That said, I'm discerning. There is SO much garbage on TV. And not just "these days" - always. There's always been SO MUCH garbage on TV. And every autumn brings around a new round of stinkers. Many stinkers become successes (Two and a Half Men?) More still are very decent, but soon canceled (Rubicon). And then there's that one-in-a-million show that's both legitimately great and a commercial success at the same time (ER, or more recently, The Good Wife).
Anyway. That's a lot of rambling to introduce this post which contains wee reviews of a few of the new fall shows I've peeped so far this season. I like to give everything a fair shake, but you should know that I'm partial to dramas, I'm currently tired of bad fantasy/sci-fi, and I just don't do one-hour reality shows anymore. Those are my personal biases.
So much hype, so little payoff. Cute costumes? Check. Kitchy, 60s-era production values? Check. Terrible writing? Check.
If the first episode is anything to go by, this show is going to be one big, predictable cliche after another.
Sure, you'll be seeing Pan Am stewardess costumes this Halloween, but that doesn't mean the show isn't totally canned. I'll keep watching for now, but I'm predicting it will go the way of Desperate Housewives: lame, but a probable main-stream success.
Look for: Great wardrobe (because I seriously doubt Pan Am will have more to offer).
Surprisingly good, particularly when compared to Pan Am. The Playboy Club is a nice example of how to rip off Mad Men, but do it well.
The first episode was compelling: an accidental murder, a small-town, doe-eyed girl, a wanna-be State's attorney, plus good set-up of the season's greater arc.
Add high production values and smart nods to the political issues or the era, (feminism, gender, race) and you've got the makings of a good show. I'll keep watching.
Look for: Bad faux Hef voice-overs to keep you from becoming TOO invested.
After seeing a series of terrible CW promos set to over-played Adele songs, I didn't have high hopes, but Ringer wasn't that bad.
Despite some extremely heavy-handed visuals (I mean, we get it... they're twins... "dead" ringers... we get it), not to mention terrible green-screen work, the show manged to deal well enough with the emotional plot line, which is to say the drama associated with how one person might deal with taking over her sister's life. It was convincing enough... for now.
I'll give it a chance because I'm an old-time Buffy fan and I like SMG, but I'm not hopeful and am reserving judgment.
Look for: Incredible New York sets. This is some 'lifestyles of the rich and famous' stuff right here.
Not being a fan of Emily Vankamp (who made Brothers and Sisters even more insufferable, if that's even possible), nor of the nighttime soap, I only watched this because Nate was out and I had nothing else to do, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's pure fluff set in the Hamptons, but fans of Gossip Girl and the like may enjoy its adult, contemporary spin on some old themes. It reminded me of a modern day Dallas, with a little more dark meat. I'll watch again, but I won't subject Nate to it (nor will I admit liking it, no matter what you do to me).
Look for: Ashley Madekwe (trouble-making best-friend from Secret Diary of a Call Girl), preppy couture by the busload, and Madeleine Stowe in skin-tight wasp-wear, totally unsuitable for a woman of her age.
There you have it: my little round up of some of the new fall shows. Make of it what you will.
P.S. I still plan to watch Terra Nova and Person of Interest, but haven't had time yet. No spoilers please!