Fall TV Premieres Are Here! Sept. 12-18, 2011.

Hi, everyone!  It’s that time of year again!  The time of year where I tell you what new shows are starting up, which ones (old and new) I’m planning to watch and why, and how much I hate Law & Order: Special Victims Unit even though I KEEP WATCHING IT FOR GOD’S SAKE SOMEONE STOP ME.

Here’s what’s up this week (I’ll try to hit all the new shows, but as for returning series, will only be mentioning ones I watch or ones I want to make fun of — you’re on your own for the rest).  Feel free to hit the comments and tell me/us what you think about the new shows, what you think about the old shows, which new show you’re the most excited about, which new show you think won’t last past its second episode, and how you feel about “reduced-fat Oreos” (personally, I’m against ’em).

Ready, set. . . DVR!

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Ringer (CW) –9pm.  Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  Well, she’s back, only she’s not fighting vamps anymore (more’s the pity. . .).  In this new series, Buffy plays a woman named Bridget who, after witnessing a murder, flees to New York City to hide out at her estranged, wealthy, identical twin sister’s house.  When he sister dies suddenly in a boating accident, Buffy decides, well, if the bad guys are after Bridget, then why don’t I just become Siobhan? (p.s. Bridget and Siobhan? What kind of twin names are those??)  I have a feeling this isn’t going to work out as well as it always did in Sweet Valley High, friends.

I’m looking forward to this one, and not just because of Buffy (I’ve always liked Sarah Michelle Gellar), but also because ex-Boyfriend Ioan Gruffud is in it (I think he’s the rich twin’s husband).  Granted, Ioan can be pretty hit or miss, but overall, I think this show sounds like it could be an action-packed blast.  Fingers crossed for good writers.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

Parenthood (NBC) — 10pm — This show isn’t perfect — it’s gotten somewhat repetitive and is often a little on the fakey, plastic side — but I still really enjoy it, and the reason is the cast (namely Lauren Graham, Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, and ex-Boyfriend of the Week Dax Shepard).   I confess by the end of last season, I was getting a little bored, but I read this summer that Jason Ritter may be coming back, as the CRAZY-handsome English teacher madly in love with Lauren Graham’s character, and that would make the series well worth tuning back into for me.  Peter Krause’s character, on the other hand, is starting to annoy the bejesus out of me, and I’ve never liked Monica “Weird Eyes” Potter.  Luckily: Mae Whitman.

Wednesday, Sept. 14

Up All Night (NBC) — 10pm — I’m not  a big sit-com watcher, but I’m looking forward to Up All Night, the first of two new comedies on NBC Wednesday nights this fall.   This one stars Christina Applegate as a new mom trying to maintain her self-identity (cool career woman) in the face of every new mom cliché she’s ever heard and loathed.  Will Arnett (from Arrested Development, yay!) plays her husband, a stay-home dad trying to support his wife’s attempts to have it all.  The cast is so great it might just be grand.  But it could all too easily be insipid and unoriginal instead.  Fingers crossed it ain’t.

Free Agents (NBC) — 10:30pm — This comedy is based on a British series that starred Stephen Mangan (currently starring in Showtime’s terrific series Episodes, which I ADORE) and that means one thing and one thing only:  This show is going to suck.  (Name one Brit/US crossover comedy that hasn’t, I double-dog dare you.)  The one thing that sounds good about it is the cast.   Anthony Stewart Head was in the original and will be playing the same part, I gather, in this one (the office boss).  And I also really like Kathryn Hahn, who played the administrative assistant on Crossing Jordan.  Hank Azaria, the star of the series, is a bit more hit or miss for me.  But I’m game for episode one at least.  We’ll see.

Thursday, Sept. 15

The Secret Circle (CW) — 9pm — I don’t know anything about this series, other than the fact it’s based on a Young Adult novel series about witches and, naturally, is set in Washington state, where doom and gloom always look so pretty (just ask fans of Twilight).  The one semi-promising element of this series is that it’s executive produced by Kevin Williamson.  But that’s not promising enough to pique my interest, I’m afraid.  No plans to tune in for this one unless the buzz after several episodes is strong.  Anybody read the books, by the way?

Next week is the big week for returning shows, with a smattering of newbies tossed in for good measure, so check back here next Monday for the week’s schedule!  I’ll be posting these every week until the fall season has fully launched (mid-October), and I’d love to hear what you think of the shows as they start to roll out!  Hit it!

13 Responses to “Fall TV Premieres Are Here! Sept. 12-18, 2011.”

  1. Brian Toohey Says:

    My guess on the plot of Ringer is this… just from glimpses seen in the preview/commercials, although granted I could be crafting a much more interesting show that what we actually get: rich, twin Siobhan is herself in hot water and stages her own death, banking on the fact that her twin sister will steal her identity and inherit her nightmare world of problems, thus taking the fall for her and freeing her from her old life. Siobhan then steals Bridget’s identity, which she assumes is a rather safe one; and thus, both twins end up with a whole set of unanticipated problems foreign to their social skills, and it’s a question of who really got the shorter end of the stick. I’m guessing the reveal that Siobhan is actually alive won’t come until mid-season, and the first chunk of episodes will deal almost exclusively with Bridget. The show looks like it has promise, and there’s a good supporting cast (including Nestor Carbonell from “Lost” playing a fed). However, from what little I’ve seen it looks to not be trading in on that promise and instead to simply be very belabored. I tend to trust a lot of the reviewers at Hitfix, and here’s Alan Sepinwall’s take: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/review-cws-ringer-a-disappointing-return-for-sarah-michelle-gellar

  2. megwood Says:

    That was my plot prediction too, Brian — it wouldn’t be much fun if the show about twins killed off a twin right away, after all. But though I’m HOPING this one is fun, I’m definitely wary. If they didn’t get absolutely stellar writers, it’s just going to be dumb and dull. And how many shows bother to hire absolutely stellar writers anymore? When they can just hire super-stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, guaranteeing them a good starter viewership at the very least, instead? PROVE ME WRONG, CW! I beg you!

