I’m not embarrassed to admit that I love TV! And for TV lovers, fall feels like Christmas. Why? New shows! There’s always some juicy summer shows to tide us over until September, but it’s just not the same. This season, I started out with a massive list of new shows to watch: Some were good, some were great, some disappointed… and some I haven’t even seen yet. I’ve been a busy girl! But here are my favorite new shows thus far this season:
Shows I can’t stop watching…
Ringer: I’m hooked on Ringer! I’m a big Buffy fan, so initially a huge draw to the show was seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar’s adorable face back on the small screen, but the intriguing plot had me interested as well. After watching, I can honestly say it’s one of the best shows The CW has ever produced (And yeah, maybe that’s not saying a lot, but hell — they’re trying). Ringer centers on estranged twin sisters: Bridget is a recovering addict in legal trouble, and Siobhan is a NYC socialite who severed all ties with her troublemaking sis. During her drug-induced stripping days, Bridget witnessed a murder that could put a notorious mob boss behind bars, but on the eve of her testimony at his trial, she flees to escape the wrath of his henchmen. Bridget meets up with her sister in the Hamptons, and after Siobhan apparently commits suicide, Bridget takes her place to hide from the trouble chasing her. But it turns out that Siobhan led a troubled life as well… and (spoiler alert!) Siobhan didn’t kill herself, but rather set up her sister to take the hit out on her own head. Lots of twists, turns and suspense!
New Girl: I didn’t expect to like Zooey Deschanel’s new half-hour comedy as much as I do, but it’s pretty fantastic! At times, her desexualized silly character wears thin, but there are many laugh-out-loud moments and adorably tender moments that make up for it.
American Horror Story: I love all things scary, so I wasn’t surprised to enjoy this spooky show — but I was surprised by how delightfully bizarre, riveting and unique this gem is! The plot is essentially the classic case of a menacing haunted house, but with modern edge. To me, it’s reminiscent of Twin Peaks since there are quite a few “What the fuck?” moments. A word of caution, however: It’s genuinely scary. I didn’t fall asleep easily after watching the pilot, and I’m rarely affected by scary stuff.
The Lying Game: OK, this is not a new fall show but rather debuted late in the summer. Regardless, it is amazing and deserves a place on this list! If you like Pretty Little Liars (and really, who doesn’t?) you will love The Lying Game. The show is about twin sisters who were separated at birth and placed up for adoption. Sutton was fortunate enough to be adopted by a wealthy Phoenix family, but Emma didn’t fare so well: She spent her life in abusive foster homes in Las Vegas. Sutton and Emma find each other and begin to investigate the identities of their birth parents. Sutton gets a lead about their birth mother and convinces (well, forces) Emma to take her place in Phoenix while she heads out to LA on the hunt for answers. Kind-hearted Emma must suddenly act the part of selfish and popular Sutton without giving away her true identity. That’s just the basis of the show, but there’s more: There’s some shady stuff going down with the parents, and it seems to connect to the truth about Sutton and Emma’s birth and separation. The mystery manages to stay fresh and captivating.
The Playboy Club: Man, I really liked The Playboy Club. And I thought it was only heating up… Cancelled after three episodes? Rude. Dumb decision from NBC, in my humble opinion. Maybe my ’60s Playboy club fascination is influencing my admiration for this show, but I was sad to see it go. I think women may have been turned off by the Playboy association; it’s true that Playboy has evolved to be trashy and déclassé, but in the ’60s, the Playboy clubs were the place to be seen. My grandparents went there, and even celebrated my aunt’s 21st birthday at one of the clubs, so I knew it wasn’t a pornographic place but rather a glamorous hotspot. I know they filmed more episodes, so hopefully those get released online at some point. Bunny ears crossed.
On the bubble…
Once Upon a Time: This show just began a few weeks ago, and I’ve enjoyed the episodes thus far, but I’m not sure if the show is set up for long-term success. Once Upon a Time is nice visually with the production quality of a movie, but things are unfolding rather slowly, and in my mind, the success of the show will hinge on whether or not it can find the balance between revealing enough to keep viewers happy and keeping enough unanswered to keep viewers coming back for more. I love anything that puts an unexpected spin on classic fairy tales, so I’m hooked for a while… hopefully, it gets even better with time.
Revenge: Don’t get me wrong, I really like this show, and I never miss it. But I don’t think I love it. Each episode is a touch formulaic; “Emily Thorne” (a.k.a Amanda Clark) tracks down a new person to seek revenge against for the framing and demise of her father, and in just a few easy steps, the pieces of her plan fall into place, and she’s ruined someone’s life. It unfolds all too easily for my liking, and I wish there was more conflict… Or at the very least, I wish we saw how she developed the plans so perfectly in the first place. To be fair, the show does seem to be getting more complicated, and there’s still many interesting, unanswered questions, so I’ll be watching for a while.
And a flop…
Pan Am: I expected to love this show. I wanted to love this show. I love the ’60s. I love shows with strong female leads. I love vintage stewardess costumes. But Pan Am was a flop for me. I was bored. Nothing really happened in the three episodes I watched, and there was practically no character development. I also didn’t appreciate that Pan Am seemed to depict the era through a rose-colored lens of jolly nostalgia. It also seemed to rely on gimmick (specifically unrealistic right-place-right-time scenarios) to create ridiculous plot lines featuring famous historic figures or events. Over it.
Shows I still need to watch…
I haven’t had time to indulge in as much TV watching as I would like, so I still haven’t seen Hart of Dixie or Secret Circle. Has anyone seen these new shows? How are they? I’ll get to them someday! Thank the internet gods for Sidereel and Megavideo.
What new shows are you watching? Which do you love and which do you loathe?
I started watching American Horror Story and The Lying Game too, and I love them both! American Horror Story is a show that I actually get excited to see every week, and I hardly ever get excited about TV shows. Hope it sticks around!
Ali, I love so many of these shows and have been meaning to watch a few (Lying Game & American Horror Story). I do watch Secret Circle & Hart of Dixie (well I watched the premier but fell behind–I want to catch up, though). Both are a little formulaic (but it's the CW, so that's expected) but still a little addictive. Secret Circle can get pretty dark, but it's a good show to watch when I'm doing dishes or folding laundry and want something to break up the monotony.