Tivo Gets a Workout: Shows You Should Watch This Fall
The fall TV season is starting soon. While I’m excited for all my favorite shows returning (especially How I Met Your Mother and The Office), the intrigue and mystery surrounding all the new series is what’s got me counting the days till 9/24. I’m sure by mid-October I’ll be deflated and disappointed with 75% of these series, but right now, they’re all The Best Show Ever. Here’s what I’ll be watching till February when real TV returns.
These are the shows that I’m most excited about and will be talking/blogging about the most. Many of the new pilots in this category will fall out to ‘download’ status quickly.
I’m excited about these shows, but I’ll be downloading them rather than taping them live due to either a double-header conflict or my preternatural fear of premature Tivo deletion. There will probably be a few who get bumped up to Tivo status, but that remains to be seen.
Wait and See
Shows that interest me, but have a high chance of disappointment, failure, or mediocrity. I’ll check out the first few episodes, to see if it’s worth a bump to Download.
8:00pm - How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Last season ended on quite a cliffhanger. Ted and Robin have split, and he’s declared he wants to jump back into the dating scene. I the premiere is called Wait for It and it has Mandy Moore as a guest star.
My favorite show on television, I have to watch it alone I get so excited. There are only two shows (this being one of them) that watching becomes ritual - I make a fancy dinner, get some wine, turn off everything else.
8:00pm - Chuck (NBC)*
“A one-hour, comedic spy thriller about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, “Less Than Perfect”) - a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government’s most vital secret agent. When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at Buy More.”
This is from Josh Schwartz which is hopeful since he introduced the geeky/hipster hybrid with The O.C.. I just hope
Chuck is more Seth Cohen and less that prick from Alltell Wireless.
Status: Wait and See
8:30pm - The Big Bang Theory (CBS)*
“Brainy best friends Leonard (Johnny Galecki, “Roseanne”) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons “Judging Amy”), who can tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics, but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on earth they’re lost in the cosmos. Neither fully understands that scientific principles don’t always apply in matters of the heart - until they meet their sexy new neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco, “8 Simple Rules…”), a friendly screenwriter/waitress from the midwest who also happens to be newly single.”
The only reason I’ll watch this is because it’s on between HIMYM and Heroes. If it sucks, that won’t be enough to save it. I’ll just watch HIMYM again.
Status: Wait and See
9:00pm - Heroes (NBC)
Season 1 started off strong, I loved the show for the first 2/3. The last batch of episodes disappointed me, mostly because I kept comparing it to Lost, which is like comparing a Big Mac to Peter Luger’s. The cliffhanger season ender was promising, and hopefully that twit Milo Ventimiglia will still be exploded and never seen again (except for Fergie videos, WTF?). The summer buzz has been consistent and positive, here’s hoping Kring and company can keep it real.
9:30pm - Samantha Who? (ABC)*
“When a terrible accident leaves Samantha “Sam” Newly (Christina Applegate) in a coma for eight days, she wakes up with no recollection of any past experiences, memories or events. Faced with amnesia, Sam must start over. To her dismay she discovers that she wasn’t a particularly honest, good-hearted or loving person. In fact she was self-involved, narcissistic and devoid of real relationships - essentially a bitch. Sam must now struggle with her desire to be good and her temptation to be…not so good.”
What a perfect role for Christina Applegate. Like every other male in his twenties, I have a permanent crush on the girl who was Kelly Bundy.
10:00pm - Journeyman (NBC)*
“A romantic mystery-drama about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, “Rome”), a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people’s lives.”
I’m a sucker for time travel shows. I saw a clip of this awhile back and it looks promising.
8:00pm - 9:00pm - Ugh, this is a barren wasteland of television. There’s nothing on worth watching.
9:00pm - House (Fox)
Last season’s finale was crazy. Chase, Cameron, and Foreman are all gone. There’s been some good actors cast as new doctors for House to berate, but I’m wondering if this big a change will upset the balance too much.
