Fall TV Preview 2011: Wednesday

C: If you don’t love sitcoms or reality TV, you might have some issues with Wednesday.

E: Remember those book things I was talking about yesterday?  They are your new friends tonight.

  • 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.
  • For Tuesday’s preview click here.


8:00

The Middle (ABC, September 21st)

M: I keep hearing that this is really good.  As some point I should check it out.

E: Sitcom.  I will say, MMGF loves this dysfunctionally happy family show.  I suspect Patricia Heaton helps.

Survivor: South Pacific (CBS, September 14th)

M: The latest round of the original reality mega-hit that was initially referred to as “Who REALLY Wants To Be A Millionaire?”.  Now Millionaire is a distant memory, and Jeff Probst is still going strong.

E: Indeed.  The rat stole Cat Deeley’s Emmy again for raising a sardonic eyebrow and asking “insightful” questions fed to him by the producers. Sorry, I do like Probst; I’m mostly just about 7 years over this show.

H8R (The CW, September 14th)

C: Is this pronounced “hater”? Geesh, the novelty of textspeak can’t fade soon enough.

M: H8 to tell you this, but it’s not going anywhere.  Textspeech, that is.  The show?  IDK.

E: Well, I h8 this premise.  “Celebrities” like Kim Kardashian and Jake Pavelka confront “fans” (unfans?  anti-fans? internet trolls?) who dislike them, and try to change their minds by hanging out and showing the h8ters what lovely people they really are.  Cause that’s gonna work. What an exercise in pointless emotional distress.

M: Come on, who doesn’t want to watch celebrities pat themselves on the back and tell people how wonderful they are?

The X-Factor (Fox, September 21st)*

E:  I was really excited for this before they started playing commercials of Simon Cowell ranking on deluded would be singers.  Didn’t you get the impress that this was decidedly different from American Idol – that it wasn’t so much about the search for someone who could sing as the molding of a diamond in the rough, so to speak, to a shimmering pop star?  That’s kind of interesting, the make-over aspect, the industry insider aspect; morally suspect (and financially suspect, given that the music industry doesn’t seem to know anymore how to put out albums the public wants to buy) but still, it seemed like something new.  So now I’m dubious.

M: Really?  Right from the start I got the impression that this was Idol with a different name, and Cowell’s play for more control/money.

E: Everything I’d heard about the British show – which produced Leona Lewis – suggested it would be different.  Maybe I’ll just tune in after the initial audition misery.  I am so over the dubious humor of delusional wannabees getting put in their place.

Up All Night (NBC, September 14th)*

UPDATE: Check out our REVIEW OF THE PREMIERE!

 

E: My friend P has the best tagline for this – Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Been Arrested.  Hee hee!  Cause, you know, Will Arnett and Christina Applegate and a baby?  Does my new found love for Christina Applegate (and my experience as a mother) compensate for Will Arnett and the whole sitcom thing?  I don’t know.  Arnett doesn’t look as annoying in the commercials as I normally find him, playing a stay at home dad.  Maya Rudolph as Applegate’s talk show host boss, on the other hand?  Eep.  I might check out the first episode, just to see.

M: Ugh, even with the one good line in the commercials (which have been incessant) where they yell at the baby “Don’t you know we’re on your side?!?!” this looks dreadful to me.  That the anti-sitcom queen is considering it tells me you need to watch some good sitcoms if only for the purpose of being able to spot the lousy ones.

8:30

Suburgatory (ABC, September 28th) *

E: I think I’m going to check out the pilot; I mean, come on, it’s Jeremy Sisto.

C: Um… I don’t think that has meant anything good since Clueless.

M: Yeah, I don’t see where his track record inspires any confidence.

E: Hey, Thirteen was amazing, and I really liked the little seen Kidnapping.  But if that doesn’t sway you, Jane Levy (who plays his teenage daughter) allegedly rocks.

M: Like with Glee in yesterday’s review, you’re not making a very strong case here.

Free Agents (NBC, September 14th)

C: I enjoy Hank Azaria, and producer John Enbom was an important name behind Veronica Mars (the greatest show ever – have we mentioned it?). Yet this series about people who work together recovering from a drunken hookup just seems utterly lacking in anything that could sustain viewer interest.

M: No offense, sis, but I’ll give Veronica Mars the title of  “One of the greatest first seasons ever”.  After that it slowly (season 2) and then precipitously (season 3) fell off.

E: So not getting in the middle of this one – especially since you’re both right.  I will just say that as much as I like Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn (of Crossing Jordan and How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days), and it’s a lot, I can’t imagine how they get a series out of this premise.  It makes me wish there were such a thing as a comedy mini-series.

