2011 Fall TV Conclusions

Feb 21 2012

In a previous blog, I lamented the new fall season of television programs and laid out my intentions of not watching any new shows until they proved themselves.  I actually broke down and recorded a couple of new shows, but have yet to watch any of them.  I also spoke about what I was still watching.  Particularly, I had a pretty scathing review of Ashton Kutcher's acting and his character on Two and a Half Men (Charlie Sheen actually seemed to agree with me <scary>).  I may actually need to rescind my comments and I'll explain why.  I'm also interested in what people thought of the fall season.As I said, I had very low expectation for Two and a Half Men and figured I would stop watching it about midway through the season.  While I had every intention of doing that, the episodes got progressively better and I honestly couldn't bring myself to stop recording it.  It was JUST good enough to keep watching.  I was simply writing this off as a "guilty pleasure" of mine.  However, the writing has improved by leaps and bounds in the most recent episodes.  In fact, it has gotten to the point where I think it has surpassed the final season or two with Charlie Sheen, which I admit had gotten quite stale.  I found myself laughing out loud, like I did with the early seasons of the show.  I think Chuck Lorre found a home for Ashton's acting abilities and was able to bring the "funny" back to the show.  That said, I've also noticed that the better episodes don't include many of the supporting actors, which sort of says something.  In the end, I have to admit that Ashton and Chuck have managed to bring me around and the show will continue being a part of my recording schedule.  If you gave up on it, you might want to give it another try.  Am I alone on this one?

I broke my non-binding, non-promise to not record anything new when I decided that Terra Nova, American Horror Story, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time were generating enough buzz to warrant recording.  I still have yet to watch any episodes and, should Terra Nova get cancelled, I will not be heartbroken, nor will I bother watching any episodes at all.

I just finished watching the 4th season of Sanctuary and was blown away by the final episode.  It would be a fine way for it to go bow out, but I would really like to see it continue.  I'm not very optimistic that it will be picked up again, but I really have enjoyed the story lines.

Boardwalk Empire continues to impress me.  Without a doubt, it's "must watch" TV for me and it's the fantastic story arcs they keep writing, which keep me coming back.  I've seen better acting, but the writing is so well done that even a poor delivery manages to make for compelling TV.  Also, you simply never know who might die in any given episode.  When a show isn't afraid to kill off major characters, the show is anything but predictable.

Being a fan of Chuck Lorre, I also decided to give Mike & Molly a go and both the wife and I have enjoyed it.  We had caught some glimpses of the show because it followed Two and a Half Men.  These 30 seconds shots had enough funny moments to cause us to give it a shot.

I only watched one episode of Spartacus so far, but I wasn't all that impressed with the premier episode.  I do have faith that it will get better and a single episode with a new actor in the lead role is definitely no way to guage an entire show... as Two and a Half Men proved, quite admirably.

The wife is watching The Secret Circle and Up All Night, but I simply have no interest in those shows at the present time.  If anyone has a strong opinion on them, feel free to try and sway me.

Based on other Missing Remote users, I started recording Justified and we just completed the first season.  To whomever it was who mentioned how good it was:  Thank you!  The writing is amazing and the acting is impressive, to say the least.  This is not the type of show I would have ever checked out and that would have been a shame.

Did I miss anything?  What's everyone watching or looking forward to?

Comments

I was also very skeptical of 2 1/2 Men's future.  I previously had the position that Charlie Sheen made the show, and his absence would be the demise of the show.  However, I find that is not correct.  I find the show is still enjoyable despite Charlie's absence, but I think it goes without saying that Ashton certainly is no Charlie.

As for the other new fall season shows, here are my top picks:

Grimm (NBC)

Whitney (NBC)

2 Broke Girls (CBS)

I'm a little confused. Is the topic just new shows from the Fall 2011 season or just the state of TV in general?

The main idea was to see what people thought of the fall season, but not limited to that.  That's why I mentioned all the shows I did.  I was interested in what others thought, but, clearly, not just about the new shows; returning shows are fair game, as well.  Hey, it's the internet...  anything's fair game!  Laughing out loud

Okay! I've given the thumbs down to most of the new shows introduced in Fall/Winter 2011. I tried and gave up on Terra Nova, Grimm, Up All Night, Alcatraz. I found Terra Nova to be a snooze-fest with shallow characters and story though it does have decent production value. Up All Night was actually funny and good in the beginning, but the concept got old quick. Alcatraz was plain horrid and typical JJ Abrams with a good concept that goes to ...

