Fall 2011 TV!

I was recently reminded that the fall TV shows are a-comin’ soon. (Thanks, Christian!) Summer is all well and good with tasty morsels like Warehouse 13 and Project Runway, but in a few weeks the TiVo is going to be much, much more full. So here’s what I’ll be watching (and not watching).


House – Yeah, it’s totally formulaic. Ill person, four or five misdiagnoses, sudden epiphany, resolution. I’m still not sick of the formula, and it’s probably because Hugh Laurie is just so damned good. This season, Lisa Edelstein is on the way out, and a couple of new faces (including Odette Annable from the charming Breaking In, which we’ll totally be watching when it returns midseason) are joining the crew. (October 3)

Castle – If you don’t find Nathan Fillion charming, there may be something wrong with you. I’d advise seeing a doctor for that. Last season ended with a great cliffhanger — I know Beckett isn’t going to die, but I get to puzzle and wonder about how things will fall out with an injury, a new boss, and certain confessions. Wheeee! (September 19)

Terra Nova – Okay, so because the world is trashed, some colonists go 85 million years back in time to settle on prehistoric Earth. With dinosaurs and stuff. Say no more, sign me up. I’m just hoping I can suspend my disbelief regarding the time-travel paradox, because we haven’t found any 85-million-year-old human skeletons alongside the dinosaurs. I also hope it’s not too super-serious like Falling Skies was. (September 26)


The Biggest Loser – I’m not ashamed of my love for reality. Even though we only started watching this show in its 7th season, we’ve watched them all since. It’ll be weird without Jillian getting all up in the contestants’ heads. I usually disagree strongly with the nutritional aspects, but overall it’s compelling reality TV. I also wish the episodes were only an hour, but what can you do. (September 20)

Ringer – I just don’t know about this one, so I’ll give it a shot. I didn’t watch Buffy, so for me, Sarah Michelle Gellar is still Erika Kane’s daugher on All My Children. The concept is interesting, and the divinely-eyelashed Nestor Carbonell co-stars. (September 13)

New Girl – I’m so torn on this. It’s a half-hour sitcom, which I rarely watch. And I’m not all that big on Zooey Deschanel (not her fault — she was just so miscast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). But the promos intrigue me, so I’ll tuck it in on the side. It’ll be like TV Jell-O. (September 20)

Body of Proof – I actually didn’t expect this show to get picked up. I guess it did better than we thought. Dana Delaney’s character got a little more human throughout the first short season, which was good — she was pretty unlikeable at the start. We’ll keep it recording, but it’s probably not going to be at the top of the to-watch list. (September 20)


Survivor – I don’t think I’ve missed an episode of this show. Like, ever. Call it a guilty pleasure if you will. They’re continuing with last season’s trends: Redemption Island, and two returning players. Also, Russell Hantz’s nephew is playing. Will he keep that under his hipster hat? (September 14)

The X Factor – What do you think — will it suck? Will it rock? I love the idea of allowing contestants over 28. And it looks like the judges will do some mentoring (like The Voice) instead of just offering meaningless nattering (like American Idol). I’ve also missed Simon’s acid tongue. (September 21)

America’s Next Top Model – I completely missed last season, because the show was on at the same time as two other programs. But this season (or “cycle”) is all-stars, and so must not be missed. The prizes have been tweaked, and now include the potential to become a correspondent for Extra. Which is smart, because some of these chicks are 30 years old by now. (September 14)


Grey’s Anatomy – I think I’m really watching this show out of habit by this point. They’ve jumped so many sharks, it could be a SeaWorld show. The music is always good, though. And I always enjoy McSteamy. (September 22)

Prime Suspect – Never saw the original BBC show, but I’ve heard that it’s kick-ass. How can it not be, with Helen Mirren. I’ve heard good things about the US version, which is a surprising change from how things usually go when we transport shows in from across the pond. (September 22)

Person of Interest – A show from Bad Robot starring Michael Emerson. That’s all I need to know to rush to the TiVo. Sounds like kind of a Minority Report-esque predictive crime drama. Oh, and apparently the pilot tested so well, CBS bounced CSI from the time slot it held for 10 years to make room. (September 22)

Archer – If you’re not watching this show, DO IT. NOW. The best animated show on TV, and one of the few half-hours I watch. It’s the perfect mix of brilliant, funny, and shocking. Three episodes will air in September, with the rest of the season following in 2012. (September 15)


Fringe – An awesome show where awesome stuff happens. Last season ended with a doozy of a cliffhanger, and I have NO IDEA how things are going to play out. But I can’t wait to see. (September 23)

Grimm – A cop drama that takes place in an alternate universe where Grimm’s-inspired characters exist. Extra bonus: Pacific Northwest location. My hopes are X-Files meets Eureka. My guess is, by the time this starts airing, we’ll have a spot cleared out for it due to a September show not catching our interest. (October 21)


Um … yeah. Nothing. Which is usually the case. Looks like the networks are airing mostly football and repeats.


