Tag Archives: person of interest

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

 

 

 

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Pilot Watch, Week Two: The Oh So Good and The Awesomely Bad

"I'm on TV" By Patrick J. Adams

It’s week two of new Fall pilot premieres and you know I’m still here to watch and report to you lovely people of the blogosphere what I think of the new pilots the networks have to offer for this season. It’s not easy, getting through all these pilots, which is why I should warn you that I didn’t watch all that premiered this week, only the ones featured in my Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall and a few others that I was curious enough to check out.

This week, more shows premiered, but only two really deserved a mention (since I already reviewed New Girl last week, even though it technically didn’t premiere until last Tuesday night): Person of Interest and 2 Broke Girls. The rest are kind of blah, with the notable exception of Revenge, a show that is camptastic for its “melodrama for melodrama’s sake” approach that actually works. So which shows are worth your time and DVR space and which shows you (and the networks) need to forget ever existed? Read on and (let me) be the judge! 😉

1/ Two Broke Girls, CBS, Mondays 8.30/7.30c

This Fall not only marks the beginning of the female domination in comedy, it’s also the season that brings not one, but two indie princesses to mainstream television: Zooey Deschanel with Fox’s New Girl and Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Charlie Bartlett) with CBS’ 2 Broke Girls. And if ratings for both shows are any indication, it seems that mainstream television audience is just as much in love with these indie darlings as the film festival hipsters.

2 Broke Girls tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a street-smart Brooklyn diner waitress and a down-and-out former Upper East Side princess, as they work together raising money to launch a cupcake business. Created and executive produced by Sex and The City’s Michael Patrick King and comedienne Whitney Cummings, who incidentally also had her own sitcom launched on NBC on the same week, this show may not be groundbreaking comedy but it’s still fun and sweet at the same time. Sure, some of the jokes are a little lame. But both leads, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, are great actresses and they can convince us to smile even when the jokes felt flat. This show is also smart enough not to portray broke socialite Caroline Channing as an airhead vapid narcissist a la Paris Hilton (which would be annoying) but instead gave her depths and intelligence (after all she did go to Wharton Business School). All in all, this show is a great addition to CBS’ Monday night lineup and I’d rather commit my time to this one than Kutcher-infused Two and A Half Men.

Verdict: Give It A Watch, You’d Be Pleasantly Surprised.

2/ The Playboy Club, NBC, Mondays 10/9c

Thanks to the success of Mad Men (that show has just won its fourth consecutive Emmy, which is no easy feat), this season the Big 5 networks are trying to ride on the show’s coat tail by launching their own version of the “retro” genre: ABC is premiering Pan Am this Sunday night, about (what else?) Pan Am stewardesses in the 60s, possibly inspired by that episode of Mad Men (in season 3 if I’m not mistaken) when Don Draper hooked up with a Pan Am stewardess, and NBC premiered The Playboy Club, about (what else?) Playboy Bunnies in the 60s, also quite possibly inspired by the fact that Mad Men’s Pryce dated an African American bunny from the club, if I remember my Mad Men correctly. And guess what? I don’t know about Pan Am (yet, check back here next week for my review) but NBC’s The Playboy Club doesn’t even come close to the greatness of Mad Men. It doesn’t even deserve to be called “a poor man’s Mad Men”. If Matthew Weiner saw the pilot, he’d be laughing so hard, he’d wet his pants, I’m telling you.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh but it can’t be that bad, you’re just bias because you can’t stand Eddie Cibrian.” And it’s true, I can’t stand him, but still. I watched the show to support Dr Simon Tam Sean Maher and I went into it hoping that I’d like it despite my hatred of all things Cibrian (because my love and loyalty to Firefly and its alumni is that great), and even with my unwavering allegiance to the crew of Serenity, I can’t say anything good about this show. The problem isn’t just Cibrian, though he’s a part of it, the problem is in its heavy-handed exposition and the fact that it tries REALLY hard to be Mad Men, to the point of unoriginality (Cibrian’s Nick Dalton is Don Draper if he were a Playboy Club-frequenting lawyer, the Bunny Mother Carol Lynn is Joan Holloway if she were a “Bunny Mother”, the new Bunny that accidentally killed a mob boss is Peggy Olsen if she were an ambitious Playboy Bunny). Fellow WordPresser and Twitter friend Madmonq puts it this way: “[The] Playboy Club is like a retarded inbred midget trying to play Don Draper“. Harsh, but true. I love you, Sean Maher, but you really need to find a new job, STAT!

Verdict: Don’t Waste Your Time, Watch Castle Instead.

3/ Revenge, ABC, Wednesdays, 10/9c.

I feel like I shouldn’t be reviewing this show and instead just direct you to the New York Magazine’s Vulture review of the pilot, because I think it succinctly describes the exact appeal of ABC’s new guilty pleasure show (“Like the television equivalent of Peach Melba, it may be out of style, but it tastes pretty good.”). No, seriously, do read the review after you finish checking out this post because I agree 100% with their assessment and I have nothing new to add, really. 🙂 Revenge, as the review in Vulture stated, is straight up melodrama and in an era where bad TV shows try too hard to be ironic, tongue-in-cheek, or subversive to mask the fact that they’re really truly awful, it is like a breath of fresh air. It’s camptastic, yes, but it fully owns up to it and doesn’t try to be anything else. That’s what’s so great about it.

