C: Formerly known as Fringeday, I’m not sure what Friday thinks it has to offer now. Are there even shows on?
E: Yes, there are TV shows on Friday nights. Quite a few, actually, including some bonafide hits.
M: As we’ll note below, Friday seems to be a little schizophrenic these days, serving the dual role of being one step away from cancellation for some shows, and a less crowded home where they can find their audience for others.
E: In past years we’ve included Saturday’s programming here, but it turns out that there’s genuinely nothing this year on Saturdays at all except the college sports game of the week. Here’s a quick key to help you as you read:
- Titles in blue are new this season
- Each * means one Quibbling Sibling will be tuning in
- Click here for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday‘s schedules.
The Legend of Korra (NICK, September 13th)
E: For our anime-loving friends.
C: I haven’t seen this, but it comes highly recommended from a friend who was formerly an Avatar: The Last Airbender junkie. This sequel series, which started last year, has developed its own cult following.
E: Here’s her rundown of expectations for the series: “the main theme seems to be Korra figuring out how to deal with the spiritual side of being the Avatar — she is still very much a fan of the ‘hit everything in sight; ask questions later’ approach.”
M: Aren’t we all.
E: Ummm, no.
M: Ummm, sarcasm.
E: Whatever. To continue: “In her personal life, it’s pretty clear that she and Mako are still figuring out how to be a couple–what does it mean to be supportive, etc. She is also struggling to define herself against what she perceives to be the interference of the father figures in her life (her father, Tonraq, and Tenzin).”
M: A character who legitimately has at least three father figures, including her actual father? Clearly this is not American TV!
C: A throwback to Three Men and a Baby is clearly overdue.
E: “Her uncle Unalaq, Chief of the Northern Water Tribe, offers to become her spiritual mentor, but he is clearly manipulating her and will almost certainly be the villain of the season.”
M: That’s more like it.
E: “Jinora is clearly going to play a major role this season; that role definitely has something to do with the earlier Avatars. Word is there will be two episodes about the very first Avatar.”
M: As long as James Cameron isn’t involved, that could be good.
The Carrie Diaries (CW, October 25th)
M: Not sure which of our friends this is aimed at.
Hopefully Probably none of them.
E: Don’t be mean! I have smart, thoughtful friends who enjoy this Sex And the City prequel as a guilty pleasure. Hmm. Can you call a television show a prequel?
C: Why not?
M: Seriously, do you think pre- and sequels only apply to movies? Because as best I know the medium did not determine the appropriateness of the term, the content and setting did.
C: Additionally, E, I’ll quibble with you — if your unnamed friends think of this as a “guilty pleasure,” that means they feel guilty for liking it because they know it’s bad, or at the very least not intended for their age group. So M’s not being mean for pointing that out.
M: Nothing like a good semantics debate between siblings!
E: I doubt all these CW shows about teenagers are watched — or intended to be watched — only by teenagers, guys.
M: That is an amazingly weak comeback. Suit up!
E: I refuse. We’ve meandered long enough. This season introduces the young (or younger) Samantha to the young Carrie, during the latter’s internship in the city.
M: Ahh, calling it “The City” makes me think of The Tick cartoon series (not the live-action one with Puddy). I’d much rather watch reruns of that…
Last Man Standing (ABC, September 20th)
M: Tim Allen’s latest man-themed comedy starts off its new season with guest appearances from the men of Duck Dynasty. I will say, I swam against the tide on Duck Dynasty for a long time, but recently watched several episodes… and it’s very enjoyable. It can be really, really funny at times, and is very genuine. That’s not going to get me to watch Last Man Standing, though.
C: Man-themed comedy! A genre I could entirely do without. And this is coming from a female viewer whose favorite TV shows all have large (often larger) male viewerships.
E: By all means let’s talk about sci fi fandoms or Duck Dynasty rather than this utterly lame excuse for a show. Actually, I can do both; apparently the Duck Dynasty crew will be back this season, perhaps to help feather the main character’s empty nest.
Undercover Boss (CBS, September 27th)
M: The concept of this show is just as strong as when it started, I’m just not as interested in watching it, and I’m not really sure why.
