Fall TV is Here! It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s. . . zzzzzzz. . .

Okay, yeah, I admit it.  I am having a really unbelievably hard time getting excited about any of the new TV shows starting up this fall.  There isn’t a single one I’m enthusiastic about — not of any of the newbies, anyway. (No, not even the Sherlock Holmes one, before you ask.)

But part of this may have to do with the fact summer only JUST STARTED here in Seattle (about 3 weeks ago), and the very last thing I intend to do while it lasts is sit around in the living room with the remote balanced on my knee. I’m trying to fire myself up long enough to set the DVR, though.  We’ll see what happens after that.

Last week was sort of the official launch of new TV for the season, but it was all sit-com stuff and I don’t care about sit-com stuff.  If you do, you missed Chandler in Go On, plus The New Normal, Guys with Kids, Shark Tank, and something called What Would You Do? (answer: not watch your TV show, apparently).

Hopefully you did NOT, however, also miss the return of Sons of Anarchy.  Because I did and, well, OOPS.  (No worries — I caught it later in the week, though haven’t watched yet.)

Here’s what’s coming up this week!  And, as always, let me know what you’re excited about, rolling your eyes over (J. J. Abrams, anyone?), stunned by (Supenatch is still kickin’? How. . . What. . . LET YOUR PEOPLE GO!), or whatever in the comments.  It’s not called the Interactive Web for nuthin’, my peoples.

Monday, September 17

Bones — 9pm (FOX)  To be honest, I hardly watched Bones last year.  I got really burned out on the characters and their stagnant relationships, and with limited time for TV viewing, this one piled up sky high on the DVR. Then a few weeks ago, I got a killer crazy stomach flu that kept me in bed for about three straight days.  With nothing else to do, I begrudgingly started in on the earliest saved episode I had from last season.  And then promptly DEVOURED THE REST.  This is not a great show — it simply ain’t.  It’s not growing enough as it should be and the characters are stuck in these character ruts that are no longer making a whole lot of sense (example:  Brennan’s persistent obtuseness of social or cultural norms in particular it wearing gratingly thin for me — I feel the same way about Ziva on NCIS, by the way, who ought to know her slang by now).  What it lacks in depth, though, it makes up for in David Boreanaz profile shots (oh, that chin!), making it pretty satisfying watching for me anyway.  I’ll keep recording this one, at the very least — good for the upcoming cold and flu season.

The Mob Doctor — 10pm (FOX).  This new series is about a “headstrong resident,” Dr. Grace Devlin, who is paying back a debt to the mob by providing them with medical care.  Here’s how interested I am in this show:  [this space intentionally left blank].  I’ll watch the pilot-plus-one to see if the characters can save the concept, but I won’t be holding my breath — the concept is so boring I’m surprised I’ve actually managed to write this many sentences in a row without nodding off.   You know what I. . . zzzzzz. . .

Revolution — 10 pm (NBC).  This is the latest series from J. J. Abrams of Lost, and it sounds like it’s going to be yet another in an ever-lengthening line of attempts to replicate that show’s serial mystery structure — for reasons I have yet to understand.  You know why all the other attempts have failed, J. J.?  Because by the end of Lost, even your most die-hard of fans (me!  my mom!) were so frustrated we almost didn’t make it to the finale.  And then we HATED THE FINALE.  Why you keep going this route, then, dawg?  It don’t make no sense!

That said, the premise of this one is intriguing enough to warrant a little initial attention, methinks.  It’s set 15 years after some kind of unexplained event knocks out all the power on the Earth.  The main character is a young woman who appears to have been modeled after Katniss from The Hunger Games (blonde, wields a bow and arrow, kicks ass), whose father was killed by a crazy militia group that then kidnapped her brother and took off.  Desperate to vindicate her dad and save her bro, Katniss (wait, Claire, I think is her actual name), heads to the ruins of Chicago to team up with her crazy uncle Miles.  From what I’ve read, the story will focus in semi-equal parts on the trials of everyday survival in a world with no electricity (the societal/cultural impacts of which could be interesting, I think), the mystery of what caused the power outage to begin with (this is the part that makes me wary — it’s the dangerously “J.J. Abrams” element), and the rescue of the brother (for fight scenes, adventure).

