It’s Labor Day weekend, which means summer is officially drawing to a close. And that means the new fall network TV season is right around the corner.
It seems like an outdated concept these days, waiting to get new TV. Some of my favorite new shows run on cable networks in the summer, and the most exciting, talked-about shows are often on subscription channels. But I still have a fondness for the idea, so here’s what I’m planning to watch, starting this month:
CBS comedies all the way! How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory bookend the other shows: Two and a Half Men (aging out as the kid does) and the new Accidentally on Purpose. Shame that it looks both offensive — a “thirtysomething” woman is considered old? young guys do nothing but smoke pot? — and badly done.
On ABC, I’m looking forward to the return of Castle, because Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic have great chemistry. I’m a sucker for romantic mystery shows. I used to watch Dancing With the Stars, but I’m so uninterested in the cast this season that I’m not sure I’ll bother.
Gossip Girl is the only thing I watch on The CW, but I’m not sure that can keep up its soapy seduction week after week. Plus, I’m past the age limit. But it’s still attractive popcorn TV.
On NBC, does anyone still watch Heroes? And I’m not at all interested in The Jay Leno Show. I didn’t watch him late night, so I don’t see a need to watch him now, with his lowest common denominator humor. But I do find it a little unpleasant seeing everyone rooting for him to fail. The networks are in trouble, with business models based on delivering the attention of mass audiences no longer keeping up with technology, so they need to try something different. Maybe this isn’t different enough, but at least it’s something. Sometimes the most interesting work comes from desperation.
The week starts strong, but it’s all downhill from there, with fewer choices to come.
The Good Wife (CBS) looks like it risks being turgid, but with Josh Charles and Christine Baranski in the cast, I have to give it a try. And it’s such a nothing night otherwise, with reality programming and the return of Melrose Place. Really? You can’t come up with sexy singles from this time period, you have to reach back a decade for inspiration?
Glee! Just watched the pilot rerun, and while it still seems just a little off in places, Ryan Murphy has a twisted take on teendom I appreciate. (See also: Popular.) Plus, the music is awesome, diverse and surprising.
ABC’s Cougar Town makes my skin crawl. But Josh Hopkins (Swingtown) is on it, as are Christa Miller and Busy Philipps, and I believe in following actors. Yet good cast isn’t enough to overcome bad material. And this seems pretty cringe-worthy, just based on title.
FlashForward has an intriguing premise and a great cast, but do I have faith that they will provide reasonable answers to their mystery soon enough to be satisfying? Reports that the pilot is “grim” are not encouraging. And it’s up against Bones, still a favorite.
Community, on the other hand, there’s no question about. This is the only new show I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to, because it’s got a funny premise — loser lawyer goes to community college — and an amusing group of characters in his other students.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Looks like movie nights! Unless I decide to give Friday’s Dollhouse yet more chances to pull itself together.
Hmm, my TV watching will be down this year, which is fine by me — gives me more chance to catch up on the DVDs I’ve been accumulating. There seems to be a distinct lack of creativity in most nightly lineups, with more generic family sitcoms, hospital shows, and based on/inspired by spinoffs and remakes. Times are tough — networks, now is your opportunity to do something different, instead of just settling for the same-old! But that’s scary, and no one wants to lose their jobs taking too many risks.
What are you interested in watching?