Last week we did a summer show recap, but this week I’m looking forward to fall. Not just because the Williamsburg humidity zaps any energy and motivation I might have, but because it’s the beginning of the TV season. The Emmy’s air next week, primetime stops with reruns and reality, and returns with brand new episodes of my favorite shows.
New mysteries, new characters, new locations. It’s all very exciting.
My favorite part of the fall isn’t always watching my established favorites – usually it’s carefully examining each network’s new offerings and making the difficult decisions of what earns a permanent place on my lineup. I already watch a lot of TV, and have a lot of jobs to apply for, so each of these spots is highly contested. I can’t just add things willy-nilly. They have to be good. They have to be great. I have to remind myself not to judge the book by the cover or the show by the pilot, but it’s do or die time. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me aww, or you might be relegated to the desperation of winter break boredom.
What’s caught my eye so far:
The Mindy Project – Mindy Kaling plays an eternally single OB/GYN whose awful luck with men comes primarily from her own stupid decisions. Her character is insanely relatable but hilariously over-the-top at the same time — the pilot has her drunkenly riding a bike into a pool after fleeing from her ex’s wedding. Good pilots are hard to come by, and this one is fantastic. I’m truly excited for the rest of the season, and that’s not something I say often.
The New Normal – I will admit a lot of my early love for this show came from Justin Bartha (Come on, he’s Riley from National Treasure!). I’ve seen the pilot and the second episode, and I can safely say it’s more than decently entertaining. There’s a thick thread of heartwarming goodness that comes through, thoughtfully balanced by a crazy, homophobic grandmother. Really. What’s not to love?
Go On – When I heard NBC had picked up a pilot starring Matthew Perry I was immediately intrigued. As a diehard Friends fan, I’ll watch pretty much anything the former Friends do, and this was no exception. (Evidence of my devotion: I have seen every episode of Joey. I know.) The concept: Perry plays a sports broadcaster whose wife dies suddenly, and he’s forced by his bosses to attend group therapy before being allowed to return to work. The pilot is more of a character introspective than a traditional comedy, but its unexpected nature is incredibly refreshing and still very funny. The show reminds me of Role Models in a way – it has its share of quirky but endearing characters, and the ones that epically screw up always manage to come around and redeem themselves in the most amusing of ways.
Elementary – What this adaptation of Sherlock Holmes lacks in homoeroticism, it makes up for with its modern New York setting and fresh take on classic characters. Johnny Lee Miller’s Sherlock is much brasher, self-isolating and harsh than previous characterizations. He’s somehow intensely self-deprecating and acutely arrogant at the same time. While not quite the lecture in intellect that BBC’s Sherlock is, it’s still worth the watch. Bonus – the pilot includes a shot of Miller’s very nicely defined abs, just in case you’re in to that sort of thing.
Other shows in the running for a permanent position – Partners, Vegas, Revolution, and Ben and Kate