It’s mid September and that can only mean one thing – a new crop of TV shows and some returning favourites!
I’ve been checking around the web, watching preview trailers/promos and reading the critics reviews. Here is my take on the freshman shows of Fall 2011:
- Once Upon A Time Sunday’s ABC 7C CTV 7C (Oct 23) Fairy tale characters stuck in the real world and either have no memory or are unwilling to remember who they really are. A little dark, a little over the top but if you can totally suspend your sense of logic and reality you may buy it – for a few episodes anyway. Will likely end unhappily ever after fairly quickly.
- Pan Am Sunday’s ABC/CTV 9C (Sept 25) This is ABC’s bid to keep the audience of Desperate Housewives. A throwback to the glory days of air travel and the life of the stewardesses and pilots of Pan Am. It seems to be getting better buzz than NBC’s Playboy Club but only time will tell if either is worth more than a passing glance.
- 2 Broke Girls Monday’s CBS 8:30E Citytv 8:30C (Sept 19) Odd couple on estrogen with predictable and unlikeable characters. Hard to believe this was one of the highest rated pilots – unless of course only those with empty minds saw it. Can’t believe the network cancelled “Mad Love” for this!
- The Playboy Club Monday’s NBC/Citytv 9C (Sept 19) Do we really need to go down this same sexist route again? Even with a murder mystery thrown into the mix, this is one retro show that likely won’t be around long.
- Hart Of Dixie Monday’s CW 8C (Sept 26) Classic fish out of water as New York surgeon Zoe Hart moves to Alabama to practice medicine. The trailer for this is surprisingly likeable even though there were the predictable new kid in town situations. I’d like to watch this but I’d have to make some changes to my cable line up to get the CW and I’m not sure it is worth it for one show. Unfortunately, I can’t even watch this online as the site’s videos state “content is not available in my location”!
- Terra Nova Monday’s Fox/Citytv 7C (Sept 26) Citizens of the future head back to the time of the dinosaurs to create a better civilization. Huge on CGI and Steven Spielberg behind it should make this solid for fans of Jurassic Park type drama but only time will tell if this new colony will survive more than a few weeks.
- Last Man Standing Tuesday’s ABC 7C (Oct 11) Sunday’s Citytv 7:30E (Oct 16) Tim Allen is a man’s man in a world of estrogen. If you liked Home Improvement you will likely find this amusing – tired stereotype jokes and all.
- Man Up Tuesday’s ABC/CTV Two 7:30C (Oct 18) Geared to the males and full of your regular guy humour.
- Ringer Tuesday’s, 8C CW (Sept 13) Fridays 9C Global (Sept 16) Twin sisters – one leaves witness protection and reconnects with her estranged twin who dies suddenly thereafter. She assumes the life of her deceased sister only to discover she had a secret life. One can only hope this identity ruse is discovered quickly and then Sarah Michelle Gellar can find a better series.
- Unforgettable Tuesday's, 9C on CTV/CBS (Sept. 20) Poppy Montgomery (Without A Trace) is back as a cop who can’t forget anything – except for how her sister died. A female version of The Mentalist – without the psychic ability. Too bad it is up against Body Of Proof. If you have a PVR/DVR use it!
- New Girl Tuesday's 8C Citytv/Fox (Sept. 20) After a nasty breakup a girl finds a new place to live – with three guys! This may well turn into a hit if the singing doesn’t turn you off.
- Suburgatory Wednesday’s 7:30C ABC/Citytv (Sept 28) Single dad uproots teen daughter from Manhattan and moves to a suburb after finding a box of condoms in her drawer. Looks like a typical fish out of water set up and could go either way.
- Revenge Wednesday’s ABC/Citytv 9C (Sept 21) Described as Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girl. Is there room on the small screen for another show filled with the secrets and romances of the rich and powerful? Could be! I loved Canadian born Emily VanCamp on Everwood a few years back. She is really proving herself from what I saw in an extended preview! I was quite intrigued and will definitely be tuning in!
- H8R Wednesday’s CW 7C (Sept 14) Real life people confronted by the celebs they hate. Odd concept but if it were done with taste it could actually open some eyes to how other people really live. Sadly, I doubt that it will teach anybody much of anything.
- The X Factor Wednesday’s Fox/CTV 7C (Sept 21) Yet another reality talent show – YAWN!
- I Hate My Teenager Daughter Wednesday’s – 8:30C Fox/Fridays, 9E Global (Nov 30/Dec 2) Kids hate their mothers just as much in this one. If this wasn’t premiering so late in the season it would be the first to be cancelled.
- Up All Night Wednesday’s CTV/NBC 7C (Sept 14) Young couple with a new born. She goes back to work and he stays at home. Watching the extended trailer for this was more than I wanted to see. Luckily it is up against Survivor so will likely be voted off the screen quickly.
- Free Agents Wednesday’s NBC/CTV 7:30C (Sept 14) An office relationship and all the quirky characters that work there. The trailer was only mildly amusing and most of the characters have a high potential to grate on the nerves. Viewing the full pilot was even worse.
