarchy – FX – 10pm —  Sons of Anarchy actually returned LAST week on FX and it was one HELL of an opener so I hope you caught it.  If not, definitely try to catch it online or in reruns if you can.  And if you aren’t watching this fantastic series yet (it stars BotW Charlie Hunnam), you are really missing out.  It’s gotten better with every passing year in my opinion, and last season totally blew my mind (SoA Mom Katey Segal, in particular).  Great characters, interesting social dynamics, and, as an added bonus, a frequently-topless Charlie Hunnan.  Mrrrrowl!

One Tree Hill – The CW – 8pm — This is still on?  Aren’t those kids, like, FORTY by now?

Life Unexpected – The CW – 9pm — Never watched this; unlikely to start now.

Parenthood – NBC – 10pm — I really enjoyed the first season of this series, so much so I made Dax Shepard the Boyfriend of the entire summer (ahem, well, okay, that might also have had something to do with laziness as well).  Hoping they can keep the fun going for a second season without getting too silly — it’ll be a fine line, I’m afraid.  What I found sort of refreshingly goofy in S1 has the potential to become insufferably lame in S2.  I’m staying hopeful, though.  It’s my way.

Wednesday, September 15

Returning are two reality shows that probably should have stopped returning long before now:  Survivor Nicaragua (CBS, 8pm) and America’s Next Top Model (actually returned last week, The CW, 8pm).

New is:

Hellcats – The CW – 9pm (also started last week, oops) — This one’s about a recent high school grad whose college scholarship falls through at the last minute.  Determined to get another scholarship, she joins the college’s cheerleading squad, which comes with a shot at a tuition waiver.   This is not really my thing either, I’m afraid, but if you watched and loved it, let me know!

Thursday, September 16

The Vampire Diaries – The CW – 8pm (started last week) — Skipped this one last year, and will continue to skip it this year.  Vampire overload.

Nikita – The CW – 9pm (started last week) — I was thinking about watching this show, as I’m a fan of the original film, Le Femme Nikita (Luc Besson, 1990).  I never watched the other series they did based on it, but it’s an idea that appeals to me in theory.  Missed the pilot last week myself; did you watch?  How was it?  Worth trying?

The Apprentice – NBC – 9pm.  People still want to work for Donald Trump?  The mind boggles.

Friday, September 17

Outlaw – NBC – 10pm (then moves to Wednesdays, I think).  I’m giving this series a shot ONLY because it stars ex-Boyfriend Jimmy Smits.  I’m incredibly bored with sexy lawyer law shows, though, and the web site’s description of the two female stars in this one made me want to puke (one’s “hopelessly romantic,” the other uses her sexuality to “get information” from men.  Is that what they’re calling it these days?  “Information”?  Bah dum-dum!).

I’ll give it two episodes to blow me away — if it fails, it gets the boot. The story focuses on a Supreme Court judge (Smits) who decides to quit his gig and return to private practice, finding the resultant transition a bit bumpy.   Wouldn’t it be cool if this show actually focused on the complexities of criminal law instead of on which lawyer’s shtupping whom?  Meh, I won’t hold my breath.  But I might cross my fingers.  Just a little bit.

Sunday, September 19

Boardwalk Empire – HBO – 9pm — Damn, I wish I had HBO:  Steve Buscemi in a series that kind of looks like The Sopranos set in the 1930s, brought to us by both Terrence Winter AND Martin Scorsese?  Why, that sounds positively grand.  Thank god for DVD, is all I’ve got to say.

Huge tumbling crazy avalanche worth of Fall TV coming next Monday!  Stay tuned!

24 Responses to “Fall TV 2010: Part 1 (Sept. 13-19)”

  1. alisaj29 Says:

    Not sorry to say, but I won’t be watching ANY of those shows. The only TV Nikita for me is Peta Wilson, so I won’t be watching the new one. Meg, you should give the Peta Wilson one a try, it’s pretty good.

    I do suspect that my hubby may be a teenage girl because he watches The Vampire Diaries and then insists on telling me what happened.