E: Every time I see it I cry. I don’t mind that, but I don’t seek it out, either.
C: Proving to the world yet again that E cries at EVERYTHING.
E: It most certainly does not; if you’d ever seen the show, you’d know that it exists to make viewers cry. Now, if I said I cried over Last Man Standing you might have a case.
M: Have you watched Last Man Standing? I don’t believe we have confirmation that you watched it and did NOT cry. The burden of proof is on you…
MasterChef Junior (FOX, September 27th)
M: Is this where Gordon Ramsey berates children instead of adults?
E: Apparently he’s far nicer to them than he is to adults.
M: That bar’s so low even an ant would have to duck to get under it.
E: Generally, he seems to be hideous or friendly depending on what show he’s headlining, which seems really weird to me.
C: No, seriously? This is a TV series about kid chefs? On Fox?
M: Apparently their love of Gordon Ramsey knows no bounds.
M: Nothing to say here (or for 20/20 later in the night), just letting you know when they’re on so you don’t mess up and try to watch something interesting then.
E: Hee. I love smart long-form reporting, but I get it from Frontline.
M: You could have stopped at “Hee.”
The Neighbors (ABC, September 20th)*
M: Last year we talked about how C and I thought this show looked like it had a fun, quirky, Monty Python/3rd Rock from The Sun blend to it, and that it looked like it could be really good.
E: What he means to say is that it looked completely, appallingly awful.
M: Go back and look at the post, miss smarty-pants. As you can note reading it, E challenged me to watch it and let her know if it was any good, and that that might convince her to overcome her sitcom bias. Well, I watched. I LOVED. I extolled the virtues of. E ignored, and continued on in her ignorant, bigoted ways.
E: Don’t forget mean. Ignorant, bigoted and mean, that’s me.
M: To quote the late Chubbs Peterson: as long as you’re willing to admit that.
C: I remember none of this. I never watched it. I guess you must have thoughts I was doing so, because you didn’t nag me. I sense a “but” coming on, though…
M: Not a “but,” a concern! I am worried. It was in a decent time slot last year, seemed to do fairly well in the ratings, and got renewed early. Now that they’ve moved it to the reception desk for cancellation that is Friday night, I am scared. Seriously, this show is brilliant, I do NOT want it to get the axe!
Dog With a Blog (Disney, September 20th)
M: Really sis? Why are we commenting on Dog With A Blog?
E: Because it’s called Dog With A Blog? Because you desperately wish your 13-year-old was watching this instead of sneaking Glee on her phone?
C: This is TV for a generation that found Bella Swan’s googling sequences riveting.
M: Just pointing out, E left this comment alone, but I was accused of being mean for disparaging the audience of The Carrie Diaries…
C: Sheer hypocrisy. And I’m reaping all the benefits.
Shark Tank (ABC, September 20th)
E: My best friend’s husband and kids love this show. Her hubby’s an MBA, so he uses the presentations as object lessons.
C: I don’t know what that means. All I am fairly sure of is that this is a reality show, and not about actual sharks.
E: The premise of the show is that would-be entrepreneurs make pitches to investors. The sharks are entirely metaphorical.
C: Though, no lie, a scandal show called Real Sharks of the Gulf of Mexico would be pretty awesome.
M: Not bad at all, but I think they should change the name for this season to Sharknado Tank.
Hawaii Five-O (CBS, September 27th)
E: What did this show do to get banished to Friday nights? I thought it was doing really well on Mondays!
M: I think it was getting overwhelmed by the ABC and NBC offerings, but to me that would mean a move to a different night and time during the regular week. Fridays seems rather harsh.
C: I too thought this was well-rated with the average population. Friday night successes are usual niche-market shows, the kind of thing a fan will stay home to watch (or organize parties around). But I suppose in the DVR era, that matters less?
E: That’s a thought. Or perhaps the network bigwigs thought this show would fit Friday’s lineup because of the action/adventure theme? I understand this season will be delving into the dark backstories of the main characters.
M: I really enjoyed this show, but it lost the Monday 10pm DVR war last year, and I lost track. One thing I can tell you is that it does NOT need to delve into dark back stories more.
