Hi, I'm back...I'm way behind on reviews for movies (Inception, Scott Pilgrim), music (Sleigh Bells, Black Keys) and TV (Torchwood, a Star Trek retrospective), but I'm getting back into the swing of things with a more urgent topic...giving you ideas of what to watch this fall by telling you what I'll be watching. Let's get right to it on a night by night breakdown.
How I Met Your Mother - CBS - Lost a little of it's pizazz last year, but still a great ensemble with routinely hilarious gags that reward long-time viewers. But do me a favor...tell us who the mother is this year...I'm beyond caring about the mystery anymore.
Chuck - NBC - This show isn't always terribly fresh or unpredictable, but the cheeky geek factor and sexy Yvonne Strahovski keep me coming back. Guest stints by the likes of Brandon Routh, Scott Bakula and (this season) Linda Hamilton help, too.
Lone Star - Fox - I'm a sucker for smart new dramas and this one has all the buzz. All I know is it's a tale of a con man living two lives and Adrianne Palicki (Tyra from Friday Night Lights) is in it.
The Event - NBC - This preview is not The Event. I have no idea what is, but this show looks like it could be the next Lost...or the next FlashForward. Get excited accordingly.
Hawaii Five-O - CBS - This might totally be another formulaic crime drama (a la CSI, NCIS), but its looks fun and Scott Caan is inspired casting as Danno.
Glee - Fox - I don't care who you are or what you think this show is...watch an episode (preferably the Madonna ep or the one with the bed commercial featuring "Jump") and tell me you weren't singing/dancing and smiling ear to ear. I'll be burning you a copy of the soundtracks.
No Ordinary Family - ABC - Michael Chiklis follows The Shield with...a comic book family drama? Hmm...not sold on this one. I'm afraid of Heroes (post Season 1) crossed with an early 90s TGIF comedy.
Raising Hope - Fox - Fox comedies that aren't animated typically suck (calling it as I see them), but the ads for this are just funny.
Parenthood - Love, love, loved the first season of this show. Great cast, great writing and not too schmaltzy.
Detroit 1-8-7 - ABC - Wait, am I really going to watch this? Sometimes I throw a show or two on the DVR to see where it goes.
Warehouse 13 - SyFy - I expected this (like 90% of SyFy programming) to be cheeseball...it's goofy, but fun, with great literary and historical references given a genre spin.
Undercovers - NBC - Because it's a new show with J.J. Abrams attached. You don't need another reason to at least give it a shot.
Modern Family - ABC - It won so many Emmys for a reason.
Terriers - FX - I haven't watched this yet, but I trust FX...see: The Shield, Justified (which is only left off this list because I don't know when it's coming back).
Thursday (busiest night on TV)
The Big Bang Theory - CBS - New night, same nerd-a-rific hilarity.
S#*! My Dad Says - CBS - Early reviews are pretty low on this, but it's Shatner, so I have to watch.
Community - NBC - Criminally unappreciated comedy. Watch either the paintball or chicken finger eps and tell me you aren't sold.
30 Rock - NBC - I'm not as high on this show as everyone else, but Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin will keep me watching every week.
Fringe - Fox - The best show no one I personally know is watching. How this is still on the air (on Fox!) is a mystery, but damn if it isn't riveting, super smart sci-fi. I'm done making X-Files comparisons...this show doesn't bog down it's mythology, but leaps right into it, now wrapped up in an alternate universe that's trying to take our world. Oh, and lest you forget, J.J. Abrams is behind it, too.
The Office - NBC - I suspect that the wilting, but still fun, Office will pull out some great, awkward moments for Steve Carrell's final season, but is there really a point in going on after that?
Outsourced - NBC - I suspect this will be more "Kath & Kim" than "The Office" but I'll give it a try.
Nikita - The CW - Haven't peeped the pilot yet, but I've always liked the idea behind Nikita.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - FX - Take the often unsympathetic characters of Seinfeld, make them completely unlikeable, stir in a lot of depraved comedy and Danny DeVito on an edgy cable network and you get a sitcom that pushes envelopes every week with sickening glee.
The League - FX - I admit, I love this show mostly because it's about a bunch of guys playing Fantasy Football. It does fit nicely with Philly though.
Friday (yes, I have a social life, this is what DVRs are for)
Human Target - Fox - Surprisingly exciting actioner that depends on its winning cast and well-paced scripting.
Blue Bloods - CBS - Tom Selleck stars in it, so that makes it worth a viewing, right?
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Cartoon Network - Star Wars fans...this honestly is a great show and you're depriving yourself if you don't check it out. Despite eventually heading in a direction we all know (Episode III), there are a lot of surprises and unexpected pleasures. The animation is great and it actually plays out like a episodic war story.
Friday Night Lights - DirecTV/NBC - If you're a DirecTV subscriber...congrats, you get to watch the final season first...no spoilers, please. I have to wait until January to see one another of my favorite shows sign off.
Stargate Universe - SyFy - Been aching for some dark sci-fi to fill the Battlestar Galactica void? Would you believe a series called Stargate could do it? I wouldn't have either, but the only thing this show has in common with the film and two other series of the same name are the gates themselves, bits of the mythology and occasional guest spots by SG-1 cast members.
Caprica - SyFy - Speaking of BSG, the prequel series doesn't carry the gravity or humanity, but it's an intriguing look at the technological vanity that led to the fall of the Twelve Colonies.
Get out of the house! Go see a movie or a baseball game...have a date night...or watch earlier seasons of one of these shows on DVD.
The Cleveland Show - Fox - Not as funny as Family Guy, but still good for a few hearty chuckles every episode.
Family Guy - Fox - Love it or hate it, it makes The Simpsons look like The Flintstones and often out-edges South Park. I can't wait for the Return of the Jedi homage, "It's a Trap!"
Mad Men - AMC - Though Breaking Bad (which should return in spring) is better, Mad Men deserves the praise and this season is already amazing on every level. AMC is making a case for brilliant drama and this one will by followed in October by...
The Walking Dead - AMC - Debuting on Halloween, don't let yourself be turned off by the zombie premise. Yes, it's the catalyst for the story, but if they stay close to the comic, this quickly becomes a very character-driven piece. What happens to regular men and women when the entire world goes to hell...when the horrors of humanity are even scarier than the undead?
So there you go...set your DVRs or plan your evenings...and don't call me during Fringe.