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Fall 2011 Television Report Card: Returning Shows

Hello! As promised, I am still here to bring you the Report Card for this Fall 2011 Television season. It’s not an easy task, watching all this TV, but someone’s got to do it. No, I’m kidding, I do this because I want to give more meaning to spending hours and hours of vegging out in front of the television and devouring more TV shows than your average network executive. 😉

We have reached November and the sweeps have officially begun. Some shows have even had their Fall finales, and some networks have released their mid-season schedule (No Community, NBC?? WTF?). Anyway, as infuriating as NBC’s decision to bench Community can be, I still have to make good on my promise to report to you how our returning Fall shows are faring this season. So without further ado, let’s just take a look at our Fall 2011 television season so far and see how they’re doing so far. Is this a great TV season, or is it the worst in years? Let’s take a look, shall we?

SUNDAYS:

Truthfully, the only returning show that I still watch on Sundays is HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. I don’t watch The Good Wife (please don’t make me explain why again, I’ve done it so many times in this blog), I have given up hope on Dexter after the disappointing season 4 and I don’t watch The Walking Dead (serious zombies are not my thing. I prefer my zombies hilarious, a la Zombieland and Shaun of The Dead). And I’m so not into How To Make It In America (which is basically Entourage, with a smaller budget). Which means I’m going to have to compare Boardwalk Empire with last season to be able to judge it fairly. And so far, this season is not much of an improvement. I love that we get more Richard Harrow, Rothstein, Capone and Chalky White – who are all great characters played by amazing actors, but I think the show could benefit from some character developments. Last season the female characters suffer from lack of developments, and this season, it seems the writers don’t really know what they want to do with Jimmy Darmody, which is a shame since Michael Pitt is definitely a great actor who can deliver perfection every week. Now that the season’s inching closer to the end and the stakes are raised, I’m hoping they’ll finally get it together and give us a truly satisfying finale that will make us forget about the frustrating early episodes.

Sunday Night Grade:

Boardwalk Empire: B- (It definitely got better midway through, and Richard Harrow alone made the show deserving of this grade)

MONDAYS:

Like I said in my previous post, Monday night is definitely a pretty crowded night of television for me, so if a show is lacking in quality on a night like this, I usually give it up pretty quickly (goodbye, Hawaii Five-0!). But one show I know I won’t ever give up even if it gets 8 seasons like Entourage (which I highly doubt because nobody seems to be watching it except for me and a few people in Brooklyn), is HBO’s Bored To Death. Now in its third season, this Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis screwball comedy continues to be hysterically funny and wonderfully odd. As one commenter in NY Magazine’s Vulture blog once said, “Bored To Death is Entourage for people who hate Entourage.” – a fitting description for a show that is light, funny, a tad insane and a whole lot of fun.

Of course in terms of ratings, Monday nights belong to CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, now in its 7th season (and we still haven’t met the mother yet! Do we even still want to?) and ABC’s Castle, now in its 4th season. How I Met Your Mother may not be as “cool” as Bored To Death in terms of comedy, but surprisingly, this season is not half-bad. It was flailing in the beginning of the season but now I’m enjoying it more, and not just because they seem to be revisiting the Barney and Robin romance once again. I’m not too crazy about Kal Penn as Robin’s boyfriend because she seems to have more chemistry with a stick of butter than with him, but eh, at least he helps drive the plot forward. Meanwhile, Castle benefited from having a strong season opener and even though the show focuses more on the cases of the week instead of the Castle-Beckett sexual tension, it actually works in their favor. Who knows, maybe they’ll just pull a Bones next season and have Beckett pregnant with Castle’s baby all of a sudden. That’s one way to beat the Moonlighting curse!

Speaking of pregnancy, The CW’s Gossip Girl is going through with the Blair Waldorf pregnancy plot, though now almost halfway in the fifth season, she still looks as thin as ever (seriously, stick a pillow under there or something!). However, despite the ridiculousness of every single plot, I think this season is actually an improvement, or maybe the last two were just so bad that anything can be seen as an improvement. Two things I would want to be rid off in this show though: Dan Humphrey’s floppy hair and Elizabeth Hurley. As Jessica Pressler of NY Magazine’s Daily Intel blog notes, “She’s the only British who can make her real British accent sound fake.” Too bad it doesn’t seem like her (and Dan’s Jeff Buckley hair) are going anywhere soon. Across the (Canadian) border, the addictive CBC drama Being Erica is now in its fourth and final season, and sadly the season has been underwhelming so far. I like that Kai is back, but I was kind of expecting Erica to have finally resolved her issues with men already by now, and yet she seems to still be as damaged as ever. I just hope that it’ll improve fast, since we all deserve a satisfying series finale and conclusion to this journey.

Monday Night Grades:

Bored To Death: A (I just can’t find anything bad to say about this show!)

How I Met Your Mother: C+ (Still in a continued decline from the early seasons, but there’s hope of a turnaround)

Castle: B (The quality remains consistent)

Gossip Girl: C- (We still need to suspend our disbelief every week, but at least some plots are quite enjoyable)

Being Erica: B- (Come on, Erica, get your shit together, girl!)

TUESDAYS:

Tuesday night television used to be the most exciting night for me, mostly because of Glee. But that show burns out so fast (more on that later) that I’m not even that excited about it anymore. But Tuesday night continues to be a great night for television simply because of the little show that could on NBC called Parenthood. Honestly, I don’t know why people aren’t watching this show. It’s honest-to-goodness that amazing. Emily Nussbaum of (now) The New York Times once said that Parenthood is the television equivalent of a nice, warm, bubble bath. You just want to soak in the goodness, preferably with a glass of red wine in your hand.

When Parenthood continues to warm our hearts in its third season, I can’t say the same about Glee, which saddens me because it was only two years ago when the show stole my heart and made me a devotee. But Glee, much like its characters’ relationships, turns out to be just another puppy love – it burns hot, it burns bright and then it fizzles away. Out of the six episodes that have aired so far this season, only two were actually great and reminiscent of the early episodes of season one. Ryan Murphy can’t seem to figure out what to do with half the cast, and he’s got to write in parts for winners of The Glee Project too. I still hold out hope that this show will return to its former glory before this season’s over but from the looks of things, we may have to bow out just as soon as the New Direction seniors graduate. However, another Fox comedy Raising Hope seems to be faring a lot better than Glee, if only in terms of quality. It may not have as many viewers, but now in its sophomore season, Raising Hope is still as funny, crazy and irreverent as its freshman year. If Glee continues to dwindle in quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if New Girl and Raising Hope end up replacing it as Fox’s favorite.

On to the good ol’ cop procedural, Canadian drama Flashpoint has just moved from CBS to Ion TV and yet continues to churn out solid episodes. It’s edge-of-your-seat thrilling while still tugging at your heartstrings at the same time. I will even go so far as to call this show the “Parenthood of cop procedural“. It doesn’t disappoint even after four seasons and two cast changes. Over on ABC, Body of Proof seems to be finding its footings in its second season, and Dana Delany’s character is a lot more sympathetic now, but it still has room to grow. Let’s hope for their sake they find their groove soon, because I don’t think ABC has given it a back-nine order yet.

Tuesday Night Grades:

Parenthood: A (It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it’s perfect)

Glee: C+ (there are two solid episodes this season but the rest are still meh)

Raising Hope: B (It’s still hilarious and such a fun show to watch)

Flashpoint: B+ (it does get heavy-handed sometimes but overall it’s damn good television)

Body Of Proof: C- (still not that great but it has its moments)

WEDNESDAYS:

When it comes to Wednesday nights, it’s pretty clear who dominates in terms of ratings: Modern Family. This ABC comedy won big at the Emmys and people are still loving this big, crazy, slightly dysfunctional family show. And don’t get me wrong, I still love this show very much, but I think in its third season, Modern Family is starting to enter The Big Bang Theory-like state: it’s still funny and the masses love it, but it doesn’t really go beyond that. We’re not attached to the characters or even the plots anymore, we just watch every week for the laughs and that’s it. I’m not saying it has come to that, but if it’s not careful, it can very well be in the next one or two seasons, because so far none of the season three episodes that have aired was particularly memorable. They’re all funny, but I somehow just don’t connect with them – unlike in seasons 1 and 2. On the other hand, ABC’s sophomore comedy Happy Endings seems to hit all the right notes lately. Sure, it had a rough start last season but it quickly turned around and made us fall in love with its quirkiness. Ever since Cougar Town is banished to mid-season (or maybe even longer, DAMN YOU ABC!), Happy Endings is the only ABC show that makes me feel like I’m hangin’ with the coolest people on earth when I watch it. And that feeling is – as Penny would say – amahzing.