That’s not to say that the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, because it does. It takes itself so seriously that I don’t think anyone even cracked a real joke in the pilot. Scandals abound and every character has a secret a la Desperate Housewives, only it doesn’t even try to pretend it’s a satire. It’s not a satire, it’s pure and simple melodrama and for some reason, I am sucked in. Like Dynasty and Dallas in the past, I simply MUST watch this show. And if you’re not too much of a hipster and can appreciate the good ol’ days of campy, melodramatic primetime soaps, I promise you’ll love this one too.

Verdict: Just Watch. You’ll Love It. But Totally Deny That You Do.

4/ Person of Interest, CBS, Thursdays, 9/8c

Out of all the pilots that have premiered in the last two weeks, I have to say that this one is my new favorite drama. And considering that it’s on CBS, well that’s definitely saying something. It’s not just because it had Michael Emerson, and executive-produced by JJ Abrams, though it helped, the reason why I’m falling hard for this show is because it is that good. And not just for a CBS show, for a TV show in general. After last year’s disappointing Undercovers, JJ Abrams has finally redeemed himself (again) in my eyes.

Person of Interest has an interesting premise and is probably the most high concept procedural on CBS right now. It tells the story of a presumed dead ex-CIA agent (or something, they were pretty vague on what government agency the protagonist used to work for) played by Jesus Jim Caviezel, who is hired by a genius (and also, presumed dead) billionaire named Finch (Michael Emerson) to help him stop a future crime before it happens. I told you it’s high concept! It is definitely a welcome change from the usual crime procedurals of CBS, while still retaining the user-friendly format of high tech, crime solving badassery that the CSI and NCIS franchises are known for. It’s smart but kickass, it’s entertaining but at the same time paranoid, it’s got a great cast – with Taraji P. Henson playing a cop investigating our elusive protagonist, and it’s relevant in this post-9/11 world, where there’s only a thin line between vigilance and paranoia. If you want a smarter, more interesting procedural than the many CSI franchises, you have to give this one a try.

Verdict: Watch It or You’ll Regret It.

5/ Charlie’s Angels, ABC, Thursdays, 8/7c.

Remakes don’t always work on TV, especially when the remake is of a beloved TV show of decades past. NBC tried to reboot both Bionic Woman and Knight Rider without much success, and The CW also failed miserably when they tried to resurrect Melrose Place for the Facebook generation. Still, the relative success of The CW’s 90210 (now in its third season) and CBS’ Hawaii 5-0 (now in its second), not to mention the fact that Nikita somehow magically got a second season pickup, gave ABC enough confidence to give this Charlie’s Angels reboot the green light, especially since it’s produced by Drew Barrymore’s production company, the same one that produced both movies. And the result? Well, let’s just say it was so bad, I actually felt sorry for the three angels, especially Minka Kelly – and Victor Garber, who was just hired recently as the Voice of Charlie. They must’ve fallen on some hard times to want to be involved in this piece of crap.

The problem with this show is this; it’s plain stupid. Really bad writing and the acting is not exactly Emmy-worthy either. Sure, even the original wasn’t exactly Emmy-worthy but it was a different time, there wasn’t that many channels to choose from back then. There weren’t an abundance of brilliant shows being churned out by the cable networks every season to set a standard for quality. And yes, the movies weren’t exactly genius either, but we forgave the stupidity of both movies because they were campy and funny. This reboot is neither smart nor funny, which means it’s just awesomely bad. Hawaii 5-0 looks like groundbreaking television compared to this one. It’s so bad I gotta wonder what the execs in ABC were smoking when they gave the OK. I mean, that must’ve been some powerful hallucinogenics, right?

Verdict: Do Yourself A Favor and Watch Community and Parks & Recreation Instead.

6/ Hart of Dixie, The CW, starting Monday, Sept 26, 9/8c.

This show technically doesn’t premiere until Monday, but as executive producer Josh Schwartz promised via Twitter last week, the pilot episode has been available on iTunes for early viewing since Thursday, in an effort to drum up interests and get a positive buzz going. And of course, I can’t resist to check this show out early. How can I? Summer Roberts Rachel Bilson has finally returned to TV, and I’ve missed her. Plus, she brought Friday Night Lights’ Scott Porter along for the ride. And I’m always happy to see an FNL alumn back on my television (why do you think I checked out Charlie’s Angels? :-)).

Hart of Dixie tells the story of Dr. Zoe Hart (Bilson) who left Manhattan for Bluebell, Alabama when her career as hotshot NYC surgeon stalled thanks to her poor bedside manner and inability to remember any of her patient’s name. It’s a fish out of Manhattan story, that’s kind of been there, done that, plus it’s really hard taking Bilson seriously as a surgeon, especially since she still slips into Summer Roberts speak every now and then (“Diarrhea and diaper rash? Ew!” was seriously one of her lines), BUT, it’s still a charming little show with a good soundtrack and sprinkled with Southern hospitality and polite back-stabbing here and there that I think I’m going to keep watching. Besides, Rachel Bilson’s wardrobe in this show is so inspired. I’d watch every week just to get some style inspiration.

Verdict: Not For Everyone, But If You Loved The OC, This May Charm You As Well.

And there we go, the six pilots I happened to watch this week. Sorry I’m a little late with this, it’s been a crazy weekend! But I’ll be back next weekend for more pilot premiere reviews. Next week it’s Pan Am and Suburgatory’s turn. Will they delight or disappoint? I guess we’ll see!

Xoxo

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