E: What am I going to do on Tuesdays now that The Good Wife‘s been swapped for the deeply forgettable-looking Unforgettable?
M: Finish working on your Good Wife
complete transcript recap from Sunday?
E: Gosh, I hope I’m done before that. Still, if the new shows don’t pan out, this is going to be an excellent night for reading.
C: Oh, horrors! Not reading!! Now, as always:
- Titles in blue are new this season.
- Each * means one Quibbling Sibling will be tuning in.
- For Saturday and Sunday’s preview click here.
- For Monday’s preview click here.
Last Man Standing (ABC, October 11th)
M: Tim Allen returns to sitcoms in one that looks like a cross between Home Improvement and What Women Want.
C: …which, though neither of those was terrible, doesn’t really make me want to run home and watch it.
E: The early word is that this show about Allen being henpecked is the kind of dreck dogs wouldn’t eat.
M: And we had some dogs that would eat anything.
NCIS (CBS, September 20th)
C: This show proves that, in spite of my illustrious position as an entertainment blogger, I am in some ways out of touch with the American TV-watching public. There’s nothing wrong with NCIS, but what makes it the most-watched show on TV I simply cannot see.
M: I have ALWAYS like NCIS. Mrs M and I catch this every so often, we even DVR it every once in a while. We have never committed to watching it every week, though, and I’m not entirely sure why. I like all the characters, and the plots are well done and clever.
E: I have actually never seen this show – sort of funny, since I like Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly. It’s never seemed particularly special to me, and it flies completely under the radar with the press, but it turns out to be consistently TV’s top-rated drama. Readers: any insight as to why?
90210 (The CW, September 13th)
M: I cannot believe that the CW is still trotting this out. It certainly hasn’t had any buzz in the three years since it’s been back. Is anyone watching it?
E: Enough teens to make it worth airing, apparently.
Glee (FOX, September 20th)*
M: E, I know you love this show. You know I can’t stand it. Out of fairness, I’ll let you take this one, see if you can convince people to watch a bunch of kids lip-syncing karaoke..
E: Because it’s really great karaoke?
M: Talk about an oxymoron, or as some random soldier in Renaissance Man said, an “ox moron”.
E: I thought you were letting me take this?
M: Oh yeah, sorry. Continue.
E: So, really great karaoke. With occasionally terrific dancing? And is also preposterously funny, especially Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester? I am still hooked on the show, but I will freely admit, the second season was a dud, and even from the start, the writing has been completely haphazard. And I don’t just mean that the episodes are inconsistent – I mean that the characters make the most wildly inconsistent choices and drive you completely insane. So the question for me will be how long I can keep watching.
C: I’ve seen a lot of this show, since my roommates watch it, and I find that if I actually pay attention to the destructive, erratic, often offensively-stereotyped things the characters do and say, I don’t enjoy it. But if I’m doing something else and looking up for the musical numbers, it’s fun. (Though I agree, M, the lip-syncing’s so blatant at times that the word “syncing” doesn’t even apply.)
M: Wow, such strong cases, I think I may tune in!
The Biggest Loser (NBC, September 20th)
E: I’ve heard that Anna Kornakova is replacing longtime trainer Jillian Michaels this season.
C: Huh. Athletic though she may be, Kournikova doesn’t have the same intimidation factor at all. At least, I always found Michaels kinda scary in the commercials (which is the limit of my experience with the show).
M: Oh, that is just so wrong. Please tell me that’s a rumor. C, while Michaels can be totally intimidating, her greatest strength, and why the contestants she trains almost always win, is because she breaks them down mentally, not just physically. She really gets to the root of the emotional issues that are always behind why someone got to be the size they are to get on the show. And you can see the change in them when she gets that break through. It’s fantastic to watch, as is the whole show. But for the love of God, DVR it. It’s two hours long, and you can watch it on DVR in about 35 minutes because there’s so much filler and repetition.
E: Yeah, see, I liked it a lot at an hour, but it’s not worth taking up that much space on my dvr. Also, Anna Kornikova.
Man Up! (ABC, October 18th)
M: I don’t really like the concept, but the preview actually looks mildly amusing, so I might give it a shot.
E: This looks soooo sitcommy. And, amusingly, the conceptual opposite of How To Be A Gentleman (also premiering this fall): friends decide they’ve been manscaped and sensitized for too long and long to be manly men like their forefathers. No more metro for them!
E: The cast isn’t particularly exciting, though they could surprise; Dan Fogler does a lot of voice work for cartoons, and Christopher Moynihan has a resume filled with bad sitcoms. Only Mather Zickel stands out, and that might just be because of his incredibly cool name.
Dancing With The Stars Results Show (ABC, September 20th)
M: Results, that they could post online, instead take an hour to be revealed.
E: Yeah, generally I agree with that, but the results episodes can be mildly entertaining depending on who the musical guests are, and especially when they have fun dance guest performers. Very much a “is there nothing else on live/on the dvr” sort of show.
M: This season, with a plethora of interesting new shows with ties to LOST, that should never be the case.
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, September 20th)
M: Remember my comments about NCIS? The same is NOT true for the spin off, it has never captured my interest.
E: Well, I like Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, but I’ve never been tempted to watch this because I’m so uninterested in the original. Like it’s predecessor/progenitor, this show does quite well in the ratings.