M: Ooohh, I like that idea.  Good one sis!

9:00

Modern Family (ABC, September 21st)

C: This show has gotten funnier as time’s gone on, and has some truly hysterical moments. I’ll probably tune in periodically.

M: I will admit, the last time I watched an entire episode I actually laughed.  Once.  So I agree, it is improving.

E:  I don’t know, I find the overblown characters a little exhausting.  Fine in very tiny doses, maybe, but there’s not way I can take regular viewings.

M: If by “regular viewings” you mean “viewings” then I’m right there with you.

Criminal Minds (CBS, September 21st)

M: I lost track of this show a few years ago as part of a numbers game in it’s time slot that involved LOST (the actual greatest show ever) and have just never gotten back to it.  I really liked it back in the start.

E: LOST also suffered from an unsustainably perfect first season, bro, if I may harken back for a moment to the whole Veronica Mars crack.

M: No, you may not, as you said you didn’t want to get in the middle of that.

E: Oh whatever. Anyway, Criminal Minds, on the other hand, seems to be one of those shows that just shuffles along doing what it does well and consistently.

M: Well, it is a procedural, and formula can lead to consistently good, but usually not to great.  As for LOST (I changed my mind, I’m going to let you harken back), I actually think the second season may have been better than the first, and it had some amazing peaks all through it’s run (the season three finale with first flashes forward, the spectacular Desmond-Penny episode The Constant, etc).

E: Uh, really?  I mean, it was season three that really blew my interest…

M: It was just the start of that third season that sucked.  Then, during the winter break they set the end date for the show, came back with a huge vengeance, and just crushed it for the rest of run of the series.

E: Anyway, the point is this.  If we’re talking about LOST when we should be talking Criminal Minds, you already know what we think of it.

America’s Next Top Model: All Stars (The CW, September 14th)

M: To quote Monty Python…  “and there was much rejoicing.  yay.”

E: Ha.  I can generally get behind the All Star concept of reality shows, and so I’m sure this will be a fun season for long time fans.

Harry’s Law (NBC, September 21st)

M: I still think it’s funny that this was originally intended to star a man, and that when they jumped at the chance to have Kathy Bates as the lead (and how could they not!) they didn’t bother to change the character’s name and just stuck with Harry.  Very odd.

E: Oh, I kind of love that.  But much as I love Kathy Bates, and used to be a huge fan of David E. Kelley, and generally enjoy legal shows, I’ve never had the smallest desire to watch this show.

9:30

Happy Endings (ABC, September 28th)

M: I have to admit, I’m pretty amazed this got picked up.

E: Word.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox, November 30th)

E: Speaking of which, this new sitcom features the nightmare scenario; nerds raise mean girls.  Ugh.  How does that happen?  Strike that.  I don’t want to know.

10:00

Revenge (ABC, September 21st)**

C: All I know about this is that it stars a woman I’ve never heard of and is “loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo.” I love that story, so might this be decent?

E: I love that story, too.  So, maybe?  I thought I was familiar with all the shows which were ordered for this fall, but there are a few which escaped my notice, and this is one.  So I don’t know quite what to think.

M: Yeah, I saw a commercial for this and was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before.  Not surprisingly, I also love the Count of Monte Cristo, so I’m interesting in checking it out.  Oh, C, the girl used to be on Everwood and I think Brothers and Sisters.

E: Which explains why we haven’t heard of her.

M: She was good on Everwood, which was pretty decent for a while, actually.

CSI (CBS, September 21st)

M: The show that was once TV’s #1 show gets another restart as Ted Danson returns to network TV.  I’m mildly interested, which makes me far more interested than I am in James Spader joining The Office.

E: Yes, which is quite the threshold.  I, on the other hand, remain totally unmoved.

Law & Order SUV (NBC, September 21st)

M: I can’t believe this is still on.  If you’re show’s been on since the Clinton administration, and your male lead for the entire run of the show quit, wouldn’t you think it might be time to call it a night?

E: Why this show has traction when the original was canceled, I’m not sure.

M: Why the original was cancelled I’m not sure.

American Horror Story (FX, October 5th)

E: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk of Glee (have I lost you already, sibs?)  have created a horror story about hipster parents Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton moving into a haunted L.A. house with their young teenage daughter.  Sexual high-jinks ensue.  Definitely different!

M: You lost me at Glee.

E:  Shocker.

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3 comments on “Fall TV Preview 2011: Wednesday

  1. Gina says:

    “American Horror Story” sounds awful. I hope and pray Kyle Chandler’s first post-FNL gig is better than Connie Britton’s!

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