As the new television season approached earlier this year, I set out to do something that sounded impossible – I was going to try every single new show and separate the good from the bad. It turns out that it was impossible. There are some shows that I just never watched despite the fact that my TiVo recorded them for me.
But it was nearly possible. I started with a spreadsheet of 39 shows (counting old ones). I watched most of them, and now that we’re 2 months into the season, they have been properly separated into the ones I’m keeping and the ones I’m dumping.
So I thought I’d blog the list of new shows that I chose to keep. This list ignores shows that were not new this season. I still watch a lot of “old shows” and they really set the bar for the new shows. The new shows have to compete with my existing love of the old shows. If they can’t compete, they get the boot.
Terra Nova – This one is a strong contender for my favorite new show of the season. Though I know a lot of people have issues with it, it’s so Star Trek: TNG that it’s not even funny. They’re in a little colony instead of a starship, but the plot lines are very similar. The characters can even be split out into similar roles if you want to take it that far. It’s had a rocky start at times, but go back and watch season 1 of TNG before you complain.
Last Man Standing – Tim Allen is just a funny man. I had my doubts about this show, but it delivers some pretty solid laughs for me every week. It’s primarily Allen that’s able to carry the show, but his delivery and humor are enough to keep me coming back. I really like this recent return to the traditional sitcom.
Suburgatory, American Horror Story, Free Agents - Two comedies and a horror show couldn’t be further separated, but I like all three. Sadly, Free Agents is already off the air but I figured I’d list it here since that’s through no fault of my own. Suburgatory owes a lot to its leading lady, and a supporting cast of Jeremy Sisto and Alan Tudyk keep the laughs rolling. American Horror Story is a really impressive show for being able to capture that horror movie feel week after week.
Charlie’s Angels, Whitney – Okay, so Charlie’s Angels has already been canceled and it is pretty dumb at times but I defend it for what it is. It’s slick, easy on the eyes, and the episodes fly by quick enough to make it easy to ignore the inanity of it all. Whitney is a great classic sitcom that’s really grown on me. It’s my favorite new comedy, with a special mention to her boyfriend on the show for delivering the funny. The situation of it reminds of me my life both past and present, which is going to make it funnier to me than perhaps everyone.
A Gifted Man - You know, I don’t actually like the medical dramas. I’ve never liked any of them. But there’s something about this show that keeps me tuning in. The premise is of course a bit unorthodox with ghosts and all, but I think at the end of the day it’s just that Patrick Wilson is a charismatic guy that’s fun to watch.
Once Upon a Time - I know Grimm got a lot of hype for the fairy tale show to watch, but I found Grimm to be dumb. Once Upon A Time is a bit truer to the fairy tales of old, and the mysteries it’s setting up are intriguing enough to keep me tuning in each week. It’s not my favorite of the bunch, but it’s worth hanging onto for now. If they try to stretch this one for more than a season or two, though, I’m out.
I dumped some new shows and old to arrive at the 21 shows that I’m now watching. So with 9 new shows, new programming makes up just shy of 40% of my weekly television viewing. I’d say the Fall 2011 season was a pretty big success at adding new shows that I’m willing to commit to. If only every season could be that strong!