Is it just me or does this season feel different than others? First of all, we’re almost three weeks in and there has only been one cancellation (The Playboy Club as of this morning). Second of all, there haven’t been any huge surprises either. I feel like everything is just kind of hanging around the middle, waiting to be noticed. It’s making me a little sad actually. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the 14 new shows I’ve been watching.
Jason O'Mara is definitely bringing the charm to Terra Nova.
Terra Nova (Fox): The first episode was kind of exciting. The concept felt new but rooted in basic drama structure and family dynamics. The second episode didn’t exactly build on the first though. It’s also not been a huge ratings winner so while I don’t see Fox canceling the show mid-season, I’m not sure it’s going to win a second. B-
Hart of Dixie (CW): I’ve already detailed all of the problems I have with this show, but will reiterate that despite all of that, I want to love it and will give it a proper shot as long as the CW does. C
2 Broke Girls (CBS): There was so much hype and buzz surrounding this series that my expectations were bound to be dashed and dashed they’ve been. Beyond the laugh track, so many of the jokes are racist in nature that it can be a bit off-putting. And despite my enjoyment of Kat Dennings, she feels boxed in and claustrophobic in the medium. B-
This was probably my favorite moment in any show last week.
New Girl (Fox): I had mixed feelings about this show before it started. On the one hand, it felt like something I would enjoy but on the other, Zooey Deschanel’s character seemed like such an extreme version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl that I was a bit wary. After two episodes, I have come down firmly on its side. I think the humor is quirky and a bit random and there are plot points that actually feel relatable. Plus I cannot get the vision of Zooey having an argument with her ex-boyfriend while wearing all of her clothes out of my head. B+
Ringer (CW): Oh Sarah Michelle Gellar. My loyalty to you can only take me so far. And I think four episodes may be about as much as I can take (the three that have already aired and tonight’s). After jamming the pilot full of more plot than it could adequately handle, the show has become repetitive and circular in its narrative. None of the characters are particularly likable and instead of fleshing out the most interesting one (Siobahn) the show has stuck her in Paris twisting her mustache and saying opaque things into a phone. Also, it still hasn’t gotten over that atrocious green screen work in the first episode. D
Christina Applegate and Will Arnett from Up All Night
Up All Night (NBC): By far my favorite new show of the season. The three leads – Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph – are endlessly funny and after only three episodes, their chemistry is really starting to gel. As a whole, there are still some tonal issues with the show, but it has definitely improved over the course of its run which gives me high hopes for the rest of the season. A
Suburgatory (ABC): Granted, I’ve only seen the pilot episode of this Jeremy Sisto-led series, but what I saw left me a bit non-plussed. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but I certainly didn’t love it. I felt like there was a lot of apologizing going on (Cheryl Hines character is pretty heinous until she gives Jane Levy that bra at which point we learn that she does have a heart). I’ll definitely stick with it for at least a few more weeks, but I’m going to need some more laugh out loud moments to really dive in. B-
Revenge (ABC): I never knew how much I missed the classic primetime soaps of my youth (Dallas, Dynasty) until I became hooked on Revenge. It presents itself so seriously and yet completely campy at the same time. I am loving the way that Emily plots against all of the people who ruined her father’s life and can’t wait for her ultimate showdown with Queen Victoria. A-
I didn't realize how bad the clothes on Charlie's Angels were until just this moment. Oy are they bad.
Charlie’s Angels (ABC): I’m pretty sure Charlie’s Angels is not long for this world. Though I will be forever loyal to Minka Kelly (thanks to her involvement with Friday Night Lights), this show is just not good. The dialogue and performances are completely wooden, none of the characters are intriguing in the slightest (except for Minka’s. I kind of wish she was still a badass car thief instead of someone trying to make good), and despite the fact that Charlie is voiced by Victor Garber, it is weird that these people work for a voice on a phone. C-
The Secret Circle (CW): After my experiences with The Vampire Diaries, Kevin Williamson’s other supernatural CW drama, I’m not about to write off The Secret Circle too quickly, but so far, I’m not really digging it. This could be because I find Brit Robertson to be a bit of a wet blanket, or the fact that the most intriguing character/actor so far is Gale Harold and the show really isn’t about him, or the fact that I don’t give a crap about anything that has happened thus far and the magic being created just isn’t all that cool. I like it when cool things happen. I like it even more when gross things happen. So far, this show doesn’t have either of that (unless you count the opening fire which was actually awesome). However, The Vampire Diaries got off to a bit of a sluggish start as well and yet once the ball got rolling, it never let up, so I will stick with The Secret Circle as well. C+
I am definitely enjoying the goofiness between Whitney Cummings and Chris D'Ella on Whitney
Whitney (NBC): I’ll admit that the advance reviews of Whitney put some bad preconceived notions of this show into my head and the pilot lived up to them (outside of the nurse seduction scene). However, the second episode improved on the first in terms of numbers of laughs and NBC’s recent full-season pick up gives me hope that this show will continue that trend. But the general sitcomminess of the show doesn’t have me holding my breath for that outcome. B-
Prime Suspect (NBC): The overt sexism of the first episode of Prime Suspect was a huge turn off for me, but by the second, the writers had toned it down and combined it with a great performance from Maria Bello. I am actually surprised that this hasn’t been more of a ratings success, it is a procedural after all, but still hopeful that NBC will stick with it for a while. B
Karine Vanasse makes being French cool again.
Pan Am (ABC): I want to like this show more than I do. I love the look of it – the sleek 60′s costumes and retro furnishings – but the story so far isn’t really compelling to me. I think it has oodles of potential (especially in Christina Ricci’s character) but needs to stop focusing on Margot Robbie’s Laura who is a total sap and a whiner to boot. B
Homeland (Showtime): Out of all of the new shows this season, Homeland is the most serious and the most intriguing. While I love Up All Night and definitely consider it my favorite new show of the season, Homeland is something special on a completely different level. It is super intense, has superb performances, and only one episode in, I don’t think I could live with myself without finding out whether Damian Lewis’ marine is a traitor or if it’s all in Claire Danes’ head. A