Television Christmas is upon us and it’s time to sell some automobiles! Did you know that’s why shows primarily premiere in the fall? Cars, silly! Now you do. But I digress. Here is a short-list of my most anticipated new shows this year. I’ve excluded reality and gameshows but if you really, REALLY want my opinion on H8R, here it is: don’t.
Enlightened (Oct. 10, HBO) Written by and co-starring one of my favorite writers, Mike White (Freaks & Geeks, School of Rock), Enlightened follows Amy (Laura Dern, usually a pleasure to watch) as she suffers a mental breakdown and changes her entire outlook on life. But it’s not easy for her to alter the perceptions of the people who surround her, like her insufferable boss played by Timm Sharp (a very funny actor who has nearly been forgotten since he played Marshal on Undeclared) or her slacker ex-husband (a pre-Needle In The Hay-shave Luke Wilson). Mike White has always had a knack for extracting comedy from the absurdity of real life and it looks like he and the rest of the cast (Dern is co-creator) can scratch those ideas deeper on a channel like HBO.
American Horror Story (Oct. 5, FX) American Horror Story is about a family who yadda yadda yadda. What it really is is a haunted house show starring Tami Taylor, er, I mean, Connie Britton. Based on the promos alone I assume I’ll be watching this with all of the lights on and losing sleep. I can’t wait.
Terra Nova (Sep. 26, FOX): This show has such potential to be over the top and too fantastical. But I’m hoping it won’t be, because dinosaurs rule, you know? At least for me. And look, it’s been three years since Twilight and we still have vampire and werewolf shows popping up everywhere. Let’s get back into dinos, dudes! I want to see someone get straight up MUNCHED & CRUNCHED. Plus, actors look really great in sweaty olive drab tank tops running through the jungle.
Pan Am (Sep. 25, ABC)- Let’s get this out of the way: Setting something in the 60s and filming it well does not a Mad Men ripoff make. Though I’m sure this show will be scrutinized because of that. Does it seem interesting, however? Yes. Is Christina Ricci a good actress and a joy to stare at? Yes. Do those old flight attendant outfits look slick? Definitely. Well alright, I’m sold so far. It’ll at least be enjoyable to see how it goes.
The Playboy Club (Sep 19, NBC) See above, I guess.
Suburgatory (Sep 28, ABC) – I’m a sucker for any show that brushes the idea of secrecy in the suburbs. Unfortunately this show looks like it’s going to get the classic ABC treatment. The premise is pretty good but they most likely won’t get to go too deep with it, sacrificing interesting development for quick, punchy episodes. But let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’ll at least watch two episodes and hope. [How bad is that title, though? Anyone else craving a fat cheese burger now? Of course you are]
Ringer (Sep 13, CW) – The 15 year old version of myself is just stoked to have Sarah Michelle Gellar doing sexy things on television every week. Missed you, girl.
So those are the top shows I’m looking forward to personally. I don’t want to slag anything off before I give it a proper chance but I would suggest avoiding:
I Hate My Teenage Daughter/Last Man Standing/Man Up: Pretty boring reinforcements of the sitcom stereotypes that families are a drag, man and it’s so hard to be a white middle aged person in this weird world. Give it a rest. Let’s watch something interesting.
Revenge (Sep 21, ABC): Counte of Monte Cristo with a female lead set in the Hamptons. Doesn’t that sound kind of totally awesome? I think it does. But unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be. And does that idea really have legs? Are you going to want to wait more than a season for her to exact her, wait for it, REVENGE? No. That’d be a good movie or mini-series. But I’m going to roll my eyes every damn time her revenge plan gets complicated due to her new Hampton buddies.
Up All Night (Sep 14, NBC): Will Arnett can’t find a home outside of Arrested Development and that sure breaks my heart. This looks like it’ll be just as weak as his other endeavors. The premise is pretty well worn territory, as well. Here’s to hoping that doll Maya Rudolph can make it work.
Hart of Dixie (Sep 26, CW): Fart noises. Fart noises. Fart noises! (Sorry Street, Sorry Rachel Bilson)
Homeland (Oct 2, Showtime): BS post-9/11 fart noises that screams boring.
Good luck, everyone.