  2. RogerBW Says:

    Yes, I watched the Nikita pilot. Bear in mind I’ve seen the original film but none of the other treatments. With that in mind… yeah, basically it’s setup. Maggie Q looks plausible as someone with a hardened soul, which most generic beauties couldn’t pull off, and her physicality is plausible (I understand she’s doing her own stunts, which always helps). When it’s not in setup mode, will it be worth watching? I don’t know, but I’ll give it a try.

    Some new series you haven’t mentioned, possibly because they started 9-10 weeks ago rather than at “normal new season time”:

    Covert Affairs: I expected it to be frothy but it’s got the occasional tooth. Mostly impressive for Christopher Gorham and Kari Matchett, but Piper Perabo is surprisingly un-annoying.

    The Glades: yeah, another cop show, but the leads are pleasing and the style is quite fun. Unlike the CSIs, does not have pretty white women as the majority of murder victims.

    The Good Guys: utterly lacking in substance but thoroughly enjoyable for anyone who enjoyed seventies- and eighties-era cop shows, or even just as a break from the Deadly Serious cop shows we have now. Colin Hanks looks scarily like his father.

  3. megwood Says:

    Thanks, RogerBW! I didn’t do a summer TV thing this year — just got too busy! But I’ve heard both Good Guys and Covert Affairs in particular were great. I have both piling up on my DVR and I’m hoping to get a chance to watch them soon! Failed on The Glades, but will watch for DVD for that one. Any others from the summer anybody wants to mention? I will confess that even though I recognize that it’s TERRIBLE, I still got sucked into Rizzoli & Isles. I’m a fan of the novels; couldn’t help myself.

    Good to hear, too, that Nikita may be worth watching. I’ll try to catch the pilot online and get caught up shortly!

  4. Summer Says:

    I watched the premier of Nikita. I was a huge fan of the Peta Wilson series and I also saw the movie with Bridget Fonda as well as the original movie, so I was very skeptical about how good this new series would be. I have to say that I was surprised that I found myself liking the pilot. I do think it’s worth checking out.

    I also watched Covert Affairs this summer. This was primarily because my husband, who is not nearly the tv lover that I am, wanted to. Every now and then I have to let him have control of the tv since I monopolize it so much of the time. That show is ok. I probably still wouldn’t be watching it if left to my own devices, but my husband thinks it’s decent.

  5. Liz Says:

    We love “Covert Affairs” – particularly Christopher Gorham and Kari Matchett! And I’m enjoying “Haven” (even though I know it’s a bit weak). We also were both completely hooked by, and then (very) annoyed with, “Persons Unknown.” At least now I remember Jason Wiles’s name (NOT “that guy from Third Watch”).

  6. Jamie Says:

    Loving “The Glades” as an easy to watch and amusing show. I made the mistake of watching “Hellcats” and all I can say is “what the hell was I thinking??” it is just that bad.

  7. alisaj29 Says:

    Have to watch Rizzoli and Isles, I think it’s the Bostonian in me. Besides where else are you going to watch Lorraine Bracco trying to play a Bostonian Italian, and CLEARLY still sounding like she from the Bronx.

  8. megwood Says:

    Hah, so true, Alisa! Her accent is terrible!

  9. Florence Says:

    Sorry to stray off the course but have to ask my fellow zombie lovers:-Has anyone seen that AMC will be premeiring a new zombie Series on AMC in October? The Walking Dead-starts out as 6 one hour episodes for the first season-I for one am stoked because I watch some of the other series on AMC and they are great in their own ways-extremely well made/acted specificaly breaking Bad/Mad Men. But this is going to follow a police officer leading survivors through the zombie post apocalypse. Hoping that it’s good/doesn’t take itself too seriously….

  10. Florence Says:

    OKay-just reread your column-sorry-looks like you have more coming next week-look forward to it!

  11. megwood Says:

    Yep, I’m announcing stuff as it comes out to keep from overwhelming people. Might do two posts next week as it’s the week when EVERYTHING comes flooding in. A gazillion things are back/new. Lots of stuff to talk about!