M: I’ve tried it, but it doesn’t have the same crispness the original does, nor the same chemistry between the ensemble cast.
Ringer (The CW, September 13th) **
UPDATE: Check out our REVIEW OF THE PREMIERE!
C: The most striking aspect of this show, to my mind, is how Sarah Michelle Gellar looks almost exactly as she did when she starred on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other than that, it’s a grown-up soap opera version of The Parent Trap, or perhaps even more so, ABC Family’s The Lying Game. Will adults actually be interested in a show about a woman on the run who takes over her rich twin’s identity?
E: Rumor has it that it’s bad, and the plot – one twin pretends to be another, who everyone thinks is dead, but is really hiding in Paris – couldn’t be sudsier. But the cast! How can you not want it to be good with that cast?
C: The concept is just so… cheesy. On the other hand: Ioan Gruffudd. I’ve watched bad stuff for him in the past, but I might draw the line at this.
E: But C, Jason Dohring has a multi-episode guest starring role!
C: Oh, that’s just not fair. The Veronica Mars alum are my kryptonite…
M: I wonder, do you think he’ll be playing a guy who appears to be bad, but is really good at heart? And C, really, this is where you draw the line? I actually think it could be decent if they pull it off.
E: I believe he plays a high school teacher (and potential love interest for SMG). Make of that what you will.
C: Okay, fine. I’ll let you guys tell me how the pilot is… and then we’ll see.
The New Girl (Fox, September 20th) ***
C: One of my roommates (a huge Zooey Deschanel admirer) has been eager for this to start for months now, since the previews started appealing. Zooey does look adorable in this as ever, and then there’s Deputy Leo getting a big role – I’m pleased for him. I’ll give it a few episodes before making a call.
E: Deputy Leo! As you said, Veronica Mars alums must be supported!
M: Yeah, yeah, you say that and then refuse to watch Flashpoint, which is one of the best shows on TV….
E: Oi, enough about Flashpoint! I will get to it at some point – I watch rather a lot of TV as it is, as you may perhaps have noticed. Now, this is a sitcom, and I hate sitcoms. Even the few which manage to be actually funny end up straining my credulity because they’re just always trying so damn hard to be funny when life is more mixed–
C: Well fine, but what show actually creates a lifelike balance of drama, dullness, and humor? Would you want them to?
M: Yes, what I’m looking in a TV show is someone walking their dog or having an uneventful trip to the dry cleaners.
E: —but, as I was going to say: I like Zooey and I like Leo and I’m going to try this. I’m betting I like the pilot. The real question for me is, will it become tedious 4 episodes in?
M: Well, that’s the real question with most shows, not just sitcoms. The really good ones aren’t, and the really good sitcoms find ways to keep being funny and entertaining. I don’t know if this will be one of those, but it has a chance.
Raising Hope (Fox, September 20th)
E: This is a prime example of a sitcom I thought was funny to start off, which I couldn’t handle long term. Maybe it’s just too stylized. I’m really excited for Martha Plimpton’s success and for her Emmy nomination, though, and I hope the show – the story of a sweet guy raising a baby with his parents and grandmother – continues to do well.
Body of Proof (ABC, September 20th)
E: This is mildly likable. I like Dana Delaney, and I’m glad that 7 of 9 has a job, and I’m glad that it’s no longer going up against The Good Wife because there aren’t so many female centered shows that we need to put two up against each other. I don’t have any intention of actually watching Delaney’s abrasive medical examiner/former neurosurgeon bluster her way through crime scenes, however. The mysteries aren’t that impressive.
M: No, but the guys in the lab (the guy that’s married to Christina Hendricks and the guy from the Miller High Life commercials) are pretty funny, which makes it just watchable enough.
E: Right. To me, this is another “well, I guess nothing else is on” kind of show. It’s a procedural, it’s easy to catch up with, and you don’t remember it once it’s over.
Unforgettable (CBS, September 20th)
E: The reviews, they are not good. Poppy Montgomery, who assists the police with her perfect photographic memory, solves crimes. It sounds like the premise is rather thinly and inconsistently applied; how often can she have memories of places that turn out to be crime scenes? But I like Poppy Montgomery (and not just because she has one of the best names since Honeysuckle Weeks) and I wish she had a better show.
M: That’s too bad. I like the concept, a woman who remembers every detail of every day of her life (a real condition that Taxi star Marilu Henner has in real life), and uses it to help the police solve crimes. Plus, how can you not root for someone who’s parents saddled her with the name “Poppy”?
E: Saddled? Dude, that’s an awesome name!
M: Oh, it’s a good name for a celebrity, but most people aren’t born celebrities. Imagine what junior high must have been like for her?
C: Not sure I’d want the name myself, but in any case: I think this concept could work just as well as any other “person with quirky special expertise/ability helps the police solve crimes” show. It’s all in how good the writing is. And critics have been wrong before, so let’s hope for the best.
Parenthood (NBC, September 13th)
M: Mrs M tried to get me to watch this with her when it started, but I didn’t have the time. She still loves it, so at some point I may have to get the DVD’s.
E: Yeah, I’ve heard really good things about this show. Showrunner Jason Katims (of Roswell, Friday Night Lights and My So Called-Life) heads it up, and the cast is pretty terrific. It was always up against The Good Wife, so I never had the time, and it’s a family drama, so I’m afraid I couldn’t really start in the middle. But renting the dvds might be in order for me, too.