Where this needs to go, in my opinion, is along the same sort of path taken by George R. Stewart’s novel Earth Abides, a post-apocalyptic tale that focused on how society would cope and then recreate itself after being almost completely destroyed.   I have a feeling, though, that this show isn’t going to manage the more “thoughty” elements of the concept well enough to satisfy me.  There’s a lot to dive into here — how well Abrams manages to do just that will be what makes this series sink or swim, I think.  WE SHALL SEE.

Wednesday, September 19

Survivor: Philippines — 8pm (CBS) — Y’all know what this one is.   (If you don’t, let me be the first human to officially welcome you to Planet Earth — please don’t judge us by our television programming!  *earth-shattering kaboom*)

Thursday, September 20

Up All Night — 8:30pm (NBC) — I.  LOVE this show.  I am not a sit-com person and I never have been, but this series quickly became a favorite of mine last season and it’s one of the few programs I’m eager to start watching again.  I could never get my sister into it, which is weird because the main characters are a couple who just had their first kid and are struggling to juggle their relationship, personal lives, work lives, and baby, with hilarious results, and that couple reminds me a lot of my sister and her husband.  BUT WHATEVER.  Words cannot express my love for Will Arnett, and Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph are two mighty, mighty fine female comics who are perfectly matched here as best and bizarre buds.  And then there’s WILL ARNETT.  Did I mention Will Arnett?  And how much I love Will Arnett?  I didn’t?  Oh, well, then:  WILL ARNETT.  There you go.

The Office — 9pm (NBC) — Who hasn’t been the boss yet?  Stanley?  Let’s make Stanley the boss this year.  I’d watch that.

Parks and Recreation — 9:30pm (NBC) — I haven’t actually been watching Parks & Rec, but I’ve seen episodes here and there over the last year or two and found them entertaining enough.  To be honest, I have really low Amy Poehler tolerance — her voice is total nails-on-chalkboard to me and her bounciness is simply. . . exhausting.  If we could just keep her drunk all the time, I might be able to tune into this more often.  But I hear that’s hard on the liver, and the insurance fees, so I guess I’ll stick with simply dipping in for this one every couple of months and keeping the volume turned down super low.

Friday, September 21

Grimm — 9pm (NBC) — I watched the pilot of this one when it first started, and when it became clear it was mostly just going to be a rip-off of Supernatural, only without the handsome, bantery Winchester brothers, I quit paying attention.  Now that Supernatural is two years past its expiration date, though, I’m thinking I should dive back in.  I’m hoping to rent season 1 this October (good pre-Halloween prep series, I’m thinking), and meanwhile will be recording the new season to jump into when I’m all caught up.  My mom likes this one, by the way — you regulars know what to do with THAT information.

Haven — (SyFy) — Don’t know a damn thing about this (returning) series on SyFy.  You guys like this one?  Should I be paying attention?

Okay, that’s it for this week’s new and returning — tune in next week for the first of the two weeks of serious TV onslaught!  AND LET THE CONVERSING IN COMMENTS BEGIN!

21 Responses to “Fall TV is Here! It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s. . . zzzzzzz. . .”

  1. RogerBW Says:

    Hey there Meg! Good to hear from you again! (Not being Creepy Stalker Refresh Page Every Minute Guy, honest – I just read the RSS feed.)

    I’m having similar enthusiasm gaps for most of this lot. I’ll give Revolution one episode because by accounts of the people who’ve watched the web preview it’s amusingly bad. I’ll give Elementary two, because “amusingly bad” and “Lucy Liu”. But they keep putting it back and back… latest I’ve heard is 27 September…

    I don’t really do this whole contemporary-supernatural urban-fantasy thing, so Grimm and Supernatural and Haven all slide past without getting a grip. There’s not a lot else I’m watching out for.

    Are you planning to review The Cabin in the Woods, by the way? After your comments on Tucker and Dale vs Evil, I think you’d enjoy it.