Meanwhile over on USA, Psych has finally returned for its sixth season, after being bumped to Fall to make room for Suits last Summer, and I’m happy to report that even in its sixth season, the show is still as fresh and fun as ever. I like how they handle the Shawn and Juliet relationship, which is really to shove it in the background. But it works! It’s always tricky when a will-they-won’t-they couple finally get together and the only way they can sustain it Jim and Pam style is to push it to the background a little bit, until they make big life decisions such as getting engaged, married, having babies etc. And since Shawn and Juliet aren’t ready for that kind of leap, it’s best to only get glimpses of their blossoming romance for now. Finally, on to CBS’ Criminal Minds. Not much to say, except that it’s good to have the gang back together again. Last season felt a bit off with both AJ Cook and Paget Brewster getting the cut, but luckily CBS realized its mistakes and rectified the situation by bringing both actresses back. And now we can finally focus on the serial killers – and Matthew Gray Gubler’s fabulous hair.

Wednesday Night Grades:

Modern Family: B- (It’s still good but it’s not as great as it used to be)

Happy Endings: A (It’s seriously amahzing, you guys)

Psych: B (It’s still funny but sometimes it does get a bit “been there done that”)

Criminal Minds: C+ (Still comfortingly watchable, but it’s already in season 7)

THURSDAYS:

First, I just want to take a moment to mourn the darkest timeline of all: NBC benching my favorite show Community for mid-season, which means there will be no Community come January. Let us all put on our black goatee and plot the destruction of the world. Okay. Moment over. I don’t want to dwell on it, especially since the thought of no Community can trigger a breakdown, Abed-style. I’m just praying that the powers that be will let this little show gets what it deserves: six seasons and a movie. Especially since this season, the show continues to deliver amazeballs episodes. Yes, I said it. Amazeballs. Why NBC chooses to bench this show (and cancel Prime Suspect while they’re at it) and let the insipid Whitney live on to annoy the masses is beyond me. Obviously, this is the darkest timeline. I’m just waiting for someone to right the wrong. I’m talking to you, Bob Greenblatt! Anyway, moving right along, my second favorite show ever, Parks and Recreation, also has not disappointed me yet this season, despite their decision to break up my favorite sitcom pairing since Jim and Pam: Ben and Leslie. What used to be romance was replaced by angst and blossomed into romance again and oh! It’s just so good, it deserves a place in Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness.

The Office post-Steve Carell isn’t doing too great, however, which is a shame because I had always seen that show as more of an ensemble instead of a Steve Carell show. But I guess he left some big shoes to fill and somehow both James Spader and Ed Helms haven’t managed to do that just yet. The dynamic feels off somehow, and I’m still not getting why Spader needs to be there all the time. I’m still hoping they’ll finally get it right but it’s looking less and less likely now. Something tells me The Office should’ve just ended when Carell left. Over on CBS, The Big Bang Theory still gets monster ratings, and yes it’s still enjoyable to watch, but it’s getting less and less memorable now that it’s in its fifth season. I just simply can’t care about the characters anymore and I watch it with about as much enthusiasm as when I watch 2 Broke Girls. This show will live on forever, probably (hey, Two and A Half Men still exists, right?) but I’m not so sure I’m sticking around for the long haul.

Moving on from comedy to drama, Bones on Fox has just premiered its seventh season a couple of weeks ago with a pregnant Brennan and I have to say, they have managed to avoid the Moonlighting curse pretty cleverly with this plot, that happened mostly because of actress Emily Deschanel’s real life pregnancy. Brennan being pregnant help gives the show something else to focus on besides the Booth/Brennan relationship. We still get to see them as a couple but the shift in dynamic is a lot smoother this way, and they’re still just as interesting to watch as before they got together. Another upside: Sweets gets more to do, and I always love it when I get to see more of John Francis Daley (see my 10 Hottest Men of Fall list for clarification). Over on The CW, my favorite supernatural show this side of the millennium, The Vampire Diaries, also isn’t showing signs of a decline now in its third season. The plots remain interesting, the twists continue to surprise, the guest stars are added delight, and the relationships that are formed and broken continue to be exciting. Last season we had Jeremy and Bonnie hooking up, this season we had them breaking up thanks to Jeremy’s ghost vampire ex (don’t ask). Last season we had Matt walking out on Caroline because he couldn’t deal with her being a vampire, this season we had Caroline hooking up with werewolf Tyler who was later on turned into a hybrid and sired by Klaus, which ruined their ongoing romance (again, don’t ask). There’s always so many things going on, so many interesting characters at play in this show. The only downside? The producers are not shy about killing off beloved characters, so I’m always anxious that someone awesome is going to die in every episode. I don’t need that kind of anxiety in my life!

Thursday Night Grades:

Community: A+ (I’m biased, I know.)

Parks and Recreation: A+ (Again, totally bias. Don’t protest, it’s my blog!)

The Office: C (It’s really getting frustrating to watch)

The Big Bang Theory: C- (I just can’t care about the characters anymore)

Bones: B (Overachieving Brennan would probably not be happy with this grade)

The Vampire Diaries: B+ (It still gets a little too cheesy at times, but overall it’s still awesome)

Fridays:

Friday night television is usually the night when good television comes to die, or what we die-hard TV fans call “Programming Siberia”. And while it’s true that high ratings for Friday night shows are not easy to come by, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any quality show on Friday night, because it just so happens that Friday night is also “Geek Night”, with Chuck on NBC airing at 8 pm and Fringe on Fox airing at 9 pm. With those two shows on any given Friday night, do you even question why I never leave the house? 😉 And so far, both shows totally deliver in terms of awesomeness. Chuck is in its fifth and final season and it’s still as entertaining as ever. I like that the stakes are raised and they keep giving us something to look forward to every episode, as well as the fact that I still have NO CLUE how they’re going to end the series. It’s going to be epic, for sure, but they’re clever enough not to give away the ending from the beginning. Fringe doesn’t disappoint either, after introducing a new timeline (Abed will LOVE this) at the beginning of season 4 that complicates things and at the same time makes them even more interesting. Plus they upgraded Seth Gabel to series regular, and he’s been pretty awesome so far. The only downside? With dismal ratings, I have a feeling this show will not make it to season 5, unless by some miracle. So internet! You know what to do, start a crazy fan campaign so huge Fox just has to give it one more season – or at least 13-episodes final season like Chuck.

Friday Night Grades:

Chuck: B+ (They did downgrade Beckmanand there’s just not enough of Jeffster this season)

Fringe: A (It deserves an A for Agent Lincoln Lee alone!)

And there you have it, my Report Card of the Fall 2011 Returning TV shows. What’s your favorite show of this season? Do you think NBC is crazy for benching Community? (The answer is yes) How ’bout that Ben and Leslie kiss? I will be back soon with my annual Christmas lists – so be on the lookout for that. For now, I bid you adieu and until next time!

Xoxo

Binky Bee

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Ten Hottest Men of Fall 2011

It’s the first week of November and you know what that means; Fall TV season is well underway and we are getting ready for November sweeps, all the new and returning Fall shows have premiered and in just a few short weeks, this season will officially wind down to make room for the holidays. But before we start putting the turkey in the oven or decorating the Christmas tree, let’s do what we do best here and continue with tradition: it’s time for another TV Hottest Men list!

