September 13th, 2010


The TV Nerd Explores the Fall 2010 Season

It's that time of year again, faithful followers of the TV Nerd! It's time for me to take a look at the Fall 2010 TV season and see what strikes my fancy. This year, like last, is remarkable for how few new shows whet my appetite, and indeed, how few shows do overall. This may be one of the leanest seasons for the TV Nerd in quite some time!

So, without further ado, and with thanks to the good folks over at Entertainment Weekly for their research library Fall TV Preview issue, let's check out what's in store, on a day by day basis:

I'm already hooked on NBC's Chuck and ABC's Castle, but nothing else scheduled for Monday nights is grabbing me. The Event? I'm not big on political conspiracy theories. If I were, I'd read Daily Kos and Andrew Breitbart. Hawaii Five-O? I'm over police procedurals, especially the slick kind. Mike and Molly, a sitcom about two overweight people in love? I liked it the first time I saw it, when it was called Roseanne. Chuck and Castle it is, then.

There are no recurring programs on the Big 5 networks on Tuesdays that I'm interested in, but two new ones have piqued my interest. The first is ABC's No Ordinary Family, with Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz as the heads of a suburban superhero family. Advance buzz has not been kind, but I'll be giving it a shot just the same. The second show is Fox's Running Wilde. I have to admit, this sitcom's Dharma & Greg-like premise does nothing for me, but I'm a huge fan of Will Arnett and the show is created by Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development. That's enough to get me to give it a try. Also, I hear FX's Louie has been renewed, so hopefully that will be back soon. Also also, now that everyone I know is a fan, I'm wondering if I should give Fox's Glee a try. Thoughts?

For whatever reason, Wednesday is a wasteland on the Big 5, at least as far as I'm concerned. I'm mildly interested in NBC's new series Undercovers because it looks like it could be a lot of action-quip-spy fun, but that's it. I keep meaning to give Modern Family a shot, but I finally did with The Big Bang Theory and didn't like it nearly as much as everyone said I would, so I'm reluctant to try another sitcom that people are always telling me to watch. Of course, outside the Big 5, Wednesday isn't such a wasteland after all, what with shows like South Park and Ugly Americans returning to Comedy Central.

And once again the networks have decided to cram pretty much everything onto Thursday nights. There's NBC's Community, 30 Rock and The Office, of course. (On a side note, I can't believe they bumped Parks and Recreation to midseason to make room for Outsourced, which couldn't look less funny to me--or more poorly timed--if it tried. Really, NBC? You're going to try this one when we have 9.6% unemployment nationally? Good luck!) There's also CBS's The Mentalist, and after a much improved second season I'm looking forward to seeing how this one progresses. When it comes to new Thursday shows, the only one that looks interesting to me is CBS's S#*! My Dad Says, mostly because the Twitter is funny and everyone loves William Shatner. But advance buzz for this one is pretty bad, and I don't know how they can stretch what works as a 140-character tweet into a 22-minute sitcom episode.

Once a wasteland of programming where shows went to die (Freakylinks, anyone?), Friday is no longer the kiss of death thanks to the popularity of DVRs and downloading episodes. So niche shows like The CW's Smallville and Fox's Human Target can actually thrive there now. Presumably. It's Smallville's last season, so consider it untouchable, but Human Target was a surprise renewal, which means even a Friday night pass may not be enough. I grew to really like this show, though, and hope it sticks around. Also, there's always E!'s The Soup. But again, no new shows are grabbing me on Fridays.

More Doctor Who and Primeval on BBC America, please!

Dexter! Well, maybe if I had Showtime. Which reminds me, now that I don't have HBO anymore, Sunday nights for me will be entirely about Fox's animation lineup: The Simpsons, which is now entering its seventeenth millennium, The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. (I never got into American Dad.) Oh, and a little something on AMC called The Walking Dead! Yeah, baby! Glancing at the schedule, though, I'm surprised to see Desperate Housewives is still on the air. Who's still watching that? Maybe they should call that one The Walking Dead instead. Ouch.

As you can see, I'm becoming pickier and pickier in my old age. There are so many people out there these days who watch far more TV than I do. It makes me wonder if I deserve the TV Nerd crown at all anymore!

Anyway, those are the shows I'll be tuning in for, at least once. How about you? Any of the new shows look better to you than they do to me?