    • megwood Says:

      I’m actually hoping to see Cabin in the Woods this week, at long, long last. Definitely looking forward to it. I’ve had a hard time getting out to theaters lately — just haven’t been in the mood for a while now, so I missed a ton of stuff I really wanted to see, especially over the summer. Luckily, DVDs, yay! And it’s out on Netflix tomorrow, so I’m hoping I’ve timed a return perfectly to snag one of the first copies. If not, will snatch up from local video store.

      Last I heard for Elementary was the 27th too. Lucy Liu is pretty great, but the problem is, there’s just NO WAY that show can compete with Sherlock on PBS, and they are fools to even be trying. They should’ve resisted the urge to go Sherlockian at all, despite Holmes’ current popularity (lots of novels this summer that involved a spin on the ol’ detective too, I’ve noticed). For it to do okay, it’ll have to be REALLY subtle about it. And the name Elementary already sort of blows that possibility. Incidentally, it wasn’t until the last season of House that I realized that was kind of a take on ye olde Sherlock Holmes as well — House even lived in apartment 221B! Slow on the uptake sometimes, me.

      • Brian Toohey Says:

        Yeah, Wilson = Watson, his interns = the Baker Street irregulars, the end of one of the first seasons had Elias Koteas playing a patient named Moriarty, he also had a cane, and the vicodin replaced Holmes’ snuff. I guess you weren’t reading about House during it’s first few seasons, because the creators were talking about him being based on Holmes constantly in interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff. That’s largely what drew me to the series. On the other hand, they certainly weren’t doing a Holmes series and just used a lot of it as nods and a jumping off point. I liked House a lot; it’s just too bad that budget cuts affected the last couple of seasons the way it did. Losing Lisa Edelstein and the way they had to wrap up her relationship with House the way they did really made the show completely lose its footing near the end. Well, that and the casting of the unwatchable Charlyne Yi. But it was great for most of it’s run, and for far longer than most people give it credit for, especially those who thought it was just the same show week after week, which could certainly be claimed of most procedurals, which is most of what makes up hour-long network drama these days.

  2. Brian Toohey Says:

    I’ve seen a bunch of the pilots early on Hulu and whatnot, here’s my quick 2 cents:

    Revolution– this is right up my alley, but I was thoroughly not impressed.

    Grimm– it’s a pretty crappy show, but it keeps getting continually better, for what that’s worth. Which isn’t a whole lot.

    The Mindy Project– Chris Messina deserves a better show.

    Go On– meh. I actually kind of like Matthew Perry, and the supporting cast is pretty good, but the writing is pretty damn meh.

    The New Normal– controversy aside (banned by the Utah market), the show is pretty terrible. I wish it lived up to the controversy, but it’s cloying and cliche.

    Ben & Kate– okay, this is the only new comedy I’ve seen that I actually like. I might continue to watch it.

    I think I’m probably dropping 30 Rock this year, which just continues to slide. I’ll probably stick with The Office for the last season, especially because of the return of original showrunner Greg Daniels. So Ben & Kate would replace 30 Rock on the list of 6 network comedies I watch, along with New Girl, Happy Endings, Community, and Parks and Rec. Parks and Rec is one of the funniest shows on tv– you should go back and catch up on it. It’s sort of replaced The Office in my book.

    I’ve seen a few minutes of Elementary and read good reviews, but I’m just not interested in yet another take on Sherlock Holmes, especially a contemporary one set in the States, and Miller and his character’s OCD looks about as annoying as Maria Bello and her obsession with that goddamn hat. I expect this show to end up meeting the same fate.

    Haven is a serialized show based on a Stephen King short story. Haven’t seen it, heard mediocre things about it, I’m curious, but I didn’t get SyFy until recently so I’d have to go back and catch up on it on discs or whatnot.

  3. Kimberly Porter Says:

    Grimm is awesome. Starts of slow but builds up from there.
    I’ll give Revolution 1 episode against my gut feeling.
    Can’t wait for Season 3 of Haven – well I can honestly but its still a touch intriguing.

