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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[1472] fall is for television

Fall television is like the consolation prize for having to bid adieu to summer. True, those lazy days of freedom and good weather are fast shrinking to naught but fond memories, but you guys, How I Met Your Mother is coming back and a friend's cousin's brother who knows a page who made out with a secretary at CBS swears this is the season we find out who the mother is!

I love TV. I will never be one of those people who tries to pretend I'm way too cool or busy or intellectual to watch. I'll find time, even if it means devoting an entire weekend to catching up on a show I've missed for six weeks. I still read and do school and work and have a social life, but I love TV. This is why I have Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix (but no cable. 80 channels on the bunny ears, y'all!)

While it's still about 8,000 degrees here in Southern California, TV keeps insisting that it's fall. So, of all the new stuff, here's my watchability breakdown.

THE DEFINITELYs

Elementary
Like everyone else, I was a little wary of this new entry into the Sherlock universe. We've got RDJ & Jude Law doing a pretty entertaining Holmes and Watson on the big screen, and we've got the utterly brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (the latter I once met in Heathrow Airport) working their magic over on the BBC. Could this be anything but a power play to make some money off a popular trend? I mean, it's definitely that. Let's be frank. Sherlock's popular. CBS is popular. With their powers combined... But I've moved from wary to optimistic. I've been a fan of Jonny Lee Miller since I was 10 and drooling over him in Hackers. Those that only know him from Hackers and haven't seen something like, oh, Danny Boyle's Frankenstein, might not realize how incredible he is. Spoiler alert: He's super incredible. PLUS, this show has Aidan Quinn. I have never NOT watched a show with Aidan Quinn. Canterbury's Law, Book of Daniel, Empire Falls. Yup, I'm gonna watch the heck out of this. Even if it's awful.

Go On
I've watched the first two episodes. I dig it. I always like my funny with a pinch of sad, and I think Chandler Bing Matthew Perry manages to balance being simultaneously pathetic and resilient with some commendable dexterity here. I tend to be fairly apathetic about sitcoms in general, but I can see myself making some small effort to catch this one on a semi-regular basis. Enough qualifiers there?

Revolution
Not-Katniss uses a CROSSbow and has a way shorter
brown, leather jacket. Duh.
I feel obligated. Every season, we're all just sort of hoping some epic scifi drama is going to hook us like the first episode of LOST. It started with Surface and Invasion, carried on with The Event, Flash Forward, and Alcatraz, and now we've got Revolution--which binds all those aspirations together with a Katniss Everdeen doppelganger and Bella's dad from Twilight (who, for the record, is the only good thing about Twilight). Yeah, I'm gonna watch it. Maybe I'm gonna like it. Probably it'll get canceled 'cause it's not LOST. Okay, I'm being a little harsh. It is a Kripke/Abrams production. I'm always rooting for those guys to succeed.

666 Park Avenue 
I don't think it bodes well that, despite the constant advertising, I thought this was called Hotel 666. And am I trippin' or is the address 999 in the commercials? The lack of subtlety in having the address be the number of the beast turned upside down is staggering--not to mention that, in case we didn't pick up on it, they actually just went ahead and named the show 666 instead of 999 so we wouldn't be confused as to whether this was just some regular, y'know, not sinister hotel. Still, this is in my 'definitely' pile. That lack of subtlety has its charm. This is a straight up guilty pleasure show and I will happily turn off my brain and veg out every week as I once did watching Gossip Girl and Ringer, and as I plan to continue doing with American Horror Story.

The Mindy Project 
You know how HBO and everyone else keeps trying to tell us that that insipid Girls show is the defining reflection of our generation? Here's the thing: Shut up. The Mindy Project is ten times closer to capturing the zeitgeist of our time. Mindy manages to portray a woman of, presumably, upper middle class upbringing in this day and age who is somewhat shiftless and crass without being a total waste of space. She doesn't have it all together--in fact, she's kind of a disaster--but at least she's a gyno for goodness sake. Now, maybe Girls really accurately portrays a particular (obnoxious) subset of wealthy, white kids learning to only be second-hand wealthy for the first time while somehow managing to be bad at money, sex, social graces, and basically every other life skill that exists. Good for Lena Dunham for uh, whatever. I'll just be over watching Mindy Kaling juggle her character flaws with some redemptive qualities. Is it over the top? Totally. But all my gal pals who have watched the pilot basically feel like it's their own inner monologues in sitcom form.


Vegas
YES. Heck yes. Not only does this show look like hardcore, gritty awesome (I think I just unintentionally quoted Karl Urban. I need to lay off the Tumblr), but it has Dennis Quaid and Jason O'Mara. The clips from Vegas make me want to inject PowerThirst into my veins and fly an airplane made of biceps. Everyone is so BAMF. If this one blows, it will be the biggest disappointment of the season for me.


THE MAYBEs
Arrow - People who have seen it seem to really like it. I have no reason not to watch it except that I'm just sort of uninterested.
Chicago Fire - Mason from Vampire Diaries is almost worth it on his own. I'm also happy to welcome Torres from Lie to Me back to my TV. But honestly, how many different storylines can you have about fighting fires without it quickly spiraling into some implausible melodrama in which, inevitably, there are shootings, plane crashes, love dodecahedrons, secret siblings/lovers/parents/pets, and Kyle Chandler blowing up in a hallway? Not that I'm still bitter about that last part happening in a particular show.
Guys with Kids - This is a show about the funny parts of the What to Expect When You're Expecting trailer, right?

The Mob Doctor - I'm intrigued. Not enough to say that I'll definitely watch the whole season, but I'm in for the pilot.
Nashville - There's only one reason I'm even considering watching this and that's Tami flippin' Taylor.
The New Normal - I watched one episode. It was alright, but I'm not hooked. Ellen Barkin's character is almost too hateful to be funny. She's no Gangy.
Partners - Loves me some Krumholtz. Are we still doing bromance shows?

THE UNLIKELYs
Animal Practice - A) Are you kidding me? B) I hate that guy. C) No, seriously. You're kidding, right?
Beauty & the Beast - Like everyone else in the early '90s, I watched reruns of the Linda Hamilton series. I get the tremendous fandom significance of this show. I do. It's a doozy. I just see absolutely no reason why it should be brought back. After the last season, even the fans of the original wanted it canceled.
Ben & Kate - Could you find two less appealing leads?
Emily Owens, M.D. - I want to love you, Mamie. I do.
Last Resort - Love Andre Braugher. Not into military shows.
Made in Jersey - I don't even see why this needs to take place in Jersey except that Jersey Shore is ending and we can't let five minutes pass without a jab at the Garden State.
Malibu Country - Reba redux? Eh.
The Neighbors - I was in a play called The Neighbors once. It was really boring.

Alright, so what are you watching?