9:00pm - Reaper (CW)*
“For the first 20 years of his life, Sam (Bret Harrison, “The Loop,” “Grounded for Life”) wondered why his parents went so easy on him. As a result, Sam skipped college, took a dead-end job and now wastes endless hours playing video games and wishing he had the guts to ask out his pretty co-worker, Andi (Nikki Reed, “Thirteen,” “The O.C.”). Everything in his slacker world changes the day Sam turns 21 and discovers the ungodly reason his parents let him slide: they sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Satan himself (Ray Wise, “24,” “The Closer”) drops by to personally explain that Sam must now serve as his bounty hunter, tracking down evil souls that have escaped and returning them to Hell. Armed with a constantly changing series of vessels starting with a Dirt Devil mini-vacuum to collect the escapees, Sam immediately finds that the work is dangerous and frightening. With his friends and his trusty vessel-of-the-week at his side, Sam is ready to face his destiny as the Reaper.”
A slacker who’s parents sold his soul to the devil and now he has to suck up escaped demons with a vacuum? Sold. Nikki Reed is just the icing on the cake. The amount of positive buzz this show has received is staggering.
10:00pm - Cane (CBS)*
“An epic drama about the external rivalries and internal power struggles of a large Cuban-American family running an immensely successful rum and sugar business in South Florida. When the family patriarch, Pancho (Hector Elizondo, “Chicago Hope”), is offered a lucrative but questionable deal by his bitter adversary, the Samuels, to purchase thousands of acres of sugar fields, he’s faced with a tough choice: Should he cash out of the sugar business and focus solely on rum, which would please his impulsive natural son, Frank (Nestor Carbonell, “Lost”), or protect the family legacy that he built from the ground up by not selling, and side with his adopted son, Alex (Smits), who mistrusts the Samuels and still sees value in sugar.”
Is this really an “epic drama” about rum and sugar farmers? I suppose the territory is ripe with sweet metaphors (and puns!). I actually hope this show fails so that Carbonell can come back to Lost, but I’ll watch it in the meantime.
8:00pm - Pushing Daisies (ABC)*
“An unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy in a forensic fairytale about a young man with a very special gift. Once upon a time, a mild-mannered boy named Ned realized he could touch dead things and bring them back to life. Grown-up Ned puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor, but working with an investigator to crack murder cases by asking the deceased to name their killers.”
Maybe I’m just a sucker for magical realism, but there’s something about this show that intrigues me. It has a certain aura of greatness around it. I think it will be a hit.
9:00pm - Bionic Woman (NBC)*
“Struggling as a bartender and surrogate mom to her teenage sister, Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan, “EastEnders”) didn’t think life could get much harder. But when a devastating car accident leaves her at death’s door, Jaime’s only hope for survival is a cutting-edge, top-secret technology that comes at a hefty price. With a whole new existence and a debt to re-pay, Jaime must figure out how to use her extraordinary abilities for good, while weighing the personal sacrifices she will have to make.”
I’m actually not too excited about this but there’s a lot of buzz surrounding it so I’ll give it a chance.
9:00pm - Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)*
“Chef Ramsay hits the road in each episode, tackling a restaurant in crisis and exposing the stressful realities of trying to run a successful food business.”
I like Gordon Ramsy. I liked the BBC version of this show. It’ll be interesting to see how American chefs react to his demands and scrutiny. The only thing that might hurt this show is audience’s reality-overload coming out of the summer .
10:00pm - Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)*
“Some people say money is the root of all evil. They may be right. Nick George’s whole life has been lived in the shadow of the Darling family, but as an adult he’s leading the perfect life as an idealistic lawyer, until his father’s suspicious death. The absurdly wealthy Darlings of New York have asked him to take over his father’s job as their personal lawyer, but the money that will allow him the freedom to be an altruistic do-gooder is only part of the picture.”
I already wrote about why this show is on my list. Peter Krause and Samaire Armstrong could read the phone book and I’d tune in each week. I’m worried though that it’s not going to be good, or even worse, be good but get canceled. Consider my breath held.
10:00pm - Life (NBC)*
“Damian Lewis (”Band of Brothers”) stars as complex, offbeat Detective Charlie Crews, who returns to the force after years in prison, thanks to close friend and attorney Constance Griffiths (Melissa Sagemiller, “Sleeper Cell”), after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Could be good, but it sets off my radar for “big important, overrated new series”.