When it comes to television, Fall is a really important season. Successful Fall shows usually get a full season pick up some time between their premieres and Christmas break. Failed shows will then get replaced by mid-season replacements come January or Spring. And sometimes a contributing factor to a show’s success can be as easy as a charismatic (and hot) leading man. Call us a superficial society all you want, but there is no denying that we like watching beautiful people on screen. And the ten men in this list definitely helps draw viewers every week.

So sit back, relax and feast your eyes on these beauties! 😉

DISCLAIMER: This list does not contain any man under the age of 25. Because ew. I’m in my early thirties and it feels wrong to objectify men who are way younger than me. :-p Also the list is for “hot men” not boys.

Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire

From the very beginning, the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire has benefited from a stellar cast. There is no mediocre actor in this show, not even the guest stars. From Steve Buscemi to recently promoted Jack Huston, everyone brings their A-game week after week, which makes the first hottie in this list even more impressive because he not only sizzles as gangster-in-training Jimmy Darmody, he also consistently wows us with his range. Michael Pitt has given depths and nuance to ambitious and often violent Darmody, making us believe that deep down he must be a lovely man, even as he tortures and kills in cold blood. And let’s face it, who’s not going to love those deep blue eyes and pouty lips? Even his on-screen mother can’t resist to kiss him on the lips (ew) sometimes!

Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story

Speaking of irresistible men, just as soon as American Horror Story premiered on FX last October, everyone, ghosts and humans alike have found Dylan McDermott and his man-ass utterly irresistible, which explains why his on-screen wife Tami Taylor Connie Britton always has a frown on her face, now five episodes in. Can you blame her? I’d be frowning too if all living and dead things want a piece of my hot husband. And the great thing about this show is that we can so understand why everyone wants to do McDermott’s character Ben Harmon: look at him! Have you ever seen a finer man? I’m tempted to haunt that murder house myself if it means I get to indulge on all that. 😉

Gale Harold, The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle on The CW is really a show about teenage witches but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in eye candy for anyone over 25, because those teen witches have parents and one of them happens to be the delicious Gale Harold, who has charmed our pants off for years in Queer As Folk, followed by a stint in Desperate Housewives and Hellcats. Sure, it’s a little weird (and it makes us feel old) to see him as a parent of a teenage daughter but it doesn’t make him any less desirable somehow. Whether he’s playing doting dad or power-hungry witch, he still makes us want to call him “Daddy” (and then see a shrink about our daddy-issue).

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

I have admitted a few times in this blog that I don’t watch The Good Wife. I know it’s a quality show but for some reason I just can’t get into it. I think it’s the genre, I’ve never been a fan of a legal procedural. But I also have to admit I sometimes would catch an episode or two of this CBS drama just so I can get my Josh Charles fix, because this man is so, so fine! If I were Alicia, I wouldn’t have been so torn between Will and Peter because hey Mr Big is only attractive in Sex and The City. And even then he’s kind of an asshole. But Mr Josh Charles (who I suspect must be a vampire because he doesn’t seem to age) is the total package and I’d choose him over anybody. Too bad he seems very attached to his ballerina. Sigh.

Follow him on Twitter: @MrJoshCharles

Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation

I often say that if I could date one fictional character from one of my favorite TV shows, it would be Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. Sure he’s not what you’d call smoldering, but I don’t need a six-pack and all the muscles, I’m not Kim Kardashian. I need a man who is smart, sensitive, a little nerdy and oh so sweet. And Ben Wyatt, is all that and more. What bums me out is that his real life counterpart, Adam Scott seems to be exactly like him, only he’s not single. Damn, why are all the good ones taken? 😉 Adam Scott is not only funny, he’s also smart, a little nerdy and oh so sweet. He probably wouldn’t appear shirtless in Men’s Health magazine any time soon, but he’s just the type of guy you can proudly bring home to mama. And that is a rare thing this day and age.

Follow him on Twitter: @mradamscott


Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries

Speaking of good husband material, this next hottie falls into the same category, even if his Vampire Diaries character has gone off the deep end and is now all evil all the time. This brooding handsome gentleman always manages to stay off the gossip sites radar, and he is involved in a number of charities with his wife Pretty Little Liars actress Torrey DeVito in his spare time. In fact, he’s so low-key that most people didn’t even realize that he and DeVito got married earlier this year. A hot young actor who knows how to lead a low-key normal life outside the public eye? Can we clone him?

Follow him on Twitter: @paulwesley

Seth Gabel, Fringe

While we’re still on the subject of married men, here’s another one on this list and he’s not only married, he’s also a father of two even though he still looks too young to be pushing a stroller around. Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron Howard’s daughter and movie star in her own right, has long made an honest man out of him and let me just say, she’s a lucky bitch. He may not be a movie star yet like his wife but ever since he was cast as Agent Lincoln Lee in Fringe at the end of season 2, he has quickly been a fan favorite and an episode without him just feels a little empty. That naughty grin! Those gorgeous eyes! We love both universes Lincoln Lee and we can only hope that other universe’s Seth Gabel is single and ready to mingle – just as soon as we figure out a way to cross over and bring him back with us. 😉

Wilson Bethel, Hart of Dixie

Everyone loves a good Southern gentleman, at least that’s what people who live in fictional Bluebell, Alabama would say. And guess what? After seeing this one Southern gentleman all wet and shirtless, I think we can all agree that a good Southern gentleman like Wilson Bethel, aka Wade the bartender/temptingly hot neighbor to Dr. Zoe Hart in Hart of Dixie, who can fix us mojitos shirtless while we enjoy the hot southern sun together is pretty easy to love. I know, I keep saying shirtless. I’m not trying to sound redundant, I just want to remind you that this gorgeous creature once made a PSA encouraging all hot men everywhere to go shirtless… for the environment. Now that is a cause I can totally get behind!

John Francis Daley, Bones

Bones has just returned for its seventh season last Thursday night, and all anyone can talk about is how Booth and Brennan are together now. While that is definitely something worthy to talk about, I myself care more for the young, wide-eyed and impressionable FBI psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets, who thanks to Brennan’s pregnancy, gets a lot more screen time now (thank you Emily Deschanel!). Sweets’ alter ego John Francis Daley has been acting since before his voice changed, and we’ve seen him transformed from a tiny, dorky, pasty 15-year-old in Freaks and Geeks to a dashing, charming 26-year-old in Bones. Add the fact that he’s also multi-talented (he’s the lead singer/keyboardist for the indie band Dayplayer and he also wrote this Summer’s hit comedy Horrible Bosses), I think it’s pretty clear that Bones has itself a brand new heartthrob, now that Booth is uhm, taken.

Follow him on Twitter: @JohnFDaley

Zachary Levi, Chuck

First, let us take a moment to properly grieve over the fact that this is Chuck’s fifth and final season. After thirteen episodes, we won’t get any more Chuck ever again. 😦 But if it’s any consolation, at least we get a proper farewell from our friends at Carmichael Industries and Buy More. Still, it’d be hard to say goodbye to these lovable lunatics, especially the star of the show Zachary Levi, who’s just every bit as nerdy and lovely as his alter ego Chuck Bartowski. He may not be a spy-for-hire in real life but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to charm our pants off. He’s hot, funny, smart and a total nerd who can serenade us with love songs (remember that duet with Mandy Moore at the Oscars? Squee!). Now we just need him to be hired in a new mid-season show (maybe NBC’s upcoming musical Smash?) so we’ll always have him to drool over for a very long time.

Follow him on Twitter: @ZacharyLevi

And there you have it, the Ten Hottest Men of Fall 2011. Check back in next week for my Fall 2011 Television Report Card, where we’ll be taking a look at how our returning shows are doing.