- Charlie’s Angels Thursday’s CTV/ABC 7C (Sept 22) Yet another remake.... yawn.
- How To Be A Gentleman Thursday’s CBS/Global 7:30C (Sept 29) Another buddy comedy with an uptight columnist getting to know his former high school buddy. The trailer was more than enough for me.
- Person Of Interest Thursday’s CBS/Citytv 8C (Sept 22) “An ex-CIA hitman and a secretive scientist team up to eliminate internal corruption and fight potential crime before it happens.’ A bit creepy with the “Big Brother is watching” aspect but could be appealing if you enjoy that sort of thing.
- The Secret Circle Thursday’s CW 8C (Sept 15) An orphaned teenager girl returns to the small town where her mom grew up only to discover she is a witch. Um, haven’t we had a few occult type shows already? I cheered for ABC’s Eastwick last season and it was dumped. I watched the trailer for this and it was intriguing in a youthful way but I won’t switch my cable line-up to watch this new series.
- Whitney Thursday’s NBC 8:30C / CTV 7:30C (CTV Sept 19 and NBC Sept 22) Happily unmarried couple Whitney and Alex share their life and experiences. I’ll admit, I hate the TV promo for this but after watching the extended promo online, I’m looking forward to checking this one out.
- Prime Suspect Thursday’s NBC/Global 9C (Sept 22) An American remake of the British series that starred Helen Mirren. This version has Maria Bello as a NYC murder investigator facing sexism while solving violent crime. A little too hardboiled and sexist for my liking but fans of procedural dramas may enjoy.
- A Gifted Man Friday’s CBS/Global 7C (Sept 23) A gifted surgeon’s life is turned upside down when his dead ex-wife starts talking to him. We’ve seen this premise similar to this before in several series so I doubt that this will last more than a season – if that.
- Grimm Friday’s NBC 8C / CTV 7C (Oct 21) Grimm’s Fairy Tales meets cop drama. The show is more gory and deeper on the gruesome side than Once Upon A Time but can also be a bit campy. Suspend any sense of reality and this twist may appeal. Personally, I liked reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales but these fairy tales are a bit too grim.
So much for the new shows. I’m checking out Pan Am, Unforgettable, Revenge and Whitney.
Here is a brief look at some of the returning shows:
- Amazing Race Sunday’s CBS/CTV 7C (Sept 25) I’ve loved this show from day one and am looking forward to seeing yet another race around the world!
- Desperate Housewives Sunday’s ABC/CTV 8C (Sept 25) Marc Cherry recently announced that this would be the last season for the ladies of Wisteria Lane. It’s been a fun ride watching all of their antics over the years and I’m betting this last season will be one to remember!
- The Good Wife Sunday’s CBS 9C Global 8C (Sept 25) I enjoyed the first season but quit watching early in the second. I was tired of the office mind games and the continuing secrets of the wayward politician husband. Now that it has moved to Sunday’s, Even though I have a PVR, I’ll still be passing it by as it is on against Desperate Housewives and the new series Pan Am.
- How I Met Your Mother Monday’s CBS/Citytv 7:30C (Sept 19) The gang is back for another season. Is Barney really going to get married – and to whom? Are Marshall and Lily really pregnant? Will Robin meet Mr. Right? Will we find out who the mother is? Stay tuned!
- Body of Proof Tuesday’s ABC/Citytv 9C (Sept 20) One of the best new mid season shows from last year! Dana Delany rules this time slot!
- Survivor Wednesday’s - CBS/Global 7C (Sept 14) The 23rd season brings back two former players Ozzy (Yes!) and Coach aka “The Dragon Slayer” (Not again!). One of the castaways is the nephew of former survivor Russell Hantz. If the nephew plays anything like his uncle, I may be switching channels or only partially watching. Let’s face it – as great as this show was it is getting past its prime.
- Criminal Minds Wednesday’s – CBS/CTV 8C (Sept 21) Last year’s spin off “Suspect Behaviour” was a disaster but the original is back for a seventh season and still going strong! The good news is that A.J. Cook is back as J.J. and Paget Brewster is back as Emily Prentiss. I’m looking forward to seeing what the team of the BAU will face this time around!
- Harry’s Law Wednesday’s NBC/Global 8C (Sept 21) This was my favourite new show from last season so was thrilled to see it renewed. Some changes for season 2 will take a bit of getting used to for me. Jenna (Brittany Snow) and Malcolm (Aml Ameen) are gone. Tommy (Christopher McDonald) is now a regular. I was hoping that Paul McCrane (Josh) would also return. New cast have been added and Harry gets new office digs. I’ll miss the old one! Hopefully the David Kelley show will retain its wit, great banter and quirkiness!
As for the rest of the returning shows, you can check out all the latest changes and potential storylines by heading to TV Guide Canada Fall Preview. Click on any day of the week and then click the show you want to learn more about.