  4. megwood Says:

    My mom says Haven is pretty fun, so I’ll see about getting season 1 of that on Netflix or somewhere!

  5. Cheryl Baylie Says:

    Haven permanently on my DVR. But if you haven’t seen the first seasons, you could possibly be too far behind to catch up. Catch a couple to see if you like, then Netflix the previous seasons.

    Features BOYFRIENDS – Eric Balfour and Lucas Bryant (oh, wait, they are future boyfriends….)

  6. RogerBW Says:

    I should say that I’m really not expecting Elementary to be any good. I’m hoping for enjoyably cheesy rubbish as opposed to boring rubbish. The only other show that’s looking interesting to me so far is Last Resort, and that depends entirely on which way it goes from the initial premise.

  7. Alisaj29 Says:

    Magpie, sup.

    Bones – I still like Bones, despite the fact that Angela started off as a sketch artist in the park, and is now a super computer genius, that can reconstruct a 50yr old smashed up face using her computer program that hasn’t been invented yet. Let me just say, new eps, Egypt really??

    Grimm – I like Grimm, but then again I also like Once Upon A Time, so what does that say about me. But at least I still hate Twilight. Haha

    The Office – I stopped watching The Office when Steve Corell left. So wasn’t funny after that, and more than anything Mindy Kaling’s character was sooooo annoying. I’d take Dwight any day over Kelly any day.

    Haven – Haven isn’t that bad, give the 1st season a chance. Keep in mind that Steven King has a LOOSE hand in show, so it will be odd and completely not based on anything in reality.

    Sherlock – Won’t be watching this, I’ll stick to Cumberbatch.

    Dr. Who – Had to throw this in here, love my Dr. Who.

    The Glades – This is an A&E show. There have been 3 seasons so far, and I started watching season 1 on Netflix streaming, and honestly it’s not half bad. Plus it helps that Matt Passmore is kinda cute. 🙂

    Drop Dead Diva – LOVE THIS SHOW. I got my mother to start watching on Netflix streaming and she now loves it. I highly suggest this show. Sadly the 4 season just ended a couple of weeks ago, but since Netflix has the frist 3 seasons you’ll have plenty of time to catch up.

    Can’t think of anymore shows. I’ll come back if I do.

    • RogerBW Says:

      Given the premise of The Glades – cop does cop things – I’m amazed at just how good it is. Particularly the developments over the last season – not wanting to give too much away, but the flip in Callie’s workplace situation, and the way the Hot New Partner thing progressed, are both pretty unusual for generic-looking shows like this.

      Also quite enjoying Longmire even if it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Katee Sackhoff only has the one persona in her.

      • megwood Says:

        Oh yes, I REALLY enjoyed Longmire too — I wasn’t expecting to, either, and then loved it. Great characters. I should try the books. I’ll have to check out The Glades as well for sure. Sounds intriguing!

  8. RogerBW Says:

    OK, Revolution? Having now watched, ‘cos I’m a glutton for punishment… Not amusingly bad, just bad.

    I could more or less cope with the BS premise – it’s an Abrams show, so it has to have a Big Secret that they haven’t actually decided the details of, and therefore the gradual “revelations” won’t make any sense because they’ll just be whatever the scriptwriter of the week felt like putting in – and when it gets cancelled they’ll make something up. That’s not a deal-breaker for me, because I know it’s coming – as long as it’s a relatively small background element and the rest of the show is interesting.

    Which, well, it isn’t. Everyone being well-scrubbed and well-clothed is a standard problem with TV and film apocalyptes, but even that could be got over… but there aren’t any people here. I don’t care what happens to Fauxniss, or Google Stereotype Guy, or any of the others. Nobody there has anything to engage me.