Until then!

xoxo

Binky Bee

Fall 2011 TV Report Card: Freshman Shows

Hello! As promised in my last post, I am here to bring you the Report Card for this Fall 2011 Television season. It’s not an easy task, watching all this TV, but someone’s got to do it. No, I’m kidding, I do this because I want to give more meaning to spending hours and hours of vegging out in front of the television and devouring more TV shows than your average network executive. 😉

This week is the last week of October and very soon the networks will pull out all the stops to get viewers to tune in to their November Sweeps episodes (expect stunt casting, major twists and the whole shebang in the next few weeks) so before the whole insanity begins, let’s just take a look at our Fall 2011 television season so far and see how they’re doing so far. Is this a great TV season, or is it the worst in years? Let’s take a look, shall we?

NOTE: As you can see in the title, this week I’ll be dedicating this post for the Freshman shows that have just debuted over the last six weeks. Returning shows will follow in the coming weeks.

SUNDAYS:

When it comes to Freshman shows, Sunday nights belong to Showtime’s Homeland. Sure, Once Upon A Time debuted big last Sunday night on ABC, but it doesn’t make it quality television. Homeland on the other hand, is not only a hit for the premium cable network, it is also really, really good. Domestic terrorism has proven to be a difficult genre to sustain, but so far, Homeland has hit it out of the park with every episode. Of course, there is no guarantee this show won’t turn out to be another The Killing (I am still pissed at Veena Sud, by the way!) but considering the show runners used to work on 24, I hope they know better. Look for Homeland to do well at next year’s Emmy’s too, at least scoring nominations for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and maybe even Best Drama.

Over on ABC, the retro-sweet Pan Am isn’t doing too well on ratings, but oh I wish it would. I actually like it. No, it’s not brilliant television. And it’s clearly, clearly, not Mad Men. It’s not even ABC’s answer to Mad Men. It’s just a fun Love Boat-esque nostalgia soapy little show with beautiful people and gorgeous 60s costumes. That’s all. You can watch this show while doing the laundry or checking your emails. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. So do me a favor, and watch this show so it will at least get a full season?

Sunday Night Grades:

Homeland:  A- (I only give it a preemptive minus just in case it decides to pull a “Killing”)

Pan Am: C+ (Not quality television but definitely a fun Sunday night watch)

Once Upon A Time: D (Like I wrote in my review: meh)

MONDAYS:

Monday night is always a crowded television night for me, mostly because there are about five to six shows to watch on any given Monday. Even though I hate that NBC shifts Chuck to Fridays on its fifth and final season, I was a little relieved that I didn’t have to cram in eight shows in one night. Out of the six shows that I watch on Monday nights, to my surprise, Hart of Dixie came out on top, something I did not expect at all. After all, the show is from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire – and both The OC and Gossip Girl, though deliciously perfect guilty pleasure shows aren’t exactly what I call “quality television” (I’m not counting Chuck in this list though Schwartz serves as co-creator because the show came from his partnership with Chris Fedak and not Savage) but Hart of Dixie is not only a charming little show, it’s actually pretty good, you guys! It’s like the perfect mixture of Gilmore Girls and Everwood and Rachel Bilson gets more and more convincing as a doctor as the season progresses. It’s not going to win any Emmys, but it’s still a great show to wind down to on a hectic Monday  night.

If Hart of Dixie has enough sweetness and sincerity to charm your pants off, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls has the exact opposite effect – it’s not going to charm your pants off at all, unless you’re a self-loathing weirdo who is into meanness and crass. The problem with 2 Broke Girls is not in its lame jokes or the laugh track or the somewhat old-fashioned multi-camera approach. The problem with 2 Broke Girls is that it relies way too heavily on mean comedy, and mean comedy just feels grating after a while. Take the whole Asian jokes that many viewers consider racist. I wasn’t offended even though I’m Asian so I don’t think they’re that blatantly racist, but still. Race jokes are tricky and best avoided, and they are even more offensive when they sound mean-spirited. I love me some Kat Dennings so I’m sticking around but if the show doesn’t tone down its meanness soon, I may have to check out sooner than later. Meanwhile, HBO’s Enlightened, despite centering on a woman unhinged, turns out to be a lot more charming that 2 Broke Girls can ever hope to be. It’s still not funny ha-ha, but it gets better as the season progresses and doesn’t disturb your inner peace with every episode, something 2 Broke Girls’ writers should learn from.

Monday Night Grades:

Hart of Dixie: B+ (It’s not good enough for an A but it’s the kind of sweet little show I’d love for years so definitely a B+)

2 Broke Girls: C- (I’m still holding out hope that it will improve before the season’s over)

Enlightened: B (It’s a great show, but it takes a while to get used to)

TUESDAYS:

Without a doubt, when it comes to Tuesday night on Fox, Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl totally rules. Not only does it generate bigger ratings than its lead-in Glee (something that even Fox doesn’t expect at all), it is also one of the new shows that get the most buzz online, mostly because Zooey Deschanel has a huge and I mean huge following on the world wide web. For a so-called indie darling, she definitely has mass appeal. Sure she has a polarizing effect, some people (myself included) LOVE her and some people just can’t stand her. But the majority rules, and the majority loves Deschanel and her new comedy. It is sometimes a little much (it’s like the writers are trying to kill us with twee), but at the end of the day, it’s genuinely funny and a great addition to Fox’s Tuesday night comedy block. Plus, the massive success of this show has somewhat boosted Raising Hope’s ratings so I just cannot hate on Deschanel. I can’t. I don’t have it in me.

The CW’s Ringer can only dream of getting a fraction of New Girl’s success but for a show with a truly terrible pilot (I’m not the only one who gave it a bad review), it has actually improved into something not at all terrible. It’s not suddenly good, but it’s definitely watchable and yes, absolutely fun to watch, something I did not expect would happen. I guess the writers learned from the atrocious pilot and began shaping the show into something of a guilty pleasure. It’s total soap and melodrama, and sometimes I still think Sarah Michelle Gellar deserves better but I can totally get on board now. No more ridiculous boat scenes, instead, they choose to go the Gossip Girl route with scandals, blackmail, betrayals and juicy little schemes. Plus, Veronica Mars’ Jason Dohring (Logan!) has scored a recurring role and it’s a good sign the show can only get better.

 

Tuesday Night Grades:

New Girl:  B (The twee-ness can be a problem sometimes in this show)

Ringer: C+ (It’s getting better but it’s still not good enough to score higher)

WEDNESDAYS:

Ryan Murphy picked the right time to debut a new show, because FX’s American Horror Story kind of makes me love him again. I’ve gotten tired of Glee these days, especially since season 3 has yet to return to the awesomeness of the first 13-episodes of season 1, but I don’t mind it so much now that I just have to wait a day after Glee to be thoroughly entertained by the Murphy-helmed horror show that is American Horror Story. Sure, the pilot wasn’t that strong – just frenetic and crazy – but the subsequent episodes turn out to be a lot more solid than the pilot, especially these last two weeks, largely due to the writers’ decision to tone down the “shock-and-awe” and focus more on subtle creepy revelations a la The Sixth Sense. it’s still crazy (at this point I won’t even be surprised if the whole Harmon family turns out to be ghosts as well) but it’s the good kind of crazy and Murphy’s penchant for the outrageous kind of works well in this genre. His decision to actually have a writing team is also a contributing factor why this FX show may just be this Fall’s surprise hit. That, and Dylan McDermott’s man-ass. 🙂

Another guilty pleasure drama worth mentioning this television season is ABC’s Revenge, that appeals to most viewers and critics for its unabashed and straight up melodrama. I never thought I would actually enjoy this show this much but I really do. The protagonist in this show, Emily Thorne is so hell-bent on revenge that she always wears the same crazy-eyed “vengeful” expression on her face that I’m starting to wonder if maybe she really is crazy. TV critic Emily Nussbaum (now on New York Times) mused on her Twitter once that maybe Emily Thorne is just insane and the people she exacted revenge on never really did anything to her. All those videos she watches on her laptop that justify her need for vengeance turn out to not exist and in the finale it’s revealed that she had been staring at a blank screen all along, a la John Nash in Beautiful Mind.  Don’t worry, the show is not sophisticated enough to come up with that twist, which is exactly the reason why it’s so appealing.

