Fall TV 2010: New and returning shows premiering this Thursday and Friday
The Big Bang Theory
Thursdays on CBS at 7pm
New night, new time, same silly physicist boys. Last season Raj and Wolowitz managed to find Sheldon his perfect woman, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). Sheldon will embark on his first date with Amy, but don't expect it to be anything like most romances, Sheldon and Amy are compatible because of their similarly emotionally stunted personalities.
Thursdays on NBC at 7pm
Community was definitely the underdog in last year's crop of new comedies, being outshone by the likes of Glee and Modern Family and things aren't going to get easier this season as CBS has moved one of it's strongest sitcoms opposite it. It's become clear, though, that Community team is quite comfortable with its place as the little guy, using that position to push the boundaries. Recent announcements about its sophomore season include a pre-premiere "Twittersode," some surprises for the Halloween episode and a stop-motion animated Christmas outing. Additionally, funny lady of the year Betty White is guesting as the group's new eccentric Anthropology 101 teacher. If you missed out on the show's unique brand of humor last year, don't miss what's sure to be an interesting second season.
Thursdays on ABC at 7pm
The nine characters that are the focus of this show were bound together when they were chosen to represent their high school in a documentary film and now, 10 years later, the documentarians have returned to see where these people are now. Amusingly, the characters of My Generation are, actually part of my generation as I'm also a graduate of the Class of 2000 and currently staring down the barrel of my impending 10-year reunion. So, you'd think that I might find something in common with at least one of the characters, each identified by their stereotyped high school identity (jock, nerd, punk, brain, etc.). Alas, there is little in the way of reality in this show, it's all overly trite, machined soapiness. Several of the characters have married each other (but none of the current couples were actually an item when they were in high school) and almost all but three of them have stayed in their hometown and interact on a regular basis. The most shameless thing about My Generation, though, is its use of events from the last decade to add some kind of relevance to its story. The worst instance of this is the utilization of archive footage from 9/11 to explain why a character elected to join the army. The creators of this show would have done well to watch the Up series, which depicted how real people's lives progress over time, but apparently that just wouldn't have had enough fireworks and incestuous relationships for them. Had My Generation had taken itself less seriously and approached its concept in more of Christopher Guest-style mockumentary it might have been entertaining, but its sober presentation of such banal material is laughable in the worst possible way.
Thursdays on FOX at 7pm
Sure, everyone may have gone their separate ways at the conclusion of last season, but you didn't really think it was going to stay that way, did you? Brennan has returned from her island adventure and she's beginning to regret her cold response to Booth's declaration of love. Booth, meanwhile, will manage to find a way home from Afghanistan, but he won't be coming back alone. Sorry shippers, looks like these two won't be coupling up any time soon.
S#*! My Dad Says
Thursdays on CBS at 7:30pm
It would be easy to blame the poor quality of this sitcom its originating from a Twitter feed or on the ridiculously unpronounceable title, but when it comes down to it, it's just a poorly written and executed comedy. William Shatner has many talents, but performing for a studio audience doesn't seem to be one of them. Every joke seems to be punctuated by invisible jazz hands as he waits for the laughter and applause to shower down on him.
Thursdays on NBC at 7:30pm
The big news on the horizon is the upcoming live episode of 30 Rock, but the premiere will pick up with Liz where we last left her, dating pilot Matt Damon.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Thursdays on CBS at 8pm
Tween star Justin Bieber guest stars on the season premiere, which finds the CSI team investigating a bombing at the funeral of Officer Franklin Clark.
Thursdays on NBC at 8pm
Now that we all know this will be the last season of The Office for Steve Carell, there's a bit of a cloud hanging over this beloved comedy, but the premiere will have Michael up to his usual game as he finds himself opposed to the other Dunder-Mifflin employees when he sticks up for the new office assistant (Evan Peters) that everyone else can't stand.
Thursdays on ABC at 8pm
The staff of Seattle Grace copes with the physical and emotional trauma witnessed in last season's deadly finale.
Thursdays on FOX at 8pm
Last season's explosive finale found our Olivia in a cell on the other side while her doppelganger took her place with Walter and Peter on the trip home. Unfortunately for Olivia, it doesn't look like she'll be making the trip back home anytime soon as the first few episodes of the season have the Olivias staying put while Walternate tries to convince Olivia that she belongs on their side and alt-Olivia continues his perceived war between the realities while remaining undercover in the Fringe division. It's a risky game to divide your main character like that, but the first episodes of season three look quite promising. Fringe's turn towards more serialized storytelling is really allowing it to show its strengths.
Thursdays on NBC at 8:30pm
NBC's marketing team has begun touting their network as more "colorful" than others and you can bet that the largely Indian cast of this sitcom is one of the shows they're talking referring to. This raises the question, though, should the net or the show's creators get credit for airing a show with predominantly minority cast if most of the humor is directed at mocking the race and culture of those cast members? The show's premise involves a recent graduate of managerial training (Ben Rappaport) heading to India to run a call center composed of a collection of native outcasts. When the jokes aren't aimed at silly Indian accents are or how they don't understand American culture, it's directed at the novelty items their tasked with selling over the phone (think fake vomit and "Jingle Jugs"). The whole thing is just a mess of unfunny and insulting humor and that the far superior Parks and Recreation got bumped to a mid-season premiere for this schlock is just sad.
Thursdays on CBS at 9pm
Jane is unsure of his future with the unit after his encounter with Red John, but the kidnapping of a prominent house lobbyist forces him to get back in the game.
Thursdays on ABC at 9pm
Drama abounds as Pete and Violet prepare for their wedding day, Naomi cares for her daughter and newborn granddaughter and Addison and Sam relationship takes an interesting turn. In the midst of all of this, everyone comes together to mourn Dell.
Fridays on CBS at 7pm
Allison and Bridgette find themselves in the midst of a Freaky Friday-esque body swap following a shared dream about a homeless man at the center of Allison's recent case, making for some interesting hi-jinks at work, school and home.
Fridays on CW at 7pm
As Smallville revs up its tenth and final season, with Lois coming to Clark's aid and Chloe desperately searching for Oliver. Meanwhile, Jonathan returns to the Kent farm with a message for his son.
Fridays on CBS at 8pm
Sela Ward joins the team as former FBI agent Jo Danville and gets immediately thrown into the fray when stumbles upon the body of woman killed in the building that houses the NYPD Crime Lab.
Fridays on CW at 8pm
One year later, Dean has given up hunting and is living with Lisa and Ben. Meanwhile, Sam finds himself inexplicably released from his cage in hell and tracks down Dean to get him to rejoin the fight, introducing him to the family he never knew existed.
Fridays on CBS at 9pm
Not your average cop drama, this one focuses on the members of a single family, the Reagans, that have passed the legacy of law enforcement down through three generations. All the men in the family are cops, including the father, Frank (Tom Selleck), who's the chief and the lone daughter (Bridget Moynahan) is a district attorney. The pilot sets up a potential conspiracy within the police department that may have lead to the death of one of the sons, but the family drama is where most of the emphasis is here. Where Blue Bloods thrives is the association between the tight-knit politics of the NYPD and the family dynamic of the Reagans. Most of the premiere episode, however, focuses on a run-of-the-mill case investigated by Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), that doesn't really distinguish itself from those you find on every other cop shop and feels like a re-hash of several old Law & Order episodes.