2010 Fall TV Season – Week 1 Roundup

Although some TV shows (namely CW shows and a few here and there) had premiered since early on in the month, this past week (beginning Sept. 20) was truly the official start of the fall TV season. In lieu of posting every day for the past week, this is going to be just one big megapost on the first full week of the new season. [Note: this may just end up being my thoughts on the shows than the particular episode that aired]

MONDAY

  • Dancing With The Stars: The 11th season started…and I don’t really care. I think it has a lot to do with the cast this season, which sure, got a lot of people talking but I’m not that excited to be watching it every week. If it wasn’t for the fact that we watch this sort of as a family over dinner, then I’d probably just watch it later and watch my other Monday shows in their actual time.
  • Chuck: It’s so nice to have Chuck back! So at the end of last season, Chuck promised Ellie that he was quitting the spy game for good, but that was before he was sent on a mission from his dad to search for his mom. With this first episode, it really set the story of the season. The Buy More has been rebuilt and is now CIA-operated. Chuck and Morgan are on the search for Chuck’s mom. Sarah and Casey are now on missions without Chuck, but of course, it didn’t take long for Team Bartowski to be reunited. While the quality of some shows suffer as they continue, Chuck just keeps getting better. Constant fear of cancellation assures that the writers are always on their A-game?
  • How I Met Your Mother: We’re back to actually looking for the mother! It’s an interesting dynamic to consider that the show’s about looking for the “mother” and logically speaking, when we meet the mother and Ted gets married for real, the show will be over. We want to know who the mother is, but we don’t want the show to end. With shows like this, I almost feel like they should set an end date (like Lost did), so we know it’s coming and the writers can work on getting to that end point.
  • The Event: I wanted to watch this new NBC show because of the overlying mystery surrounding it. I love watching mystery thrillers. That’s why I watched FlashForward last season…and then it got increasingly worse and eventually cancelled. It’s hard to explain the show, because the show is about finding out “What is the Event?” The style of the show is slightly different as well, in that they show what is happening in the present, and then they jump the story back to show something that led to what is happening now. With a lot of characters and individual stories, jumping back for all of them seemed like overkill. It could take some getting used to. Plus I don’t feel much for the characters. The only one that’s connected is Jason Ritter’s character, Sean. Everyone else is more like caricatures or just structures of characters; there’s no sense of character development. I’ll continue watching for a couple weeks to see if it hits its stride, but if it doesn’t pick it up and make us care, I’m gonna have to leave by the wayside.
  • Hawaii Five-O: There’s action and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I don’t watch a lot of the other CBS cop shows, so I can’t really judge them fairly. But the look and tone of the other shows seem so serious. With this show, maybe it’s the fact that it’s located in Hawaii so it gives it a more vibe-y, less serious feel, but there’s a natural humour/lightness with the chemistry of its stars, which makes the show fun to watch.
  • Gossip Girl/90210: It’s kinda hard to believe that already, in their 4th and 3rd seasons, these shows are now shows I watch out of habit. I think the thing that’s getting me to come back right now are the guest stars – Katie Cassidy on GG, Kyle Riabko on 90210.

TUESDAY

  • Glee: I’ll write more on Glee later when I discuss the Britney episode, but I’m happy it’s back. New music every week. Ryan Murphy did say that this season will go back to learning more about the characters and I really hope that’s true. But at least in the first episode back, they had a sense of humour and poked fun at themselves by addressing what others have critiqued them on (i.e. Mr. Schue’s rapping).
  • One Tree Hill: Only in the world of OTH do two people get shot, don’t get discovered for 2 days and still survive. It’s one of those things that fans of the show have come to love about it – the sometimes ridiculousness that comes with a lot of heart. Speaking of the heart of the show, the theme song’s back! I honestly forgot how much I missed hearing Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” during the opening credits. And now as much as it pains me to say it, I kind of hope this season’s the last one. I love OTH, I really do, but I sort of feel like it’s time to move on. I’ll still watch if it continues obviously, but the thought of it getting a nice send-off lingers in the back of my brain.
  • Life Unexpected: The thing that gets me watching this show are the relationships. Said it before when it first premiered, but it’s like a throwback to the old WB days with shows like Felicity and Gilmore Girls. You don’t get those types of shows that often anymore. It also helps a little that Shaun Sipos is a recurring guest star this season. Melrose Place might have been predictable at times, writing decent at best, but it was a guilty pleasure.
  • Running Wilde: Will Arnett + Keri Russell + the creator of Arrested Development = comedy gold? It wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, but I’m willing to stick it out for a while and see if it gets better. Community was hit and miss for the first half of its freshman season, and then it hit its stride and was so consistently funny for the rest of the season. I’m holding out hope.
  • No Ordinary Family: So it didn’t premiere until last night but I look forward to watching more of it. The big thing with this show is how they find the right balance between family drama and superhero concept. And we’ve got more O.C. people back on TV; this time, Autumn Reeser aka Taylor Townsend!
  • Parenthood: Great writing, great acting, great to see it come back for a second season. Tuesday’s really become a night for some great family dramas.