On the comedy front, NBC’s Up All Night and ABC’s Suburgatory seem to both be enjoying a quite successful run. Up All Night may not be ratings gold, but it scores high on the coveted 18-49 demo and without a doubt NBC’s most successful Wednesday comedy series this side of the millennium. Sure it’s still trying to figure out what it wants to be but it’s always funny and it even makes Nick Cannon bearable (I didn’t think it was possible). Suburgatory also takes a while to find its footing but as the season progresses, the show starts to grow on me, even though I do wish for more screen time for Alan Tudyk. He’s just so criminally underused!

Wednesday Night Grades:

American Horror Story: B (I’m cautious, just in case “the Ryan Murphy curse” rears its ugly head)

Revenge: C+ (C for the quality and a + for its “peach melba-esque” appeal)

Up All Night: B (It’s really funny, but it’s still not that solid)

Suburgatory: B- (The minus is for underusing The Great and Mightily Awesome Alan Tudyk)

THURSDAYS

Thursday night is another crowded night for me, mostly because NBC has a pretty awesome comedy block (well, except for the fact that the insipid Whitney is in the coveted spot after The Office, that should be reserved for one of the better shows – Parks and Recreation or Community while 30 Rock is on a long hiatus) so I’m very hesitant about adding new shows in the schedule, knowing that I won’t be able to get through them all and they’ll spill over to the weekend. But Person of Interest on CBS and Prime Suspect on NBC are two shows I’m glad I added to the already crowded schedule, because they are both really good procedural in different ways, and the kind of shows I can watch for many, many seasons (if they’re lucky to get more than one or two seasons). Ratings weren’t impressive for both shows, but I hope the networks are patience with them and give them time to build at least a cult following. They are really that good. Person of Interest is more high-concept and Prime Suspect is more down-to-earth but both consistently churn out solid episodes, with good writing and brilliant acting. Sure, Maria Bello’s abrasiveness is a lot more appealing than Jim Caviezel’s brooding stare (for some reason) but they’re both great shows to commit to, and I hope more people will because I’m just tired of being heartbroken every season when they cancel my new favorite shows.

Over on The CW, The Secret Circle‘s not-so-merry band of witches have done quite well on the ratings, building on its lead-in Vampire Diaries nicely but for some reason, even though it’s from the same team that made Vampire Diaries a truly awesome show that is so not just another Twilight clone, the show hasn’t really won me over quite yet the way Vampire Diaries did around the same time in season one. These witches just aren’t quite as interesting as the vampires, most probably because no one is truly psychotic yet, and we’re still hazy as to who’s the big bad in this show really is. I also would appreciate their ballsy move to kill off a regular character more if they hadn’t done the exact same thing with Vampire Diaries back in the day. However, I still hold out hope that Kevin Williamson and team will finally get this show out of its funk and make it just as awesome as its predecessor, so I won’t give up until this season ends.

Thursday Night Grades:

Person of Interest: B+ (The procedural part of the show tends to overpower to longer arcs and it gets predictable at times)

Prime Suspect: B (Now that they’ve toned down on the sexism, they could at least make Maria Bello’s character just a smidge more likeable)

The Secret Circle: C- (So far, I still find the season pretty much meh, but I’m still hoping for a turnaround)

FRIDAYS:

I can’t technically grade this show just yet because technically it hasn’t premiered just yet and I have only seen the pilot and it wouldn’t be fair to judge only from one episode. Some shows have strong pilots and lousy season, while some others have weak pilots but awesome season. But still, I actually really enjoyed NBC’s Grimm, even though I had really low expectations so I think it’d be safe to say that I would still be enjoying the show as it goes into its subsequent episodes. After all, it got a later premiere date than the others, so it should have more time to make the necessary improvements. I’m looking forward to episode two, and I hope I won’t be disappointed.

Friday Night Grade:

Grimm: C (It was not the strongest pilot, but it actually has potential)

There you have it, the Fall 2011 TV Report Card for all the freshman shows that I watch. Don’t worry, I will also do the same with the returning Fall favorites as well, but it will have to wait until late November/early December to include the returning favorites that get a later premiere dates (Chuck, Bones, etc). Check back in next week, though, because I will post my Ten Hottest Men of Fall list. You know you want to! 😉

Till then,

Binky Bee

 

 

 

Binky’s 3rd Annual “Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall”

Ever since 2009, I have been posting my annual “Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall” post, a recommendation of the ten new shows that I, after an exhaustive research, think will be a hit in the coming Fall Television season. I did pretty well in my first year, only two of the shows I recommended were canceled (80% success is pretty good, you guys!) and of the eight successful show, one even won an Emmy Award (Modern Family). However, I could not repeat my success last year. My report card for 2010 was embarrassing, with Lone Star and My Generation canceled after only two (TWO!) episodes, Running Wilde and Undercovers canceled before the season was even over, No Ordinary Family, The Event and Better With You suffered the same fate at the Upfronts last May, and Nikita, even though it’s renewed for a second season, has been sent to Programming Siberia, or Friday nights, making it not quite a hit. Out of the 10 I recommended, only two were actually successful, and even so, their ratings were not spectacular (Hawaii Five-O and Raising Hope).

It is safe to say that 2010/2011 was a really bad television development year. Most Fall new shows collapsed and were canceled after one season, and even the mid-season premieres (The Cape, Mr. Sunshine, The Chicago Code, etc) didn’t do well either. It was frustrating for both the networks and us avid TV watchers. But, in times like these, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? So the networks unveiled their new pilots for the 2011/2012 development season with optimism and we all hope for the best.

This year, despite last year’s massive failure, 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 the last two years’ posts, I haven’t actually seen all these shows, but I’ve done enough research to sort of make an assessment. Like the networks, I’m hoping for the best, and crossing my fingers that this year will be better. So here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

1/ Pan Am, airing on ABC, starting Sept 25, 10/9c.

Thanks to the success of AMC’s critically-acclaimed Emmy darling Mad Men, the 60s are back in style and the world just can’t get enough of it. This television season, both ABC and NBC have shows set in the swingin’ 60s, about the alluring worlds of Pan Am stewardesses and Playboy bunnies respectively. However, since The Playboy Club, NBC’s answer to Mad Men stars Eddie Cibrian and I can’t stand the guy, I am going to choose ABC’s Pan Am to be in this list instead. Pan Am tells the story of “the Jet Age”, when the Cold War was underway, the world was poised on the brink of a cultural revolution and everywhere change was in the air, according to the ABC website. In short, I think Pan Am would be a little like that one Mad Men episode when Don Draper hooked up with a Pan Am stewardess in season four (three? Can’t remember) but without the excessive smoking and with the addition of the always magnetic Christina Ricci. It should be a fun watch.

2/ The New Girl, airing on FOX, starting Sept 20 , 9/8c.

This new comedy got all the critics and journalists all excited when it was unveiled during last May’s Upfronts, and it’s not just because Zooey Deschanel is everyone’s favorite actress. This show pairs the always adorable Miss Deschanel with three dudes, and the result is a quirky, delightful comedy that I’m pretty sure we all will fall in love with. The New Girl tells the story of Jess Day, an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Unlike most female characters who are surrounded with straight guys on TV, Jess is neither tough nor overtly sexy. She’s goofy, dorky and awkward, which made her interaction with her new roommates a lot of fun to watch, and the trailer is both so adorable and hilarious I am positive you’ll fall in love with this show as much as I have.

3/ Person of Interest, airing on CBS starting Sept 22, 9/8c.