  3. Amber T. Says:

    I think “The Office” was a decent Brit/US crossover…at least it used to be.

    I’ve read the Secret Circle books (the author is L.J. Smith, author of the Vampire Diaries series) and I really enjoyed them. I’m curious to see what will be done with the material.

    P.S. I LOVE this blog!!

  4. RogerBW Says:

    Um… “Law and Order SVU is made from murdered kittens and puppies”?

    Have to admit I’m not stoked for any of these. Probably won’t watch unless they get really good reviews in places I trust (e.g. here). I’m very down on “gradually find out what’s really going on” shows, since they tend not to have much re-watch value (and when JJ Abrams is involved “what’s really going on” always seems to end up being “we have no idea”).

  5. megwood Says:

    Oh crap. I totally forgot about The Office. Good call, Amber T.!

    RogerBW, there’s a new JJ Abrams this year too, starring Michael Emerson and Jesus (Person of Interest). But the premise makes it sound an awful lot like Human Target minus Chi McBride, and why would you ever want to minus Chi McBride? I’m definitely planning to tune in, just because I’m still hoping someday he’ll get something as good as Alias back up and running (at least for the first 2 seasons, that’s all I ask for. Just gimmie TWO SEASONS). This sounds like maaaaaybe it might. . . nahhhh.

    • RogerBW Says:

      Meg, I thought Person of Interest sounded pretty good until I got to the Abrams credit. I think I got burned bad by Alias myself – somewhere around the end of S1, I realised that we didn’t actually know any more than we did by the end of the pilot, and then it all fell apart for me. I quite enjoyed Human Target, though I thought the stand-alones were better than the arc episodes and some of the interaction towards the end was really quite fun.

      • Meg Says:

        I loved Alias until season three. But I kept watching it until the end because, as with Human Target, the stand-alone episodes could be so, so great. Plus, I loved the actors. Person of Interest is not going to be as immediately charming for me because the cast isn’t terrifically interesting. I like Emerson okay, but I don’t LOVE him, and Jesus can be pretty hit or miss. I liked him a lot earlier in his career (when he was a Boyfriend of the Week, see?). Most of what I’ve seen him do in the last few years has been pretty drab.

        We’ll see!

  6. Jo Says:

    Ringer was much better than I was afraid it wouldn’t be. Very twisty, and even though I was spoiled for a lot of the twists, there were still a couple I didn’t see coming.

    All in the Family was a British crossover. Granted, it was a bazillion years ago (right after the Revolution ended, I think) but still.

  7. Meg Says:

    I was pretty disappointed with Ringer. For that show to succeed, it’s got to have REALLY sharp writers and I just don’t think it does (plus, those were some ridiculously bad special effects — the two women on the boat could not have been more green-screen if it had actually just had a green-screen behind it!). And enough with the exposition voice-overs, my god! I mean, that scene where she calls her friend to explain exactly what she’d done (my sister killed herself! i took her identity!) was just so unnecessary. Why do they always have to do that, as though the audience is going to be too dumb to pick up on the OBVIOUS THING you just had your character do? That drives me bananas.

    I wasn’t terribly impressed by SMG in this — she’s not nailing either part for me. But this is just a pilot, and pilots almost always suck. I’m in for at least one or two more episodes. It’s going to have to get a lot stronger for me to want to stick with it, though, despite the fact Ioan Gruffud looked delectable (oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for not making him do an American accent!).

    The one thing I was surprised and impressed by was the reveal at the end that Siobhan is still alive. I wasn’t surprised to find she was — we all knew that was going to be the case. But instead that they’re letting us know NOW instead of stringing us along for a while. That could be interesting. We’ll see if it gets any steadier with time.

    • Jo Says:

      I’m with you on the special effects. It was so startling that my daughter yelled out, “Look! CGI water!”

      But everyone on the show certainly brings the pretty. And they don’t seem to be dragging out all the mysteries, which always irritates me.

  8. Liz Says:

    “Siobhan” and “Bridget” are very real Irish names – and I’m seeing the name “Siobhan” (pronounces “Chevonne”) more and more often. Thank God they didn’t use “Claire;” that name has been used to death!

    Boy, did I get a different take on the ending of “Ringer” (which I liked pretty well, BTW)! I thought the whereabouts of “Siobhan” were still a mystery (I agree, she CAN’T be dead), and that was “Bridget” at the end, being stalked by someone who had been paid (by the best friend?) to have “Siobhan” killed. Thus, “Bridget” realizes she’s stepped “out of the frying pan and into the fire!”

    • Meg Says:

      Aha! I didn’t realize Bridget was an Irish name. Bridget was the one almost killed by the intruder at the loft, but Siobhan was the one in the final scene lounging in Paris getting the phone call from someone saying, “We have a problem.” Did you miss that scene, maybe?

      Incidentally, I enjoyed Up All Night — it didn’t make me laugh out loud, but I liked the characters. And there were a few truly fine moments — like when the mom wakes up suddenly and yells, “OH MY GOD! WE HAVE A BABY!” which I can imagine happens quite often when you’re a new parent. I’m in for a few more.

      • Liz Says:

        I think I DID miss it! I may have turned it off too early, or my DVD stopped before it was done (it does that sometimes).

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