    Walking Dead starts in late October, right? I’m really excited about it! I saw a British series about zombies a while back and enjoyed it, though I can’t think of the title now. It sounded similar to this one. Has the potential to be really fun and interesting — if done correctly. Fingers crossed!

  12. RogerBW Says:

    Meg, yes, The Walking Dead is set for a two-hour premiere on 31 October.

  13. Liz Says:

    YAY, YAY, YAY! I’m so glad I checked back here! I had read about “The Walking Dead” … and then forgot about it! I know, I know – what kind of zombie fan am I, anyway? I’ll answer that: a very excited (tho’ slightly silly) one! I can’t wait! And phooey on my silly husband who doesn’t like zombies!

  14. TC Says:

    I’m three episodes into season three of Sons of Anarchy, and I hate to say it but the series seems to be about to jump the shark.
    For some reason it’s just harder to root for these guys and forget they are all sleazebags at the same time. The last two seasons it was a fairly easy task to do but now its near impossible.

    And this stupid, confusing IRA plot, WTF?

    And what the hell happened to the storyline in regards to Jax finding his fathers journal and wanting to take SOA in the direction his father intended? At the end of season one I believed the show would go this direction, but season two came and it was barely covered. What about the story of John Tellers death? It was hinted that this might come back to haunt SOA in the second season but it too was danced around.

    And is it just me, or am I becoming convinced that “Juice” (Theo Rossi) is a fed? You never see him commit a crime, and he seems shocked or stunned by the violence of others. This season especially he seems a little more obvious.

    And what happened to Darby? One minute he’s left to die in the Karakara fire, and then it’s revealed that no bodies were found. The lone witness who saw him knocked unconscious never mentions this fact to the club. Is he in witness protection or something?

    As you can see I’m less than thrilled by this season.

  15. megwood Says:

    Oh, I disagree about Sons of Anarchy. It makes far more sense to me that the father’s journal stuff is being stretched way, way out. What was Jax going to do? Stage a coup? He never would’ve been successful. Instead, he’s been kind of holding on to those ideals, knowing that at some point, he’s going to be put in charge. And they’ve been alluding to that time coming up kind of soon lately as well — I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point this season, Clay either gets killed or locked up and Jax is left to run the place. That’s how I’d do it, anyway.

    Meanwhile, I am LOVING the relationship building between Tara and Gemma.

    I do think the kidnapping, IRA plot is way, way goofy. I’m not sure what the point there is, but I trust that there’ll be one, especially since whatshername is over there in Ireland where she can potentially work an inside angle against that faction of the group.

    I’d love it if Juice turned out to be a Fed — brilliant! I hadn’t really noticed what you mention, but I’ll definitely be looking for it now.

    I think we’re not supposed to know for sure what happened to Darby. If he’s dead or not. Except that I saw a tweet from Kurt Sutter (creator of the series) saying Pileggi would be back this season, so I think he’s alive AND about to come back and cause some trouble.

    Still really enjoying the show — one of my current favorites. Though, of course, it should be noted that I have a serious crush on Jax, naturally, which could definitely be a distractive factor! 🙂

  16. megwood Says:

    By the way, the reason why I’m suspecting the father’s journal biz is going to be coming up again soon is because they mentioned it in the last episode, I think. Jax brings the journal up — I can’t remember what the context was. It’s been a while since he talked about it — felt like foreshadowing to me. I think we’ll be seeing some movement in the group this season. They’ve already been working to set that up, with the various groups all coming to a head (the various SoA groups, I mean — the organization itself is starting to kind of splinter a bit).

    Incidentally, I’m also mad crazy about Opie, who is adorable and sweet. Soon to be a Boyfriend of the Week!

  17. TC Says:

    Part of the theme of Jax finding his fathers journal was his own inner turmoil over his life and SOA. His character was showing signs of changing in the first season but by the end of the second season he was more of a scumbag than ever.

    And unless Opie is somehow biding his time I have a hard time believing he let the murder of his wife go after it was revealed that Tig and Clay were responsible. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see some kind of mini revolution with Jax, Piney, and Opie next season.