C: Loving Alex O’Loughlin as I do from other things, I surprise even myself by not having tried harder to watch this show. It’s not bad by any means, simply run-of-the-mill. I feel like it lacks a sense of humor (or at least my sense of humor); without that spice, the cop show formula’s a bit bland for me.
E: I had pretty much the same critique; not enough humor (excepting Scott Caan’s entertaining and endearing Danno), too much self-justifying violence, and not enough heroism. I very much dislike the Five-O team’s casual “ends justify the means” philosophy.
M: Agreed, but will posit that Caan’s humor is more prevalent than you two are giving it credit for.
E: Maybe, but McGarrett’s like a humor vacuum. His inability to loosen up got tedious.
C: I said “or at least my sense of humor.” I know you like him, though.
America’s Next Top Model (CW, August 2, 2013)
E: This season’s twist? Girls AND guys compete. Oh the drama of it all. How will I stand it? Oh, right. By not watching.
C: Actually, that is kind of interesting. I’m not going to watch it, but I applaud the move toward a format the show ought to have taken from the beginning.
Sleepy Hollow (encore) (FOX)
E: Nothing new to say except that I’m glad it’s re-airing because that way I can record the pilot, which I missed despite being really interested, seeing a gajillion ads, and researching the start date for these posts. Oops.
C: Ha. Well, most shows start next week or later, so I’m not surprised. Still, it’s a bit bleak that they’re dedicating a prime time hour (even on Friday) to a re-airing. Couldn’t have given some creative, smartly-written pilot a chance, Fox… only to cruelly rip it from us when it failed to garner enough ratings?
M: I watched the pilot, I’m not sure it’s worth the re-airing. It bears as much resemblance to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as would Transformers were Shia LeBeouf’s character named Ichabod Crane, and nothing else changed.
E: That’s hardly a surprise, given everything we saw in the ads. Also, I don’t know, I’m not at all attached to the original, so as long as what they do give us is exciting and well enough made for once I won’t quibble about truth in adaptation.
M: It did have impressive guest stars (Clancy Brown, John Cho), but I don’t think we’ll be seeing them in the full season. Still, it has potential, if you’re into witchcraft/supernatural/apocalyptic cop shows.
E: And who isn’t? Especially on a Friday night.
Raising Hope (FOX, November 8th)
E: Well, it looks like the head honchos at Fox believe that Sleepy Hollow will either be off the air by November or sufficiently imprinted in our consciousness so as to no longer need the encore. That’s when they start up the third season of this dysfunctional family comedy, in which formerly single dad Jimmy has now moved into his own home with wife Sabrina, giving parents Virginia and Burt a little space for their own shenanigans.
M: Are you still watching this out of loyalty to a former Good Wife guest star? Because of all the sitcoms…
E: Nope. It’s a funny enough show, but I got bored with it after 6 episodes or so. Other plans for the season involve a murder trial, a political election, a wacky Christmas episode, and guest starring turns from Molly Shannon and Jeffrey Tambor.
Grimm (NBC, October 25th)
M: Grimm has actually carved out a nice role for itself on Fridays, and anchors a more spooky NBC lineup that this year continues with Dracula (see below). I wonder if its success, especially if Dracula is able to continue it, will lead the other networks to try for a more “themed” night too?
E: This is exactly why Hawaii Five-O feels weird for Fridays; too much sunshine.
M: Unless they really dig into those dark backstories.
E: Yes, but there will still literally be lots of sunshine.
M: Sorry, continue.
C: I’ve still never seen Grimm, but I have friends who love it, and I’m told it’s another of those shows that really found its legs as it went on. I’m looking forward to Netflixing it sometime.
E: I thought I would love Grimm, but found the lead character and the writing far too bland for my taste, at least in the first few episodes. Clearly it’s found some sort of stride, however, or it wouldn’t be still airing. For those who do enjoy, know that Nick’s going to unzombify himself and get out of that coffin. Shocking! Though the experience will change him forever, he’ll still find time to police the Portland area, battling sirens and sewer-dwelling alligators along with more garden variety demons. That’s right. Alligators in the sewers. They’re going there.
