Sunday, September 11, 2011

TV Week Fall Preview 2011 - Part 1

It's that time of year when those of us who are addicted to television get excited about all the new TV shows as well as look forward to the return of our old favorites. We also mourn the loss of those shows that didn't make it to the new fall season. I was going to do a list of what I liked from last year and which shows were still on etc, but unfortunately, I didn't do my list last season (I must have been too excited watching all the new shows to sit and write a post).

Last weeks issue of TV Week (for the week of Sept 10-16) takes a look at the 50 new shows for this fall season. Here is a list of the ten shows I will be tuning in to and checking out this fall (I'll give each show a rating out of 5 for how much I am looking forward to it - 5 being the ones I am most excited about):

PAN AM (1) - A big ticket drama which follows a quartet of comely stewardesses on the prestigious Pam Am airline during the early 1960's, an era when air travel was still fun and glamorous, and being a stewardess was a passport to international adventure. I am not a big fan of drama, but the subject matter seems interesting, so we'll see if I am able to stick with it after the first episode.

TERRA NOVA (2) - Exec producer Steven Spielberg returns to familiar territory with this much-anticipated series set in 2149. Humanity flees a dying earth entering a "time portal" that sens them millions of year into the past, where they begin colonizing the prehistoric planet. I used to enjoy Land of the Lost as a youngster, and Jurassic Park was lots of fun. But, I fear this will be given the "Lost" treatment and become to tangled in plot instead of just being a fun weekly bit of entertainment.

2 BROKE GIRLS (3) - The show follows a pair of NYC waitresses who work at a dingy diner alongside its new owner, a horny Russian cook and an elderly cashier. If its funny, it could end up being interesting.

LAST MAN STANDING (3) - Tim Allen retreads familiar ground in this half-hour sitcom about manly Mike Baxter, a husband and father of three daughters whose life is dominated by women. When his wife returns to work after years of being a stay-at-home mom, Mike is further emasculated when he actually has to do some parenting. Doesn't sound like there is much new here, but I'll give Tim Allen 30 minutes to convince me to come back the second week.

NEW GIRL (2) - Jessica Day's recent breakup has left her single, despondent and homeless. With nowhere to live, this lovely neurotic young woman becomes the new roommate to a trio of sloppy single guys, who ineffectually attempt to drag her out of her post-breakup misery. This show is getting lots of praise, so I might give it a try, but it is sounding a little to much like a 'chick flick' for my liking.

UP ALL NIGHT (2) - Another show about the father becoming a stay-at-home dad when the wife goes back to work. Been there, done that... but it does star Christina Applegagte, and after watching her for 11 seasons on Married With Children, I am fan enough to check out her now show.

SUBURGATORY (2) - A family moves from Manhattan to a bucolic suburb full of big-haired, silicone-boobed soccer moms. Big hair and soccer moms... could be worth tuning in.

CHARLIE'S ANGELS (1) - A reboot of the jiggly T&A cop show from the 70's. I may tune in, or I may now. I just know I won't enjoy it as much as I did as a 10 year old boy!

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (3) - Pretentious magazine columnist Andrew Calrson, pines for a more-civilized bygone era. When his editor threatens to fire him if he doesn't put a modern, sexy twist on his etiquette column, Andrew hires his one-time bully, Bert to teach him how to be manly. Sounds like it could be one of the sillier shows this season.

HAPPILY DIVORCED (5) - Based on her real-life marriage, former Nanny star Fran Drescher stars as a woman named Fran - again - shows husband confesses he's gay. Since this is a sitcom, they get divorced but tight finances causes them to continue to live together. I have downloaded the first few episodes back in July, and have liked what I have seen so far. Its just a fun and silly show.

Of the ten new shows I am going to check out, there is just one I rated a 5, three 3's, four 2's and two 1's. So, it looks like this could be a pretty lame season for new shows, unless there are some real surprises as the season gets underway. And there isn't much of interest waiting in the wings for the mid season replacement shows either. Thankfully a bunch of my favorites are coming back. I'll have more on that on Tuesday when I look at the Returning Series issue.

Here is a full grid of new shows. Click on it to make full size.

Let me know what you are looking forward to tuning in to this fall, in the comments.

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