Status: Wait and See
8:00pm - Not much to see here.
8:30pm - 30 Rock (NBC)
I love this show so much I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.
9:00 - The Office (NBC)
Will this season pick up right where the last left off? Or will Jim and Pam have already had their date? What’s Ryan’s role going to be now that he ranks above them all? It looks like they’ve all had fun over the summer.
9:30 - Scrubs (NBC)
It’s the final season kids, whats going to happen? I just hope it’s as good as season 5, or at least the last five or six episodes from season 6. Knowing it’s the end should light a fire under their asses to put out some great story lines.
10:00pm - Big Shots (ABC)*
“This is the story of four friends at the top of their game…until the women in their lives enter the room. Lines between boardroom and bedroom blur when these competitive but dysfunctional CEOs take refuge in their friendship, discussing business, confiding secrets, seeking advice and supporting each other through life’s surprising twists and turns.”
This would seem like a flop if not for Joshua Malina, who I’ve loved ever since Sports Night. I hope it’s good, just to see him in a successful role. It’s be symbolic especially if Dirty Sexy Money does well too.
Status: Wait and See
8:00pm - Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
I should probably give this show a chance. If it’s at least half-watchable it’d be worth it for the very not-ugly Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Status: Wait and See
9:00pm - Friday Night Lights (NBC)
I find the move to Friday curious, this show got a lot of critical buzz and would seem like a logical choice for a better time slot. Maybe Tuesday at 8 when there’s nothing else good on?
9:00pm - Moonlight (CBS)*
“Mick St. John is a captivating, charming- and immortal- private investigator from Los Angeles who defies the traditional blood-sucking norms of his vampire tendencies by using his wit and powerful supernatural abilities to help the living. In a life-altering twist of fate, Mick was “bitten” 60 years ago by his new bride, the seductive Coraline. Forever 30 years of age, Mick’s as handsome and charismatic as the day he was “turned,” and he eschews others of his kind who view humans only as a source of nourishment. With only a handful of like-minded confidantes for company, including the eternally young, wealthy and mischievous Josef, a hedge fund trader who relishes his uniqueness, Mick fills his infinite days protecting the living. But one night years ago, a single act of kindness changed Mick when he saved a young girl’s life, making him want to be a better vampire. Now their paths cross again and Mick develops a distinctive bond with Beth Turner who has grown into a beautiful, ambitious Internet investigative reporter. Reconnecting with her unleashes feelings Mick knows he can’t pursue without exposing the part of him that would make him a monster in Beth’s eyes. As Mick lives between two realities, fighting his adversaries among the undead and falling in love, he discovers the mysteries and pleasures that a valuable life has to offer.”
A vampire show on CBS? Crazy! It’s like supernatural Fridays over there. I’m as big a sucker for vampires as the next guy so I’ll check this out. Maybe it will replace the hole that the cancellation of The Dresden Files left. At worst, maybe it’ll show me what an “Internet investigative reporter” is. I smell Dateline: To Catch a Vampire.
I have to take at least one night a week to actually do things with other people. (Who am I kidding? I’ll probably re-watch HIMYM and catch up on any shows I missed during the week.)
8:00pm - Probably still watching football
9:00pm - Tell Me You Love Me (HBO)*
“TMYLM looks at the connection, or disconnection, between sex and intimacy, as seen through the stories of three couples who attend therapy sessions with Dr. May Foster. Dave and Katie, in their 40s, are outwardly happy, but have stopped having sex. Carolyn and Palek, in their 30s, want to have a baby, but the pressure to get pregnant is taking a toll on them. Jamie and Hugo, in their 20s, are engaged, but trying to resolve issues with fidelity.”
Normally any new HBO drama would immediately go to the top of my season pass list but after Big Love and John from Cincinnati, I’m going to be a little more cautious. The next show about charismatic men killing each other will get Tivo status.
Status: Wait and See
9:00pm - Dexter (Showtime)
I should probably get around to watching the first season of this before season 2 starts. I’m sure I’ll like it though, so this new season will be added to the queue.
9:00pm - Family Guy (Fox)
I think this show has peaked, but there are occasionally hilarious moments so I’ll let my Tivo decide if it has room to record each week.
*New show premiering this season.