Lost fans, get ready for Michael Emerson’s return to TV! One of the most anticipated new shows to premiere this Fall, Person of Interest tells the story of a presumed dead former-CIA agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Jim Caviezel, aka Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of The Christ, plays the presumed dead former-CIA agent while Michael Emerson plays a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. The premise sounds promising and it is one of JJ Abrams’ new projects to premiere in the 2011/2012 season (the other one is the mid-season Fox show Alcatraz), so I’m guessing this will be a hit almost right out of the gate. It is after all on CBS!

4/ Two Broke Girls, airing on CBS, starting Sept 19, 9.30/8.30c (8.30/7.30c starting Sept 26).

The man behind Sex and The City, Michael Patrick King, returns to television with this CBS comedy that promises to be more than just a SATC clone, and I hope for the sake of the always amazing Kat Dennings, it lives up to the promise. The show tells the story of two young women, street-smart, sassy Max and former Uptown trust-fund princess Caroline who are down on their luck waitressing at a greasy spoon diner who strike up an unexpected friendship in the hopes of launching a successful cupcake business. The pilot (trailer) looks promising and Kat Dennings is always fun to watch, so I hope it will be a fun addition to CBS’ Monday Night comedy. Sure, the laugh track is  little annoying but it’s CBS. It comes with the territory.

5/ Once Upon A Time, airing on ABC starting Oct 23, 8/7c.

Fairy tales not only come true but are actually real this Fall on ABC, thanks to this new show that marks the return of House’s Jennifer Morrison and Big Love’s Ginnifer Goodwin to television. Once Upon A Time tells the story of bail bonds collector Emma Swan, whose 10-year-old son that she has given up for adoption years ago finds her and is in desperate need of her help. He takes her to Storybrook, a place “where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were” according to the show’s website. I’m not a big fan of fairy tales and princesses and evil witches, but this show sounds a lot of fun to watch. Besides, it’s a welcome change from all the vampires and werewolves that seem to have dominated the supernatural genre in television.

6/ Up All Night, airing on NBC starting Sept 14, 10/9c.

I think it’s safe to say that we all love Christina Applegate and Will Arnett. But with Applegate’s Samantha Who? canceled after only two 13-episodes seasons and Arnett’s Running Wilde pretty much died on arrival when it premiered last year, their return to television hasn’t exactly been smooth-sailing. However, their luck may just change with this charming new show from creator Emily Spivey (Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live) and executive producer Lorne Michaels (SNL, 30 Rock) that gives us a funny, irreverent look at parenthood through husband and wife Chris and Reagan Brinkley. With Applegate playing working mom Reagan, Arnett playing stay-at-home dad Chris and Maya Rudolf playing Regan’s ambitious, self-centered yet vulnerable boss, I think NBC may have another hit comedy on their hands, and for the sake of both Applegate and Arnett, I hope I’m right.

7/ Ringer, airing on The CW starting Sept 13, 9/8c.

Sarah Michelle Gellar hasn’t done television since Buffy The Vampire Slayer wrapped so forgive me if I’m a little excited about this show. She may have given up on the supernatural and ass-kicking slayer business, but she has definitely decided to stick with the genre she knows she’s good at: mystery. In Ringer, she stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister – only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind. This drama is a little grown up than most of the network’s other dramas, but it may be a good thing. In any case, I’m just happy to see SMG back on my TV, especially when she brings Ioan Grufford and Kristoffer Polaha with her.

8/ Suburgatory, airing on ABC starting Sept 28, 8.30/7.30c.

Okay, I admit, I only put this show on the list because of Alan Tudyk, and as an avid Firefly fan, I just have to get behind anything that the former cast of Firefly is in. I still watch both Castle and Suits, don’t I? 🙂 But a show that has Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto and of course Alan Tudyk can’t be that bad, can it? Suburgatory tells the story of single dad George, who decides to move from New York City to the suburbs after he finds a condom on his teenage daughter Tessa’s nightstand. Tessa is horrified at the “plastic franken-moms” and over-manicured lawns, but little by little she and George begin to find a way to survive the clean streets of the ‘burbs. If you’re still trying to adapt to suburban living like me, I think this will be a fun show to check out this Fall.

9/ Hart of Dixie, airing on The CW starting Sept 26, 9/8c.

The OC fans, get ready for the return of Summer Roberts this Fall! Sure, I’m still trying to get my head around Summer Roberts Rachel Bilson playing a doctor, but this show does reunite her with executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, both of whom were responsible for her rise of fame in the first place, so I’m definitely giving this show the benefit of the doubt. Especially since in addition to Rachel Bilson, this CW drama also stars Friday Night Lights Scott Porter, who gets to show off his acting skills while walking, dancing and running! 🙂 It’s a fish-out-of-New York story in which Zoe Hart, a brand new doctor, is transplanted from NYC to a small Southern town, and it can either be surprisingly charming or incredibly bad, but I think you should give it a watch anyway, if only because Rachel Bilson’s weekly presence on our television screen is sorely missed.

10/ Charlie’s Angels, airing on ABC starting Sept 22, 8/7c.

I know what you’re thinking. *Eyes rolling* Oh no, here comes another Charlie’s Angels reboot. Seriously? Don’t anyone in Hollywood have fresh new ideas for a TV show? And yes, most reboots of popular 70s and 80s shows sucked and have failed to garner interest. But I think we should give this show a break simply because Charlie’s Angels is always a fun watch. We did not mind the Drew Barrymore remake so much, did we? And all three angels; Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh are super hot and sizzling on screen. Add the sunny beachy Miami as primary location and I think, if done right, this could be our newest guilty pleasure show. And admit it, you want to hear mysterious Charlie to say, “Hello, Angels” one more time, don’t you?

Also worth a mention:

Enlightened, airing on HBO starting Oct 10, 9.30 PM.

HBO knows how to pick good shows, even Entourage was a fun watch back in the good ol’ days. So it’s safe to say this new Laura Dern comedy may just be a great addition to your DVR come October. Created by Mike White (School of Rock), this show tells the story of a self-destructive executive who after three-months of contemplation and meditation at a treatment center in Hawaii, returns to pick up the pieces of her old life and reshape the world she left behind. With Luke Wilson starring as her drug-addled ex-husband and Diane Ladd as her mother Helen, this comedy sounds just like what the doctor orders for all of us this Fall.

American Horror Story, airing on FX starting Oct 5, 10 PM.

After the success of Glee, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk decided to go the very non-wholesome route of icky gorefest with American Horror Story, and judging from early reviews circulating on the web, they have succeeded. American Horror Story is crazy scary, fast-paced and totally campy fun and we all want that from a Ryan Murphy vehicle, especially one that stars Mrs. Coach Tami Taylor Connie Britton and the always brooding Dylan McDermott. Critics are unsure as to how Murphy and co will be able to maintain the frenetic pace of the pilot, but it’s safe to say that this new FX show is worth checking out, especially if you love any of Murphy’s other shows, like Nip/Tuck or Glee.

What new shows are you planning to watch this Fall?

xoxo

Binky Bee

My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown: First Day

Christmas is almost here, and as a result, I’m already in a holiday mood.  So, I decided to do what good ol’ St. Nick would do this time of the year: “making a list, and checking it twice” – but instead of “checking it twice”, I’m just going to make a series of countdown lists from now to… 12 days from now, a la that really annoying song, The 12 Days of Christmas. My 12 Days of Christmas Countdown will be divided into three parts: TV, Movie and Celebrities. I would do music, but since I don’t exactly have the most mainstream taste, I better not – there’s nothing more annoying that reading a list of music you’ve never heard of, right? 🙂

And now, let us begin Binky’s 12 Days of Christmas Countdown, starting with the first day:

My Top 10 Shows of 2010

Note: Before anyone protests, I am sure Parks & Recreation and Friday Night Lights deserve to be in this list, but since NBC pushed the premiere date for Parks & Rec to next year and I haven’t seen the last and final season of FNL (currently airing on DirecTV), I have no choice but to exclude them from this year’s list. But if I do another round of this next year, I’ll make sure I’ll include them. Now, on to the list:

1/ Community, NBC.