    And I am convinced that Juice is a federal agent and not just an informant

    1) He never commits a crime, and anything he does do seems in self defense only
    2) He has all of his teeth.

  18. megwood Says:

    Opie is both clinically depressed AND incredibly loyal to SAMCRO. But I’m waiting for the shit to hit the fan on that plot point too. Piney — yes! I could see that threesome staging a coup. Though Clay’s not an unreasonable man, and he’s also clearly headed toward a time when he won’t be able to be boss just because he won’t be able to ride anymore. I sort of suspect he’s going to step down and that Jax knows it and is stashing the stuff about his planned changes so that he’ll be the successor, accepted overwhelmingly. And then BAM, all hell will break loose.

    Did you catch Stephen King as “Bachman”? Brilliant name choice (his nom de plume, for those who don’t know King’s work) and he was clearly having a BLAST in that role. Very cute.

  19. TC Says:

    I sure did see him – even though I though if they geeked him up a bit like Harvey Keitel was in the Le Femme Nikita remake it would have been funnier.

    Here’s hoping they hurry up and get Jax’s kid back cause that whole storyline is just boring. Get back to the inner strife and hopefully Opie deciding to get payback somehow

  20. briantoohey Says:

    I don’t watch any of these shows. Sons of Anarchy I’ll pick up from Netflix at some point; same goes for Boardwalk Empire, which will probably be sooner. I don’t get cable though, I just Netflix everything.

    I’m like two seasons behind on Dexter without the time to watch everything when it premieres, and all of my premium cable watching is seasons behind (I’m about to start up the final season of The Shield probably some time around Christmas, right after I get through Season 2 of Burn Notice and the 8 or so Scorsese films I still haven’t seen: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore; New York, New York; The Last Waltz; The Last Temptation of Christ; Kundun; Casino: My Voyage to Italy; Shine a Light).

    I’d also like to check out The Good Guys for its disposable fun (kind of like The Human Target), but since Season 1 is no longer up on Hulu, it has to wait to get put into my already-full Netflix queue (and much of that is only Disc 1 of multi-disc television seasons, so the maxed-at-500 queue is probably more like 600-700).

    Was a little curious about Nikita, but missed it and so thought I’d just wait for word-of-mouth. Haven’t heard ANYTHING.

  21. briantoohey Says:

    Oh, and a note to those talking about The Walking Dead. It’s based on an ongoing comic book series that is kind of brilliant in the concept that, unlike a feature film, it keeps going and going and the cast inevitably goes through a lot of changes, including most of the leads (hey, it’s a world of zombies!), and those that do stick around are severely changed. But it’s not a light-hearted series and it does take itself pretty seriously. At the end of the day, it’s using a world of zombies to explore relationships and extremes of human behavior that are omnipresent but that rise up more visibly when you’re not just sitting on the couch watching television. We’re much more in the world of the original Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, and the Dawn of the Dead remake than semi-comedic takes like Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead. Darabont looks like a great person to shepherd this project through, and they’ve got some of the best writers and directors in the industry working on the show, from other series like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, The Shield, and Dexter. Expect it to be on a par with those shows.

  22. megwood Says:

    Have you seen the British series Dead Set, Brian? I’ve only seen episode one so far, but I liked it a lot. It’s like Big Brother but with zombies. More comic than I’m anticipating The Walking Dead to be, but still pretty sharp (so far anyway). Looking forward to TWD at the end of the month — especially now that it sounds like it’s going to be serious instead of goofy. I’m ready for some non-goof zombie action.

  23. briantoohey Says:

    Nope, haven’t seen Dead Set. I don’t see it on Netflix, either. I suppose that leaves finding some bittorrent? Where did you catch it?

  24. megwood Says:

    I kept hearing stuff about it from British readers of my site so I ordered a copy of the DVDs from the UK Amazon. Only available in region 2, but you can probably play R2 disks on your computer if you don’t have an official machine (WMP will let you do it a few times, but I wouldn’t recommend messing with that because eventually, it’ll lock to R2 and you won’t be able to turn it back — Google R2 players and find a free one instead).

    Worth the US$15 or so I spent on it, I’d say!

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