M: Ugh. Moving past that, I see they’re continuing the overall 2013 trend of the kidnapped/trapped/etc. main character dealing with aftereffects of that trauma for most of this season, like NCIS:LA and SVU. Good to know we have a theme for the year.
E: 2013: the year of post-traumatic stress.
C: And wacky adult child/parent house sharing. Hm, maybe there’s a connection there…
The Hollow Crown (PBS, September 20th)
E: Who’s pumped up for some Shakespeare? I am!
M: Oh dead lord. I’m pretty sure “pumped” and “Shakespeare” have never been put together, and that the bard himself would be appalled at the combination.
C: Oh, M. You could not be more wrong. And I mean that people do not get “pumped” about Shakespeare, though I might also add that the bard himself was a pretty huge fan of colloquial language.
E: That stuffy image of Shakespeare is all kinds of wrong.
M: Okay, maybe I missed something. Were Shakespeare’s works full of 20- to 30-year-old, awkward colloquialisms?
C: I don’t know, but I’m sure that someone, somewhere has written a dissertation that would answer that question.
E: Mock all you want, M, but I’m giddy as a school girl in line for a One Direction concert, thinking about Oscar winning director Sam Mendes’s Shakespeare tetraology for television; this series includes Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.
M: Tetraology? Isn’t that the study of Tetris?
E: Where did we get him, C? Cretin. Dunderhead. Barbarian.
M: Don’t forget Neanderthal.
E: I know how much you loved Branaugh’s Henry V; your lack of enthusiasm baffles me.
C: I think the word is “tetralogy,” so I’m not sure whose side I’m on there.
E: MAN, I hate the way you people jump on my typos. Why can you not just edit them out like normal human beings instead of turning them into talking points? Oh, wait, I know. Because you’re my siblings.
M: Seriously, why would you EVER expect us to act like normal human beings?
C: You had the opportunity to jump on M for saying “dead lord” above when he obviously meant “dear lord,” and you didn’t take it. Be more ruthless! To return to the point, though — yes, M is an utter loon for not being interested in this. Amazing cast, amazing-looking production values. I’m just surprised this has taken so long to make it across the pond; it aired in England over a year ago, I believe.
E: But aren’t you glad it’s finally here? Oh, and did I mention? The BAFTA winning series stars Jeremy Irons, Ben Whishaw, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters, Clemence Poesy, John Hurt, David Morrissey, Geraldine Chaplin, David Suchet, James Purefoy and Tom Hiddleston. That’s right. Loki does Shakespeare. SO excited.
M: Well, now that you mentioned Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters, Clemence Poesy, David Morrissey, Geraldine Chaplin and David Suchet…
E: Seriously, what’s gotten into you, M? This is our family thing; we recognize people. It’s what we do. And darn it, you know most of the people you just listed. Because you asked: Julie Walters is Molly Weasley, Clemence Poesy is Fleur Delacour, David Suchet is Hercule Poirot, David Morrissey you might have seen in any one of his insanely brilliant roles in Our Mutual Friend, State of Play, Doctor Who, though he’s best known in America for spending most of last season taking names on The Walking Dead. Admittedly you probably don’t know Ben Whishaw of the amazing journalism drama The Hour or literary biopic Bright Star. But Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of legend Charlie Chaplin and mother of actress Oona Chaplin, made a name for herself in the David Lean classic Dr. Zhivago. Dude. Man up.
C: You go, E! If the Quibbling Sibs aren’t allowed to drop names to each other, I don’t know what the point of this blog is anymore.
M: I was not saying you couldn’t name drop, I was suggesting you drop better names. You convinced me when you mentioned that Chaplin named her child Oona. So there.
C: Those are great names. You’re just too Americentric.
Enlisted (FOX, November 8th)
E: This is what Fox is putting into the bottom half of the hour once it stops with the Sleepy Hollow encores — a workplace comedy set in the Army.
C: Huh. Interesting.