Like I have mentioned in my Golden Globes post, this genius comedy is the most underrated show on television today. But luckily, it does have a loyal fanbase who appreciates its meta humor and zany pop culture references every week. And I am one of them. The reason why I chose this show as my number one of 2010 is simple; this is the only show that can be absurd and realistic at the same time. Just look at season 2: in less than 13 episodes, the show manages to: have Betty White guest stars as a lunatic anthropology professor, cleverly avoid going down the will-they-won’t-they romantic plotlines, pay homage to Apollo 13 while simultaneously pimping KFC, do a virus/zombie Halloween episode, a “conspiracy theory” episode that makes way more sense that AMC’s convoluted (and canceled) Rubicon, and finally: do the entire Christmas episode in stop-motion. Yes, people, the Rankin/Bass kind. The Golden Globes and SAG may not pay too much attention to this show, but in this list, our merry study group from Greendale Community College nabs the top honor. Congrats, guys.

2/ Mad Men, AMC.

Regardless how you feel about the finale of Season 4, you can’t deny that this is probably the only show on TV that is always consistent about its quality. Sterling Cooper had changed to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Don Draper has divorced his insufferable wife Betty and now about to marry his secretary, and Peggy Olsen had transformed from Don’s mousy secretary to a successful copywriter that men actually take seriously – all of these had happened without sacrificing great writing and solid ideas. No wonder this show keeps winning the Emmys, it’s not so easy finding a great show that can stay great after four seasons. And that’s why Mad Men continues to be on top, whether on this list, or any other.

3/ 30 Rock, NBC.

Most shows on television tend to decline in quality in its fifth season. I mean, look at The Office, its fifth season wasn’t exactly what you would call “solid”. But in 30 Rock’s case, it’s actually quite the opposite. Instead of declining in quality, it actually improves. From the premiere episode, this show just nailed it. The jokes are fresh and relevant, the meta commentary are on point and hilarious, and the celeb cameos are even more awesome: from Matt Damon to Mad Men’s John Slattery have shown up this season, they were all hilarious and we didn’t grow tired of seeing celeb stunt-casting in this show because the writers did a great job of giving them a good reason to be there.  Plus, they actually had a live show a few months back and it was epic! It’s official, Tina Fey is the most genius woman in the world. If she runs for president, I’ll definitely vote for her. 🙂

4/ Boardwalk Empire, HBO.

From the get go, this show had all the makings of an HBO hit: period drama from one of the writers of The Soprano, Terence Winter, starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, corrupt politician/gangster, set in prohibition era Atlantic City. Oh and the pilot episode is directed by none other than one Martin Scorsese, who also serves as executive producer. And a hit it really did become, and for me, a much welcome change after a frustrating season of True Blood in the summer. Despite being compared heavily to Mad Men by critics, I think this show has its own appeal; from PTSD-ridden Jimmy Darmody to religious nutjob Agent Nelsan Van Alden, every character in this show is complex, fascinating and absolutely entertaining to watch. Not to mention, the mixture of real life characters with the fiction: in season one we got to meet Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Arnold Rothstein and Al Capone. But I think the best part of this show is the addition of Jack Huston towards the end as Richard Harrow, a war vet with half a face who was both cold-blooded and heartwarming at the same time. Despite a rather weak finale, I still think this show was one of the best new shows of 2010, and one that’s well-deserving to be on this list.

5/ Cougar Town, ABC.

Even though Modern Family is the one getting all the awards, I can’t help but love this quirky Courtney Cox comedy just a little more than its Wednesday night companion. First of all, the show is really funny, and sometimes even much funnier than Modern Family. Second, it has all these crazy cool games; like “Penny Can” and Movie Mash Up. Third, the Cul-de-Sac crew are basically a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics who sit around Jules’ fabulous kitchen all day drinking red wine. How can you not love that? And let’s face it, we all wish our suburban neighbors are as cool as the cul-de-sac crew. Also, we all want to have a huge wine glass that we call ‘Big Joe’. Or maybe it’s just me?

6/ The Vampire Diaries, CW.

When this show first premiered last year, I have to admit I was really skeptical and thought that it was just another Twilight knock-off. But boy was I wrong! At the hands of  Scream and Dawson’s Creek’s Kevin Williamson and his partner Julie Plec, this show becomes more than just an adaptation of a popular vampire book series – it’s a fantastic show that keeps us at the edge of our seats week after week. Now in its second season, we’re delving more into the mythology and it’s actually fun and riveting at the same time. Nina Dobrev gets to show off her acting skills by portraying both the heroine Elena and her evil vampire doppelganger Katherine, and she knocks it out of the park every time. And of course, those Salvatore boys are just so hot, it’s really hard not to love this show. I mean, really.

7/ Raising Hope, Fox.

I wasn’t much of a fan of My Name Is Earl, so I didn’t expect to love this new show from Greg Garcia when it first premiered last Fall. But unlike My Name Is Earl, this show won me over in no time. Maybe it’s Martha Plimpton’s superb acting, maybe it’s the adorable baby Hope who I suspect may be a robot since she’s just way, way too cute, maybe it’s Bijou Phillips’ cameo as Hope’s serial killer on death row mom, maybe it’s Garret Dillahunt’s refreshing turn as a (not-so) deadbeat dad,  maybe it’s Cloris Leachman’s crazy antics as Mee Maw, or maybe this show is just that good. Whatever it is, I’m a fan, and I’m glad that the network seems to love it as well because it’s the first freshman show that gets a full-season pickup. Yeay!

8/ Fringe, Fox.

There aren’t too many sci-fi shows on TV right now, especially one with consistent quality and not-too-convoluted mythology. Fringe is one of those few. Now in its third season, the show upped its ante in the first half by alternating the episodes between two universes, which gives us an idea of “how the other half lives”. All the main actors, in the exception of Joshua Jackson, have to portray both their characters and the alternate versions of their characters week after week and they all gave such amazing performances, especially in the case of Anna Torv and the always fantastic John Noble. Not to mention, the deeper we get into the mythology of the Fringe universes, the more intriguing and fascinating it becomes. Fox may have lost faith in this show by moving it to TV’s Siberia – or Friday night – come January but I for one still think this is one of the best shows on TV right now and hopefully it’s not going away any time soon.

9/ Glee, Fox.

The second season of this mega hit may not be the best, but I still think this show deserves to be on this top 10 list. Because at the heart of it all, it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Sure, there are inconsistencies, and the writers do have a tendency of creating multiple plotlines only to drop them and not revisit them again a few episodes later, but the core struggles and the reason why I fell in love with the show are still there. And this season they have tackled a few sensitive issues, like faith, homosexuality and bullying, as well as body image issues quite realistically and with a lot of heart. Plus, they still charm us with their covers of everything from Broadway to Bruno Mars, not to mention their awesome Christmas album that is now playing on repeat in my iPod. Oh, and take heart, Finchel fans, the show will survive whether they’re together or apart. 🙂

10/ Parenthood, NBC.

A few years ago, ABC’s Brothers and Sisters charmed me with their big family dynamic and drama, but I grew tired of it after a while due to its inability to steer clear of the soap opera route: they keep adding illegitimate children and implausible plotlines that have nothing to do with what made the show charming in the first place. But NBC’s Parenthood is nothing like Brothers & Sisters. The drama is real and easy to relate to, the conflicts are relatable, and the plotlines are actually plausible. Sadly, it may very well be in danger of cancellation after this season wraps, but I’m hoping it’ll live to see another season because the Bravermans is one family I’d like to see more of.

So there you have it, my list of The Top 10 Shows of 2010. This television season is not exactly the best, but it does have its moments and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have. And now that we’re done with this list, check back in tomorrow, I’ll be counting down The Top 10 TV Screen Scorchers.