    • megwood Says:

      I just finished up watching Revolution, and while I’ll repeat this comment in my next TV post, I’m not terribly impressed. It’s an awful lot like Terra Nova, for one thing, but minus the dinosaurs and the explanation of why the world is still in existence without power (because in that series they were in an alternate reality). Some one on Rev is going to have to explain to me why everyone isn’t dead from all the nuclear meltdowns that would’ve taken place only a day or two after the power went out on Earth. With all the nuclear facilities in the world right now — and having seen what happens first-hand when the power goes out in Japan after the tsunami — this sure seems like an obvious question to me. I’ll probably stick around for a few more episodes, but so far, I’m not seeing anything terribly original or interesting. And yes, my god, Google Stereotype Comic Relief Nerd Guy! NO!

  9. Liz Says:

    Has nobody seen “Copper” on BBC America? It’s like “CSI: Civil War,” or maybe “Law and Order: Gangs of New York.” We think it’s quite good, but it’s probably not for everyone (we’re still Civil War geeks). Good production values, though.

    We both also really like “Grimm.” It doesn’t remind me of “Supernatural” at all (which we also still watch). We love the references to fairy tales, the “faux German,” and the characters (esp. Silas Weir Mitchell). And we also still enjoy ” Bones.” My take on her is that she refuses to acknowledge some of our social “niceties” because she just doesn’t believe they’re important. She’s certainly intelligent enough to understand and embrace them … if she really wanted to.

    “Haven” is a tricky call. I like it, because I find the overall story arc interesting, and I enjoy catching the references to Stephen King books. However, I admit that it’s not a great show, and might not be worth trying to follow at this point, unless you’re willing to catch up on some of the earlier shows.

    Haven’t seen “Revolution” yet, but I have no reason to expect not to like it. I DON’T watch ANY comedies, and the only reality show I’ll watch is “American Idol,” though it is getting “long in the tooth,” and I am rather horrified by Nicki Minaj.

    I too would love to hear more of what others think.

    • megwood Says:

      I’ve been watching Copper, though I’ve fallen behind on it because it hasn’t really gripped me that fully. I do want to catch up though. Especially now that I hear you like it, Liz! SUPER good to hear that Grimm is really different from SupeNatch as well. Got season 1 in my Netflix queue already!

  10. Melinda Says:

    SIgh. Even though I was pretty much positive from the trailer that they were going to make Revolution unwatchable, I still had hopes of another Jericho. You know, without the horrible, mashed-on ending. Also, I love me some Holmes (Laurie R King, I love you. Although…. pirates? I will withhold judgement until actual reading happens, however….. pirates?), but the mere thought of an(other) America show so obviously taking that tack smells sharply of, well, shameless money-grubbing, honestly.

  11. Kerri Says:

    I think Go On has potential. The characters are a lot of fun. Love the quirkiness.

    I am catching up on earlier seasons of Dr. Who, which I am now addicted too. Loved the earlier shout out to The Doctor.

    Grimm is definitely worth giving another try. Also, jump back in to Supernatural. This season sounds promising.

  12. Jo Says:

    I like Grimm. Not love, but like. My main problem with the first season is that the main charcter was the least interesting, but that seems to be getting better this season.

    I couldn’t get interested in Revolution. It just annoys me that shows always assume that the second we lose modern conveniences everything goes to hell in a handbasket and people turn into savages.

    • Liz Says:

      Very good point! It worked well in “Lord of the Flies,” partly, I bet, because it was shocking at that time. I also thought it worked pretty well in the TV show, “Dark Angel,” which I watched on “SyFy.” but now, the idea is being over-used, and I find myself wondering – “Can’t these people find a better way to deal?”

  13. zini Says:

    I was pretty psyched for Copper but it really turned out to be crappy, anachronistic (I hate modern talk in period shows) and overacted–I can’t shake that these are actors playacting in a cool set with cool costumes. Plot is super contrived. I almost feel embarrassed for the cast. Hell on Wheels, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey–All three do a great job of time traveling, which I love. I need to catch Grimm, never watched. And my library is still out of Breaking Bad season 2, dagnabit. I should look into comedies, I rarely watch them. What’s that say…

    • megwood Says:

      I watched the first two episodes of Copper and then let the rest pile up on the DVR and still haven’t gone back. Maybe if I get the flu and I’m home for 5 straight days? MAYBE NOT.

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