New Fall TV: What I’ll Be Watching (Part I)
It’s that time of year again. A new crop of TV shows are on the horizon, and the possibilities are endless. Some will disappoint; some will rise beyond their expectations; some will thrive; and some will be canceled before they even have a chance to hit their stride. (With my luck, most of my favorite new shows will fall into the latter category.) But until mid-September when most new shows debut, all we can do is speculate. As of now, my TV schedule is already full to the brim, but that won’t stop me from adding ten or so new shows to my plate, although the odds are at least one or two of them will be canceled by Christmas. So here are the new shows I’m most excited for in the upcoming fall TV season…
Premise: After getting dumped, lovable-but-dorky Jess (played by the Queen of Quirk herself, Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three guys who try to help her get her groove back.
Why I’ll Watch: If you’re thinking the show’s title might as well be Four’s Company, you’re not exactly wrong. But after watching the pilot episode (which you can download for free on iTunes), I have to say it exceeded my expectations by miles. Whenever it looked like the show was starting to veer into sitcom cliché territory, it quickly regained its footing with a Lord of the Rings reference from Jess or an obnoxious comment from Schmidt (who has to put a dollar in the “Douchebag Jar” every time he says or does something crude). New Girl’s cast looks fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because I have weakness for Veronica Mars alumni. (Max Greenfield, who plays the douchey and oft-shirtless Schmidt, played Deputy Leo on Veronica Mars.) It’ll be a shame to see Damon Wayans Jr. leave the show after the first episode since ABC renewed his sitcom Happy Endings. Possibly my favorite thing about New Girl is that, with a relatively big name star like Deschanel and the coveted post-Glee time slot, it might actually live to see a second season! Then both Deschanel sisters would have their own hit show on Fox. (Zooey’s sister Emily is the star of Bones.) New Girl is looking like it has a good chance of being the best new comedy of the season.
Watch a promo for New Girl here.
Premise: Sarah Michelle Gellar, in her triumphant return to television eight years after Buffy, plays both of the estranged twin sisters at the center of this noir thriller. “Bad twin” Bridget is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder, and poses as her sister Siobhan, who has gone missing. Bridget soon discovers that Siobhan’s life is not nearly as perfect as it seems.
Why I’ll Watch: Three words: Sarah. Michelle. Gellar. Need I say more? Actually, yes, I do: Nestor Carbonell (AKA the guy with the eye liner from Lost) will play the FBI agent investigating Bridget’s disappearance. The stellar cast also includes Kristoffer Polaha (star of The CW’s late, great Life Unexpected), Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), and–wait for it…Veronica Mars alumnus Jason Dohring! That’s right, Buffy and Logan Echolls will be sharing the screen together. Excuse me while my inner fangirl weeps with joy. This show is a must-watch for any Buffy fan, or anyone who wants a break from the plethora of acronymed procedural dramas on TV right now. (How many C.S.I.s do we really need?)
Watch a promo for Ringer here.
Premise: Emma Swan (played by Jennifer Morrison of House and How I Met Your Mother) arrives in the quaint town of Storybrooke only to discover that all of its inhabitants are fairy tale characters who have forgotten their true identities.
Why I’ll Watch: It’s from two former Lost producers, and if anyone knows how to tell a story, it’s those guys. I am perpetually trying to fill the void left by Lost in my television schedule, and in my heart. *Sniff sniff* Good serialized dramas are hard to come by these days, so I hope it lives up to the hype. Between its parallel universes and rich mythology, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting into this show. I’ll be honest though, I’d watch it just for the Lost references. There are rumored to be four in the pilot episode alone, at least one of which can be spotted in the promo. (Hint: pay attention to the clock.) And I have a feeling Alan Dale won’t be the last Lost actor to be featured on Once Upon a Time.
Watch a promo for Once Upon a Time here.
Premise: Grimm is the other new show about fairy tales. It’s a darker, more procedural take on the same fables that you’ll no doubt be seeing in Once Upon a Time. David Giuntoli and Russell Hornsby play homicide detectives who investigate crimes based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm.
Why I’ll Watch: Grimm‘s executive producer David Greenwalt was also a producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and I love a good twist on the classic buddy cop story line. That being said, Fringe and Supernatural will also be sharing Grimm‘s Friday night time slot, and it seems like all three will be fighting for the same audience. They’re all dark fantasy dramas (although technically Fringe is sci-fi), but Fringe and Supernatural each have a solid fan base already. As much as I wish there was plenty of room on TV for three quirky genre shows in one night, there just isn’t. And when it comes down to it, my primary viewership goes to Fringe, although I’ll definitely be DVRing Grimm.
Watch a promo for Grimm here.
Premise: Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) stars in this new show about a young surgeon who packs her bags and moves to a small town in Alabama to practice medicine.
Why I’ll Watch: Because I miss Everwood. And The O.C. That’s really the bottom line here. Throw in Friday Night Lights‘ Scott Porter, and you’ve hit the nostalgia trifecta. Hart of Dixie has an air of classic WB to it, harkening back to a time before it became The CW, when the network was known for big-hearted family dramas (remember 7th Heaven?) instead of catty teen soaps. And what can I say, I have a soft spot for city-girl-meets-country-boy stories, especially when that country boy is Scott Porter.
Watch a promo for Hart of Dixie here.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for my other five prospective new fall shows. And leave a comment weighing in on what you’ll be watching this season.