Until then, feel free to comment and share your top 10 shows of 2010.

xoxo

Binky Bee

Binky’s 2nd Annual “Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall”

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?

xoxo

Binky Bee

All Things Considered…

Now that I’ve basically seen all of Fall’s new shows (in exception of those that got really bad reviews and and really not worth even checking out), I think I’m ready to give my deliberations. Not all of these shows that I actually like has gotten the full-season pick up, but let’s just hope that it’ll happen soon. Of course you know how much I love Glee, so I won’t discuss it any further. But there are other shows that premiered this Fall that I need to talk about. And here’s my two-cents:

The first cancellation of the season was the Ashton Kutcher-produced “The Beautiful Life: TBL”, the show that was supposed to be Mischa Barton’s comeback vehicle, and I have to say, as much as I loved Ms Barton in The OC, I actually think that this show sucked the big one.

tbl

Forget about the fact that the title alone was beyond cheesy (what’s with the TBL abbreviation?), the story was a snooze-fest, the acting was amateurish, and really, the only thing good about the show is the “beautiful” cast and fashion. Even Ashton Kutcher’s 1 million followers on Twitter couldn’t really save this show from sinking quicker than the Titanic.

I do wish that The CW would cancel both 90210 and Melrose Place 2.0 as well though, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen soon enough, they’re trying to make those shows work at any cost, including firing two cast members (Colin Egglesfield and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) from Melrose Place and stunt-casting Rumer Willis and Samantha Ronson in 90210 to try to keep the shows afloat. Well, good luck with that, CW. You should have given both Reaper and Privileged one more chance.

Another show that seems to not be going well and for good reason, is NBC’s attempt to recreate the “new” ER: Trauma, a show about paramedics in San Fransisco.

*Sep 25 - 00:05*

I have to say, I have seen all the episodes so far, and there is no way this show can be the new ER. First of all, aside from fun explosion and blood and gore (as much as basic network TV is allowed to show), the show really has nothing else going on. The story lines are half-baked and never really deliver a punch, the characters are not that engaging and furthermore, the show seems to be confused – Anastasia Griffith’s character is a poor man’s Meredith Grey, with her penchant for sleeping around and knocking back a few tequilas after work – but at the same time, the hectic action sequences try too hard to be somewhere between ER and 24. Conclusion: They should’ve kept Southland and cancel this one immediately. Or at least bring back Chuck earlier than expected.

Failing with one medical show already, NBC seems to be doing better in the nurses’ front with Mercy.

Mercy

I have to admit, I was skeptical about this show at first. There are already too many medical shows in my opinion, and after they got bored with doctors, the shift to nurses didn’t really guarantee quality shows. Sure, there’s Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, but there’s also Hawthorne that proves to be nothing more than Jada Pinkett-Smith vanity project. However, Mercy changed my mind. It was actually good. Taylor Schilling as Veronica Callahan is engaging and believable, and she plays “scary and damaged” really well. The other cast members prove to be a delight as well, Michelle Trachtenberg’s Chloe is adorable and Jamie Lee Kirchner is definitely convincing as commitment-phobic but fragile Sonya. Sure, there are some similarities to Nurse Jackie – most prominently Veronica’s rebellious attitude – but they’re slowly moving away from being a poor man’s Nurse Jackie and hold their own as a charming new show that’s worth spending your Wednesday with. And the best part is of course their full-season pick up. At last, NBC can recognize a good show! (I’m still bummed by them axing the amazingly well-written and beautifully acted Kings).

Another show that NBC just picked up for a full-season is Community, the Joel McHale comedy about misfits in a community college.

community

And am I glad about that! I love Community, it’s hilarious, sweet (without being saccharine) and I always have a soft-spot for quirky oddballs (in which there are plenty here) trying to make sense of life. I think Joel McHale does a great job playing a fast-talking former con artist, he knows how to walk the fine line between selfish and sensitive without being too much of a jerk that we find him unlikeable or too much of a reformed bad boy that we don’t find him believable.

Of course talking about quirky oddballs, we can’t forget HBO’s Bored To Death that already got picked up for a second season a while back.

bored-to-death

Okay, so not every episode is as funny as the pilot, but this show definitely has promise and the three stars: Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson are so amazing that I’m pretty sure it’ll continue to get better as the show progresses. And besides, it’s not TV, it’s HBO. So quality is something we are sure to get from them.

While we’re on the topic of Comedy, one show that has gotten a full-season pick up is ABC’s Modern Family, one of this year’s biggest surprise hit.

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I didn’t expect this show to be a hit, but it did very well and I’m pleasantly surprised. I knew it was going to be good – considering the critics all rave about this show – but I just didn’t expect it to be that good and that funny so early on. Mockumentary-style comedy usually takes a while to take off, with The Office and Parks and Recreation needing a second season to actually find their footing, but this one proves to be a comedic gold right from the pilot episode. Maybe it’s because when they’re not talking to the screen, we forget that it’s actually a mockumentary, the camera work is always deliberately smooth to differentiate this show from the other mockumentary shows, and I think that makes the show works so well. Not to mention every single cast member is so hilarious, it’s hard to pick a favorite!

In the Drama department, ABC also scored big with FlashForward, the show that at first had a very Lost-like premise but quickly became its own separate entity with its own interesting mysteries.

flashforward

This show actually turned out to be better than I expected, even though I already had high hopes for it to begin with. The mystery is, in my opinion, far more interesting that Lost, and even though sometimes the way they only unfold a little bit of revelation in every episode is a little frustrating, I love the way it’s unpredictable in the subtlest way. Like the character Janis, for example, who saw herself being 17 weeks pregnant in her flash forward. When she and John Cho’s character Dimitri Noh got a little chummy in one episode, we thought for sure they would hook up one night and that’s how she’ll become pregnant in six months – but the writers decide to pull a fast one on us and in the last episode, it is revealed that Janis is actually a lesbian. Okay, now it’s definitely getting complicated. Not to mention she was also shot and (presumably) left for dead in the end of that episode, which makes me question whether these “flash forwards” will actually happen, or whether the fact that the whole world got a preview of the future can actually result in a completely different future than what they originally saw. Your brain hurting yet?

Moving on to CBS, one of their highly anticipated drama was The Good Wife, starring Julianna Marguielles that received good reviews from critics and has already gotten a full season pick up a few weeks ago.

The Good Wife

However, for me, it’s actually not as good as I had expected and I stopped watching after a while because I simply got bored of it. I’m never a big fan of legal shows to begin with (except for the ones that incorporate silly hallucinations and song and dance, like Ally McBeal and Eli Stone), and for some reason I just can’t quite relate with Alicia Florrick, Julianna Marguilles’ character in the show. Maybe it’s because I’m not married and it’s hard for me to understand the struggles of being the wife of a disgraced politician, maybe it’s Julianna Marguilles’ unimpressive acting, but the show does not live up to the hype, in my humble opinion. CBS should just stick to crime procedural dramas and I would be just fine with it.

Finally, there are other shows that have been around awhile and have always been ratings-gold that I gave up on watching this season because the quality continues to decline, like Grey’s Anatomy.

grey's-anatomy

Shonda Rhames really need to learn from the producers of Seinfeld, Friends and Sex and The City to quit while she’s ahead. Despite a strong season finale last Spring, the show’s return to ABC’s Fall schedule turned out to be a disappointment, and it’s not because TR Knight left the show (surprisingly enough, he’s really not that important of a character for us to miss him). I don’t really know why Grey’s suck lately but I guess the quality has just declined too much that it’s a little hard to salvage. I think instead of adding more cast members, they should just admit that it’s time to bid adieu and take a bow.

Oh and take Desperate Housewives with them if they do, before I pick up a shotgun and shoot Teri Hatcher’s character Susan Mayer in the face. Just when I thought she couldn’t be more pathetic, Marc Cherry proved that he’s still got it in him to make Susan Mayer the most pathetic character ever created in a show.

So there you go. The good, the bad and the ugly of Fall TV  2009.

What’s your favorite new show? What show do you think should bite the dust? And what show that you think needs to be resurrected in place of the shitty ones that are still airing now?

xoxo

Binky Bee