WEDNESDAY

  • Survivor: It’s gonna be hard for this season to beat the Heroes vs. Villains season, but they’re trying. 2 weeks, and 2 people who got sent packing because they dug their own grave by not shutting up. Self-destruction, bad for the person, great for the game.
  • Undercovers: It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with more humour. Well, this is JJ Abrams, so let’s rephrase that. It’s like the next chapter of Sydney & Vaughn. The pilot was a little all over the place, but it’ll get better hopefully.
  • Better With You: New ABC comedy starring Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan. I want to like the show, honestly, because of the actors involved. And again, I hope it gets better because judging by the pilot alone, for one thing, they overdo the laugh track. It’s really noticeable. The writing is pretty standard relationship comedy; there’s nothing really new to it.
  • Modern Family: So full of laughter and heart, with amazing writing and acting. I mean seriously, the show completely deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy. Gloria the protective Colombian mother. Mitchell, the not-so-handy man. Cameron reading celebrity gossip to Lily because he’s tired of reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Too funny.
  • Cougar Town: A show that has become something more than what it started out to be. One-two punch of Modern Family and Cougar Town is so perfect for Wednesday night. There’s just nothing else to really say about it.
  • Hellcats: I talked about the premiere and now I can honestly say, I’ve really enjoyed watching it so far. After seeing so many high school shows, it is sort of nice to have a show set in college, and to give it a different depth, set in the world of cheerleading. I think that’s what makes college-set shows stand out a little because there’s so many options as to what the back ground can be. Like Greek is settled in the world of frats and sororities, along with the usual relationships and what not. So yeah, Hellcats, will definitely keep watching.

THURSDAY

  • The Vampire Diaries: Definitely keeping things interesting with not only the return of Katherine but Caroline’s now a vampire too. Plus the werewolf storyline.
  • Nikita: I love the show for the fact that we’ve got Maggie Q kicking ass every week. My only concern is the style of the episodes. For 3 consecutive episodes, it seems like the episodes are very procedural-like. Alex finds out the mission for the week, feeds it to Nikita, Nikita attempts to beat Division to the punch, some sort of altercation between Nikita and Michael, and end. There’s bits here and there of development, but I’m hoping they get further along in the storytelling.
  • Fringe: Fringe is back and soooo good. The first episode back was set “Over There” with our Olivia trying get back to our world. Our Olivia has been dosed with the memories of Other Olivia, so now she’s not entirely sure who she is. The ending minutes showed our world with Peter kissing the Alt-Olivia, so obviously he has no idea that she’s not the right Olivia. Oh Fringe, and all you’re mind-twisting and alternate universes. Just awesome.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Continuing the nerdiness of Thursdays, Big Bang is back and still funny. The awkward “date” between Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler, with Penny ‘chaperoning.’ Wolowitz’s robot arm used for something that it shouldn’t be used for, which resulted in a slightly overdone but still funny sight gag. The one thing I enjoy most about BBT is the slight references to things that have been mentioned in the past (i.e. the Check Engine light in Penny’s car).
  • Community: I kind of hate that Community and Big Bang are on at the same time, but thinking positively, maybe that’ll make writers of both shows stay on their A-game to see who can be funnier. Which is really hard to determine because BBT is funny for all its nerdiness and Community is funny for all its snarkiness and constant pop culture references. The premiere featured Betty White as the anthropology professor (who by the way, would also make a fantastic memaw for Sheldon) and again the ending bit during the closing credits just is so funny on so many levels.
  • The Office: It’s Steve Carrell’s last season but you couldn’t tell by the premiere that that was happening. Same old Office shenanigans with new pranks by Jim and Pam. Like OTH, I kind of hope Office ends this season. Because again, as much as I love it, it has sort of run its course. And whoever ends up replacing Michael Scott, it just won’t be the same.

