With several new television shows on the horizon (hello, GCB) and the return of some fan favorites (Mad Men Season 5, anyone?), let’s review which new shows from the fall turned out to be good and even an update on how the oldies we love are doing.
“X Factor”-This show won’t return until next year but it is worthwhile to recap success or the show. Compared to its slick sister “American Idol,” “X Factor” was refreshingly non-scripted at times. When twelve year-old Rachel Crow was sent home and broke down in tears, the show seemed authentic and real. Melanie Amaro, this year’s winner from Simon Cowell’s team of girls, sure has a voice. Does she have the “X factor” though? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Steve Jones, the opposite of smooth Ryan Seacrest, was both amusing and uncomfortable to watch as he struggled through the live shows and was funny, albeit unintentionally. Hopefully he will return with the show next year.
“New Girl”-Zooey Deschanel has become the epitome of everyone’s new favorite word…adorkable. She is that and much more as she holds “New Girl” together and is able to bounce off her funny costars as well. “New Girl” is like that guilty pleasure that makes us believe that big glasses are cute and living with a bunch of crazy guys could actually be fun. Well, it as least makes us believe the former.
“2 Broke Girls”-Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs are the modern Laverne and Shirley. Their adventures with their horse, Chesnut, are hilarious and heartwarming. The best thing about this show is the chemistry between the two ladies. They take the comedy to a whole other level.
“Whitney”-“Whitney” seems to be still trying to find its footing, just like Whitney and Alex in the show. It is definitely funny, but occasionally seems as though the actors are winking at the camera and laughing at their own jokes as well. Whitney Cummings is pretty good, but Chris D’Elia is the true find here.
“Once Upon a Time”-What could be better than fairytales coming to life? Don’t scoff, Prince Charming is in our world now. “Once Upon a Time” is filled with twists and magic at every corner. It’s fun to learn the back-stories of some of our favorite characters, like Snow White, Jiminy Cricket, and Cinderella. There’s also mystery involved as we try to figure out why the Evil Queen would want to put a curse on all the people in the fairytale world and send them where she says is “somewhere awful”…our world.
“Hart of Dixie”-“Hart of Dixie” proved to be something like “Gilmore Girls.” It took a little while for it to get started but when it did it was simply irresistible. Rachel Bilson is cute as always. The last episode culminated with the escalation of several juicy storylines as Zoe Hart and Wade are having some sparks and Lemon has to come to terms with her feelings for the mayor of Bluebell, Lavon.
“The Secret Circle”-“The Secret Circle” is getting juicy. Cassie Blake has learned that she comes from a line of dark magic, on her father’s side. Now she must decide whether to fight off or give in to this new feeling of power and the darkness. Good girl gone bad witch? What could be better than that?
“Revenge”-“Revenge” has been described by some viewers as addictive. Oh yeah it’s addictive. Each week’s fix cannot be missed as the plot gets more and more convoluted. Emily (or shall we say, Amanda Clarke) still has a long list of people to take down, including most recently the woman who she traded identities with and Tyler, who turns out to be scary crazy. I guess revenge really is a dish best served cold, especially when there are so many loose ends to consider.
There were a few new shows that just didn’t make it and some that, personally, even after given a chance, just didn’t take hold:
“Charlie’s Angels” has been canceled and “Pan Am” is a bit shaky and barely holding on. I tried watching “Terra Nova” and “Up All Night” but “Terra Nova” just seemed a bit cheesy after a while and although Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are adorable the show is a little over-the-top.
Next we turn to some oldie’s but goodies:
“The Vampire Diaries”-It was hard to imagine how Elena would ever betray Stefan to be with Damon. “The Vampire Diaries” pulled the old switcharoo though this year. Stefan became cold-hearted and delightfully far less than perfect. Damon then had to become the nice one. Now Elena and Damon have shared their first kiss and all bets are off when trying to make a deal with Klaus.
“Gossip Girl”-Last season was simply hard to watch as we waited for some of the most annoying characters imaginable to just go away already. Jenny, Vanessa, and (thank goodness) Juliet finally have. This year we are back to good old stuff, all the drama between the main characters we hate to love and fabulous parties and clothes. Blair and Chuck are finally almost back together, Serena and Dan may have something going on, and Nate is just as honorable as ever. If Serena’s fake cousin Charlie and Blair’s fiancé Prince Louis disappear then the show will be close to perfect.
“Glee”-It’s hard to believe that “Glee” was the center of conversation and atop the iTunes charts just last season. This season it is hard to watch without getting bored. “Glee” would do well to turn up the volume on the songs (enough Broadway please) and even the story lines (nothing is really scandalous or exciting right now). Even Darren Criss is not being used to his full potential and the Warblers are greatly missed. Oh “Glee” of the good old days, where have you gone?
“The Office”-With Steve Carell’s big-hearted, goofy Michael gone, “The Office” just doesn’t have the same lovability this year. Andy is likable but more in limited doses and with Pam gone it seems like the office has no common sense at all (even Jim is not outwitting everyone). When Dwight is the smartest one in the office you know there’s a problem. Also, Robert California (James Spader) just is no fun.
“The Killing”-The return date for the second season of “The Killing” has not been announced yet but it deserves a mention. “The Killing” is a smart, edge-of-your-seat show full of suspense and never-ending twists and turns. Rainy, gloomy Seattle is a great setting for this show. It is based around the murder of a teenage girl named Rosie Larsen and the list of suspects is endless. Just when you think you know who it is turns out you have no idea. The case has far-reaching effects, personal and even political. Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman are excellent as the leads.
“Downton Abbey”-“Downton Abbey” is everything desirable in a series. There’s romance, drama, and English accents in abundance in this period piece. Now, in its second season, WWI has begun. Times are changing and so is the manor of Downton Abbey as well as all its inhabitants, the wealthy who live there and those who