Fall TV 2011 Check-Up
Believe it or not, the fall TV season hasn't quite finished rolling out yet with AMC's Hell on Wheels premiering this Sunday and Fox's dreadful sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter due in three weeks. Still, by now, we've gotten a chance to see a few weeks worth of television from most of the new shows and gotten a chance to decide which ones are the winners and losers.
My favorite pilot of the TV season, Showtime's Homeland, is still going strong and getting better every week thanks to impressive storytelling and some really fantastic performances from stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin. The network recently picked it up for a second season, so it's worth catching up. ABC's comedy Suburgatory is proving to be the most consistently funny new sitcom, lead by charming young actress Jane Levy. Fox's New Girl got benched due to post-season baseball, but the episode that aired prior to its hiatus, where the housemates attended a wedding together, showed the quirky cast of characters at its best. Last night's return, however, fell back into the trap of depicting Zooey Deschanel's leading lady as more bewilderingly inept than charming. NBC's Up All Night is another sitcom that has a strong core in stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnett but is really struggling to find a place for Maya Rudolph's character. ABC's Pan Am has been turning in decent episodes and doing the retro thing way better than NBC's Playboy Club, but terrible ratings on a night cluttered with excellent cable shows are putting its future in doubt.
Several of my least favorite new shows have already been canceled, including H8R, The Playboy Club, Charlie's Angels and How to Be a Gentleman. However, there were a few shows that I didn't love but stuck with for a few episodes to see if they could improve. Terra Nova's pilot was impressive in its spectacle but the storytelling has continued to be incredibly weak and oddly boring. You'd think an adventure drama featuring dinosaurs would get your blood pumping every week, but each new episode has been more dull than the last and the cast of characters is still quite bland. CW's Ringer has similar issues of unengaging drama. While each episode tends to end with a hook that implies things might get more exciting next week, time and time again the promise was never kept and it became clear that the soapy drama was nothing more than pretty people in nice clothes threatening each other.
How about you? What new shows are you loving and which ones have you chucked?