SUNDAY

  • The Amazing Race: Still entertaining because you never know what’s gonna happen to these racers. First of all, producers, you gave them SMART cars to race out of Boston?! Seriously?! LOL. SMART cars are not a very smart choice for RACING. Just no. Second of all, did you see that girl get hit by the watermelon? And then she picked right up and finished the task. Crazy awesome. If the rest of the season is as good as this leg of the race, we’re in for a very fun ride.
  • Brothers and Sisters: Back to the drama of the Walker clan. Still watch this show out of habit but it was a return to form with the first episode back. We jumped forward a year after last season’s car accident and everyone’s lives has changed. And you know it had been a rough year full of change when Nora’s house had not a single bottle of wine. Walkers with no alcohol? As Justin pointed out, they were not the same Walkers. I don’t know how this season will hold up, but it was kinda nice to see the whole Walker clan back on my TV.

Other notes:

  • I forgot to watch Blue Bloods on Friday. Seriously, new show, on a Friday? That’s hard man.
  • Didn’t watch Lonestar. Didn’t intend to. Reviews were good. Ratings were weak. First cancellation of the season.
  • On the other hand, $#*! My Dad Says got good ratings, which is a little hard to believe. I guess the return of Shatner does wonders for a show that doesn’t look all that good?
  • After passing on the majority of last season, Desperate Housewives might be able to pull me back in, what with Vanessa Williams moving onto Wisteria Lane, plus Brian Austin Green romancing Marcia Cross (original 90210/Melrose Place, what what? ahaha).
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ABC 2010-2011 Primetime Lineup

ABC’s upfronts were today and they added 10 new shows to their lineup (6 dramas, 3 comedies, 1 “alternative”/reality show), with a couple of the high profile ones being held for midseason.

  • BODY OF PROOF [Drama – Fridays @ 9] – Dana Delany stars in this show about a neurosurgeon who now has to change careers and become a medical examiner. Again with the crime related shows. If I’m bored on Fridays, I might check it out, otherwise not so much.
  • DETROIT 1-8-7 [Drama – Tuesdays @ 10] – Another cop show. Pass.
  • MY GENERATION [Drama – Thursdays @ 8] – The show centers around a group of former classmates, 10 years after their graduation, and has them look at what they’ve become, how they got there, etc. Sort of the standard of what one would think about. It might be interesting to watch, but the fact that it’s on Thursdays will be tough.
  • NO ORDINARY FAMILY [Drama – Tuesdays @ 8] – A regular family gets superpowers after a plane crash, is the gist of it. This is probably one of the shows that I’m really excited about. I mean, for one, it’s like The Incredibles (but obviously not). The cast is also really great, with Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Romany Malco, Tate Donavon (Jimmy Cooper!), and Autumn Reeser (Taylor Townsend!!!) But after Fox announced that Glee will be on Tuesdays @ 8 (at least for the first half of the season), I am now relegated to watching this show afterwards and not live.
  • OFF THE MAP [Drama – Midseason] – Doctors in the jungle. Show is created by Shonda Rhimes. I’m kind of over the whole doctor thing too.
  • THE WHOLE TRUTH [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10] – First of all, this doesn’t really fit with the rest of ABC’s family comedy Wednesday lineup. Anyways, the show is another legal drama, but it shows both sides of the case. In a way (but not really), it reminds me of a show that aired on Fox a few years back called Justice, which presented the case and gave the verdict, but at the end of the episode, viewers are shown what really happened at the scene of the crime to show if the verdict was a good or bad one. It was a different way of looking at things, and I think this show is trying to do that. Again, I’m not really into the law shows, but it has potential.
  • BETTER TOGETHER [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 8:30] – A new series starring JoAnna Garcia. I don’t even need to know more, I will watch it because she is awesome.
  • HAPPY ENDINGS [Comedy – Midseason] – Elisha Cuthbert stars in this new show about a couple who decide to break-up and have to figure out what to do with their mutual friends. I think it’ll be nice to see Elisha Cuthbert do some comedy. I’ll more than likely watch it when it airs.
  • MR. SUNSHINE [Comedy – Midseason] – Matthew Perry is back! Yay! Will watch, no doubt about it.

ABC’s slate for next season certainly seems very promising, with a nice mix of tried and true cop/medical/legal dramas, family comedies, and different types of programming. For more on all the new shows and next season’s lineup, check it out here.