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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall TV 2011

With the sneak-previews of Up All Night and Free Agents tonight, as well as The New Girl being available online, today seems like a good time to announce my plans for TV watching and reviewing this fall. In past years I have reviewed shows on an incredibly inconsistent and perfunctory basis. Too often I have either abandoned shows for lack of something new to say or relied on the not-particularly-insightful, “that line was funny, that line was not” format. This year I’m going to try to be more thoughtful, even if it means even less of a week-in, week-out schedule. Most of the shows I’ll be reviewing are comedies, because I don’t watch too many hour-long dramas and don’t feel that the ones I do watch (House and Bones in particular) lend themselves to analytic rigor.

There are going to be a flurry of reviews here in the coming weeks, because I plan to give every new comedy at least one shot to impress me. The herd will inevitably be culled by cancellations and time-constraints, and unless I get a DVR in my new apartment, the fact that some of these shows share a timeslot will lead to some reviews being delayed.

All that being said, here is the slate of shows I plan to watch and write about this fall, with some degree of regularity.

Monday: How I Met Your Mother returns for Season 7, and I will check in whenever the show relives its glory days or reverts to its occasional embarrassing corniness. 2 Broke Girls doesn’t look promising (I love Kat Dennings, but Beth Behrs comes off poorly in the ads) but I’ll give the pilot a look. I’ll probably watch House on a delay, but will probably at least discuss the premiere, in which House will go to prison. I like Castle but never really watch it.

Tuesday: I’ve actually already seen The New Girl pilot, but I’ll save my thoughts for closer to the premiere date. I’ll almost certainly keep watching if only for my love for Zooey Deschanel. I’m still trying to find some way to say I like Cougar Town without feeling shame, and maybe I’ll work that out by the time it returns in November, though I doubt I’ll write on it frequently. Promising new show Apartment 23 also debuts in November and will get at least a pilot review. Last Man Standing (aka Tim Allen’s new show) and Man Up! Might test my commitment to reviewing every new comedy.

Wednesday: This is suddenly a crowded night. I plan to watch Suburgatory as long as it isn’t too annoying, and I’ll watch Modern Family and Happy Endings and try to write on both. Happy Endings is one show I’m really looking forward too. It showed a lot of promise last spring, enough that the show gave it a surprise pickup. NBC’s two new comedies Up All Night and Free Agents will get reviews. Both feature talented performers and writers I like, so I’m likely to stick with them even if early episodes struggle.

Thursday: NBC will get my eyeballs on Thursday nights. I’m going to try to review every episode of Community, since there is always something to talk about. (Is it too weird? Etc.) I love Parks and Rec, and I’m interested to see how The Office handles life after Michael. Whitney might not make it to episode two, but the first will be commented upon. Whenever 30 Rock comes back I’ll talk about it when warranted. I like Bones but it’s a pretty formulaic show, although Brennan’s pregnancy could change that. I enjoy The Big Bang Theory but it is a fairly unambitious show that leaves little to discuss. How to Be a Gentleman has a decent cast but little promise.

I won’t be reviewing any Friday or Saturday shows. (As you can see, I need to get outdoors sometimes.) I may or may not give Pan Am a look if the mood strikes me or if Sunday Night Football is a dud. I’ll try my hand at Mad Men reviews whenever that show finally comes back.

Looks like it’s going to be a busy fall full of sitting down.

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