Around this time last year, I posted “Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall”, a post about the ten most anticipated new shows for the Fall 2009 TV season. Out of the ten I recommended: one won an Emmy (Modern Family) for Best Comedy, one became a worldwide sensation (Glee), five became certified hits (The Good Wife, The Vampire Diaries, White Collar, Community, Cougar Town), one became a sleeper hit (Bored To Death) and two were canceled before their time (Eastwick and Flashforward). All in all, I say I didn’t do too badly. 🙂
The 2009/2010 TV season was pretty exciting, I have to say. ABC got their comedy groove back with hit comedy shows Modern Family and Cougar Town, CW ruled the supernatural-obsessed tween/teen market with the massive success of Vampire Diaries, Fox managed to redeemed itself with the worldwide phenomenon also known as Glee, even CBS managed to step out of their usual crime procedural ways with The Good Wife, a show that I did recommend but ended up giving up on after 5 episodes. Of course there are epic failures – Flashforward comes to mind – but all in all, it was a pretty good year and it gives me hope for this coming television season.
This year, I decided to continue the tradition of giving my recommendation on the Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall, and you decide if any of them is worth your time and energy. Just like last year’s post, I haven’t actually seen all these shows, but I’ve done enough research to sort of make an assessment. Considering I did pretty good with last year’s new shows, I think you won’t be disappointed. 🙂 So here it is, for your viewing pleasure:
1/ Lone Star, airing on Fox starting Sept 20, 9/8c.
Probably one of the most anticipated new shows this Fall, Lone Star, a quirky drama set against the backdrop of big Texas oil, tells the story of Robert/Bob Allen, played by newcomer James Wolk (who kinda looks like a young Kyle Chandler, aka Coach Taylor of Friday Night Lights), a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. As “Bob”, he lives in Houston and is married to Cat, played by Friday Night Lights’ Adrianne Palicki (how ’bout that?), the beautiful daughter of Clint (John Voight), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert”, living a second life with his sweet naive girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford). The drama, created by Kyle Killen and directed by (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb, focuses on Robert “Bob” Allen as he tries to keep his two separate worlds from colliding and his cons from closing in on him. Considering the fact that critics hailed this show as “the” one to watch this Fall, I think it’s a safe bet that we’re going to love it as well. And besides, Texas oil drama never fails to entertain. It’s about time for a 21st century spin on Dallas, don’t you think?
2/ No Ordinary Family, airing on ABC starting Sept 28, 8/7c.
To hype up the anticipation for this show, ABC has decided to make the pilot available in the official website for the first 50,000 viewers. And thanks to that decision, I somehow managed to watch the pilot online. Don’t ask me how 🙂 Anyway, the premise for this show sounds a little like a live-action version of The Incredibles: The Powells seem like an ordinary suburban family from the outside, but after surviving a plane crash in the Amazon, they return to discover that each of them develops cool new superpower, and they must decide whether this discovery would push them together or keep them apart. Co-created by John Harmon Feldman and Greg Berlanti, and starring Michael Chiklis (The Shields) and Julie Benz (Dexter) as Jim and Stephanie Powell, No Ordinary Family is definitely a fun watch for the whole family. The pilot was not too extraordinary, but it was fun and I personally would like to see more of The Powells. Plus, the show also stars Romany Malco (Weeds) and Autumn Reeser (The OC), in endearing supporting roles, which is most definitely a plus.
3/ The Event, airing on NBC starting Sept 20, 9/8c.
Is NBC’s The Event the new “Lost”? It seems that way, but show creator Nick Wauters, to his credit, is quick to disagree, promising that the show will not be as convoluted and confusing. So what is “The Event”? Well, according to NBC it is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée Leila (Sarah Roemer), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood); Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind. Sounds like fun? I think so. It is executive-produced by 24’s Evan Katz, so even though there’ll be no Jack Bauer to save the day, I think we’re in for a fun ride. And besides, how can you not love Jason Ritter? It’s impossible!
4/ Hawaii 5-0, airing on CBS, starting Sept 20, 10/9c.
I know, when I heard they’re doing another remake of a beloved classic show, I rolled my eyes too. So far, no one has managed to do a truly successful remakes; Bionic Woman and Knight Rider were a pain to watch, Melrose Place was vomit-inducing and 90210, despite its moderately successful run so far, cannot hold a candle to its original Beverly Hills, 90210. So why do I think this one will be different? I don’t. But come on, it’s Hawaii 5-o, if this means I get to hear that iconic theme song that used to be my ring tone for several years on my TV again, I’m already a happy camper. Not to mention, they’re upping the ante with casting Alex McLoughlin (Three Rivers) and Daniel Dae Kim fresh off the mythical island of Lost (guess he’s not leaving Hawaii after all). Can we stand the hotness? Oh and there’s Scott Caan too! I say give this remake a chance, it’ll probably receive huge ratings anyway. When has CBS ever gone wrong with crime procedurals?
5/ My Generation, airing on ABC starting Sept 23, 8/7c.
After being just as successful as its competitor NBC in the faux-documentary genre with Modern Family, ABC decided to give us one more faux-mentary in the form of My Generation, a show that’s essentially Breakfast Club: 10 Years Later. There’s the jocks, the geeks, the freaks, the prom queens and the 28-year-old virgin, all you need is just a documentary crew following them around and chronicling their lives. This show can either be truly awesome or an epic fail, but I think it’s worth a watch, if only for the nostalgia: Britney Spears in her prime! President Clinton’s now-infamous denial! Eminem! Plus, according to an early review by Zaptoit.com, “the series takes a brave look at the ripple effect large-scale events like September 11, 2001 and the Enron collapse had on individual lives. The show truly does tell the story of a generation through these nine kids.” – sounds like the kind of show we’d grow to eventually love, right?