Once Upon a Time – Somewhere in Maine, there’s apparently a town that’s a crossover point between the real world and the fairy tale world. Disney has given their blessing to use their versions of the classic fairy tale characters, and Damon Lindelof is a producer. So this could be great. It could also be a big horrible mixup of weird. (October 23)

The Amazing Race – We’re up to season 19 already?! That’s incredible. This is the best reality show on TV, and I’m nowhere near tired of it yet. Contestants this time around include former Survivor winners Ethan and Jenna, who are dating in real life. So maybe this season there will be at least one “dating couple” who I can stand. (September 25)

Pan Am – No, I haven’t seen Mad Men. So this would be my first ’60s period drama. We’ll see how long it lasts on our recording schedule — reviews so far have been very mixed. (September 25)

Not Watching

Dancing with the Stars – this show has been going downhill for me for the last few seasons, and this time I just don’t have the gumption to watch it. There’s really nobody I’m interested in watching, although if I had to throw my support behind anyone, it’d be either Carson Kressley or Chaz Bono. At least it’ll save 3 hours of TiVo space every week. (September 19)

Charlie’s Angels – I’m sure this will be a perfectly fine reboot. But the producers have gone on the record saying they refuse to do anything “campy or retro”. Where’s the fun in that? Seems like this was MADE for camp. (September 22)

Revenge – A woman moves to the Hamptons and gets … REVENGE! This looks way too serious for me. And a bit too much of the fancy-schmancy rich and famous beautiful people. (September 21)

The Playboy Club – Unlike several “family” organizations, I don’t have a problem with the content. It just doesn’t look that interesting to me. I’ll stick with Pan Am as my period-drama attempt. (September 19)

Unforgettable – A former cop with a medical condition that makes her remember everything joins her ex-boyfriend’s homicide unit to solve crimes. I have a couple of other crimey cop shows, and this sounds like it’s going to be seriously heavy. (September 20)

The Secret Circle – Teenage girl goes to small-town Washington, discovers mysterious magical heritage. Yes, it’s witches instead of vampires, but it still seems a little too Twilight for me. (September 15)

Hart of Dixie – A New York doctor moves to small-town Alabama to work. And her last name is Hart! Nothing about this one speaks to me. (September 26)

H8R – I hadn’t even heard of this show until I looked at the fall schedule. Apparently celebrities get to confront mundanes who “hate” them, to try and convince the haters that the celebrites really aren’t all that bad. This sounds like the worst possible kind of reality show. (September 14)

A Gifted Man – Self-absorbed surgeon becomes a better man when visited by his dead wife’s ghost. Never heard of this one either. Looks heavier than dark matter. (September 23)

Thoughts? Opinions? What will you be watching? What will you definitely NOT be watching?

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  1. Good grief woman, I’m so taken aback by your lack of Buffy-watching that I can’t even think about OTHER (less worthy) shows. Gimme a minute.
    OK my breathing has returned to normal. But still–W T F.
    Onward–I will be watching Fringe. Because, duh. We’re also going to try out Alcatraz. Hello, Hurley. Oh, how I’ve missed you.
    Bones will definitely be on our list as well. Other than that, we’ll be using Netflix to catch up on Dexter and Dr. Who. Wheeee Boxee!

    missy Reply:

    I can’t explain the Buffy thing. It just totally passed me by. I might have been the wrong age when it was on.

    We’ll definitely try out Alcatraz — there are a ton of shows that will be early 2012 mid-season replacements that look good.

    Somehow we’ve missed out on Bones too. And by this point, I feel like I’ve missed too much of it to start now. On the other hand, we’re going to try some Dr. Who now that there’s this new doctor. That seems like a good way to ease into it. (This may give you another fit, but … I don’t like that David Tennant.)

    BI Fan Reply:

    OMG, you’re probably right about giving Sara Plays House another fit, because I mean REALLY, how can you not like “that” David Tennant?

    We’re current on our Dr. Who, Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Brit Top Gear. Have Alphas and Amer Top Gear in our queue; will be watching Person of Interest and Terra Nova (for the reasons and with the caveats you listed), will give Ringer a shot because of Buffy (but I already hate that one of the twins is named “Siobhan” ‘cuz seriously, if you don’t speak French, how do you know how to pronounce that shit?)…

    I’m a fan of House (well, really Hugh Laurie) and my hubby likes Fringe (I can’t watch that Aussie chick talk “American” because she doesn’t seem to be able to open her mouth). We won’t be watching any of the 60’s shows because I did time ON Mad Men for three seasons, and I didn’t like how they fired us, so I rebelled with a Missy-esque haircut (and no viewership points).

    on a side note – how did your move go?

    missy Reply:

    The move is still a work in progress, but it’s almost done. There’ll be a blog post after it ends, that’s for sure.

    I agree with the Siobhan issue. Except I think it’s Celtic or Gaelic.

    Tennant was just TOO buggy-eyed and over-the-top and wacky for me. I didn’t mind Eccleston. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t care for Donna or Martha as companions. But this Amy seems all right.

    BI Fan Reply:

    you do have some catching-up to do if you’re going to start with Matt Smith (don’t start on the current season – you’ll have missed QUITE a lot of back-story, and if there’s one thing Steven Moffat likes to do, it’s tie all the episodes together with an overall story arc…) so start with Matt’s first visit when Amy was a little girl and he had JUST regenerated – if you find Tennant to be OTT then you’ll probably like Smith pretty well (he actually gets ANGRY more than other incarnations have); my hubby and I like Amy’s boyfriend Rory as well – there’s some good stuff going on there, and that could be part of why you didn’t like Donna or Martha – they both sort of fell in love with the Doctor and became pretty needy. That ain’t Amy!

    Sara Reply:

    “…that could be part of why you didn’t like Donna or Martha – they both sort of fell in love with the Doctor and became pretty needy.”

    That’s bizarre! I thought Donna was the least needy of Tennant’s companions (and, consequently, she’s my favorite of the three). I am unable to watch just about all of the second season (the one with Rose and Tennant) because Rose is so wincingly clingy.

    I do agree with you on Smith, Amy, and Rory, though. If there was ever a place to pick up the new series, it’s season 5. And if there was ever a reason to pick up the new series, it’s Steven Moffat….

    Sara Reply:

    We are just midway through the David Tennant Dr. Who. I have a MAD crush on him, so I’ll be sad to see him go.
    As for Buffy–please, please give it an itty bitty try? Maybe next summer when good TV is on hold? You won’t regret it!

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