American Horror Story was the best new show of the season for me. As for returning shows, I anticipate The Walking Dead the most on a weekly basis. Modern Family, The Office, Portlandia and Family Guy fulfill my weekly comedy watching. Speaking of comedies, I'm also a big Louie fan though I think we have to wait until the summer for season 3. The 2nd season of The Killing will be on soon and I am looking forward to that. When will Breaking Bad's 5th and final season get here? It can't be soon enough.

I have a hard time finding shows that I can get the wife to watch with me so I tend to be a bit more forgiving of some shows in this regard.  That being said, we both watch Terra Nova, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, Castle, Modern Family, and The Office.  Terra Nova is basically meant to be family entertainment and is strictly G-rated programming, which is why she likes it.  I got sucked into watching Revenge, but only because the wife likes it.  You can't get any more soap opera-like in prime time than this show.  The only thing missing is Susan Lucci.

It's getting harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas for TV shows, which is why I tend to avoid new shows about cops, lawyers, and doctors.  I realize that doesn't leave a lot besides reality shows (which I really avoid like the plague) but there it is.  The ones I do enjoy tend to disappear (I just saw that Prime Suspect is on the chopping block).  The Firm has been banished to Saturday night (yikes!).  The other shows that were canceled early on deserved to die.  I gave the new 2-1/2 Men a shot but just couldn't get into Ashton Kutcher in the role. 

Alcatraz looks like it's desperately trying to be the next Lost (God help us).  If they don't start fleshing out the underlying storyline pretty soon I think they're going to lose a lot of viewers.  Too many people invested too much time watching Lost to get their hopes up for a quality ending.  OTOH, I did think the ending of J.J. Abram's Alias was poetic justice, even though they took their sweet time getting there.

Definitely two thumbs up for American Horror Story.  It's the first time I think I've actually enjoyed anything Dylan McDermott has done on TV.  It's going to be interesting to see what direction they take the show next season, but I'd be surprised if they center it around the same cast and scenario.

Overall, the Fall season was otherwise unremarkable.  I, too, will be looking forward to the next season of The Killing, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.  Suits and Necessary Roughness were two shows that emerged last Summer that were a pleasant surprise, as was Falling Skies.  Who knew there'd be something to look forward to on TV during the Summer?

I finally removed a few of the new shows from my recording list (Grimm, Once Upon a Time) because I realized I'd never, ever bother watching them and that was a ton of space I could use for something worthwhile. I've already been watching a few shows regularly that are pretty bad (Terra Nova, Alcatraz). I can't say much good about any of this past season's offerings really. The only one I could kind of say I've enjoyed is 2 Broke Girls, and I don't even watch it all that regularly.

I just watched the first two episodes of the new season of Spartacus and it was rather disappointing compared to the 1st season. I'm not going to blame it on the new lead actor  just yet since it's more due to the plot just not pulling me so far. I'll stick with it though, even if it doesn't perk up.

 

agreed on American Horror Story, although i thought it really took a turn for the worst in the last few episodes. I too have DVR'd Terra Nova, not seen a single episode. 2 & 1/2 Men i still record, and i watch from time to time, but not even close to a must watch for me.

New Girl & 2 Broke Girls have been my surprise hits, both being very funny. Oddly enough, Whitney has been a snooze fest for me, given I thought she was quite a good comedian.

and yeah, Boardwalk Empire is just awesome.

Also agree the new Spartacus is falling flat...i just can't buy the new guy yet, but i'm nowhere close to stop watching it.

I noticed the lack of discussion for a couple of new Fall shows.  I've got mixed feelings about the new Kelsey Grammer drama on Starz (Boss).  It's a very dark show about the inner working of politics in the Chicago Mayor's office.  I've never been a fan of the documentary style filming as it makes the show look extremely low budget, not to mention it's being done to death.  Aside from my few gripes about the format, it's a decent show that will bear watching when it returns. 

While not a program on the Fall roster, I'm looking forward to Keifer Sutherland's new show, Touch.  I watched the preview episode and thought the writing was top-notch.  I'll be interested to see how they maintain the same complexity over a full season.  It will also be a nice change in that we won't have to hear Keifer yell "Drop your weapon" before he shoots someone.

You are welcome for Justified. That is my one of my go to shows for mid-season/winter. There is also the walking dead, gold rush (guilty pleasure), White Collar, and a few others.

My up coming shows are Suits, and Game of Thrones (another show you must watch)

-Josh

I think Spartacus is getting better. Justified was great last week. Boardwalk, Breaking Bad and Game of Throne are also must watch. Last Man Standing has surprised me. 

Every morning I go here: http://www.tv.com/ and about half way down on the left I follow the what to watch tonight link/editors picks and see if there is anything I have missed and should record. If anything looks good I fire up remote potato and que it up.

 

 

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