E: Afghanistan war vet George Stults of The Finder and Seventh Heaven runs the “Rear Detachment Unit” which oddly enough includes his two brothers, Suburgatory‘s Parker Young and Veronica Mars/Private Practice‘s Chris Lowell. (Somewhat surprisingly, Piz plays the smart-aleck brother instead of the sweet puppy dog — but I guess that’s why they call it acting.) One thing’s for sure: nobody’s aiming for elevated, subtle humor with that department name.
E: You know what I really want to know? Where’s Suburgatory? Enlisted can have Parker Young; I hated him as a love interest for Tessa. But seriously, it’s the only sitcom I watch and I’d like it to stick around.
M: Has it gone to be with Desperate Houswives in hyper-stylized, hyper-reality hell?
Blue Bloods (CBS, September 27th)
M: Is it me, or does it seem amazing that this is going into its fourth season?
E: Not really. Friday=lowered expectations. On tap for the family cop show this season: the widowed patriarch gets girlfriend, the youngest son gets a new partner, and Bebe Neuwirth plays inspector general.
C: This is another one I forgot existed. But come to think of it, friend and frequent commenter Sapience is a fan, I believe.
E: It’s a well made show with a great cast (Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg. Bridget Moynihan, Jennifer Esposito). The only part that surprises me is that it airs on a Friday.
C: I feel like we’re talking to much about what does and doesn’t belong on Fridays. Maybe we’ve pigeonholed Friday. Maybe Friday is more complex and multifarious than we’re giving it credit for.
M: Maybe it’s becoming so. But then again, FOX is using it to show reruns of a new Monday night show, so maybe not.
Dracula (NBC, October 25th)
C: Now this I am absolutely fascinated to see. Or to be more accurate: to see what reactions it gets. In terms of actually tuning in, I’m torn between my love of the Victorian and interest in the novel, and my vivid dislike of exsanguination and Byronic antiheroes.
M: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers takes on the titular role in this period piece. And let me say, I’m glad they bucked the current trend and didn’t try to put this into a modern day setting.
C: Me too. This isn’t just Twilight under a different name. Far from it, I’d say. But as the trailer makes crystal clear, it has absolutely nothing to do with Bram Stoker’s Dracula either. (Besides some of the names, of course, Jurassic Park-style.)
M: And Sleepy Hollow-style. It looks stylish, very well produced, and despite not being able to figure out what Rhys-Meyers is doing with his accent, I think it could be quite good.
E: I guess the (odd) idea is that Dracula’s posing as an American entrepreneur seeking funds for a new venture in Victorian London, so the accent is supposed to be mid-19th century American? I don’t love vampires, including the granddaddy of them all, but yeah. Rhys-Meyers, fresh off The Tudors, is a big selling-point.
C: It’s surprising to see him on a network show. But then, he’s hardly “fresh” off The Tudors since it ended in 2010, and his film/TV career’s been bopping around aimlessly since then. This is certainly a step up from a cameo in the teenybopper Gothic flick City of Bones, silly facial hair notwithstanding.
Haven (SyFy, September 13th)
C: I’ve actually seen this show! I binge-watched the first season, for some reason. It was probably a moment of stress. I then as quickly lost interest and hadn’t even realized it was still on.
E: Ha! I watched the first season when it first aired, felt a moderate interest in it, and then promptly forgot it existed.
M: I’ll buck the “dropped it after the first season” trend… I’ve never watched an episode.
C: To be clear, it isn’t a bad show. It feels like a knock-off of something very good, which has its own mild charm. Now starting its fourth season, the series is inspired by a Stephen King novella — King in his “weird happenings in small-town Maine” rather than “full-on horror in small-town Maine” mode — and concerns a picturesque seaside village where many people have mysterious abilities or curses. Think Fringe meets Gilmore Girls, if you can do that with your brain.
M: I like that version of King much better.
E: Mr. E’s a big fan of Stephen King, and we both enjoy the paranormal, which is why we checked the show out in the first place. Mild charm is an excellent descriptor. Now, at the end of the third season, lead Audrey disappeared into a supernatural barn, and is living outside Haven under an assumed name; Eric Balfour’s Duke nobly searches for her this season.
20/20 (ABC, September 6th)
M: Goodnight, everybody!