8:00 PM – Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family; 1/8)
Look. I’m not proud of this but thanks to Netflix, I became hooked on this cheesy show about four girls being stalked by a bunch of people in hoodies in a town that apparently has no security cameras. I guess this will fill the void of shame I felt watching the recently concluded Gossip Girl.
10:00 PM – Cougar Town (TBS; 1/8)
The little show that refuses to die. I hope the show doesn’t drag because it could have easily ended with last season’s finale. This could be one of those “Now what?” seasons.
10:00 PM – Justified (FX; 1/8)
Season three was a little disappointing if only because season two was so perfect. There were just too many villains, too many schemes and not enough Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) bring Raylan. Hopefully, season four will be a return to form.
8:00 PM – Raising Hope (FOX)
8:30 PM – Ben and Kate (FOX)
9:00 PM – New Girl (FOX)
9:30 PM – The Mindy Project (FOX)
10:00 PM – Parenthood (NBC)
The fall television season of 2011 will be remembered for Homeland. It was easily one of the best first season of a show I’ve watched from start to finish. I debated doing a post about my top ten TV shows of 2011 but got lazy. I couldn’t decide whether Homeland or Breaking Bad would take the top spot. I thought nothing could top the fourth season of Breaking Bad but some of Homeland’s individual episodes (particularly “The Weekend” and “The Vest”) are up there with the best episodes of the year (another post I was too lazy to write).
Ultimately, my top ten TV shows of 2011 without any elaboration are:
Parks and Recreation
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, let’s talk about what shows could contend for a spot on the best television shows of 2012. Since I don’t watch these shows live, there’s no sense in listing it by time. New series are in bold.
Is New Girl smarter than I think it is? On the surface, the show looks like it blowing it’s “two of our castmembers slowly start to fall in love” wad early like it’s suffering from premature infatuation. We’ve spent most of the episodes in this young season pairing Jess up with Nick in various situations. Now the show, through CeCe, confronts the idea that Nick could like Jess. At first I was getting concerned but then I thought maybe they know what they are doing. Maybe they are addressing this now so it can be dropped for future episodes only to be revisited when enough time (2-3 seasons) have gone by. I guess it remains to be seen.
We were doing so well. While I found the episode relatively funny, I’m concerned that the writers/show runners haven’t decided who Jess is yet. Is she simply quirky and awkward? Or is she an alien life-force in the form of Zooey Deschanel: trying to figure out how to interact with human begins and ultimately how to love? The last episode “Wedding” favored the former but the other three episodes are making me believe the latter.
“Naked” centers around Nick and his penis. Nick has a date (or least he thinks he does) with his fellow bartender Amanda (Lake Bell). After Schmidt and Jess suggest that he might have a gut (or as Jess called it, “the little pooch where you keep your extra cookies”), Nick builds his confidence by dancing naked in front of mirror to Yellowman’s reggae classic “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng”. Jess, wanting him to turn it down, enters his room without knocking and sees Nick’s penis. Her reaction: nervous laughter. Nick, having been established as slightly emotional fragile, now finds himself unable to have meaningless sex with Amanda and settle for cuddling.
“Wedding” was the first good (almost great) episode of the series. The first two episodes which were basically double pilots were just okay. They had to set up the series and characters and, when Damon Wayans, Jr. had to be replaced, they needed to add a new castmember and establish chemistry. Now that the characters seem relatively comfortable with one another, the show feels like it’s found a groove.
In a way, “Kryptonite” was pilot 2.0. Because they had to replace Damon Wayans, Jr., we now had new roommate, Winston (Lamorne Morris), to react to Jess’ weirdness. I liked the way they just tried to slip Winston into the show with no fanfare. He was the original roommate and was an old basketball buddy of Coach’s. Wayans, Jr is a tought act to follow and in his first episode, Morris didn’t even seem like he was trying. He just hung in the background of the story, watching like the rest of us. Hopefully in subsequent episodes, we will see more personality.
The episode premieres tonight but it’s been available on iTunes for awhile now so I’m posting this early. It contains spoilers but it’s a sitcom, not serialized drama like Breaking Bad or Mad Men. I think you’ll survive.
I went into The New Girl wondering one thing: what would be the mechanism that they use to explain why someone as attractive as Jess (played by indie hipster queen Zooey Deschanel) is perpetually unlucky in love? I’m not saying that attractive people don’t have a hard time with dating and relationships as I have many friends who fit the bill. But this isn’t reality, this is a sitcom so instead of an in-depth examination into how being beautiful and quirky can work against you in the dating scene, we’re going to get a (hopefully) humorous 22 minutes of cute dorky hijinks. But I was curious if the reason Jess would be single and frustrated is that she’s such a dork that a decent guy would find her off-putting or would the guys she tries to date be evil douchebags who are just taking advantage of our sweet, lovable heroine. If the pilot is any indication, thankfully it’s going to be a little bit of both.
Since I’ve moved to Los Angeles, the way I watch television has changed. I no longer have cable and rely mainly on the Internet (some means more legal than others). I’ve been fairly successful in keeping up with my shows without a DVR but the hassle of shows building up on my hard drive has made me quick to drop shows.
As I started contemplating this post, I bragged to myself that I could cut my viewing hours down to maybe 15 hours. The new crop of shows are not that appealing and most of the shows I currently watch I’m not completely enamored with. I’ll also admit that shows that Cindy and I aren’t both into are less likely to be watched regularly. Fall TV hours are 22.5 right now but by November, I think I can get to the 15 hours I so desire.
Since I don’t watch these shows when they air on TV, no point in listing times. New shows in bold.