6/ Raising Hope, airing on Fox starting Sept 21, 9/8c.
Fox is officially cool again! After scoring big with Glee last year, the network greenlighted more comedies for us to enjoy this season, and one of them is from My Name Is Earl’s creator Greg Garcia, about a well-meaning screw up Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) a 23-year-old who skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, that includes his Mee-Maw (Cloris Leachman), his mother Virginia (Martha Plimpton), his father Burt (Garrett Dillahunt aka the former psycho bad guys in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Burn Notice), and his cousin Mike (Skyler Stone). Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with Lucy (Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he discovers Lucy gave birth to their baby, who he is now charged with raising, and an unwelcome addition to his family. This show seems like a sweet dysfunctional family comedy, and I’m excited to see Dillahunt in a non-psycho villain role for once. Besides, comedies like this are Garcia’s specialty so I think it won’t disappoint.
7/ Nikita, airing on The CW starting Sept 9, 9/8c.
Another remake on this list, I guess this is the year of remakes after all. Nikita is of course the remake of La Femme Nikita, the French film that has spawned an American adaptation (The Assassin starring Bridget Fonda), and a failed TV show. A third adaptation does sound desperate, but I’d watch this show for one (kick ass) reason: Maggie Q. She’s a virtual unknown in the US, but in Asia, everyone knows her as “the female Jackie Chan”, she’s a mega star in Hong Kong and yes ladies and gentlemen, just like Chan, she does her own stunts. The Quentin Tarantino fan in me does a little dance when I found out she was going to play the titular character. Besides, some CW shows did surprise us all: Vampire Diaries turned out to be a solid show, and let’s not forget that Gossip Girl was like the best. show. ever before season 3. I have a feeling Nikita would be another one of CW’s pleasant surprise, but don’t take my word for it. The show will premiere in three days, so watch it and let me know if I’m right 🙂
8/ Running Wilde, airing on Fox starting Sept 21, 9.30/8.30c.
Are you an Arrested Development fan? I am too. Do you love Will Arnett? I do too. So you need to check out Running Wilde, aka Fox’s apology to creator Mitch Hurwitz for axing the much beloved Arrested Development way before its time. Starring GOB himself aka Will Arnett (who also co-created the show), Running Wilde tells the story of Steve Wilde (Arnett), a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell, “Waitress), the uber-liberal humanitarian who got away – all told through the perspective of a 12-year-old girl. Sure, the multiple reshoots could spell trouble for this show, but it could also just mean a lowering of expectations. In any case, I think we should hope for the best and even though it won’t be the new Arrested Development, it does bring Will Arnett back to our TV and who doesn’t love that? Fingers crossed for a Bateman cameo!
9/ Undercovers, airing on NBC starting Sept 22, 8/7c.
Alias has been canceled for years, but that doesn’t mean JJ Abrams has given up on the good-looking spy genre and Undercovers is proof of that. Partnering with Brothers and Sisters executive producer, this new Abrams show is a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership, or at least that’s what NBC wants us to think. What do I think? Well, Boris Koedjo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw who play retired-spies husband and wife Steven and Samantha Bloom are so extremely good-looking, it’s hard to take my eyes off them. I would watch the show simply to see two good-looking people kicking ass on screen. Also, JJ Abrams promises that Undercovers would be less Alias and more Pitt-Jolie’s Mr & Mrs Smith, with equally sexy cast. I think it’s a no-brainer. I’m watching for sure. Need I remind you how good Mr Abrams is at banter-under-fire? You want to watch this show, I know you do.
10/ Better With You, airing on ABC starting Sept 22, 8.30/7.30c.
After the Emmy-winning massive success of Modern Family, ABC is determined to bring the family comedy genre back, and Better With You (formerly Better Together) is the result of that. The comedy tells the story of three couples: Maddie and Ben, who have been in a committed relationship for 9 years, Maddie’s sister Mia and her boyfriend Casey, who have been dating for seven weeks, and their parents Vicky and Joel, who have been married for 35 years and have recently adopted a carpe diem philosophy of life. It does sound a lot like Modern Family, and a less-funny version of that too, but I’d say give this show a try. Not only is Joanna Garcia super adorable, but critics seem to dig it as well. And besides, it’s all part of ABC’s Wednesday night comedy with Modern Family and Cougar Town, so it should work!
Also worth a mention:
Boardwalk Empire, airing on HBO starting Sept 19, 9 PM. This much-anticipated collaboration of Martin Scorsese (yes, the Martin Scorsese) with Terence Winter (The Sopranos) tells the story of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City’s undisputed ruler who’s equal parts of politician and gangster in the prohibition era. Based on Nelson Johnson’s history, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, this 13-episode series has all the makings of an HBO hit: strong story, amazing actors and fantastic set and costumes. Hey, it’s not TV, it’s HBO and considering who’s behind this project, I have a feeling this will be good.
Terriers, airing on FX starting Sept 8, 10 PM. FX can do no wrong these days, after hitting big with Justified, in just two days the network will premiere Terriers, a quirky, modern private-eye show about two fellows with dark pasts and shady methods. An enigmatic buddy drama set by the SoCal sea that combines quirk with gum shoe gumption, Terrier doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint anyone. Plus, you can finally see Michael Raymond-James, aka serial killer Rene in True Blood, in a different but equally quirky role. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
What new shows are you planning to watch this Fall?